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Old Dec 31, 2012, 03:38 PM   #1
joeysarks
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Where should I cut corners?

Got enough money to spend on either a maxed out 21.5 iMac, or a 27 inch with a few bumps...don't know what would be best to go with tho. With the 21.5 I would think the i7 and 16gb ram would be enough with most things, while also keeping the 650m from being too much of a bottleneck. I'd also have the fusion drive and prolly wouldn't fill it past the SSD section, so i'd have a nice peppy drive for everything to run on as well and make things like FCPX and games buttery smooth.

OR

I could snag the 27 inch. I'd get more screen real estate, but i'd prolly have to leave the HDD at 7200rpm and the vid card at 675m. I would think gaming would still run at least as smoothly as the iMac 21.5, but I could be wrong. (never used an SSD and i'm not too familiar with vid card benchmarks) I'd get a tiny bit faster processor but nothing spectacular like dual to quad, or 4 core to 4 with HT. The ram i'd bump but prolly only to 16gb, since my content stays under 20 minute mark, and I don't think anything else would use past that mark. I use obscene amounts of efx but I don't really now how that taxes the system, before or after you render. (WoW has a 64bit version but I highly doubt that'd do it either)

I've never really had experience with SSDs, screens above 1080p, over 6gb of RAM or honestly video cards lol. I've always had integrated, or my last vid card I had was an AMD 3000 class I believe. Any ideas on what would work best?
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Old Dec 31, 2012, 11:49 PM   #2
Nate392
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I say go with the 21.5". The i7 supports multithreading, and is clocked faster than the i5 (Which does not support multithreading). I'm not eel versed on GPUs either, but you're getting a better card than the base iMac, so it can't be bad. The SSD makes everything super fast, because it can read and write data faster than a regular spinning drive.

That said, you could just opt for the top o' the line 27", and put the i7 in, and add RAM later. The 7200 RPM drive in there isn't like it's gonna not load at all...
It is about $50 more, but it's a really nice setup.

It just come down to whether you want a better GPU that can render faster, or a quick hard drive.
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Old Dec 31, 2012, 11:56 PM   #3
torana355
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Gaming will be better on the 27" with the 675mx. An SSD will not affect gaming except loading times. I would go the 27" with the 1TB fusion upgrade, its only about $50 more then the maxed 21.5" and will be much better at everything. You can upgrade ram cheaply at a later date in the 27"
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Old Jan 1, 2013, 12:02 AM   #4
Nate392
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Originally Posted by torana355 View Post
Gaming will be better on the 27" with the 675mx. An SSD will not affect gaming except loading times. I would go the 27" with the 1TB fusion upgrade, its only about $50 more then the maxed 21.5" and will be much better at everything. You can upgrade ram cheaply at a later date in the 27"
He knows what he's saying better than I do, as I don't game. But I still think the i7 might be a better choice as a CPU, since the SSD doesn't do too much for you, you might be better served with a nice CPU.
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Old Jan 1, 2013, 12:10 AM   #5
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He knows what he's saying better than I do, as I don't game. But I still think the i7 might be a better choice as a CPU, since the SSD doesn't do too much for you, you might be better served with a nice CPU.
Yes but multithreaded cpu's don't benefit gaming at all at this stage, it can actually cause microstuttering in games. The i5 in the 27" is 3.2Ghz which is faster then the 3.1GHz i7 in the 21.5". Multithreaded cpu's do have a use in video editing ect but i think the money is better spent on a fusion or SSD setup.
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Old Jan 1, 2013, 12:16 AM   #6
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Yes but multithreaded cpu's don't benefit gaming at all at this stage, it can actually cause microstuttering in games. The i5 in the 27" is 3.2Ghz which is faster then the 3.1GHz i7 in the 21.5". Multithreaded cpu's do have a use in video editing ect but i think the money is better spent on a fusion or SSD setup.
Cool, thanks. I don't know much about gaming, so I'm learning with the OP. lol


Alright, so you have it. I think this resolves the issue then.
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Old Jan 1, 2013, 12:23 AM   #7
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Cool, thanks. I don't know much about gaming, so I'm learning with the OP. lol


Alright, so you have it. I think this resolves the issue then.
All good, i just know the OP would love the 27" with fusion and the 675mx. If anything i would ditch the Fusion and get the 680mx upgrade if gaming was a priority as the 680mx is a beast.
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Old Jan 1, 2013, 01:34 AM   #8
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From this list, prioritize them in order of important (highest to least):

1. High-end gaming (latest AAA titles)
2. Moderate gaming (not the latest game in the highest settings)
2. Video/audio editing
3. Internet, email, iTunes/music, word processing, spreadsheets, basic computing tasks
4. Boot speed, overall OS speed
5. Multitasking with taxing apps
6. Multitasking with not-so-taxing apps
7. Large screen size

That should help you decide 21" or 27" and other upgrades.
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Old Jan 2, 2013, 04:28 PM   #9
joeysarks
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Well the processor would be getting an upgrade to the i7 no matter what, because i'll be spending alot of time in FCPX so i'd be getting lots of use from the HT. Also i'll prolly be playing some WoW which has a 64 bit version now. Isn't that demanding of a game but it would use the extra cores and ram now, correct? Also if I end up live streaming games for hours on end, whether it be a PC game or console game, i'd assume the HT or at least upgrade to i7 in general would also help with that at least in some way.

I'm mainly scared about the vid card, I wanna make sure the 650m isn't a bottleneck if I go the 21.5 maxed route. The SSD would just be a really nice addition just cuz frankly I never fill my internal drive up. I have 1 external for any of my random files (music/movies/etc) and then an external for editing with, but my internals are strictly for booting/loading stuff these days. Wish they woulda offered a straight SSD option, a 128/256gb SSD drive would have been very tempting. I assume they wanted the 27 to have that edge over the 21.5 (altho I can't see anyone wanting to pay that much for the 768gb SSD)
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Old Jan 2, 2013, 10:09 PM   #10
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Well the processor would be getting an upgrade to the i7 no matter what, because i'll be spending alot of time in FCPX so i'd be getting lots of use from the HT. Also i'll prolly be playing some WoW which has a 64 bit version now. Isn't that demanding of a game but it would use the extra cores and ram now, correct? Also if I end up live streaming games for hours on end, whether it be a PC game or console game, i'd assume the HT or at least upgrade to i7 in general would also help with that at least in some way.

I'm mainly scared about the vid card, I wanna make sure the 650m isn't a bottleneck if I go the 21.5 maxed route. The SSD would just be a really nice addition just cuz frankly I never fill my internal drive up. I have 1 external for any of my random files (music/movies/etc) and then an external for editing with, but my internals are strictly for booting/loading stuff these days. Wish they woulda offered a straight SSD option, a 128/256gb SSD drive would have been very tempting. I assume they wanted the 27 to have that edge over the 21.5 (altho I can't see anyone wanting to pay that much for the 768gb SSD)
It seems you really want/need a higher spec machine, perhaps save up for a little longer and go all out, imo its worth it. I spent over 3k on my 2012 iMac and its worth every cent imo. If you want to game a bit the 680mx really would be a wise upgrade and getting an imac with no ssd in it in 2012 is just crazy imo. Go all out i say its only a few hundred more on a 2k+ machine.
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