Help me make a decision (please).

Discussion in 'iMac' started by GaresTaylan, Dec 14, 2009.

  1. GaresTaylan macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2009
    #1
    WARNING! Wall of text!! :D

    Hey everyone. I have been browsing these forums for several weeks searching/reading and trying to come to a decision. Recently, my work deployed a Macbook Pro to me and I fell in love with it. For home use though, I have been eying the iMacs.

    As sexy as the 27" might be, I don't think it is for me. From a cost stand-point and a size stand-point I think I have decided to pick up a 21.5". My issue comes down to which of the 2 models should I pick up. Yes, I have done a lot of searching and reading.

    Honestly, most of my gaming will be done on my PC which is set up with dual boot Windows XP and Windows 7. This machine would be for browsing the web, email, movies, music, streaming video... maybe a few more intense tasks like Adobe Indesign or video encoding. I thought about getting a DVI to mini display port converter down the line as well to utilize the same screen for both machines.

    Taking this into consideration, do I need to upgrade to the ATI card for my needs? I am sure that somewhere down the road (1-2 years) I will upgrade to a newer model.. but whether I do/don't I dont want to be cursing myself in 3 months because I spent too much and got the ATI or too little and went with the NVidia. Any advice?
     
  2. GaresTaylan thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Nov 11, 2009
    #2
    Anyone? I know there are several threads on this and it seems the general consensus is that the 9400m is sub-par for the iMacs. I know that in the world of technology its hard to future proof anything.

    Does apple have any type of a trade in program so that if 1-2 years down the road I wanted to upgrade I could?
     
  3. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

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    Dec 10, 2008
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    Finland
    #3
    The bas 21.5" iMac with 9400M is fine for you. The ATI card isn't that much better and your usage doesn't need a powerful GPU
     
  4. MH01 macrumors G4

    MH01

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    Feb 11, 2008
    #4
    If you already have a gaming PC, the iMac + 4850 will suck compared to it. Do not forget the 4850 is the mobility version. Its a no brainer get the non ATI version. Withe the money you save you could probably throw at an upgraded GPU for you gaming PC (depending what you run now). The 4850 mobility in relation to todays gaming cards like 5850 or 5850 desktop versions is utter crap.
     
  5. GaresTaylan thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Nov 11, 2009
    #5
    Thanks for the feedback, guys. This has been my thought process as well. The refurb base model can be had for about 1k in the apple store. The next model up would run me about an extra $330 after taxes... and its hard to justify that price difference for an extra 500GB HD and a better GPU that I more than likely will not take advantage of.

    I think what has been holding me back the most... is I read some reports of people stating that with the 9400m video playback was choppy or would lag at times... or that icons and animations from the dock would sometimes lag.

    The MBP I have been using has the X1600 in it. I have watched a few videos on hulu and streamed a lot on youtube as a test, and it seems to fit my needs. So I am hoping I am on the right track with the base model.
     
  6. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

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    Finland
    #6
    ATI 4850 isn't available for 21.5" iMac... He and I were talking about the ATI 4670 which is even worse.

    ATI Mobile 4850 isn't actually that bad as it's just underclocked desktop 4850 and its performance is about the same as desktop 4830
     
  7. MH01 macrumors G4

    MH01

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2008
    #7
    Ahh I did not even check that, thought the 4850 was a BTO option.

    In that case stay way clear of the 4670.

    I run a couple of 275s in SLI in my PC gaming rig. If I was in the market right now I would throw some $$ at a 5850.

    The 4670 is not worth $300, for that the OP can throw a 5850 in his gaming PC, if he needs an upgrade.
     
  8. GaresTaylan thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Nov 11, 2009
    #8
    Right now I have a 8800 GTX in my PC. While outdated, it still suits my needs. I will probably upgrade the GPU sometime next year. Like I said, my concern was some of the issues I had read about that I stated in my last post about choppy video/animations, etc.
     
  9. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #9
    Go to the Apple Store or reseller near you and try it out. 9400M isn't that crappy as people think and it shouldn't have problems playing videos and various animations which are intergraded to OS X
     
  10. itommyboy macrumors 6502a

    itommyboy

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    Feb 26, 2009
    Location:
    Titletown USA
    #10
    Knowing that tech changes so fast these days when you buy a new computer, any brand or OS computer, it's going to be obsolete or at the very least dated in near 6 months, maybe less depending on personal taste. This cold hard reality of keeping up in tech usually calls me to pull the trigger on the best available option I have today, to lessen the inevitable "yesterdays news" sting of tomorrow.

    If you have an 8800 in your gaming pc might I come at you from the other side and suggest going for it with a 27" iMac with the Ati HD 4850. Chances are you'll fall in love with it and there is no question it will more than do what you need it to as well as game comparable or better to your very dated (but still decent I get that I still have one as well) PC with the 8800. Have you seen any nice looking games or movies on the new 27" screens? The new IPS LED monitor itself is probably much nicer than your current display. Of course you get the display in all flavors. Also don't let anyone fool you on these boards or in the stores - the 9400M is a lower end mobile card and does not have much lifespan left on it. Compared to the 4850 it's night and day.

    Who knows you could end up like me - going for it with the best of the best iMac (last April for me now) - being blown away not only by the looks but performance and putting your gaming PC that you once thought was so uber (I to have an 8800 - the Alpha Dog 8800 GTX from XFX in my PC) into the basement as a media server, cleaning up your mess of an office and going with the stunning looking and more than capable all in one iMac as your main rig. Enjoy your shopping and comparing/decision process it's half of the fun; let us know which way you decide to go because in the end only you know what you need....and want.
     
  11. GaresTaylan thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2009
    #11
    While I appreciate the feedback, I do not want the 27". As much as I would like an i5/i7, the 27" screen puts too much strain on my eyes and is too large for my tastes. We're also talking double the price going from a Refurb base model 21.5 to a base quad-core. While that may be nice, it does not fit my needs and is not financially responsible of me as there are other things (wedding for example) that I need to save for.
     

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