24" iMac – decisions on 7600 and RAM

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Photo Monkey, Nov 13, 2006.

  1. Photo Monkey macrumors member

    Nov 13, 2006
    London, UK
    Newbie here, I'm going to be ordering a new iMac in the next month or so. I've spent a while browsing around the web and these forums and I'm still not sure about the two upgrades. You guys seem to be pretty clued-up on that's going on.

    Graphics card first. From what I can tell, a lot of people believe there's a big difference between the 7300 and 7600. I'll be playing the occasional game but mostly the power will be used for video editing.

    The games I'll be playing now aren't Universal yet, so would the extra graphics card power help to overcome this?

    Also, this information seems to vary a lot, is the graphics card upgradable? Could I upgrade it in a year's time, for example? Some people have said it's stuck in there, custom fitted for the iMac and other people seem to think it's a standard PCI-Express card. I haven't found any photos yet, so if anybody can confirm that, it may help a bit.

    The second things is RAM. At the moment I have 1.25GB in my 1.33GHz PowerBook G4, so getting 1GB seems like a step-down really. I know the benefits of extra RAM, and I know OS X loves RAM, so I think 2GB would be sufficient.

    However, normally everybody tells me never to buy RAM from Apple, but in this case, I'm confused.

    Crucial, arguably one of the good RAM companies, charge £173.89 ($332.69) for two sticks of 1GB, which I can then replace the two sticks of 512MB which come with the iMac standard. However, because obviously if I buy online, I don't have to buy the 512s and 1GBs, upgrading to 2GB becomes £120 ($229.59), even less with student discount.

    So simple questions are:
    Is it justifiable to shell out the extra cash for the 7600?

    Shall I buy the extra RAM from Apple, from somewhere else or do you think 1GB will actually be enough, especially if I've upgraded the video card?

    Thanks for your help guys.
  2. mrcammy macrumors member

    Sep 17, 2006
  3. furious macrumors 65816


    Aug 7, 2006
    apples ram prices on the C2D mac is very competitive. in fact you would be hard pressed to find a better deal from a 3rd party.
  4. roland.g macrumors 603


    Apr 11, 2005
    Get the 2GB and the 7600GT. Personally I think if you have the money and the student discount makes it easier, you might also want to get the 500GB hard drive.
  5. MSM Hobbes macrumors 6502

    Aug 25, 2006
    NE Hoosierana
    Tagging along on this thread... :)

    Upon receiving my refurbed 24", as it has the 7300GT and 1GB RAM, if a person wanted/needed the extra boost as the original poster, would it be best to upgrade these at the Apple store, or do it yourself?
  6. Maxwell Smart macrumors 6502a

    Maxwell Smart

    Jan 29, 2006
    I would get the 7600 and the 2GB from apple. With any internal component that is technically non upgradeable (GPU) it is best to get the highest you can at a point where it is cost feasible to do so. Also, as mentioned earlier in this thread, the
  7. roland.g macrumors 603


    Apr 11, 2005
    Now that you have it, you would want to upgrade the RAM yourself. It is a user accessible slot on the bottom of the "chin" and very easy to do. You will pay way more from Apple buying it at this point. You only really save getting it from Apple if you get it configured that way (which of course is not an option on refurbs - total bummer or I would have boosted the RAM on my Mini refurb rather than having to take that thing apart). In addition to which at an Apple Store they would charge you a $30-40 install fee, though I could be wrong about that.

    As far as the 7600/7300 Video card, I am almost certain that the only way to get the 7600 is on a configured order. I would be quite surprised if Apple were to offer that upgrade as an in-store service. It is not a part they would stock in store. So go for the 2gigs, I recommend either OWC or DataMem, they both have similar prices on 2x1GB sticks and are both reliable and reputable. I got mine for my Mini from OWC but only because I was ordering a few other things as well. I think DataMem is $10 cheaper for the pair, but their shipping is $5 more. OWC does UPS 3 day for $2.95.
  8. Kiscokid macrumors member

    Oct 19, 2005
    max it out as best you can for the money you have available.... you really cant go wrong with the 7600 and 2gb of ram. That is what I went for with my 24" iMac and I am really impressed.
  9. MSM Hobbes macrumors 6502

    Aug 25, 2006
    NE Hoosierana
    Thanks roland.g

    Not at the house yet,,, supposed to be delivered - TODAY!!! :D
    Gonna be fun - woman knows nothing about it coming... :eek: :p

    I've thought that read/heard that only "Apple" RAM is allowed/recommended, is this not so? If ok, then will take your advice and look at OWC or DataMem. Thanks.

    /can not wait to see a new box in the living room floor... :)

    EDIT: just got a call from the woman... its there!!! :) :)
  10. joshwest macrumors 65816


    Apr 27, 2005
  11. Gamey macrumors member

    Jul 26, 2006
    I maxed out the RAM at 3Gb and went for the 7600 option.
    It certainly whizzes through Aperture and PS CS2 isn't exactaly slow with it either.
    Love the screen and the sound of silence..........listen: No noise:cool:

  12. Kiscokid macrumors member

    Oct 19, 2005
    Yeah think I am lucky too - its beautiful to hardly hear a noise coming out of the machine after years of power hungry and fan frenzied PC's
  13. MSM Hobbes macrumors 6502

    Aug 25, 2006
    NE Hoosierana

    So far, based only on the few hours I spent with my new wonderful machine, she is very quiet - just some HD noises when changing/performing some tasks. However, have not done much to really stress it out - will see, err... hear then. ;)

    Damn,,, this computer is gorgeous!!! :D

    Woman and boys were all over themselves too last night... :)
  14. capran macrumors member

    Nov 28, 2003
    Graphics module

    The 24" uses an MXM graphics card. These are smaller versions of PCI-Express cards that are made for laptops (and in this case, low profile desktop.) At this time the only place I know of to buy them is a single site dedicated to MXM cards (the link is around in the forum here somewhere.)

    Also, there are no aftermarket upgrades that are guaranteed to be compatible with this Mac. There was someone who did take modules from PC laptops and try them, and he reported that under Windows XP they work, but not under OS X.

    This seems to be the trend when trying Windows PC cards on Intel Macs, and just recently an underground hacking community came up with a method of making some nVidia cards work on Macs, but people have had mixed results. And I don't know if anyone has tried this "Titan" hack on the 24" with PC MXM cards.

    I am anxious to find out though! I'm getting closer to when I can order a new Mac for myself, and I'm currently torn between the iMac 24"/2.16GHz C2D/7600GT/2GB/250GB and a Mac Pro/2.0GHz/1900XT/2GB/250GB. With edu discount, they're close in price, with the Pro being slightly more.

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