Video Card Comparisons

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by brbeard, Jul 7, 2008.

  1. brbeard macrumors newbie

    Jul 7, 2008
    Chicago, IL
    Hello All,

    New Convert here -- well, not a convert yet, I suppose, but I've read the pamphlet and I like it.

    I intend to purchase an iMac in the next few weeks (upgrading from a 7 ! year old Dell that I've had to run in VGA mode for the past 10 months) and I've got a technical question regarding video cards --

    I always hear (or at least I did before the most recent upgrade) that the video cards in macs are totally outdated. Does the "ATI Radeon HD 2400 XT graphics processor with 128MB of GDDR3 memory" fall into that category? If so, is the "ATI Radeon HD 2600 PRO graphics processor with 256MB" significantly better? It certainly sounds better, but, for a guy who doesn't play video games at all, would it be a prudent upgrade? I'm not in a financial position where I can add 20% to the cost of the computer for something that isn't really necessary.

    Here's my user profile -- out of college, basically just using my computer for leisure, surfing and such (at the moment, at least). However, I'd like to use it for video editing as well, perhaps a significant amount -- will the 2400 work well for this? And the graphic card is a component that I can always upgrade (replace) later, right?

    It seems like the 2600 cards are fairly cheap ($100ish) on the market...
  2. Eric. macrumors regular

    Mar 30, 2008
    You can't upgrade the video cards in an iMac. They are soldered to the logic board like a laptop. The 2400 sounds like it would work for your uses. I would personally go for the 2600 just because you can't upgrade iMacs. If you were to do a "significant amount" of editing you will appreciate the difference.
  3. savvos macrumors regular

    Sep 8, 2007
    There are some apps for video editing, etc. such as Motion and iMovie that take advantage of the graphics card for acceleration in rendering and other things. If you plan on doing video editing often, it would make sense for you to bump up from the HD 2400 to the HD 2600. If you will only be video editing once in a blue moon, the speed increase might not be worth the extra money for you.

    If you want to look at how some off the different video cards compare, Barefeats has some interesting numbers. They don't include the HD 2400 and the first tests were done on Mac Pros, but they will give you some idea of how the video cards can affect performance.
  4. brbeard thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 7, 2008
    Chicago, IL
    Hey guys,
    Thanks for the replies! That was useful info -- I appreciate it. I'm leaning toward just going with the base model (2400)...then again, I'll likely be using this computer for at least 5 years, so it may be wise to get something slightly more than I need. Oh these damned decisions! :) Anyway, thanks again for answering my questions, guys.

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