What 21.5-inch iMac is a better buy? 3.33GHz GeForce 9400M or 3.06GHz Radeon 4670?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by corbin_a2, Oct 20, 2009.

  1. corbin_a2 macrumors regular

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    #1
    Going to get my first new Mac in 4 years and want to know what one would be better in the long run. Is the low end one with the $160 3.33 upgrade chip and shared graphics a better bet then the 3.06 and dedicated graphics?
     
  2. Sambo110 macrumors 68000

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  3. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

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  4. corbin_a2 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #4
    It's been 4 years since I have bought a Mac.

    So what is more important? A faster CPU or dedicated Video?
     
  5. definitive macrumors 68000

    definitive

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    #5
    if you're willing to spend an extra $300 for a better graphics chip + 500gigs more space, then it's worth it.
     
  6. ayeying macrumors 601

    ayeying

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    #6
    A dedicated video card beats the 9400M any day.
     
  7. js81 macrumors 65816

    js81

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    #7
    ^^ Seconded.

    If the money is not an issue, then dedicated graphics card and bigger HD is definitely, well, better. :D You'll see much more difference than a ~270Mhz improvement.
     
  8. kolax macrumors G3

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    #8
    If you want this to last you as long as 4 years, then definitely get the dedicated graphics.
     
  9. gigas65 macrumors member

    gigas65

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    #9
    Do not think it just as a 270Mhz improvement. The improvement is not analog and don't forget that 3,33 has 6mb second level cache and works on 1333mhz, while 3,03 has the only the half (3mb) and a FSB of 1066 (intel chips E8600 and E7600)

    http://www.intel.com/products/processor/core2duo/specifications.htm?iid=prod_core2duo+tab_spec
     
  10. covisio macrumors 6502

    covisio

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    #10
    I've just had that dilemma and opted for the 3.06GHz with the Radeon 4670. It seems like quite a lot of extra money to pay, but I want my iMac to last at least 4 years. I couldn't see the 9400M model coping with the visual demands of the future. Plus you get a nicely useful 1TB HD. Cost me an extra £250 but I think on balance it's worth it, to me.
     
  11. AAPLaday Guest

    AAPLaday

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    #11
    If you can get an extra 2 years out of it for £250 then its more than worth it
     
  12. psingh01 macrumors 65816

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    #12
    I personally go for the high end everything. The video card, I think it depends if you're going to game in bootcamp (if you're just an average user). Cause if you're not then I think you can get buy with the 9400M for any Mac stuff.
     
  13. js81 macrumors 65816

    js81

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    #13
    Ugh, that does make a difference. I had seen the cache difference, but I hadn't put 2+2 together and noticed that it was a completely different chip. Why doesn't Apple advertise this? This is a big deal! A $200 upgrade for ~270MHz ain't worth it - but a $200 upgrade for ~270MHz, 3MB of cache, and a 267MHz faster bus IS.

    EDIT: If this is all correct (and it appears to be based on the link provided) then the OP may be better off with the 9400M and the upgraded processor, provided he/she doesn't play tons of heavy games (though the 9400M isn't terrible...).
     
  14. AAPLaday Guest

    AAPLaday

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  15. js81 macrumors 65816

    js81

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    #15
    I would agree, except on price. Some people don't need a dedicated graphics chip. That said, if its going to include it, the baseline should be $999, but that's just IMO.
     
  16. covisio macrumors 6502

    covisio

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    #16
    But I don't think it's that kind of thing that kills a computer. If you're going to buy a new iMac with the intention of gaming via bootcamp, then you have the opportunity to choose an appropriate spec. In my experience it's the unknown, uncontrollable things, like OS upgrades that depend heavily on graphics power, websites, flash content, streaming video, etc., that are constantly developing and eat resources. BBC iPlayer is a prime example. Both my G4 Alu PowerBook and my wife's Dell laptop can no longer handle it.

    Yes, your needs now may dictate the spec of your machine, but your future needs are imposed on you by content and software authors, which you have no control over.

    Again, in my experience, your consumer Macs can take one major OS upgrade - two and they start to struggle. Pro Macs last a bit longer because they are higher specced to begin with. I'm typing this on a Dual 2.5Ghz G5 Power Mac, and it copes pretty well with almost everything. I believe this is due to the graphics card which is a Radeon 9800 Pro Special Edition 256, a good card in its day and no slouch now (not a patch on the new iMac tho!).
     

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