Dave, I got the iMac with an upgraded video card so that it will handle a lot. And it only is 512MB.
The new 27" one comes with ATI Radeon HD 5750 1GB GDDR5 SDRAM (or you can upgrade the "low end" 27" to that card), which should last you for a long time.
Let me ask you this: do you do a lot of video rendering/editing? I'm not talking iMovie or the occasional Final Cut Express. I mean FCP or whatever. Do you do heavy photo editing with Photoshop/Aperture?
If you answer no to either of those, you will be fine for years to come. Even if you answer yes, I would bet that you will be fine for at the minimum of 5 years.
Personally, the iMac is the way to go. Even a quad core iMac is a bit overkill for most folks as they don't have/use any apps that take full use of the multiple cores.
This is probably what I would get:
2.8GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i5 4GB 1333MHz DDR3 SDRAM - 2x2GB 2TB Serial ATA Drive 8x double-layer SuperDrive ATI Radeon HD 5750 1GB GDDR5 SDRAM Apple Wireless Keyboard (English) & User's Guide Magic Mouse
2.8GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i5 4GB 1333MHz DDR3 SDRAM - 2x2GB 1TB Serial ATA Drive + 256GB Solid State Drive 8x double-layer SuperDrive ATI Radeon HD 5750 1GB GDDR5 SDRAM Apple Wireless Keyboard (English) & User's Guide Magic Mouse
2.93GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i7 4GB 1333MHz DDR3 SDRAM - 2x2GB 1TB Serial ATA Drive + 256GB Solid State Drive 8x double-layer SuperDrive ATI Radeon HD 5750 1GB GDDR5 SDRAM Apple Wireless Keyboard (English) & User's Guide Magic Mouse
Add ram later from somewhere else for cheaper price.
I think I'm doing #3... the i7.... yes minimum RAM cause Apple charges a premium*. I don't need it now, but if I do it'll be cheaper later, just because technology gets cheaper as time progresses.
* actually priced 4 GB 1333 RAM and Apple isn't that far off... they charge $180, MacSales charges $144 to $159 for a similar RAM chip. Yes cheaper, but before Apple charged 35-50% more ! But if I wait 1-2 years, it might be << $100 !!
Mainly I do iMovie, so I'm sure this will be more than adequate.
Thanks for the input John and Steve. I think I'm also going to do the Barkleys Card and pay it off in 11 months... = free loan. I've done this on numerous other items, like TVs from BrandsMart & furniture from Rooms to Go... I am disciplined.
I find it okay for my needs, certainly don't need FCP.
Then again once you start on a project in iMovie, then some where along the way you morph a George Lucas type of producer. You then start to want all the power and special effects that iMovie does not have
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