Going to buy used Late 2006 Imac... does video card matter?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Dockcolony, Sep 7, 2009.

  1. Dockcolony macrumors newbie

    Sep 7, 2009
    Hi everyone,

    I want to buy an Imac that can run Snow Leopard well but want to get one for $500-600 so it looks like the late 2006 Imacs are where I price out in that regard.

    My question is - the late 2006 Imacs came with two different video cards usually - the Radeon X1600 and the Intel GMA 950. Would I notice much of a performance difference in Snow Leopard between the two? (I won't play games, but I mean just general use) Does it effect general snow leopard performance at all?

    I am thinking about getting a late 2006 Core 2 Duo 2.0ghz Imac with the X1600, but I could save some money dropping down to the 1.83ghz Intel GMA 950.... I just don't want snow leopard to be barely working or anything though.

    Thanks for any advice!
  2. armoguy94 macrumors 6502

    Nov 9, 2007
    Make sure to get a video card that is OpenCL compliant, if possible
  3. Dockcolony thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 7, 2009
    Is the X1600 compliant with that?
  4. zedsdead macrumors 68040

    Jun 20, 2007
    Any iMac before 2009 does not support Open CL (except the 2008 iMac with the nvidia 8800). Yours will not support it.

    However, nothing is using open cl right now so I wouldn't worry about it. Just avoid the intel graphics, they suck.
  5. Dockcolony thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 7, 2009
    Hmmm I am not even sure what OpenCL is but will I regret not having it in the future?
  6. zedsdead macrumors 68040

    Jun 20, 2007
    It's hard to say because we don't know how beneficial it will be. If you plan to do video encoding it MAY help a great deal, but that is likely a year off at the earliest.

    As stated, you need a new iMac if you want open cl support, but your budget is not in that range.
  7. indg macrumors 6502

    Feb 7, 2007
  8. Dockcolony thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 7, 2009
  9. Dockcolony thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 7, 2009
    Oops sorry wrong info there is no 2007 model from what I read.

    It looks like these models followed after the 2006 ones:


    Should these be defect free? I will probably wait a while and save some more if the ones I was thinking about buying have issues. Hopefully this newer model is better?
  10. zedsdead macrumors 68040

    Jun 20, 2007
    The Aluminum iMac was first introduced in August of 2007.
  11. G-Force macrumors 6502a

    Nov 25, 2006
    Well, not all 2006 iMacs have those issues, I've had a 17-inch/X1600 model for about a year and it has been the most reliable computer I've ever had. In fact, it still runs fine at the person who I sold it to. :)

    If you buy a 2006 iMac, make sure it has the X1600 graphics. The Intel GMA950 is very underpowered for Snow Leopard if you ask me. If you have the chance, just test the machine and see if it has issues.
  12. js81 macrumors 65816


    Dec 31, 2008
    I have a late '06 iMac with the X1600 and have had absolutely NO ISSUES whatsoever. It is extremely stable. I use it as my primary machine - the only thing I've done to it is upgrade the RAM to 3GB. It runs like a dream, and will even play some older games (I have played AOE3 and Flight Sim. X under Windows XP fine).

    EDIT: I see that G-Force just said the same thing. I second it, as I have the same iMac!

    EDIT #2: Wow, 296 sigs on that petition... Apple must've sold, what, a few million iMacs? :D And, you'll notice, its almost always the 20" for the ones on the petition. I have a 17" that has had NO ISSUES. :)
  13. indg macrumors 6502

    Feb 7, 2007
    there haven't been many reports of this issue affecting the 17" imacs. the 20" and 24" are mainly the ones having the issue. the defect may only affect certains imacs that were manufactured within a specific period of time, hence most of those sold in 2006/early 2007 may be unaffected.

    when companies do a recall, they usually list specific models or serial number range that may be affected. that said, only 300 signed the petition, but who knows how many others just used applecare to get their imac repaired, or just sold it for parts, or paid to have it fixed. there's no way to tell. it could be 5%, 10%, 20%.... who knows. but the fact that the EXACT SAME problem appears with this model says there is a commonality to the defect.
  14. MTI macrumors 65816

    Feb 17, 2009
    Scottsdale, AZ
    I've worked with an office that bought the early 2006 Intel 1.83 17" CD iMac when new. Out of the eight they bought, at least three have developed the vertical colored lines and white blocks, all after the initial warranty had expired.
  15. Beanlok macrumors regular


    Nov 28, 2008
    Perhaps even move down to a coreduo. I bought the very first Intel iMac in 2005/06 and I replaced it with a 2009 recently. I sold the duo to a friend and it's still running great. As far as gfx avoid the gma, they SUCK. Go for an older iMac with a custom gpu.

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