Previous gen 2.8 Imac vs new 2.66

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Whackintosh, Mar 11, 2009.

  1. Whackintosh macrumors 6502

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    #1
    I can get a 2.8 for a steal at the moment, and I realize it has the up on the new model in terms of dedicated GPU and processer speed, but I wonder if those pluses would be negated by the fact that for $300 more, I can get double the memory (DDR3 as well), faster bus and twice the hard drive space. I don't game at all, but for video editing, photoshop etc, am I still better off with the low-end dedicated GPU in the 2.8 over the integrated 9400 in the 2.66? Taking that out of the equation, I'm thinking the 2.66 would be the one to go for, no?
     
  2. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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  3. bajee macrumors regular

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    #3
    can the previous gen iMac handle 8gig like the iMac early 2009 ?
     
  4. Mike in Kansas macrumors 6502a

    Mike in Kansas

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    #4
    No, it can only handle 4GB of DDR2 RAM, while the new ones can handle up to 8GB of DDR3 RAM. However, upgrading beyond 4GB right now is VERY pricey, both from Apple or D-I-Y!
     
  5. bajee macrumors regular

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    #5
    so is the newer imac a better buy since its more future proof?

    I mean the price of ddr3 laptop memory will definitely go down right ? and ddr2 will be obsolete by then?

    coz I see alot of people going for the older macs, knowing that it can't be upgraded anymore in the future.
     
  6. Mike in Kansas macrumors 6502a

    Mike in Kansas

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    #6
    If you mean "unavailable" by obsolete, I doubt that will be the case. You can still get iMac G3 memory. If you mean "no longer standard" by obsolete, then yes, it will no longer be standard.

    I don't know if RAM speed will really determine how "future proof" the machine is. However, if Snow Leopard truly begins to utilize the GPU more, and other apps written for Snow Leopard will do the same, you'd think the one with the more recent video card would be more "future proof". However, by buying an iMac to begin with, you really reduce the machine's ability to be "future proof" as the only thing you can change is the RAM and the internal HDD. And to be honest, with external HDD drives being as fast and as cheap as they are these days with FW800 and large caches and all, I don't even see the HDD as being a consideration for someone who would buy an iMac in the first place. Now a Mac Pro, that's a different story - some folks NEED the speed of an internal drive for what they are doing. I can't see an iMac user "needing" an internal drive for anything but the OS and apps, but I could be wrong.
     
  7. bajee macrumors regular

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    #7
    @Mike

    My point is you can't place more than 4gb of ram in the old iMac and even if you still have ddr2 rams by the time you need an upgrade, it doesn't matter coz your machine can't handle it. So the future proofing I'm talking about is for the new iMac to have the ability have 8gb, twice the memory of the previous gen.

    More ram is always welcomed, you are correct, firewire is really fast, though its not that much, its like about 100MB / sec.

    I was talking about ram. not hdd. However to correct your post, -

    solid state drives (SSD) are around 220MB both read and write. Ram speeds will bring you about 1.6 GB / sec. that's awful lot of difference to your firewire 800, right?

    So really there's no comparison of having bigger ram with firewire800, they're like night and day ;)
     
  8. Whackintosh thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #8
    So it sounds like the new one is likely the best way to go, provided that the 9400 is a solid performer (and it seems to be). I really wish Apple made a more powerful mini because I'd so prefer not to be stuck with the Imac screen. I'm still fence-sitting and going a bit nuts. Part of me wonders if a maxed out mini would really be that much of a step down from an Imac, if the heaviest its being used for is light video editing, photoshop etc. I've got an old ACD and I'm very happy with that display and hate the idea of being forced to take the whole Imac shebang if I want a capable Mac that isn't a full-on Mac Pro machine.
     
  9. JayLenochiniMac macrumors G5

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    #9
    So the prev gen iMac can't handle 6 gigs like the new macbook and MBP do (2GB more than advertised)?
     
  10. bajee macrumors regular

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    #10
    @ Whackintosh
    you can always go for dual screen with an iMac :). However I get what you mean, I too am aiming for a mini plus the new LED cinema display, turns out it will be the same price.

    Note that the new iMac offeres faster ddr3 memory, which requires less power and therefore produce less heat.

    Having the integrated 9400m gives you a cooler pc too :D.

    You're upgrade options can be this, 8gig ram and Solid state Drives :D

    @JayLenochiniMac
    you know that's what I asked here, but researching further turns out the sta. rosa iMac can handle 6gb ddr 2 memory

    here is the link http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=607076
     
  11. Mike in Kansas macrumors 6502a

    Mike in Kansas

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    #11
    I have seen some posts on here back in late 2008 where some guy installed a 4GB RAM stick next to his 2GB RAM stick in his iMac. He booted up and it was recognized; however, he took it out before he could run benchmarks showing that it was actually being utilized versus just recognized. I'm not sure if anything more conclusive had been discussed since then. If anyone knows otherwise, please feel free to correct me.
     
  12. Mike in Kansas macrumors 6502a

    Mike in Kansas

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    #12
    Agreed - 4MB RAM is the limit, although some have claimed installing 6. But I don't know if that has been verified or not.

