Thursday, September 14, 2006

Beware the GMA950 iMac

Apple has released new iMacs. Previously the iMac was the best X-Plane experience for the dollar among Macintosh hardware offerings. It still is, mostly.

But...the cheapest smallest iMac, at an affordable $999 does not have the kick-ass ATI Radeon X1600 graphics card. Instead it has the, well, ass GMA950 integrated graphics.

If you are looking to buy an iMac and are even going to think about playing X-Plane, buy the more expensive box and get the ATI card. You can't upgrade iMacs, at least not in any way that I've ever heard of, and the GMA950 is never going to perform well.

More importantly, as X-Plane progresses we will take more and more advantage of hardware shaders, and the GMA950 is missing a major set of shaders. So even though the iMac itself is blazingly fast, the video card will simply be unable to show a lot new features.

2 comments:

Peter Cole said...

The 24" iMac does apparently have an upgradeable video card.

Benjamin Supnik said...

I did not know that! Unfortunately it's the 17" with the Intel GMA...both the X1600 and 7300 GT are very respectable.