24" iMac 2.66 vs. 2.93

Discussion in 'iMac' started by photomel, Jul 4, 2009.

  1. photomel macrumors member

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    #1
    I am replacing my older 20" iMac and am debating between the 24" 2.66 and 2.93 systems. The difference is $300, so I am trying to justify why I should spend more. Any thoughts out there? If so, I 'd love to hear them.

    The majority of my work is internet surfing, some photo editing, some imovie making, lots of word processing and graphic editing.

    :apple:
     
  2. iBookG4user macrumors 604

    iBookG4user

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    #2
    It doesn't sound like you'll see much of a difference between the computers. You might see a few seconds difference in photo editing but nothing major, I'd go with the 2.66GHz and save the extra money for something like an external hard drive for backing up instead.
     
  3. MacMini2009 macrumors 68000

    MacMini2009

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    #3
    Well basically the difference between them is the graphics cards and slight processor speed bump, so if you need a discrete graphics card get the 2.93, or get 2.66 if you only need the 9400M and save money.
     
  4. iBookG4user macrumors 604

    iBookG4user

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    #4
    Yes, I am aware of that which is why I gave that advice. It didn't sound like they needed the discrete graphics card :)
     
  5. MacMini2009 macrumors 68000

    MacMini2009

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    #5
    I was just giving my opinion...
     
  6. mscriv macrumors 601

    mscriv

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    #6
    Get the 2.93 for the price of the 2.66 by going through the Apple refurb store online. They usually have both models available on there.
     
  7. photomel thread starter macrumors member

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    #7

    That's an idea, but I do get a discount because I am a teacher. So, one advantage is that I get a "free" iTouch with this purchase. I don't think I can do this if I buy refurbished.....although I will check into that.
     
  8. iBookG4user macrumors 604

    iBookG4user

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    #8
    The free iPod Touch deal is only with new Macs, it does not apply to refurbished computer, nor does the educational discount.
     
  9. Drag'nGT macrumors 68000

    Drag'nGT

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    #9
    I usually over buy my computers just so I can grow into them and hopefully grow out of them by the time a significant upgrade is necessary. So my vote is for the 2.93GHz.
     
  10. Thermonuclear macrumors 6502

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    May 23, 2009
    #10
    The advantages of discrete graphics support

    The advantages of discrete graphics support:

    1) Unlike the less expensive integrated graphics support, discrete graphics does not suck up main memory and so gives a slight capacity improvement (128 MB to 256 MB). Also, CPU tasks may run slightly faster because of a lack of memory access contention and also because of a lesser need for paging.

    2) Greater overall speed today, and potentially even more speed in future OS versions where more CPU work is offloaded to discrete graphics support.

    Disadvantages? Extra cost, and slightly higher energy use resulting in extra heat.

    Conclusion: Unless cost is a tight constraint, I'd go for a version with discrete graphics. And even if your work is not graphics intensive, you can be sure that Apple and most commercial application providers will continue their trend of software bloat and that this bloat will cause slower throughput on systems with integrated graphics.
     
  11. bearcatrp macrumors 68000

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    #11
    If you can afford it, get it with a dedicated graphics card. Snow leopard is supposed to utilize the graphics card to unload some of the work done on the prosessor.
     
  12. crackbookpro macrumors 65816

    crackbookpro

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    #12
    ...try not to let the iPod Touch be too much of an incentive - they're going to release a new one in a couple of months ;)

    As far as the iMac, I would spend the $300 to get the discrete graphics, but it truly depends on what your needs are.

    All n' all, the cheaper model is a great machine as well. But, since you do photo editing, graphic design, and may be get into some video editing & rendering - I would reccommned the 2.93GHz.

    CrackBookPro:cool:
     
  13. canyonblue737 macrumors 6502a

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    #13
    Snow Leopard is going to offload work, even non-graphics, to the graphics card in the 2.93 which it can't do with the 9400M in the 2.66, this should give a fairly nice boost to speed. The CPU speed difference 2.66 vs. 2.93 isn't worth $300, but that speed difference, plus discrete video (another speed boost), plus Snow Leopard offloading to the graphics card (yet another speed boost) makes the total amount of gains worth the $300 IMHO.
     
