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Old Dec 19, 2012, 10:38 PM   #26
krravi
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So you had to buy a external Super Drive?
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Old Dec 20, 2012, 01:31 AM   #27
d.rehman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phillie86 View Post
Well I'm one of the lucky few who have already received their 27" iMac pre-orders and I'd like to share my thoughts and experience with this product.

I've been a Mac user since high school where I used my first iMac (the transparent bubble as I like to call it) and then later in college with the Mac Pro's. Shortly after college I purchased my first mac, a refurbished 15" MacBook Pro top of the line.

Well, after many years of use, the 2007 model finally died this year. Ironically enough two months after I upgraded the HDD to an SSD and the ram to its max potential and I also added a secondary hard drive by omitting the superdrive. And surprisingly enough I was more than content with its performance up until the logic board crapped out on me.

Now I was deciding between what to get next. I quickly jumped on the new release of the MacBook Pro 15" Retina display with maxed specs in October. A slight disappointment as I found the HD4000 graphics to be somewhat laggy with the interface. The screen also had a great deal of image retention. But I wont get into much more. I returned it within my 14 days.

I then purchased a 2012 mac mini which was also fully spec'ed out. To my surprise it was pretty good. Except it sounded like a jet plane was about to take off whenever we watched a video (HD or non-HD) and whenever I played Counter-Strike: GO. Speaking of Counter-Strike, I could only manage the lowest settings to get an enjoyable smooth experience and even then it struggled getting 28-40 frames per second. Also to my surprise, the HD4000 does not provide the smoothest user interface experience as well. But that could be a driver or hardware issue.

Thumb resize.

But I knew this going into integrated graphics. I just needed a computer in the meantime while i awaited for the 27" iMac, which we were all waiting for.

Luckily I wake up around 5AM for work everyday and I was lucky enough to get on the first pre orders and with that I made sure I was getting the best system I could get.

Thumb resize.

Also there were some good incentives to buying the iMac. As an Airmiles Card Holder, they were having 25x the airmiles event. Now anyone who has an Airmiles Card knows how it can take a while to accumulate points. So this deal was just too good to pass.

My configuration:

3.4GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i7
32GB 1600MHz DDR3 SDRAM-4x8GB
3TB Fusion Drive
NVIDIAGeFrc GTX 680MX 2G GDDR5
AppleCare
Magic Mouse + Trackpad + Wireless Keyboard

I had a few phone calls with Apple Representatives and was able to save an additional $50.00 CDN and also got a Super Drive added free of charge and my order upgraded to Expedited Shipping. And boy did that pay off as the iMac came in last night.

And with that, I present to you my 27Ē iMac sitting perfectly on the table.

Thumb resize. Thumb resize. Thumb resize. Thumb resize.

On the table surrounding this beautiful piece of art are M-Audioís BX5 D2ís, Apogee Duet 2, Audio Technicaís M50ís the wireless Keyboard and Apple Magic Mouse, Apple Super Drive and Razerís Mamba mouse.

Thumb resize.

Iíll give you my thoughtís on the 27Ē iMac. Itís flawless, no damages, no screen issues but I have a few things I noticed about the screen. It is a bit more yellowish than the Thunderbolt Display - but its not an issue, just needs a calibration. The colors are more vivid. Apples obviously does not want to do away with glass. Since most of their products are made of metal and glass, this just falls into their design specs. And rightfully so, they are the two best pieces of material to use because of durability and longevity. But nothings perfect, as we know and I know, the Thunderbolt display was very reflective. This new display certainly improves on that one issue many of us had. Unfortunately it does not eliminate it, nor do I think it will ever because glass always has a reflectiveness to it. But laminating the LCD to the glass removed a good chunk of unwanted reflection. Iím much more content with the screen. Also, I prefered the height of the Thunderbolt display. As I sit in my chair at the lowest setting I felt the screen was at eye level. With the iMac, I must raise the chair up a bit. No big deal. And if you guys are wondering, I prefer no chin, but since the keynote we know that is their trademark for the iMac and will live on.

I donít really notice a difference between the processor speed and power from the mac Mini, and I doubt I will anytime soon. Both are close in results and realistically I havenít used it to its full potential and therefore I shouldnít say much more.

