A 3 GHz iMac.....NICE!!
I’ve said several times in this blog that the iMac is my favorite Mac, and the one I would recommend for users wanting a desktop. The trick of making yourself happy with one, of course, is to buy one that meets or exceeds your current needs. I could happily say that a 3.06 GHz iMac would exceed my current needs, but then most any machine would since I already own a 2.66 Ghz dual processor Intel dual core Xenon powered Mac Pro and and Intel Core 2 Duo MacBook Pro. Regardless, in a true demonstration that men are only as big as their toys, I want a 3.06 Ghz iMac with a 24 inch screen, need one or not!
While acknowledging there has no be no logic in such a purchase at all, I did take a look at what the best configuration of such a machine would be for me. I would rarely
use it as a gamer but would be entirely likely to employ it running Final Cut Pro, Motion 2, Compressor, or Photoshop. So, I decided to take a look at taking the bottom of the line of the 24 inch iMacs and building it to order so I could compare its price against the base price of the top of the line 24 inch iMac. Here’s why…
I consider Rob-art’s “barefeats.com” website as the premiere website when it comes to measuring and discussing Mac performance, and a while back it posted some tests that measured the performance of the ATI Radeon 2600 HD (among others) and the Nvidia GeForce 8800GT. The Radeon is the GPU in the low end 24 incher, and the GeForce is the CPU in the high-end 24 incher. While the GeForce GPU is definitely stronger in some games, the Radeon is the faster GPU when working with “pro” applications (like those I mentioned above).
Hence the effort to price out a 24 incher with the Radeon GPU (starts at $1799) and upgrading it to a 3.06GHz CPU and upgrading the hard drive from 320GB to 500GB. That makes for a $2049 machine that will ship in 1-3 business days versus a $2199 machine that also ships in 1-3 business days. Not a lot of savings. If I was going to spend more, I’d kick the hard drive up to 750GB, adding another $94 of cost, and bringing the total to $2143, $56 less than the top of the line machine. That makes it a trade of hard disk space for a little less gaming performance but better “pro app” performance. This is the configuration I’d go after.
Will I buy one? Oh, I’m REALLY tempted! I’d love to be able to benchmark that machine using Cinebench against a current 2.0 GHz iMac, my 2.33 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo MacBook Pro, a 2.66 GHz quad-core Mac Pro, and possibly a 2.0 GHz Intel Core Duo iMac, a dual processor 2.0 GHz G5 PowerMac, and a dual processor 1.25 GHz G4 PowerMac that are still lurking out in my family. More than likely, I’ll show some restraint and won’t get the thing now, if at all, though. But, with me, you never know. Sometimes my wild hair wins out, even if the rest of it is turning slightly grey!