Best upgrade path for the Retina 27"

Discussion in 'iMac' started by dbUMS, Apr 28, 2016.

  1. dbUMS macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2015
    #1
    Looking to pick up a top of the line Retina 27" and I've got about $200 left in the budget for an upgrade. I do a good amount of photography and I've lately gotten into light editing of 4k GoPro video, but nothing more than messing around at this point. May want to do some gaming in bootcamp but probably not much.

    Assuming I'll do the RAM myself, which of the other upgrades would give me the best performance/longevity for the money? To me, going from the 3.3 i5 to the 4.0 i7 for $225 seems like it would give me the best returns but maybe the graphics card makes more sense. I'm a little wary of the SSD upgrade because at best I could only go to 512 and I'm worried that will get clogged up fast.
     
  2. Sirmausalot macrumors 6502a

    Sirmausalot

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2007
    #2
    The i7 is the right way to go. But if you can't afford the 512GB NVRAM drive, I think the 2TB fusion might be a better choice. Many people I respect on here have had great results with them and the 256 will truly get clogged up fast. Also, you can get away with 8GB RAM for a while and 16GB is probably plenty for nearly all applications (except virtual machines and specialized work)
     
  3. tjwilliams25 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2014
    Location:
    Montana
    #3
    Both the graphics and processor are solid upgrades, as you can get super fast external storage and RAM upgrades aftermarket. I would suggest, though, that if you have to choose between the two I would go with the graphics upgrade. More and more software, especially the pro photography ones, are leveraging power from the GPU over the CPU for complex computing tasks, so things like applying filters and effects happen pretty quickly.
     
  4. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #4
    Flip a coin :p

    This is a tough one. I find myself leaning towards the GPU but the i7 makes a lot of sense. I'm wondering if you'll see more improvements in the i7 over the GPU for most of your tasks. on the other hand, gaming and other video related tasks will see an improvement with the dGPU upgrade.
     
  5. Sirmausalot macrumors 6502a

    Sirmausalot

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2007
    #5
    The CPU will handle many of the longer tasks: encoding, rendering etc. The GPU could help with real time effects, but with the high end iMac, you're already looking at the 395x with 2GB instead of 4GB VRAM -- so unlikely to see many real world gains except in very specific instances (but I couldn't predict what those would be). The i7 is more of a sure thing in terms of gains not he high end iMac
     
  6. dbUMS thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2015
    #6
    Thanks for the input everyone! I ended up hedging my bets by upgrading to the 395x and the i7. Figured I'd push back the RAM upgrade a month or two to make room in the budget and to make sure I had the best possible machine for the next 5-6 years.
     

Share This Page