help me pick an iMac for webdesign (photoshop and dreamweaver)

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by bajee, Mar 9, 2009.

  1. bajee macrumors regular

    Mar 8, 2009

    I'm currently considering this options:

    iMac 24-inch: 2.66GHz
    iMac 24-inch: 2.93GHz and/or upgraded to ati 4850.

    I've read the photoshop is more of a cpu intensive rather than gpu, and the 9400m can handle the opengl enhancements photoshop cs4 is offering. Is this true? If so, can I just get iMac 24-inch: 2.66GHz with a 9400m integrated chip and save money on my purchase, since I'll be only dealing with photoshop and dreamweaver exlusively. Other than that, my typical cpu load is having 40 browsers window open, and pidgin instant messenger.

    I only design websites and I don't really edit hi-res photos. Though I will be coming from a fast windoze machine (quadcore, ati 4850 card, 4gig, 1TB). but I really want to switch to a mac. My windoze machine will just for games now.

    So would I be safe with the entry level iMac with the 9400m integrated graphics card? Is my typical workload really more of cpu intesive rather than gpu intensive. I want to buy the new iMac line since I'll be probably upping the memory to 8gig in the future, but I just want to be sure that the 9400m integrated graphics card will handle all my workload (40 browsers window open, and pidgin instant messenger (adium in osX), photoshop, dreamweaver) opened at the same time.

    I'm also considering iMac 24-inch: 2.93GHz and/or upgraded to ati 4850. If it will benefit me, or will it make my machine faster once snow leopard is out.

    Thanks in advanced
  2. maxigalaxy macrumors member


    May 30, 2003
    marina di massa & newport beach
    Just got the 2.93 yesterday, it's great. The dedicated card is worth the step from the 2.66.
  3. Scottsdale macrumors 601


    Sep 19, 2008
    I think I read somewhere, a long time ago, that CS4 was actually meant to use both the CPU and GPU. That is definitely different from the older versions of CS. Anyways, you get a lot more value and capabilities by using a dedicated graphics card too. I would stay away from the 9400m. To me, it feels like a step backwards for the iMac. I personally don't get why Apple would get away from dedicated graphics on two of its four iMacs.

    Also, the ATI will make that iMac really run wonderfully. You have to wait out the ATI as it's like a three or four week backorder, but will be worth it. To think, you can buy a 24" iMac with 2.93 GHz and an ATI 4850 for $1999, makes it seem like a better deal than the new low end Mac Pro. I know the CPU power is different, but the whole thing with iMac is you get the same graphics card and you get a 24" ACD built in.

    My money would go to that exact model of iMac... Mid 24". The high-end 24" is not worth an extra $400, PLUS it costs the same $200 on either to upgrade to the 4850... WHAT? It's true go check it out. That had to be a mistake, as the high-end iMac has double the memory as the mid-end iMac, and it should cost less to upgrade from the high-end iMac.
  4. bajee thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 8, 2009
    thank you very much for responding maxigalaxy and Scottsdale.

    I very much agree with you scott about apple downgrading the entry level mac, I mean what's up with that?

    Thing is, I also read somewhere but I'm not really sure if its entirely true is that, the new photoshop cs4 only use your opengl card for redraw, zooming and flick paning and not really the filters etc. The integrated graphics of intel gma x3100 can handle that without taxing the system. I also read that the 9400m is atleast 4 times faster than the intel counterpart.

    With that in mind, If I will only be planning to use photoshop, for webdesign. Does having a fancier graphics card justify the 500$ difference? And I'm quite annoyed of the fact that you have to wait 4 to 6 weeks for the ati 4850 card.

    Well to sum it up. I just want to know if that fancier graphics card will really benefit me. If so, I'll get the the model before the highest model iMac and upgrade the card to 4850. If not, I'll get the entry level and save $500.

    I don't plan to edit videos nor model 3d. Nor even play games. Will the 9400m hook me up with mac awesomeness?

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