Wait for iMac G5 128 card?

Discussion in 'Product Recommendations/Reviews' started by kntgsp, Sep 20, 2004.

  1. kntgsp macrumors 6502a

    Jul 27, 2004
    Hey I just sold all my current mac setup so that I could buy a new iMac. And now that they're out I see that you can't change the video card because apple was so kind to build it into the damn motherboard. I have heard that there will be a 128mb revision by dec. But I need a computer. So basically here is what I do, and i'm curious as to whether or not this can be solved simply by putting 2 gig's of ram in the imac.

    I run iphoto/imovie/itunes/adobe CS (mostly photoshop and golive)

    If I got the 20" imac with 2 gigs of ram, would it run all of that stuff fine? And most importantly would that computer last me like 2 years? Since the card is already 3 year old technology? :confused:

  2. edesignuk Moderator emeritus


    Mar 25, 2002
    London, England
    The sh*tty video card will only really come in to play for games. It will handle all regular apps/OS stuff just fine. If you need the comp now, buy now, I can't see a 128MB video card making any difference to you.
  3. FuzzyBallz macrumors 6502a


    May 2, 2003
    Home of Al-Qaida
    Not gonna happen. iMac users are not power users, so it'll be a waste of money for Apple to make a 2nd version of the G5 iMac mobo.
  4. Elan0204 macrumors 65816


    Apr 16, 2002
    Chicago, IL
    Whoever told you there would be a revision of the iMac by December is very wrong. I don't think we will see any changes to the iMac for 6 to 9 months at least, and I'm leaning towards the latter end of that time span.

    Hopefully the video card will go 128MB in the next revision, but that really depends what happens with the low end card in the PowerMac. I could really see the iMac's next revision being a speed bump (to 1.8 and 2.0 GHz), without any change to the video card.

    For what you want to do, the current video card will be more than enough. It will really only become a problem if you are hard core gamer that must play the latest and greatest games at all the highest settings.
  5. coconn06 macrumors regular

    Jun 14, 2003
    King of Prussia, PA
    Where did you hear that? That's unlikely, as the iMacs are just shipping now, and December is only a few months away. You are best to buy an iMac now, as I'll be doing very soon :)
  6. BrianKonarsMac macrumors 65816

    Apr 28, 2004
    you do realize the apps you use aren't even using the video card right? the only thing it's going to affect are your frame rates on iTunes visuals, which probably won't drop below 30fps, so you won't get much benefit out of a better card.

    so...a new video card will give you ZERO performance boost, but hey, bigger is better right?

    the increased memory would only benefit you in increased resolutions (i.e. higher than the iMac's monitor even supports), dual monitor setups (does the iMac even support this?), and intense gaming (which you don't mention as doing)...so waiting for a better video card would be a pretty moot point.

    stop waiting for a pointless video card upgrade...the imac is a consumer computer, the reason they don't have the latest and greatest GPU's is because...your average consumer would never use half of their power (your average consumer won't even make the iMac break a sweat, from the work you say you do, mainly iApps, I doubt you will either).
  7. Mord macrumors G4


    Aug 24, 2003
    it dose but you need a hack to make it work, the gpu can do it but apple disabled it to not compete with the powermac line.
  8. Jo-Kun macrumors 6502a

    Dec 20, 2003
    everybody is allways bitching about the videocards in the macs...

    as long as you are not playing games... or use more than one screen in high res... nobody will notice it, I use 2 monitors on my G5 with the 5200... works just fine, I do a lot of Photoshop, some VideoEditing... never had a problem with this so called ****** cards...

  9. Mord macrumors G4


    Aug 24, 2003
    btw your superdrive was ment to ship with an 8x one, towards the end of the rev.a's they shiped 8x drives as a silent update
  10. Jo-Kun macrumors 6502a

    Dec 20, 2003
    yes, probably, but why did they not mention it in the shipping description? ;-)
  11. AmigoMac macrumors 68020


    Aug 5, 2003
    Yeah! You should wait, just wait... don't do anything but wait... that's all!...

    you maybe right about the dec. revision... remarking you never wrote a specific year ... :p :D ...

    and, again, yes, wait, just wait...! :eek:
  12. Little Endian macrumors 6502a

    Apr 9, 2003
    Well Apple allready does make a seperate MOBO with and even crappier Card that the 5200FX Ultra.


