ATI Radeon HD 2600 PRO VS NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GT graphics, NEED HELP!

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by lico0485, Oct 2, 2007.

  1. lico0485 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2007
    #1
    Guys I NEED YOUR HELP! I'll be buying a mac later on this month or probably the next one. I'm between the iMac 24in screen display or the macbook pro 15in screen display. I'm going to be using it for graphic design using programs such as photoshop, indesign, illustrators... however recently I've been getting into video editing and 3d animation using programs such as adobe premier and Maya 8. At this point my biggest concern is that all these programs run well in my new mac.

    Ok these are my two choices

    Imac
    2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
    1GB memory
    320GB hard drive1
    8x double-layer SuperDrive
    ATI Radeon HD 2600 PRO with 256MB memory
    $1,699.00 (student discount)

    or

    Macbook pro
    2.2GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
    1440 x 900 resolution
    2GB memory
    120GB hard drive1
    8x double-layer SuperDrive
    NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GT graphics with 128MB SDRAM
    $1,799.00(student discount)

    The macbook pro has a slower processor however it seems to have a better graphic card and more ram memory. My question is:

    Is the NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GT graphics with 128MB SDRAM same or better than the ATI Radeon HD 2600 PRO with 256MB memory graphic card from the imac?

    which computer do you think will be the best choice? I am not worry to much about portability, i just need to get the computer that will give me the best performance within my 2,000 dollar budget. I will love to have the 24in screen display but if the macbook pro will give the best performance i will go for it.
     
  2. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    Location:
    Indianapolis
    #2
    Mobility HD 2600XT > nVidia GeForce 8600M GT

    At the stock speeds and with comparable drives.
     
  3. imacdaddy macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2006
    #3
    ATI Radeon HD 2600 PRO

    It's a better and faster card and it's got hardware encoding.
     
  4. Rookie1986 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2007
    #4
    Hey Lico,

    After reading your post and looking at your needs i would say the iMac is better suited for you, the reason i believe this is because the iMac offers a lot more then what you will be getting with the MBP especially since you don’t require portability.

    Here are just a few things the iMac offers over the MBP

    HDD:
    The iMac comes with not only a bigger HDD but it also runs at 7200rpm which will be helpful for your design work and editing (think loading). (MBP has 5400rpm drive).

    Display: You already mentioned this but I thought I would highlight it again, the iMac can display at 1920 x 1200 pixels which again will be helpful for your design and editing work. (MBP has 1440 x 900 pixels but does offer antiglare finish which some prefer over glossy).

    RAM: Its only $43.99 to buy an additional stick of RAM from crucial.com which would make your iMac have the same amount as the MBP and still come in cheaper then it too!

    GFX: Unfortunately I’m not up to date with what graphics cards are available never mind which ones are better so I’m unable to help here :( but if others say the ATI card is better then it just makes the iMac an even better deal

    Price: The iMac is slightly cheaper which would leave you money to buy additional RAM, External HDD, Software, Apple Care or what ever you desire to spend it on.

    But just by going from them five reasons alone I would choice the iMac over the MBP. Also I don’t see either system having huge problems running any of the applications you listed.

    The choice is yours I guess, just let us know how you get on :)
     
  5. vendettabass macrumors 6502a

    vendettabass

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2006
    Location:
    Seoul, South Korea
    #5
    does the 2400XT ?
     
  6. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    Location:
    Indianapolis
    #6
    All of those video cards have hardware decoding and encoding.
     
  7. Preclaro_tipo macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2003
    Location:
    West Lafayette, IN
    #7
    2600

    I've been asking myself the same question. I'm ready to buy a computer with leopard when it is released in OCT.

    If you are perfectly indifferent on whether or not you have a portable computer (laptop vs. desktop) then i would pic the iMac. The iMac with the 2600 is my vote, all things considered. Screen size, hard drive space, and the fact that, when you have the budget, you can upgrade to 4gb (laptop i think would be a more expensive upgrade to a 3gb max). the iMac, after all, uses regular ram, not laptop ram like it's predecessor. i found a 4gb upgrade (2x 2gb) for $198. (Wrong in Italics)

    I really do like NVIDIA 8XXX series but the 2600 shows to be no slouch and the extra video memory would serve you well in your intended uses.

    Besides, I don't think you'll want to be spending a great deal of time slouched down looking at the laptop when you could be looking at your iMac display. With the laptops, i find at least, i like to use an external keyboard closer to or on my lap, and prop the laptop up on some books or something, i don't know, it has worked okay, but it is kind of janky.

    I won't throw in my 2 cents about 18 bit vs 24bit panels; i really don't know enough...(18bit in the 20" iMac, 24bit (true 16.7 mill colors) in the 24 inch iMac...I do not know what is in the 15" laptop, someone? anyone with an answer?)

    Reading the PC forums, mac forums, and searching for reviews between the iMac's version of the 2600 and the 8600M GT is a rather imperfect science.

    <speculation> The performance of the two chips are highly close by many measures; furthermore, old reviews, old/different drivers, and games tuned for NVIDIA can skew the results somewhat to show NVIDIA advantage. I think the 2600 is better than the 8600 (in terms of the versions that ship in the respective mac products) and 256 should be superior to 128mb in many cases.</speculation>

    http://www.datamemorysystems.com/_a...tel_Core_2_Duo_iMac_20_2.4GHz_Memory_1467.asp

    http://www.tuaw.com/2007/09/12/20-imac-lcd-color-problems

    http://www.silvermac.com/2007/imac-colours-washed-out/

    http://support.apple.com/specs/imac/iMac_Mid_2007.html
     
  8. imacdaddy macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2006
    #8
    The ATI card in question can do MPEG-2, MPEG-4, DivX, WMV9, VC-1, and H.264/AVC encoding and transcoding from the GPU.

    The NVIDIA card in question can only transcode. The encoding in various format is done by software and CPU only.

    This is my understanding from what I have gathered from here and there.
     
  9. Denali9 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2007
    #9
    MBP vs Imac

    Just to correct a mistake that was introduce earlier, both iMac and SR MBP use the same kind of ram and both support up to 4 GB, they are using the same chipset and CPU.
     
  10. jdechko macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2004
    #10
    My understanding is that they're essentially the same thing, just ATI's implementation is a little bit better and supports bitstreaming for VC-1 (only ?). Anyway, the bitstreaming thing isn't as big of a deal currently because it applies to BR/HD-DVDs, neither of which are available on the iMac or MBP nor do they work under OS X (currently).

    So it comes down to the fact that ATI does it a little bit better than nVidia. We've also discussed ad nauseam that the extra VRAM is useful only when dealing with large uncompressed textures (like in Maya). The difference in GPU will not really be felt other than in Maya. But since the OP is looking at Maya, go with the iMac for the extra VRAM. The large screen is a plus in both Maya and Premier. Since portability isn't an issue, go with the iMac and get as much RAM as possible (4GB).
     
  11. vendettabass macrumors 6502a

    vendettabass

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2006
    Location:
    Seoul, South Korea
    #11
    does the encoding hardware help with say, handbrake dvd encoding?
     
  12. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    Location:
    Indianapolis
    #12
    Only if the software is designed to do so.
     

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