Al iMac 2GHz vs Al iMac 2.4GHz...which is better value?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Moo-Boo, Sep 24, 2007.

  1. macrumors regular

    Moo-Boo

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2004
    Location:
    Beerburrum, Queensland, Australia
    #1
    My dear Mac kids,

    A simple but contentious question...in the next couple of weeks, I will be purchasing a new 20" iMac...but whether it will be 2GHz or 2.4GHz, I don't know. I need to know which is the better value. I know the 2.4GHz has the faster processor (obviously), bigger HD and more RAM on the graphics card, but is it worth the extra price? Your sage advice, as always, is greatly appreciated!

    God bless,

    Matt (and the snoring cat)
     
  2. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2007
    #2
    The 2.4Ghz model is by far better value and here is why:

    Good:
    Processor is 20% faster
    Graphics card is twice as fast (check here http://www.barefeats.com/imacal.html)
    28% more HDD Space

    Bad:
    25% more expensive

    Gormond.
     
  3. macrumors 603

    HLdan

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2007
    #3
    Apple's required specs for HD playback are at least a 2.0 Ghz Intel however that's for full 1080p and the 20" can't play at that full resolution but my point is many of the latest apps require a much beefier processor and it's better to get a computer that exceeds todays apps system requirements. It's best to go for the 2.4 model. What's $300 extra for something you are going to keep for a long time? Also you get a bigger hard drive and better graphics.
     
  4. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2007
    #4
    i agree, all of the combined elements make the 2.4, overall a much better deal.....
     
  5. macrumors 65816

    AlexisV

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2007
    Location:
    Manchester, UK
    #5
    It's worth it for the GPU upgrade, but where did that incorrect figure of the 2.4 being 20% faster come from?????

    More like 3% - 7%
     
  6. macrumors 65816

    strider42

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2002
    #6
    He seems to be talking about pure clock speed. 2.4 is 20% higher than 2.0 ghz. How much extra speed that turns into in real world usage is probably less, but its no insignificant either. its still a 20% increase in clock speed.
     
  7. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2007
    #7
    2.0 / 100 = 0.02 (or 1% of 2.0Ghz)
    2.4 / 0.02 = 120%

    So a 2.4Ghz processor has 20% more clock cycles than a 2.0Ghz

    http://www.barefeats.com/imacal2.html - Cinebench CPU Benchmark:

    2.0Ghz - 4100
    2.4Ghz - 4911

    Using same calculating method you also get 20% faster
     
  8. thread starter macrumors regular

    Moo-Boo

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2004
    Location:
    Beerburrum, Queensland, Australia
    #8
    Thank you so much for your advice...all of you concur that I should be getting the 2.4GHz iMac. The BareFeats analysis was very revealing indeed. I can't believe the 2.33GHz iMac had the fastest framerates on all games tested, even under Windows. What the...? But yes, for real world tasks, yes, the 2.4 version is the fastest. One can only hope the drivers for the new graphics cards are refined...a heck of a lot. I was looking forward to playing Return to Castle Wolfenstein! So, while I'm here, what's your take on the graphics card woes? Are those of us who have purchased this piece of technological wonderment doomed?

    God bless,

    Matt
     
  9. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2007
    #9
    Just like any new graphics card, the card in the new macs have very unrefined drivers, I reckon with good drivers we will see a 30% speed increase.
     
  10. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2007
    #10
    I say save some money and get the base model. The fact of the matter is that 2.4 versus 2.0 is not worth $300.00, nor is the extra HD space. The GPU difference will only matter for serious gaming, but for serious gaming both these cards are inadequate, so why waste money?
     
  11. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2007
    #11
    What do you class as serious gaming? I class modern chart games as serious gaming and the most recent I have played is Bio Shock which works fine on the ATI 2600, I doubt it would work that well on a ATI 2400.
     
  12. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2007
    #12
    Company of Heroes, Stalker, ES IV, Prey, etc. (at native resolutions)
    + everything soon to release

    Serious gamers will not be satisfied with "works fine"


    Personally I'm in the "works fine" camp as I only really play BF 2142, which the 2400 is handling very well...
     
  13. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2007
    #13
    Ok wrong choice of word, with current drivers Bio Shock gets an average 32 FPS at high detail with the 2600 , which I would say is great and as the drivers improve it will only get better,

    The ATI 2400 would get about half that, and therefor be unplayable at high detail.
     
  14. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2007
    #14

    Bioshock is probably not the best example. Unless you have very high-end hardware (i.e. 8800) you're better off with the 360 version. UT3 and ETQW will be better benchmarks of what these cards are capable of...
     
