Do I need/want NVIDIA 8800 video

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by CompUsed, May 17, 2008.

  1. CompUsed macrumors newbie

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    Columbus OH
    #1
    I am looking to get a new iMac 24". My wife uses it mostly to surf the net and play games and some minor photo editing. This Mac will have to last her a long time. I have already decided that I don't want the 3GHZ, the 2.8GHZ should be plenty for her. My question is do I want to spend the $150. for the NVIDIA 8800 video? My only concern here is she will want to play some games. She is not a "hardcore" gamer. I just don't want to find that she wants a game that will NOT run because I didn't get the fastest graphics.
     
  2. nick9191 macrumors 68040

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    Feb 17, 2008
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    Britain
    #2
    I would go for the ATI because I like ATI and the drivers are better.

    If it needs to last a long time yeah I would say get the 8800. Then again in 3 years the 8800 would be just as obsolete at the 2600, I'm not sure if it makes that much of a difference.
     
  3. RGunner macrumors 6502a

    RGunner

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    #3
    I am contempating the same

    and have decided to spend the $150.

    read the reviews comparing the cards at www.barefeats.com


    remember, this cannot be changed afterwards... btw, good choice on the 2.8, the difference will be minor..
     
  4. QCassidy352 macrumors G3

    QCassidy352

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    #4
    No it won't. Let's say it performs 2x as well in most 3d games (which is a reasonable assumption). In 3 years it's entirely likely that there will be games that run at, say, 15 fps on the 2600 and 30 fps on the 8800. That's the difference between not playable and playable.

    Bottom line is that if games are a concern at all, the 8800 is a no brainer.
     
  5. motoxpress macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2006
    #5
    It's a tough choice because the ATI drivers do tend to be better on the mac (totally opposite from the Windows world). However, there is no denying that the 8800 has a lot more horsepower. One other consideration is that the 8800 might be a louder card as well with the cooling needs it has. So, if noise is a factor...

    -mx
     
  6. NEiMac macrumors regular

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    #6
    I have the previous generation imac with the 2600 and while it does everything I need it to fine, I would suggest spending the extra 150 bucks for the 8800 if you can afford it, just makes more sense to me.
     
  7. CompUsed thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Columbus OH
    #7
    Wow Thanks for all the advice! I am still having a tough time with the extra $150. because the $1800. has already stretched my budget.

    If I could be sure that I would not run into any games that just "won't run" on the ATI 2600 I would go that route feeling that a little performance loss is acceptable.

    I'm still on the fence.

    How does anyone feel about going the Refurbished 2.4GHZ and then adding the NVIDIA 8800. Not sure if I can even do that?
     
  8. drfp25 macrumors member

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    May 12, 2008
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    Alabama
    #8
    I do not believe you can add components to refurb machines
     
  9. RGunner macrumors 6502a

    RGunner

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    #9
    cant do that.

    No, you cannot modify the Refurb orders.

    Again, my vote is for buying it, its less than 10% of the cost of the machine...
     
  10. motoxpress macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2006
    #10
    There is a significant difference between the two cards and in certain games it will be the difference between running and not. Also remember the native resolution of the 24" is high so, you will want a video card that can push all those pixels at native rez.

    -mx
     
  11. Angrist macrumors 6502

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    Mar 11, 2005
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    MI or NJ
    #11
    My experience is that if you need a machine to last a long time you should get the highest end machine available and load it up with the MAX amount of RAM.

    It'll also add to the re-sale value of the machine if you try to get rid of it three years from now.
     
  12. stainlessliquid macrumors 68000

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    Sep 22, 2006
    #12
    Spore will be big with casual gamers probably, and if she plans on playing that then the 8800 is the way to go.
     
  13. SaSaSushi macrumors 68040

    SaSaSushi

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    #13
    I have the previous generation iMac with the 2600 and it does everything I need it to fine, including games (COD4, HL2, Bioshock, etc).

    For the OP in this thread I would recommend not spending the extra $150. His wife is not a hardcore gamer and it seems like the small difference in price is not that small to him.

    I've already stated in other threads on the 2600 -v- 8800 debate that aside from those whose main focus is getting every FPS from the latest games that the $150 is a waste of cash. ATI driver support is better and let's not forget that the 2600 is still beating the 8800 by 22% in Core Image/Core Video benchmarks with it's lesser horsepower and all. Since this card has been available for some months on the Mac Pro and they have yet to see driver updates what makes you think the iMac will anytime soon?

    Save the $150. Your wife will love the machine and it will serve her fine.
     
