Upgrades beyond memory?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by BobP63, Jan 21, 2007.

  1. BobP63 macrumors newbie

    Jan 17, 2007
    I’ll be in the market for a new iMac within the next month or so haven’t yet decided on a 20 or 24 but I’m leaning toward the 20. Whichever size I choose I plan on ordering it with 2gb of memory preinstalled, but I have a couple of question beyond which size to choose. When I comparison shop it’s certainly not a problem finding an iMac with 2gb of memory installed from sources such as MacMall, Mac Connection, etc. However it seems the Apple Store is the only place to go if you want a video upgrade as well.

    If I stay with the standard video configuration I can certainly save money, in the form of no sales tax and rebates, buying from somewhere other than the Apple Store. My question is this: For someone who’s not a gamer, video editor or an engineer doing 3D modeling would I ever see a benefit from either increased video memory on the 20” or an upgraded video card on the 24”?

    If the general consensus were a video upgrade doesn’t make sense for a person such as myself, my next question would be to ask for recommendations for a good online retailer.
  2. CanadaRAM macrumors G5


    Oct 11, 2004
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    If you're not a gamer or doing video rendering, then go with the stock video card and be happy - you'll never notice the difference.
  3. BilltheCat macrumors regular


    Jan 14, 2007
    Sanford FL

    I was going to go 2gigs of ram but so far have found no need for it. If you are not doing great loads of graphix programs or music programming then you may not need it either. If you do decide to get it later it is cheaper bought 3rd hand. I bought my 20" iMac from BHPhoto.com and can highly reccomend them.

    The graphix card upgrade is up to you of course but I didnt see any great need. I still dont.
  4. dllavaneras macrumors 68000


    Feb 12, 2005
    Caracas, Venezuela
    Just remember that while you will be able to upgrade memory down the road, there's no upgrading the video card...
  5. emptyCup macrumors 65816


    Jan 5, 2005
    That is true, and it makes a big difference to some people. However, if games or graphically intense applications are not of major importance to you, you will be fine with the stock card. Further, on the 20" you do not get a better card if you upgrade. You only get an additional 128MB of VRAM. This helps if you want to drive a large external monitor but only speeds games by 3-5%. You do get a better card if you upgrade a 24" iMac. For most people more RAM produces more improvement than a better video card.
  6. BobP63 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 17, 2007
    Thanks for the feedback, I'll most likely go for the standard video card with 2gig ram. Also thanks for pointing out B&H they offer more configurations than most with prices right in-line with the Apple Store so I'd be ahead at least with regard to sales tax. If I do go with the standard video card and 2gig both MacMall and Mac Connection appear to offer greater savings, any comments on either of these resellers? Thanks again.
  7. isleofjib macrumors regular

    Jan 21, 2007
    i can definitely recommend B&H. i've never bought computer gear from them, but i've bought a lot of photography equipment there and i've never had any issues. great place to do business with. but know what you want when you call and order. there won't be any warm fuzzies from the people who take the orders. :)
  8. TraceyS/FL macrumors 601

    Jan 11, 2007
    North Central Florida
    The ONLY reason i would say to think about the upgrade is if you would think in a couple of years you will sell it to upgrade. The more RAM on the card will have more use by then (i think - which often i shouldn't do :D).

    SO it might net you more on the other end.

    I don't know how the more RAM works for Aperture, I know the better the card (GPU) the better the performance....

    But otherwise - ENJOY!!!!! OH, but I would go for the 2gb, but i'm running a G4 with 1gb and killed Photoshop the other day. I'm maxed as to what i can do in the machine - so i must wait for a new 'puter.

    Have fun with it!!
  9. manhattanboy macrumors 6502a


    Jan 25, 2007
    In ur GF's bed, Oh no he didn't!
    I have the increased ram in the 20" and i do like it for HD tv, which comes in crystal clear without motion delays.
    But as with the other posters, how you spend your money is really up to what you use the CPU for.
  10. After G macrumors 68000

    After G

    Aug 27, 2003
    Short version: Spend more if you are keeping your hardware a long time.

    Long version: I would actually suggest getting more video card if you can afford it, even if you can't use it right away.

    I found that with my PPC Macs, I found myself wanting to do more but being constrained by slow hardware a year or two years after buying the latest and greatest. Spending on at least increased GPU memory will potentially help you in future as OS X offloads a lot to the GPU and having more textures in GPU memory is good. I think Leopard will do this even more than Tiger does (think Quartz 2D Extreme, currently disabled in Tiger iirc).

    Keep in mind that my hardware constraints were experienced during Apple's PPC days and Intel might keep your hardware going for longer, what with CPU upgrades and the potentially upgradeable 24" video card. Apple will push your hardware if you keep it long enough though.

    You may find current GPU memory/speed lacking in future with HD video, 10 MP + consumer photography, Web 2.0, etc.
  11. BobP63 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 17, 2007
    Thanks for the additional insights into video memory upgrades, whichever iMac I purchase I plan to utilize it for at least 3-years, so I’d like some performance headroom to handle future software demands. The pending release of Leopard has me a bit hesitant to purchase, as I’m not sure of the increased hardware demand Leopard might place on the system verses Tiger. If current generation hardware is more than sufficient to handle Leopard then I don’t mind buying an iMac today and purchasing Leopard as an update as I would use it to update both the iMac and my current MacBook Core Duo.

    I’d be interested in opinions with respect to how well my MacBook 2ghz Core Duo with 1gb ram would handle the transition to Leopard, if the MacBook would struggle with Leopard I’ll just upgrade to 10.4.9 when it comes out and leave it at that. If my MacBook would perform at least as well as it does today, then I’m confident in purchasing a Core 2 Duo iMac with 2gb Ram today as it would serve me well for the next few years.

  12. fotomike macrumors newbie

    Jan 25, 2007
    in my own world
    Well if you ever plan on using iphoto, iweb, watching a movie or doing anything visual the better the graphics card the more enjoyable the experience. I have 24" and love the video card. I do a lot of photo editing and it reall is nice!:apple:


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