iMac 20" for Architecture Studio?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by trooz1, Jul 22, 2006.

  1. trooz1 macrumors newbie

    Aug 8, 2005
    I'm about to enter my 3rd year as an Architecture major, and now is the time to purchase a computer that will last me for the next three years. I have been looking at the 20" iMac with 2GB RAM, 256 MB VRAM, and a 250GB HD + an external drive, and was wondering if this would be a good setup to last me the next few years. Since I already have an iBook, I much prefer OS X to Windows, but most of the programs I will be using are Windows based. Luckily, Boot Camp will have saved me in that area.

    Primarily I will need to run AutoCAD 2007, Viz 2007, Photoshop CS2, Sketchup, and 3DS Max in XP Pro. Has anyone used these programs extensively on an iMac with similar specs and Boot Camp? I have read several posts describing the speed of the new Intel chips, but was curious about this specific setup and apps. One of my only concerns so far has been the lack of expandability since I will be using it for a few years, but it already seems to be a solid and fast machine.

    Is it fast enough? Future-proof enough? Reliable enough? :confused:
  2. Xander562 macrumors 68000


    Apr 2, 2006
    Well, 2GB of ram IS the maximum for that class of computer. i think that that would do, however if you want it to be future proof i would go with one of the new Intel Powermacs (dubbed the Mac Pro) that are anticipated to be released August 7 at WWDC. My advice would be to wait at least until then, to see what the new ones offer. They will no doubt be more powerful than an iMac but a bit more expensive.

    Overall, i would reccomend the new Mac Pros when they come out, they will offer enough power for a pro user such as yourself, and future expandability.
  3. kevin.rivers macrumors 6502a


    Dec 4, 2005
    The chipset used in the iMac supports 4GB, however most people bank accounts do not.
  4. trooz1 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 8, 2005
    Price would be an issue in that case, as would shipping times (classes start 2 weeks after WWDC :eek: ) Basically, it boils down to if 2GB RAM and the 256MB Radeon X1600 are suitable for the next 2 or 3 years. If not, it seems my only other option would be buying a Dell or BoXX system and losing OS X. Yikes! Decisions decisions!

    I thought it was only 2GB, though it might do 4GB unsupported by Apple. Has anyone tried over 2GB in their Intel iMac? If so, I might sleep easier after all.
  5. kevin.rivers macrumors 6502a


    Dec 4, 2005
    I have read around here that someone did it. Also, somewhere in the intel tech docs it shows support for 4GB.

    Also, intel tested a 2GB hynix module seen here.

    I will try and find it in the tech docs.

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