128mb Vs 256mb for Intel iMac

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by majorp, Jan 13, 2006.

  1. majorp macrumors 6502

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    #1
    How would i benifit from getting the 256mb x1600? I am only going to be using the built in monitor so do i need this extra memory?

    Thanks
     
  2. Chundles macrumors G4

    Chundles

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    Jul 4, 2005
    #2
    Can you afford it?

    If it's a toss up between an extra 128MB VRAM and more hard drive space I'd go with the HDD.

    If you're just wondering whether you should buy it I say, if you can afford it, get it. You can't upgrade these things once they're in so that means whatever you get, you're stuck with.
     
  3. MRU macrumors demi-god

    MRU

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    #3
    Exactly. Max out the system as much as you can afford/stretch to. You may regret not doing so in a years time.
     
  4. Sdashiki macrumors 68040

    Sdashiki

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    #4
    you can always upgrade the HD, the graphix cards are not really very upgradeable if at all.
     
  5. emw macrumors G4

    emw

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    #5
    I'm not really qualified to answer with great specifics, but I will say that additional VRAM on the card generally improves graphics performance. Even though you are using only the built-in monitor now, that may change. Additionally, it should improve performance on everything from movie playback to games.

    What others have said - buy it if you can afford it - is quite true here since it can't be upgraded. It's an investment in the future for you, vs. a current needs thing probably.
     
  6. Airforce macrumors 6502a

    Airforce

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    Jan 12, 2006
    #6
    You wouldn't.

    There is no reason to buy the 256MB version. A high end card like a 7800/x1800 would see some use out of it, but not an x1600.
     
  7. andiwm2003 macrumors 601

    andiwm2003

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    #7
    the graphics card does hardware acceleration of mpeg and h.264 video decoding. it also does calculations for core image. i don't know for sure but i guess this extra tasks could benefit from more vram. for 75 bucks i would go with the 256mb.
     
  8. Airforce macrumors 6502a

    Airforce

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    #8
    The 256MB might even slow it down depending on the memory used. Sometimes, they use cheaper modules to bump it up to 256 because most consumers just think "Oh, hey! That one has more memory, it must be better! ..which is not the case.
     
  9. Zman5225 macrumors 6502a

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    Tacoma WA
    #9
    Another vote for the standard 128mb. That way you could also order it from amazon to save you tax money, free shipping, plus lately they have had $150 mail in rebate on these babies, which brings it cheaper then ed discount.

    I'm not saying buy the 128mb version just because it's cheaper though. Post some thoughts on what you would like to end up doing on the iMac and maybe we can make a better suggestion. Things like what kind of apps or games you want to end up playing. Oh and the x1600 while its a decent card, is no way a powerhouse.

    Jack
     
  10. BlizzardBomb macrumors 68030

    BlizzardBomb

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    #10
    I'm confused. Do you think the X1600 isn't a high-end card? And how much more powerful do you think an X1800 is, because your suggesting that it's a LOT more powerful when the difference is pretty invisible in the real world.

    If this was the case, then Apple would get blown to pieces when a review company looks at the benchmarks. Do you really think Apple is that stupid?
     
  11. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    #11
    I would think it'd depend a lot on what you do. If you use something like Aperture that utilizes CoreImage...I have a hard time believing this won't help. But if you don't use software that's capable of really hitting the graphics card, then....

    And ugh, what is this business with "high end graphics cards?" People who say that always seem to perpetually believe that no graphics card except the one that's one up from what is currently offered is anything other than a consumer toy. :(
     
  12. Airforce macrumors 6502a

    Airforce

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    Jan 12, 2006
    #12
    The X1600 isn't a high end card. going from an x1600 to an x1800 is a big leap. Think 6600GTto a 7800GT. The x1600 is a midrange product as far as graphics go.

    Invisible in the real world? If this real world doesn't concern games, encoding, and other things that involves graphics, sure.

    No, but consumers are. You don't believe me? Go check out a 6600 128mb against a 6600 256MB. What I'm trying to say is, even if it is better, the difference is maybe an FPS here in a game or a second there with rendering/encoding/ect. No reason to pay more for it.
     
