Buying an iMac, graphics & cpu matter?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by breather, Jan 8, 2016.

  1. breather macrumors member


    Jan 26, 2011

    So I currently have a Mid 2010 27 iMac with 8GB memory, 2 TB Hardrive and 3,6 GHz Intel Core i5 and I´m looking to buy a new iMac since the current one is starting to feel slow.

    What I do on my iMac is fairly simple and normal stuff, surf the web, watch video, unpack rar´s, some photoshopping, a few web-based games, simple and small apps. The only game I have installed is Civilization 5. I do some audio and video converting, maybe a few times per year.

    I know that I want:
    27 inch
    2 TB Fusion Drive
    8 GB memory (plan to upgrade in the near future)
    i5 CPU (i7 feels not necessary)

    And I´m guessing it will have to last for 5 years or so...

    So my questions is:
    i5 3.2 ghz vs i5 3.3ghz, is there really that big of a difference that I should care?
    AMD Radeon R9 M380 vs M390 vs M395 does it matter which one, for a guy that play his games on a PS4?

    Money is somewhat of a factor here, I know it´s only like 200 bucks difference between an iMac with 3.2ghz & M380 and an iMac with 3.3ghz & M395 but thats money I could spend on a new router or more memory.

  2. amzchhabra macrumors regular

    Jun 22, 2010
    London, UK
    Funnily enough, i have just received a dispatch notification for my new iMac. I too am going from a Mid 2011 27in iMac to a Late 2015 27in Retina...

    Initially i was going to do what I did before which is buy the base model, and max out the RAM. However I noticed the base model comes with the 1TB Fusion drive which has now been downgraded to only have a 24GB SSD. I ended up with the 3.3ghz model as the price increase of going to a 2TB fusion drive on the base model is about £50 less than moving to the top model which has the 2TB drive as standard, with the addition of a slightly faster processor and upgraded graphics card. Cant wait for it to arrive on the 14th Jan!

    This is the spec I have ordered

    Core i5 3.3Ghz
    2TB Fusion
    8GB RAM
    AMD 395 Graphics
    27in Retina
  3. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Oct 24, 2013

    For what you use it for as long as you have the 2TB fusion you should be fine, the M390 is a lot better than the M380 though so for a bit better future graphics you might fancy that one.

    To be honest though you could probably just get an apple certified technician to throw an SSD into your iMac and get a few more years out of it for a few hundred bucks. A mate of mine had one put in to replace the superdrive in his 2009 for about $150 and it made all the difference, a cheap USB enclosure made the superdrive into an external DVD drive for the few times he needed it.

    Of course the main reason for getting a new one is that awesome screen so don't let me put you off that has to be worth it.
  4. Daisy81 Suspended


    Dec 29, 2015
    First nice Farscape Scorpius avatar. :D

    We got a Retina 5k iMac from Best Buy. It was the step up version available out of the box, AKA middle of the line.

    It plays Civilization V beautifully. When I pop my head in my boyfriends office and catch a glance at it I'm always amazed at just how nice the screen is.

    For your needs my suggestion is the $2299 model. This way you get the full 128GB SSD in the fusion drive.
  5. Algus macrumors regular


    Jun 8, 2014
    Sounds like i7 would be better upgrade for you than graphics card but neither is really needed. Quad Core i5 is still a pretty fast CPU. Even the most basic dedicated graphics card is going to give a nice performance boost over an integrated chip like the Intel Iris and the Iris is already capable of running games like Civilization V, so you needn't bother upgrading there if you aren't gaming or doing some heavy 3D work.
  6. breather thread starter macrumors member


    Jan 26, 2011
    Thanks for the comments, looks like i´m gonna go with 3.3ghz & M395 and then live on bread and water for a while.
    Thank you
  7. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    There's always cat food :p

    seriously, that's a nice selection - good luck
  8. ggibson913 macrumors 6502a


    Sep 11, 2006
    You could get a refurb from last year the big difference in Skylake as opposed to Haswell has to do with battery life as I understand it so no biggie there. You would get the 1TB drive which has the full 128 GB SSD. Also want to note that it was January 15 last year when an article here appeared advertising that the 5K iMacs were hitting the refurb store so likely to happen soon.

    I am holding out for the Refurbs to start hitting the store, it will only be a month or so. I use the savings to get my Apple Care.

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