Best 27" Option for my Needs

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Cam.Dutch, Feb 18, 2010.

  1. Cam.Dutch macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2010
    #1
    Hey Guys. I know there are a lot of threads like this floating around here, but I wanted to get some answers regarding my own personal needs. I plan on buying a new iMac pretty soon and wanted to see which option you guys think would be best for me.

    First off, I want to get a 27" model for sure, but as far as other components (processor, ram, etc...) I am unsure. I plan to run Adobe's Creative Suite Master Collection, Maya 2010, as well as Final Cut Pro (I'm a film major at the moment).

    Also, I am very involved with music production. I plan to have Pro Tools, Logic Pro 9, Reason 4, and Ableton Live Suite 8 (basically all the major DAWs) installed on the iMac when I get it seeing as my Macbook Pro is getting a little bogged down as it is right now.

    So basically what it comes down to is I need to know what option of the 27" models would be best to handle my extensive graphic design/video editing, 3D modeling, and music productions needs? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    - Cameron
     
  2. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #2
    Get the best you can afford. For your usage, all extra power is worth it, so Core i7 + 8GB RAM would be great for you.
     
  3. Icaras macrumors 603

    Icaras

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2008
    Location:
    California, United States
    #3
    I just wonder when 8GB will get price slashes. They currently sell for $500 on crucial.
     
  4. joudbren macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2007
    Location:
    Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
    #4
    Agreed. If you are doing anything with video editing then the i5 or the i7 should be your choice dependent of course on your budget. Don't buy the extra ram from Apple though, too expensive. You can source it locally or online from the likes of OWC for usually less than half of Apple's price and it is a user replaceable item. Instructions are in the manual.

    You may want to upgrade to the 2GB drive though if you work with a lot of large files but again, depends on your budget. I've posted the following review comment before but I think it fits for you so I'll post it again. Cheers!

    Macworld’s buying advice

    "With the new 2.66GHz Core i5 iMac and the 2.8GHz Core i7 iMac, Apple has not only blurred the line between consumer and professional systems, it's darn near erased it. The 2.66GHz Core i5 iMac offers faster performance at most tasks than the 2.66GHz Quad-Core Mac Pro. The Core i5 iMac also has more memory and more storage space than the 2.66GHz Quad-Core Mac Pro, while being $500 less (plus you get a 27-inch screen with the iMac). Unless you absolutely require additional PCI cards, multiple internal hard drives, or a lot of RAM, the Core i5 iMac makes a strong case for the being the go-to system for most Mac professionals."

    http://www.macworld.com/article/143970/2009/11/core15_imac.html

    Cheers!

    James
     
  5. Cam.Dutch thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2010
    #5
    So the i7 would probably be best for me? As far as the ram goes, I could buy ram from somebody other than Apple and install it myself right? Now all I need to do is convince myself to fork over that much money as a college student haha Thanks for your help
     
  6. eelpout macrumors regular

    eelpout

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2007
    Location:
    Silicon Valley
    #6
    This is kind of a general question, but does track with the topic, has hyper-threading been proven really useful on the Mac OS?
     
  7. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #7
    iMac has 4 RAM slots and they come with 2x2GB so you only need 2x2GB more which costs about 70$. 2x4GB is about 500$

    i7 would definitely be worth it for you and yes, you can buy 3rd party RAM e.g. Crucial and OWC and then install is yourself which is very easy.

    Remember to use your student discount :cool:
     
  8. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #8
    Depends on the app but it's worth it because in future there'll be more apps to take advantage of it. And as I said, OP really needs all power he can afford and i7 isn't that much more
     
  9. Cam.Dutch thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2010
    #9
    Yea, can't forget the student discount, even though its a mere $100. Let me ask this, would the i7 be that much of an upgrade from the i5? I want the best machine I can get for what I need it for, but any chance I have for saving a little bit of cash I'm gonna take advantage of. What are the overall upsides from the i7 to the i5? Pure speed? Graphics handling? I'm not to educated on all this processor stuff.
     
  10. Icaras macrumors 603

    Icaras

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2008
    Location:
    California, United States
    #10
    +1 for the student discount :cool:

    Oh and totally forgot about the 4 RAM slots. Well I guess you can start maxing out the potential of your DIMM slots with 2x4GB on top of 2x2GB, for a total of 10GB RAM. But is it possible to have unequal amount sized RAM sticks? And if it is, does it degrade performance in any way? I only ask because I remember reading somewhere that it is advised to have equal sized memory in your machine...
     
  11. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #11
    i7 has Hyper-Threading which can speed things a lot if it's supported. If you want to save some money, get the i5 as the difference isn't huge but i7 would be more "future-proof" because Hyper-Threading support is becoming better and more usual.

    You can use unmatched sticks if you want. Only in some older Macs you had to use matched pairs. It might affect on dual-chanelling but more RAM gives always a bigger boost than dual/triple-channeling
     
  12. Icaras macrumors 603

    Icaras

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2008
    Location:
    California, United States
    #12
    Cool, thanks for clarifying that. :)
     
  13. Cam.Dutch thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2010
    #13
    Can you explain Hyper-Threading a little bit to me?
     
  14. Jaro65 macrumors 68040

    Jaro65

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2009
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #14
    Looking at your requirements, it almost sounds like they built the i7 model for you. :)

    It is definitely the one I would consider if I were in your situation.
     
  15. Cam.Dutch thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2010
    #15
    lol I like the way you put that. I'm leaning towards the i7 now after all of these comments. May take me a bit longer to make the extra money, but I'm sure it it wll be worth it in the end.
     
  16. choubaka macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2009
    #16
    I wont start an other topic because this sounds pretty like my situation minus the movie/video editing part. Im into music production with all those programs mentioned in the first post.

    Do I still need to go i7 and 4 GB RAM? Because I was more thinking about going only with an i5 2GB RAM. I thought it would be more power that I could deal with. Is my assumption wrong? Help ;)
     
  17. HLdan macrumors 603

    HLdan

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2007
    #17
    The i5 is $1999 U.S. If you can even entertain that much right now, I'm sure you can pull out $200 more the i7. :p
     
  18. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #18
    I don't know very much about it but i7 has 4 physical cores but because it has HT it has 8 logical cores. Intel has claimed that HT gives 15-30% better performance than similar non-HT CPU. As I've said above, for your tasks HT is definitely worth it as it can give you +30% performance increase.
     
  19. TMRaven macrumors 68020

    TMRaven

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2009
    #19
    The benefits of hyper threading definitely seem nice when using video editors and encoders. Some of the filters in photoshop have multi-thread support too, like gaussian blur-- which will utilize all 8 logical cores of the i7. The speed difference can definitely be felt compared to a filter that uses only one core, like colored pencil filter.

    Considering the average user will have these i7 iMacs for 4-5 years, and given the amount of multi-core support down the line, I'd say the i7 is definitely worth it.
     
  20. Cam.Dutch thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2010
    #20
    Alright, I think you guys sold me on the i7. Thanks for your help.
     

Share This Page