More Time.

Discussion in 'iMac' started by NiroNavro, Jul 11, 2008.


I think you should get the...

  1. 2.8GHz

  2. 3.06GHz

  1. NiroNavro macrumors regular

    Jun 15, 2008
    Which will make it through more Operating Systems? I guess what I'm asking is which if these will last me longer. All I do is internet, word processing, music, movies, photos, and other basic stuff. I'll have enough money for the 2.8 GHz in 2 weeks and enough for the 3.06 GHz in 4 weeks. I've also been waiting for a long time to get an iMac and I want one bad. Should I wait 4 weeks or just get the 2.8GHz?

    Refurbished iMac 24-inch 2.8GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
    24-inch glossy widescreen display
    2GB memory
    320GB hard drive
    8x SuperDrive (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW)
    ATI Radeon HD 2600 PRO with 256MB memory
    Built-in iSight Camera


    Refurbished iMac 24-inch 3.06GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
    24-inch glossy widescreen display
    2GB memory
    500GB hard drive
    8x SuperDrive (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW)
    NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GS with 512MB memory
    Built-in iSight Camera

    Thanks in advance!!!
  2. BradClarke macrumors member

    Jul 1, 2008
    The 3.06ghz will last you allot longer than the other one, it has a bigger operating system, and more video ram. You would be able to upgrade the hardrive in the 2.8Ghz, but you cannot upgrade the video card.

    Both will support Snow Leopard, but the 3.06ghz will be second nature to snow leopard with that graphics card.

    Also Leopard, will be supported till 2014, technology evolves so fast, who knows where apple will be by then with imacs.
  3. Jaffa Cake macrumors Core

    Jaffa Cake

    Aug 1, 2004
    The City of Culture, Englandshire
    They're both from the current generation of iMacs, so in terms of longevity when it comes to operating systems I'd expect them to last exactly the same amount of time.

    Stuff like the boost in processor speed won't make a massive difference in terms of its useful life, as it's not a massively massive increase – the better graphics card in the high-end iMac might be a consideration though, as it's not something you can upgrade yourself. While bigger hard drive is always useful, if you find yourself running short of space in the future you can always hook up an external.

    I think that either machine would serve you well for what you want to do, and one wouldn't really have a massively extended useful life over the other. Ultimately, it comes down to whether or not you feel the extra cash is worth it for the improved spec. In terms of wait, if you've been wanting one for a long time then two extra weeks really isn't that bad if you get the exact one you want, is it?
  4. nout72 macrumors regular


    Dec 27, 2007
    The Netherlands
    Like Jaffa Cake said, both would do great, and considering the basic stuff you're going to use it for even a Mac mini would serve you well.

    But if money isn't an issue - waiting 4 weeks longer to get the 3.06Ghz isn't exactly a long wait in my opinion - I'd go for the 3.06Ghz, it's just that little more futureproof.
  5. BlackMax macrumors 6502a


    Jan 14, 2007
    North Carolina
    Just to be a little different I'll throw in an opposing view...

    You're probably not going to notice a real world difference in the performance between the 2.8 GHz and the 3.06 GHz and with all the concerns over the Nvidia G84 & G86 series GPUs *possibly* being defective, perhaps you should just save a little money and gain some peace of mind and go with the 2.8 GHz iMac. :)
  6. NiroNavro thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 15, 2008
    Does anyone else have an opinion on this? It would be much appreciated. Thanks!
  7. qtx43 macrumors 6502a

    Aug 4, 2007
    If all you're doing is "basic stuff" then they're both ridiculously overpowered and a waste of money. And next year's models will be even more powerful, so longevity is sort of in the eye of the beholder. I'd get one a year or two old, maybe a refurbished, but still with a nice screen. If you feel like you need a faster computer in a couple of years, you'll still be ahead of the game money wise. If you keep good backups on an external drive (which you are doing anyway, right?) then configuring a new computer is easy.
  8. saulinpa macrumors 6502a

    Jun 15, 2008
    Taking the dim view of hardware failures.......