    And yes, of course SSD drives are faster than external HDD, and RAM is even faster. But there comes a point when transferring a file at 0.25 sec and at 0.5 sec are basically the same thing; diminishing returns and all that for the iMac target audience.
     
  13. bajee macrumors regular

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    #13
    @Mike, ram is around 1.6GB per second, you're beloved firewire maxes out 90 to 100MB per second (firewire 800) . .. 0.25 seconds to 5 seconds difference ? :eek:

    You can't compare ram to harddisk, they're role in computing is different, ram keeps getting faster. Btw, the cache in the processor is even faster than ram, the one you see, 6mb cache etc. yes, that's the one, that's the first layer for cpu processing. second is ram.

    Now if you notice, the new iMac has faster front side bus 1066Mhz, and also has 6mb cache, versus the old one 4mb cache. So the actual run runs faster, not to mention it runs cooler, since the ram requires less voltate (ddr3 vs ddr2)

    and ofcourse the nvidia chip runs cooler too, since its integrated :D

    ----------------

    So to the thread starter, I'm not really sure if the dedicated graphcis card, the ati 2400 pro is way faster than the integrated 9400m. I haven't seen benchmarks yet. Thing is, currently, the new iMac can handle your needs. However, we don't know yet, if the graphics card will a crucial point in the future, no one really knows. However, your 9400M definitely will take advantage of OpenCL of the upcoming Snow Leopard.
     
  14. Mike in Kansas macrumors 6502a

    Mike in Kansas

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    #14
    You need to go back and re-read my post. I never compared RAM to a HDD; I stated that getting a bigger hard drive in an iMac really doesn't future proof it that much, as you can add FW800 drives, which although may not be as fast as an internal HDD, still won"t really slow you down from a practical standpoint. I also said that while the new iMacs can handle up to 8GB of DDR3, does the target iMac user really need more than 4. No where in that post did I suggest you could replace RAM with a HDD. You don't need to tell me that the cache is faster than RAM is faster than an internal HDD is faster than a FW drive.

    For the record, both the early 2008 AND early 2009 iMacs have a 1067MHz FSB AND a 6MB cache. The difference is that the early 2009 uses 1067MHz DDR3 RAM while the 2008 uses 800MHz DDR2. And the 2008 24"/2.8 comes with the 2600PRO (really an underclocked 2600XT) NOT the 2400XT like the 20"-ers do. So you see, the 2008 24/2.8 and 2009 24/2.66 are much more closely matched than you are admitting, hence the good deal of a 24"/2.8 refurb at $1200. I doubt that the 2009 24"/2.66 is really that much more "future proof" than the 2008 24"/2.8. But hey, I don't care - I'm happy with both of mine and am set for years to come.
     
  15. bajee macrumors regular

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    #15
    ---> then you don't need to tell me that you don't need me to tell you :p

    Please re-read your post again too. Thing is you didn't even need to bring the HDD argument since I was specifically telling the advantage of the newer system with RAM option.

    And dude, no matter what you say, bigger ram is always a plus, it will always benefit the user (having loaded many apps - multi-tasking) , especially the user stated, he wanted it for photoshop - memory hungry application.

    Just the heads up, I am not arguing with you on external vs internal, heck, I don't want to even discuss hdd options. You are right, if you want bigger storage, you have firewire 800 external HDD option. If you want faster HDD, you can get SSDs. Though that's not really what I'm talking about. I'm just saying the new iMac has more bright future than the old one

    Mind you, another point for the new iMac is that, this was post by on the other thread:

    James Cole:
    I very much agree with him, getting the newer models will always give you higher resale value :) So best way is to buy the new one. Heck if the thread starter has money to spare, get the 24" gt 120 and upgrade it with 4850, if not, the 24" 9400m - 1499 option is a steal :)
     
  16. Mike in Kansas macrumors 6502a

    Mike in Kansas

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    #16
    And so is the 24"/2.8/2600PRO refurb at $1199. That is my point.

    My reply to you was also for the OP - HE brought the larger HDD into the equation. HIS post was asking if the older 2.8 compared favorably to the new 2.66, as the older 2.8 was priced lower than the new 2.66. I was providing him with an objective argument of the possible pros and cons of new versus old - newer machine with faster RAM with more RAM upgrade possibilities and larger internal HDD on one hand, older machine with faster processor and better GPU with a lower price on the other hand. There IS no right answer - why can't you see that?

    He was asking what was the better deal, NOT which could be tricked out the best and last him the longest. There is a difference. And RAM speed is just part of the equation. One could argue that the one with the dedicated GPU could be more future proof than the one with the integrated GPU, as it may run SL better than the integrated one. But we won't know that until SL and apps utilizing this new architecture come out.

    Of course getting the newer model if performance is comparable will give you a better resale value, that's a no-brainer. However, the resale value is only recognized if you resell the machine. And if he can save $300 now, versus only getting $100 more on resale of the newer one, has he really saved? The mantra "always buy new" is a trite answer and does not take into account the entire situation. Buying new is NOT always the most financially-sound option - it depends on the price and performance of the alternative.