  13. Airforce macrumors 6502a

    Airforce

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    #13
    It is how graphic cores are categorized....

    x1300 - budget
    x1600 - midrange
    x1800 - high end

    The reason for these names are usually the price category they fall into/performance.
     
  14. BlizzardBomb macrumors 68030

    BlizzardBomb

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    #14
    Shows me some benchmarks between X1600 and X1800 and I'll believe you. And you can't say the X1600 isn't a high end card, when I'm sure many people would be happy with this card in a Quad Power Mac.

    And I obviously know there would be some difference in super demanding apps like Aperture as mkrishnan said but the iMac is not a "pro" model so I doubt people would use this heavily on an iMac.
     
  15. Airforce macrumors 6502a

    Airforce

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    #15
    http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/video/display/ati-x1600-mobility.html

    There is a lovely benchmark for the x1600 mobility.

    http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/video/display/radeon-x1800.html

    Benchmark of the x1800...there is no go version that I know of.

    if they aren't satisfying, go find some more. I'm out the door.

    I can say it isn't a high end card. It is NOT a high end card. Those people could be happy with an x1300 as well.....That proves absolutely nothing.
     
  16. shyataroo macrumors regular

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    #16
    what do you use your computer for? if you use it for everything but games and video than its a pointless upgrade. that said lets say you use it for games the difference between the X1600 and the X1800 is basically a few FPS on High end games... right now there are no games that NEED more than 64MB VRAM if your playing a game and you say to yourself man this game is pretty but I wish it was prettier and ran faster than gett the X1800. or save up a bit of money and get both.
     
  17. sethypoo macrumors 68000

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    #17
    So what would be a "powerhouse" in the graphics card arena?
     
  18. andiwm2003 macrumors 601

    andiwm2003

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    #18
    some people say the Nvidea 7800GTX. But to me it seems that that changes as soon as a new faster card is released. Then the 7800 is a midrange card:p

    most people i talked to said you only need a high end card for high end games. to me it's important that the h.264 decoding in full HD 1080p works. I hope somebody tries it as soon as the first imac's are delivered.

    andi
     
  19. BlizzardBomb macrumors 68030

    BlizzardBomb

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    #19
    Err... the iMac doesn't have a Mobility X1600.... I think this is dragging it way too off-topic now. High end or not (and IMO it is a high end card) it is a MASSIVE improvement over any card that's ever been in an iMac.
     
  20. sethypoo macrumors 68000

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    #20
    Thanks.

    Another question, can the MacBook Pro decode h.264 in 1080p?
     
  21. MRU macrumors demi-god

    MRU

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    #21
    It can decode H.264 so I'd hazzard a guess at yes...


    Another question for you guys though, going on the preview posted above..

    Is the Radeon X1600 in the iMac the mobility or standard model? The benchmarks on that preview gave a signifacnt edge to the standard model compared to the mobility....??
     
  22. Airforce macrumors 6502a

    Airforce

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    Jan 12, 2006
    #22
    It says on the graphics pagelinked from www.apple.com/imac that is is a pci express card. What I can't seem to find is if its a vanilla, pro, or xt.
     
  23. MacsRgr8 macrumors 604

    MacsRgr8

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    #23
    Yeah. Airforce is right.

    The X1600 could be an excellent card, and it is a significant improvement over the X600.
    Problem is that it is not specified exactly which memory config is used. According to ATi's X1600 page it could be anything from DDR to GDDR3 memory.
     
  24. Hydra macrumors regular

    Hydra

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    #24
    It's GDDR3, but I'd still like to hear the clockspeeds for the mem and the core.

    Also can the main memory utilize any form of dual channel?
     
  25. Thanatoast macrumors 6502a

    Thanatoast

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    Location:
    Denver
    #25
    This seems like a good (though technically meaningless) benchmark. I'd be quite happy with a card that could do this, as I'm currently on a rev. a 17 inch iMac G4. It'll do 480 okay, 720 is a step or two beyond choppy, and 1080 isn't even a slide show.

    I'll go to the Apple store tomorrow and try to find out.
     

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