How slow graphically is a 27" iMac with HD 4850

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Piggie, Jun 8, 2011.

  1. Piggie macrumors 604

    Piggie

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2010
    #1
    Just looking at a 2nd hand iMac

    27" screen
    2.8Ghz i7 CPU
    8GB Memory
    ATI Radeon HD 4850 with 512mb

    Not sure when bought but has about a year and a half warranty still on it.

    Specs seem good, although I'm concerned about how good, or rather how poor the 4850 graphics chip/card is?

    To me, looking at the other specs, it feels like it's very much the weak link in the chain.

    The latest iMacs have much much faster graphics don't they?

    Thoughts?
     
  2. CubeHacker macrumors 65816

    CubeHacker

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2003
    #2
    The 4850 was the highest video card that Apple supplied in iMacs for that generation. It might be a bit on the older side today, but its still a very capable card, especially if you don't plan on playing any of the latest games on it. And even most of the latest games should play surprisingly well. If you found a good price on it, I would go for it.
     
  3. MythicFrost macrumors 68040

    MythicFrost

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2009
    Location:
    Australia
    #3
    I've got that model, I find it to be OK at native resolution. But Crysis 2 requires 720p for 60-70 FPS, 1080p gets around 25-35 FPS, on lowest settings ('High'). Metro 2033 benchmark gets 23 FPS average at 1440p on lowest settings w/ DX10.

    The 6970M 2GB is about twice as good, sometimes a little more I think. 512MB is kind of limiting at 1440p, although it's not really noticeable as it isn't powerful enough to do really high settings at that resolution.

    Summary: Not great.
     
  4. Badger^2 macrumors 68000

    Badger^2

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2009
    Location:
    Sacramento
    #4
    it will barely be good enough for email or even text edit, I bet it takes an hour just to boot.

    its 2 generations back, came out in Oct 2009, not sure what you are expecting it to do? I mean what are you going to use it for?

    For example, I run the complete CS5 collection on my 2.4 C2D iMac and play games on Steam with no problem. Im fine.

    What are you going to do with it?
     
  5. tsugaru macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2003
    Location:
    Edmonton
    #5
    The graphics are much improved in the new iMac. 2GB is VRAM is huge, considering the amount of pixels being pushed by the screen at native resolution.

    The 4850 was decent, but the 6970M is probably at least 30% better, just in terms of frame rate stability. The low peaks are not there as often.
     
  6. Jawbreaker macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    Location:
    New Haven, CT
    #6
    Any thoughts on how the 4850 compares to the 6770 in the lower-end 27" iMac / higher end 21.5"?
     
  7. tsugaru macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2003
    Location:
    Edmonton
    #7
  8. Piggie thread starter macrumors 604

    Piggie

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2010
    #8
    Thank you very much for all your replies to my original question.

    You pretty much confirmed what I was feeling that, in such a superb system with a 27" screen, an i7 CPU and 8GB of RAM, the 4850 would stand out as the weak link in the otherwise high end chain.

    Of course, I realise the 4850 would be find for everything else apart from perhaps the latest games, but seeing as this would be the Mac to last me the next "X" number of years, I think it would only probably be getting worse than better.

    If you had such a system for the past few years and were now selling to move onto the latest graphics cards I think that would feel right, but I'm thinking perhaps now is not the time to see the 4850 as the card to see me into the future.

    If the guy dropped the price a few hundred dollars down from his current price point then Id consider it, but perhaps for a "Mac for the future" one with the latest graphics card and Thunderbolt, despite being many hundreds of dollars more might be the better option in the long run.
     

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