Graphics card question for future iMac purchase

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Pilgrim1099, Jan 7, 2009.

  1. Pilgrim1099 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2008
    Location:
    From the Midwest to the Northeast
    #1
    Hello,

    I'm a graphic designer/illustrator and work with Photoshop, Painter, Manga Studio, and a mix of other 2-D and 3-D applications. I'm thinking about buying a new Intel iMac to replace my old G4 mirror-drive tower (2002) and wonder about the difference between the ATI Radeon 2600 PRO and NVIDIA GeForce 8880 graphic cards that are used on the current models.

    Can the both of these cards handle 2-D and 3-D, especially full-motion graphics? I'd like to continue doing 2-D print and web-based projects on low and high resolution and then migrate to doing some 3-D modelling and maybe some full-frame movies down the road using animation on 2D/3D or live action via Final Cut Pro.

    But primarily, I'd prefer to focus on 2-D/3D software apps before moving on to motion and feel that having at least 2GB of RAM is all that matters regardless of the two graphic cards offered on the iMac models. I'm tempted to go with the 24 inch model, though and hook it up with another LCD for dual-screen viewing.

    I just need to know the differences on those cards and their limitations so I don't end up buying something that is 'overkill' for my line of work :).

    I'm aware of the glossy screen controversy and am prepared to create screen blinds to block out the light which is like a shroud that LaCie makes for their monitors. Simple solution, is'nt it?

    Thanks for any advice if you have any,

    -Adam
     
  2. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2006
    Location:
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    #2
    Oh, you want to wait. You really do, you know? The new ones will have the 9400M and another card above it.
     
  3. Pilgrim1099 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2008
    Location:
    From the Midwest to the Northeast
    #3
    Just doing research before I do anything :). If the next cards will be an improvement, I might wait. But if the new cards end up doing the same job as the current cards, would there be a difference?

    Thanks.

    A
     
  4. DuFFy macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2007
    Location:
    Phila
    #4
    9400M is for laptops (thus the "m")...but yeah im sure they will be upgrading the graphics on the new iMac whenever they decide to release it :rolleyes:
     
  5. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2006
    Location:
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    #5
    Right, because Apple doesn't use laptop CPUs and GPUs in the iMacs... :rolleyes:

    They do, you know. And we've already seen kexts showing that the 9400M will be in the next iMac.
     
  6. DuFFy macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2007
    Location:
    Phila
    #6
    well thats silly...:p

    but yeah, wait. I'm in the same situation, just lookin into a macbook pro.
     
  7. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2006
    Location:
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    #7
    They won't be changing the GPU of the MacBook Pro for a year and a half, so I'd just buy now if I were you.
     
  8. DuFFy macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2007
    Location:
    Phila
    #8
    yeah i know, im just saying im lookin to do the same things the OP is.
     
  9. Pilgrim1099 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2008
    Location:
    From the Midwest to the Northeast
    #9
    Thanks for the advice, folks! It seems either card can handle 2-D/3-D regardless of which iMac I get. I think the 9400m card probably won't change much in comparison to the current cards. I'm not buying the iMac for gaming purposes but rather for digital art/graphic design work.

    If I can jack up the RAM to 4GB with the 20 or 24 inch alum model, I'll be set. I just have to worry about porting and re-installing the applications again that are PowerPC-based (not Intel) but I don't think it should be a problem.
     
  10. uicandrew macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2006
    #10
    the nvidia has a SIGNIFICANT advantage, i believe.

    for the upcoming snow leopard, they talk about offloading some of the cpu load onto the GPU because GPUs are getting more powerful these days. (OpenCL is the name of the technology)

    as of right now, OpenCL is much more developed on the Nvidia chips than the ATI (another reason why apple went to nvidia for the graphics)

    The current level of nvidias in imacs (8800) support OpenCL.

    This is all based off info i read from appleinsider and maybe some other PC websites a couple months ago, when I was debating whether it was worth it to upgrade my iMac to a quad core if it came out at macworld.
     
  11. Pilgrim1099 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2008
    Location:
    From the Midwest to the Northeast
    #11
    Gotcha! I think you're onto something about the NVIDIA cards as I suspected that they would be more than enough to handle the job for me in the next 3 to 5 years until I upgrade again.

     

Share This Page