New iMac...24-in: 2.66GHz OR 24-in: 2.93GHz

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by TxCreative, Mar 9, 2009.

  1. TxCreative macrumors newbie

    Mar 9, 2009
    Hi everyone...I need advice for a friend who wants to buy her first Mac. She wants to get into a little Photoshop and some light video editing as well.

    I am caught between the 2.66GHz and 2.93GHz 24inch new iMac models. Do you think the 2.93GHz is necessary? Also, I was checking out the different graphic cards. The less expensive model has NVIDIA GeForce 9400M with 256MB of shared DDR3 memory and the other one has NVIDIA GeForce GT 120 with 256MB of GDDR3 memory.

    I know you only take advantage of the faster processor and more ram, etc with certain programs. She wants it to be super fast, but is the more expensive system worth it considering her needs?

    I have a 4 year old G5 that still works awesome for me, but I know some of you will be far more in the loop to give advice. Thanks in advance for any info!
  2. Scottsdale macrumors 601


    Sep 19, 2008

    Absolutely positively the middle 24" model with the dedicated graphics. I cannot believe Apple got rid of the dedicated graphics. If I were you, I would even consider the prior generation 24" that was $1899 that is now on clearance (not refurbished) for $1399 from 2.8 GHz, brand new with 24" display, and ATI 256 MB graphics. Save yourself $400 over new now ($500 less than was a week ago). The processor difference is minimal.

    The only reason to consider new is if you want to upgrade to 8 GB RAM. Most will not in the short run at $1000, but it may be a long run alternative to upgrade for far less in the future.

    And actually, I saw that one of the mac resellers had this model on clearance for $200 less today, but I don't recall which one it was. I just remember seeing $1199 for a 24" new previous generation with 256 MB dedicated and I thought why in the hell would anyone "upgrade" when they could get this deal. Unless somehow the 24" display has changed to an IPS model or something, but I haven't heard of any display differences between last generation and early 2009.

    Good luck whichever route you go.
  3. Grasbak macrumors 6502

    Jan 17, 2006
    When the OP says they are looking at a bit of photoshop and some light video editing, do you really need the middle iMac? Isnt the dedicated card mainly for games?

    I have a vested interest as I am looking the the base 24" - I do not play games at all.

    I seems like a good idea to go for an older model - although, is there a chance that Snow Leopard will ustilise the integrated GPU more?
  4. AppleMatt macrumors 68000


    Mar 17, 2003
    I agree with this poster. I have the 2008 2.8GHz iMac with 512MB GeForce 8800 and I usually upgrade my machines as the new revisions come out. This time however, I'm not interested. It looks to me like a step sideways and unless you're prepared to pay much more it's just not worth it.

    I'd strongly suggest getting the previous revision 24" 2.8GHz (which, until a couple of days ago was the 'latest'), and upgrade the RAM to 4GB for a performance jump (not through Apple). Then you can spend all the left-over money on commission for yourself, or a nice mouse (Logitech MX Revolution - always good idea to get a good mouse, you touch it every time you use the computer).

  5. Grasbak macrumors 6502

    Jan 17, 2006
    Shame for us in the UK, nothing in the clearance store.

    Nothing in refurb most of the time either.....
  6. TxCreative thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 9, 2009
    Excellent responses...thanks so much!!

    I love the idea of getting the 2.8 retired model. Man, I'm the graphic designer and I'm afraid my friend's new Mac is going to blow my old G5 tower out of the water!
  7. macormac macrumors newbie

    Jan 18, 2009
    Answering your question with a question

    Both the original issue raised initially and this particular comment are precisely the ideas I had in mind. First I'd go for the top of the line 3.06 Ghz but my logical thought forced me to consider the simplest 24" given all the benefits incld price vs. previous releases. However, this memory sharing issue has always bothered me. But, having similar computing behaviour as the original issue raiser--least gaming and video rendering jobs if not at all--if older version isn't a choice, would I be justified to go for the basic 24" (it's only $ 1,499!)?
    Second mind bothering thing is what's on their official website that explains its graphic performance charts among each other. Take for example (it says that) the GForce GT 120 dedicated runs [Call of Duty 4] 1.8x faster than it is on 9400M shared, whilst the 9400M runs it 2.3x faster than it is on ATI HD 2400 XT. Does the calculation go like this: that the game runs 4.14x (2.3 X 1.8) faster on GT 120 than it is on ATI HD 2400XT? Further, it'd be 17.4x (2.3 X 1.8 X 4.2) on GForce GT 130 512 Mb vs. HD 2400 XT?
    Thanks for allowing me to reply a question with a question. Bravo everyone!
  8. CalPoly10 macrumors regular

    Sep 5, 2006
    I would try to pick up a prior model, used. Get it with no sales tax, and fully loaded. You won't know the difference between the two, and you will save a LOT of money.
  9. TxCreative thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 9, 2009
    Does anyone think the larger 640GB hard drive might be something worth the price difference when compared to the 2.8GHz older model's 320?
  10. macperegrine macrumors newbie

    Mar 7, 2009
    London, UK
    I have the same machine, and completely agree with this recommendation. Especially since you say she needs it for:
    "a little Photoshop and some light video editing as well", it'll be more than ample for that.

