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Old Sep 14, 2007, 05:51 PM   #1
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2.4ghz vs 2.8ghz

I'm thinking about getting a brand new iMac. I'm still debating on whether I should get a 2.4GHz 20" w/ an extra 20" screen or a 2.8GHz 24". I'll mainly be using it for Photoshop, web browsing, music, AIM, and some games(nothing serious).
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Old Sep 14, 2007, 05:59 PM   #2
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If you are serious about your Photoshop work the 2.8 GHz would be the processor to go for. The benchmarks on Barefeats show a reasonable improvement from the 2.4 to 2.8 GHz, and they show a massive improvement with 4 GB of RAM.

http://barefeats.com/imacal4.html

Personally I just went with the base 24" model and grabbed 4 GB of 3rd party Apple certified RAM.
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Old Sep 14, 2007, 06:01 PM   #3
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You will never notice the difference between a 2.4 and 2.8 I assure you the 400 Mhz is getting you about no difference between the two. Just pop some more RAM in the 2.4 and it'll be faster than the 2.8.
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Old Sep 14, 2007, 06:13 PM   #4
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My Photoshop stuff is nothing serious. It's just something to mess around with. I'll be adding a 2GB RAM to it; 3GB in total.
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Old Sep 14, 2007, 06:57 PM   #5
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You will never notice the difference between a 2.4 and 2.8 I assure you the 400 Mhz is getting you about no difference between the two. Just pop some more RAM in the 2.4 and it'll be faster than the 2.8.
You REALLY don't think so? Because I've been trying to justify spending the extra $$$ for it, but other than attempting to "future-proof" it, I haven't been able to think of another reason. You honestly don't think it's enough of a difference? I'm just debating between the 24" 2.4 and 24" 2.8. I've ordered the 4GB RAM off of OWC just so that it is here when I do get the iMac. Thanks for your info in advance.
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Old Sep 14, 2007, 07:55 PM   #6
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You REALLY don't think so? Because I've been trying to justify spending the extra $$$ for it, but other than attempting to "future-proof" it, I haven't been able to think of another reason. You honestly don't think it's enough of a difference? I'm just debating between the 24" 2.4 and 24" 2.8. I've ordered the 4GB RAM off of OWC just so that it is here when I do get the iMac. Thanks for your info in advance.
The 2.8 is a very fast machine as (I can vouch for that) is the 2.4 so for the heaviest system requirements most applications will run extremely well on both. Last years iMac at 2.33 Ghz was blazing.

Now I think iToaster's logic is illogical. He mentions to add 4GB ram to the 2.4 and it will be faster than 2.8? Well then put 4GB in the 2.8 and then what do you get??? A even faster machine. The 400Mhz difference is big.

Ram does not make your computer "faster" but in fact it prevents slow downs from multitasking and running heavy apps.
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Old Sep 14, 2007, 07:57 PM   #7
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The 2.8 is a very fast machine as (I can vouch for that) is the 2.4 so for the heaviest system requirements most applications will run extremely well on both. Last years iMac at 2.33 Ghz was blazing.

Now I think iToaster's logic is illogical. He mentions to add 4GB ram to the 2.4 and it will be faster than 2.8? Well then put 4GB in the 2.8 and then what do you get??? A even faster machine.

Ram does not make your computer "faster" but in fact it prevents slow downs from multitasking and running heavy apps.
Good info, I appreciate that. I originally was going to get a 1TB HDD, but kinda got over that and will probably settle for a 500 or 750 and end up going for the 2.8.
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Old Sep 14, 2007, 08:02 PM   #8
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Good info, I appreciate that. I originally was going to get a 1TB HDD, but kinda got over that and will probably settle for a 500 or 750 and end up going for the 2.8.
Great idea, use the money you are saving to purchase an external hard drive to work with Time Machine in Leopard. You can get 500GB or more.
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Old Sep 14, 2007, 08:42 PM   #9
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I think I'm going to go with the 20" dual screen. Anyone know where I can find a good 20"-22" monitor for cheap?
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Old Sep 14, 2007, 08:52 PM   #10
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Video Encoding

I do a lot of video encoding, so the extra speed is well worth it for me. Also, isn't it a 400MHz increase per core -- pretty significant. Applications (such as encoding) that use both cores will benefit.

I'd suggest getting a 2.8 and grabbing an inexpensive 1GB stick of memory (mine will be on E-Bay soon) and then when you can afford it, upgrade the ram to 4GB.

