Register FAQ / Rules Forum Spy Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read
Go Back   MacRumors Forums > Apple Hardware > Desktops > iMac

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old Dec 2, 2012, 11:27 AM   #1
unknownking123
macrumors newbie
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Future proofing the iMac

I'm in the process of buying my first iMac and considering all the specification options, I decided on these specs.:

2.9GHz Quad-core Intel Core i5, Turbo Boost up to 3.6GHz
8GB 1600MHz DDR3 SDRAM - 2x4GB
3TB Fusion Drive
NVIDIA GeForce GT 660M 512MB GDDR5

+ additional RAM from crucial = 1,720.80

However, I was wondering whether it would be worth paying an extra 176.40 for the following purely for future proofing purposes:

3.2GHz Quad-core Intel Core i5, Turbo Boost up to 3.6GHz
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 675MX 1GB GDDR5
unknownking123 is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 2, 2012, 11:29 AM   #2
flopticalcube
macrumors G4
 
flopticalcube's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: In the velcro closure of America's Hat
I could see 512MB video card being a problem in the future but the CPU difference is negligible. Is it worth it? Its a close call in my book but the resale value will certainly be higher if you find you need to sell it sooner than you had planned.
__________________
Read the Rules / Search the Forums / Use a Descriptive Title
Mac Won't Boot?
flopticalcube is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 2, 2012, 11:37 AM   #3
vannibombonato
macrumors regular
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
If i were you i'd max out what you can't solve later, and especially important can be the GPU (that is, if you're into gaming, if not frankly it won't make this much of a difference).

1- The CPU you won't be able to swap but will not make this much of a difference unless you are into heavy duty, professional video-editing and the likes.
2- The storage you can safely rely on thunderbolt ports to expand at will as years go by.
3- Ram is solved.
4- The video GPU is what will make you able to run games in 2 years from now, and without that there's no CPU, RAM or SSD that will save you if you don't invest now (and still...you'll never get top-level performance again. If you are into serious gaming either go PC or wait for the MacPros, which likely will be having top level video cards which you can anyway change and upgrade later).
vannibombonato is offline   1 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 2, 2012, 11:43 AM   #4
macmastersam
macrumors 6502a
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Essex, england
Quote:
Originally Posted by flopticalcube View Post
I could see 512MB video card being a problem in the future but the CPU difference is negligible. Is it worth it? Its a close call in my book but the resale value will certainly be higher if you find you need to sell it sooner than you had planned.
it depends more if the user will be gaming on it or not.
macmastersam is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 2, 2012, 11:45 AM   #5
Incindium
macrumors member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
The 675MX is a big enough performance boost over the 660M that considering you also get a CPU clock increase as well I think it's one of the better bang for your buck upgrades among the 2012 iMac options.

It's what I'll likely be getting assuming I decide on a 2012 over a 2011 refurb.
Incindium is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 2, 2012, 11:54 AM   #6
T'hain Esh Kelch
macrumors 65816
 
T'hain Esh Kelch's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Denmark
Send a message via ICQ to T'hain Esh Kelch Send a message via AIM to T'hain Esh Kelch Send a message via MSN to T'hain Esh Kelch
Id hold back on the RAM unless you edit video or giant pictures.
__________________
"There's no bigot like a religious bigot and there's no religion more fanatical than that espoused by Macintosh zealots." ~Martin Veitch, IT Week [31-01-2003]
T'hain Esh Kelch is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 2, 2012, 11:56 AM   #7
unknownking123
Thread Starter
macrumors newbie
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Hmm. Thanks for all the replies. I'm not a big gamer but I do like to play the odd game or two and I'm incline to spend the extra money now.

