New iMac: 2.8 or 3.06?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Colin Hoernig, Aug 19, 2008.

  1. Colin Hoernig macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2007
    Location:
    Northwest Indiana
    #1
    I just sold my Macbook Pro in order to purchase an iMac, and I'm about to order, although, I have a dilemma. I have enough money to purchase the 3.06ghz 24" 8800 GS, but buying the 2.8ghz 24" 8800 GS REFURB would save me over $500. So here's my question: Is the .26ghz bump in CPU speed worth it (as well as 180 more GB on the HD)? I know it's all a matter of what programs you run frequently, and what you plan on doing with the computer, so heres my life.

    I am a senior in high school, but as of right now I have a job at a local studio filming wedding ceremonies and other festivities of the sort. I am one of the primary editors working with FCP for hours upon hours a day. I do a lot of After Effects work as well, and render times weren't as quick as I'd like them with my MBP. I am also a freelance programmer, working with xcode and Visual Studio daily compiling large projects (which means I run Windows XP, either in a virtual machine or in Bootcamp).

    Photography and graphic design are other hobbies of mine, I love to work in Illustrator and in Photoshop. I'm editing many RAW files at a time out of my D200, so it can get pretty intensive.

    Anyways, would I notice a large increase in speed for what I do, if I spring for the 3.06 and add 2 gigs of RAM?

    Thank you so much to anybody who helps,
    Colin
     
  2. Cheffy Dave macrumors 68020

    Cheffy Dave

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2007
    Location:
    Sunny Florida, on the Gulf Coast in Homosassa Fl
    #2
    If I were you, I'd go for the fastest Processor, and the most Ram, and frost the cake with the biggest hard drive;):apple::apple::apple:
     
  3. zer0tails macrumors 65816

    zer0tails

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2008
    Location:
    Canada
    #3
    How long do you plan on keeping the iMac? If you won't be upgrading for another 4 years, I'll go for the 3.06. Otherwise, 2.8 is fine. The speed difference between them is not astronomical so it's no biggie.
     
  4. Muncher macrumors 65816

    Muncher

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2007
    Location:
    California
    #4
    If money is no object, go for the best.

    Otherwise, I've heard the .26GHz really doesn't matter all that much. If I were you, I'd get the 2.8Ghz Refurb and stuff it with memory. Illustrator and Photoshop really benefit from a full bank of matched, dual channel memory (I know this from experience :D).
     
  5. Colin Hoernig thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2007
    Location:
    Northwest Indiana
    #5
    Thanks for the help guys, but I ended up just purchasing the 3.06ghz 24" and the 4gig matches pair set from OWC. I'm excited :)
     
  6. dalvin200 macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2006
    Location:
    Nottingham, UK
    #6
    Similar boat..

    just to open this thread up again (and not start a new one!!)

    I'm in the similar dilemma ..

    probably not so woried about the processor, but the GPU..
    the 2.8 has the Radeon 2600HD PRO whereas the 3.06 has the 8800GS..

    I'm not much of a gamer.. more do photoshop work and movie editing in iMovie 08 / final cut express 4

    and the general office 2008 etc.. plus garageband composing, but i may also take to logic express if i get the time..

    i've heard the 8800 is the better graphics card, but mainly for gaming.. and with Barefeats showing a surprising result with the Radeon beating the 8800GS in iMovie rendering etc.. it's now confused me a bit.

    Also, with snow leopard coming next year, which will take advantage of GPU performance, i'm still undecided about which to go for..

    either the 3.06 stock

    or the 2.8 stock

    or

    2.8 + 8800 BTO option

    I'd buy 3rd party RAM so boost to 4gigs

    i plan to keep this imac for at least 3 years

    I have to place my order within the hour today as I'll be getting the HE discount, so any advice is greatly appreciated.

    The money isn't the issue, i'd rather get the most productive system for now and future for my needs...

    Thanks
     
  7. dalvin200 macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2006
    Location:
    Nottingham, UK
    #7
    OK, well, I had to make the call..

    ordered the 2.8 with the 8800 graphics card and 500GB hdd..

    lets hope it all goes well :)
     
  8. Muncher macrumors 65816

    Muncher

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2007
    Location:
    California
    #8
    You made a wise choice; now just bump up your ram.
     
  9. paduck macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2007
    #9
    Colin - seeing as how you have already made your purchase, this is OBE. However, over time (20 years) I have migrated through a number of Macs and even a Mac clone. Back in the day, I appreciated having a higher-end Mac. But now, as I look back on it and look into the future. I have found that purchasing the lower-end (not necessarily the bottom, but the cheaper end) of the iMac line has allowed me to get more frequent upgrades, faster application of new software, skip a generation of chips each time, and save an absolute bundle.

    Seeing as how you are in high school, you might think that having three grand to spend on a computer isn't such a huge deal. However, you have to buy a bunch of software to run on it - that costs money which most people don't budget for as much. And you should have at least one legal copy of each software package you use in your house. More importantly, on down the road you will want to spend that money on a variety of things. For instance, I was able to fund a graduate school education on a limited budget because I didn't spend too much on the bonus things (the first, expensive computer being the primary mistake).
     
  10. Colin Hoernig thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2007
    Location:
    Northwest Indiana
    #10
    Hi there, first, thank you for the reply. I appreciate it.

    I spent just over $2000, not $3000 :). I do not have to pay for software, as I am provided with legal copies purchased by my employer. I do have a fund going for college as well, but that is separate from my spending money. Working two well paying jobs does have its benefits. I do have expensive hobbies, but I save my money as well, and every now and then I will make a purchase like this, but normally don't spend much as I just sell older products on eBay to make up for the cost of the new computer, almost as if I were trading.

    Thanks again for the reply,
    Colin
     
  11. highjumppudding macrumors 6502

    highjumppudding

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2008
    #11
    For RAW, choose 3.06 or Mac Pro

    I'd recommend getting the fastest processor avail for the iMac or possibly a Refurb Mac Pro to handle the RAW. Especially to future-proof the Mac.
     
  12. queshy macrumors 68040

    queshy

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2005
    #12
    So is this 2.8 refurb vs. 3.06 new? I prefer new, but if it doesn't bother you, get the 2.8. Mostp eople wouldn't be able to tell the difference, but maybe you would seeing as you do video editing...I would still say take the extra money and spend on ram/HD or accessories rather than spend it on a minimal increase in performance.
     

Share This Page