My .02
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Old Sep 14, 2007, 08:58 PM   #11
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if u think about it. 400mhz is basically a graphite imac :P hahaha

if you are doing video editing i would definately go the 2.8ghz, the bigger screen will make it so much easier. i have the 2.8ghz model right now.

but if you go a smaller imac, then you could buy maybe a 1tb drive for $300 and store stuff on there.. depends what you want i spose.
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Old Sep 15, 2007, 02:07 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Sirmausalot View Post
I do a lot of video encoding, so the extra speed is well worth it for me. Also, isn't it a 400MHz increase per core -- pretty significant. Applications (such as encoding) that use both cores will benefit.
You will shorten a 20 minute encoding with about 2-3 minutes. If that's worth the price of the 2.8 to you then just go for it.
I personally feel that it doesn't matter much to me if an encoding process takes 17 och 20 minutes as it's something that I have going in the background while I do other things.
It's not a huge performance difference like the Mac Pro would give you.
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Old Sep 15, 2007, 02:10 AM   #13
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You REALLY don't think so? Because I've been trying to justify spending the extra $$$ for it, but other than attempting to "future-proof" it, I haven't been able to think of another reason.
I think anyone who opts for the 2.8 to "future proof" the computer is fooling himself. Not that far down the road we will most likely have quad core iMacs, and then the dual core ones will be pretty slow in comparison.

So if you need the 2.8 right now, then go for it. But don't think it will make the computer much more future-proof.
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Old Sep 15, 2007, 02:30 AM   #14
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I think anyone who opts for the 2.8 to "future proof" the computer is fooling himself. Not that far down the road we will most likely have quad core iMacs, and then the dual core ones will be pretty slow in comparison.

So if you need the 2.8 right now, then go for it. But don't think it will make the computer much more future-proof.
Well in comparison to a slower computer such as the 2.4 model the 2.8 is more future proof.
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Old Sep 15, 2007, 02:42 AM   #15
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Well in comparison to a slower computer such as the 2.4 model the 2.8 is more future proof.
I agree. And if you're planning to sell your iMac, the 2.8 would hold its value more since there's less of them, they're all custom orders ... something to differentiate from the other iMacs that will be unloaded when the next revision comes out.
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Old Sep 15, 2007, 03:16 AM   #16
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Well in comparison to a slower computer such as the 2.4 model the 2.8 is more future proof.
What I meant was that the 0.4 isn't much of a difference compared to the difference of a dual core and a quad core.

For example, the difference between a 400Mhz processor and a 800Mhz processor back in the days was huge, and the 800Mhz processor would be much more future proof as it would be able to handle future applications much better and the 400Mhz processor would simply not be able to run certain applications that depended on real time processing.

Today the 400Mhz processor would be a dual core and the 800Mhz processor would be a quad core. The 2.4 vs 2.8 would simply be 400Mhz vs 464Mhz which wasn't such a huge difference back in the days and would certainly not future proof your computer much more.

And in fact today it makes an even less difference since there's pretty much no single application that requires the entire processor power in order to work. Not even in games it would make a noticeable difference.
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Old Sep 15, 2007, 11:03 AM   #17
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Great idea, use the money you are saving to purchase an external hard drive to work with Time Machine in Leopard. You can get 500GB or more.
I already have a 250GB external HDD so that should suffice yes? As for my "future-proofing" comment, I think I would prefer to know that I have all that is offered for the iMac that I personally won't be able to upgrade myself after I buy it. This will be my first iMac and I hope to effectively use it for the next 5-7 years and then start questioning which new model I want then. I wasn't trying to sound condescending in my first post, because I really wanted to know if it was worth it, but I think I will just stick with my idea of getting a smaller HDD and going for the 2.8. I already ordered my 4gb of RAM through OWC so I'm just about ready to go.
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Old Sep 15, 2007, 11:16 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by davekarn View Post
I already have a 250GB external HDD so that should suffice yes? As for my "future-proofing" comment, I think I would prefer to know that I have all that is offered for the iMac that I personally won't be able to upgrade myself after I buy it. This will be my first iMac and I hope to effectively use it for the next 5-7 years and then start questioning which new model I want then. I wasn't trying to sound condescending in my first post, because I really wanted to know if it was worth it, but I think I will just stick with my idea of getting a smaller HDD and going for the 2.8. I already ordered my 4gb of RAM through OWC so I'm just about ready to go.
If you are talking 5-7 years away there is virtually no difference between 2.4 and 2.8 GHz. Both will be pretty near worthless in terms of resale, both will be about the same at running applications. Of course, you will get 7 years of using a 16% faster processor, FWIW.
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Old Sep 15, 2007, 11:45 AM   #19
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I agree. And if you're planning to sell your iMac, the 2.8 would hold its value more since there's less of them, they're all custom orders ... something to differentiate from the other iMacs that will be unloaded when the next revision comes out.
The 2.8ghz is standard out of the in the top end 24", so they're not all custom orders. It will probably hold its value more than the 2.4ghz 24" (as a % of original price) but about the same as the 2.4ghz 20" (again, as a percentage of original value).
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Old Sep 15, 2007, 11:52 AM   #20
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You will shorten a 20 minute encoding with about 2-3 minutes. If that's worth the price of the 2.8 to you then just go for it.
I personally feel that it doesn't matter much to me if an encoding process takes 17 och 20 minutes as it's something that I have going in the background while I do other things.
It's not a huge performance difference like the Mac Pro would give you.
according to barefeats, the 2.8 is only 12% more expensive and 17% faster for heavy after effects and the like. I have a one hour movie and a 2.5 hd version of merchant of Venice that will take hours of encoding -- and if I make changes, which I will, it makes a difference. Not to mention the overall bit of zip I'll enjoy. Over the life of the computer, I'll save countless hours. Of course a quad or eight core would be even better, but that's a much larger price jump (and more space)
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Old Sep 15, 2007, 11:14 PM   #21
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The 2.8ghz is standard out of the in the top end 24", so they're not all custom orders. It will probably hold its value more than the 2.4ghz 24" (as a % of original price) but about the same as the 2.4ghz 20" (again, as a percentage of original value).
Not having an Apple store in my city, I didn't know you could buy the 2.8GHz model in the store. All the big box stores (Best Buy etc) retailers in my area just stock the lower 3 models.

