Which Apple iMac Should I Buy?

That’s exactly the question my friend asked me last night.

Apple just released a new round of iMacs recently refreshing their successful all-in-one desktop computer line.

I have been considering purchasing an iMac for my wife some time soon and have been researching a little on the options.

When my friend asked me which Apple iMac should I buy, I realized I had the same questions and figured I’d share what we ended up finding here. May be it will help you if you had the same question.

Apple iMac Options

iMacs are now available in 21.5-inch and 27-inch.

21.5 inch 3.06GHz iMac Version 1 $1199.00

  • 3.06 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
  • 1920 x 1080 resolution
  • 4 GB memory
  • 500 GB Hard drive
  • 8x double layer SuperDrive
  • NVIDIA GeForce 9400M graphics

21.5 inch 3.06GHz iMac Version 2 $1499.00

  • 3.06 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
  • 1920 x 1080 resolution
  • 4 GB memory
  • 1TB Hard drive
  • 8x double layer SuperDrive
  • ATI Radeon HD 4670 graphics with 256MB

27 inch 3.06GHz iMac Version 1 $1699.00

  • 3.06 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
  • 2560 x 1440 resolution
  • 4 GB memory
  • 1TB Har drive
  • 8x double layer SuperDrive
  • ATI Radeon HD 4670 graphics with 256MB

Apple 27-Inch 2.66 GHz Quad-core iMac Version 2 $1999.00

  • 2.66 GHz Intel Core i5
  • 2560 x 1440 resolution
  • 4 GB memory
  • 1TB Hard drive
  • 8x double layer SuperDrive
  • ATI Radeon HD 4850 graphics with 512MB

imac-21.5-27-inch-deals

As you can see the most important decision you would want to make is the desired size. I think the 27” looks nice and could be used as a secondary monitor for viewing video but sitting less than a foot away it might be a little too big for regular work. If there is such a thing as ‘too big’.

So, now that we have narrowed it down to the 21.5” iMac it still was a tossup between the iMac with NVIDIA card that costs $1199 and iMac with the ATI Radeon 4670 card that costs $1499.

So, its a $300 difference for the ATI Radeon HD 4670 graphics card with 256MB dedicated memory and 500MB more hard disk space. Is it worth it?

Luckily, I came across an article on MacWorld which had benchmarks for all the new iMac lineups. They in fact have compared with the earlier versions of iMacs that came out in early 2009.

The 27-inch i5 processor hasn’t come out yet so it is missing in the comparison.

In most instances, the 21.5-inch with NVIDIA card is comparable to the ATI card but where the ATI 4670 smokes the Nvidia card is in the Call of Duty 4 frame rate test. The ATI card is almost 3 times faster.

So, if you are planning to play video games a lot the extra cost could be justified. Also, video editing could see a great performance boost with the dedicated memory. And if you could use the bigger screen size for another $200, you could get the 27” iMac with the same specs as the high-end 21.5” iMac.

My friend ended up buying the iMac with the ATI card in it and I found that Amazon’s iMac pricing were the best compared to Apple’s or Best Buy’s because of the tax savings (no tax for most US states) from shopping at Amazon.

If you are considering buying an iMac, which one of these seem the best to your for their price and why? Share it with us in the comments.

4 Responses to “Which Apple iMac Should I Buy?”

  1. @ adar scrubs January 8, 2010 at 5:17 am #

    Wow great article/post.Its very useful and very informative.I can tell did your research very well. I look forward to seeing more of your writings published. thanks for advice.

  2. Alex March 2, 2010 at 10:03 pm #

    “Also, video editing could see a great performance boost with the dedicated memory.”

    Not true. Video editing/encoding uses CPU power, not the video card (see MacWorld benchmarks). Where dedicated video card can make a difference is in games and 3D editing programs.

  3. Buy Suits Online October 14, 2011 at 8:35 am #

    i like apple imac

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