  14. motoxpress macrumors 6502

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    #14
    Always one in every crowd..;)

    -mx
     
  15. SaSaSushi macrumors 68040

    SaSaSushi

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    #15
    Always one what?

    These are free forums. The idea is everyone can offer their opinions freely and without fear of being criticized.

    You offered your opinion above and I offered mine.

    The only difference is I didn't see the need to make any snide remarks about yours even though I disagreed. ;)
     
  16. minicoop503 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2008
    #16
    I say go for the 8800.


    I have an 8800GT in my pc desktop, and it pretty much owns any game I play, except Crysis.

    I'm not sure about the 8800GS though.
     
  17. Techguy172 macrumors 68000

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    Ontario Canada
    #17
    It makes more sense in the long run, because it seems that if you are worried about it now then you are going to regret it in the future if you don't. The iMac is not like the Mac Pro it cannot be upgraded in the future.
     
  18. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #18
    I believe that as well. It's always the case once you look back at technology from 3 years ago. I remember when people were arguing about 933 MHz 12" iBooks vs 1 GHz 12" PowerBooks, and "future-proofing" their purchase. It all looks rather silly now, because they'd all simply be called slow today.

    However, the real difference between two things is always the technology that's built into the card, not things like vRAM. If this card is a lot better, then it may be worth it in this particular case.

    I'd spend the extra $150 if you can afford it, but if you can't, then you can't. Make the decision that makes financial sense.
     
  19. motoxpress macrumors 6502

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    #19
    lol...s'cool man. I was just yankin your chain :)

    You are entitled to your POV, however wrong or right it may be :apple:

    -mx
     
  20. SaSaSushi macrumors 68040

    SaSaSushi

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    #20
    I also made the critical mistake of replying before drinking morning coffee and may have been a bit quick on the trigger. :eek:

    If I was getting a new iMac I would actually probably go for the 3.06GHz with the nVidia 8800 because I have a sickness where I always have to get the top of the line no matter what it is or if I actually need it. I went for the 256MB VRAM upgrade on the ATI X1900 on my first iMac (20" white Core Duo) way back when. I'm sure I could have lived without it. Did it add a few bucks to my resale price? Probably not. I did sell it, and I got a fair price.

    Then again it would be a tougher decision this time around since I personally have always preferred ATI cards to nVidia. I like their driver support, HD performance and believe them to have better image quality overall.

    I'm sure the nVidia 8800 drivers will be refined in time so that the Core Image performance will be improved. I just don't know that it will happen that soon. The card has greater horsepower than the HD2600. This is not the debate.

    My advice here was for the OP. I don't think his wife will notice one bit of difference for her purposes and he can save the $150.
     
  21. Jack Flash macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    May 8, 2007
    #21
    The 8800 GS is twice as fast for games.

    Your wife plays games and this machine needs to last as long as possible.

    It is a no brainer.
     
  22. CompUsed thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Location:
    Columbus OH
    #22
    Wow again. Thanks for all your input. This is interesting. Out of all the posts to this thread (20) the overwhelming advice is to get the nVidia 8800. I think I counted 10 pros for getting the nVidia. Only 2 or 3 were for saving the $150.
    POLL:
    Yes do it! .... 10 :)

    No do not do it! 3 :(

    Other comments 6 :confused:

    Almost an argument 2 :eek:


    The more I look at it I will probably get the nVida. I am gonna get the 2.8 so that puts me into an (order from Apple online) status. I was hoping to just go to the Apple store here in Columbus and pick one up and bring it home. :rolleyes:
    Now I begin to think "just go all the way" after all who has heard of an extra 180GB of hard drive for $50. :cool: Spend $200. more and ya got the 3.06.....hmmmmmmmmm
     
  23. kabunaru Guest

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2008
    #23
    Get the ATI card and save your money. Frankly, I think NVidia 8800 cards are overrated and you don't need them unless you or your wife is a "serious" gamer. The ATI card is good enough for her needs. I hoped I helped. :)
     
  24. CompUsed thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2000
    Location:
    Columbus OH
    #24
    damn! ya know I just might do that. I just can't make up my mind. If I thought that any game would run (even with less performance) I would just save my $ and get the 2.8 the way it comes.
     
  25. SaSaSushi macrumors 68040

    SaSaSushi

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2007
    Location:
    Takamatsu, Japan
    #25
    Then definitely save your money because there is no game that will run on the nVidia card but not the ATI at a lesser (while still playable) frame rate.

    This may change in the future although I doubt there will ever come a game that is only playable on the 8800, especially if you use Bootcamp and clock the ATi card closer to its XT specs.
     

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