iMac Sweet Spot

McBob

macrumors member
Original poster
Aug 22, 2007
52
0
Wales
I'd like to know what everyone thinks is the sweet spot for the new imac?
What configuration will get me the best 'bang for ma buck'.

Im a student starting my first year at Uni on a Documentary Film and Televsion course. Ill will be using FCP alot along with DVD studio pro and most of iLife.

Im looking at getting the 24" model, maxing the ram from kingston/crucial and wondering if the upgraded processor is worth it for my requirments. Will a 400mhz increase make a difference during rendering etc. Especially as the 2.8 chip has the same FSB.

Anyother thoughts appreciated!

Robx
 

mikef07

macrumors 6502
Aug 8, 2007
332
271
I'd like to know what everyone thinks is the sweet spot for the new imac?
What configuration will get me the best 'bang for ma buck'.

Im a student starting my first year at Uni on a Documentary Film and Televsion course. Ill will be using FCP alot along with DVD studio pro and most of iLife.

Im looking at getting the 24" model, maxing the ram from kingston/crucial and wondering if the upgraded processor is worth it for my requirments. Will a 400mhz increase make a difference during rendering etc. Especially as the 2.8 chip has the same FSB.

Anyother thoughts appreciated!

Robx
Let's see.

The $1199 iMac gives you 2.0Ghz, 1GB memory, 250GB HD and ATI 2400

for $300 more you get a 2.4Ghz, 120GB bigger HD and ATI 2600. Worth $300? Difference in cost to the consumer if you could build it it is probably not worth it.

$1799 iMac gives you same specs as right above and a 24" screen. If this screen cost $1000 and a 20" screen cost $400 then I think it is worth it. To me best bang for your buck is the 24" entry level.

All $ numbers are purely hypothetical and guesses.

If I had to list in order of best bang for buck I would list:
1) 24" entry
2) 20" entry
3) 20" upgraded
4) 24" Beast
 

swordfish5736

macrumors 68000
Jun 29, 2007
1,901
104
Cesspool
I'm doing alot of the same things you'll be doing and i just ordered a 24" base, am planning on bumping the ram to 3 or 4 gigs and get a FW 800 drive for storing everything. Oh ya students get 100 dollars off so it makes it a nicer deal. Plus if you order before the 16th you get a free ipod. Even though rumor says they will be upgraded on wednesday its still a good deal
 

rainydays

macrumors 6502a
Nov 6, 2006
886
0
The base 24" iMac with third party RAM is the best bang for the buck in my opinion as well. If you make money on what you do, then the 2.8 upgrade _might_ be worth it. But the 2.4 is very fast as well.
 

RRK

macrumors 6502
Mar 14, 2007
456
0
USA/Ohio/Columbus
I agree that a base 24" with do-it-yourself ram upgrade is the best bang-for-the-buck. But, from my experience with iMacs I get about an extra year of use before upgrading by getting the highest offered package. Then I get to save an extra year to get the better one next time. Hard drive upgrades also help to lengthen the time before I upgrade.
 

mrgreen4242

macrumors 601
Feb 10, 2004
4,352
1
If I had to list in order of best bang for buck I would list:
1) 24" entry
2) 20" entry
3) 20" upgraded
4) 24" Beast
I'd switch that a bit...

1) 24" entry
2) 20" upgraded
3) 20" entry
4) 24" upgraded

Here's why: the 20" upgrade gives you things that you CANNOT upgrade later, most notibly the GPU. The HDD to a lesser degree, and the CPU of course. For $300 you're getting 15-20% more raw power and a significant GPU upgrade (considering the 2600pro looks to be a custom version of the 2600xt).

That's going to buy you another year of usability, on average, in my opinion. $300 for an extra year isn't bad at all if you figure that a base 20" might last a "power user/prosume" type 3 years ($400 per year) and the upgraded will go for 4 years ($375/year) you get some good value there. Plus, the percentage of original value the machine holds in resale should be a bit higher.