I take it that there isn't a significant difference in terms of video playback?
unknownking123 is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 2, 2012, 11:57 AM   #8
flopticalcube
macrumors G4
 
flopticalcube's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: In the velcro closure of America's Hat
Quote:
Originally Posted by macmastersam View Post
it depends more if the user will be gaming on it or not.
It may become an issue with OS upgrades. Apple has used seemingly arbitrary specs like these in the past to limit OS upgrades.
__________________
Read the Rules / Search the Forums / Use a Descriptive Title
Mac Won't Boot?
flopticalcube is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 2, 2012, 11:58 AM   #9
unknownking123
Thread Starter
macrumors newbie
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by T'hain Esh Kelch View Post
Id hold back on the RAM unless you edit video or giant pictures.
That is something that I want to play around with.
unknownking123 is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 2, 2012, 12:00 PM   #10
vannibombonato
macrumors regular
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by unknownking123 View Post
Hmm.

I take it that there isn't a significant difference in terms of video playback?
For Video playback a 3-year old iMac is more than fine, you don't need anything more.

Powerful GPU is only for gaming and for very specific Pro video-photo editing in some very specific programs and tasks (=you probably don't need it).
vannibombonato is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 2, 2012, 12:03 PM   #11
Chupa Chupa
macrumors G3
 
Chupa Chupa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
No such thing as "future proofing" especially when it comes to an iMac. You can buy enough upgrades to extend its life... maybe...but Apple has a habit of dropping support for old hardware if new tech gets in the way. It's not uncommon for current OS features to not be available in machines that are only 4 years old.

My advice, buy the machine you need for today's purposes and then when/if you out grow it sell and buy an up-to date machine. This years i5 machines are almost as fast as last years top line i7s. Current Mac Minis are as fast as the previous model Mac Pro...CPU tasks, not GPU, obviously.

Macs have excellent resale value so trading up when the time comes is very cost efficient. Much better than buying too much computer today. That is the definition of wasted money.
__________________
Walled Garden ≠ Prison:
"People who use Apple products considered their options, and chose Apple. If they regret their decision, they can dump it at any time." -- Harry McCracken, Technologizer.com
Chupa Chupa is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 2, 2012, 12:18 PM   #12
PaulKemp
macrumors 6502
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Norway
The way you feel about a computer is subjective, I've never thought to myself: "This CPU is not fast enough!". So in general computer use, it doesn't really matter, but for games and video encoding and CPU heavy tasks it does.
__________________
iMac i7 3.4 GHz, 24 GB Ram, 256 SSD | MBA 2011 i5 1.7 GHz, 4 GB Ram | Mini i7 2.0 GHz, 4 GB Ram, RAID 0 | iPad 2 16 GB | iPhone 5 16 GB | ATV 3
Remember to quote orignal post.
PaulKemp is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 2, 2012, 12:19 PM   #13
BitterCreek
Banned
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Denver
"Future proofing" is impossible.

My dad bought an AT&T PC6300 in 1986, he bought it with a $3000 5MB hard drive, $2000 color video card and $800 2400 baud modem so it would be "future proofed". Can you still use any of those today?
BitterCreek is offline   1 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 2, 2012, 12:29 PM   #14
T'hain Esh Kelch
macrumors 65816
 
T'hain Esh Kelch's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Denmark
Send a message via ICQ to T'hain Esh Kelch Send a message via AIM to T'hain Esh Kelch Send a message via MSN to T'hain Esh Kelch
Quote:
Originally Posted by unknownking123 View Post
That is something that I want to play around with.
You should try it out with 8GB first. It is quite a bit already.

