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Old Jan 26, 2013, 09:23 PM   #1
Dorene
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Smile 27 inch iMac question

I'm looking at getting a 27 in. iMac. I mostly browse, upload photos for website editing, use PhotoShop quite a bit, may in the future do a little video editing. I'm looking at spending around $2,200.

Here's what I'm comparing (I really no little about this stuff) I will be adding more RAM myself to either machine. As a side note, I'm replacing my 10 year old 1.8GHz PowerPC G5, 2.5 GB DDR SDRAM

# 2.9GHz Quad-core Intel Core i5, Turbo Boost up to 3.6GHz
# 8GB 1600MHz DDR3 SDRAM - 2x4GB
# 1TB Fusion Drive
# NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M 512MB GDDR5

OR

# 3.2GHz Quad-core Intel Core i5, Turbo Boost up to 3.6GHz
# 8GB 1600MHz DDR3 SDRAM - 2x4GB
# 1TB Serial ATA Drive @ 7200 rpm
# NVIDIA GeForce GTX 675MX 1GB GDDR5

So I guess my main question is, will I really need the better graphics card and which would be better the 2.9w/fusion or the 3.2 by itself?

Suggestions other than the above are welcome

Thanks
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Old Jan 27, 2013, 05:17 AM   #2
Imaginethe
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Doing not too dis similar to you, I went for the 2.9 with fusion. I felt I will get benifit over time from fusion that the graphics.
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Old Jan 27, 2013, 06:00 AM   #3
trustever
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Personally I was almost convinced about fusion but then I had a started having a second tough.
Fusion will only make the start up of the OSX or program quicker no more than that, if I were in you unless you have a very small amount of file you need to store (that combined with the OSX is below the 128GB) I would ditch the Fusion and rather have a better GPU.
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Old Jan 27, 2013, 01:42 PM   #4
n-i-k-k-o
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You can buy the config with a standard drive now and, when funds allow, migrate your system drive to an external SSD connected via Thunderbolt or USB3 for snappier performance. See this thread http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1489710 for more info.

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Old Jan 27, 2013, 05:41 PM   #5
ImaWizard
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Because of how you stated you'll use the machine, I'd opt for the setup with the Fusion drive. The GPU in the lower end graphics card is more than enough for Photoshop. Any video editing app would run fine too. Really the 680MX comes more into play if you are real serious about your gaming, or a 3D/Motion Graphics artist.

With the Fusion drive you will have noticable speed difference in your everyday work, whereas with the better GPU, you may never notice if you don't have any applications to push it's power.
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Old Jan 27, 2013, 06:50 PM   #6
Dorene
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ImaWizard View Post
Because of how you stated you'll use the machine, I'd opt for the setup with the Fusion drive. The GPU in the lower end graphics card is more than enough for Photoshop. Any video editing app would run fine too. Really the 680MX comes more into play if you are real serious about your gaming, or a 3D/Motion Graphics artist.

With the Fusion drive you will have noticable speed difference in your everyday work, whereas with the better GPU, you may never notice if you don't have any applications to push it's power.
Okay, that all makes sense to me. Now remember I said I'm not up on all this stuff,LOL, so if my next question is stupid.....

here it is...would your advice be the same if I was considering the 3.4 GHz which would take it to the i7 instead of the i5?
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Old Jan 27, 2013, 08:44 PM   #7
ImaWizard
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dorene View Post
Okay, that all makes sense to me. Now remember I said I'm not up on all this stuff,LOL, so if my next question is stupid.....

here it is...would your advice be the same if I was considering the 3.4 GHz which would take it to the i7 instead of the i5?
Yep. Still go with the Fusion, in my opinion. I'm typing this from my 2012 27" iMac w/ Fusion right now, so let me tell you, it is very fast.
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Old Jan 27, 2013, 08:48 PM   #8
WilliamG
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Given how long you've gone with your old system, I'd say go with the better graphics card. You can always add a solid state disk internally/externally down the line. You can't upgrade the graphics card.

