iMac purchase decision

Discussion in 'iMac' started by darkanddivine, Jan 13, 2007.

  1. darkanddivine macrumors member

    Jan 13, 2007
    Hey everyone, I know this has been asked a million times before, but I'm a designer looking to upgrade my machine. I currently use a G4 Powermac 20" monitor with OSX 10.3.9 40g hard drive etc etc. I think for my needs that a 20" iMac with upgraded hardware to 2g RAM and upping the video card will suffice.

    Basicly as with many of the queries on here it's the timing that is important. I have already decided that it will be this year as I want a new machine when Adobe CS3 suite comes out, but it just when to do it. I suppose my case is slightly different because I am mainly waiting on the Adobe stuff coming through, but if there is likely to be little change I can get the mac sooner and spead the financial hit over a longer period.

    I'm trying to figure out exactly what the difference will be between the models. I can't see them dropping the design just yet as the 24" Imac has only been with us for a few months, and so a redevelop seems more likely. Aside from waiting for the new OSX (which I'm led to believe may only be a couple of months away) what are the potential benefits of waiting and how much more bang for my buck will I get? Apologies to those of you who are bored of this already!
  2. Eraserhead macrumors G4


    Nov 3, 2005
    I'd wait for CS3 as you might well get Leopard and any updates to the hardware that happen before then. You can always save the money in a savings account until then.
  3. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Jul 4, 2004
    I'm a print designer and am still running a G4 1.4 dual (2gb RAM) at home with a 64mb graphics card.

    No matter which Mac is my next one, RAM considerations aside, I'd sooner put the money towards (main or backup) hard-drive capacity than the graphics card on the basis of using it for design software alone. In fact, if it was my work machine, an additional internal or external backup drive would be essential.

    There's virtually nothing in the Creative Suite or QuarkXpress that will be helped by having an expensive graphics card; games and video-editing, yes.
  4. darkanddivine thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 13, 2007

    Thanks BV, I do have a 250g seperate HD already. I am slightly confused as to how the graphics/video card works. So if I say upped my RAM to 3g and left the video card the same that would work out better for design apps? I was under the impressions the Graphics/video card took some of the strain off the main system when scrolling and rendering the graphics onscreen. Or is this not true?

    I do kinda agree with Eraserhead in that of course by the time CS3 is out there will be improvements, so I may hold off at least until Leapard comes with the machine. I probably won't buy CS3 immediatley anyway but it would be good to get the hardware up and running beforehand.

    This may be complete rubbish but on adobes website they say if you are experienceing trouble with your speeds then "For optimum performance in Photoshop, use a video card with more than 128 MG of RAM."

    Which is why I was thinking of the upped one.
  5. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Jul 4, 2004

    It possibly is true, but rendering stuff onscreen never seems to be a problem for me or more importantly, a bottleneck... whereas rendering transformations does and that's usually processor-dependent.

    Maybe someone here who is more technically-inclined can explain why that is.

    As I write, I have an approx 250mb Photoshop file open with over a dozen layers plus masks and adjustment layers and have no problems scrolling around within it and that's with the stock 64mb card that came with the Mac when it was new almost 5 years ago. I'd say the same is true for both InDesign and QuarkXpress.

    The dual G5 2.5s at work have the stock graphics cards in them as well and they run just fine.

    I'd go with the extra RAM, personally.

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