Regarding the graphic card; no difference in video playback. Gaming, depends on what games you like.
__________________
"There's no bigot like a religious bigot and there's no religion more fanatical than that espoused by Macintosh zealots." ~Martin Veitch, IT Week [31-01-2003]
T'hain Esh Kelch is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 2, 2012, 01:34 PM   #15
dearlaserworks
macrumors regular
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Eastern Shore, USA
Quote:
Originally Posted by unknownking123 View Post
However, I was wondering whether it would be worth paying an extra 176.40 for the following purely for future proofing purposes:

3.2GHz Quad-core Intel Core i5, Turbo Boost up to 3.6GHz
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 675MX 1GB GDDR5
I paid it, felt the 2x VRAM plus 1.7x faster GPU benchmark more than justified the money. And 3.x GHz makes me feel better than 2.9GHz.
dearlaserworks is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 2, 2012, 02:01 PM   #16
JonnyBravo
macrumors member
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Glendale, CA
Quote:
Originally Posted by flopticalcube View Post
I could see 512MB video card being a problem in the future but the CPU difference is negligible. Is it worth it? Its a close call in my book but the resale value will certainly be higher if you find you need to sell it sooner than you had planned.
Agree with this. My 2009 iMac currently has 512MB with an i7 and after 3 years, have noticed considerable performance slowdowns on the graphics side. I'm not a big gamer but I do dabble in a little photo and video editing. And because I have enough RAM, I always regret not getting a larger GPU.

Problem solved though since I've ordered a 27" with a 2GB GPU!

Good luck with your decision!
__________________
27" iMac Quad-Core i7 (Late 2012)
13" Macbook Air Dual-Core i5
iPhone 5 32 GB Black
JonnyBravo is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 2, 2012, 02:09 PM   #17
macjram
macrumors 6502a
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by BitterCreek View Post
"Future proofing" is impossible.

My dad bought an AT&T PC6300 in 1986, he bought it with a $3000 5MB hard drive, $2000 color video card and $800 2400 baud modem so it would be "future proofed". Can you still use any of those today?
Damn $3000 for 5MB lol
__________________
2010 Macbook Pro, iPhone 4S
macjram is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 2, 2012, 04:10 PM   #18
Roller
macrumors 65816
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Quote:
Originally Posted by BitterCreek View Post
"Future proofing" is impossible.

My dad bought an AT&T PC6300 in 1986, he bought it with a $3000 5MB hard drive, $2000 color video card and $800 2400 baud modem so it would be "future proofed". Can you still use any of those today?
Are you sure about the hard drive? I bought a 20MB drive for my Mac Plus for less than $1,000 that year. Even the 10MB internal HyperDrive for the original Macintosh and 512 Mac cost less than $3,000.
Roller is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 2, 2012, 04:29 PM   #19
BitterCreek
Banned
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Denver
Quote:
Originally Posted by macjram View Post
Damn $3000 for 5MB lol
Yeah, and $2000 would buy four GeForce GTX 680 cards today.
BitterCreek is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 2, 2012, 04:46 PM   #20
JayJayAbels
macrumors 6502
 
Join Date: May 2012
The best way to go about it is... buy what you need for the next two years then in two years from now sell it for the best price you can get. Chip in some extra money and then buy new again. A pain, for sure, but using that approach will constantly keep you updated.

Even the baseline model will last a minimum of 4 years for basic video editing and common tasks. Like others have mentioned... the CPU and GPU are probably the most important in terms of upgrading if you need to.
JayJayAbels is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 2, 2012, 04:50 PM   #21
thekev
macrumors 603
 
thekev's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by BitterCreek View Post
"Future proofing" is impossible.

My dad bought an AT&T PC6300 in 1986, he bought it with a $3000 5MB hard drive, $2000 color video card and $800 2400 baud modem so it would be "future proofed". Can you still use any of those today?
It's impossible past a certain point. What people miss is that not all upgrades add equal longevity. Some of the quibbling over cpus really makes no difference. In a few years if you graphed them against the newer ones, the differences would look incredibly minor against the newest ones. It has slowed down, but past the first 3 years or so, you're better off running older software that is better supported on an aging machine.

Edit: better supported isn't what I meant. I meant better tuned. Software developers often remove official support after a certain amount of time on older revisions.