    There are a whole lot more of the ATI versions out there so in 5+ years it will be easier to get fixed. :(
  9. minik macrumors 65816

    Jun 25, 2007
    Bellevue, WA
    Even as a 3.06Ghz iMac owner, I voted for the 2.8Ghz model. The spec you posted for the 2.8Ghz model is just fine.
  10. quotemeas macrumors regular

    May 28, 2008
    My opinion...

    According to MacWorld (Link Here):

    The 3.06GHz iMac’s Speedmark score was only 11 points higher than both the old 2.8GHz build-to-order iMac and the new 2.8GHz model, a meager 4 percent.

    I too was debating which to purchase, but this article summed most of my research. I had to ask myself if 4% was worth the extra $250 dollars. I was comparing a BTO 2.8 Ghz iMac with the NVIDIA 8800 GS to the 3.06 Ghz iMac also with the NVIDIA 8800 GS.

    BTO 2.8 Ghz iMac = $1949 w/out tax
    3.06 Ghz iMac = 2199 w/out tax

    In my opinion, the 2.8 Ghz was the best buy because a difference of 260 Mhz/4% performance gain was not worth $250.
  11. gehrbox macrumors 65816


    Jul 5, 2007
  12. Jon.Stewart87 macrumors regular

    May 18, 2008
    United States of America
    i have the 2.8 Ghz with the 8800 graphics card - works superb. Wayyyyy much more than I need and i do some video/photography editing/gaming and everyday use.

    it will exceed your needs, by far.

    i bet i wont even tap the full extent of this machine, though, we rarely do.

    but in the end, it is your money - if you want some bragging rights - go with the 3.06 i guess.
  13. kmkl macrumors newbie

    Jun 13, 2008
    The 3 GHz one, it also has a larger HD and greater Graphics card (although the graphics card is NVIDIA, which may or may not cause problems, probably not).

    Either one will last a long time, but the 3.06 will be not obsolete longer, as well as give you extra power now.

    I do recommend you upgrade the RAM to 4, but not from Apple, but from Crucial. You'll get a 2 x 2GB (4GB) Kit for ~$100, and you'll have the original
    2 x 1GB sticks for whatever else.

    The installation is easy, and won't void your warranty, in fact Apple even has instructions in the manual.

    Good Luck on your iMac purchase. BTW, how much is each model? Or did i miss the price?
  14. NiroNavro thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 15, 2008
  15. Muncher macrumors 65816


    Apr 19, 2007
    There are plenty of opinions here, so I'll throw in a fact: The 2600 in the cheaper imac outperforms the 8800 in almost everything but games (apple pro apps, core image, etc.).
  16. quotemeas macrumors regular

    May 28, 2008


    Originally this was true I believe, but the recent OS X updates fixed many of the issues and now the GS benchmarks faster then the ATI 2600 HD Pro. Also referring to the MacWorld article:

    "However, the 3.06GHz build-to-order iMac really separates itself from the new 2.8GHz iMac in graphics performance; the 3.06GHz iMac, with its 512MB GeForce 8800 GS graphics card, blasted by the 2.8GHz iMac with its 256MB Radeon HD 2600 Pro by 18.8 frames per second (28 percent) in our Quake 4 test and clocked in at 11 percent faster in the Compressor test."

    Thus, logic would say that an 8800 GS in the 2.8 Ghz iMac would also garner a substantial increase in performance (along the lines of 15% - 20%), since the article outlined that the CPU itself only created a 4% increase in performance. Note that this is in games and in Compressor, an included app. within Final Cut Studio 2 (a pro app).
  17. kjs862 macrumors 65816


    Jan 21, 2004
  18. anupamgarg macrumors newbie

    Apr 13, 2008
    Personally I would say they would last about the same time. By the time that you look at replacing either one, there will be much more advanced processors that will blow away both the 2.8 and the 3.06. Maybe the 3.06 will last you the extra two weeks that you will work getting the money.

