20' imac: old one or the new one?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by oncemore, Mar 15, 2009.

  1. oncemore macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2006
    #1
    This is just like the other threads of which imac to buy with the little difference that i just bought mine yesterday.

    Yesterday i went to a store(fnac) and they had the 2 models side by side(20'old with hd2600 and 20'new) with the older one costing 999€ and the the new one 1099€.
    Thinking the the old one was enought i bought it but then came to thse forums and found out that the old is limited to 4gb of ram(vs 8gb) and that the hd2600 doesnt have x264 support on macos. With that in mind i started having 2nd thoughts..

    This imac will be used for:
    • webdev(django, drupal, java) with webserver
    • iphone dev
    • java dev
    • running 2vm's (one at a time)
    • enconding/playing hd movies
    • a little gaming (age of empires 3, half life 2, broken sword and other adventure point and click games)

    I would like to know your opinion if this model is enought for now(hd2600 vs g9400m x264 compability) and for the future(4 vs 8gb is bothering me) while i can still go to the store and trade it.
    Thanks!
     
  2. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #2
    I'd go for the old model. 9400M is terrible for HD video and gaming. Who really needs 8GBs of RAM? I had 2GB in my laptop and never filled more than 80%. 2600 is much more powerful than 9400M, so for your needs, I'd say the old model.

    Go for 24" 2.93GHz if you can
     
  3. oncemore thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2006
    #3
    I know that the hd2600 is more powerful for gaming, but for video it really is?
    I red somewhere that the g400m can do x264 encoding/decoding via gpu and hd2600 cannot do this under macos..
    With snow leopard i'll not need the 8gb in 2/3 years?
     
  4. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #4
    Some guy here said that when he was in Apple Store looking at the 24" 2.66 and playing with it and it was sluggish. He tried to watch some HD film at full screen and it was choppy, not smooth as it should.

    4GB should be enough, while you don't do very hardcore tasks. If you want the best go for 2.93 with GT120 or GT130
     
  5. oncemore thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2006
    #5
    What do you consider hardcore tasks? video editing?
     
  6. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #6
    Video editing is one but there are different stages of video editing. How "hardcore" your editing will be? Those games you mentioned should all run with both models, but not in best graphics.
     
  7. OldMike macrumors 6502

    OldMike

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2009
    Location:
    Dallas, TX
    #7
    I thought it was confirmed in this forum that the Santa Rosa based iMacs can actually take 6GB, by using 4GBx1 and 2GBx1 SO-DIMMs.

    If this is true (and it seems to have been proven true on this forum), then I think the trade off between 6GB vs 8GB is not that bad.
     
  8. iamthedudeman macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2007
    #8
    Well I just got rid of a 20' late model 2.4 two weeks and bought a 2.6 24 for work and a 20' 2.6 for home.

    You will get a lot of conflicting opinions on what to buy. Do your home work before you buy. After all your spending the money.

    I handed in my two week old 2.4 for a new one and let me tell you. The screen is much, much better. The old 20' had a AU Optronics M201EW02 while the new one has a AU Optronics M302EW02.

    That alone is reason enough to buy a new one.

    The screen you have now brightness level pales in comparison to the 2009 model I have sitting right in front of me.

    http://www.ifixit.com/Guide/First-Look/iMac-20-Inch/658/2

    In contrast the 2.4 20 model had the brightness turned all the way up, I have the brightness turned up a little past half way and it is brighter than the 2.4 I handed back in last week. Check your brightness levels with your keyboard and you will know what I am talking about.

    The GPU in the 2009 model will work well with snow leopard. Don't believe everything you hear. The Gforce 9400M may not be discrete, but it still outperforms the 2400xt and matches and will outperform the 2600 pro especially when snow leopard is released. Snow Leopard will make good use of the 9400m's 16 cores. That is why Apple moved to Nvidia. No other reason. It certainly was not for gaming.