And yes, SSD is worth it, fusion or otherwise, but I'm just thinking longevity-wise... - can always add it!

That said, if you don't intend to play any games, just go with the fusion model.
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Old Jan 27, 2013, 11:54 PM   #9
WilliamDu
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Fusion is really fast for work, not just startup.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dorene View Post
I'm looking at getting a 27 in. iMac. I mostly browse, upload photos for website editing, use PhotoShop quite a bit, may in the future do a little video editing. I'm looking at spending around $2,200.

Here's what I'm comparing (I really no little about this stuff) I will be adding more RAM myself to either machine. As a side note, I'm replacing my 10 year old 1.8GHz PowerPC G5, 2.5 GB DDR SDRAM

# 2.9GHz Quad-core Intel Core i5, Turbo Boost up to 3.6GHz
# 8GB 1600MHz DDR3 SDRAM - 2x4GB
# 1TB Fusion Drive
# NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M 512MB GDDR5

OR

# 3.2GHz Quad-core Intel Core i5, Turbo Boost up to 3.6GHz
# 8GB 1600MHz DDR3 SDRAM - 2x4GB
# 1TB Serial ATA Drive @ 7200 rpm
# NVIDIA GeForce GTX 675MX 1GB GDDR5

So I guess my main question is, will I really need the better graphics card and which would be better the 2.9w/fusion or the 3.2 by itself?

Suggestions other than the above are welcome

Thanks
Hi Doreen,

I just upgraded also from an ancient G5. Off your subject, but I used the Migration Assistant to move EVERYTHING over directly from the G5 on an Ethernet cable between the two. Worked fine, the dock opens up just like the G5 one, and you won't recognize any difference on the Desktop except it's HUGE!

I also recommend a copy of "Mountain Lion - the Missing Manual" if you don't already have one. Mountain Lion is different, and it has a lot of built in nasty surprises because Apple seems to want everything to act like a mobile device with a built in Magic Trackpad.

You will find as I have that lots of the software that ran on the PowerPC won't work on the Intel processor. It's easy to solve that problem because Mountain Lion will tell you essentially "Forget it!" when you try to open the old stuff, (or anything like the PowerPC version of Adobe Reader that some of the old stuff needs). I suggest going early on to the Adobe site and downloading the current Intel version of Adobe Reader. It's free. The other old stuff that won't run on Intel you might as well just trash - it's history as far as the 27" iMac is concerned. I was surprised however, at how much does still work - like Office 2008 fortunately. I use Photoshop Elements 6, and it still works.

I agree on going for the Fusion Drive. It speeds up your most used application software as well as OSX, also will take all of Office if you use that. It takes it a while to figure out which of your software you use frequently so it can keep those items on the SSD. It's really fast and seems to be getting faster as it learns my peculiar priorities.

I chose the 680MX GPU rather than a hotter CPU because I game and use X-Plane V10 which both like a good graphics processor. I flew for many years including for the Navy, starting in 1946. I'm 81 now and figure I can play some and enjoy flying at my desk instead of in a cockpit, but I want the thing to be as real as possible, hence the hot GPU. You probably don't need it and can save your money for something else.

I had no trouble with Photoshop on the old G5, so I can't imagine that or iPhoto or iTunes (the new ones are really neat) could need the hotter GPU. I got 3TB because I have tons of music and photos and they take up a LOT of disc space. I maxed out the Macintosh HD on the old G5, so I had no more space for scanning in any more of my 35mm hordes or stealing my wife's Beatles box set from her iMac over our internal net. I didn't want that to happen again, hence the 3TB even though I didn't think I'd need the hottest CPU. Just wanted LOTS of space to store stuff.

You will find adding the RAM is really easy unless you've already done it. If you have you already know that. I've added lots of it and it's sort of fun.

I purchased a 16GB RAM kit from Crucial. Whoever you get yours from, the upgrade is really simple. Make sure the thing works OK as it arrives with the two Apple 4GB sticks in it before you mess with the new sticks.