  15. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2007
    #15
    Doesn't Bioshock use the UT3 Game Engine ?
     
  16. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2007
    #16
    I think it does, but since it's not the heavy UT-type multiplayer game things are a little different...


    Edit:
    They recommend a 512MB-GPU for this game - ridiculous!!!


    Anyway, back to the thread, I recommend the base model plus a Wii - this is a Nintendo Christmas!!!
     
  17. thread starter macrumors regular

    Moo-Boo

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2004
    Location:
    Beerburrum, Queensland, Australia
    #17
    You make a very good argument. Games consoles though, nah, I went through that phase and came out unsatisfied. But that's just me. They're nifty pieces of entertainment hardware and will keep getting better and better. With Macs, you have the power to create as well as play. Saving money is always good. I'd love to put an 80cc engine on a BMX bike for example, but I digress...

    Thanks for your excellent input,

    Matt
     
  18. macrumors 65816

    AlexisV

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2007
    Location:
    Manchester, UK
    #18
    Ever heard of the megahertz myth?

    You should find that very few tasks will actually be 20% faster in real life.

    You've quoted synthetic scores there.
     
  19. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2007
    #19
    Mhz is a good way of comparing the same processor, its terrible if you use it to compare a P4 and C2D but that wasn't what I did.

    That's because most tasks on a computer depend on a combination of components where as these synthetic CPU tests are just for testing the CPU.

    Look at the photoshop CS3 test here - http://www.barefeats.com/imacal4.html

    This is how long it takes the computer to preform 6MP actions (lower is better)
    2.0 Ghz - 207 Second
    2.4 Ghz - 159 Seconds

    Yet again the 2.4Ghz is fairly faster.
     
  20. macrumors G3

    QCassidy352

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2003
    Location:
    San Francisco
    #20
    The Mhz myth refers to the futility of comparing clock speeds across processors, not to comparing 2 different clock speeds of the same processor. As long as its a task that is processor-bound, the 2.4 Ghz C2D will in fact be about 20% faster than a 2.0 Ghz C2D.
     
  21. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2005
    #21
    over many weeks i have read many threads as i am purchasing a new light production printer and will add to my loan for this beast (km650) enough for a couple of (new?) workstations for our production/designers/prepress staff. we print entertainment posters, flyers etc both digital & offset, press ads etc mainly cs2 but i will also upgrade to cs3. they have between 2 & 4gb ram

    presently we are using a dual 1.8 G5 tower, a single 1.6 g5 tower and a dual1ghz g4 qs all on adc 20" lcds

    so i reckon i should replace these with (as in 18mths time they will be handed down to office staff), a white imac 24", a alum20"cheapy (is this adequate to run an external 20"?) and hold back til mwsfranciso for the other

    we are not a lucrative advertising agency with endless petty cash, i try to get good bang for buck

    any reason why the cheapy 20" imac with a an older apple acd 20" lcd should not be ok for prepress work with 4gb? - speed wise its still a huge improvement on the dual g5/single g5

    all opinions appreciated
     
  22. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2006
    #22
    There is no reason at all it shouldn't be sufficient. The graphics card will be fine as long as you are doing mostly 2D. I know of a few design/pre-press shops that historically used PowerMacs, but today they mostly use Intel iMacs. The problem wasn't that they couldn't afford Mac Pros—it's just that you don't really need a Quad-Core Xeon for most pre-press work.

    I'm finding myself in a similar situation when it comes to working with audio. I can't remember the last time I was CPU-limited in Logic (well, actually I can, but it was back in the G4 days). Everything I want to do with audio I can now do in real-time (or close enough). It has gotten to the point where for some types of tasks, the latest and greatest CPU just isn't necessary. 3D and video rendering are one of the last frontiers where we still need drastic improvements. Once those tasks can be done entirely in real-time (real-time raytracing, for example), the advanced semiconductor industry is going to have to find some other reason to convince us all to upgrade.

    Of course, poorly written bloatware might do that for them...
     
  23. macrumors G4

    flopticalcube

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2006
    Location:
    In the velcro closure of America's Hat
    #23
    Stay away from the 2.4GHz 20" until the freezing issue is fixed by Apple/ATI.
     
  24. macrumors member

    Liamf555

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    Location:
    UK
    #24
    wat speed processors do you think the new macbooks will have. 2.0ghz? 2.2ghz? 2.4ghz?. Aren't desktops meant to be more powerful than their laptop equivalents?
     
  25. macrumors 603

    HLdan

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2007
    #25
    I thought the freezing issue was only on the 24".
     

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