ATI Radeon HD 4850 GPU Good Enough?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by spcdust, Oct 25, 2009.

  1. spcdust macrumors 6502a

    spcdust

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    Location:
    London, UK
    #1
    Loving the new iMac revisions and have placed my order for the Core i7 configuration with 8 Gigs of RAM, the only thing that slightly concerns me is Apple putting the ATI 4850 GPU in this machine as this card has been around for well over a year.

    Having a young family my iMac really has to last me (current Mac is my old but faithful 800Mhz G4 Angle Poise 17" screen iMac) so don't want to get caught out with an "old" GPU that within a 2-3 years won't be able to cope with current day demands placed on it. My usage is photo manipulation, a bit of FCP and I want to be able to play some 3D games etc. but I'm by no means some games enthusiast who requires the highest frame rate, highest settings.

    Figure I have two option:

    A. Bite the bullet now - this iMac has almost everything I want - been waiting for Quad Core desktop chip and LED screen but icing on the cake would have been better GPU and Blu-ray option.

    B. Wait yet another update (figure March / April 2010) in the hope that Apple put in a more current GPU and possibly Blu-ray option. HOWEVER I figure that this is probably a fools game as who knows regarding Blu-ray and obviously a more current GPU will be fitted but probably won't be the most extreme one as Apple tend not to figure that this is a priority on the iMac.

    My inclination is that this update will probably be absolutely fantastic and my GPU worries are probably unfounded as I'll never want to push it to gaming extremes but interested what others may think.
     
  2. cluthz macrumors 68040

    cluthz

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2004
    Location:
    Norway
    #2
    The 4850 is actually pretty good.
    It's very much faster than the rest of the options available in the iMac.
     
  3. Darknight670 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2009
    #3
    I will receive my C2D ( 3.06 ) iMac this week with a 4850... ( I'll buy the i7 iMac for christmas ). I will benchmark it on Bootcamp I promise ^^( Sources games, Aion and other omgwtfbbq benches ( crysis ) )
     
  4. Sambo110 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2007
    Location:
    Australia
    #4
    Great, it will be good to see how it will run games I play/want to play (Source), and how it compares to the previous gen iMac's. Post a thread when you do please :).
     
  5. BlizzardBomb macrumors 68030

    BlizzardBomb

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2005
    Location:
    England
    #5
    For whatever reason, Apple hardly ever puts the latest and greatest in their computers. In fact it permanently seems like they're always one step behind. The HD 4850 is a good card but compared to ATI's 5 series, it is quite far behind. If you choose to wait, you could well be waiting till summer 2010 and Apple might not even update the cards then too (think about how long we've been stuck with the 9400M and how long the iMacs used the 2600 Pro).
     
  6. Mhkobe macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2009
    #7
    The hd 4850 will work great for everything you try to throw at it unless its 3d graphic design other than cinema 4d, or 4x antialiased games etc. Its a great card, does anyone know if the new imacs have the gddr3 or the gddr5 memory, can't find it anywhere. Also, they will not update the card in the imac for a while, however, I think they are going to update the mac pros pretty soon, because the imacs performance is way to close to a baseline mac pro to justify its way higher cost. 5870 anyone? 6 and 12 core models? updated 30" cinema display? who knows.

    Oh, it's GDDR3, found it.
     
  7. Animalk macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 27, 2007
    Location:
    Montreal Canada
    #8
    I'm also kind of on the fence about this one. The increase in performance in the 5xxx series from the 4xxx series is huge. Not only that, that difference will get bigger once software starts to fully tap the graphics cards general purpose processing (give it two years).

    But the 4850 is a good card by any standard nonetheless. Knowing how Apple puts GPU upgrades quite low on their priority list in line refreshes, it's more likely than not that you and I will wait a long time for an 5xxx series card to show up in these imacs.

    I still haven't made up my mind yet. :eek:
     
  8. Sambo110 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2007
    Location:
    Australia
    #9
    If you can wait six or so months for the next refresh.
     
  9. spcdust thread starter macrumors 6502a

    spcdust

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    Location:
    London, UK
    #10
    But there's the rub.....you could wait six months or so for a refresh and Apple may not have adopted the 5xxx series - this is quite a likelihood giving Apples general reputation in terms of iMac GPU's. They are never at the cutting edge and will probably purposefully maintain a wide distinction between the iMac and Mac Pro range of GPU's and capabilities.
     
  10. XboxEvolved macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2004
    #11
    Well you just have to understand that while Apple will typically be up and up with all the other parts they are always a bit behind on the GPUs, although this one isn't horrible at all will run virtually any game or program right now and a few years down the road will still be fine. Also the way Macs work, in many instances you need less to do more, just because of how stuff is programmed and how it is optimized.
     
  11. willcodejavafor macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2007
  12. macchiato2009 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2009
    #13
    by the way, it seems that Apple is downclocking the video card again :mad: :mad:
     
  13. GonzoRob macrumors 6502

    GonzoRob

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2004
    #14
    I've been using an 4850 on a 3.06ghz 24" imac for a while now, it's pretty decent!

    I've just ordered a 27" i7 - when it arrives, I'll run a couple of benchmarks and post the results ...
     
  14. Sambo110 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2007
    Location:
    Australia
    #15
    And you could walk outside tomorrow and be hit by a car. If your willing to take the risk, just wait. I know I won't be getting the money before the next refresh, so I am hoping they update. Even if it's not a 5xxx card, just one that is better, and can better handle the massive resolution of the 27".
     
  15. spcdust thread starter macrumors 6502a

    spcdust

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    Location:
    London, UK
    #16
    Well if you don't have the cash to purchase this update/refresh then it's all academic. You were going to have to wait anyway so hopefully they may improve the GPU (but knowing Apple I wouldn't hold your breath). Me personally, I've waited out the last three updates waiting for Quad Core and LED and have decided it's time to jump on the train as the rate I was going I would always be waiting for the non existent Nirvana if the perfect Imac - it ain't ever going to happen.
     

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