Buying iMac 27 (2011) Base or Top model?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by VeeGee90, Jun 20, 2011.

  1. VeeGee90 macrumors member


    Jul 17, 2010
    Groningen, Netherlands
    Hi everyone! I currently own a MacBook Pro 15' base model from 2010 and I really like OS X.
    Now I recently sold my Windows PC and I'm looking around for an iMac 27''. Refurbished is not an option, as I live in the Netherlands :).

    Now, I'm not sure which iMac I should buy. I really do enjoy playing some games like WoW/Dragon Age and maybe in the future BF3/CoD MW2. Although I'm not a hardcore gamer, more casual, would it be wise for me to spent the extra 200EUR for the top model 27'' iMac, or will the base model be juist fine for me. Does the better videocard make alot of real world difference (I read the benchmarks ofcourse)?
    I don't mind playing some games at 1080p if it is absolutely neccessary, but I prefer native res.

    Next to gaming I enjoy watching a movie from time to time, and ofcouse listen to music, surfing the web, and tekst editing for my study.

    Thanks in advance!
  2. baysmith macrumors newbie

    Nov 17, 2007
    West Coast BC
    You will get incremental differences with the different graphic cards. The huge difference comes with the core i7 and particularly the SSD option. The SSD is worth every penny.
  3. Sirmausalot macrumors 6502a


    Sep 1, 2007
    It's a matter of economics at this point. If you have 200 EUR to spend as a luxury, and it sounds like you do, go for it. Doesn't each of those games go for a decent amount as well?

    If you were a student, talking about loans, or looking at less expensive models, I'd caution you. But in this case, it sounds like you should spend the money on the better graphics card. An SSD helps with program load times, not game performance.
  4. VeeGee90 thread starter macrumors member


    Jul 17, 2010
    Groningen, Netherlands
    Thanks for the reply's so far. As a matter of fact, I am a student, but I really do not intend of getting a loan for a mac. I would't be buying one if I couldn't afford one.

    But will the top iMac be able to play future games (from now to 1 year ahead) on decent quality (1080p+ and in BootCamp then ofcourse)?
    I know it will run WoW now just fine, I just hope it will run games like CoD or BO with decent settings in the future (no, not everything has to be maxed out). 200EUR is alot, and if the cheaper model can run those games just fine, I really don't mind saving myself spending 200EUR ;)
  5. omicron macrumors member

    Jun 20, 2011
    Okay I chcked out the graphics specs. The lower end iMac has a radeon hd 6770M. Notebookcheck says this thing has 480 stream processors and a GDDR5 128 bit interface. The 6970M has 960 stream processors and a GDDR5 256 bit interface.

    If you REALLY want to future proof your iMac for gaming get the high end one with the 6970M. I have the desktop 5770 which has 800 SPs and a GDDR5 128 bit interface. It can handle 1920x1080 resolutions with ease but newer games are making it show it's age. With more SPs than I have along with a wider memory channel I don't see why it couldn't handle games like BF3 when it comes out.

    Btw the i5 is a really good processor. If apple is using the newer sandy bridge i5s, they are actually better than the i7. So a 3.2GHz i5 sandy bridge can beat last generation's i7 at 2.8GHz by a fair margin AND it uses less power :D

    And I think if you got the 6770M, you would definitely have trouble running it at maximum resolution and at maximum settings. The 6770 might be more suited to 1680x1050 with medium settings on newer games or high on older games.
  6. macman312 macrumors 6502

    Oct 10, 2010
    Melbourne, Australia --> Cincinnati,OH
    Yes get the top of the line because it is and I quote from the apple sales person "future proof" especially if your going to run MW2, BF3 etc on windows obviously also it has a better graphics card so you can play new games when they come out
  7. KylePowers macrumors 68000


    Mar 5, 2011
    I ordered the base model and have been playing with it since last night. Now, I don't really game much... and haven't really tested the hardware, aside from running a virtual machine via VirtualBox lol.

    I went with the base model mainly because I know in ~2 years, technology will be quadruply as awesome, and thusly, so will iMacs. So I'll probably upgrade then. I like this better than going top of the line and holding out for ~4 years.

    That's just my opinion, at least. :)

Share This Page