Animation student - which Imac to buy?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by radionickhead, Jan 16, 2010.

  1. radionickhead macrumors regular

    Sep 6, 2008
    Hi, I'm posting this on behalf of my girlfriend, she's considering buying one of the 21.5" Imacs, but as far as I know the lower-end one has the 9400m , which is what I have on my mbp 13", isn't that an integrated card? will that be enough for her?

    The programs she uses are; after-effects cs4, 3d max, maya, photoshop, flash, toon boom e.t.c

    Is there anything else different besides the hardisk space and the graphics card between the two 21.5" imacs?

    How much better is the ATI Radeon HD 4670 graphics with 256MB compared to the nvidia?

    Any help or insight would be greatly appreciated..
    thanks guys
  2. radionickhead thread starter macrumors regular

    Sep 6, 2008
  3. spinnerlys Guest


    Sep 7, 2008
    forlod bygningen
  4. FieryFurnace macrumors 6502


    Sep 19, 2008
    Berlin, Germany
    When it comes to serious 3D modeling, I would recommend at least to get a dedicated graphic card. The best would be to get a workstation PC.

    If it has to be a Mac, get at least 4GB memory (better 8GB) and use Windows 7 64bit in BootCamp, so you can get all software in 64bit (3ds, Maya, CS4).
  5. radionickhead thread starter macrumors regular

    Sep 6, 2008
    Thanks for the replies guys, unfortunately even the forum you linked me too was more specifically a discussion whether to go Windows or Mac, I think she's insisting on a mac, unless you guys honestly think the ATI won't cut it for the next 3-4 years?
    Maybe wait for an upgrade?
  6. ANIM8R macrumors member

    Oct 19, 2005

    I use the CS4 suite and and Cinema 4D on a daily basis and have used Toon Boom and Maya in the past as well.

    My recommendation is to spend the extra money and get the dedicated graphics card, plus the 500GB of extra space. We could always use extra space, and a dedicated graphics card will come in handy should your girlfriend decide to use OpenGL in After Effects or a significant amount of modeling in 3DSMAX or Maya.

    Buy a machine that she can grow into, especially if it's an All-in-One. The extra $250 (educational pricing) for the iMac that is a step up is worth it, in my opinion.
  7. brucem91 macrumors 6502

    Dec 9, 2009
    I am actually currently switching out of an animation degree, but anyway, I am using the latest macbook pro with the 9400m and the 8600gt. I use Maya 2010, After Effects, and Photoshop alot. Ive noticed a difference with the dedicated, but in maya on the 9400m ive handled a scene with 72000 faces with high-quality rendering turned on. So the 9400m will suffice, but yea, if she can get the higher end one, she should.
  8. Habitus macrumors 6502a


    Feb 26, 2009
    Where ever my life takes me...
    Tell your gf not to sell herself short. The 4670 is a much better choice. Also, the 4670 iMac comes with more hdd space, too. This is the better choice!

    Good luck,

    Habitus :apple:
  9. radionickhead thread starter macrumors regular

    Sep 6, 2008
    Thanks again everyone..
    Just to finish off the thread, does anyone think theres any point waiting for the tablet that is rumoured to come out?
    From what I read its going to be an "Iphone on steroids" so surely that won't suffice for graphics intensive applications?
    I'm assuming it isn't aimed at that market...
  10. hwhalers macrumors regular

    Nov 23, 2009
    Purely a consumer information device, not in this league at all IMO.
  11. radionickhead thread starter macrumors regular

    Sep 6, 2008

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