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17" iMac 2GB Ram VS 20" iMac 256mb vram

post #1 of 5
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I could get either a 17" iMac with 2GB ram or a 20" iMac with 256mb vram with it's stock 512 ram.

Which would you get for overall and home FCP Studio use?
I'd be editing native HDV at home but would be finishing on a better machine anyways.

Also since the UB Shake 4.1 can work on an iMac do you think that means a Core Duo with 128mb vram or just the 256mb model?

I wouldn't be doing any if much Shake work at home but I would just like to know out of general curiousity or just in case.

TIA guys
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post #2 of 5
The new iMacs are great machines, I'm sure you could do the job you want on either machine. But since you're asking for opinions, here are my thoughts.

First, look at processor speeds. The 17" iMac has a 1.83 GHz Intel Core Duo, the 20" iMac has a 2.0 GHz Intel Core Duo. That might not seem like a big difference but it adds up.

Second, there's the graphics card. Shake will work well with the 128 MB graphics card but again, the extra 128 MB of VRAM can't hurt, especially if you want to play a game once in a while.

Third, there's the hard drive. 160 GB for the 17", 250 GB for the 20". I doubt storage space is going to be a major factor in your decision but the extra 90 GB was worth noting.

Finally, you can't overlook the increased screen size of the 20" iMac with it's higher resolutions. It never hurts to have the extra screen real estate when working on video projects.

If I had the choice, I'd get the machine with the larger monitor, faster processor, and better graphics card now and simply upgrade the RAM 6 months down the line.
post #3 of 5
Quote:
Originally posted by ecking
Which would you get for overall and home FCP Studio use?
I'd be editing native HDV at home but would be finishing on a better machine anyways.

Also since the UB Shake 4.1 can work on an iMac do you think that means a Core Duo with 128mb vram or just the 256mb model?

If at all possible, wait till Aug for the ProMacs to emerge, they will undoubtedly blow the iMacs out of the water, yea, they will be more expencive, but it would be worth it for you, if you are a media pro, or anything more than a granma checking email, the iMac is just FUCKING STUPID! for the same reason that DVD/VCR/TV combos are stupid, no component changability.

BUT if mobility of your project is important, then the MBP would be kick-ass!
You can't quantify how much I don't care -- Bob Kevoian of the Bob and Tom Show.
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You can't quantify how much I don't care -- Bob Kevoian of the Bob and Tom Show.
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post #4 of 5
I tried the 1.83 Duo intel imac in a store just recently and I wasn't very impressed by it. It had 512MB Ram running 10.4.3 and some things were slower than my G4 Mini. Was itunes always native? It was the application I found the worst. It hung up for a good 30 seconds at launch and the library was practically empty and windowed visualizer was only reaching 20fps. Garageband also took a while to open small demo files. Imovie HD import was fairly slow too despite using 150% of the machine.

Some things went well but overall, my experience wasn't as smooth as I'd have liked. Maybe there was too much Rosetta being used and if that's the problem then IMO Rosetta is not really usable but I was running mostly native apps so I'm not sure why it was going slow. I want to suspect the Ram or just that it was a demo store machine but I don't know. It's a PC oriented shop so I think maybe they like to set them up badly so PCs look good next to them.

For use with Shake, I don't think VRam is important. It mainly uses CPU. Likewise with FCP. So I'd go with faster CPU, lower GPU, more Ram. You don't need more than 2GB because FCP and Shake are limited to 2 anyway but I'd say no less than 1GB.

I would say the 20-inch is better too. I was using the 17-inch @1440x900 and it just felt a bit cramped especially with the big chin.

I might wait until the higher end machines come out but I don't know because based on parts, the imac is seriously good value for money. I just don't like all-in-ones any more.
post #5 of 5
Quote:
Originally posted by a_greer
the iMac is just FUCKING STUPID! for the same reason that DVD/VCR/TV combos are stupid, no component changability.

I do agree somewhat, though it is possible to change the components, just that it is a bit harder and you have some restrictions on the device choices. There are still some major restricitons on choices in the towers too, one can't just drop in faster processors or a new optical drive without some extra work or buying from a specialized store, and there's still a pretty severe limit on number and type of internal drives.
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