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new imac; i5 or i7? + vid card question

The_Glad_HatterThe_Glad_Hatter Registered User regular
edited March 2010 in Help / Advice Forum
So i'm gonna buy a lil' big brother for my ibook G4 (whose only fault atm seems to be his lack of HD space).

i'm a graphic designer/ illustrator.

i had been looking into mac pro's, but since i'm not officially registered as a designer, i can't put it in as a business cost. So spending 4000 dollars on a top notch mac that'll last me 10 years seems less interesting than spending 2000 on a mac that'll give me 5 good years.

So i'm thinking the sweet'n sexy new 27" imac.
with 2TB disk and one of the highest processor options. Only problem is, i'm doubting between the i5 and i7. Will there be a noticable difference/ a difference in the long run. I've been readind up on these, and i still can't seem get a descent opinion.

I mainly use Photoshop and Illustrator. I'll probably be doing some light video work once i have kids in a year or two. Very much into photography. A wee bit of music recording could happen. And since i just head Steam/ valve are coming to mac, i'll probably pick up some games, but i don't forsee a hardcore gaming career.

Can anyone help to bring some clarity into the situation?

Oh, and also, How does its video card, ATI Radeon HD 4850 512MB, hold up to the current gen of video card. Any good? The last time i invested in a seperate "great" video card, it was a voodoo 2, so i'm a bit out of the loop. (haven't gamed in ages...)

The_Glad_Hatter on
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Posts

  • admanbadmanb the bored genie Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Can't speak to the i5 v. i7, but I can say that the 4850 is a classic high-end Mac video card: a top-of-the-line graphics card... two generations ago. It will handle any current release, but don't expend it to hold up for more than a year.

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  • etdragonetdragon Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    I just ordered a 27" iMac for myself. I went with the i7 because apparently it will extend the life of the machine for quite a few years.

    As for the video card admanb is correct. You shouldn't have issues with most stuff thats out now but it won't magically be able to run high end games a few years from now. I suppose my thought behind this was that I rarely play PC games in any capacity and I was mostly buying the iMac as a video editing machine and a computer for my husband and I to both use for a few years.

    Edit: Rereading your post we are buying this machine for pretty much the same reason. I'm due to have a kid in about a month and we wanted something to use for all our videos and pictures. I also edit a podcast on a weekly basis and while my MBP is great its also over three years old and is already being pushed to it's limit regularly :)

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  • KoboKobo Registered User
    edited March 2010
    You should check whether the version of the program you are using supports that GPU under that operating system. The last time I looked, I think Photoshop supported GPU offloading but Illustrator didn't, and the list of supported graphics cards was pretty short on windows, and almost nothing on Mac. If it doesn't support sending effects to the GPU, all you're getting out of the card is hardware 2D acceleration, which is pretty much the same on all of the cards that you're going to be looking at.

  • The_Glad_HatterThe_Glad_Hatter Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Kobo wrote: »
    You should check whether the version of the program you are using supports that GPU under that operating system. The last time I looked, I think Photoshop supported GPU offloading but Illustrator didn't, and the list of supported graphics cards was pretty short on windows, and almost nothing on Mac. If it doesn't support sending effects to the GPU, all you're getting out of the card is hardware 2D acceleration, which is pretty much the same on all of the cards that you're going to be looking at.

    Shiat, i didn't know that. I use CS4 at work(PC) and the GPU processing (all the sliding and rotating) is pretty nifty there. i had no idea it wasn't supported on all cards.

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