  14. zmttoxics macrumors 65816

    zmttoxics

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    #14
    Pitting my 2.66 iMac against my dads 2.9 unibody 17" mbp there isn't much of a difference. You may to better to save the 300 dollars. :)
     
  15. photomel thread starter macrumors member

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    #15
    Do all of the iMac 2.93 speed computers have a discrete video card or do I need to upgrade to a specific one? I am not familiar with the differences in video cards. :confused: Thanks.
     
  16. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #16
    Yes, 2.93 model has GT120 as a standard and can be upgraded to GT130 or ATI 4850
     
  17. zmttoxics macrumors 65816

    zmttoxics

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    #17

    Actually, no. Apple has said that Open CL will be supported on the 9400M gpus. Meaning all current gen macs can take advantage of the new Snow Leopard features.

    http://www.neowin.net/news/main/09/06/10/mac-os-x-106-requirements-reveal-opencl-limitations
     
  18. zedsdead macrumors 68040

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    #18
    If you are going to upgrade video cards, just go for the ATI 4850 as it is the best card around right now for the iMac.
     
  19. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #19
  20. aaquib macrumors 65816

    aaquib

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    #20
    OpenCL is compatible with the 9400M. It'll fully be able to take advantage of the integrated graphics chip in there, but of course the power wouldn't be nearly as significant as the 2.93.

    OP: Go with the 2.93. It'll be worth it in the long run. You'll "future proof" it for longer, get a higher resale value, and get significantly better graphics. If you have to ask, you can most likely afford the 2.93 option, in which case go for it.
     
  21. Edensuko macrumors member

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    #21
    Seeing that it is an OPEN standard i can see many companies adopting it.
    It also wont hurt people that uses visualization programs to get that extra bump on speed.

    And for me, being able to boost crossover games performance is a big plus. Since the GPU is not fully used most of the times, my processor will get some support (it needs it) to run the games more smoothly.

    If i had the money and i liked the current iMac as a desktop solution, ill get the best gpu i could.
     
  22. mscriv macrumors 601

    mscriv

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    #22
    You will not be able to take advantage of the back to school promotion if you buy from the refurb store. :( However, you could buy new to get the free iPod and then sell it to offset some of the cost. :) Or it might be too much of a hassle to deal with selling something and it would just be better to go with the refurb. :confused: I'm talking myself into confusion here.

    Seriously though, lots of people on the forums here have gone the refurb route and speak very highly of the process. I personally plan on making my next purchase through the refurb store.

    Best of luck with your purchase.
     
  23. photomel thread starter macrumors member

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    #23
    I hate to beat a dead horse, but would I need the ATI 4850 if I don't do any gaming or don't plan to in the future? Yes, I want to future proof if possible, but I don't need to spend another $200 if I won't actually utilize the power.

    Thanks, I'm still learning and am VERY close to making my decision. (Still considering refurbished if I don't upgrade the video card). :cool:
     
  24. zmttoxics macrumors 65816

    zmttoxics

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    #24
    Lawl. No. My gaming rig has a 4850 pro, my iMac has a 9400m. They both have their purpose, and the iMac is not for gaming (mine anyways).
     
  25. zedsdead macrumors 68040

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    Jun 20, 2007
    #25
    The upgrade to a dedicated graphics card is worth it for iMovie and iPhoto. At that point, the ATI card isn't a huge price difference. I think it is worth it to further proof the machine in case you do more video editing in the coming years. If you don't the GT 120/130 will be fine. Also, consider that Apple doesn't really put great video cards into their machines really, so I would get the best available.

    Oh, just noticed you were an educational qualified person...at that point, even though the Apple Refurbs are great, I say just go with a new model and get the Touch and Printer.

    I am a big fan of buying the best hardware you can afford, so that is my bias. Having the extra speed and power is always useful, especially if you want the machine to last. But I also do a lot of Video work and encoding, so don't go by me.;)
     

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