Best bang-for-buck GPU for 5K now?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Sheza, Jun 7, 2017.

  1. Sheza macrumors 68000

    Sheza

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    #1
    So there was a thread on here talking about the best GPU to get for the 2015 models. Someone identified the 'sweet spot' depending in user cases.

    Can we do the same for the new 5K iMacs? Is the 575 worth the extra at all? That sort of thing.
     
  2. jerwin macrumors 65816

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    Jun 13, 2015
    #2
    I think we we need a new round of people posting Heaven and Valley benchmarks while the blokes with GTX 1080 cards watch and smirk.
     
  3. keysofanxiety macrumors 604

    keysofanxiety

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    Nov 23, 2011
    #3
    An NVIDIA card can't compare with performance on macOS if you're using FCPX/LPX. It's also unlikely you'd use an NVIDIA GPU if you're folding@home.

    A graphics card which is better for gaming doesn't automatically mean it's better in every other task. I wish people would stop promoting this myth.
     
  4. Takuro macrumors 6502

    Takuro

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    #4
    I don't see the point in plucking down big bucks for a BTO iMac with an upgraded video card, at least not anymore. Before, it would help you to get a marginally better card that was still way behind the rest of the industry performance-wise. Personally, I'd invest that money into an eGPU now that they're going to be supported, assuming they fix the problems with internal display acceleration.

    I think that in the not too distant future, you're going to see Macs in general rely more and more on the I/O afforded by Thunderbolt 3. The machines will stay slim and sexy, but you can stash a bunch of things under a desk or in a cabinet to do the heavy lifting. After all, Thunderbolt 3 basically provides the same sort of PCIe connectivity that motherboards on high-end gaming PCs do today for cards installed in the PC itself. For Macs, those cards will just need to be connected via wires and eternal enclosures.

    That's what the MacBook Pro and now iMac Pro's business model is today, and as Thunderbolt 3 peripheral prices go down (Intel is trying hard to waive the royalties and drive up adoption), you're going to see more and more non-pro products hit the market. As costs go down, I can foresee spending $300 total for an enclosure and eGPU that totally kills whatever the iMac shipped with in about a year or two.
     
  5. Sheza thread starter macrumors 68000

    Sheza

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    #5
    This is a very good point, and one I had not really thought about, so thank you. In that case, I guess the best option would be to get a base model, perhaps lock in the better CPU and SSD if needed, and then just add your own 32 or 64 of RAM from a third party, and when that 4GB 570 starts to feel weak, drop some on an eGPU which, in a few years time anyway, will offer more performance for the same price as the 8GB 580 that is so expensive in the BTO option... right?
     
  6. Takuro macrumors 6502

    Takuro

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    #6
    Yeah, this is exactly what I would be personally doing right now if I were in the market for a new Mac. That would be by far the most cost effective way of getting the best performance. Max out the things you can't upgrade or offload to external I/O, save up for everything else later on.

    Keep in mind the SSD is yet another thing that you can offload to external peripherals, but honestly, Apple's price for their internal flash SSD options isn't bad considering the insane speeds. I could go either way on that.
     
  7. Torgo81 macrumors newbie

    Torgo81

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    #7
    It is a bit of a gamble though. It could be that an eGPU will only be able to be used for an external display. Or it could be that they limit the supported cards to a handful of so-so cards that can be overpriced. Being able to buy an eGPU that blows away the 580 for $300 in 2 years or less, I think isn't a given. And if this option does not come and you went with the lowest spec, then you might regret. And if it does come, you haven't totally wasted your money on the 580 since you might be able to postpone buying an eGPU for another year or two.
     
  8. Shivetya macrumors 65816

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    #8
    I am just waiting till reviews roll in, not in a hurry to buy even though my machine is late 2013
     
  9. AppleDroid macrumors 6502a

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    Illinois
    #9
    I'd at least get the midrange 575 option. There's generally a bigger leap between entry and base than the top card.
     
  10. Sheza thread starter macrumors 68000

    Sheza

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    #10
    Do we know what's so much better about the 575 though? It may be mid range in terms of numbers, or its literal position in the 3 27 inch iMacs, but is it mid range in terms of performance?
     
  11. CWallace macrumors 603

    CWallace

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    Seattle, WA
    #11
    I always ordered the best GPU I could just for longevity, but now that eGPU's are a viable option thanks to TB3, it may indeed be the better course of action. The only drawback is I believe you would have to connect it to a separate display.
     
  12. jerwin macrumors 65816

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    Jun 13, 2015
    #12
    580: 5.5 TF
    575: 4.5 TF
    570: 3.6 TF

    It's kind of linear....

    The big leap is between the 560 and the 570. Appropriate, since the 560 drives a much smaller imac.

    http://creators.radeon.com/radeon-pro/
     
  13. Sheza thread starter macrumors 68000

    Sheza

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    #13
    'The AMD Radeon R9 M295X is capable of reaching 3.5 Teraflops'

    So last generation's highest end card is as powerful as this generation's entry level card? That's good to see...
     
  14. Trahearne macrumors 6502

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    Oct 6, 2014
    #14
    There is something fun about the upgrade pricing. If you choose upgrade options of the mid-tier model, the price difference between towards a similar top-tier configuration with faster CPU & GPU is kinda narrow.
     
  15. Sheza thread starter macrumors 68000

    Sheza

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    #15
    I'm not sure I get what you mean?
     
  16. Yonizzle macrumors member

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    Durham, NC
    #16
    It gets pretty confusing when you pick the i7 CPU upgrade! That's only available on the middle and top tier models. So start with each of those upgraded to an i7. Then if you configure the same size Fusion Drive, the price is identical. But if you pick a 512GB or 1TB SSD, the price is higher on the one that started from the high end.

    At first I thought these were identical configs, but then I realized the GPU is different. So i7/580/SSD s $100 more than i7/575/SSD, but i7/580/Fusion is the same price as i7/575/Fusion.

    The upshot is… um, well, it's confusing! But sometimes the a 575 → 580 GPU upgrade is free. If you really want an i7 and don't hate spinning disks, then you should configure your iMac from the top end. If you really want and i7 and and SSD, you gotta decide whether the GPU upgrade is worth a hundred bucks.

     
  17. Trahearne, Jun 9, 2017
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2017

    Trahearne macrumors 6502

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    #17
    If you choose 2TB Fusion Drive for the mid-tier 27", the price difference to the top-tier 27" is $100 for a better CPU (+0.3 GHz) and better GPU (+1 TFlops).

    If you choose 2TB Fusion Drive AND CPU upgrade for the mid-tier 27", the price difference to the top-tier 27" with CPU upgrade is $0 for a better GPU (+1 TFlops).

    If you choose 512GB SSD AND CPU upgrade for the mid-tier 27", the price difference to the top-tier 27" with 512GB SSD and CPU upgrade is $100 for a better GPU (+1 TFlops).
    --- Post Merged, Jun 9, 2017 ---
    Educational pricing is another story. :eek:
     
  18. inhalexhale1 macrumors 6502a

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    Ridgewood, NJ
    #18
    Exactly, why spend extra JUST for a better GPU? The eGPU will be upgradable and better.
     

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