Is the 640M really that bad? (base 21.5")

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Dan!, Oct 26, 2012.

  1. Dan! macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2011
    #1
    I've seen a lot of people heavily criticising the new iMacs, but one thing that seems to stand out is the consensus that the base 21.5" model is not very good at all.
    Looking at the specs and coming from using a six year old Windows laptop, the base model appears to be very good, with some major improvements from the previous model. The processor looks great, more than powerful enough for most things, 8GB RAM standard is nice to see, a 1TB HDD as standard is also nice (Apple were never going to put an SSD as standard as they wouldn't have been able to put a high enough capacity one in without raising the price dramatically, aggravating even more people), and the 640M appears to be better than the Intel HD 4000. However, so many people have been calling it 'an insult', 'terrible' and so on.
    Are they correct, is the 640M really that bad? The 15" rMBP has pretty similar specs to the base iMac, and can seemingly run games very well (it has a 650M but that can't be that much better, can it?). So what's wrong with the iMac?
    Any help is greatly appreciated, as I am looking to purchase this and would appreciate some specific comments on it. :)
     
  2. karpich1 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2007
    #2
    The 640M isn't that bad, unless you want a major gaming machine.

    It's actually what the other AllInOnes are offering (Dell, Asus, Vizio, etc).

    The problem is, it looks like it's only coming with 512MB of video ram which is quite meager for 2012. And it seems like lot of people just want the 21" and for it to be a beefy enough machine.

    Some people are also complaining because it's weaker than the AMD that was in the HIGH END 27" 2011 iMac. They feel that the lowest 2012 should have a better GPU than the high 2011.


    It IS better than the integrated Intel video.
     
  3. dranakin macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2005
    #3
  4. slu macrumors 68000

    slu

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2004
    Location:
    Buffalo
    #4
    No. For as long as I have been on this site, people have been complaining about the video cards in iMac. For the vast, vast majority of users whatever card Apple includes will meet their needs. Sure there are exceptions, but unless you have exceptional use cases that are graphics intensive, it will be fine. And if you do have those use cases, you probably shouldn't be looking at the base model iMac in the first place.
     
  5. Dan! thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2011
    #5
    Thanks for the replies, so the 640M will be good enough for light gaming, not full specs BF3 but things like lower quality BF3, the new SimCity, Minecraft etc.? Will it be reasonably future proof too? I was actually considering getting a BTO 2012 Mac Mini but it's just the HD 4000 and lack of monitor that put me off.
    Do you think it would be worth spending the extra and getting the 650M though? Is the difference between the two that significant? Would that offer more future proofing and would the better processor make a difference in day to day use (including a lot of work in iPhoto and occasionaly Photoshop)?
    Thanks again. :)
     
  6. slu macrumors 68000

    slu

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2004
    Location:
    Buffalo
    #6
    I think both the iMac and mini would both work for you just fine right now, to be honest. You won't see much difference in day to day use. Probably not noticable. But it also depends what you are moving from.

    As far as future proofing goes, if you plan to keep this machine for 5-6 years, then the extra $200 may be worth it. If you are frequent upgrader, then it may not be.
     
  7. flopticalcube macrumors G4

    flopticalcube

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2006
    Location:
    In the velcro closure of America's Hat
    #7
    Apple should have added a BTO option for 1GB VRAM. 512MB is "OK" for today (BF3 and Skyrim with extras will suffer) but the lack of VRAM will be noticeable in future games if you want to maintain detail settings.
     

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