iMac 3.3 GHz (21.5") or 3.06GHz?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by JoseB, Jan 11, 2010.

  1. JoseB macrumors newbie

    Jan 10, 2010
    Any advise on this one? IS it worth it to spend the additional $'s or would 3.06GHz (Intel Core 2 Duo) be fine for "normal" day to day work?
  2. dagored macrumors 65816

    Sep 18, 2007
    I'm running CS4, Bridge, and Premiere on a 3.06GHz (Intel Core 2 Duo) with 8 gigs of RAM and I don't wait for anything. Maybe 2 or 3 seconds. Spend the money on 3rd party RAM. IMHO
  3. danistyping macrumors regular

    Dec 8, 2009
    Boston, MA
    Either get the 3.06, or if you're wililng to spend more on a better processor, get the core i5. You will be much more future-proof as applications will become more demanding since quad core is becoming closer to standard. Paying for the 3.33 isn't worth it.
  4. Rodus macrumors 6502a


    Oct 25, 2008
    Midlands, UK
    It's not worth the extra cash as for most things you won't notice any difference. Gone are the olden days where an extra couple of hundred Mhz was worth paying through the nose for. Get extra RAM instead.
  5. negatv1 macrumors 6502

    Aug 12, 2005
    As I'm posting this from my 3.33Ghz 27-inch I'll say that, it's probably not worth the extra cost. The CPU does have more L2 cache and faster bus speed, so it's not just the matter of a the couple hundred extra MHz. If you really need a performance machine, then go for the i5 or i7, otherwise the 3.06 is plenty fast.

    Remember, the 3.06Ghz model is faster than the fastest 24inch iMac that people were pretty happy with 3 months ago. The difference in benchmarks between the 3.0/3.33 is slight, and the money is better spent on 8gb of ram as another poster mentioned.
  6. iamthedudeman macrumors 65816

    Jul 7, 2007
    Well I own the 3.33 and have owned the 3.06 and I would say the difference in performance is noticeable. But for $200 is it worth it now? No. Since a refresh is probably very, very close. March is just around the corner.

    If you got a 3.33 when it first came out, then yes.

    Judging from the below tests, the top of the line dual-core 3.33 performs very well against a array of processors. Including the new dual i3 and i5's. If your thinking about getting a 21.5 machine with the 3.33, don't. Wait if you can. If you cannot I say the 3.33 will give you a noticeable performance increase.

    I got a base 21.5 with the 3.33 and that ran me 1350. Added 8GB of ram for 100 and a 1TB external drive for 100. For a total cost of 1550.

    8GB Ram
    1.5 TB total HD space.


    4GB Ram
    1TB total HD space

    for 1500. Add 4GB more ram and you're up to 1600. For me Option 1 was the better deal. Remember the processor cannot be upgraded. And the Graphic cards don't really have much impact in day to day use as does the CPU. If any at all. Do a search and I posted a more detailed info about the differences.

    For people that say 3.33 is a waste. Check out the comparisons below. With that being said, I would wait for the next refresh which is right around the corner. The new dual core i3 and i5's are much better than the current Core 2 duos. Even though the 3.33 performs well in some tests, the i3 and i5's still out perform it overall.
  7. MJD Dawg macrumors 6502

    Apr 27, 2009
    Junction of the Pacific, Juan de Fuca & NA Plates
    I've had the 21.5" 3.06 with 4670 mac since Christmas and couldn't be happier. The base model with the 9400m probably would be fine for me now, but my thinking was that the dedicated video card might be better than the faster 3.33 cpu in the near future with Grand Central and Open GL allowing for greater usage of the GPU for everyday computing.

    "Hardmac today points to a posting revealing that Apple has built nearly all of the required support for OpenGL 3.0 into Mac OS X 10.6.3, with 22 out of 23 extensions now supported."
  8. powerbook911 macrumors 68040


    Mar 15, 2005
    The problem with the 3.33 is that you start to get close to the price of a 27-inch or even an i5.

    if you need the 21.5 and you do things like a *lot* of video encoding, the few percentage points the 3.33 saves you, might be worth it to you, but in most cases not.

    Furthermore, there isn't even much "mental," reason to go for 3.33. I mean, with the 3.06 you are over 3GHZ, which sounds cool already.

