24" Imac - 7600GT worth $340?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by cmvsm, Nov 20, 2006.

  1. cmvsm macrumors 6502a

    cmvsm

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    #1
    I can get a 24" iMac refurb for $1699 with the 7300GT or I can spend the extra dough and get a new 24" iMac BTO with the 7600GT for $2040 with Education Discount.

    I've seen all of the benchmarks between these 2 cards and it seems that the 7600GT just about doubles the frame rates of the 7300GT, but what do they really mean in real application?

    I do a lot with photography (Aperture, Nikon NX, Photoshop), and some layout, but nothing too taxing. I also want to dual boot into Windows XP and play a game here and there.

    I just sold my Dual 2.0 G5 and never had any issues with it in terms of processing power. I played a few Mac games on it and the 9600XT faired pretty well, but nothing spectacular.

    So I guess the question is if the 7600GT upgrade is worth the extra $340? I could just about buy an XBOX 360 for that, but I do enjoy games more sitting at my desk.

    Any thoughts?
     
  2. crazzyeddie macrumors 68030

    crazzyeddie

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    #2
    If you're not a big gamer, then no, its not worth it. Especially when you consider the fact that you could buy an Xbox 360 or Wii with that $340...
     
  3. Gamey macrumors member

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    #3
    If you use Aperture you will find an enormous difference between the 128 and 256 cards.
    Aperture relies on your graphics card for a number of things, not least the ability to generate previews on the fly and showing adjustments, so the more RAM your card has the better Aperture responds.
     
  4. cmvsm thread starter macrumors 6502a

    cmvsm

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    #4
    How well does the X1600 w/256MB VRAM perform taking into account everything that I've said in the first post?
     
  5. dollystereo macrumors 6502a

    dollystereo

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    #5
    I dont know in the imac, but in my MBP sux.
     
  6. Gamey macrumors member

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    #6
    As far as I'm aware the X1600 is not an option for the 24" iMac.

    Certainly when I tried the iMacs before I bought them I noticed a huge difference in Aperture performance when swapping from one machine with the 7300 to another with the 7600. Both machines were 24".
     
  7. cmvsm thread starter macrumors 6502a

    cmvsm

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    #7
    In regard to the X1600, I was referring to the 20" iMac. Sorry about the confusion. Would the X1600 perform better on the 20" iMac than the 7300GT on the 24" iMac due to the smaller screen size?
     
  8. Gamey macrumors member

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  9. Josias macrumors 68000

    Josias

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    #9
    Aperture performs really well on my 2.0 GHz Core Duo MacBook with 1 GB RAM. I dunno if Photoshop is more powerhunfry, but if I were you, I'd get a 7600 GT, instead of an Xbox. Then you can also game in 1080i on the iMac display.:D
     
  10. Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

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    #10
    The 7600GT is much more powerful than the 7300GT - unless you can't afford it I would recommend getting the more powerful card. This is especially important with the iMac since upgrading the video card is not possible (at least right now).
     
  11. chicagdan macrumors 6502a

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    #11
    No. This has been another episode of simple answers to simple questions.
     
  12. Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

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    #12
    Look at the massive difference the 7600GT makes for gaming at the 24" iMac's native res...
     
  13. crazzyeddie macrumors 68030

    crazzyeddie

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    #13
    I just thought that I should point out these benchmarks...

    http://barefeats.com/aper01.html

    I think that is most important. Your iMac is not going to be a great long-term gaming machine, even with the 7600. An XBox or Wii would be a much better choice for gaming, especially if you're considering running at the full resoltuion of the 24" screen (1080p). I wouldn't expect you to get great performance out of the iMac with any game released even within the last few months at the native resolution, and we all know what non-native resolutions look like on LCDs (crap).

    For the money, a console is always a better choice for gaming.
     
  14. chicagdan macrumors 6502a

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    #14
    Wow, 125 frames per second. Too bad viewing at that resolution for an extended period will give you a massive migrane. Small price to pay, I suppose. Now if only anyone made games for the Mac that took advantage of that power ...
     
