Buying a new 20" iMac

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by JonD25, Feb 9, 2006.

  1. JonD25 macrumors 6502

    Feb 9, 2006
    I'm planning on buying one of the new 20" Intel iMac's within the next few weeks, and I was looking for a little advice so I can make the best purchase. First off, what are the benefits of having the upgraded 256 MB of VRAM? Is this mostly just for gaming? Because I'm not really much in to gaming, so if that's all it's good for, I don't really need it, and I can save a little more money. But if it could benefit me, then I'd definitly want to add it on. I mostly plan on using it for pro applications like Pro Tools, Photoshop, Final Cut, Flash, and Dreamweaver. Does VRAM even help with these apps? Or is it relatively unimportant unless you're gaming?
  2. randas macrumors member


    Dec 3, 2005
    The only app there that might be better with more vram would be final cut. I run all those other apps on my 32vram ibook without a problem.
  3. JonD25 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Feb 9, 2006
    Ok thanks!
  4. Yoyodyne macrumors member

    Jul 30, 2005
    I don't want to be an arse and point out the obvious, but you do know that the apps you listed either don't run on an Intel Mac, run slow, or will be forced to crossgrade/upgrade in order to run? It's an awesome computer, it is just that there will be growing pains for pro applications, especially if you rely on them.

    The extra vram would be useful in Final Cut, but not required.
  5. EricNau Moderator emeritus


    Apr 27, 2005
    San Francisco, CA
    In two years when everyone has 256mb VRAM, you'll probably want to kick yourself for not spending the extra $75 - I would get it if you can.
  6. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    You can't upgrade later. It's either buy it now or don't have it. How long will you keep this new computer? I strongly suspect that over the next year or two programmers will learn to take better advantage of all the available VRAM. Programs that don't use core image now will over time be converted .

    WHo uses the VRAM _today_ no one does. Not much runs native on the intel macs except iLife You are buying an Intel mac because of what it will run in the future.
  7. JonD25 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Feb 9, 2006
    I know this. I'm buying it for the future pretty much. I've heard these apps don't run too painfully slow, especially considering what I'm running them on now. I imagine they'll be comparable if not better running with Rosetta on a Mac than they do now on my PC. I wouldn't say I rely on them, so I don't think it'll be a problem. Like ChrisA said, I'm buying for the future. If I was buying for now, I'd just get the G5.
  8. irrªtiºnal macrumors member


    Dec 15, 2005
    no, because i am pretty sure, 100% positive, completely certain, that he is planning to buy a newer computer by then, with the 256VRAM every machine will be using at least :D

    i guess i already posted this somewhere, but i am gonna write it back:

    ... they all say (and right of course) that unless you do video, gaming, CAM design, 3D, or animation graphics, it is safe to stick with 128MB VRAM. VRAM doesn;t play a crucial role for just displaying, editing, creating, still images. quality is not in issue here.

    but i tell you from personal experience, if EVENTUALLY you need to **render** lots of images at a very tight rate, or require direct caching of bitmap data for fater graphics operations, efficiency and speed are in direct proportion to VRAM (and remember what Steve said in the MW Keynote, iPhoto effects - among many others - are applied using the GPU power).

    and, since you can;t upgrade video for these mac (for the most part in the future) it would be a good investment those $75.00.

    this makes much more sense now with the new iMac which supports extended mode, and for that, boy, the concept of video card is, at the very leaqst, excruciatingly relevant...
  9. godbout macrumors regular

    Jun 22, 2005
    Montreal, Canada
    Buying for the Future

    This is just MHO but I don't know if people should buy computers "for the future". If you want/need to run pro apps now (and from what I have heard they are pretty bad under rossetta) then you should get a G5. For one you are currently a PC user (correct me if I am wrong) so that means that you will be shelling out a couple grand for your pro apps (CS2 is 400 CDN alone) to use them under rossetta for a year and then you are going to shell out more when they are native (presumably). I am not sure if you would be better to hold off until Memron comes out and a rev B. of the intel iMacs (that will be obviously better) and some of your native apps might be out at that point. The other option is to grab a 20" G5 and have no worries at all, it will last several years running the latest pro apps and at no point do you have to suffer through Rossetta.
  10. JonD25 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Feb 9, 2006
    I have most of the pro apps I need on my PC already. If Rosetta slows it down so bad that it's even slower than my 3 year old 1.4 GHz Dell Laptop with 512 MB of RAM, then I can always just go back to my laptop for using those apps on my PC till the universals come out. But I have a feeling that running them on Rosetta on the iMac will be comparable, if not actually faster, than my current PC. This thing can get painfully slow at times.
  11. JonD25 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Feb 9, 2006
    I did the Photoshop test with my 1.4 GHz Dell Latitude D600 with 512 MB of RAM and got 2:12. Considering what the Intel iMacs are getting in the same test with the same amount of RAM (all under a minute), I'd say that I shouldn't be worrying about Rosetta, especially when I put in 1 GB of RAM.
  12. arcsbite Guest

    Jan 14, 2006
    Photoshop, Flash, and Dreamweaver all run perfectly on my 1.8GHz intel iMac, it's all about the RAM ;)

    and universal versions of the other apps will be out by the end of march.

    to the OP, take the extra, it's not even worth debating, for the extra cash it's worth "fututre proofing" yourself..just incase.
  13. risc macrumors 68030


    Jul 23, 2004
    Melbourne, Australia
    If they are running under Rosetta how can you say they run perfectly? They might run well but there is no way they run perfectly. IMHO based on the list of apps here buying an iMac Core Duo is a complete waste of money, if there ever was a person who should be told BUY A G5 it is the OP here.

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