21.5 graphics card?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by tjsdaname, Nov 15, 2009.

  1. tjsdaname macrumors 6502

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    cedar rapids IA
    #1
    I am going to get one of the 21.5 imacs for video editing.

    It will be completely maxed out, 3.33GHz processor, 8GB 1066MHz DDR3 SDRAM

    but, do you think the better graphics card would be necessary for editing videos like this?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7nySGtYgxfQ&feature=related
    (not my video, but it's the same type I do)


    Thanks guy's,
     
  2. 300D macrumors 65816

    300D

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    #2
    Completely. The 9400m is underpowered for a desktop machine.

    It will become even more important as app that use OpenCL become more common.
     
  3. stonemann macrumors regular

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    Mar 3, 2009
    #3
    Upgrading the graphics on the low-end iMac is definitely worth considering before any other upgrade. However, once you max out the 21.5 inch iMac with the ATI graphics card plus 8Gb ram and the 3.33Ghz processor you're only just short of the cost of the 27 inch quad core i5. For high-end tasks like video editing and encoding the quad-core processor with default RAM will seriously outperform a maxed out 21.5" iMac. Have you considered this option? You'll get an even better graphics card than any available on the low end machine, plus a huge screen and twice the performance.

    I'd seriously question the value of maxing out a low end iMac unless the screen size is all your workspace can handle. If you are committed to the smaller iMac, then I would probably upgrade the graphics card before the processor and RAM.

    Others will be able to comment on whether you need a slightly faster processor and 8gb RAM for the level of video-editing you plan to do. Personally, I'd either settle for the 3.06, 4Gb Ram and ATI4670 21.5 " iMac or go the whole hog with the 27" i5 iMac.
     
  4. Fiete5401 macrumors regular

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    Oct 16, 2009
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    Germany
    #4
    I'm thinking about going the same way: 21,5", 3.33 GHz, 8 GB, ATi 4670. Money is always a limiting factor so spending 200 Euros more for an i5 is not an option for me. A 27" would be way to big for me too.
     
  5. stonemann macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2009
    #5
    Seriously, a maxed out 21.5" iMac costs 1519 pounds in the UK. Whereas for 80 pounds more you can get the quad core 27" i5 iMac. There is a huge difference between the two machines not just in size but in terms of performance and capability.

    Personally, I prefer the smaller form factor of the 21.5" iMac but I wouldn't bother maxing it out to the cost of 1519 pounds. The gains won't be that great from a 4GB and 3.06 machine 21.5" iMac with an ATI card costing 1199 pounds (that's 320 pounds less).

    You'd quite happily pay 320 pounds more for only a modest gain in performance between 21.5" iMacs but not 80 pounds more for a huge gain in performance for a quad core i5? I don't get the logic. If money is a limiting factor then you'd be better off not maxing out the low-end iMac so that it nearly matches the cost of a far superior machine. It's your call I know, but that's my opinion...
     
  6. Fiete5401 macrumors regular

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    Germany
    #6
    Of course, the quad core iMacs offer the best performance for their price.
    I could get the 21.5", 3,33 GHz, 4 GB for 1437,52 Euro. For the i5 I would have to pay 1690,99 Euro (all edu prices).
    Actually you made me think again.
    Maybe I will be able to get an i5 early next year. :rolleyes:
     
  7. stonemann macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2009
    #7
    As always in these situations be careful you don't spend more than you actually need. Without knowing your computer needs it's difficult to give advice. The problem with maxing out the lower iMac models is that you get close to the higher end machines. In this case, with these Macs, the differences in performance gained is considerable with the quad core machines.

    Personally, if I was going to spend around 1500 Euros an an iMac, stepping up to the i5 quad core would provide more value than a maxed out two core machine. If you're on a tight budget, however, and want to save money, a 21.5" machine with the ATI card and 4GB ram should be plenty fast for most needs - including modest video editing. You can always upgrade the RAM later (and get it cheaper) if you find you need it.
     
  8. Yakuza macrumors 6502a

    Yakuza

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    Location:
    Lisbon, Portugal
    #8
    Gonna go for a i5 also (graphics/web/editing) and the 27" for editing is sweeeet :D

    Go for i5 who have graphic or editing work to do, in the long run, it will be much much better
     
  9. tjsdaname thread starter macrumors 6502

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    cedar rapids IA
    #9
    what performance difference will I feel with the better graphics card?
     
