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Old Jan 12, 2013, 09:43 AM   #1
lixe
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GTX 675MX or GTX 680MX

Hi,
I want to order my new iMac soon, but I'm not 100% sure which one I should order I definitely want a 27" and a fusion drive. I'm using it mainly for office work and photo editing (Aperure, PS, 5DMarkII RAWs). I'm not a professinal photographer, mainly just personal, but I do get some jobs from time to time. And I want to play Diablo 3 for example, but not that often and until yet I had to play on 1024x640 with low details (you could also say without details ), so everything will be a big step! So what do you think? Should I spend the extra money for a GTX 680MX? My favourite would be a 27" iMac, "only" i5 (no i7), 3TB fusion drive, 8GB RAM (I can upgrade it myself) and the GTX 675MX... Should be good enough I think, but I also don't want to buy a new device in about 2 years... At the moment I'm "working" at the first Unibody 13" MacBook ^^ So basically I can't do much wrong either way
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Old Jan 12, 2013, 10:15 AM   #2
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From what you've said, if you can stump the money then I would get the gtx680MX - there is a substantial enough performance increase between the two, and it should make your iMac last longer in terms of performance. At least then if you get a litte more into gaming, you can run most things at high settings on native 1440p resolution.
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Old Jan 12, 2013, 10:43 AM   #3
lixe
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But I have to say I'm playing mostly on my Xbox360, Diablo is the first Desktop Computer game I've played in a long time... Do you think the benefits will be also that much regarding photo editing and maybe also Mac OS X 11.x? I always thought about learning some video editing, but I won't have much time for that the next 2 years, also playing games and editing photos will be much less than now... It's not about the money at all (ok maybe a little bit), but I don't want to pay for something I won't probably need like the i7... As far as I know the big advantage is HT and it helps a lot for video encoding, but not playing games or editing photos, so I decided to stay with the i5. About the graphic card I'm not that sure (else I wouldn't ask here ^^), because I think a good graphic card can't be wrong, but will it really help that much in a few years for editing photos for example, because I think by then all the other components are too much out of date and a new iMac would by then be the better choice than spending more money now? Would be nice to hear what you think about this =)
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Old Jan 12, 2013, 10:56 AM   #4
Dave26
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Personally i would go with the 680MX, i've not long ordered a 27" iMac (see specs below) I think maxing out the machine will help them to last longer and a little future proofing doesnt do any harm

3.4GHz Quad-core Intel Core i7, Turbo Boost up to 3.9GHz

16GB 1600MHz DDR3 SDRAM - 2X8GB

3TB Fusion Drive

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680MX 2GB GDDR5

Apple Magic Mouse + Magic Trackpad

Apple Wireless Keyboard (British) & User's Guide (English)

Apple Battery Charger

Accessory Kit
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Old Jan 12, 2013, 12:06 PM   #5
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The issue isn't so much Diablo III performance, as it is the performance of the next game you get or of other software that makes more use of the graphics processor.

Also, having more graphics ram will speed up some programs. I think for longevity it would be worth the graphics upgrade.
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Old Jan 12, 2013, 12:40 PM   #6
AT06
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If I were you I'd get the GTX680MX and fusion drive - leave everything else stock - you can upgrade the RAM easily and far more cheaply from crucial or owc once you get it.
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Old Jan 12, 2013, 03:55 PM   #7
TypeMRT
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I am in a similar situation as you: I'm processing 24MP RAW files in Aperture (as a hobby not professionally). I went with the faster i5 & 675MX to save almost $400 because I highly doubt that I'll be editing video and I game either on my iPad or Xbox.
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Old Jan 12, 2013, 05:39 PM   #8
Serban
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I understand that on the box of any custom imac (even you make base line with fusion drive only) there is no info of the specs like non custom imacs witch all the specs are on the back of the box.

Is this right?
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Old Jan 13, 2013, 02:34 AM   #9
MacCruiZe
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I sprung for the 680mx and it is enough to run Call of Duty Black Ops II (bootcamp) at nearly 100fps . StarCraft II (Mac) runs about 50-60fps. So it clearly is more than enough (ultra maxed out settings) an native resolution.

So the 675 will be fine I'm sure, but like others said , the 680 might last longer in terms of running the newest games that have hot been made yet
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Old Jan 13, 2013, 05:58 AM   #10
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The 680MX is a serious beast - you can throw almost anything at it, at 1440p, and it won't even break sweat.

