iMac graphics: 9400m v GT120

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Dunmail, Mar 27, 2009.

  1. Dunmail macrumors regular

    Mar 27, 2009
    Skipton, UK
    This is my first post here so pleas be gentle ;)

    Due to a significant "anniversary" coming up I'm going to treat myself and move from Windows to Mac. I've decided to get a 24" iMac.

    The question is: should I go for the 9400M integrated graphics or the dedicated GT120 graphics card? My most intensive use will be photo editing using Lightroom/Photoshop, I won't be using the machine for games, not got any on my current windows machine and don't intend to start. There's a £300 difference between the two configurations.


    PS. What's with the "+1" at the start of some posts? Not seen this in other non-computing forums.
  2. Sebby macrumors 6502a

    Dec 20, 2008
    London, UK
    The 9400M should be fine. I'm not a gamer either - in fact, I don't even do photo editing. However, I still went for the GT 120 as I thought it would make my iMac a bit more future-proof, and might be handy when Snow Leopard comes along.

    Ultimately, the 9400M is good, but a discreet card is going to be better.

    The "+1" is just a way of saying "I agree", if I've understood correctly!
  3. Gregintosh macrumors 68000

    Jan 29, 2008
    I think the 9400m should be enough. I am pretty sure Apple thought ahead and went with the 9400m exactly because it would work well with Snow Leopard. It certainly will be enough for your use. I use Photoshop CS3 on my macbook with the 9400m and it works just fine.

    Of course if money isn't much of an object, go with the better model. It all depends on what you are sacrificing by paying the extra money.
  4. aprofetto macrumors 6502a


    Dec 19, 2008
    Hamilton, Ontario
    I remember when the new iMac models were first announced, the 24" iMac with 2.66 GHz and 9400m was described as an iMac which would be mass produced and sold the most of. I doubt Apple will make the 9400m obsolete come Snow Leopard.

    That being said, its always nice having the better specs to be able to show off to your friends.
  5. Dunmail thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 27, 2009
    Skipton, UK
    Thanks guys.

    It's not that money isn't an object, just I'd rather get something that is suitable rather than over or under specified. If an operation takes 31 seconds with the 9400 specced machine and 30 seconds with the GT120 model then if I value my time at say £20/hour then I would need to over half a million of those operations to get the benefit of the faster device!

    I can use the £300 to get Applecare and an external drive for Time Machine so the money will get spent :D

  6. jmpage2 macrumors 68040


    Sep 14, 2007
    If you're not going to game or do video editing, etc, then there's absolutely no advantage to getting the faster video card.
  7. mark767 macrumors newbie

    Jan 23, 2009
    I have had the 24" imac with this card for just over a week now and for photo editing, video, etc there is not problem with this chip. Even simple games my kids are playing online are running fine with no issues.

  8. Dunmail thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 27, 2009
    Skipton, UK
    Thanks guys, looks like the 9400M will be as good as I need.:p
  9. NewWorldMac macrumors newbie

    Mar 16, 2009
    After reading this forums I was afraid to get an Imac with a 9400m. After I placed my order I found these message boards and I saw people talking very negatively about the 9400, so I panicked and immediately canceled my order. I then went and actually used an imac with the 9400 and it was more then sufficient for my needs. So I reordered the same computer and am very happy with the results.

    I do all my gaming on my PC so thats probably why I dont have any issues. I may be wrong here but I hear that when you upgrade to snow leopard it will speed up your processor and 9400 rapidly. We already have 64 bit processors and snow leopard will allocate proper resources to the 2 cores run them at 64 bit and utilize the embedded 9400 gpu more efficiently. If I am wrong in anything I just said please correct me.
  10. bobfitz14 macrumors 65816


    Oct 14, 2008
    since you already got help with the graphics card dilemma, i will help with the other one!

    the "+1" is a way to show support of/be in agreement with what someone says...though there is no opposite phrase because no one really says "-1" for disagreement. :p
  11. Jack Flash macrumors 65816

    May 8, 2007
    Always opt for a dedicated graphics card when it's available to you. GT120.

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