The Graphics is where I noticed a huge difference. Now Iím not a hardcore gamer by any means. I play Counter-Strike: GO. Thats about it. On the Mac mini I was averaging 28-40fps on the lowest settings. On this, FPS is over 120. Now this isnít really pushing this card to its limits but it serves my purpose great and should support future releases which Iím comfortable with. But I must say I have encountered an issue. When the game is loading, the computer has crashed and restarted with a white screen saying the computer has restarted due to an issue.

The fusion drive is quiet. I do not hear a thing. Mostly because its running mostly the OS on the SSD. But the hard drive will spin up every now and then when Iím accessing my huge music library or going through RAW photos. Although it spins, the sound is very faint and most of the time, I donít even hear it unless I pay attention to it. Unlike my old Macbook Pro.

Anyways, on to the test results. I basically conducted three tests: Geekbench, Blackmagic Disk Speed Test and Cinebench.

Thumb resize. Thumb resize. Thumb resize. Thumb resize.

I Hope you guys enjoyed this and those awaiting your iMacs, I hope your all just as happy as I am.

Nice review..!!

As i can see you sit as close to the screen as I will do if i buy one - I can't choose between the 21,5" and 27". Does feel too big, or are you satisfied?

Rehman
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Old Dec 20, 2012, 04:20 AM   #28
philipfreire
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Quote:
Originally Posted by krravi View Post
So you had to buy a external Super Drive?
Apple threw it in at no additional cost.

----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by d.rehman View Post
Nice review..!!

As i can see you sit as close to the screen as I will do if i buy one - I can't choose between the 21,5" and 27". Does feel too big, or are you satisfied?

Rehman
At first it's seems so huge when you get it. But you become accustom to the size real fast. In fact you then look at the smaller screens and wonder how you ever worked on such small real estate.

I had the exact same feeling going from a CRT to a flat planet display when I went from the 21" screen to a 27".

Get the 27". So worth it! You will not regret it.

Plus just because the screen is bigger doesnt mean it has to be further away like tv's.
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Old Dec 20, 2012, 05:23 AM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dribble View Post
Nice setup and thanks for the review however you just said "I bought a maxed out spec Mac Mini" and "To my surprise it was very good" why did you buy it if you thought it was not very good?
My laptop went on me in October and I needed a computer to use in the meantime while I waited until the iMac was released. And with apples Christmas return policy for January 7th, I took advantage of it honestly, if I didn't game at all, the mini would be sufficient.
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Old Dec 20, 2012, 08:13 AM   #30
mgrad46
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follow up questions

Thanks to everyone for posting such informative data. Forgive my ignorance, but would someone please explain the use of the Apogee duet? Is it needed just for listening? Do the headphones and speakers use the same jack on the computer back or is there a unique setup? About to order the 27" IMAC and answers would be helpful. Thanks much.
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Old Dec 20, 2012, 09:34 AM   #31
Kadath
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phillie86 View Post
The speaker risers are literally a brand new piece of tech (if you call it that) They are called IsoAcoustics, designed by a Canadian broadcaster from CBC for over 20 years. They basically isolate the bass response that your bookshelf's will resinate through your entire desk. They provide a clear and tight bass and from my experience have improved the sound a bit in the low ends.

www.isoacoustics.com

IsoAcoustics, Canadian made, $100.00 a set.
Cool thanks!
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Old Dec 20, 2012, 03:20 PM   #32
Ubele
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Thanks for the great review, Phillie86! I'm in a similar situation to you: I have an early 2008 MBP that's getting painfully slow with some programs Ė e.g., when I'm going through photos one by one in Aperture, every few photos, the beach ball will spin, and the next photo will take about 5 seconds to load. The RAM is maxed out, and I was thinking of replacing the HDD with an SSD, but since this is the model with the dodgy NVIDIA card, I'm hesitant to put any more money into it. The logic board died earlier this year Ė two weeks before my AppleCare ran out, so it only cost $310 to replace.

