Advice on iMac Purchase

Discussion in 'iMac' started by kman11, May 3, 2011.

  1. kman11 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 3, 2011
    #1
    I've been following this forum for a few months now in anticipation of buying my first iMac. I appreciate all the good information people have posted here.

    Before I go ahead with my purchase, just wanted to get an opinion or two as to whether I've selected the right specs for what I'm going to use the iMac for.

    In addition to the everyday stuff (e-mail, web surfing, etc.) I plan on using it for general home office stuff (MS Office, personal finance, etc.), photo and video editing with iPhoto/iMovie, and some light to moderate music recording with Logic Studio.

    I'm thinking of going with the base 27 in. iMac with the following:

    2.7GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i5
    4GB 1333MHz DDR3 SDRAM - 2x2GB
    2TB Serial ATA Drive
    AMD Radeon HD 6770M 512MB GDDR5
    Magic Trackpad
    Apple Wireless Keyboard (English) & User's Guide
    AppleCare Protection Plan for iMac

    I will consider upgrading the RAM at a later date if needed.

    Based on what I've read in other posts, I think I've got this right but just need a second opinion. I'm not interested in having the fastest computer, just want something that can handle the things I'm going to use it for in a reasonable manner. I'm just not computer savvy enough to understand the differences in performance between the various hardware options.

    For instance, is the 512 MB graphics processor sufficient to use for light movie editing? Will I see much difference with the faster CPU and 1GB graphics processor? I don't feel the need to spend an extra $300 if I don't have to. And I'm assuming this will run Logic Studio just fine with maybe 10 to 20 tracks running at a time?

    The 2 TB drive is questionable but I have a fairly large iTunes library and with Logic audio files and pictures/videos to be added I'm thinking I'll need the space. I plan on keeping this for 3 to 5 years.

    Incidentally, this will replace a 5+ year old Dell Dimension, so I expect it will be much better/faster whatever I get.

    Any comments would be appreciated. Thanks!
     
  2. talmy macrumors 601

    talmy

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
    Location:
    Oregon
    #2
    Should be just fine. No need to upgrade anything. You could save some money by going with the 1TB drive since you can always add external drives later and with Thunderbolt there will be no loss in performance.
     
  3. B.A.T macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2009
    Location:
    Idaho
    #3
    I love the magic trackpad and use it most of the time but you might want to consider getting a cheap wireless mouse as well. I'm not sure about the music recording but for everything else you plan to use the iMac for it should be fine and should last you several years.
     
  4. pcguru83 macrumors 6502a

    pcguru83

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2006
    Location:
    Charlotte, NC
    #4
    I'd be curious to hear some thoughts on the 512MB GPU myself. I'd be tempted to drop down to the base 27" if it had 1 GB GPU, especially since the Geekbench scores seem to be really similar (8000 for the 2.7, 8400 for the 3.1). That obviously doesn't equate to real-world performance necessarily, but it's still an interesting metric.
     
  5. kman11 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 3, 2011
    #5
    Thanks for the feedback everybody.

    The 1 TB hard drive suggestion is a good one if external drives connected via Thunderbolt are in the near future.

    I figured I would try out the trackpad and either buy a wireless mouse (magic or otherwise) later on if I need it, but it's probably a good idea to have one anyway to start out with. Would any bluetooth wireless mouse work with an iMac?

    If anybody has any comments on pcguru83's question on the GPU memory in terms of real-world performance that would be appreciated.

    Thanks!
     
  6. talmy macrumors 601

    talmy

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
    Location:
    Oregon
    #6
    Unless you are doing games or 3D modeling the graphics memory will go mostly unused.
     
  7. pcguru83 macrumors 6502a

    pcguru83

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2006
    Location:
    Charlotte, NC
    #7
    I actually had it addressed in another thread, so it's all good. Thanks though. :)
     
  8. kman11 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 3, 2011
    #8
    Great, thanks for the feedback. I just read the other thread as well. I'm not into gaming, but just wanted to be sure I'd be OK for video editing but it sounds like it's not an issue and I should have plenty of CPU RAM (and the ability to add more if needed) to support this. I think my decision has been made. Thanks very much.
     

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