21.5" iMac Purchase Question

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by marklachance, Oct 20, 2009.

  1. marklachance macrumors member

    Mar 4, 2009
    I am going to buy the new 21.5" iMac. I surf the web, take pictures, will do some video editing, dvd durning, run business applications (word, excel, etc.), watch some TV shows, maybe movies. Maybe a video game 2x per year. Certainly nothing heavy duty.

    Are the following worth the extra $300:

    1. the ATI card vs. NVIDIA
    2. 1TB vs. 500GB

    3. And, if I do buy the low end set up ($1,199) is it worth the extra $200 to upgrand the memory to 8GB?

    Thanks very much in advance for your thoughts.
  2. Cboss macrumors 6502

    Dec 11, 2008
    It depends on how much video editing you will be doing. It doesn't seem like you'll be doing too much, so I would upgrade the HDD (those pictures and videos take up lots of space) but not the graphics card or RAM.
  3. marklachance thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 4, 2009
    Video editing will be somewhat minimal too. Thanks for the thoughts.
  4. jb1280 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 13, 2009
    this is the terribly annoying thing about the line-up. If you want more than 500 gb you have to step up to the dedicated graphics.
  5. IgnatiusTheKing macrumors 68040


    Nov 17, 2007
    das Fort
    I wouldn't buy RAM from Apple. You can save at least $100 on that extra 4GB by ordering it from a 3rd party and installing it yourself.
  6. JCP21 macrumors member

    Oct 15, 2009
    Yeah dont but extra ram from apple takes 5 minutes to install just make sure you get ram specific to mac [​IMG]
  7. marklachance thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 4, 2009
  8. marklachance thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 4, 2009
    But there is no downside to a dedicated graphics card, right?
  9. MacKiddyWiddy macrumors 6502

    Aug 18, 2009
    tbh i think you'll be fine on the base, any upgrades you do wanna do shouldnt be through apple, they will hit you hard on charges, and ram is a trivial thing to install [​IMG] graphics card preinstalled will be more then amazing for you too so don;t worry about that
  10. QCassidy352 macrumors G4


    Mar 20, 2003
    Bay Area
    just that you have to pay for the upgrade.

    IMO the base imac will be quite sufficient for you. The nvidea 9400m will not be good for games, but if you're literally playing twice a year, who really cares.
  11. marklachance thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 4, 2009
    Thanks Mac and Q. The base model is going to be perfect for now. It's like anything else new, you think, wow, the base model is 5x better than what I currently have but hmmmmmm, maybe I "need" 1TB and 8GB.
  12. The Samurai macrumors 68000

    The Samurai

    Dec 29, 2007
    As i'll be getting the same machine tomorrow hopefully... is it possible to upgrade the graphics card yourself at a later stage... a year down the line perhaps?
  13. Hing macrumors regular

    Mar 2, 2008
    will next update have all quad core for imac, if they do i will wait
  14. marklachance thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 4, 2009
    Thanks to everyone for replying. I am finally getting rid of my Dell desktop with an Intel Pentium 4, 1.60GHz, 1 GB RAM and a 40GB HD. Think my new iMac will be better? :)
  15. js81 macrumors 65816


    Dec 31, 2008
    ^^ Tremendously. :D

    BTW, 500GB is still a LOT of space. And if its not enough down the road, get big external drive. 8GB of RAM may be overkill, but if you really want it, its like $70 or so for a 4GB kit (2x2GB) from Newegg.
  16. seb-opp macrumors 6502

    Nov 16, 2008
    It's extremely unlikely- it couldn't be done with the last generation
  17. neilw macrumors regular

    Aug 4, 2003
    New Jersey
    Pardon my ignorance, but how does the graphics card impact video editing? The 9400M certainly has adequate h.264 decoding. I know that the dedicated graphics would provide better 3D and better potential speed up from (hypotehtical, future) OpenCL-enabled apps, but video editing?

    I am facing the exact same decision as the OP, so I'm highly interested in this. If the upgrade price weren't a ridiculous $300 (for about $100 worth of upgrades), I wouldn't even hesitate, but at $300 it seems like bad value if the machine is not going to be used for gaming. I don't want to cripple my future video editing capability, though.

    Clarification: I'm talking about casual home-movie editing, not pro-level stuff.
  18. JCP21 macrumors member

    Oct 15, 2009
    Wish i could get an imac for myself, atleast my dad is getting one so i can play around [​IMG] !!

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