The 24" is a great buy if you were thinking about getting a big display anyways (23" ACD or 24" Dell/NEC/whatever). But if a 20" will do you, the upgraded 20" looks like the sweet spot in value to me.
 

wazgilbert

macrumors regular
Jan 15, 2007
187
2
UK South
I'm doing alot of the same things you'll be doing and i just ordered a 24" base, am planning on bumping the ram to 3 or 4 gigs and get a FW 800 drive for storing everything. Oh ya students get 100 dollars off so it makes it a nicer deal. Plus if you order before the 16th you get a free ipod. Even though rumor says they will be upgraded on wednesday its still a good deal
What rumour's this? link please!
 

wazgilbert

macrumors regular
Jan 15, 2007
187
2
UK South
Ah yes, context is everything, I couldn't believe the imac was up for another update for a second. ipods aren't even on my radar at the moment.
 

oduinnin

macrumors regular
Aug 3, 2007
139
0
Planet Earth
Considering your use ...

I'd like to know what everyone thinks is the sweet spot for the new imac?
What configuration will get me the best 'bang for ma buck'.

Im a student starting my first year at Uni on a Documentary Film and Televsion course. Ill will be using FCP alot along with DVD studio pro and most of iLife.

Im looking at getting the 24" model, maxing the ram from kingston/crucial and wondering if the upgraded processor is worth it for my requirments. Will a 400mhz increase make a difference during rendering etc. Especially as the 2.8 chip has the same FSB.

Anyother thoughts appreciated!

Robx
I would think the 24" with 1GB RAM, the 2.8GHz Extreme and at least the 500GB HD. :cool:

The RAM can easily be upgraded at any time after purchase to 4GB. FCP likes a lot of RAM. Video takes a huge amount of storage space. the faster the processor, the quicker video rendering, compression, DVD writing you will get. The 24" model also has the better video card. :D
 

techie4life

macrumors 6502
Jul 19, 2007
355
0
Georgia
I have a 20" 2.4Ghz Aluminum iMac. I upgraded the RAM to 2gb, and it made all the difference. I would say that the jump between the baseline 20" and the 2.4 20" is well worth the $300. I don't know about the jump from the 2.4 to the 2.8 though. Whatever model you get, upgrade to at least 2Gb of RAM. Personally, I can't justify spending an extra $300 for 4" more of screen. I think the 20" is the perfect size. The fact that there is absolutely no difference between the 20" 2.4 and the base 24" other than the screen just doesn't make sense to me. I love my 2.4Ghz 2Gb RAM 320Gb 20"!
 

McBob

macrumors member
Original poster
Aug 22, 2007
52
0
Wales
Thanks for replies!

Still undecided so far i think it will come down to the moment i have to click the buy button but so far:

I am leaning towards the cpu upgrade as it is a notable differance and will help in that final third year before i upgrade again. Hopefully getting what ever macbook pro revison is out to replace my powerbook.

Deffinatley maxing the ram to 4gb, with the prices ddr2 is at now theres no point holding back - also does anybody know much about the 800mhz ram. I know the imac comes with the standard 667 stuff i think it is. The former is considerabley more but is it worth it for apps like FCP especially since the FSB is running at 800mhz.

Robx
 

DoFoT9

macrumors P6
Jun 11, 2007
17,532
32
Singapore
Thanks for replies!

Still undecided so far i think it will come down to the moment i have to click the buy button but so far:

I am leaning towards the cpu upgrade as it is a notable differance and will help in that final third year before i upgrade again. Hopefully getting what ever macbook pro revison is out to replace my powerbook.

Deffinatley maxing the ram to 4gb, with the prices ddr2 is at now theres no point holding back - also does anybody know much about the 800mhz ram. I know the imac comes with the standard 667 stuff i think it is. The former is considerabley more but is it worth it for apps like FCP especially since the FSB is running at 800mhz.

Robx
i thout the imacs couldnt get 800mhz ram....i didnt think the mobo was compatible.:confused:
 

Vidd

macrumors 6502a
Mar 7, 2006
982
35

mikerol

macrumors member
Jun 27, 2007
32
0
Florida
Can't speak to the 2.4, but I have a 24 with 2.8. Bought 1gb, added 2gb stick from ramjet (about $150) for total 3gb and it absolutely flies.