    Apple picked Nvidia because of their CUDA technology. The 9400M will allow the 16 core GPU to help in overall application performance. The ATi discrete cards will not.

    http://www.nvidia.com/object/cuda_what_is.html

    The 9400M bad for video. I think not. The movies I am playing on my 24' as well as my 20' are stunning. Some guy said that he saw at a store for a few seconds that the video was choppy? That is hearsay my friend, because both of my machines provide stunning video.The 9400M utilizes PureVideo HD. It uses 100% of the 9400m's GPU to play the movie back without involving the CPU. The ATI cards do not have that option, and the 9400M displays true 1080P HD.

    DDR3 is faster than DDR2. No question there, nothing more to be said.

    You also get a extra usb port in the back. Not a big deal.
     
  9. iamthedudeman macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2007
    #9
    Yeah but one uses the much faster DDR3 while the other uses DDR2. Big difference.
     
  10. cold macrumors newbie

    cold

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2009
    #10
    Please stop with the DDR3 vs. DDR2 thing, and please stop saying DDR3 is faster. I just can't hear it any more.

    There are so many benchmarks ot there, who proove that DDR3 is only a liitle bit faster than DDR2, and the difference is just statistical and barely noticeable.

    And if Snow Leopard runs fast on the 9400M iMac, it will run even faster on the ATI 2600 iMac, just because the 2600 GPU is better. Snow Leopard, like Leopard, is just an operating system, nothing more. It runs as fast as the hardware allows, on faster hardware it will run better, on slow hardware it will run poorer.

    I would buy a new iMac only if it has the 4850 GPU, because i know it is fast and future proof. My second choice would be a refurb 8800 GS iMac.

    @oncemore

    If you like how your mac performs stay with it. You won't feel any difference if you get a new model.
     
  11. oncemore thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2006
    #11
    I went back to store and made the trade for a new one...
    The screen looks better :)
    But...the imac is buzzing :(
     
  12. The Hammer macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2008
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    #12
    Could someone explain what this means in plain language and what it's signifigance to the end user is?
     
  13. trip1ex macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2008
    #13
    Brightness was never a problem with the previous gen iMacs.
     
  14. iamthedudeman macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2007
    #14


    First of all DDR3 is alot faster. Sorry.

    I liked how my two week old mac ran, traded it in and the new ones run better. And I can tell a big difference.

    Your analogy of how a 2600 pro will run faster that the 9400M is a load of you know what.

    Why will it run faster? Answer me that one. Does it take advantage of snow leopard as snow leopard will take advantage of CUDA that is "parallel Processing' of the CPU and GPU. The GPU will take care of tasks once run by the CPU. No it will not. That is a fact.

    You have it backwards. The OS runs the hardware not the other way around. Hardware is only as good as the Software. If that wasn't the case,

    Why did you buy a Mac? Why not stick with a gaming rig running windows?

    I guess Windows compared to OSX is no real advantage since they are both just operating systems. Yeah that makes sense. :rolleyes:
     
  15. cold macrumors newbie

    cold

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2009
    #15
    What was your old mac, and what the new one?

    http://media.bestofmicro.com/2/1/71353/original/chart_bench_games.png
    http://media.bestofmicro.com/2/2/71354/original/chart_bench_office_3d.png
    http://media.bestofmicro.com/2/B/71363/original/chart_bench_video.png
    http://media.bestofmicro.com/2/C/71364/original/chart_bench_audio.png

    Just type DDR3 vs DDR2 in google.

    DDR3 will make a difference after the Nehalem CPUs come to the iMac. The way between the CPU and the RAM will be shorter. And it is necessary to have 3 slots, not 2 to take full advantage of the new technology. (DualChannel with DDR2 and triple channel with DDR3)

    OK, Snow leopard will MAYBE run faster on a nvidia GPU, but what about all the other apps installed, they must also support OpenCL, CUDA (PhysX). Maybe the new PRO apps will support cuda? We'll see. And there is only one game on the market which supports CUDA, and it's not available for mac. So all the software on your computer must support CUDA, to feel a real performance boost.

    OK, only Apple and the developers know how big the advantage of Snow Leopard will be. And we'll have to wait untill all the software installed on our computers supports CUDA to see a real difference in performance.

