Is the 9400M that bad?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by PurdueBio, Mar 25, 2009.

  1. PurdueBio macrumors newbie

    Mar 25, 2009
    So I have seen that everyone seems to hate on the NVIDIA 9400M in the iMacs, and I dont really understand what is so bad about them. Are they really that bad? I am not a gamer and would use the machine for internet/word processing/iLife/watching movies etc. Would this graphics card make viewing movies on the 24" choppy/low quality? Is the "mac experience" diminished with this graphics card? I can't imagine it would...
  2. opeter macrumors 65816


    Aug 5, 2007
    Slovenia, EU
    No. It will work great for all that stuff, you did wrote. The problem is with modern games, that need big powers from you GPU, CPU and the whole computer.
  3. Smacky macrumors 6502

    Jul 23, 2008
    I think its fair to say the Imac was designed by Apple precisely for people fitting your profile
  4. nufanec macrumors regular

    Sep 10, 2005
    Although a lot of people on the forums complain about the 9400 in the iMacs, I for one think it is a perfectly good card for a large number of people.

    The number of people who use their computers for the purposes you listed outweighs the number of people who need high performance graphics quite significantly. There is no need for someone who is using their computer for internet, Word, and iLife type uses to have a Radeon 4850. It is overkill, and the 9400 will suit this consumer band very comfortably. It is also a better card than the Radeon 2400 that was in the previous low end iMac. Despite the 2400 being a dedicated graphics card, it wasn't very good and in most tasks, the 9400 will outperform it.

    I purchased a unibody MacBook Pro in December, and it is only rarely that I switch the 9600 on. I got the MacBook Pro because I do audio work and wanted the bigger screen and firewire for working in Logic so the graphics processor doesn't mean much to me in general. I do occasionally play some games, but in general the 9400 handles them pretty smoothly. WOW is fine on the 9400 - framerates rarely drop below 30 (which is where I have them capped so I don't know exactly how high they go), and when playing Quake 4 I usually get between 25-40 frames per second.

    My mother has an original Core Duo MacBook, and it does all the things you have listed without any problems. The iMac is a FAR more powerful machine than that with the 9400.

    I think in general people just want something to bitch about :p
  5. Mike in Kansas macrumors 6502a

    Mike in Kansas

    Sep 2, 2008
    Metro Kansas City
    On THIS forum?? Are you CRAZY???!!!

    There are folks on here who would complain about the smell of money if you handed them a pile of cash... ;)
  6. QCassidy352 macrumors G4


    Mar 20, 2003
    Bay Area
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 2_2_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/525.18.1 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/3.1.1 Mobile/5H11 Safari/525.20)

    I think a lot of it depends on your point of reference. People love the 9400M in the MacBook and the mini because those used to have intel integrated. And it's even ok in the low en iMac that used to have a radeon 2400xt. But in the mid range iMac ($1500 price point) we went from the radeon 2600 pro (really an underclocked xt) to the 9400M, and that's a significant step down. So in that model, people are not happy with it.
  7. Mike in Kansas macrumors 6502a

    Mike in Kansas

    Sep 2, 2008
    Metro Kansas City
    The problem is how you define the "mid range iMac". In the previous model, the $1500 price point got you a 20" display (with lesser display technology), 2GB of DDR2, 320GB hard drive. In the current line-up, the same $1500 now gets you a 24" display (with better display technology), 4GB of DDR3, 640GB hard drive. Unless you are a gamer, you won't miss the 2600XT. Most would see this as a great upgrade, as you can now get into a 24" for $300 less than before, plus get scads more RAM and HDD space. The rub is that you can no longer get a 20" with a better graphics card.

    I believe that a more "Apples to Apples" comparison (pun intended) is at the $1800 level, where the old and new displays are the same size. At that price point, you get a faster processor, twice the RAM, faster RAM, twice the HDD space, and a comparable GPU that is designed to take advantage of SL and new code.
  8. DarkRyan323i macrumors member

    Mar 3, 2009
    I have the 9400M in my 24" and use it for the same things you mentioned. I'm not gonna lie, it's pretty badass! I love this thing! Watching movies on it is great :D

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