Which 20" iMac? CPU & Graphics question

Discussion in 'iMac' started by duncyboy, Feb 5, 2008.

  1. duncyboy macrumors 6502a

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    Feb 5, 2008
    #1
    Hello :)

    I'm currently saving for an iMac. I was thinking of the 24" model but having been in the Apple Store for a test-drive, the 20" is just fine for my needs, nice screen size for a desktop- but which one?

    I won't be playing demanding games on my iMac- at most the odd game of Vice City or Age of Wonders or a couple of other classics- nothing like Crysis etc.

    I wondered if the 2.4GHz/ATI 2600 option offered any other serious benefits. I will be recoding video and DVD files for my iPod but don't mind waiting an extra couple of minutes for a slower CPU to do it. I will be upgrading the RAM myself to 4GB almost straightaway. EDIT: also- the storage on either is ample and I have a 120GB and a 200GB SATA I can put in a caddy for extra storage.

    I neglected to see which graphics/CPU option I was testing the other day, but do HD Quicktime files or large libraries of 1080p photos bog-down on the "lesser" Mac using Coverflow and QuickLook?

    Essentially, doing day to day tasks, is there a difference?

    I know it's "only" £150 between the two models but that's £150 that could be put towards a new iPod, a Time Capsule or RAM upgrade :D

    Many thanks for your time and...

    Hello!
     
  2. AlexisV macrumors 68000

    AlexisV

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    #2
    The 2.0Ghz will be fine. There's no difference in everyday use.

    Remember you are limiting yourself should you decide to splash out on a more demanding game in the next couple of years though.
     
  3. bluedoggiant macrumors 68030

    bluedoggiant

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    #3
    Get the 2.4ghz 20inch imac, i do not recommend the 2ghz.
     
  4. Spievy macrumors regular

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    #4
    Why not the 2ghz ???
     
  5. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

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    May 19, 2002
    #5
    The 2.4 besides the GHz bump the machine also gets the bigger drive and the GPU bump.

    And if you go the refurb way you can likely get the 2.4 iMac 20" machine with AppleCare for that same price bump over a new 2.0 machine.
     
  6. Queso macrumors G4

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    #6
    If you're going to be gaming go for the 2.4GHz. The video card has twice the VRAM and double the bus width of the one in the 2.0GHz, so you'll get much better frame rates. The 2.0GHz is great if you're doing non-graphics intensive stuff, but from the sound of it you'll appreciate the extra speed paying more would bring.
     
  7. bluedoggiant macrumors 68030

    bluedoggiant

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    #7
    Remember, the difference between the 2ghz and 2.4ghz is across two cores.

    So the difference between the 2ghz, and 2.4ghz is .4ghz, technically, its .8ghz.

    the 2ghz is 4ghz altogether, and the 2.4ghz is 4.8ghz altogether.
     
  8. Spievy macrumors regular

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    #8
    I understand that there is a speed bump and graphics upgrade.

    I just thought you guys knew of a problem with the 2ghz ( because i have a 2ghz)
     
  9. duncyboy thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Feb 5, 2008
    #9
    Thanks for the replies, everyone.

    I should clarify I'm not a PC gamer and am unlikely to bother much on my Mac when I get it. I can't remember the last game I installed on my PC- it's been at least 6 months since I've bothered. Maybe Spectrum and Amiga emulators.

    The big question is, does OS X run visibly better on the 2.4/2600 as opposed to the 2.0/2400?

    I know for things like video recoding etc the 2.4 will be quicker but as I said, I don't mind if the difference is not colossal.

    My main uses will be:
    Internet
    Mail
    Digital photos (not Photoshop/Aperture- just iPhoto for small touches)
    Recoding DVD's & video for iPod
    Bit Torrent
    iTunes

    The extra storage is kind of un-needed- I have two SATA drives I intend to put in USB2 caddies so I'll have ample storage.

    With 4GB RAM (I know it doesn't use all of that) will the £800 run OS X with a few apps open together smoothly? I'd like to be able to use something like VisualHub or Handbrake in the background while I do emails and browsing?