The 675MX is still pretty potent though, and if you're not going to be heavily gaming on it then it will more than easily handle Diablo 3.

However, the upgrade price between the two cards is only $150 - that is the bargain of the century for serious GPU horsepower given that you are already dropping $2000 on the machine in the first place.

When you compare it to the upgrade price from i5 > i7, which is $200 for a pretty marginal increase, 150 for the 680MX is a no brainer.
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Old Jan 13, 2013, 07:02 AM   #11
Isengardtom
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I agree with most

the 675MX will handle current games fine, but the 680MX is more future proof and 150 USD isn't bad

and I agree with the CPU, stick to an i5. The performance difference is marginal for 99% of tasks
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Old Jan 13, 2013, 07:20 AM   #12
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If your budget is tight, settle with the 1 TB Fusion Drive and get the 680. And then you'll add those two extra TB later on, as an external drive via USB 3 - when/if you have the need.
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Old Jan 13, 2013, 11:21 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by joe-h2o View Post
When you compare it to the upgrade price from i5 > i7, which is $200 for a pretty marginal increase, 150 for the 680MX is a no brainer.
I respectfully disagree that the i7 upgrade is a marginal one. If you're performing compute-bound, multi-threaded tasks (data analysis, photo/video), hyper-threading on the i7 will pay performance dividends beyond the marginal-looking difference in clock speed. Read the Wikipedia page for a quick primer on HT if you're not familiar with it. I'd post a link but I'm on my phone and it's too much work. :P

Also, the i7 has 8MB cache, up from 6MB on the i5.

I do agree that the 680 upgrade is a good value, though.
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Old Jan 13, 2013, 04:00 PM   #14
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I respectfully disagree that the i7 upgrade is a marginal one. If you're performing compute-bound, multi-threaded tasks (data analysis, photo/video), hyper-threading on the i7 will pay performance dividends beyond the marginal-looking difference in clock speed. Read the Wikipedia page for a quick primer on HT if you're not familiar with it. I'd post a link but I'm on my phone and it's too much work. :P

Also, the i7 has 8MB cache, up from 6MB on the i5.

I do agree that the 680 upgrade is a good value, though.
Oh, I'm fully aware of the benefits of HT for certain use cases, but for the vast majority of people, it's not worth the $200 price for the performance delta. If you need the i7 and the benefits of HT then you already know and aren't asking on forums for purchasing advice.
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Old Jan 13, 2013, 04:13 PM   #15
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Oh, I'm fully aware of the benefits of HT for certain use cases, but for the vast majority of people, it's not worth the $200 price for the performance delta. If you need the i7 and the benefits of HT then you already know and aren't asking on forums for purchasing advice.
I also wouldn't say that the vast majority of people are gamers, or that they would see any benefit from the 680mx over the 675mx. Lots of people use their iMacs for photo/video work, often professionally. For me, the 675mx is more than capable for photo work, and is sufficiently future-proof.
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Old Jan 13, 2013, 10:35 PM   #16
KrasHr
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My 675MX vs 680MX story.

2 weeks ago I ordered an iMac with i7/3TB Fusion and 675MX. I didn't think I'd need to choose the 680MX, thinking that the money saved will go to 32GB of 3rd party RAM. I certainly didn't need it for gaming since I play on a PS3 and have a PC gaming rig (3930k @ 4.3Ghz, 2 x GTX 680's in SLI for nVidia 3D Surround etc) I built in the last year. The 675MX would be more than good enough for 99% of the things I use my iMac for.

Then in recent days I've started to second guess my choice, thinking why not just get the higher end graphics card, because the additional, theoretical graphics horse power (50%), more CUDA cores, higher memory/core speeds etc, compared to the 675MX was worth the extra AUD$175 (I consider it a bargain). This morning I called apple to change my configuration to a 680MX and thankfully, my delivery date hasn't changed

Anyways, 675MX or 680MX are both great and you should be happy with either card, but if the additional cost of the 680MX won't break the bank, I'd go for the 680MX.

Last edited by KrasHr; Jun 29, 2013 at 10:27 PM. Reason: Fixed some typos.
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Old Jan 13, 2013, 10:38 PM   #17
debuggr
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This morning I called apple to change my configuration to a 680MX and thankfully, my delivery date hasn't changed
How'd you manage that?! When I called to make this change a while back, they told me I'd have to cancel and re-order, losing my place in line.
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Old Jan 13, 2013, 10:56 PM   #18
KrasHr
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How'd you manage that?! When I called to make this change a while back, they told me I'd have to cancel and re-order, losing my place in line.
Well, the apple person I talked to said that my date would be pushed back from end of january into February (they'd have to cancel and redo the order), but after she did a few things (something about an order team), she said that there may not be a delay for my configuration change after all. Had a look at my order status and the same status of Ships January remains.

