Best (iMac) bang for my bucks : should I do this ?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by FrenchPB, Oct 31, 2011.

  1. FrenchPB macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2005
    #1
    Hey all,


    I have an opportunity to sell my current 2009 iMac at a good price (around 780 euros) and get a new computer.

    If I get an iMac base-model, quad 2.5, and add 8 GB of Crucial RAM on the existing setup (2x2 out of the box, plus 2x4 that I'd install myself), that would cost me around 1130 euros.

    Basically, for 350 euros I could go from :

    Core 2 duo 2,66 Ghz
    4 GB RAM
    500 GB HD

    to :
    Quad 2.5 Ghz
    12 GB RAM
    500 GB HD

    Does that make sense ? Can I do better than that ?

    Couple of questions for you :
    - can I indeed add 2x4 GB of RAM on the iMac base model that comes with 2x2GB ?
    - do you think I should go for the higher model, 2.7 or 2.8 ? That would add an other 300 euros, so that'd be twice as much money to put in the computer
    - since I mostly do photo processing, video encoding, ilife/internet/office work, would I really benefit from the better processor
    - do you think 780 euros for my model is a fair price, too high or too low ?


    Thanks for your help
     
  2. alust2013 macrumors 601

    alust2013

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2010
    Location:
    On the fence
    #2
    I would say that might be a bit high for your Mac, but you would benefit from the faster processor with video encoding and image processing. The base model iMac would work fine, and you can do that RAM upgrade.

    EDIT - I looked around, and that actually is a good price for your iMac
     
  3. lamboman macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2011
    #3
    At that price, I think it would be an extremely worthy upgrade. The new Core i5 iMac will be a hell of a lot faster than your C2D model.

    As for upgrading to the higher end processors, I wouldn't do it. It isn't worth doubling the amount of money you are going to spend, even though it will be faster. My point of view, however, is that you seem relatively happy with your current iMac, and are only upgrading because you have the opportunity to do so at a great price. Taking that into account, with the bottom end iMac being so much faster already, it isn't worth it.

    If you really, really need the extra performance, when it comes to single and dual threaded applications, the upgraded processor will be a fair bit faster, as Turbo Boost on the 2.7GHz model brings the clock speed up to 3.7GHz (which is actually higher than the top-of-the-line BTO model's maximum clock, which is mine).

    The aluminium iMacs have a very high resale value. That is a good price.
     
  4. talmy macrumors 601

    talmy

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
    Location:
    Oregon
    #4
    Looking at your usage --

    Video Encoding will get the biggest performance boost from the new system.

    Photo processing depends on what you are doing. Are you currently waiting on the system to render images? Most improvement would be if you are an Aperture user, since it will use all cores.

    Ilife/Internet/Office Work -- keep your current system.

    Frankly, if I were doing lots of video I'd jump on the new system you propose. If I were doing mainly photo processing I'd rather go for the 27" iMac for the extra pixels.

    You can add the RAM.

    Processor upgrades aren't worth it unless you are a pro (time=money) and in that case it rarely pays to skimp.
     
  5. FrenchPB, Oct 31, 2011
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2011

    FrenchPB thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2005
    #5
    Actually, I only do video encoding to transfer files on my iphone, so that's not a big priority for me. However, the most time I spend on my computer is to work on my photos. I can't use Aperture on my current setup cause it's not fast enough, so I hope that I'll be able to switch to Aperture with the new computer. That's probably what motivated me the most about it.

    The 27-inch has great real estate, but I think it'd be too big for me since my desk is not very big and that screen would be directly in front of my eyes. Besides, I'd have to put a lot more money on the table as it comes with a 1600 euros pricetag.

    If I have 12 GB of RAM, I think that will really help me with photos. Is that correct ? Going from 4 to 12 will be a HUGE upgrade I think, not even talking about the processor. I could even go to 16 GB by replacing the base 2x2 GB. That'd be 50 euros more, but 12 GB seems more than enough.

    Also, what is the difference between the AMD Radeon HD 6750M and the AMD Radeon HD 6770M ? Both have 512 MB.
     
  6. FrenchPB thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2005
    #6
    If you only look at performance, would a base iMac 21,5 without SSD be faster than a base MBA 13-inch with a SSD ?

    I'm wondering whether a MBA + external display (for photo work) could be a better alternative than just getting a new iMac ?

    What do you think ?
     
  7. talmy macrumors 601

    talmy

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
    Location:
    Oregon
    #7
    Possibly overrated, but at least it isn't expensive. I've got 8GB on my iMac. Running Lion. I usually don't shut off apps when I'm done -- when I do Command-Tab 18 apps appear in the row, including Aperture. Its currently using (Active+wired+inactive) 6.23 GB, leaving 1.75GB unused. So I'm getting benefit from 8 over 4, but wouldn't get any benefit from 12 or 16. System uptime is 19 days, and Page ins/outs is about 100 to 1, so it has rarely needed to swap. Keeping apps open makes the system more responsive -- it's better than having an SSD when you click on the app icon!
     
  8. alust2013 macrumors 601

    alust2013

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2010
    Location:
    On the fence
    #8
    With the MBA, you'll still run into the lack of RAM issue, so the iMac is probably a better bet. Plus it's a lot cheaper.
     
  9. talmy macrumors 601

    talmy

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
    Location:
    Oregon
    #9
    Faster at what? The MBA will boot faster and launch apps faster but process photos slower.

    Only if you need a portable anyway. If you are working at a desk, a desktop system is always better -- less expensive, faster, better ergonomics.
     
  10. FrenchPB thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2005
    #10
    I read on this forum that the 2.7 Ghz had turbo boost that could get it to 3.7 Ghz.

    The 2.8 Ghz has dual threading AND turbo boost to 3.1 Ghz.

    However, what about the 2.5 Ghz model ? Does it have Turbo boost as well ?


    Is there a big difference between the 2.5 model and the 2.7 model (300 euros différence is a lot if I only pay the base model 350 euros after selling my current iMac).

    Thanks
     
  11. cem-sg macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2011
    #11
    the turbo boost and also hyper-threading are only supported by the i7 processor (I7-2600S).
     
  12. FrenchPB thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2005
    #12
    Hyper threading is only supported by i7, that's correct, but turbo boost also works on i5 processors.

    Can anyone confirm and also explain if there's a difference between the i5 2.5 et the i5 2.7 ?
     
  13. cem-sg macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2011
  14. FrenchPB thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2005
    #14
    Thanks for the link. 2.5 will thus reach 3.3 with the turbo, and 2.7 will reach 3.7.

    In the end, I think I'll stick with the base-model as it looks like it will be a great buy for 350 euros. I'll just have to learn how to manage my photos on an external HD using Aperture or Lightroom.

    I will have two external HD :
    - one for videos
    - one for photos

    Which one should I connect with firewire, which one should I connect with USB ?
     
  15. cem-sg macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2011
    #15
    Me too just ordered the plain imac 21.5 inch after my 2008 24 inch died. i have set up a NAS for my Photos and Videos.

    Sometimes it could get quite slow with Aperture, just not sure if the processing was the bottleneck which is suspect, even 10 mbit should be fine. So next week I can give feedback on new i5 + NAS + Aperture
     

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