Which BTO 27" option would you drop?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Spiffious, Nov 28, 2012.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Nov 28, 2012
    Hello Folks. Like many I've been reading this site daily waiting for the new iMac. I am coming from an 8 year old windows xp machine and a '10 MBP.

    I am looking at a 27" imac primarily for Adobe CS6 software (premiere, PS, Indesign).

    I have a canon t3i and have been shooting 1080p24 video all summer in hopes of having a machine that can edit this footage. Render times don't matter that much to me, I care much more about the machine feeling fast and responsive while working on projects.

    I plan on a BTO 27" and DIY ram with the following three options:

    1tb Fusion

    The problem is, that puts my cost too high by ~$200. So, for my usage, which of the 3 above options would you drop? (i7>i5, fusion>7200rpm, or 680mx>675mx)

    I know the i5 vs i7 isssue has been beaten to death, but the problem is the constantly opposing advice. Some say GPU matters more than CPU, some say i7 only matters for video, some say i7 isn't much benefit for price compared to GPU.

    Thank you much!
  2. macrumors 68020


    Jun 18, 2009
    FEMA Region VIII
  3. macrumors regular

    Sep 26, 2012
    Caotbridge (outside Glasgow, UK)
    I need some help here i read over that link above. I am going to using Adobe after effects cinema 4D and premiere pro cs6 I am not planning on gaming. Is the GPU upgrade on if gaming. I am going down the route of i7, standard GPU and fusion drive 1TB is this enough to meet my needs?
  4. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 28, 2012

    That is kind of my question too. The Adobe link and elsewhere seems to suggest the GPU really matters, but I can't really seem to figure out is which is the greater difference: 675mx to 680mx, or i5 to i7

    Most advice seems to say, 'MOAR IS BETTAR!' but like many with a budget, it often comes down to a choice of one thing or the other, but not both.

    Thanks for the feedback so far, the Adobe article still is very helpful!
  5. macrumors 65816

    Feb 28, 2006
    I'd argue for your needs you should drop the 680mx down to 675mx and keep the i7. I suspect the extra boost in GPU would mostly come into play for FPS gaming, whereas the apps you're going to use could take advantage of the i7 hyperthreading.
  6. macrumors regular

    May 14, 2011
    To play devil's advocate, why not drop the Fusion drive and then DIY your own SSD sometime in the future? I know the new iMacs will be buttoned up a little tighter, but it doubt they'll be much different than the current one as far as changing drives goes.
  7. macrumors 6502a


    Sep 16, 2006
    Suck it up and dish out the extra $200. That's less than 10% of the cost of the machine.
  8. macrumors regular

    Dec 14, 2006
    Toronto, Canada
    I'm sorry but for the people that would drop the i7 or GPU I don't think it is a good idea. The Fusion drive only cuts down on loading times and unless you are in absolute hurry all the time I doubt it is something you cannot possibly live without at least for the time being.

    Another thing to consider is the fact that you will not be able to upgrade the CPU and GPU should you decide that they are not adequate (well you can technically with the 2011 model and below and most likely this new one but realistically not many people have successfully done it) yet you can easily add in an SSD through Thunderbolt later on.

    The choice is up to you but this is what I would think about first.
  9. macrumors 603


    Aug 5, 2010
    That's an excellent article, although early parts of it could be misleading for people with short attention spans. I'm going to link to that in the future as it details application by application what factors are leveraged, what things can be run on OpenCL/CUDA, along with some basic spec information as to what is required to run them that way. People on here get it so wrong in almost every thread, and it's basically all stated in that white paper.

    When they come out check barefeats. That guy often drag races gpu processes in a variety of tasks that extend beyond gaming.
  10. macrumors regular

    May 26, 2008
    New Jersey
    680mx or Not

    Considering the price of the new iMacs, I'd like to save a few dollars as well. I do primarily web/database development with some Photoshop. I'll also be running a new of VMs. Is there any benefit for the 680mx. I'll play a game a few times per year.
  11. macrumors member

    Jul 6, 2012
    So happy you started this thread! I've been debating the same thing myself. Can't afford it all So, unfortunately, im going to have to drop something. Still undecided about whether to keep the stock CPU or gpu but one thing is for certain, I'm definitely going to get a fusion drive. I feel like getting a computer for any type of video or graphics work at this day and age, without some type of solid state storage component, would be a big mistake.

