2011 iMacs: BTO Config Advice Needed

Discussion in 'iMac' started by ConnorTurnbull, Jul 2, 2011.

  1. ConnorTurnbull macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2010
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #1
    Well, i'm super excited to complete my switch to Mac. From March, i've been using a MacBook Air and it's awesome. However, I now want a desktop Mac.

    My initial plan was to get a Mac Mini + Cinema Display setup, but if the BTO specs on the Mac Mini are not up to scratch, i'm definitely going with an iMac.

    Unlike portables, I want my desktop to be future proof and last me several years. I don't do too intensive gaming (more casual games like Portal 2 or The Sims 3) but I do want to do some video editing and eventually FCP X, Motion and Photoshop work.

    Due to my want for this to be future proof, I want to get the highest spec possible.

    Option 1:
    21.5" display
    2.8GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i7
    4GB 1333MHz DDR3 SDRAM - 2x2GB
    256GB Solid State Drive
    AMD Radeon HD 6770M 512MB GDDR5

    Option 2:
    27" display
    2.7GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i5
    4GB 1333MHz DDR3 SDRAM - 2x2GB
    256GB Solid State Drive
    AMD Radeon HD 6770M 512MB GDDR5

    Option 3:
    27" display
    3.4GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i7
    4GB 1333MHz DDR3 SDRAM - 2x2GB
    1TB Serial ATA Drive
    AMD Radeon HD 6970M 2GB GDDR5

    I'll be getting an 8GB kit of RAM aftermarket, meaning any iMac I choose will have 12GB in total.

    So, regardless of price, which one do you reckon will get me the best performance, graphical and otherwise?
     
  2. Apple... macrumors 68020

    Apple...

    Joined:
    May 6, 2010
    Location:
    The United States
    #2
    1. Do you want a 21" or 27" display?

    2. If you want the 27", I'm thinking option number 3, but I'm no expert, so wait and see until more reply. :cool:

    Obviously the SSD will speed things up, but if you need more storage space and don't have a ton of money to blow...
     
  3. Farthen macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2009
    Location:
    Germany
    #3
    The two models with SSD will improve your daily work a lot as everything feels snappier and faster, apps load quicker and your computer is a lot faster in any I/O operation (importing video/photos, searching the hard drive, copying files etc.).

    On the other hand the i7 processor is better at most CPU intensive work. This includes rendering, encoding, compiling, all that stuff. As you noted that you want to do video editing this would improve that a good bit. If you don't care about waiting a bit longer though you should be fine with an i5.

    As you don't want to do a lot of gaming your graphics card shouldn't matter that much. So I'd actually not opt for the 2GB option if I were you. It doesn't make a big difference anyway.

    You also need to be aware that a bigger screen will make your life easier when doing nearly everything, especially video editing. So a 27" screen is preferable in my opinion.

    Basically I'm suggesting option 3 without the 2GB graphics upgrade and maybe with an SSD instead of the i7 if you have the money. But you have to decide it for yourself. I for myself can't buy any computer without an SSD anymore, they make that much of a difference.
     
  4. alust2013 macrumors 601

    alust2013

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2010
    Location:
    On the fence
    #4
    I would probably go option 3, pass on the 2GB graphics, and think about getting an SSD later for use with a thunderbolt enclosure. I realize the 2GB option is less than 5% price increase, however, for your uses, it's really not necessary. Thunderbolt will allow you to pick your own SSD and size, and swap it out at will as your needs change.
     
  5. azax456 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 6, 2011
    Location:
    Scottsdale, AZ
    #5
    Option 2!! Get the SSD, I got one and I love it! Unless you are doing very heavy CPU intensive tasks you don't need the i7, the 2.7 i5 will be fine. Just get an external drive for media and other things you cant fit/dont want to put on the SSD.
     
  6. ConnorTurnbull thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2010
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #6
    I was actually looking into doing that in the future (a Thunderbolt SSD drive). I know LaCie has something coming out.

    It's now a fight between SSD or i7. If I get option 3, i'll probably get the 2GB since it's not that much extra. It's really between i7 and SSD. I have a 1TB MyBook for data anyway.
     
  7. ConnorTurnbull thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2010
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #7
    Will an SSD boost performance (boost it better than i7 upgrade would) when using apps, not just when opening them?
     

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