    And till I see benchmarks of Snow Leopard running on both ATI and NVIDIA, I'll stick with the ones I have, and they prove ATI is faster. I can't see in the future and i don't know how fast the new OS will be, if it will be faster on the old or the new macs.

    My theory is: if leopard runs good on a 2 GHz mac, it will run even better on a 3 GHz mac. Which means Snow Leopard will also run better on the faster CPU. The same thing with the GPUs: the ATI 2600 Pro is now faster than the 9400M. And I'm expecting that any OS will run better on the faster hardware.

    I have a windows PC and a mac right now. I want to buy a 2,9 GHz iMac with the ATI 4850 to replace my PC, or maybe a refurb 3 GHz 8800 GS. I'm waiting for some benchmarks on the both systems.
     
  16. gigas65 macrumors member

    gigas65

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2009
    Location:
    Salonica, Greece
    #16
    hardware does play a role, but not only by Ghz's and Mhz's

    My humble opinion is that, hardware architecture does play a significant role as long as it is properly supported by software (anybody knows XP pro vs Vista behavior in same hardware). Compare different motherboards with same "stuff" on them. Do they perform the same? Absolutely NOT.
    Now, if Snow Leopard manages to "interface" OPEN CL to other applications "hanging" from it (like FC E or PRO or even iMovie 09), as said in macrumor forum http://www.primatelabs.ca/blog/2009/03/imac-and-mac-mini-benchmarks-early-2009/ then CUDA will definitely play a crucial role to system's overall performance.:apple:
     
  17. cold macrumors newbie

    cold

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2009
    #17
    Yes, I know. The thing with the GHz was just an example.

    You're right, CUDA will play a role, but we don't know if it will be worth buying a new operating system. We don't know if Apple will be able to incorporate the new technology so, that we can see a real and noticeable boost in performace.

    The whole discussion is nonsense. The whole old vs. new thing depends on the needs of the user buying the computer. The both have their pros and cons. The one is faster, the other cheaper, one has a better GPU, the other has a better CPU, 4gb vs 8gb, nvidia vs ati...

    Let's see what snow leopard brings and we'll talk again. ;)
     
  18. kabunaru Guest

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2008
    #18
    ATI cards are always better at Pro apps, always.
     
  19. gigas65 macrumors member

    gigas65

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2009
    Location:
    Salonica, Greece
    #19
    So, you would propose to me, if money is not an issue, to buy an old iMac 20' with 2600 pro or wait for new iMAc 20' with Snow Leopard? Except basics, i do a lot of video editing and encoding DV->mpeg2
     
  20. cold macrumors newbie

    cold

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2009
    #20
    As far as i know video editing is motsly a CPU task. So you schould go for the system with the faster processor. You will feel a difference between the 2600 ATI and the 9400M only when you play games.

    BUT!!! If the new PRO apps from Apple support CUDA (nvidia technology), and you're gonna use these apps, or other that support CUDA too (in combination) with Snow Leopard, you should definitely go for an iMac with the latest nvidia GPU on it.
     
  21. gigas65 macrumors member

    gigas65

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2009
    Location:
    Salonica, Greece
    #21
    Thanks for replying !!
     
  22. kabunaru Guest

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2008
    #22
    It should not matter. ATI and Nvidia GPUs should be both optimised for Snow Leopard.
     
  23. bigjnyc macrumors 601

    bigjnyc

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2008
    #23
    a 20' iMac i didnt even know Apple made them that big, you need a pretty big room for that puppy. whats the resolution on that screen?:p
     
  24. cold macrumors newbie

    cold

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2009
    #24
    The ATI 2600 is an old graphic card. Neither Apple nor Ati will investigate in optimizing it. It is two generations old. Don't expect any big improvement on that one.

    You'll need at least a 4xxx generation ATI card, maye the 3xxx will also see improvements in Snow Leopard.
     
  25. kabunaru Guest

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2008
    #25
    ATI cards are still better than Nvidia on the Mac side.
    The best cards for the Mac right now are ATI. Just look at ATI 4850 in the iMac and ATI 4870 in the Mac Pro.
     

Share This Page