21.5" Base & 21.5" Upper Model Q's

Discussion in 'iMac' started by The Samurai, Oct 24, 2009.

  1. The Samurai macrumors 68000

    The Samurai

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2007
    Location:
    Glasgow
    #1
    So between the base 21.5" model and the higher end 21.5" model - there is a £250 difference.

    Within this £250 difference, the only two things differ are:

    • 500gb additional hard drive space
    • Better graphics card (ATI Radeon HD 4670 w/256mb)

    I guess my question is, who will really benefit from the extra 'Umph' graphics card? When would the graphics card really kick in? I mean, I am not fussed with boot times because it is already super duper fast. Who is the ATI specifically aimed at - what application would really benefit the ATI card?

    EDIT: p.s. apologies if this has been posted elsewhere, did try to search prior to posting - but found nothing.
     
  2. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

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    Finland
    #2
    GPU is needed in games and in some professional video editing, but in general use, it's idling. Snow Leopard's OpenCL can use GPU for CPU tasks though, do in future GPU may be as important as CPU
     
  3. stonemann macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2009
    #3
    I quoted this elsewhere. According to the Apple website:

    "The ATI Radeon HD 4670 graphics processor delivers up to 4x faster performance than the NVIDIA GeForce 9400M — ideal for 3D games and graphics-intensive applications."

    Then again others here have said that if you're serious about gaming and video work then you should be looking at a quad-core plus even higher ATI card. For most users, I'd imagine the two base iMacs are more than sufficient for everyday use, casual gaming and home video-editing.

    Personally, I'll likely order the higher end 21.5" iMac as I plan to do a fair bit of video editing so the better graphics card will probably come in useful. Unless someone can convince me otherwise...
     
  4. The Samurai thread starter macrumors 68000

    The Samurai

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    Dec 29, 2007
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    Glasgow
  5. Arcadie macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2008
    #5
    If you are going to spend the extra 250, mise as well spend a tad more for the 27".

    just mho
     
  6. stonemann macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2009
    #6
    It's perhaps worth bearing in mind that even the ATI 4670 card is a budget mainstream unit that goes for around £50-60. Even with the additional 500GB hard drive space in the higher end 21.5" iMac I'm not sure how Apple can justify a £250 price difference between the two lower-end iMacs. It's a bit of a rip-off in fact...
     
  7. stonemann macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2009
    #7
    That's what Apple wants you to think. Then you're spending £400 more than you intended and maybe thinking about spending another £250 to get a quad-core. Personally, I don't need a 27" display on my desk. But that's just me...
     
  8. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

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    Finland
    #8
    Remember that iMac uses mobile GPUs so price of 4670 is unknown.
     
  9. neilw macrumors regular

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    Aug 4, 2003
    Location:
    New Jersey
    #9
    Either way it is true that the cost of the upgrade is a bit (!) out of whack compared to what you're getting. I'd say it's around a factor of 3 out. But that's par for the course for Apple; there are always certain increments in the product line that are head-scratchers.

    I continue to be unclear if the 4670 would ever kick in in my own usage, which would include light video editing (iMovie only) but no gaming. Sure, extra GPU oomph for OpenCL *might* eventually bring some benefit, but it is merely hypothetical at this point.

    Normally, I'd just get the slightly better model just for future-proofness, but again that upgrade price is so disproportionate it's giving me pause. I'd also *like* the bigger hard drive, but I haven't used 200 gigs on my current drive, so I might easily survive a few years without overflowing a 500 gig.

    The good news: I'm sure I'll be happy with either one, but that won't stop me from fretting over the decision for a while.
     
  10. menzic macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2009
    #10
    I am struggling with this decision as well.

    Like other people on here I am interested in photo and video editing, not gaming as I have a PS3 and Xbox360 for that kind of thing. No one so far seems to be able to confirm if the higher end GPU would give significant benefit. I am discounting the additional hard drive space as it is easy to pick up a cheap 1TB drive and connect via USB if I need an archive.

    So £250, is it worth it.... jury is still out. I am going to hold off until I feel comfortable with the information to hand, or I find £250 somewhere :)
     

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