    Thanks again for the responses :)
     
  10. Spievy macrumors regular

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    #10
    For what you are talking about using it for, I highly doubt for the time being you will see a difference between the 2 systems.
     
  11. duncyboy thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #11
    Cheers for that, Spievy. You have the 2.0- is it "stock" or have you upgraded the RAM, HDD or anything?

    I take yours runs everything you want fine, no hassle?
     
  12. Spievy macrumors regular

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    #12
    I have a white 2.0ghz duo2core 17" imac with the 128MB x1600 video card
    I upgraded the memory to 2.5GB

    I Love it it is super fast for what I use it for (pretty much like what you do). Memory is fairly inexpensive today MAX out your system, that is my 2 cents :)
     
  13. ryannel2003 macrumors 68000

    ryannel2003

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    Greenville, NC
    #13
    Yeah I have a 17" 2GHz Core 2 Duo iMac, and it's pretty damn fast. Loaded it up with 3GB of RAM, and I've been running Aperture, iPhoto, iChat, Safari, iTunes, all at the same time with no slow downs. The 2GHz is plenty fast for what you've described, and will save you $300.
     
  14. duncyboy thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #14
    Thanks for those, nice one! The 2.0 is the one for me then, just need to finish saving :D
     
  15. AlexisV macrumors 68000

    AlexisV

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    #15
    You'll be fine with the 2.0Ghz. You might save 5 minutes in an hour's video encoding with the 2.4, but that's about it.

    Despite the 'theory' it's two cores and so 800Mhz faster, there won't be a blind bit of difference between the two in OS X.
     
  16. JohanCruyff macrumors member

    JohanCruyff

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    #16
    Maybe in 2011 OS 10.9 will be released, and it will require a minimum speed of 2.2 Ghz. Who knows?
     
  17. bluedoggiant macrumors 68030

    bluedoggiant

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    #17
    Ooh Dear. I had to go through this in another thread. I know if you get the 24", you are getting the 2.4ghz by default, then why, when people get 20", they get 2.4ghz and 2ghz??? Please tell me that you see a difference, apple isnt that stupid.

    That's another reason I jumped for the fastest processor.
     
  18. duncyboy thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #18
    I'll buy a 2.2 in 2011 and a 2.0 now ;) :)
     
  19. ryannel2003 macrumors 68000

    ryannel2003

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    #19
    1. The difference is not major
    2. Its kinda more expensive.... duh. :rolleyes:
    3. There is no number 3... the 2GHz iMac is fine for all of the tasks listed. Trust me, I own one and I do 80% of those tasks.
     
  20. dwd3885 macrumors 68020

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    Dec 10, 2004
    #20
    i had a similar decision to make. if you get the 2ghz though, you'll feel the need to upgrade much sooner than if you purchase the 2.4ghz. This small price difference is worth it to me. The difference of prices between the 20" and 24" isn't worth it to me as much.
     
  21. AlexisV macrumors 68000

    AlexisV

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    #21
    Er, I don't see a difference. I use a 2.16Ghz at work and a 2.4Ghz at home. And the 2.4Ghz is on the faster system bus.

    It's nothing to do with Apple being 'stupid'. The 2.4Ghz Core 2 is xx% faster, which is down to Intel you'll find.

    Pray tell me, in what practical ways is OS X, Photoshop etc. faster with that tiny bit more horsepower?

    If you think 2 seconds off a demanding PS filter is an impressive turn of speed then I despair!
     
  22. bluedoggiant macrumors 68030

    bluedoggiant

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    #22
    I do!! The 3 second wait to open safari on my friends imac kills me!! its like world war 3!!!!!! my imac opens instantly.
     
  23. ryannel2003 macrumors 68000

    ryannel2003

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    #23
    3 seconds... or $300? I think 3 seconds is more reasonable.
     
  24. bluedoggiant macrumors 68030

    bluedoggiant

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    #24
    $225;)

    The speed increase may not sound like a lot now. but in the future, I'm sure you will be thankful for it.
     
  25. ryannel2003 macrumors 68000

    ryannel2003

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    #25
    True, but I would think you could get a 3-4 year expectancy out of the current iMac's. Hell my 3 1/2 year old eMac still does a good job for basic computing.
     

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