Buying iMac Within Next Week...

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Nasty Roo, Mar 26, 2009.

  1. Nasty Roo macrumors member

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    WA
    #1
    So I'm a recent Mac convert, having bought my macbook back in December. Haven't looked back since. :)

    Anyways, I've recently sold my old PC laptop and PC desktop, and would like to purchase a new iMac. I was thinking the 20" base model for awhile, because the 24" screen is so large, but after playing with them in the apple store I'm starting to lean towards the 24" base model.

    I'm looking for opinions on which model to buy because besides the usual web surfing, music, videos, etc, I do some audio recording time to time.

    Also, is the graphics chip in both models sufficient enough to play the majority of MMOs? I don't play too many graphic intensive games like some of the first person shooters out there, but I have been known to play MMOs like LOTRO, WoW, etc.

    Thanks for the replies in advance!
     
  2. Consultant macrumors G5

    Consultant

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    Jun 27, 2007
    #2
    See benchmarks at barefeats.com for the games you want to play, such as WOW.
     
  3. Nasty Roo thread starter macrumors member

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    #3

    I checked out the site, it was extremely hard to navigate though. I did a search and didn't come up with anything to be honest, maybe I was just looking in the wrong place.
     
  4. Nasty Roo thread starter macrumors member

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    #4
    So I was checking the refurb store today, and saw that they have a 24 inch 2.8 ghz in there with ATI HD 2600 Pro 256 mb. Is that graphics card indepedent or shared?

    Would this be a better buy for my needs for 200 dollars less, or should I got with the current generation 2.66 with 4 gb of ram and the Nvidia shared graphics card?
     
  5. Blakely028 macrumors regular

    Blakely028

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    #5
    As far as I'm aware, the ATI card is an independent graphics card. Although I don't know if the ATI card is better than nVidia shared graphics.
     
  6. Nasty Roo thread starter macrumors member

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    #6
    Ok, I guess I was under the assumption that the independent card would be better, but I guess that isn't necessarily true. Anyone have more info on that?
     
  7. mgridgaway macrumors 6502

    mgridgaway

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2006
    #7
    You're right. Any dedicated graphics card worth its salt will blow a comparable shared graphics card out of the water.

    It's sorta like comparing Virtual Memory to Ram. Sure, VM has its uses, but for pure horse power Ram is king.

    I suggest going for the refurb. It's faster and the graphics card is much beefier. Upgrading the ram is cheap, so don't let that be a deal breaker for you.

    With iMacs, I think you should buy a little bit more than what you think you need because you never know what new things you'll get into, and since the iMac is completely un-upgradeable beside the ram (well the hard drive too, but it's not for the faint of heart), you're SOL if you can't render graphics fast enough. That plus it'll be future proofing it a little. And just to let you know, there is very little difference between the refurb and the new model (sure, you can max the ram at 8GB on the new model, but it's heinously expensive at the moment, while you can max the refurb to 4GB for $50. And I highly doubt you'll need more the 4GB).

    Case in point, when I bought my base iMac a year ago, I never thought I'd actually need a graphics card since I already have a Wii and Xbox 360 and had stopped PC gaming for the most part. I just recently picked up WoW and ever since I've wished for a little power under the hood. Of course, my 2400XT can handle it just fine... but I'd love to turn on Anti-Aliasing and the like.

    Hope this helps.
     
  8. Nasty Roo thread starter macrumors member

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    WA
    #8
    Thank you very much for your input, and for clearing up the video card issue. I think I may get the refurb and save myself some cash and get better specs.

    Any other suggestions are very welcome
     
  9. Nasty Roo thread starter macrumors member

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    #9
    I actually have another question as well:

    Is the previous generation iMac compatible with DDR3? And if not, is the speed difference between DDR2 and DDR3 fairly insignificant?

    Also

    Is the 100 dollar price difference between the refurb and the clearance model (w/ edu discount) worth it? Or would I be better off getting the clearance?
     
  10. Blakely028 macrumors regular

    Blakely028

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    #10
    No, the last generation iMac can only take DDR2 (800MHz me thinks)...

    I wouldn't think there would be much of a difference, as a refurb is essentially the same except for the fancy box.
     
  11. mgridgaway macrumors 6502

    mgridgaway

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    Feb 25, 2006
    #11
    Yeah, I would check the specs, but if they're exactly the same I would go for whatever is cheaper. I would also go that way if it's just the ram that is different, but I would consider it if the hard drive is much better (though I'd probably still go cheaper because I have all my movies and large files on a Raid1 drive attached via Firewire 800, which is far better than having everything on your comp (in my opinion, at least).
     
  12. Nasty Roo thread starter macrumors member

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    Mar 24, 2009
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    WA
    #12
    The main reason I'm even considering getting the higher priced clearance imac is because I can go right now and pick it up at the store, plus upgrade the keyboard and mouse to wireless which would be nice. But I don't really think that justifies the price difference.....

    I don't know what to do?!?!
     

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