    P.S. Sorry AppleMatt for editing the quote from your post, just wanted to highlight the points I particularly agreed with.
  11. 11800506 macrumors 65816


    Oct 31, 2007
    Washington D.C. Area
    As others have mentioned the 2.8 clearance/refurb iMac is a much better deal, but if she is really worried about hard drive space the base 24" is still a perfectly fine machine. A dedicated card is definitely better and more future proofed, but for what she is doing I doubt she will notice a difference. That is not say however, that a dedicated card is not preferred. If she has the money and is worried about HDD space (keep in mind external drives are very cheap if she runs out) then I would go for the 2.93. Other than that, the 2.8 refurb/clearance is a very good deal!
  12. TxCreative thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 9, 2009
    Thanks again for the responses. I should have clarified my last post better-I've ruled out the 2.66GHz and was just deciding between the 2.93GHz and 2.8GHz. Good point about the external option...I also thought of that since she is mainly concerned with enough room for movie storage.
  13. Scottsdale macrumors 601


    Sep 19, 2008
    Either one is a winner for you. Just comes down to price now. Best wishes whichever route you go.
  14. keitha macrumors newbie

    Apr 13, 2009
    ATI vs Radeon / Open Cl??

    Hello fellow forumers.

    I am debating a purchase of the new 2.93 Imac, or a one generation removed 2.8 Imac, and can really use some feedback.

    Either machine should meet my needs... for now. I wonder if the 2.93 will have some advantages making it worth a few hundred dollars extra, particularly the discussion of Nvidia, vs the ATI graphics cards, for down the road when Snow Leopard and other software is updated and Open Cl unleashed.

    From what I can tell, except doubling of ram (4g for 2.93 vs 2g for the 2.8), and a 640hd w/2.93 vs a 320 for the 2.8), the differences are subtle.

    My computing needs are:
    primary work is dynamic website development, Dreamweaver,
    Creative Suite 4- InDesign, and Photoshop (ranging from magazine quality to 11x17 newsprint 4-color, to web resolution).
    Modest video/film editing (instructional DVD mastering, a little music video work).
    No games or any significant 3-D rendering.

    Price: 2.93 IMac is $1750, vs $1300 for a new, non-refurbished 2.8 IMac. Add $75 for addl 2g ram in the 2.8, and $150 for an Apple wireless keyboard/mouse (any opinions on Apple's wireless vs Logitech or other wireless brand is welcome), and the price is a modest $225 difference between the two machines.

    Putting aside the price, there are a few specific subjects I hope some of you can illuminate:

    ATI Radeon 2600pro vs Nvidia GT120:

    I am told that the ATI card is a better card than the Nvida 9400 (in the IMac 2.66), and not quite up to the specs of the GT120(2.93 IMac), but not far off either.
    I am also informed that the Nvidia GT 120 may offer some advantages for the upcoming Snow Leopard, along with compatibility with new software releases from Adobe.
    And, will both of these cards be compatible for OPEN CL (which I understand will be a feature available for SnowLeopard?

    If you anyone can clarify either of the above for me....much appreciated!

    DDR3 (2.93 IMac) vs DDR2 (2.8 IMac): Other than having to buy addl ram for the 2.8, is there a noteworthy advantage to getting DDR3 vs DDR2 ?

    1066/800 Ram/Bus capacity (2.8) vs 1066/1066 for the 2.9? How significant is this?

    The Mini-DVI port has been replaced with a "Mini DisplayPort." Any feedback on this is welcome...

    On the subject of Open Cl...will Open CL even come into play for my computing needs...Website design with Dreamweaver, print publishing with InDesign, Photoshop imaging, modest film/video editing? Or is Open Cl something most specifically for gamers and Apple developers?

    Thanks, and please email directly if you wish:
  15. J&JPolangin macrumors 68030

    Jul 5, 2008
    Thule GL @ the TOW
    Interesting questions, curious also...


Share This Page