iMAC: 20" or 24"? Confused

rgurup

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 10, 2006
9
0
Am a newbie to the Mac and to these forums...so maybe this q will sound lame..so bear with me. I am going to change over to a Mac (never used one before)...and have been waiting for the core 2 proc's to launch...now that they have...I am confused!

I got 2 configurations:

20" with 2GB RAM and a 256MB ATI Radeon with Apple Care for $1978

or

24" with 1GB RAM and a 128MB NVidia GeForce with Apple Care for $1999.

a) I plan to use the iMac for everyday use-photoblogs, personal website, music, movies, internet, sound mixing et al. So apart from the amazing screen size...am I missing something when I think a loaded 20" is sufficient?

b) How would one compare a ATI Radeon with NVidia...am not an avid gamer on the computer...but would like the vram to make a difference to the multimedia I intend to use this computer for...

Thanks guys! :)
 

sunfast

macrumors 68020
Oct 14, 2005
2,105
0
London
skunk said:
On the 24", you can change the video card later if it proves inadequate. I'd go for that.
This I didn't know. I'd definitely go with the 24" on that basis.
 

rgurup

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 10, 2006
9
0
@ apachie2k: I donno :confused: ...I am calling up my apple store soon and am probably gonna see the 24" alongside a 20" before I place an order.... (aah well...right now I have a 15" screen on my laptop!!!!!!!! so its giant step ahead... :D )
 

Allotriophagy

macrumors 6502a
Sep 5, 2006
917
0
It is not known if the card will be upgradeable yet. My gut feeling is that since Apple does not say so, then it is not. But if it is, then it will be a third party hack affair.

I'd go with the 24" one. You can upgrade the RAM at a later point but you cannot upgrade the screen or the graphics card, so I would get the best ones possible from the outset.
 

FFTT

macrumors 68030
Apr 17, 2004
2,952
0
A Stoned Throw From Ground Zero
I agree, go to the Apple Store and see what you're looking at.

Buy any additional RAM 3rd party through a reliable vendor.

For the best performance, you'll want 2 GB RAM installed.

Apple would charge $450.00 for that upgrade.

You can buy Apple guaranteed DIMMS 2X 1GB third party for
about $250.00

Put those savings towards getting the fastest processor you can afford.
 

CoMpX

macrumors 65816
Jun 29, 2005
1,242
0
New Jersey
Not to be nitpicky, buts its Mac and iMac. Not iMAC. ;)

For my needs, 20" is plenty, so I would go for that one and be able to afford more RAM, etc. But that's just me.
 

Veritas&Equitas

macrumors 68000
Oct 31, 2005
1,529
1
Twin Cities, MN
skunk said:
On the 24", you can change the video card later if it proves inadequate. I'd go for that.
Hm, based on his description of his knowledge of Macs (or lack there of), I think his ability to "upgrade his video card later" in an iMac is probably pretty lacking.
 

mkrishnan

Moderator emeritus
Jan 9, 2004
29,777
12
Grand Rapids, MI, USA
Allotriophagy said:
It is not known if the card will be upgradeable yet. My gut feeling is that since Apple does not say so, then it is not. But if it is, then it will be a third party hack affair.
I hadn't heard that in the rumor circle, but the NVIDIA in the 24" is described in exactly the same way as the ATI in the 20" so I would tend to doubt it.

ATI Radeon X1600 graphics processor using PCI Express
NVIDIA GeForce 7300 GT graphics processor with 128MB of GDDR3 SDRAM using PCI Express
And agreed that even if it's possible, Apple learned their lesson with having end users open up iMacs in this form factor. I just don't see them wanting people poking around in there.
 

rgurup

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 10, 2006
9
0
@CoMpX: Woops...iMac it is! :)

@Veritas&Equitas: Yep...am a newbie...so not really familiar with replacing a video card on a Mac...that def is something I am looking at ...so even if I intend to upgrade...I might have to wait a (long?) while before I know what I am doing!

For now, my local Apple store is expecting the 24" by Tue/Wed...so thats going to be the first step...

Is there a way I could configure the RAM to be a 1 X 1Gig from Apple, instead of the advertised 2 x 512?
 

Allotriophagy

macrumors 6502a
Sep 5, 2006
917
0
mkrishnan said:
I hadn't heard that in the rumor circle, but the NVIDIA in the 24" is described in exactly the same way as the ATI in the 20" so I would tend to doubt it.

And agreed that even if it's possible, Apple learned their lesson with having end users open up iMacs in this form factor. I just don't see them wanting people poking around in there.
There are various posts and pictures of the 24" iMac only using the MXM standard for the graphics card, along with a huge snaking heatsink slapped onto it. SNAKES ON AN IMAC!

It makes some sense for the 24" to have one motherboard, with Apple fitting whichever graphics option in where required. The other option would require anticipating which version would be more popular, making sufficient stock up, holding it all in storage till sale or shipping...
 

mrgreen4242

macrumors 601
Feb 10, 2004
4,355
1
Right now, DON'T base your purchase on the 24" iMac on upgradable video card. There are too many unknown, unproven variables in that. Right now it looks possible, but by no means certain.
 

FFTT

macrumors 68030
Apr 17, 2004
2,952
0
A Stoned Throw From Ground Zero
Adding your own RAM is REALLY easy, you just need to follow basic anti-static procedures and use careful but firm pressure.

Go to Datamem.com or OWC (macsales.com) for your extra RAM

Right now 1 GB sticks are running about $125.00 each.

Apple would charge you $90.00 just to add 512MB's

The Apple store would charge you a rediculous fee to add 2 GB to your machine
and you should add RAM in matched pairs unless you're loading her up with
3 GB's .

Also, if you qualify for the education discount, make sure to take your ID.