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Old Nov 4th, 2009, 02:09 PM   #1
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iMac Dilemma - new 21.5 or refurb 24

I want to get a new iMac, mostly for my kids but also for me for photo editing using Lightroom. The new 21.5 is said to have a good screen, but on the refurb section of apple.ca there are 24" imacs with what sound like better video cards (21.5 iMac has the same Nvidia 9400 shared memory processor as my MacBook) - either NVIDIA GeForce GT 120 with 256MB memory, or, NVIDIA GeForce GT 130 with 512MB memory.

My dilemma - get the new 21.5 (approx. $1,300), or a refurb 24 (approx. $1,200 to $1,300)? I like the idea of a bigger screen, but I'd like to get the best video processor possible.

Any advice much appreciated.
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Old Nov 4th, 2009, 03:02 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by teohuser View Post
I like the idea of a bigger screen, but I'd like to get the best video processor possible.
So what's to debate? The 24" refurb has a bigger screen and has a better video card. You answered your own question.
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Old Nov 4th, 2009, 03:38 PM   #3
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The GT 120/130 series of cards is fully supported by OpenCL as well - so that's a better choice for Video Cards (for OS performance and not just gaming performance).

OpenCL Supported Graphics Cards Leaves Some Intel Macs Behind | Mac|Life
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Old Nov 4th, 2009, 06:12 PM   #4
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if your budget is around 1200-1300. then the 24" imac... lol u answered ur own question.

better video card, better screen. unless you want a 27" imac or i5/i7, you don't really need the new imac...

i5 is not that good anyway.... i7 is way better.

my mistake.. it only comes with the i5...
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Old Nov 4th, 2009, 06:22 PM   #5
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Did you see this one?

Refurbished iMac 24-inch 2.66GHz Intel Core 2 Duo - Apple Store (Canada)

Looks like a better deal.

Refurbished iMac 24-inch 2.66GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
24-inch glossy widescreen display
4GB memory
640GB hard drive
8x SuperDrive (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW)
NVIDIA GeForce 9400M with 256MB memory
Built-in iSight camera

$1199
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Old Nov 4th, 2009, 06:32 PM   #6
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but the 9400m is really not a good video card...
the GT120 is 2.5 times better than the 9400m. from what i've read from the internet.
but all this is based on the decision that I play computer games on my macs.
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Old Nov 4th, 2009, 07:23 PM   #7
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Yeah, if you play games on your Mac, the 9400m is kindof a non-starter. (Still much better than the x3100 or the GMA950 )

And the 27" iMac comes with an i5 or an i7 as a BTO.
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Old Nov 5th, 2009, 07:05 AM   #8
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Newly released benchmarks from Macworld suggest that's there's minimal performance differences with the new machine. Bigger is better - go 24".

iMac (Late 2009) benchmarks Review | Desktop | From the Lab | Macworld
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Old Nov 5th, 2009, 08:41 AM   #9
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What panels do the 24"ers have? I saw one 24"er with a 512MB video card for $1099 yesterday.
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Old Nov 5th, 2009, 10:53 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by laserbluemini View Post
if your budget is around 1200-1300. then the 24" imac... lol u answered ur own question.

better video card, better screen. unless you want a 27" imac or i5/i7, you don't really need the new imac...

i5 is not that good anyway.... i7 is way better.

my mistake.. it only comes with the i5...
just wondering what you're basing this on? i'm going to be upgrading to the 27" imac and was planning on getting the i5 chip. you can upgrade to the i7 for another $200 or so, but from what i've read there's minimal difference in performance.

and going back to the op. while you should definitely get the best video performance you can, i'm not sure why video performance is going to affect how iphoto performs. isn't video strictly dealing with motion picture and gaming play back?
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