  15. cmvsm thread starter macrumors 6502a

    cmvsm

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    #15
    If you have no thoughts on the matter, then move along to another post. Don't waste yours and my time with ridiculous answers such as this one.

    Thanks to the rest for you for your input and affirmation! I don't think that the actual card is worth $340 for what you get, but in light of the fact that it can't be upgraded, then that of course factors in.

    Thanks to all! :D
     
  16. Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

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    #16
    Hmm, good point with the Aperture benchmarks. It looks like the 7600GT will be a great boost for gaming but not so much for Aperture.

    I did find this interesting:
    Since the iMac maxes out at 3GB RAM, I wonder if there is a scenario where you might run out of memory with the iMac when running Aperture. Still, a Mac Pro with 4GB is a lot more money.
     
  17. chicagdan macrumors 6502a

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    #17
    Well of course I have thoughts on the matter ... such as if you're going to blow $340 on a video card upgrade, you should probably be buying a Mac Pro. And if you care that much about frame rates for video games, you should probably put that money towards a game console. But these are obvious answers to an obvious question. Of course the video upgrade is a ridiculous waste of your money. Just try to recoup it in resale ... I guarantee you the souped up card won't bring in an extra $30, never mind $300, in an eBay resale one year from now. Of all the Apple computers in resale, iMacs hold their value the worst ... and the upgrades do almost nothing for resale value.
     
  18. Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

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    #18
    LOL, you did scroll down and look at the 7600 vs 7300 numbers, right? (in blue). ;) 125FPS is the score for the hardcore-gamer GeForce 8800GTX.:eek:

    If they stuffed an 8800GTX in the 24" iMac and figured out how to cool it...what a machine THAT would be! Of course, then you'd have to get the Core 2 Exreme in there, and a Raptor, and...:D
     
  19. cmvsm thread starter macrumors 6502a

    cmvsm

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    #19
    I haven't seen this benchmarked comparison before, but how would the X1600 256MB video card on the 20" iMac compare to the 7600GT on the 24" iMac in terms of performance? I'm sure that the 7600GT has an edge, but how much so due to the larger screen?

    I had a 20" monitor, so I don't actually "need" a 24", especially if I can get close performance out of the lesser video card on a smaller screen.
     
  20. Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

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    #20
    This Barefeats article should give you a good idea of the difference. It isn't an exact comparison, but generally accurate IMHO.
     
  21. cmvsm thread starter macrumors 6502a

    cmvsm

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    #21
    Thanks Blackadder! How do you think games would display at 1600x1200 or 1600x1000 versus the native resolution of 1920x1200 on the 24"? Would they look good just reduced in size on the screen?

    I've seen comments that WOW looks great on the 24" with 7600GT averaging at 60-65 fps even in the most difficult areas of the game at 1920x1000 which is really nice.

    According to the benchmarks you gave, the 7600GT will perform almost as well as the X1900 at 1600x1200, but of course, its not the native resolution of the 24" monitor.
     
  22. Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

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    #22
    Running the 24" at a lower-than-native resolutions will degrade image quality somewhat, but you don't need to drop the resolution - just look at the highest resolution Doom 3 test: 50fps @ 1900x1200 is very good performance indeed.

    I expect that you'll get quite satisfying performance in WoW with the 24" 7600GT setup.
     
  23. AppleIntelRock macrumors 65816

    AppleIntelRock

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    #23
    If you can afford it- go with the more expensive system. However, if you can afford it- you oculd get the cheaper one and possibly another mac item :D. I think you'll be happy either way, some people tend to encourage buyers to purchase things that way exceed their needs.
     
  24. carman63 macrumors regular

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    Oct 27, 2006
    #24
    Hi there,

    I asked this same basic question previously, and my situation was similar to yours in computer use.

    I ended up buying a refurb for $1699, and haven't been disappointed to date :) I'll take the saved money and add some to it, and pick up a MB Friday (if they're part of the Black Friday sale).

    Good luck with your decision! :)
     
  25. cmvsm thread starter macrumors 6502a

    cmvsm

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    #25
    Thanks for the reply Carman. Out of curiosity, what do you mainly do with your iMac where the 7300GT fits the bill without issue? Thanks!
     

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