Where's my $1600 best spent?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by stevo8, Mar 10, 2009.

  1. stevo8 macrumors 6502

    Jul 3, 2007
    So I have a birthday around the corner and will be picking up a iMac thanks to some help from my family. :) Im just up in the air on what would fit my personal needs best. I have a budget of about $1600(am a student so take into account the discount). As of right now I'm on a old core duo MBP 2.0GHz 2g ram, and it just doesn't cut it anymore. I'm a photographer and my workflow consists of editing on a 22" monitor in Lightroom and then Photoshop while I watch movies or previously loaded tv shows on the 15" MBP monitor. I don't have a TV in my room so it regularly doubles as my tv/radio.

    So with that said, I'm looking at picking up either the old 24" 2.8GHz for $1299, or the new 24" 2.66GHz for $1399. If I was to get the 2.8 I would also pick up some crucial ram(not sure the price but I'm assuming sub $200?) and then most likely be done with it(until snow lep arrives). I'm sure that setup would work just fine for me for some time, but I'm wondering if I would be better off with the 2.66GHz as it has faster ram(also could eventually go to 8gigs) and it's only a $100 more.. I would just hate to get the 2.8 and then when SL comes have any issues and not be able to throw more ram at it... If that would even help. Another concern(although small) is hd space. So for $100 I get double the space and double the ram at the small cost of the processor speed. So for extensive photo processing, which is better? Faster and more ram, or faster processor and a dedicated graphics card?
  2. Scottsdale macrumors 601


    Sep 19, 2008
    Definitely the "OLD" model that has dedicated graphics and the same beautiful display. The only thing is in the long run, upgrading to 8 GB RAM (as capable on new iMacs) could make it last an extra year or two... especially toward end of its life when it's like $100 to upgrade to 8 GB RAM.

    So, if you could swing it, the only new model I would say is the middle 24" iMac. It has 2.93 which doesn't matter, but it does have an Nvidia GT 120 graphics and is upgradeable to an ATI 4850 (awesome), but that all adds a lot of money right now. $1799 base and $200 for 4850.

    In the short run, on a budget, and for a good three year's of powerful computing the old iMac 2.8, 2600, and 24" beautiful display for $1299 is a hell of a deal! Just think was $1899 just over a week ago. The only thing is upgrade the RAM yourself for like $40 on the old model.
  3. Ejg94 macrumors newbie

    Mar 10, 2009
    Up North in UK
    Well, to be honest... Go with the older one, you can get it for a lot cheaper but not from Apple. I have the older one and have had no problems with video editing at a high level. As for the ram situation you shouldn't have to worry, I got a 2gb model and changed it for 4gb for £30 (about $45) and it is perfect! The processor speed isn't crucial but after going on both, there is relatively little difference. I had a vm open photoshop after affects and premiere open all at once and my mac wasn't struggling at all.... but then on the other hand safari froze half way through playing bunny invasion 2. But then again i think it doesn't really matter how you go... I have SL on my imac and it is just the same in performance wise to Leapord but if you have the cash at hand and feel extravagent... go for the 09 model, its your choice...

    This was my first post so please do correct me and help me become more helpful in the future
  4. SwiftLives macrumors 65816


    Dec 7, 2001
    Charleston, SC
    I'd suggest you get the new one. RAM can be obtained semi-inexpensively from crucial.com or newegg.com. Don't buy RAM from Apple.

    Another option would be to max out the RAM in your Macbook Pro — since it is by no means obsolete — and pick up a 24in. (or 30in.) monitor. While the iMac is swell, it does lack the portability of the MBP. And if you're doing photography, having a laptop on the go is probably a good thing.
  5. stevo8 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jul 3, 2007
    My MBP is maxed out at 2g already as it's the older one that doesn't support 4gigs(not core 2 duo)..
  6. stevo8 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jul 3, 2007
    So basically I should either get the 2.8 or stretch out and get the 2.93 with the 4850 card?($1900)
  7. Airforcekid macrumors 65816


    Sep 29, 2008
    United States of America
  8. MattZani macrumors 68030


    Apr 20, 2008
    I Would say stretch as much as possible, as you will want it to last you.

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