Help me choose between these two iMacs

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by gorenut, Oct 2, 2008.

  1. gorenut macrumors member

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    Jan 10, 2007
    #1
    I have done searches on the forum, but haven't found any for my situation.
    So I am currently in the market to replace my year old Macbook Pro due to the NVIDIA GPU problems. I have searched and I can choose between these three, all are like new conditions
    24" 2.8 GHZ C2D for $1550 (1066MHz bus)
    24" 2.4 GHZ C2D for $1300 (800MHz bus)
    24" 2.8 GHZ C2Extreme for 1600 (800MHz bus, 500GB HD)

    The 2.8 GHZ does come with 2 gigs of ram while the 2.4 has only 1 gig.. but this is negligible since I will be replacing my system with 2x2GB sticks (and the 1.8 is 2x1 GB sticks).

    The 2.4 is the previous edition. The specs on it notes it has a 800mhz system bus while the 2.8 notes 1066MHz. I'm just curious if that would really have a big difference in speed.

    On a side note.. I now have a 3rd option. There is also another 2.8 I can get.. which I believe is 800mhz system bus, but it has a 500 gig HD for $1600

    Now, if it were totally retail prices.. I would have just gone for the 2.8 because I think retailwise.. its about 11% more in price for ~17% increase in price... but having a $250 difference is a whole different story.

    This computer is for graphic design work. I've been finding the number crunches for Photoshop CS3 benchmark tests.. and the difference in time is about 3-10 seconds for large files. I will probably replace this machine in about 3 years. Are there other numbers I'm missing?

    What do you guys think?
     
  2. hank-b macrumors member

    hank-b

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    Apr 29, 2008
    #2
    I can't remember - do these have different graphics cards?
     
  3. gorenut thread starter macrumors member

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    Jan 10, 2007
    #3
    Nope, both have identical cards. The only difference between the two is the processor and ram (but again.. I'm upgrading to 4 gigs anyways).
     
  4. nidserz macrumors 6502a

    nidserz

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  5. gorenut thread starter macrumors member

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    #5
    Hahha, oops. I do indeed mean the 2.8 vs 2.4. Thanks for the heads up. I'll make the edit now.
     
  6. nidserz macrumors 6502a

    nidserz

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    #6
    well haha if thats the case i would go for the 2.8 anyways because if they are the same graphics card is the 2.8 a newer model or are they the same generation?
    if its newer its probably going to hold more value and be the best you can afford which is always good.
    4gb ram will help regardless and the 0.4ghz difference between the 2 wont be noticeable on regular use.

    hopefully that helps a little?
     
  7. velocityg4 macrumors 68040

    velocityg4

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    Georgia
    #7
    Are these both previous generation 24in models or is the 2.4 previous generation and the 2.8 current? If the latter the 2.8 uses 800mhz DDR2 versus 667Mhz DDR2 in the 2.4 giving an extra performance boost also 1066mhz FSB versus 800mhz FSB.

    Given that if it is the previous generation versus the current I would spend the extra $250 for the current model. However if they are both previous generation models I would stick with the 2.4Ghz model as that $250 will buy you 4GB memory and a 1TB hard drive off of newegg.com. Heck it would come very close to getting 4GB memory and the new Seagate 1.5TB Hard Drive.
     
  8. kenned macrumors member

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    Denmark
    #8
    I would go with the 2,4 version, i doubt anyone would really notice the speed difference in real world use. Of course you can see the difference in benchmarks etc., but processors are way overkill for most people these days.
    And if you get the 2,8 you'd pay for even more RAM that you won't be using.
     
  9. crucial bbq macrumors newbie

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    Oct 2, 2008
    #9
    I agree with kenned; even though benchmark tests will tell you otherwise, you will not notice a difference in speed (aside from some games) and with the apps that will benefit from that meager speed boost you will only notice maybe two seconds tops of faster processing. In my opinion that is not worth the extra money, and you can put the difference in price to upgrading the RAM (as you probably know, do not buy your RAM from Apple as it is a rip-off; go through Crucial or OWC).
     
  10. Batt macrumors 65816

    Batt

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    #10
    Quadra 650, my first Mac!
     
  11. Padraic macrumors regular

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    #11
    I agree with VelocityG4, if they're the same generation go with the 2.4. If the 2.8 is a newer generation machine, go with that one...

    my .02 cents...
     
