What is the "sweet spot" for this refresh?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Sammy Cat, Jul 28, 2010.

  1. macrumors member

    I need help selecting the sweetest iMac for my lady.

    I've been waiting for this update since early this year. Refresh...I am still waiting for the new i'Life, but the funds are going to be spent come the middle of August regardless if i'Life is available or not.

    I don't care about Blue Ray, or USB 3. The last time I've watched a DVD movie on my PC has been..NEVER. The only thing I stick into my 'puter is a thumbdrive, printer, and modem. I don't care about firewire either. My firewire Panasonic JP Digicam has long since been dead.

    My woman will be using this computer to stream TV shows, video chat on QQ, and play stupid web based games where you plant corn, swat mosquitoes on your screen with a fly-swatter, and steal other peoples goats and pets. L-A-M-E.

    I will periodically use the iMac for light video collages that populated the web circa 2005.

    I am looking to get the best bang for the buck. I would like this computer to last her at least 3-4 years.

    I really would like to buy the "sweet spot" if there is one. That is my real question. I've seen benchmarks, know the difference between quad and dual etc... Just wondering what you guys thing the "sweet spot" is for this refresh?
  2. macrumors 65816


    I think everyone has their own "sweet spot" based on their needs.

    Allthough for your needs i would just go base 21" or high end 21"
  3. macrumors 6502


    Start with what size monitor do you want? 21.5" or 27". Then we can go from there.
  4. macrumors member

    I have to keep it at 21" because if I go 27" that i7 always ends up in my cart.
  5. macrumors 68040

    Go for the high end 21" with the 3.6 Core i5. That is a monster chip, and for most applications, will be much faster than the quad i7. Sadly, few Apple apps take advantage of the extra cores, although that is likely to change over the next year or so.
  6. macrumors 65816


    No idea why people are recommending high end 21" which cost about the same as base 27".

    And why recommend high end 21,5" when he says the computer isnt going to be heavily used.

    i mean, smashing bugs, and doing streaming, video chat, hardly requires a 3.6ghz cpu.

    I also dont know why you are telling lies, i mean, i5 dual core much faster then i7 quad cores? In your dreamy world maybe.
  7. macrumors member

    The 3.2ghz/i3 or the 3.6ghz/i5?

    Only real difference is the cache 2mb vs. 4mb. As far as real world fly-swatting goes, I don't know what impact that would have.

    Would you consider the 3.6ghz/i5 the "sweet spot?"
  8. macrumors 601


    The base 21.5" is the true bargain of the lineup, and is plenty powerful for swatting flies.
  9. macrumors member

    If the entry model is the best deal.

    Let me ask this:

    Would it be worth it to upgrade for $300 to the better 512mb video card?

    Is that card going to affect video play back or streaming tv?
  10. macrumors 6502


    No, not worth it
  11. macrumors 601


    You'll be fine with the $1200 base model. Actually, 99% of the people would.
  12. macrumors 6502

    I actually think the $1499 model is a great starting point.

    The GPU only has 256MG of dedicated memory. I would spend the extra $300.
    You are getting an faster i3 and more memory for the GPU.
  13. macrumors 601


    For the $300 you get three things:

    1. A faster graphics card with more memory, primarily beneficial for intense games and programs that rely on the GPU for calculations such as Aperture. No improvement for streaming video since low end is adequate, or most 2D applications (browsers, Microsoft Office, Mail, ...)
    2. A 1TB drive instead of a 500GB drive. You have to look at you disk useage to determine if you'll need the extra space over the life of the computer. Or you will need to attach an external drive.
    3. 4.5% faster CPU. You'll never feel this difference.
  14. macrumors 68030


    None of the processors have 2mb cache. They're all at least 4mb, i3 or dual i5.
  15. macrumors member


    Base 21.5" is the best value for your lady's fly swating & sheep stealing etc :D
  16. macrumors member

    and for gaming, i7-870 or i5-760 ?
  17. macrumors newbie

    I agree. After seeing the initial review of the i3 iMacs on macworld it seems clear. Now that all of the iMacs have descrete graphics what is the big limitation? You can add up to 16gb of ram and plug in an external drive into the firewire port.

    I was thinking of buying the top tier 21.5. But now I am seriously thinking about getting the base one. It is just too easy to upgrade the ram and plug in an external drive when the installed one fills up.

    A heavy user could sell and upgrade easier since less money is involved and a light user can do these easy upgrades.
  18. macrumors 601


    Macworld has just posted test results for the new midrange iMacs. Only slightly faster than the entry level 21.5".
  19. macrumors 65816

    I'd say the base model is probably more than fine for your needs. Save the money you'd spend on better specs which you don't need and get AppleCare. Then you can be assured that your computer will last you at least 3 years in good working order.

    The RAM upgrade is easy as pie, though for the uses you mentioned the 4GB it comes with are more than enough. If you really wanna go nuts though, you can get a 4GB ram stick on Newegg for $100 and go up to 8GB total, with one slot left so you can go to 12GB in the future if you ever need to.

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