21.5" Late 2009 iMac: 9400M or 4670

dagamer34

macrumors 65816
Original poster
May 1, 2007
1,359
101
Houston, TX
Hey guys,

I'm thinking about getting an iMac. I was wondering if VMware Fusion 3 with Aero on WIndows 7 runs ok on the baseline $1199 iMac or I would need to bump up to the 4670 for smoother performance. I won't be doing any gaming (I have a separate PC for that).

Thank you!
 

greg400

macrumors 6502
Aug 13, 2009
332
0
Go for the 4670 if you can spend the extra $300. The 9400M is really just a complete joke of a graphics card for a desktop computer. Oh and for better performance with VMWareFusion, RAM will be the biggest factor.
 

cman-uk

macrumors regular
Oct 27, 2009
205
20
Hi,

Read this thread from page 2 onwards:

https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/807115/&page=2

..as I asked exactly the same questions.

I got some very good responses too, specifically from 'iamthedudeman' - read his posts in that thread, very helpful.

Incidentally, after much deliberation, I chose the 4670. ..and placed my order approx 4 hours ago.:cool::cool::cool:
 

Yixian

macrumors 65816
Jun 2, 2007
1,478
119
Europe
If you want to play recent titles on decent settings:

4670 = disappointing.

9400M = ludicrous.
 

zedsdead

macrumors 68040
Jun 20, 2007
3,257
575
If you can afford it, always get the best graphics card available. Apple always gives poor/outdated options as it is, plus they cannot be replaced.
 

dagamer34

macrumors 65816
Original poster
May 1, 2007
1,359
101
Houston, TX
If you want to play recent titles on decent settings:

4670 = disappointing.

9400M = ludicrous.
Again, I said I would not be gaming on this iMac, simply because I already have another desktop for that purpose in my living room acting as a media center. I'm mainly worried about VMware Fusion performance when running Windows 7. My 2006 MacBook Pro (2.16Ghz Core 2 Duo) completely sucks at it and I'd rather not have to reboot.

Again, absolutely no gaming on this PC. I only care about GPU performance if it will help with VMware Fusion. I know that driving a display of 1920x1080 takes some work, and Fusion probably uses some video RAM when virtualizing Windows.

THanks!
 

MrSEC

macrumors regular
Apr 17, 2008
135
0
Again, I said I would not be gaming on this iMac, simply because I already have another desktop for that purpose in my living room acting as a media center. I'm mainly worried about VMware Fusion performance when running Windows 7. My 2006 MacBook Pro (2.16Ghz Core 2 Duo) completely sucks at it and I'd rather not have to reboot.

Again, absolutely no gaming on this PC. I only care about GPU performance if it will help with VMware Fusion. I know that driving a display of 1920x1080 takes some work, and Fusion probably uses some video RAM when virtualizing Windows.

THanks!
SO,are you going to be gaming on it or not? :p:D
 

sers

macrumors 6502
Jan 11, 2006
274
397
I was at an electronics store that sells Macs and they had a 21.5" on display with the 9400m. I was thinking of picking one of these up, but after playing around with it, I decided not to. The graphics performance on this computer is SLOW. Even the animation on the Dock was terribly slow. I couldn't see a performance difference between the base 21.5 and my current iMac G5 PPC. I'm sure it's quicker in most tasks, but the slow graphics performance turned me off. I would upgrade to the higher spec 21.5, but for a couple of hundred more, might as well get the base 27". I love how Apple sucks you in like that.
 

ViViDboarder

macrumors 68040
Jun 25, 2008
3,446
0
USA
The only computer I've ever owned with an integrated graphics card is my EeePC 900. :p

I always think that it's better to pay up and get the discreet card. As mentioned before... It would have been nice to have it modular so it could be upgraded further due to it not being very near top of the line, but it's Apple... Did anyone expect that?

I'd do it just to get a little headroom. Also, with OpenCL you may see some performance enhancements in the future with it.

Oh and PS... I got the 21.5" with the ATI card a couple days after it came out... It's very nice! :D I don't run 7 on it but 7 runs great on my 4 year old desktop so I imagine it'll scream on this when the new bootcamp drivers are out. (I guess VMWare already has drivers though)
 

dagamer34

macrumors 65816
Original poster
May 1, 2007
1,359
101
Houston, TX
Alright, I guess I'll be getting the 4670. I think I'll wait for refurbs to show up for maybe 200-300 less.
 

SiliconDioxide

macrumors member
May 15, 2007
48
0
Hey! I was just surfing the web and came across this.It's very interesting. It's the Imac 2009 bench marks. http://www.macworld.com/article/143636/2009/11/imacs_late2009_benchmarks.html :confused:
This shows that the 4670 is a better card then the GT 130. The 4670 is crippled in 2 ways (128bit memory and only 256 ram) and it is still on par with the GT 130. Its too bad apple decided to only put 256 megs. of ram. What I would like to see is some benchmarks with the 8800GS added to the mix and see how it fairs.

It would have also been nice for macworld to tell us what resolution and quality settings were used. Unless they did and I couldn't find it.
 

smetvid

macrumors 6502
Nov 1, 2009
421
170
Of course bigger is almost always better. I just bought my first Mac which is the 21.5" Imac with Nvidia 9400. It isn't super fast but it does get the job done. I am a professional designer and editor as well and I am now running Final Cut Pro and Motion on this system. There isn't anything it cannot handle so far. I know a better video card would be better at certain things but I mostly design Flash content and 30 second TV commercials so my render times are usually pretty low anyway. I do a lot of 3D animation as well and I haven't tried any programs yet since I am a 3D Studio Max user on a PC but I have used video cards much older and slower then the Nvidia 9400 to produce $100,000.00 3D projects for clients. To each their own but for me this Mac was me finally pushing my 13 year design world into the Mac world as an experiment. So far I am very happy with my purchase.

