Refurbished IMac - Which Graphics Component for HD Movies?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Jozawun, Jan 8, 2011.

  1. Jozawun macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2011
    Location:
    Australia
    #1
    I am finally ready to switch from my PC to a Mac.
    I intend to buy a refurbished 27" IMac.
    It's uses will be general - web-surfing, word-processing, spreadsheet, playing audio and video files, etc.
    It will NOT be used for gaming or video-editing or any other high-end graphics purposes.
    It WILL be used for playing HD Movies.
    There are currently two choices:
    For $1599

    Refurbished iMac 27-inch 3.06GHz Intel Core 2 Duo

    27-inch LED-backlit glossy widescreen display
    4GB memory
    1TB hard drive
    8x SuperDrive (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW)
    ATI Radeon HD 4670 graphics with 256MB memory
    Built-in iSight camera

    Or, for $1749

    Refurbished iMac 27-inch 3.2GHz Intel Core i3 processor

    27-inch LED-backlit glossy widescreen display
    4GB memory
    1TB hard drive
    8x SuperDrive (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW)
    ATI Radeon HD 5670 graphics with 512MB memory
    Built-in iSight camera

    As you can see, the only essential difference (apart from the $150) is the graphics component.

    Price is an important consideration.

    Do people think the cheaper one will be adequate for my purposes?
     
  2. BulletToothTony, Jan 8, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2011

    BulletToothTony macrumors 6502

    BulletToothTony

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2009
    #2
    I would not recommend the iMac 27" for HD movies.. just as SD movies look bad on HDTVs HD movies will look "not as good" on that iMac since the Native resolution is 2650x1440 which means your mac is going to have to "create" new pixels to fill up the screen.

    They won't look terrible but they won't look better than a 1080p TV.

    Having said that i do watch a few movies on my iMac, specially animated and look awesome, but regular films do not. But you can watch HD movies in a smaller window.

    Even thou i would never choose a Mac Mini maybe that with a nice 27" Monitor with a lower resolution would better suit your needs?

    Best of luck.

    If you are going to buy an iMac regardless I would HIGHLY recommend the Inter Core i3, Core 2 Duos are really showing their age and as more updates come your Mac will not work as smoothly with let's say 10.8.0 it will run but not as fast..
    For $150 it's specially at that price range I assure you that you will not regret it.
     
  3. alust2013 macrumors 601

    alust2013

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2010
    Location:
    On the fence
    #3
    While the above poster does make valid points, for your use, the noticeable difference will be zero. Video playback isn't particularly graphics or CPU intensive (unless it is Flash video), and the CPU difference isn't even really that much to begin with. If the $150 isn't that big of a deal either way, I'd get the i3. If you'd rather save it, then I'd go with the older model. I do have to disagree with the comment that C2D is showing its age. Sure, if you're doing a lot of heavy processing, you'll benefit from a newer CPU, but it is by no means underpowered.
     
  4. Jozawun thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2011
    Location:
    Australia
    #4
    Refurbished IMac - Which Graphics Component for HD Movies?

    Thanks to both of you, you have helped to clarify my thoughts.

    Just one thing BulletToothTony, wouldn't the issues you raise about HD video on a 27" screen apply to both of the two choices?

    Also, I did look at the Mac Mini with a big HD screen, but it really has too many shortcomings.
     
  5. mad-jamie16 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2010
    Location:
    England
    #5
    You could always reduce the resolution fairly easily in display preferences.
     
  6. The General macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2006
    #6
    1. Any iMac you buy made in the last 3 years will be able to play 1080p bluray rips. Several of them at a time.

    2. HD video playback is not a big deal. My 11" macbook air plays full quality blu-ray rips at full resolution on my 42" 1080p TV without a hitch. And it has a 1.4ghz core 2 duo, 2gb of ram and a geforce 320m.

    3. HD video looks fine on 27" imac. reducing the resolution in system preferences like the above poster suggested would only make it look worse. changing the resolution doesn't change the number of pixels on the display.

    4. go with the i3/5750 model. it's newer, it has a spot for an SSD if you ever wanted to install one, its processor is way faster.
     
  7. Jozawun thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2011
    Location:
    Australia
    #7
    Thanks to everyone for their help.

    Looks like I have to do a little more thinking.

    And counting.
     
  8. johto macrumors 6502

    johto

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #8
    Scaling upwards isnt any problem. Every sofware can use apropriate algorithm for it(Bicubic/bilinear etc), you will not lose any "resolution". Only when you are scaling downwards...
     
  9. BulletToothTony, Jan 13, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2011

    BulletToothTony macrumors 6502

    BulletToothTony

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2009
    #9
    so why do you think that SD looks so bad on an HDTV? Even when you upconvert the image..

    Actually things look better when you downscale than when you upscale..

    i LOVE my iMac but trust me but i cannot recommend it to act as an HDTV, it's not your best choice.

    But you could indeed get a second 1080p monitor and it would look amazing..

    I have been thinking about this myself, a long HDMI cable from monoprice.com would make my second monitor an sweet second monitor and and HDTV.

    Hope it helps.
     

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