    At that rate they could have built a 128MB version 5200 Ultra or opted for integrated Radeon 9600 or 9700 chipsets.
  13. Mord macrumors G4


    Aug 24, 2003
    because they did not bother publicizing it, it was in every powermac past some data that i forget.
  14. kntgsp thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jul 27, 2004
    Well I just bought a 20" imac 1.8Ghz with 2 gigs of pc3200, from a guy who bought two like a week ago. What's this with the 8x drive stuff? what speed did the early ones have? I'm not sure I understand what you mean. Thanks :confused:
  15. Jo-Kun macrumors 6502a

    Dec 20, 2003
    that thing about the 8x superdrive is off topic, its a response to my sig.

    the first REV A G5's got a 4x Superdrive, so that's why I was surprised that when I received my REV A G5 2x1.8Ghz I got a 8x Superdrive... and the Apple site clearly didn't mention anything else than 4x Superdrive...
    in fact they stated when the 'new' REV B was released: now 8X Superdrive... at a point when they clearly allready shipped that with the REV A's in the end... my G5 is from April '04

    I hope its clear for everybody now

    PS: the iMac G5, iBook & PowerBook have the 4x Slot-loading Superdrive...

    the eMac G4 and PowerMac G5 have the 8x Tray-loading...
  16. dacloo macrumors newbie

    Nov 13, 2004
    no offense

    No offense, but I totally DISAGREE!

    The videocard IS important in a computer. Saying that a videocard isn't "so important in everyday use" is IMHO a ignorant remark.

    Firstly, with Tiger coming up, the OS itself is making more use of pixel shaders, and the power of the videocard. It WILL be noticable.

    Secondly, people on this board always say: "unless you are gaming, you don't need the fancy videocard". Well, one thing that would greatly enhance the Mac community, is when more games are played by "PC switchers" who ARE looking for games on the Mac platform. Well...gaming ain't fun with a crappy FX 5200.

    Lastly, check out this website: http://www.barefeats.com/motion.html
    The 1.5 gHz G4 running an ATI 9700 is easily outperforming (e.g previewing) the 2 gHz G5 because of the graphics card. Sometimes the speed difference is huge: three times as fast as with a lower spec videocard like the 5200 FX.

    Don't forget, videocards nowadays are way more complex than CPU's and the Mac OS is wisely making use of GPU (unlike Windows XP).

    To add: I believe the low-end videocards in the current Mac product line are keeping PC switchers away from buying Apple hardware (just like me). I'm not talking about "options" here, but default GFX cards like the one in the Imac.
  17. applekid macrumors 68020

    Jul 3, 2003
    Not in the poster's case.

    Check the bottom right corner: http://www.apple.com/macosx/tiger/core.html

    The card itself is supported and should be able to handle any CoreImage filters without much of a hitch. Besides, the CPU will always make up whatever the graphics card can't handle. And, we don't know many places where CoreImage is being used except for in the System itself in a few places just to look pretty. Not very significant.

    PC users switching to the Mac platform for gaming? Ha. As if.

    Even if they wanted to switch, it wouldn't be in Apple's interest to convert gamers because they are a niche market. There's a lot less PC gamers than the 22 million OS X users. Check game sales and records. Your best-selling games of all time are only selling about a million or so copies. And only about half is probably described as "hardcore."

    And for a casual gamer, an FX 5200 will be "okay." If this guy decided to pick up some random game one day, just to keep him occupied from long days at work, he probably won't care too much about performance, as long as he finds it playable.

    Motion is supposed to be graphics card intensive. The apps the original poster wants don't care what kind of graphics card is going to be used. Bringing up a useless benchmark.

    Any serious Mac gamer is going to buy a PowerMac or they're making an uninformed mistake by buying anything less. I bought my G4 iMac back in the day with game near the bottom of my list of priorities. There's plenty of casual gamers around and

    And look at Dell, for example. Their default card in their PCs are still GeForce FX 5200s and or even... Intel Integrated... eck! So Apple is about where the market is. No review about the iMac has yet to say the FX 5200 is outdated for a consumer machine. Maybe for gaming, but I have yet to see any gaming-based reviews. Your average Joe PC user really doesn't care about the graphics card. Your average Joe PC user is probably working in the business area, where the PC population is the highest.

    Sorry to break it to you, but what you brought up are irrelevant points for this poster. I will agree with you about the things you brought up if they applied to the poster, but they just don't.
  18. Timelessblur macrumors 65816


    Jun 26, 2004
    well here is a count for you claim that a seirous gamer thing. No Seirous Gamer would even consider getting a Mac. If they claim they are a seirous gamer and they get a mac for gaming they are not a big time gamer.

