Question about new iMac graphics

Discussion in 'Design and Graphics' started by Sassers, Dec 10, 2012.

  1. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2012
    #1
    Hello!

    I'm thinking about switching from a Windows PC to the new iMac. For space consideration, I'd really love to get the 21.5". I'm concerned about the graphics card, though - the GT 650M 512. I create content for a virtual world (Second Life), mainly using Photoshop CS 5.1 extended. I believe that card will be fine for PS and tolerable for Second Life, but next year I might start working in either Blender or Maya creating mesh 3D items.

    Does anyone have any experience working on the smaller iMac using 3D programs? I've got the 27" spec'd out, and am pretty sure that will handle Blender/Maya ok, but I keep going back to the 21.5" because my space is so limited.

    With either size I'd go with the 1TB Fusion drive, and could bump up to the i7 if that would make a difference in how the card might process 3d renders.

    Any thoughts would be appreciated.

    Thanks!
     
  2. fig
    macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2012
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    #2
    Depending what you're doing, you should be fine. I do some Maya work now on a 20" iMac from late 2006, it isn't fast by any means but it's usable for character animation.

    I think the need for horsepower gets a bit overblown by folks who think they need more than they really do, the new iMacs are pretty darn capable and will handle your everyday Photoshop and 3d work just fine. Load it up with RAM and you're good to go.
     
  3. thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2012
    #3
    That's good to hear. That puts the 21.5 back into consideration, which I'm really happy about. I know it wouldn't be the optimum, but as long as there's a chance it's doable I'm good.

    Thanks for your input!
     
  4. fig
    macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2012
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    #4
    Yeah, if you're just doing pretty simple modeling, rendering, etc., which is what it sounds like, you shouldn't have any issues whatsoever.

    And glad to help.
     
  5. Renzatic, Dec 11, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2012

    macrumors G3

    Renzatic

    #5
    I think you could push it pretty hard, since 3D work is generally (though not always) more CPU driven than GPU. If you prefer realtime 3D over prerendered you might run into problems once you start getting into heavier scenes, but you'll still be able to push it surprisingly far.
     
  6. thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2012
    #6
    Thanks! I'm still dithering (mainly now because of the 650 card with only 512 VRAM) but the size of the 21.5 is so appealing...

    Decisions, decisions
     
  7. macrumors G3

    Renzatic

    #7
    Honestly, the 21-inch is alright, not great, not bad, but with 3D work, having access to more POWAH wouldn't hurt anything but your wallet.

    My personal opinion, of course, but I've never found Apple's entry level/low end offerings to be all that appealing. For me, the world of Macs begins only at the middle-high, when the price to performance ratio starts balancing out a little better. 21 inch iMacs, 13 inch MBPs. Nuh uh. They're too expensive for what you're getting.

    If I were you, I'd consider plunking down the cash for a 15" rMBP and a 21" screen to hook it up to. You get roughly same amount of processing power, a better graphics card to fall back on, and still save on space considerations. It's more expensive, but you'll likely be happier in the long run.
     
  8. thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2012
    #8
    Oh, boy - I never thought of that option! I'm so conditioned to thinking I needed a desktop of some sort! I was almost resigned to the 27" but the rMBP might do the trick as well! Heading off to take a look at those.
     
  9. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2011
    #9
    If your just modeling you can surely get away with the lowest specced imac. However, if you are wanting to do any sort of animation or physics you will absolutley want the best graphics performance you can get. Also if your going for photorealistic renders youll want a hardcore cpu.
     
  10. thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2012
    #10
    Yep - after looking at the options, I've pretty much decided I need to go with the 27" - I'm hoping to keep this for a few years and don't want to be in the position of regretting not bumping up CPU or graphics down the road.

    Thanks everyone for your input!
     
  11. blanka, Dec 22, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2012

    macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2012
    #11
    Stay on a PC. Pick a compact Shuttle PC with a GTX670 (the best price/performance card also baked at 28nm and outperforming the 980M of BTO imacs) and a 22 inch Eizo 1920x1200 pixel display (best workspace at small screen) if you want a great compact screen and 3D power. Second Life is really demanding. You will also have the benefit of faster 3D support (DirectX vs OpenGL) and more 3D software for Windows.
     
  12. thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2012
    #12
    Well, I just came home with my iMac! I'll give it a shot and see if its enough for the relatively small amount of 3D work I might do. Second Life is ridiculously taxing on graphics cards, but hoping this 680mx will tolerate it all right.

    I had never heard of Shuttle PC before - that's definitely one i'll look at if I go back to windows - thanks for the heads up on that!
     

Share This Page