Best iMac Configuration for Graphics Heavy User?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Lansylator, Sep 25, 2013.

  1. Lansylator macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2007
    Location:
    Las Vegas
    #1
    What would be the best configuration for someone uses the iMac to design graphics? I use my current iMac 90% of the time for graphics. But I really don't know much about CPU or fusion drives or other tech speak. Of course, there are budget concerns, so I can't just best of everything.

    I would appreciate feedback on the 21.5 iMac and the 27 iMac.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Baytriple macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2012
  3. kaellar macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2012
    #3
    The one with the most powerful GPU in the iMac's line-up, no?
     
  4. Lansylator thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Sep 11, 2007
    Location:
    Las Vegas
    #4
    No gaming. Just graphic design, ie : Photoshop
     
  5. elithrar macrumors 6502

    elithrar

    Joined:
    May 31, 2007
    #5
    If you're not gaming then any of the 27" models will be fine.

    You'll want a good helping of RAM - 16GB should do unless you work on several hundred MB PSDs with tens upon tens of layers.

    Disk I/O will also be key: get a SSD or Fusion drive.

    You may see a slight improvement by going i5 over i7, but Photoshop, et. al are still fairly single threaded and therefore there won't be a big increase there.

    Spend any savings on fast external drives for backup ;)
     
  6. fig macrumors 6502a

    fig

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2012
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    #6
    Agreed on the Fusion drive and as much as RAM as possible (buy it yourself and put it in after purchase). The faster CPU is always a good way to go as well, never hurts to future proof as much as possible.

    Any of them would be fine though, I do design work on a dual i7 Mini and it's pretty darn quick.
     
  7. kaellar macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2012
    #7
    Funny enough, but in terms of performance, if you use OpenCL in your work, baseline Iris Pro iMac would be a better choice.
     
  8. Lansylator thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2007
    Location:
    Las Vegas
    #8
    Thanks for everyone's input.

    I have decided on a 27" with a 1TB Fusion drive.

    Now my only decision to make is whether to spend the extra $200 on a 3.4GHz i5 with the GTX 775M or stick to the base model with a 3.2GHz and the GT 755M graphics card? If I spend the extra $200, is it overkill? Or should I use the extra cash for the memory upgrade later on? Unfortunately, I don't have an unlimited budget to max everything out.

    As I said before my biggest tasks are huge graphic files using Photoshop and other graphic design software. And I'd also like to be able to run iTunes while I am working (which my 2009 iMac can't seem to handle). I'm not really into gaming so that is not a concern for me.

    Thanks everyone!
     
  9. tomnavratil macrumors 6502a

    tomnavratil

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2013
    Location:
    Litovel, Czech Republic
    #9
    Most of my use is Adobe CS6 as well and I went for the i7 (just to be future-proof) and the top-end GTX780M. I'm having the Fusion Drive for internal to save money but then I'm planning to use RAID0 drives through USB3.0 for any serious data - editing, PSD files, video work etc. so the speed won't be as compromised.

    If you have the budget, go for large SSD, GPU and you'll be fine with i5 to be honest as Photoshop cannot take full advantage of i7. Also think about the backup, data disks, you can get using Thunderbolt, USB3.0 and external drives or DAS.
     
  10. kaellar macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2012
    #10
    I do recommend you to add those $200 extra and get the 775m one. It provides at least 2 times better graphical performance (CUDA performance included), so it's in no way an overkill but more like a must have for your needs.
     

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