The other thing to keep in mind is if you end up running WinXP in VMware like I do, one core is dedicated to WinXP under VMware and the other core is for Mac OS X. In the near future, other apps might also dedicate 1 core to apps like that in which case a 400MHz increase is quite significant.
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Old Sep 16, 2007, 12:20 AM   #22
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You will never notice the difference between a 2.4 and 2.8 I assure you the 400 Mhz is getting you about no difference between the two. Just pop some more RAM in the 2.4 and it'll be faster than the 2.8.
The difference between 2.4 and 2.8 may not seem significant now. But, give it a year or two, and I think you'll see a difference.

The additional 400 MHz could be the difference between running that new program in two years or buying a new computer so that you can.

I've got a machine that is just now about 400 MHz too slow to run the program I want to use on it.

Since most people buy a computer intending to keep it more than 1 year, I would get the additional processing power to extend the machines useful life.

You can always add memory to it later as you save up your paychecks. But, you can only purchase the video RAM capacity, screen size, INTERNAL hard drive size, and processor speed now.

So, get what you can't get later. Then add the other stuff as funds are available.

In the long run, if you are not the kind that replaces a new computer every time it gets some dust on it, then you'll probably save money now by getting a slightly faster model. That slightly higher speed might make the machine more tolerable for another year or two beyond when you'd scrap the slower one.
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Old Sep 16, 2007, 02:32 AM   #23
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The difference between 2.4 and 2.8 may not seem significant now. But, give it a year or two, and I think you'll see a difference.

The additional 400 MHz could be the difference between running that new program in two years or buying a new computer so that you can.

I've got a machine that is just now about 400 MHz too slow to run the program I want to use on it.
Most likely the 2.8 will be too slow for that "future app" as well.

This might have been a problem with older slower computers, but since processors got over the 2.0GHz point there's not much that can't be run on them.
In fact I can't find any single app that won't run on my almost 3 year old P4 2.8GHz. The amount of audio plugins it can run simultaneously is far less than my C2D 2.4GHz though. But in comparison a P4 3.2GHz would make much difference.

I'm not saying that buying the 2.8GHz is pointless, especially not of you work with something that requires real time processing like audio production.
I just think that you are fooling yourself if you think the extra 0.4 will future-proof the computer better.
If you need the extra speed now, then buy it. If you have an unlimited budget then sure, why not.

I'd recommend saving the money towards a trip or something instead. I bet you will get much more for the money that way. Something that will last a lifetime instead of 3 years.

But to each his own.
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Old Sep 16, 2007, 09:12 AM   #24
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I went to have a look a the new iMac today at my local computer store. I like the new style and the screen looks fine to me. I was all geared up to place an order for the 2.8GHz model is soon as Leopard is released, but the 24" is just so huge! I think it would just look crazy in my room. It looks like I'll have to order the more sensible 20" with 2.4 ...or wait until the next update when Apple offer the 2.8GHz chip in the 20" models.

Last edited by WhiteNoiseMaker; Sep 16, 2007 at 09:18 AM.
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Old Sep 16, 2007, 10:05 AM   #25
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I went to have a look a the new iMac today at my local computer store. I like the new style and the screen looks fine to me. I was all geared up to place an order for the 2.8GHz model is soon as Leopard is released, but the 24" is just so huge! I think it would just look crazy in my room. It looks like I'll have to order the more sensible 20" with 2.4 ...or wait until the next update when Apple offer the 2.8GHz chip in the 20" models.
24" is not huge, I was hoping for a 30" iMac, as I work on 24" cinema display and it is not enough as I work with a lot of graphic apps. I have an extra 17" monitor just for the app toll boxes, etc. and entourage email. Ordered 24" iMac and will attach the cinema display to it. These new adobe apps take quite a bit of real estate screen. 1/3 to 2/3 ratio.

2.8Ghz processor is a big difference from 2.4 as Photoshop will render faster, if you combine all these files, you are saving alot of productivity time. TIME is MONEY. Extra RAM sure helps.
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