Maybe I was just lucky with the timing of my change. There could be quite a few reasons why my order won't be delayed. Maybe my location, maybe someone else with the same config was close to me in line and cancelled, who knows.
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Old Jan 14, 2013, 11:56 PM   #19
debuggr
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Well, the apple person I talked to said that my date would be pushed back from end of january into February (they'd have to cancel and redo the order), but after she did a few things (something about an order team), she said that there may not be a delay for my configuration change after all. Had a look at my order status and the same status of Ships January remains.

Maybe I was just lucky with the timing of my change. There could be quite a few reasons why my order won't be delayed. Maybe my location, maybe someone else with the same config was close to me in line and cancelled, who knows.
That's awesome I am happy for you. I bit the bullet and cancelled/reordered at a cost of about 10 days. I was able to convince myself that it was the right thing for me in the long term.
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Old Jan 15, 2013, 02:12 AM   #20
KrasHr
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That's awesome I am happy for you. I bit the bullet and cancelled/reordered at a cost of about 10 days. I was able to convince myself that it was the right thing for me in the long term.
Lets just say, I slept easier last night after making the configuration change
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Old Jan 15, 2013, 03:11 AM   #21
Tanax
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To OP.

For most people, you'd just want to upgrade the GPU and leave everything else stock. You won't need the CPU increase from an i7 vs the i5 since the i5 is more than enough for most people. RAM you can always add later(presuming you're getting the 27"). GPU is the main thing to upgrade since that's the computer part that will bottleneck and get outdated the quickest - again, for MOST people.

If budget is tight, you won't even need the Fusion Drive upgrade, just stick with the regular 1TB drive. You can always add your own Fusion Drive later by using external SSD.
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Old Jan 15, 2013, 03:40 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by debuggr View Post
How'd you manage that?! When I called to make this change a while back, they told me I'd have to cancel and re-order, losing my place in line.
Quote:
Originally Posted by KrasHr View Post
Well, the apple person I talked to said that my date would be pushed back from end of january into February (they'd have to cancel and redo the order), but after she did a few things (something about an order team), she said that there may not be a delay for my configuration change after all. Had a look at my order status and the same status of Ships January remains.
Quote:
Originally Posted by debuggr View Post
That's awesome I am happy for you. I bit the bullet and cancelled/reordered at a cost of about 10 days. I was able to convince myself that it was the right thing for me in the long term.
I did the same on 14 December after originally ordering on 4 Dec. My place in line didn't change and I am happier having upgraded the GPU to the 680MX even though I am not a gamer.
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Old Jan 15, 2013, 03:43 AM   #23
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I am in a similar situation as you: I'm processing 24MP RAW files in Aperture (as a hobby not professionally). I went with the faster i5 & 675MX to save almost $400 because I highly doubt that I'll be editing video and I game either on my iPad or Xbox.
A better GPU doesn't just benefit gaming and video editing.

As software off loads a lot to GPU these days apps like Aperture and even Adobe CS benefit greatly from a better GPU.

Mac OSX going forward will continue to offload more on the GPU also.

Even if you don't ever game, there is going to be some benefit to a better GPU regardless.
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Old Jan 17, 2013, 11:33 AM   #24
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Neither will play intensive games at max + native resolution, so I'd say get the 675mx and save the money on a gaming mouse or something
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Old Jan 17, 2013, 11:50 AM   #25
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Neither will play intensive games at max + native resolution, so I'd say get the 675mx and save the money on a gaming mouse or something
Come off of it. Have you seen the benchmarks that the 680MX is putting out? It is producing outstanding results in very demanding games, especially when you consider that it's an all-in-one and not some full tower with an SLI game card setup.

For $150 the upgraded graphics card is almost a no brainer. It will certainly extend the useable life of the machine if the person has even a passing interest in gaming, video or photo work.

To give a similar example, the machine I have right now is a 2009 i7 iMac with the upgraded 4850 graphics card. At that time the 4850 was only available in the top spec machine. Because I have the 4850 I can still play some of the newer games nearly three years later. If I'd gotten the lower spec video card, then games like Diablo III, etc, wouldn't even be an option as they would perform terribly.
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