iMacs are laptops?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by synagence, Jan 5, 2009.

  1. synagence macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2008
    #1
    I know this is an inane question but is an iMac just really a macbook pro expanded into a desktop?

    For some reason, i'd thought they were actually desktop class parts rather than high-end notebook parts.

    I was all set to buy a new imac following tomorrows revelations but given its most likely using the 9400M chipset (m being mobile) i'm kinda wondering if its actually worth it...

    I'm now thinking (as i play games on a PS3) that i could just replace my current macmini with one of the new macmini's and get a nice monitor and save myself some cash since the new mini will only be lacking the dedicated gfx i assume ....

    I love the look of iMacs but just kinda finding myself more reluctant to pay such a premium for what is just glorified laptop.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. netdog macrumors 603

    netdog

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    Feb 6, 2006
    Location:
    London
    #2
    The Mini, also laptop parts, will have dedicated graphics. It really comes down to whether or not you want an integrated monitor. Of course, there will also be iMacs that are faster and more powerful than the Minis to be announced tomorrow.
     
  3. r.j.s Moderator emeritus

    r.j.s

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    Texas
    #3
    Does it really matter?

    Is there that much performance difference between "mobile" parts and "standard desktop" parts?
     
  4. clyde2801 macrumors 601

    clyde2801

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    #4
    Yeah, it's pretty much the same ram, hard drive and processor class that they're using or have used with macbooks/macbook pros. Apple does that to standardize parts and make the iMac thin and run cooler.

    You're still getting more performance and features for your buck than you would with a laptop.
     
  5. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

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    Dec 10, 2008
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    Finland
    #5
    Companys releases more and more mobile parts than desktop parts, because laptops sells like 4 times more and desktops are only for gamers and graphic dudes.

    If you don't do gaming you don't need much from video card.

    iMacs are still quite small so I don't see any space for like this one http://www.cdrinfo.com/images/uploaded/Nvidia_GeForce9800GX2.jpg

    Laptop parts are getting better and better and there is no scaring that they are bad, or other. Only thing is that they are changable by you
     
  6. synagence thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Jul 23, 2008
    #6
    I do some video encoding and use photoshop but i ain't upgrading to CS4 so i won't be able to get the advantage of the GPU anyway

    They run ok on the mini (2.0Ghz C2D w/ 2.5Gb RAM) ... i can even run Vista Ultimate in VMW2.0 pretty decent.

    I guess the only real power difference between mobile and desktop class parts are the ability to clock higher (due to cooling) and the current video cards which are just huge
     
  7. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    #7
    But Snow Leopard will use the gpu through OpenCL. The 9400m's gpu has 16 cores that sit idle most of the time. Won't it be nice to have that extra processing power?
     
  8. bilbo--baggins macrumors 6502a

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    Jan 6, 2006
    Location:
    UK
    #8
    The iMac uses 3.5" SATA drives which makes a reasonable performance difference compared to laptops. The Mac Mini on the other hand is just the as laptop minutes screen, battery, keyboard, trackpad etc..
     
  9. Chundles macrumors G4

    Chundles

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2005
    #9
    Incorrect. The iMac uses standard 3.5" desktop hard drives, desktop graphics "cards" and, with the current iteration, a specially built processor that runs considerably hotter than it's mobile counterparts.

    The only thing "laptop" about them is that in the past they have used the mobile versions of intel processors to keep heat down and they use SO-DIMMs instead of full-sized DIMMs for RAM.

    The current iMac is very much a desktop computer.
     
  10. Sesshi macrumors G3

    Sesshi

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    #10
    Mostly incorrect. The iMac uses MXM graphics cards (i.e. laptop discrete boards), and no 'specially built processor' - it's all laptop stuff.

    To the OP: It is a glorified laptop with a 3.5" HDD. However it's quite a nice-looking, contemporary-decor-friendly glorified laptop for undemanding desktop use. It depends on what you want out of it.
     
  11. Killyp macrumors 68040

    Killyp

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    Jun 14, 2006
    #11
    The HD 2600 which is inside my iMac is a desktop card. iMacs always used to have laptop chips in them, but it's not the same any more.

    The logic board, CPU and RAM are all essentially laptop hardware, but are in a much bigger/cooler casing than they would normally reside and hence can be run closer to their limits without affecting their reliability. The biggest limitation of laptops is their hard drives, which is a full-sized desktop 3.5" drive.
     
  12. Sesshi macrumors G3

    Sesshi

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  13. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

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    Mar 23, 2005
    Location:
    Indianapolis
    #13
    Only when it comes to price and thermal design.

    It's the Mobility HD2600 XT or nVidia 8800M GTS in the iMac. They're on custom MXM-like cards.


    PowerPC called.
     
  14. Killyp macrumors 68040

    Killyp

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    Jun 14, 2006
    #14
    But that's not the version in the iMac ;) Mac OS X and Windows both report it as being the desktop version.

    I honestly thought the cards in the iMac were the laptop version until I started to reply to this thread, and looked into it a little further.
     
  15. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    #15
    I think what he's saying is that they haven't always had laptop cpus, i.e., the G5 iMac.
     
  16. Sesshi macrumors G3

    Sesshi

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    #16
    Apple and their partners do custom work in terms of GPU's - mostly in terms of crippling chips in order to cater for the poor cooling of Apples caused by the priority of silence at idle (which is a debatable benefit, as if you actually use the performance the machine should have on paper the acoustic signature on almost any Mac goes beyond - significantly beyond in some cases - a quiet but slightly noisier-on-idle machine from other manufacturers), and may report different things according to these tweaks and the marketing. The iMacs all use an MXM board.
     
  17. Killyp macrumors 68040

    Killyp

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2006
    #17
    Makes sense to me then! I'll admit defeat, the graphics cards in the iMacs are laptop GPUs. :)
     
  18. Sesshi macrumors G3

    Sesshi

    Joined:
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    #18
    I'm just routinely nonplussed by many people who imbue Apple hardware with mythical or radical qualities. It's standard gear, just engineered with a different list of priorities - style, silence, attention to tactile detail being the primary drivers. Relative performance is some way down, and reliability is about #10,000 on the list.
     

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