As for future proofing I don't think there is such a thing. The video card will be the least of your concerns two years down the road when the other aspects of the technology are far beyond what they are today. I know in two years this Mac will be replaced by an even better one so I figured I could save a few bucks for now. I already know even with the Nvidia 9400 this system will be one heck of a design tool for me at work. I would like to have a few more fps in Motion but I can live with it.
 

stonemann

macrumors regular
Mar 3, 2009
131
0
Hey! I was just surfing the web and came across this.It's very interesting. It's the Imac 2009 bench marks. http://www.macworld.com/article/143636/2009/11/imacs_late2009_benchmarks.html :confused:
According to those tests there's not much difference between the 9400M against the 4760 except in gaming frame-rates. For everything else the two cards are fairly even, discrete graphics or not. The only caveat is that in future "when more applications take advantage of GPU processing power through OpenCL, the performance differences might become more apparent." Otherwise the base iMac looks like a good deal.
 

dagamer34

macrumors 65816
Original poster
May 1, 2007
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Houston, TX
According to those tests there's not much difference between the 9400M against the 4760 except in gaming frame-rates. For everything else the two cards are fairly even, discrete graphics or not. The only caveat is that in future "when more applications take advantage of GPU processing power through OpenCL, the performance differences might become more apparent." Otherwise the base iMac looks like a good deal.
Meh, I'm not going to bother with OpenCL. I've got better things to do with my time (and other computers).

Does anyone know if there's a "penalty" if you buy one Mac, use it, then realize that you want the next version up? I remember them charging me $150 when I had to return a 13" unibody MacBook last year for unforseen circumstances.
 

ViViDboarder

macrumors 68040
Jun 25, 2008
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USA
Meh, I'm not going to bother with OpenCL. I've got better things to do with my time (and other computers).

Does anyone know if there's a "penalty" if you buy one Mac, use it, then realize that you want the next version up? I remember them charging me $150 when I had to return a 13" unibody MacBook last year for unforseen circumstances.
We're not saying you have to do anything to use OpenCL... It's whether or not developers incorporate into their apps. Just like support for 64 bits or multiple processors.
 

dagamer34

macrumors 65816
Original poster
May 1, 2007
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Houston, TX
We're not saying you have to do anything to use OpenCL... It's whether or not developers incorporate into their apps. Just like support for 64 bits or multiple processors.
The most I'd really do with the computer is web browsing. Anyway, I think I'll just wait for the 21.5" ATI iMac to come around the refurb section and buy it then (assuming I don't get the urge to buy it before then).
 

panzer06

macrumors 68040
Sep 23, 2006
3,027
83
Kilrath
The most I'd really do with the computer is web browsing. Anyway, I think I'll just wait for the 21.5" ATI iMac to come around the refurb section and buy it then (assuming I don't get the urge to buy it before then).
I was tempted to wait for the 27" to show up in the refurb section but bought the 24" with the 8800GS instead. It is very, very nice and @ $1149 I could not pass it up. Even with 2GB Ram (I haven't added the 4GB upgrade I bought yet) it smoke the 2.0 early 2009 mini it's replacing.

Cheers,
 

dagamer34

macrumors 65816
Original poster
May 1, 2007
1,359
101
Houston, TX
I was tempted to wait for the 27" to show up in the refurb section but bought the 24" with the 8800GS instead. It is very, very nice and @ $1149 I could not pass it up. Even with 2GB Ram (I haven't added the 4GB upgrade I bought yet) it smoke the 2.0 early 2009 mini it's replacing.

Cheers,
27" is too huge for my desk. Plus, the LED backlight on the new iMacs is worth waiting for.


In fact, I think I might go pick up the upgraded 21.5" tomorrow with my student discount. I just need to return this silly HP laptop I bought. Waiting is hard... :eek:
 

macchiato2009

macrumors 65816
Aug 14, 2009
1,258
1
offering an integrated graphic chipset like the 9400M in the latest iMac is simply a joke

in the name of profitability, Apple is taking us for a bunch of idiots... cash cows but idiots anyway... :mad:
 

stonemann

macrumors regular
Mar 3, 2009
131
0
offering an integrated graphic chipset like the 9400M in the latest iMac is simply a joke

in the name of profitability, Apple is taking us for a bunch of idiots... cash cows but idiots anyway... :mad:
Actually, in Macworld tests quoted above the 9400M performs on a par with the upgraded ATI 4670 card in everything except gaming. My guess is that for the average user, at whom the base iMac is aimed, the 9400M is more than adequate. If you're a serious gamer or professional user, then you probably will be looking elsewhere anyway.
 

eloh

macrumors member
Oct 31, 2009
32
0
27" is too huge for my desk. Plus, the LED backlight on the new iMacs is worth waiting for.


In fact, I think I might go pick up the upgraded 21.5" tomorrow with my student discount. I just need to return this silly HP laptop I bought. Waiting is hard... :eek:

Good for you dagamer34. You sound like you know what you need for this machine. Don't let these guys tell you different. You only need that separate card for gaming. Since Macs run windows now, they needed to include these fantastic video cards to make the argument that users could get rid of their PCs and use one machine (the Mac) for everything. Even gaming. Myself, I use consoles for that!

Can't wait until I pickup my iMac 21.5, I need to hold off a bit, got new baby coming in a few days.
 

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