    It's not as though the 3.33 isn't that tiny bit better, it is, but the $200 is an AWFUL lot to pay very that very little boost. Be better put the 200 back in the bank towards an iSlate someday or something.
  9. JoseB thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 10, 2010
    Wait if you can means....


    Thank you for your note. It is appreciated. And so is everyone else's, btw.
    Your point of "With that being said, I would wait for the next refresh which is right around the corner. The new dual core i3 and i5's are much better"...means? What is "refresh"? I just bought the 21.5"@3.06GGz+ 8 MB Ram and the upgrade on the graphics card. Will I be down the path of obsoletion around March? Is that what you mean? Please advise.Thanks!
  10. JoseB thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 10, 2010
    Thank you to all that responded...appreciated!

    Thank you to all that responded...appreciated!
  11. iamthedudeman macrumors 65816

    Jul 7, 2007

    I agree with you, but some people just don't want a 27" Regardless of price. I bought a 21.5 and a loaded mac mini for a HTPC for a little over two thousand for the price of a 27 i7.

    I would rather HULU on my 65' plasma than a 27 screen any day of the week in the comfort of my living room instead of a office chair regardless of how comfortable it is.

    Right now you can get a refurb 27' for cheaper than I paid for my faster 21.5.

    I wish they had a 23 or 24' widescreen and then I would buy it. But they don't. That is the biggest that a computer screen should be, for me anyway. That is a ideal screen size.

    The 3.33 is the only processor upgrade if you want a 21.5, and don't want a 27 inch. 27 inch is not for everyone. I have four 30 cinema displays hooked up to Mac Pro's for my graphic designers for my business and the 27 is not much smaller than the 30 cinema display.

    The 27' refurb is the best deal on a Mac, by far. Just 1440.
  12. iamthedudeman macrumors 65816

    Jul 7, 2007

    A refresh is a bump in processor speed and a upgrade to the graphics card and maybe something else. They upgrade the imacs every 6 months or so. The last refresh was in Oct. and the one before that was March. The next one will most likely be sooner rather than later because of the new Intel processors that just came out on Jan 7th. Apple is holding a press conference to announce some products in a few weeks, they might announce a refresh then, I doubt it, but they might.

    Apple is not going to sit around and wait while all in one's from HP, Lenovo, Dell, Gateway, etc are all running Core i3's and i5's in their machines and Apple is just running Core 2 Duo's in their bread and butter imacs which are the 21.5's. That is just not going to happen. Not when the imac 21.5 was the best selling desktop in Oct of last year and is one of the top selling desktops last quarter.

    No your mac will not be obsolete, no way. Technology is always changing, there is always something better. I just bought one in November. I plan on buying another one once the next refresh is out and ship the one I have now to my business.

    Just be happy with what you have, you have a nice machine regardless of what Apple does or does not do. If they release a refresh in the next 30 days you can exchange yours for a new one. If not be happy that you got a nice Mac on your hands. :apple:
  13. powerbook911 macrumors 68040


    Mar 15, 2005
    Excellent point. Hopefully in the future 21.5s will be offered some of the next generation architecture.

    Right now, I can certainly see wanting the 3.33 in the 21.5, to have the best of the screen size you need. It's a pretty stout machine too. I think the world of them.

    The refurb. 27 is also a great deal as you mentioned.

    Enjoy your new iMac!
  14. JoseB thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 10, 2010
    Thank you again!...and a f/up if I may...uploading previous content

    Thank you so much for your - the community - responses, and your guidance: they are really appreciated and reassuring.

    Before I "unbox" adn set up my new iMac and proceed to transfer the previous Imac's settings and files, may I ask for your advice...I am leery of transferring previous settings, keychains, etc., that may "contaminate" the new 'baby'. Could I just download from the back up disk (Time Machine) what I want - user files of photos, doc's, address book, and calendar user files? And this way not bring in "noise" that I may have built in thru usage these past years?

    And Q 'B': if yes, is there a way to get the e-mails?. Maybe archive and copy over?to the new machine?, or does that bring in the "faulty mail machine"? (I am having problems with Mail synchronizing with MM).

    Thank you!

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