I've been going back and forth on which Mac to get, and I've pretty much decided on a 27" MBP. However, I've also considered either a Mini or an Air, using my old 21" Samsung LCD monitor with it, and buying a TBD when they update it with USB 3.0. When you say that the Mini would have been fine if you didn't use it for gaming, what other things do you do with your computer? My heaviest apps are Logic, Aperture (with a library of almost 6,000 photos), and Adobe Photoshop Elements. I consider myself a serious amateur hobbyist when it comes to photography and music. I might dabble in video during the life of my next computer. I don't play video games. I understand the advantages of an i7 processor over an i5, and of a dedicated graphics adapter over an integrated one, but I don't need to buy the fastest Mac in existence for what I do. I have no doubt that an i7 Mini or Air would be fast enough for Logic, but I'm wondering about the subjective experience of the HD 4000 graphics adapter for moderate to heavy photo processing. I've heard everything from "It's plenty good enough" to "It sucks." You seem to have similar sensibilities to mine when it comes to computers, so I always welcome another opinion. The advantage of an i7 Mini or Air over an iMac, of course, would be cost, since my current monitor still works fine.
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Old Dec 20, 2012, 03:28 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ubele View Post
Thanks for the great review, Phillie86! I'm in a similar situation to you: I have an early 2008 MBP that's getting painfully slow with some programs Ė e.g., when I'm going through photos one by one in Aperture, every few photos, the beach ball will spin, and the next photo will take about 5 seconds to load. The RAM is maxed out, and I was thinking of replacing the HDD with an SSD, but since this is the model with the dodgy NVIDIA card, I'm hesitant to put any more money into it. The logic board died earlier this year Ė two weeks before my AppleCare ran out, so it only cost $310 to replace.

I've been going back and forth on which Mac to get, and I've pretty much decided on a 27" MBP. However, I've also considered either a Mini or an Air, using my old 21" Samsung LCD monitor with it, and buying a TBD when they update it with USB 3.0. When you say that the Mini would have been fine if you didn't use it for gaming, what other things do you do with your computer? My heaviest apps are Logic, Aperture (with a library of almost 6,000 photos), and Adobe Photoshop Elements. I consider myself a serious amateur hobbyist when it comes to photography and music. I might dabble in video during the life of my next computer. I don't play video games. I understand the advantages of an i7 processor over an i5, and of a dedicated graphics adapter over an integrated one, but I don't need to buy the fastest Mac in existence for what I do. I have no doubt that an i7 Mini or Air would be fast enough for Logic, but I'm wondering about the subjective experience of the HD 4000 graphics adapter for moderate to heavy photo processing. I've heard everything from "It's plenty good enough" to "It sucks." You seem to have similar sensibilities to mine when it comes to computers, so I always welcome another opinion. The advantage of an i7 Mini or Air over an iMac, of course, would be cost, since my current monitor still works fine.
Good choice! Dont make the mistake I made, I added the SDD and max Ram to my Penryn model and the nvidia went on the logic board. Although yours was recently replaced.

The SSD will make a huge difference. Like I was so happy with the speed with the SSD that I was sure I wasnt going to be buying a new computer in the next two years. But that wasnt the case...

Try out the Mini, buy it from apple and remember you have 14 days to return it if it doesnt fit your needs. The processor is quick, but the hd4000 still isnt a good choice for a replacement of dGPU's. If the fans kick up because your watching a video, that worries me.
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Old Dec 20, 2012, 04:37 PM   #34
Ubele
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phillie86 View Post
Good choice! Dont make the mistake I made, I added the SDD and max Ram to my Penryn model and the nvidia went on the logic board. Although yours was recently replaced.

The SSD will make a huge difference. Like I was so happy with the speed with the SSD that I was sure I wasnt going to be buying a new computer in the next two years. But that wasnt the case...

Try out the Mini, buy it from apple and remember you have 14 days to return it if it doesnt fit your needs. The processor is quick, but the hd4000 still isnt a good choice for a replacement of dGPU's. If the fans kick up because your watching a video, that worries me.
Thanks! Since I have competing priorities for my disposable income, I've been putting off buying a new Mac for as long as possible, and I haven't entirely ruled out installing an SSD in my MBP in the hope that it will make enough of a difference to get me by for another year or two. By that time, Haswell will be out, and maybe the HD5000 will be good enough for what I do. When you don't absolutely need something in the world of high tech, procrastination usually pays off. I use a Windows PC at work, so my home Mac is just an expensive hobbyist's toy.
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Old Dec 21, 2012, 01:34 AM   #35
urbsoc
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27" SSD after 3 days of use

27" 3.4GHzi7 16gRAM 768gSSD 680MX

Ordered 3.04AM EST Nov 30th for Dec 21-28 delivery, actually arrived via Fedex Dec 17th. Used Migration Assistant to move content from my old 2007 iMac and have been using it on the new machine since Monday (3 days now).

Soooh glad I splurged for the SSD. Opening apps and System Preferences is now instantaneous. Feels like I've banished that damn beach ball forever. Means I can work at my speed rather than perennially waiting for the Mac to catch up (my 2007 was awful running Mountain Lion).

