Debating iMac Upgrade - Need some help

Discussion in 'iMac' started by mscriv, Jul 22, 2009.

  1. mscriv macrumors 601

    mscriv

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2008
    Location:
    Dallas, Texas
    #1
    I guess I could have posted this in "Buying Advice", but I thought I might get better help here.

    I'm currently using the older iMac in my signature and it serves our family pretty well. However, I may have a chance of upgrading to a 24" 2.8 Early 2008 iMac. This model - link.

    We are starting to do more video stuff like converting HD movies in HB and Visual Hub for use on the PS3. We also have a lot of HD home video footage that we have been neglecting for quite some time. I'll most likely use a combo of iMovie and Final Cut Express for this stuff.

    So, my concern is all of the buzz I'm reading about how OpenCL will not support the Ati HD2600 card that comes in the model I have a chance to upgrade to. If I pull the trigger on this upgrade ($800 - $1000 total cost) do you think I will really be missing out on performance that Snow Leopard and Open CL will offer for video.

    Sure, I would love to future proof and just get the top of the line available now, but I don't have that kind of cash and upgrading at this point seems like a good chance to get a great machine that could last me the next 3-4 years.

    Thoughts, Advice, Suggestions, Comments?
     
  2. zedsdead macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2007
    #2
    The extra .8 processing power will defiantly help with converting.

    As far as Open CL goes, the HD 2600 is not qualified yet (nor do we know if it ever will be). Gains in performance for Open CL are really not known yet, because developers will have to program their apps specifically to take advantage of the technology.

    Seems like a reasonable price, but your machine is not that different overall. If you can wait till next year, I say save up the difference and spring for a new machine in 2010.
     
  3. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #3
    I would get a quad-core PC if you convert lots of videos, it's so much faster. Sharing between Mac and PS3 is also a bit struggle. I think your Mac edits video in iMovie and FCE OK. Just my opinion
     
  4. zmttoxics macrumors 65816

    zmttoxics

    Joined:
    May 20, 2008
    #4
    The biggest upgrade will come from the switch from a Core Duo to a Core 2 Duo. There is an exponential difference in performance because the Core 2s do something like 4 instructions per clock cycle versus the 3 per clock of the Core Duo. So with the 800mhz difference, it will do a lot more work even faster. Should make the world of difference for cpu intensive work (like encoding).
     
  5. zmttoxics macrumors 65816

    zmttoxics

    Joined:
    May 20, 2008
    #5
    Its sad but its true. The much cheaper AMD x4 Phenom II 955 @ 3.2GHz would just rip it apart. My Phenom 9950 @ 2.6GHz out benches my new iMac (sig) by almost 1500 points on Geek Bench and just rips through encoding. The Intel Quads are excellent chips too, but have a high price tag too.
     
  6. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #6
    + They can be overclocked easily. I would Intel Core i7 920 and OC it to +3.2GHz.

    To OP: I would get a PC or Mini and hook it to your TV. Then you can use it as media center without converting movies and streaming them to PS3.
     
  7. mscriv thread starter macrumors 601

    mscriv

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2008
    Location:
    Dallas, Texas
    #7
    Yeah, a mini for the living room plasma is a goal and I could do that with the budget I'm looking at, but we do a lot of photo and other stuff on our iMac which serves as a home computer. So having an upgrade there would help with those things as well, especially the larger screen. Sorry if I made it sound like video is all we do, it's just one of the many things we do.

    Although, the thought crossed my mind that if I do upgrade the iMac I could possibly connect my old one to the TV. If I understand it correctly the ATI x1600 in the White iMac could support 720p resolution on my plasma.

    Thanks for the support so far. I'm still debating and other's input is appreciated. It just seems hard to turn down a 24" iMac that was the current model only 4 months ago for under $1000. But, zedsdead makes a good point about maybe waiting another year. I don't know, it's so hard dealing with an Apple addiction. :eek:
     
  8. zedsdead macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2007
    #8
    I know....it kills me that my iMac is almost 2 years old! Always want to buy something new;) Trust me though, I think you should wait out the next version. The Arrandale chips seem pretty cool that are coming down the pipeline.
     
  9. mscriv thread starter macrumors 601

    mscriv

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2008
    Location:
    Dallas, Texas
    #9
    Update

    Well, a lot has happened in the last few weeks and I thought I would update everyone. I did pull the trigger on the 24" iMac I was looking at on Craigslist. I got it for under $1000 like I was figuring and the plan was to sell my 20" iMac for as much as possible to offset the cost. I figured if the total upgrade cost turned out to be between $300 - $400 then that would definitely be worth it. Well, I posted my iMac on Craigslist locally and here on MR in the marketplace. Got a bunch of CL trade offers for junk and little to no interest from other MR members.

    And then, thegoldenmackid contacted me to say he was interested and had a 17" Macbook Pro he was looking to move. Well, my wife has really been wanting to upgrade from her G4 iBook. We worked out a great deal, in my opinion, and I must say I really couldn't be happier. For less than the cost of the refurb iMac I was drooling over I've greatly upgraded our family across the board. Check out my signature line for details.

    Thanks for all of your advice and thanks again to thegoldenmackid for a great MR transaction. My :apple: addiction is satisfied, at least for now. :D
     
  10. ag55 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2009
    #10
    I agree, for HD video editing the current iMacs (2.93 and 3.06) will do an OK job. For everything else they will be very fast.

    But, bear in mind they are only core 2 duos, if your serious about the editing and want it done smoothly then getting a quad-core or i7 PC is the best thing, it will be in the price range you mentioned and can be used for any 'hardcore' stuff you might be doing.

    I had this setup, mac for everyday use and a powerful pc for video editing etc, but then i got a mac pro and sold the pc
     

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