To put in the new ones, just put the iMac down on its face on something soft after unplugging everything. A bed works fine. Make sure you discharge any static electricity on you B4 you touch any of the sticks. I finesse that (I think) by touching only the plastic bits on the sticks.

Push the little button inside the socket for the power cord. The RAM cover panel will pop off with a little help possibly. Set it down carefully so you can put it back on the same way.The thing fits really tight, so you have to give it a good push to get it back on when you are through playing with the RAM sticks.

Spread the two little handles and pull them up gently.

The following three paragraphs only pertain if you are adding a 16GB kit. If you are only adding two more 4GB sticks or 4 8GB just fill up all the slots, close it up and you're done. Skip the next three paragraphs. They are important because the processor goes to slots 2 and 4 first and you want the largest RAM sticks in those slots.

REMOVE the two Apple sticks from the slots they are in and replace them in the slots that WERE empty. They come out with a pretty good tug. There are guide slots on the ends of the slots to guide the sticks in SOLIDLY so they are all the way in.

If you do them one at a time it's easy to tell when you've got them all the way in.

Just pull out the top Apple stick and move it to the next slot up, which is the top of the four slots. Then move the other Apple stick up one slot to the third of the four slots. Insert your two new sticks in the two now empty slots(2 and 4) where the Apple sticks used to be, rotate them all back in and click in the little handles, and you are all done and can put the cover back on, plug it all back in, fire it up and look at the much bigger RAM number under "About this Mac".

You MAY not need more than 8GB, so I recommend hanging on for a while to see if your Photoshop usage needs it. Probably not, but Apple's OSX keeps growing, which was my main reason for adding the RAM.

I purchased my new iMac from MacMall with "Pay Me Later". No sales tax, no payments or interest for 6 months. I've bought five Macs and lots of other stuff from them over the last 20 years with no complaints. It took exactly 30 days from my phone order with Aris (37365), 800-622-6255, until Fedex delivered to my door, during the first frantic month the things were available. It's certainly faster now.

Despite Apple's misguided idea that "Nobody needs an Optical Disk Drive", I grumbled a while and then just added an Apple Superdrive to my order.
It sits on the iMac stand and looks like it belongs there. It does, however, insist on using one of your USB slots on the iMac. It will not accept a hub.
So Tim Cook's goof by not building it in not only costs you money, it also uses up one of your four slots instead of being built in and not needing any.

Enjoy!

Last edited by WilliamDu; Jan 28, 2013 at 12:11 AM. Reason: Added thoughts
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Old Feb 5, 2013, 09:04 AM   #10
Dorene
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Thanks for all the advice.

I've pretty much settled on the
# 2.9GHz Quad-core Intel Core i5, Turbo Boost up to 3.6GHz
# 8GB 1600MHz DDR3 SDRAM - 2x4GB
# 1TB Fusion Drive
# NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M 512MB GDDR5

I really had to convince myself that I didn't need the i7 or the 3.2GHz. That was hard as I usually tend to buy more than my needs 'just in case' ;-) But the guy at the Apple Store also assured me this would more than fit my needs. So here goes, I'll have it in about a month.

I'm ordering from B&H Photo. Can get more for my $$$ there and save the sales tax. They are offerin the 3 yr Apple care right now for only $61. I've ordered printers from them in the past with no complaints. Any thoughts on getting the new Mac from them?

Thanks again everyone.
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Old Feb 5, 2013, 09:18 AM   #11
Outrigger
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dorene View Post
Thanks for all the advice.

I've pretty much settled on the
# 2.9GHz Quad-core Intel Core i5, Turbo Boost up to 3.6GHz
# 8GB 1600MHz DDR3 SDRAM - 2x4GB
# 1TB Fusion Drive
# NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M 512MB GDDR5

I really had to convince myself that I didn't need the i7 or the 3.2GHz. That was hard as I usually tend to buy more than my needs 'just in case' ;-) But the guy at the Apple Store also assured me this would more than fit my needs. So here goes, I'll have it in about a month.

