NVIDIA or Radeon?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by TheKeith, Apr 30, 2009.

  1. TheKeith macrumors newbie

    Apr 30, 2009
    Hey guys, long time reader and lurker, first time poster.

    I need some advice.

    Hopefully in the next couple of weeks, I'll be buying a 24 inch 3.06 top of the line iMac. I'll be using it for Graphic Design, Sound and Video production work. Photoshop, other CS4 programs, Final Cut Express with an eventual planned move to Final Cut Studio. I've determined this is going to give me the best bang for my budget.

    I'm aware of the 4850 freezing problem, but I imagine that a fix will come in the not too distant future, so I'm not really pursuaded by that.

    My question comes from the rumors of how Snow Leopard and the new Quicktime, Open CL, and how those things will effect and increase video conversion and render time. Obviously this is important for video editing, but the rumors are saying that only the NVIDIA will be able to take advantage of these technologies.

    So, looking forward, would it be better to get the iMac with the NVIDIA card? Right now the 4850 is more powerful, if only a little bit, but could the NVIDIA get a back door power value boost from Snow Leopard?

    Or am I way off base and have no idea what I'm talking about?
  2. jmpage2 macrumors 68040


    Sep 14, 2007
  3. sotov macrumors newbie

    Mar 9, 2009
    I wouldn't reccomend buying one that has a good chance of being unusable if you actually plan to do something with it other than post benchmarks. It doesnt worry you because they will fix it? Well, than wait till they do fix it before ordering if you can. There are horror stories of 2nd and 3rd returns. The GT 130 is plenty fast for what your're doing and solid. It's older technology but well supported and will do what you need. Curious to hear what you decide. Good luck!:)
  4. sotov macrumors newbie

    Mar 9, 2009
  5. TheKeith thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 30, 2009
    This form of forum-snobbery (not that I'm calling anybody a snob, just a term I coined) tires me out.

    I have looked through the forum, looked through threads about the GPU...and so many of them break down into arguments and so forth, and I haven't been able to find any speculation that relates to my actual question.

    I'm not necessarily asking if I should buy the GT130 or the 4850. Not directly anyway.

    I'm asking for opinions, or speculation on the effect that Snow Leopard, OpenCL, and Quicktime X will have on the performance of those two cards. I've read rumors to the effect that these things will be taking advantage of technology that only exists in the NVIDIA cards, so i'm curious if this would give the GT130 a back door performance boost.

    Also, if I've misunderstood what I've read or I'm off base, than I'll be happy to be told that as well.
  6. iLog.Genius macrumors 601


    Feb 24, 2009
    Toronto, Ontario
    No one knows at this point and why would they? Everything that you read is speculation (yes we know Snow Leopard will have OpenCL and other stuff) but there is no proof or anything to lend an informative response.
  7. TheKeith thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 30, 2009
    Doesn't matter anyway.
    Just found out I didn't get the job I was in the running for that would let me afford the iMac in the next couple of weeks.

    Might not be till after Snow Leopard is released when I can afford one. Who knows what'll be available by then and what the performance looks like.
  8. DELTAsnake macrumors 6502


    Jul 18, 2008
    If your not going to be using 3D applications you can go with the Geforce 120. If your going to lightly use 3D applications then get a Geforce 130 for heavey use of 3D applications get a Radeon 4850. Nothing you mentioned is a 3D application.

    For future reference of anyone searching for info on this.

    As far as the performance goes with the nVidia 9x00 and AMD/ATi HD 4xxx generations goes:

    120 = the Geforce 9300, slowest of the Geforce 9x00 generation.

    9400 = the integrated version of the 9400, 9400 is the mainstream low end in the 9x00 gen.

    130 = the Geforce 9500, slowest of the mid range 9x00 gen.

    AMD/ATI 4850 is faster, cheaper and uses less power than the competing nVidia 9800 gtx, the fastest of the 9x00 gen, but the 9800 GTX is not available on the iMac.

    And if anyone is interested in a Mac Pro, the 4870 is slower than the GTX 285.
  9. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
    GT130 isn't 9500 range... It's 9800M GT, exactly same clock speeds.

    ATI 4850 is great but the freezings are annoying so I can't suggest that one.
  10. Styxie macrumors member

    Oct 29, 2008
    Eh, as long as you don't use Airport you should be alright. I keep mine on ethernet and I haven't had any freezes so far.

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