    In my opinion, I would say go for the 2.8 and use the two weeks worth of money on something else.
  19. NiroNavro thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 15, 2008
    People are making good arguments for the 2.8GHz iMac but most of the votes on the poll say I should go for the 3.06GHz. I'm still confused on what I should get. Maybe it isn't worth the 2 weeks + $337 (tax incl) difference between the two?
  20. candyman macrumors regular


    Aug 1, 2007
    Phoenix, Arizona
    I just ordered the 3.06GHz model last night. I wanted the better graphics card as well as a larger standard HD. I am sure the 2.8GHz is a great machine as well. Both will serve you well for your needs, just make to sure to max out to the 4GB of memory and you'll be good to go for a long time. For me even if the difference in processor % is small in speed, it's still more than the 2.8 model and I wanted the top of the line product in the iMac lineup.

    I also believe its resale value is going to hold higher than the 2.8 because of the fact you cannot upgrade anything other then the RAM (better graphics card and larger HD) and the fact it is an Apple computer that has crossed the 3GHz mark. Just my opinion.

    I would choose the 3.06GHz model if you can hold out. I think the wait will be worth it. I've got another 5-7 days before I get mine.
  21. quotemeas macrumors regular

    May 28, 2008

    Note, I am talking about a Build To Order (BTO) machine: 2.8 Ghz with the 8800 GS. The article is comparing the stock 2.8 Ghz vs. the 3.06 Ghz machine. Thought I would clear that up.

    My BTO iMac - $1999 (2.8 Ghz, 8800 GS, 500 GB HDD)
    Stock 3.06 iMac - $2199

    Again, is 4% in performance gain worth $200 dollars (not including tax)? Play with the configuration options and find a price point you like but remember that adding the 3.06Ghz will add $200 (+ more in tax) to the final price. I have the exact same specs (except for the CPU speed of course) of the stock 3.06Ghz iMac (i.e. 500 Gb HDD, 2Gb of RAM, 8800 GS, etc.) for $200 less.
  22. quotemeas macrumors regular

    May 28, 2008
    My suggestion: By your 4Gb of RAM anywhere but through Apple. Installing third party RAM does not void the warranty and can be found easily for half the cost. Save the $100 bucks. I am looking a Kingston or Crucial for my 4Gb RAM upgrade. And it takes seconds to install and the old RAM can be used for troubleshooting or if you ever have to send your iMac in for warranty work.

    As for not being able to upgrade, you can upgrade the the same items in the future as the the 3.06 iMac: the Hard Drive and the RAM. So the 3.06 will also be limited in that respect. Saying that a 4%/260 Mhz performance difference will hold out longer then the 2.8Ghz iMac is unfair. Unless you are using a heavily dependent CPU application (i.e Lightroom - until the next version is released) you will not see a difference in performance. Also, especially since most apps and games are moving to utilize graphics cards more/utilizing the multithread abilities of CPUs, including Snow Leopard (See Apple's SL FAQ), a 260 Mhz difference in the future will be far less important as your iMac's graphics GPU/multi-core CPU abilities.

    This is my opinion and I do not discredit the 3.06Ghz model. I too have purchased an item to have the "best of the best" and that is not a bad thing. But on a performance/cost ratio, my opinion is that the 2.8Ghz is the solid winner.
  23. jaylay0707 macrumors member

    Jun 29, 2008
    the LBC
    buy the 2.8, and use half of the extra money on ram. you'll notice more of a difference IMO.
  24. Battlefield Fan macrumors 65816

    Battlefield Fan

    Mar 9, 2008
    since a computer is such a big purchase and you plan on keeping it for a long time a say go with the 3.06
    Ram is something you can upgrade later when you need it. Along with the HD. You can't upgrade the processor at a later time.
  25. idyll macrumors 6502

    Jun 5, 2007
    3.06GHz! Doesn't it come with a better video card too? Can't lose

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