24" iMac - GT 130 or wait for ATI HD 4850?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Zoowatch, Mar 20, 2009.

  1. Zoowatch macrumors 6502

    Jan 6, 2004
    Sheffield, UK
    Hi there,

    My friend is seriously considering the ultimate 24" 3.06 iMac, he will be using it in a lab, mostly surfing the internet, email, iTunes and word processing.

    But from time to time, he will be using iPhoto '09, Windows XP in Parallels, Illustrator and Photoshop CS4 as well.

    There's a built-to-order option for ATI HD 4850 which Apple didn't say much about.

    I'm sure that this card would be better than the GT 130 for a small upgrade price. The question is, "How much better based on the following usage patern?".

    Will he actually see any difference in terms of performance in Photoshop CS4 should he wait for the ATI HD 4850? He normally opens 5 to 7 large files at the same time in Photoshop, so will the ATI 4850 help at all?

    As this iMac will be sitting in a research lab, so there will be no gaming or movie editing.

    Also, for those who are familiar with a science programme called "PyMol" (http://pymol.sourceforge.net), would the ATI GPU improve performance over the stock GT 130 at all? Both come with 512MB of VRAM, so performance can't be that different right?

    The current shipping time is 3 to 5 weeks for the ATI 4850, whereas he can just pop into any Apple Store to get the ultimate iMac with GT 130.

    What's your opinion? Thanks! :)
  2. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
    GT130 should be enough. There won't be big difference between GT130 and 4850
  3. Redbeastmage macrumors member

    Mar 13, 2009
    I'm betting he will be just fine with the GT 130. However, I personally am waiting for the ATI, simply because for $50 more, I'd rather have the best available, and its not really something I can just upgrade later (at least, not without pulling the whole machine apart). The wait is killing me, but once it arrives, I'll feel better knowing I didn't cut any corners.
  4. FoxHoundADAM macrumors regular

    Sep 9, 2008
    Agreed. The GT130 is MORE than enough for what your friend wants but if you can wait why not spend the extra $40 and get the best.
  5. kabunaru Guest

    Jan 28, 2008
    If the waiting period for the ATI card wasn't that long, I would have said ATI. Since it is long, why not just get the iMac now and enjoy. So, the GT 130.
  6. Grasbak macrumors 6502

    Jan 17, 2006
    Are you sure you even need to get the GT130? Wouldnt the base or the 120 be enough considering the usage?
  7. Muncher macrumors 65816


    Apr 19, 2007
    Well, normally I would say the GT130 is enough, but considering Snow Leopard will use graphics cards in non-graphics applications, if you have this computer for a while you'll start to see apps take advantage of this. I'd go for the best card if it's not too much more.
  8. maxap macrumors 6502


    Sep 20, 2008
    I was deciding about the same dilemma: GT130 or 4850HD. At the end I decided to go for the 4850HD and to wait a bit longer till it'll be available. Ati's card is a great one and is not a 65nm card, but a 55nm one, meaning that it won't get that hot as the GT130 and hopefully will produce less noise. I guess I'll be more than happy with the 4850HD...
  9. Shivetya macrumors 65816

    Jan 16, 2008
    Tell him to just wait till we have people with 4850s so we can have benchmarks using the same hardware to compare the results.

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