You also have to factor in that Apple de-supports things for a variety of reasons. An increasingly common one is the gpu. You're going to see minimum OpenGL or OpenCL version requirements (not sure if these support 1.2 at a hardware level), and you will see products de-supported due to AMD/NVidia no longer supporting older hardware. This was one of several reasons cited with the mac pro 1,1.
__________________
world's largest manufacturer of tin foil hats, none of that aluminum foil crap.
thekev is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 2, 2012, 04:50 PM   #22
MeFromHere
macrumors regular
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by flopticalcube View Post
It may become an issue with OS upgrades. Apple has used seemingly arbitrary specs like these in the past to limit OS upgrades.
Really? Do you have an example where the base model wasn't supported but systems with add-ons were supported? That would surprise me.

For the past 4 releases, I haven't seen any arbitrary limits on OS support. Lack of 64-bit support for built-in hardware seems to be the big killer.

The reasons aren't always evident from the descriptions Apple uses. For example my current iMac is sometimes described as a "Core 2 Duo" system, but the Core 2 Duo CPU is NOT why it can't run Mountain Lion. The CPU is fine, but the system happens to have several devices that originally had 32-bit drivers. Apple decided to drop everything lacking full 64-bit support, and they decided not to buy/develop brand new drivers for some of the old devices. A valid engineering tradeoff, but a disappointing one for me.
MeFromHere is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 2, 2012, 04:51 PM   #23
torana355
macrumors 65816
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Sydney, Australia
I think you can future proof to and extent. Im still running on a 2008 iMac as i expect a computer to last that long, i got the low end 24" at the time and it has served me well but multiple times i wished i had got the upgraded video card and faster cpu. This time round ive gone all out and maxed the 27" out bar the ram. I see it lasting me at least 6 years which justifies the extra money spent.
__________________
2012 27" iMac with 680mx | 2011 13" MBA 128gb | iPhone 4 32gb | Nexus 7 16gb | Nexus 4 on Carbon and Trinity.
torana355 is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 2, 2012, 05:04 PM   #24
GimmeSlack12
macrumors 603
 
GimmeSlack12's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: San Francisco
I wouldn't bother with a 3TB drive. You can easily get yourself a NAS or other external solution later down the road when your 1TB drive is full.

Unless you're a photog or video editor, I don't know why anyone needs that much space.
__________________
iMac 24" iBook G4 iPhone 4 iPod 80Gb
GimmeSlack12 is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 2, 2012, 05:17 PM   #25
torana355
macrumors 65816
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Sydney, Australia
Quote:
Originally Posted by GimmeSlack12 View Post
I wouldn't bother with a 3TB drive. You can easily get yourself a NAS or other external solution later down the road when your 1TB drive is full.

Unless you're a photog or video editor, I don't know why anyone needs that much space.
My media library is just over 2TB so i need the extra internal storage, i use a 3TB external for backups. It is too expensive to have a 4TB~ NAS with a backup solution on top.
__________________
2012 27" iMac with 680mx | 2011 13" MBA 128gb | iPhone 4 32gb | Nexus 7 16gb | Nexus 4 on Carbon and Trinity.
torana355 is offline   0 Reply With Quote

Reply
MacRumors Forums > Apple Hardware > Desktops > iMac

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Similar Threads
thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Is getting a 12 core machine future proofing my needs? HD303 Mac Pro 22 Jan 6, 2014 05:49 PM
Future proofing? Bri in Mtl MacBook Pro 1 Oct 26, 2013 04:08 AM
Future proofing. 802.11ac wifi? kingebaneezer iMac 4 Sep 25, 2013 02:06 AM
More RAM for future proofing rcp27 MacBook Air 5 Jul 27, 2012 09:34 AM
Can someone walk me through the logic of future proofing with 16gb RAM? Mongol MacBook Pro 65 Jul 7, 2012 09:48 AM

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:22 PM.

Mac Rumors | Mac | iPhone | iPhone Game Reviews | iPhone Apps

Mobile Version | Fixed | Fluid | Fluid HD
Copyright 2002-2013, MacRumors.com, LLC