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Old Jan 11, 2013, 09:21 AM   #1
deeve
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iMac DIY Upgrade Question 2011vs2012

Hello, i keep going back and forth on whether to get an iMac or Macbook Pro 15. My 2009 MBP 13 isnt up to some photo and video editing tasks I have thrown at it. Nothing big, but it is 1080p GoPro stuff. Rendering time and playback in the editor are pretty pokey.

I like it being portable, but the iMac seems to give you a big bang for the buck. It is my understanding that the 2012 iMac's are not user upgradeable, except for RAM on the 27", so you buy what you will need. Kinda worries me though that the HDD/SDD can't be fixed DIY. Am I correct on that?

I believe the 2011 iMac's are more DIY friendly. I have been looking at the refurbed ones, when they are there. Any advice on being able to upgrade a 2011 yourself and is there that much of a difference between the Ivy and Sandy Bridge processors? Is it worth going to the latest processor vs non "upgradablility?" For the space it is going the 21.5 would fit better and they are more common, but the 27" has the potential to have better specs.

Thanks!
DAVE
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Old Jan 11, 2013, 09:31 AM   #2
All Taken
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Originally Posted by deeve View Post
Hello, i keep going back and forth on whether to get an iMac or Macbook Pro 15. My 2009 MBP 13 isnt up to some photo and video editing tasks I have thrown at it. Nothing big, but it is 1080p GoPro stuff. Rendering time and playback in the editor are pretty pokey.

I like it being portable, but the iMac seems to give you a big bang for the buck. It is my understanding that the 2012 iMac's are not user upgradeable, except for RAM on the 27", so you buy what you will need. Kinda worries me though that the HDD/SDD can't be fixed DIY. Am I correct on that?

I believe the 2011 iMac's are more DIY friendly. I have been looking at the refurbed ones, when they are there. Any advice on being able to upgrade a 2011 yourself and is there that much of a difference between the Ivy and Sandy Bridge processors? Is it worth going to the latest processor vs non "upgradablility?" For the space it is going the 21.5 would fit better and they are more common, but the 27" has the potential to have better specs.

Thanks!
DAVE
I take apart every Mac product and would recommend a 2010 or 2011 iMac over the 2012 iMac every day of the week for upgradability. Keep in mind that the 2012 iMac has only ONE SATA Port. Now this may not be an issue given that thunderbolt and USB 3 make viable alternatives but it's something to think about. As for the processor, the performance difference between these machines for your usage is not going to be day and night, negligible in fact. The graphics card options however....
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Old Jan 11, 2013, 09:37 AM   #3
deeve
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As for the processor, the performance difference between these machines for your usage is not going to be day and night, negligible in fact. The graphics card options however....
Thank you, I was going to look for an i7 over an i5 mostly due to the extra core s and my understanding that the i5 does not hyperthread.

Im interested to hear the opinions about the graphics card options....This is going to be an all around family machine, but probably not a real big gamer. The kiddos have an Xbox for that.

DAVE
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Old Jan 15, 2013, 12:32 PM   #4
deeve
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Im interested to hear the opinions about the graphics card options....This is going to be an all around family machine, but probably not a real big gamer. The kiddos have an Xbox for that.

DAVE
Hoping to hear something about the follow up q.
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Old Jan 15, 2013, 01:06 PM   #5
Tofray
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Originally Posted by deeve View Post
Im interested to hear the opinions about the graphics card options....This is going to be an all around family machine, but probably not a real big gamer. The kiddos have an Xbox for that.

DAVE
I have a 2011 27" i7 with the 6970 2GB card, and I think the card is great and runs everything I throw at it very well. I know you're not a "gamer" but future-proofing as much as a you can with a 2011 would likely mean buying a iMac with this card in it. There is a 1GB version, and 2 lesser cards (6750 & 6770) on the 21.5" iMac that run 512mb video memory. I've seen many of these 2GB card options on refurbished models listed on Apple's site, and they're all over Cragislist & Ebay.

This will give you a better idea how well the 6970 runs compared to the 2012's 675/680 video cards... http://www.videocardbenchmark.net/high_end_gpus.html
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