    Now for a lot of people they like to play games and they are just middle of the road gamers. plus I might like to point out most gaming computer from heavy gamers cost high end 2grand including monitor. Oh wait you can not do that with power mac those START at the upper limit before you even thing about getting a monitor plus the upgrads it would need.

    The switching and gaming argument is valid. a lot of people switch who just play games part of the time but are want good graft in them. They are the ones who just want to play doom3 and mid setting something you will not be able to do on the iMac sicne it barily makes system requiments and those min setting are for lowest graphic setting.

    The problem is the iMac graphic card is crap end of story and they really shoudl of just offerd a way to upgrade it to something desent like a 9600 pro or XT but no apple does not think about that.

    Apple wants more games to be made for there system but yet they put crappy cards in there consumer system... yeah apple has to give first.

    Oh btw the CPU can not pick up as much slack as you think in graphics. I can put a top of the line chip in a PC but if I put a crappy graphic card in there it just a waste of its power since everything is GPU limited and not CPU.
  19. applekid macrumors 68020

    Jul 3, 2003
    Assuming you were replying to me...

    We're talking about CoreImage, not a GPU for gaming. CoreImage technology utilizes the CPU for whatever the GPU can't handle. Click the link I posted. And from what I've heard here, Tiger/CoreImage has been doing pretty well on machines without the ideal graphics card (so anything under a GeForce FX 5200) because the CPU makes up what's left pretty well. It's a scalable so it's fine.

    I still disagree. Apple may have met the game developers half way with some good development support, but that's as far as they'll go. There aren't many gamers on the Mac side and PC gaming is still a niche market in comparison to the rest of the market, and not as profitable to create switchers compared to say something for businesses or professionals.

    You can complain all you want about Apple's lacking support for gamers, but look at the rest of the computer market. Apple isn't far off at all. I do agree the graphics card is crap, but that's only if you're gaming. It handles Quartz, Quartz Extreme, and CoreImage like a champ, so the only people that care about the card will be the gamer.

    Sure, the Mac may be an expensive computer to buy just for gaming, but who actually does that? That's not Apple's target market. So forget it.

    Just buy the iMac, kntgsp!!
  20. Timelessblur macrumors 65816


    Jun 26, 2004
    either way this tread has turn into another thread where the zelots have taken over.

    These zelots are the people who believe apple can do no wrong and what ever apple does is right.

    The same people who beleive what ever apple or Jobs says is the word of god and should be treated as stuff.

    Apple either needs to stop saying it wants games ot be made for it OS and start proving that they are willing to support the games. Start releazing that the G5 chip is being wasted with a POS graphic card.
  21. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    May 19, 2002
    If you are that worried about the iMac's video card, buy the SP 1.8 PowerMac -- it's the same machine in a PowerMac case.

    Sort of holding the same niche in the PowerMac line as the PowerBook12.

    But you swap the LCD, for extra drive bay, a couple extra DIMM slots and an actual AGP video card.
  22. Timelessblur macrumors 65816


    Jun 26, 2004
    and you add 1k to the price because you still need a monitor
  23. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    May 19, 2002
    Some people already own monitors (multiples in some cases) or decide to spend much less.

    Unless you tend to shop at store where the salesman tend to pull out the nickle plated revolver and force you to spend $1k on a monitor.

    Personally, I don't like shopping at those stores, they remind me too much of car dealerships.
  24. Demon Hunter macrumors 68020

    Mar 30, 2004
    Dacloo is right.

    CoreImage isn't just for Tiger. It will likely be utilized in many applications, including Keynote (there is a thread about this here).

    Processing Tiger's fancy GUI may not seem very important, but it will increase overall system performance by offloading these tasks to the GPU. The GPU can process this data much more efficiently than the CPU can (not to mention free up precious bandwith for more important tasks).

    My point is not that the 5200FX can't do this just fine -- it actually renders a lot of popular games like Warcraft III quite ably -- but that in choosing to wait or upgrade, it will help your system run more quickly and efficiently.

    Just look at how the GPU has evolved. It only gets more important with every system release. [/twocents]
  25. dmbmikee macrumors newbie

    Nov 8, 2004
    I have the iMAc 20 inch....!!! Love it and it works great.....I upgraded to 768ram...I can play a dvd, a wmp file a quicktime file all at once....ohhh and while listening to itunes.....no glitches...no problems....GREAT!

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