    I'm just curious if anyone here knows if the CPU or gpu has more of an effect on video editing???
  12. macrumors 6502a

    Jul 12, 2008
    Asheville, NC
  13. macrumors 6502


    Jul 28, 2012
    I am in the same boat. I will be doing some light photo shop, steam gaming, school work act and I can't decide on i7 or i5, 1g or 2g graphics and if I should get a fusion. Does the fusion really only increase load times?
  14. macrumors regular

    Dec 29, 2007
    Cape Cod, MA
    You can always add an external SSD via TB or USB3... You are stuck with what ever CPU/GPU combo you pick... Ditch the fusion drive and get the i7/680mx... Then if you find the drive is a bottle neck to your work flow get an external SSD... Oh and yeah upgrade the ram yourself (but everyone knows that)
  15. macrumors 6502


    Jul 28, 2012
    What benefits does the fusion bring in day to day use?
  16. macrumors 6502

    Nov 12, 2012
    My plan is to max out the GPU and CPU as I can not change them in the future. Then ship it to OWC (hopefully they will not take too long to get a turnkey operation up and running). There I will toss in the SSD board and bump up the ram.
  17. macrumors 603


    Aug 5, 2010
    The 27" is officially upgradable in terms of ram. You don't have to pay someone else to do it if you want to save money. Regarding maxing things out, you have to pay attention to the differences. Performance often tapers together in older machines unless the difference is extremely significant. The cheaper new models often outpace the older ones entirely if we're comparing within the same product class. You have to look at more than just geekbench on this. The debate between i5s and i7s remains consistent, yet many people barely benefit from the difference outside of geekbench. If it was a universal upgrade, you wouldn't find threads involving people asking how to disable hyperthreading. That used to be somewhat common. Even today it doesn't always hasten processes, and the best bleeding edge performance upgrades have been gpu based.
  18. macrumors regular

    Dec 14, 2006
    Toronto, Canada
    Okay so I was a little quick to suggest dropping the Fusion drive in saying that you can always add an SSD later. The fact of the matter is that adding an external SSD will require some additional expenses. Right now the cheapest option that gives you maximum performance is to use the Seagate GoFlex Desktop Thunderbolt adapter which costs $179 (not the $89 portable one which is really unstable) + the cost of the cable which will be at least $50. If you game then definitely go for the i7 + GTX 680MX upgrade but other than that it really depends on what you want to do. Also think about the life of the machine, are you going to want to use it for 5 years or sell it in 2-3 and get a new one? If you are planning to keep it then definitely max out the processing, not the IO.
  19. macrumors regular

    May 14, 2011
    I agree with this really.

    If the $200 is too much to bear then you should probably really ask yourself if you can afford a $2000+ computer in the first place.
  20. macrumors regular


    Oct 11, 2012
    If I had to decide, I'd say more CPU is better for rendering edits, and more GPU is better for the actual editing. Personally I'd rather have my workflow while editing be smooth and let the slower i5 grind away on rendering while I sit down to dinner.
  21. macrumors 68000


    Feb 11, 2009
    I would say, drop the ram of course and add it yourself. If you are considering a 21.5" with maxed out ram, then I think it's silly not to instead buy the 27" and add the ram yourself. I evens out in price because of that.

    the top model of the 21.5" with 32gb of ram will cost you as much as the top model 27" with 32gb of ram you place in yourself.

    And for those saying I dont want the 27", it's just because you haven't experienced it.

    I would personally think maxing out everything else is a nobrainer, its cheap compared to the cost of the machine itself. If you cannot afford the 768gb flash, then go down to 1 or 3tb fusion drive, that's the only compromise I would make.
  22. macrumors member

    Apr 10, 2009
    +1 Or you can wait a month (you can wait one month no? You gonna die?) and get everything.
  23. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 28, 2012

    Thanks for all the suggestions. It really looks like this is my option. I am trying to break the news slowly to my wife about the ever-increasing cost estimate of this purchase.

    As for accessories:
    I think I will go for the magic trackpad over the mouse since I already have some other wireless mice around, and magic mouse doesn't look appealing to me.
    I am also planning to use this machine as a 'tv' in my living room area, so I thought about the $19 remote, but is there an iphone app that does the same thing?
  24. macrumors regular

    May 14, 2011
    Using it as a TV...interesting. The only trouble will be finding content you can watch full screen without pixelization.

    I'd agree with skipping the mouse. I have a magic trackpad and never find myself missing my mouse.

    For the remote, there is a remote app for the iPhone that will control an AppleTV. Not sure if it can control FrontRow (or whatever they have now) on an iMac.
  25. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 28, 2012

    I am planning to use the Hulu plus desktop app, and also amazon streaming, netflix streaming. Pixelation doesn't bother me since the viewing distance for TV will be pretty far.

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