    You're stating facts in your post but ignoring the OP's original question - will he see a recognizable difference in running his apps on the older 2.8 versus the newer 2.66. More RAM in your machine will only be of benefit if you are limited by RAM; otherwise it is just sitting there. If I have 4GB of RAM in my machine and NEVER dip into virtual memory when running my apps, or switching from app to app, what will 8GB do for me?

    And "dude", obviously I know that "bigger RAM is always a plus" (you mean more I am assuming) but at what cost? Heck, IF he has money to spare, by your logic shouldn't he also get 8GB of RAM for an additional $1000 because it will give him the highest RESALE value AND it has "the biggest RAM"? Even though he may never use more than 3GB. It's like saying "get the 8 core Mac Pro because if has more cores". That argument only makes sense if your apps take advantage of multi-processors (many can't take advantage of 8 cores). Otherwise, go for the faster quad or dual core. :D
     
  17. bajee macrumors regular

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    #17
    dude, i'm just correcting your false statements ok? :D

    http://reviews.cnet.com/desktops/apple-imac-24-inch/4507-3118_7-32564559.html?tag=mncol;psum

    What I did is just present the facts, anyway where did you get the $1,199 2.8ghz iMac? can you provide the link ?

    this is the 2.8ghz Extreme Edition (2007) priced at $1,299
    http://store.apple.com/us/product/FB322LL/A?mco=MjE0NDk5Mw

    this is the 2.8ghz early 2008 edition priced at $1,399
    http://store.apple.com/us/product/MB325LL/A?mco=Mjk1NDMwMA

    so where the heck you get the $1,199

    Note $1,299 has only 800mhz bus and the memory its using is only 667Mhz RAM and 4mb cache, as opposed to the 1067MHz bus 6mb cache

    So basically following you're argument, the one you're referring to is probably the 2008 edition, the $1,399, so its only a $100 dollar difference. Now pair it with educational discount the $100 would probably be $50 discrepancy? I'm not sure of the exact discount, but hey we really have a winner! the new iMac 2.66ghz for only $1,499

    For your information, operating systems adjust itself with available ram, and I can bet my lucky coin that Snow leopard will just do that and even optimize how it handle the memory and juice out all available resources of your machine.

    So if you have 8gig, you're OS will automagically adjust with your ram, taking full advantage of 8gig

    The possiblity of adding ram, resale value, faster memory, makes the new iMac a clearly winner. I'm saying that 300$ more is really really really really worth it

    Btw, one of the reasons of buying macs is of their great resale value, so why not take advantage of it?
     
  18. VoodooDaddy macrumors 65816

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    #19
    IDK what the argument here is, but here is the $1199 model

    http://store.apple.com/us/product/FB325LL/A?mco=MjE0NDk5Mw
     
  19. Mike in Kansas macrumors 6502a

    Mike in Kansas

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    #20
  20. bajee macrumors regular

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    #21
    dude that price is from the EPP program and thus getting discounts?, correct?

    and you're comparing it to the regular price iMac?

    compare it to the new model with discounts, and not the regular price.
    and even with that discrepancy its still better to get the new iMac and I don't want to repeat myself.

    and i'm not giving false statesments, I'm just asking you where'd you get the $1,199, what false statement is that?

    I correctly gave the price with links

    You on the other hand didn't give any link that's why I'm asking
     
  21. Mike in Kansas macrumors 6502a

    Mike in Kansas

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    #22
    The link I posted was to the refurb store. Tons of folks have gotten the 24"/2.8 for $1199 since the day the new iMacs were announced. Click on the link. It takes you to the listing in the store.
     
  22. bajee macrumors regular

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  23. bajee macrumors regular

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    #24
    another note,

    the early 2008 iMac you mentioned does run on 1066Mhz ram. Thing is we don't know if that would run on a 6gb.

    The one I posted earlier who got a 6gb iMac runing was using the 2007 iMac. so it uses a different ddr2 memory, one that runs 667Mhz.

    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=607076 --> uses the older mac slower memory.

    And the early 2008 iMac does have 1066 FSB, but only uses ddr2 800Mhz, you see the difference? new iMac uses faster memory ram running on 1066Mhz not 800Mhz.
    That's what I'm actually pointing out on the fsb just so you know.

    so, I think it will be very hard to find a 4gb single module PC2-8500 ddr2 ram today, much more in the future, where ddr2 will be updated.

    So you'll be stuck on a 4gb module for that early 2008 iMac model. I myself want an 8gig mac setup, Since I have to run multiple virtual machines in my computer, and having bigger ram, really helps alot. Maybe you can find a link for me btw for that single 4gig stick ddr2 800 laptop ram module
     
  24. jmpage2 macrumors 68030

    jmpage2

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    #25
    If you look at the recent benchmark comparisons you will see that other than in a few games the 2.8ghz 2008 iMac is almost as fast as the newer 2009 iMacs.

    Seeing as it costs $800 or more less than a top spec iMac and only has around 10-15% less performance in most applications it's easy to see why many people will scoop these up before they're gone.

    That $800 can be put in the bank and used on the next refresh to get something more revolutionary like Quad Core and even faster video cards.
     

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