Love the Magic Mouse and its mix of mouse and trackpad features. I now sweep across the top of the mouse to move between desktops (one for work, one for news & social media, and a third for photo work).

The long wait was well worth it. This is the most fun I've had with a Mac since my 1991 Classic. Only downside: every other Mac now seems horribly slow.
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Old Jan 7, 2013, 07:41 AM   #36
00fez
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Hey, thanks for the review. I saw someone asking for the wallpaper you had, but you posted the link to the first wallpaper, not the second one where you do the geekbench tests, could you give us that one as well? Thanks!!
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Old Jan 7, 2013, 08:17 AM   #37
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Originally Posted by urbsoc View Post
27" 3.4GHzi7 16gRAM 768gSSD 680MX

Ordered 3.04AM EST Nov 30th for Dec 21-28 delivery, actually arrived via Fedex Dec 17th. Used Migration Assistant to move content from my old 2007 iMac and have been using it on the new machine since Monday (3 days now).

Soooh glad I splurged for the SSD. Opening apps and System Preferences is now instantaneous. Feels like I've banished that damn beach ball forever. Means I can work at my speed rather than perennially waiting for the Mac to catch up (my 2007 was awful running Mountain Lion).

Love the Magic Mouse and its mix of mouse and trackpad features. I now sweep across the top of the mouse to move between desktops (one for work, one for news & social media, and a third for photo work).

The long wait was well worth it. This is the most fun I've had with a Mac since my 1991 Classic. Only downside: every other Mac now seems horribly slow.
NICE! I ordered the exact same specifications. My iMac is still several weeks away, I can't wait to get it. Yeah, the SSD together with that powerful CPU must be an awesome combo.
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Old Jan 7, 2013, 11:09 AM   #38
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Originally Posted by Phillie86 View Post
Apologies, I have fixed the image sizes. Hopefully thats better for you guys. I come from forums where it automatically sizes the image to the table size and if the user wants to see it enlarged, they just click on it.

And yes, the M50's are a great set of cans. The ESW11LTD are phenomenal, I got a friend with a set, great choice!

The Duet is a dream. Great DAC for a solid state. My dream would be a tube.
If you haven't auditioned them yet, I'd definitely recommend giving a listen to the AudioEngine A5+s. They're larger than your M-Audios (with all the good and bad that comes with larger speakers), and have stellar sound, especially when you pair them with a performance DAC, like the AudioEngine D1, or the Audioquest Dragonfly.
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Old Jan 7, 2013, 01:27 PM   #39
jamesakano
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Originally Posted by Phillie86 View Post
The Graphics is where I noticed a huge difference. Now Iím not a hardcore gamer by any means. I play Counter-Strike: GO. Thats about it. On the Mac mini I was averaging 28-40fps on the lowest settings. On this, FPS is over 120. Now this isnít really pushing this card to its limits but it serves my purpose great and should support future releases which Iím comfortable with. But I must say I have encountered an issue. When the game is loading, the computer has crashed and restarted with a white screen saying the computer has restarted due to an issue.
Thats a CS:GO issue so don't worry about it. There are some settings you can adjust that might resolve that, google 'cs go crash on loading'.
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Old Jan 7, 2013, 03:19 PM   #40
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Hey, thanks for the review. I saw someone asking for the wallpaper you had, but you posted the link to the first wallpaper, not the second one where you do the geekbench tests, could you give us that one as well? Thanks!!
just google Subway Wallpaper and click on images
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Old Jan 8, 2013, 03:08 AM   #41
micke1967
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Hi I also wonder the same about the Apogee....
What does it do exactly??And how well since its rather expensive...
best regards micke


Quote:
Originally Posted by mgrad46 View Post
Thanks to everyone for posting such informative data. Forgive my ignorance, but would someone please explain the use of the Apogee duet? Is it needed just for listening? Do the headphones and speakers use the same jack on the computer back or is there a unique setup? About to order the 27" IMAC and answers would be helpful. Thanks much.
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Old Jan 8, 2013, 04:32 AM   #42
Tanax
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Hi I also wonder the same about the Apogee....
What does it do exactly??And how well since its rather expensive...
best regards micke
Apogee Duet is an external soundcard. You can read more about it on their website. Typically you will be fine with the internal soundcard that comes with Mac computers(or any computer in general) unless you are working with music production or are what's known as an "audiophile".
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