I'm ordering from B&H Photo. Can get more for my $$$ there and save the sales tax. They are offerin the 3 yr Apple care right now for only $61. I've ordered printers from them in the past with no complaints. Any thoughts on getting the new Mac from them?

Thanks again everyone.
I just got my imac from them, mainly due to the no sales tax and my close proximity from them. They are extremely helpful, but they don't always have the best accurate info esp when it comes to the hard to come by 27 imac. I was told there was still no info on when my order would come from Apple and next day, I received a shipping notice that they have shipped it in the morning. Maybe they got it the night before. But in the end, it was mainly positive. You get Parallels 8 for free, no tax and 50% off on Apple Care and customize however you want. Go for it.
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Old Feb 5, 2013, 08:59 PM   #12
MSM Hobbes
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Originally Posted by Outrigger View Post
I just got my imac from them, mainly due to the no sales tax and my close proximity from them. They are extremely helpful, but they don't always have the best accurate info esp when it comes to the hard to come by 27 imac. I was told there was still no info on when my order would come from Apple and next day, I received a shipping notice that they have shipped it in the morning. Maybe they got it the night before. But in the end, it was mainly positive. You get Parallels 8 for free, no tax and 50% off on Apple Care and customize however you want. Go for it.
We are looking at B&H also - thanks for your post. One question that I guess I'll have to get answered tomorrow is if can specify which keyboard, as we are not fan of the wireless since we prefer the wired keyboard w/ number pad. The biggest kickers as you've shared is no tax, free shipping, ˝ price AppleCare, and P8 for free… why in hades don't Apple do such (all but the "no tax" part, of course), esp. given the long wait for their product?
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Old Feb 5, 2013, 09:26 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by MSM Hobbes View Post
We are looking at B&H also - thanks for your post. One question that I guess I'll have to get answered tomorrow is if can specify which keyboard, as we are not fan of the wireless since we prefer the wired keyboard w/ number pad. The biggest kickers as you've shared is no tax, free shipping, ˝ price AppleCare, and P8 for free… why in hades don't Apple do such (all but the "no tax" part, of course), esp. given the long wait for their product?
you can pick from a list of their pre customized options, or you can call and customize one to your liking with a sales agent including swapping out the mouse with the trackpad which you can't do if you opt for ones listed. They will then submit the order to apple.
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Old Feb 6, 2013, 09:41 PM   #14
MSM Hobbes
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you can pick from a list of their pre customized options, or you can call and customize one to your liking with a sales agent including swapping out the mouse with the trackpad which you can't do if you opt for ones listed. They will then submit the order to apple.
lol - "sales agent"… will try again, but the old fella I got this afternoon, heck everything with him was a "variable, outside of their control", or some such foolish yackings, when I asked about swapping out the wireless keyboard for the wired w/ number pad, and if we ordered something 'special' if that would add additional time to an order via B&H, since it would be customized instead of the stock version that Apple would provide.
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Old Feb 7, 2013, 03:57 PM   #15
FreemanW
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Hi Dorene,

It appears that you've decided on your system specs. So I throw a monkey wrench into the works here . . . with the best intentions.

I have made the transition from Windows to Apple with the purchase of my late '12 27" iMac. I BTO'd the 3.4GHz i7, the GTX 680MX, 3TB Fusion drive . . . (my Canon photo image folder is >200GB) and threw 32GB of Crucial at it before I plugged it in.

I run CS6 Adobe Bridge, Photoshop, and Lightroom. I could not possibly be happier with my iMac and the money I spent.

Oh yeah, and AppleCare--which I considered to be a 'no-brainer'. I bought through Apple, but it would seem you're correct about B&H and the State sales tax dodge. Go for it.
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Last edited by FreemanW; Feb 7, 2013 at 04:05 PM.
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