Need advice on which iMac to get...

Discussion in 'iMac' started by dyarab, Apr 23, 2009.

  1. dyarab macrumors newbie

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    Apr 23, 2009
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    The ATL
    #1
    Hello all,

    This near future purchase will be my first Mac. I have been making small steps into the the Apple world the last few years... iPod and the iPhone (which is awesome).

    I have been a PC user forever and feel it's time to make a change. My current PC was custom built years ago for gaming. It's been fine up until recently where performance is starting to decline as it is very dated.

    The iMac will pretty much replace it. I am on the fence as to which iMac to get. It's between the 24" 2.66 and 2.93.

    So to answer the question that just popped into your mind:

    I will be using it for email, surfing, documents, light photograhy editing, and I would like to try my hand at video editing.

    I doubt gaming will factor into the equation (I have a Xbox 360 and PS3 for those purposes, and am currently in a gaming recession :p ... nothing out there I want/need to play... a different thread for a different time). That being said... I wouldn't mind if the Mac could handle something like Spore or the like in the future should something catch my attention.

    I guess the question is... is the extra 300 bucks worth a slightly faster processor and the GT 120 card? How capable is the 9400M?

    Thanks for any insight you can give.
     
  2. Scarlet Fever macrumors 68040

    Scarlet Fever

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    #2
    My parents recently got an iMac, and I suggested they go for the 2.93, just for the GPU. Snow Leopard is rumoured to use the GPU for main processing on top of the CPU, which will make the computer quicker, and hopefully extend its useful life.
     
  3. dyarab thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #3
    While we're at it... when is Snow Leopard supposed to be released? If it's not to far off, I can hold off on my purchase.

    By way Scarlett... you a NIN fan? (your avatar)
     
  4. Scarlet Fever macrumors 68040

    Scarlet Fever

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2005
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    Bookshop!
    #4
    SL is expected to be released in around September, but no release day is set yet.

    You're the first one to pick up on that. I've had that avatar since they released Year Zero. Kudos for picking it up!

    Pretty Hate Machine is still my fav album.
     
  5. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

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    #5
    I've heard that it'll be released in end of Q2 or beginning of Q3, so June-July
     
  6. dyarab thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #6
    Scarlett... wow, you're the first one in a long time that has said PHM is their favorite album. Mine was TDS until I heard YZ. The man is a genius.

    Well if the new OS is that far off I'll just buy an Imac when I get the cash and deal with the new OS when it's realeased.
     
  7. VulnoX macrumors member

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    Apr 23, 2009
    #7
    I say do at least the 120 as well. I have the 9400 in my Mac Mini, and its a very, very nice video card for just being shared memory and all that. It handles games, and other graphic intensive apps, very well.

    BUT, not at full settings, and its not likely to be that way a couple years from now. You sound a lot like me with your systems, you build them to meet your needs (and beat) today, because you want it to be around for a little while so you can get ready for the next big upgrade.

    So I say don't undercut yourself, do the 2.93 with the 120, and you will be ready for whatever they do a year from now, and maybe there is a PC game you want to play that isnt even out yet. Better to just be ready for the future, because having to buy another computer in a year is going to make the extra cost for the 120 seem like a deal.
     
  8. ditzy macrumors 68000

    ditzy

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2007
    #8
    If you gaming won't go much beyond Spore or Sims 3 you'll be fine with the 9400m, but to be safe for the future I'd recommend the 130.
     
  9. Mike in Kansas macrumors 6502a

    Mike in Kansas

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2008
    Location:
    Metro Kansas City
    #9
    If you're going to be doing video editing, I'd say go for the fastest processor you can justify/afford. Ditto with photography if you shoot RAW; not as much of an issue of you shoot jpeg.

    I shoot RAW using a Nikon D300 and edit with Nikon Capture NX2. I then use iPhoto to manage my finished jpeg shots, manage my Flickr and FaceBook content, and create slideshows/photo books, etc. The RAW files are about 12MB, and steps like noise reduction can slow down the whole rendering process, so the faster processor comes in handy. If you plan on shooting jpeg and use just iPhoto or Photoshop Elements, this won't be as much of an issue.

    Regarding video, I use a HDD SD camcorder, so I convert and deinterlace all of my MPEG-2 content via mpegstreamclip into AIC format, then ingest into iMovie. If you have a similar workflow OR shoot HD (using AVCHD format) then by all means go for the faster processor. That will cut down your conversion time and your final rendering time when exporting a movie.

    Finally, I'd go for at least the 120 to make it more future proof, if nothing else. I would expect that iMovie and iPhoto will begin to take advantage of the GPU in future versions, so a faster/better dedicated GPU would be money well spent in my opinion.

    Although my 2.8 is fast, I find myself wishing I had gotten the 3.06 when I am rendering/exporting video. Luckily it works in the background, so I don't tie up my iMac all that much; it just takes longer than I'd like.
     
  10. dyarab thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #10
    Vulnox, ditzy, and Mike...

    Thanks for the info. I think I will go ahead and get the 2.93 w/ the GT120. Like you guys said... better safe then sorry. It's not like you can rip it out and upgrade.

    Thanks again... now I just have to save my pennies like a good little boy. :p
     
  11. VulnoX macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2009
    #11
    Not endorsing the use of Credit, but if you feel you can handle it, Apple has 1 year 0% interest on their iMac's right now. Since my fiance's laptop was locking up from overheating and old age, and we didn't have a couple thousand sitting around, we went with that and it came out to about $160 a month which was easy to handle, and I plan on paying $200 or more just to get rid of the debt.

    I guess this ends April 30th though, so if this matters to you, its an idea.
     

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