Cheapest Mac with better graphics than HD4850 (512MB) (Late 2009 iMac)

DracoDWS

macrumors member
Original poster
Aug 1, 2013
30
3
My customized iMac (Late 2009 iMac) with upgraded 2.8 i7 chip and Radeon hd4850 is on its way out. I've replaced the graphics card 3 times and I'm just counting down until I have to do it again, but it's really old enough now to consider just buying a new computer.

How cheap can I get away with and still get better graphics performance than what my iMac is doing?

I know my iMac card is 512MB of RAM but even the lowest MacBook with integrated graphics - isn't that at least 1GB of RAM?

From what I've read I think the Iris 6100 is 1.5GB isn't it? Would that really make it 3 times better?

Considering that my iMac cost upwards of $2500 when I bought it, I'm not looking forward to spending that much money again, even though it's lasted me this long (going on 6 years).

The 27 inch screen is really big on my desk and I wouldn't mind going smaller but I'm looking for the most bang for your buck over the life of the computer.

I know that getting an SSD will really improve the speed I just want to get the smoothest performance I can from the few games I do play (mostly Blizzard games and maybe Marvel Heroes).

What do you guys think I should get? I'm open to all choices from Mac mini to MacBooks to iMac.

My iMac is still working at the moment so I have time to wait. I would like to wait until the Skylake chips are released but I just need to figure out which computer to consider.

Thanks
 

imaccooper

macrumors 6502
May 29, 2014
305
97
North Carolina
Just fyi, I just sold the exact same model iMac for $830 on eBay. I know it doesn't quite compare to $2500 but it will definitely soften the blow on getting a new model.

As mentioned above, the 21.5 would make good sense if the 27 is crowding you a bit. I also suggest waiting until some more solid information is available on the potential for a 4k monitor as that would be a very nice machine.
 

definitive

macrumors 68000
Aug 4, 2008
1,977
727
To my understanding, the Radeon 4850 is faster than Iris 6200 in terms of performance. The 4850 GPU is a dedicated chip with its own RAM where the Iris is built into the CPU, and uses your system's resources to perform its tasks. I might be wrong, though as I've not seen any benchmark comparisons between the two cards, and I doubt they'll ever be released since the 4850 is such an old card, and hardly anyone ever benchmarks it anymore.
 
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