iMac Video Card Decision

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by jdl8422, Jul 6, 2006.

  1. jdl8422 macrumors 6502

    jdl8422

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2006
    Location:
    Louisiana
    #1
    I am going to get an Intel iMac 1.8Ghz now or August (Assuming that the iMac will not change in August). I can get the new 899 imac at a student discount. When I upgrade to 1GB, 160GB HD it is still about 300 less than the standard 1.8Ghz model. The only difference is the video cards. Is it worth 300$ to go from "Intel GMA 950 graphics with 64MB of shared memory" to "ATI Radeon X1600 graphics with 128MB GDDR3 memory". Or can I just upgrade it myself for cheaper?
     
  2. PlaceofDis macrumors Core

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    #2
    the graphics card cannot be updated, its on the motherboard and can't be changed at a later time.

    if you plan on keeping the machine for a while, and want to get the best life out of it buy one with as good of a video card as possible since it cannot be changed.
     
  3. Fleetwood Mac macrumors 65816

    Fleetwood Mac

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2006
    Location:
    Canada
    #3
    I think that depends on what you'll be using the machine for and how big of a deal price is.

    The integrated graphics on my mini don't bug me at all. I can use Flight Simulator 2004 under windows, plus any other games (which I own at least) rather painlessly. Photoshop runs great on both OSs and iMovie and the rest of the iLife (on OS X of course) suite run fine as well.

    If your going to do Pro work, or heavy photo/video editing, or even heavier gaming, I'd suggest you get the iMac with the better graphics card. It will have a longer lifespan as far as being up-to-date goes. It all comes done to price, though.
     
  4. Angrist macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2005
    Location:
    MI or NJ
    #4
    Bluetooth and Optical Drive

    There are a couple of other differences that you should be aware of.

    The Educational model doesn't have Bluetooth (and if it's anything like the laptop line this can't be added later*). I rarely use mine and wouldn't miss it personally.

    The educational model also has a combo drive (24x) instead of a Superdrive.


    So ... You're getting 3 things for your extra $300. You'll have to ask if those upgrades are worth it for you. Me personally ... I'd take the $300 and buy a second monitor.




    *Make that easily, apparently if you can solder well it *is* possible, just expensive and risky.
     
  5. Fleetwood Mac macrumors 65816

    Fleetwood Mac

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2006
    Location:
    Canada
    #5
    Just to add to that, you don't get an Apple remote.
     
  6. Artful Dodger macrumors 68020

    Artful Dodger

    Joined:
    May 28, 2004
    Location:
    In a false sense of reality...My Mind!
    #6
    As others have said it really depends what you do and how long you will do it for. I know that as far as my iMac goes I'm set for a few years and it will then become my "backup" since the video card is the 128MB. I would say anything "heavy" such as PS or some animation (3D) you would be hard pressed but could still get by...just makes longer days. Also look at it from the point that you are....you spend all your time "looking" at the screen and that IMO is important for anything that will handle color, such as photos, videos and so on. If that's not your thing then sure, save your money and while your at it buy RAM from a third vendor.
     
  7. Vidd macrumors 6502a

    Vidd

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2006
    #7
    Not only can you buy that separately but it's on the page for customisation; it just costs ~$26 extra.

    The only loss I really see is the lack of bluetooth because I personally find it very useful for transferring pictures between my phone and PC.
    Integrated graphics and no DVD-writing shouldn't really be concerns and if they are you're probably looking at the wrong sort of Mac.
     
  8. jdl8422 thread starter macrumors 6502

    jdl8422

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2006
    Location:
    Louisiana
    #8
    thanks. I didnt realize all the other differences between the regular and education. I am definately going to get the standard 17" at an educational discount rather than the 899 model. Also. can you have dual screens with an iMac? I currently have a 17" monitor i can use. I just wasnt sure if you could hook it up and it if it would look weird with the imac.
     
  9. j26 macrumors 65832

    j26

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2005
    Location:
    Paddyland
    #9
    Surely a Bluetooth dongle would solve that? About 20 quid or so.
     

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