  10. Fiete5401 macrumors regular

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    Oct 16, 2009
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    Germany
    #10
    Thanks for your input stonehammer.
    3 years ago I bought a late 2006 20" iMac with an upgraded 2,33 GHz C2D. That iMac still feels fast and does everything I throw at it. From this point it wouldn't be rational to buy a new iMac until my current one falls to dust.
    But (!) is buying a new Mac always a rational decision? Look at all these new iMac i7-owners. I bet most of them would be well suited with a 21.5-incher. It's the "uuuh-I-got-it"-feeling that makes them spend more money.
    Do I need a 27" iMac? No.
    Movies and TV-series would look even better on the big screen. But do I really need it? No, again.
    I made a very similar decision 3 years ago by not buying the 24" model and buying an upgraded 20" iMac instead.
    That's why I decided in favor of a maxed out 21.5-incher at first.
    The problem is that Apple still uses C2Ds that are only around 50% faster than the one in my 3 year old machine. The i5 on the other side is a real leap forward plus bigger screen and faster graphics.
    Jesus! I love and hate these discussions at the same time! ;)
     
  11. Yakuza macrumors 6502a

    Yakuza

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2007
    Location:
    Lisbon, Portugal
    #11
    in the 21'5 you have a 256 Mb with shared memory, with the i5 you have a 512 Mb dedicated memory, in the 21'5 de graphic card will fetch some of the RAM memory, in the i5 you have a fully independent 4Gb (standard) for the machine and the 512 Mb (for the graphic card), also it as more processing power, so for the editing works will load faster the layers/music/amounts of videos/visual effects.

    I'm i right? don't know if i explained my self well lolol. but i'm sure that someone more hardware expert will correct me in something if i got wrong. but essencialy it's like that :D
     
  12. stonemann macrumors regular

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    Mar 3, 2009
    #12
    See the benchmarks here for the two 21.5" iMacs with different graphics cards:

    http://www.macworld.com/article/143575/2009/11/imacs_oct2009.html

    The nVidia 9400M and ATI 4670 cards are surprisingly well-matched for most tasks except for gaming frame-rates where the ATI card is over three times faster. If you're on a tight budget, a modest user and not much of a gamer, the base iMac looks like a pretty good deal.

    If your needs are more demanding (and you have the money) then you'll notice a significant difference if you step up to the quad-core machines. For an average user on a budget, the 21.5" iMac with ATI 4670 card looks like a good compromise I think. You can always bump up the processor to 3.33Ghz for a modest speed boost. But be careful as the more you max out, the closer you get to that tempting i5 quad-core.

    Decisions, decisions...
     
  13. tjsdaname thread starter macrumors 6502

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    cedar rapids IA
    #13
    I think I am going to go with the base 21.5 because I NEVER play games on my comp....
    if I want to play games my 360 is right next to me lol

    money is tight and thats what I can afford.... maxed out base 21.5
     
  14. gigas65 macrumors member

    gigas65

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    Mar 17, 2009
    Location:
    Salonica, Greece
    #14
    Agree too!

    I totaly agree with you, since i'm waiting for the same configuration. The only reason that i can not go for a 27" with i7 is the actual space!! The office room is to small to host a 27" imac. Have you seen it from a close look? It is huge!!! I believe 21,5", 4670, 6Gb ram, 3,33 E8600 CPU with 6MB second level cache (it is a big difference from 3MB) will be more than enough for my needs. Perhaps my only complain is that i still encode lot of classic mpeg2 DVD's and there is NOT such a "boost" like Elgato's HD Turbo h.264 for mpeg2 encoding. That would be a real boost for mpeg2 encoding.
     
  15. MaXoS macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2008
    #15
    boosting 9400M

    Hi guys. Can anybody tell me if there is any possibility to add "standalone" graphics e.g. Radeon HD 4670 to 21.5'' iMac with an integrated GeForce 9400M? I'm not sure how is it solved out inside. Apart from dificulties with opening the computer, I assume that if one model has room for dedicated card then the other one with an integrated chip should have it as well, right?
     
  16. MCFinn macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2009
    #16
    Your idea is interesting.

    If, and that is big if, the 21.5" and 27" models use the same motherboard, maybe you can put even ATI HD 4850(m) in there. Even if this is not the case, I'm quite sure that the connector for dedicated(?) graphics card is the same in 21.5 and 27" models, but I've only seen 27" model taken apart so I can't be sure.

    Well, then there is the problem of finding a place that will sell you the Apple specific GPU... but maybe someone can shed more light on this? I sure hope so!
     
  17. 300D macrumors 65816

    300D

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    #17
    No.
     
  18. MaXoS macrumors newbie

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  19. flopticalcube macrumors G4

    flopticalcube

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    #19
    No Intel iMac has ever had an ugradeable graphics card after purchase.
     
  20. MaXoS macrumors newbie

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