iMac 128MB or 256MB VRAM?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by MondayNgt, Jan 19, 2006.

  1. MondayNgt macrumors member

    Jul 13, 2004
    I bought an Intel iMac the other night. I just couldn't wait any longer....I had sold off my Mac Mini last summer and thought I could make due with a Windows PC in the meanwhile (while waiting for Intel Mac products). Let's just say I will never, ever cheat again, and I'm thrilled to have a Mac back ;)

    But back to the purchase, they had one 20inch model left, and it surprisingly rang up higher than the normal retail price. The Apple employee said that the computer was a custom configured one containing a 256MB video card and bluetooth mouse/keyboard. I decided to go with it, I hate waiting for out-of-stock items.

    I got the unit home, bluetooth keyboard and mouse, check. No dead pixels on the monitor, awesome. But I went into the computer's profile and it said the video card only had 128MB of VRAM on it. So I called the Apple Store.

    I have two options. I can either bring the unit back and have it swapped with a correct configuration, although there's the risk that I'll have to wait for a brand new unit from Apple directly. Not to mention that there's always the risk of dead pixels on LCD products, something I am very unlucky at and my iMac screen is perfect. Also it will be a pain in the ass to transfer all my files over again after getting things arranged the way I wanted them.

    The other option is that Apple will refund me back the difference, and I keep the unit I have.

    I guess what I'm asking is this, will 128MB extra of VRAM really make any major difference? I'm dont' honestly know if I will be running games on it or not, although it would be getting much more play in that department if someone figures out how to run Windows/drivers on it (for games). I'd say I'm more in the department of running graphic and video editing applications.

    Which route would you all go?
  2. p0intblank macrumors 68030

    Sep 20, 2005
    New Jersey
    I personally would go with 256 MB of VRAM. I don't know if you would ever actually utilize that much VRAM, but I like to be future proof. :)
  3. nutmac macrumors 68040

    Mar 30, 2004
    There's another thread covering the same topic, but it really all depends on whether you are ordering from Apple or other vendors (e.g., Amazon). I ordered 20" iMac Core Duo from Amazon, which at $1,518.38 total, is far cheaper than Apple ($1,738.92 with educational discount plus CA tax). That's enough savings for two 2 GB RAM sticks.

    If you prefer to buy from Apple for whatever reason (e.g., faster availability, build to order option), then you should spend $68-75 for 256 MB VRAM.
  4. cecirdr macrumors newbie

    Jan 17, 2006
    I posted this question on a couple of forums. The response was overwhelmingly to get the 256 mb of vram if you can stand to wait on an order. You may not need it, but it hedges your bet as to how apple develops the OS and graphics in quartz/core image thus it might give you better performance in programs like Aperture.

    Since it's not upgradeable and it's affordable, the answers I got ran 10 to 1 to get the 256 mb. Sadly enough, despite the advice I still contemplate getting a stock machine because if I don't like it I can return it for a restock fee at a local apple store. Also if I have a problem machine in the first 2 weeks, I think you're able to exchange a stock machine for a replacement versus having to ship it off for repair under warranty.

    If you don't game much or intend to use Pro apps that are core image driven such as Aperture, 128mb could very well be enough. But if you do either, then you really need to consider the 256 mb vram upgrade. At least that's my take on it.
  5. MondayNgt thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 13, 2004
    I talked with Apple again and they told me that if I wanted to order another one through the online store (with 256), then I could return the 128 one to the Apple store once the correct one arrives and not have to pay a restocking fee due to the error. I decided to do just this; I won't be without a computer while waiting, not to mention I can easily transfer my files over by having both computers there before I return one.
  6. cecirdr macrumors newbie

    Jan 17, 2006

    SWEET! You couldn't have planned that better if you tried.

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