  12. gorenut thread starter macrumors member

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    #12
    I'm guessing the 2.4 is the previous edition. The specs on it notes it has a 800mhz system bus while the 2.8 notes 1066MHz. I'm just curious if that would really have a big difference in speed.

    On a side note.. I now have a 3rd option. There is also another 2.8 I can get.. which I believe is 800mhz system bus, but it has a 500 gig HD for $1600

    I'm going to update this on the original posting on top for those just tuning in. Thanks for all the input so far.
     
  13. jdwingnut macrumors regular

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    #13
    If you are concerned with the different performance of each machine, you may want to take a look over at Geekbench to see how these machines compare to one another. The faster fsb along with the faster memory and faster cpu all make a difference, when combined together.

    The price differences you've mentioned between these machines is not that great, and the fact that you are already going to upgrade the ram to 4Gb indicates you are indeed looking at a faster, more performance minded machine, IMHO

    Do a google search for Geekbench. Follow the link to compare all Mac benchmarks.
     
  14. Batt macrumors 65816

    Batt

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    #14
    I have the current 2.8 and the screen is beautiful. Are the screens of these 3 systems the same? Might make a difference in your final decision.
     
  15. gorenut thread starter macrumors member

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    #15
    I'm pretty sure the screens are all the same.

    I guess right now.. my biggest concern is.. how much of a performance difference will i see between a 2.4GHz 800MHz bus vs 2.8GHz 1066MHz bus

    and maybe even 2.8/800 vs 2.8/1066

    I've tried to find these comparisons online.. but its hard. It's pretty much finding last version vs current version.
     
  16. Batt macrumors 65816

    Batt

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    #16
    I'd pop for the 2.8 1066MHz for $1550.
     
  17. gorenut thread starter macrumors member

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    Jan 10, 2007
    #17
    Yea.. I'm leaning towards that. I was originally just going to lowball it and go with the 2.4/800 because I'm also taking into consideration that I was prematurely replacing my Macbook Pro.. but I might as well get the system upgrade now (perhaps the faster ram access will help big time when CS4 comes out).

    In the mean time.. I'm still going to try to find benchmark tests for Photoshop between a 2.4/800 vs a 2.8/1066

    If someone else runs into one before I do, feel free to share.

    Once again, thanks everyone for all the help.
     
  18. jdwingnut macrumors regular

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    #18
    Go here to see the performance of each model. New and older models are all listed.

    http://www.primatelabs.ca/blog/2008/06/mac-performance-june-2008/
     
  19. gorenut thread starter macrumors member

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    Jan 10, 2007
    #19
    Yea, I just ran into that right before I saw your reply (though still thanks!).

    I just wish there was a way I can translate that to real-world numbers that are relevant to applications like Photoshop.

    Right now, I'm not so concerned with the .4GHz in processor (thats only a $50 upgrade on a PC).. but moreso the bus speeds, especially because I'm sure CS4 will be even more ram intensive.
     
  20. gorenut thread starter macrumors member

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    Jan 10, 2007
    #20
    Alright.. I went ahead and purchased the 2.8/1066 (came out to $1,660 after tax).

    Hah.. I'm such a lemming.. just had to go with the best performance while avoiding the NVIDIA. I probably should have done the practical thing and gotten the 2.4

    Maybe I can redeem myself by keeping the system a year longer than I originally planned.

    Again, thanks for all the help guys.
     
  21. velocityg4 macrumors 68040

    velocityg4

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    #21
    Really mine was the IIvx. I always liked the case design so I opted to get the fastest 680x0 that used it. It was fun to tinker with but is boxed now maybe I'll get a Laserwriter or imagewriter and use it for general ledgers and letters. Perhaps find a copy of Photoshop 3.0.4 and try to stitch a panorama of 40 or so 7 megapixel photos:p Could photoshop even stitch images yet, I don't remember?
     
  22. Batt macrumors 65816

    Batt

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    #22
    Mine was almost a IIFX and then the Quadras came out.
     
  23. jdwingnut macrumors regular

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    #23
    I have been looking at this very same machine and based on the Geekbench scores would think it to be the most logical choice at the moment. The 3.06Ghz model is a whopping $300-$400 more (depending on refurb or new) and with the price of hard drives these days, an external is far more cost effective than having an upgraded internal model (although I can't recall as of this writing if you said this model had an upgraded HDD or not).

    Congrats in any case and do enjoy your new Mac
     
  24. Glennsune macrumors newbie

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    Sweden
    #24
    Grats on you new computer, It will serve you well.
     

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