Buying new 27'' iMac, help needed choosing!

Discussion in 'iMac' started by TweakOnline, Feb 9, 2014.

  1. TweakOnline, Feb 9, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2014

    TweakOnline macrumors regular

    TweakOnline

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2012
    Location:
    Europe
    #1
    Hey guys,

    I'm looking forward to buy a 27'' new iMac at the Apple Store. For my new study I'll have to use Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom (for processing and editing RAW photo's), Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Dreamweaver all day long. Later in my study, I have to use Final Cut Pro and / or Adobe After Effects & Adobe Premiere.

    Since those are pretty expensive and professional programs, I started looking at the new, fabulous Mac pro. Unfortunately, the pricetag of $4000,- dollars is about $1250,- dollars higher than my budget, so I'd rather choose a maxed out 27'' iMac. :)

    Could you guys please help me making the decision?

    The 27'' iMac has the following specs:

    3.4GHz quad-core Intel Core i5
    8GB (two 4GB) memory
    1TB hard drive
    NVIDIA GeForce GTX 775M with 2GB video memory

    Should I upgrade the harddrive to a 3 TB Fusion Drive or a 512 GB SSD? And should I choose for an i7 3,5Ghz processor or a Nvidia 780M GTX with 4 GB of video memory? I would like to upgrade the ram later by myself, probably to 16 GB or 32 GB.

    Thanks!
     
  2. BESLC macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2010
    #2
    Based on what you are planning on running, I would definitely go to the 780M graphics, upping your Ram as well. Those programs are pretty graphic and memory intensive.

    I have an i7 3.5,with 780M and 32GB of ram coupled with a fusion drive. I have PS and lightroom. Based on how well my machine handles these,I have confidence it would handle the other applications.
     
  3. TweakOnline thread starter macrumors regular

    TweakOnline

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2012
    Location:
    Europe
    #3
    I really don't know that to choose...

    3TB Fusion Drive or 512GB SSD?
    - I have to save several projects on my iMac, but I don't think it would require more than 512GB of space. Since the Fusion Drive has a 7200RPM hard drive, I doubt to go for a SSD. :)

    Intel i5 or i7 processor?
    Since Adobe Photoshop and Final Cut Pro take advantage of it's multithreading (so theoretical you'd able to have 8 cores), I think the i7 would be a pretty good choice.

    Nvidia 775m or 780m?
    This is a hard one, is it worth the $150,- dollars?

    Since my budget is about $2700,- dollars, I need to take at least one concession.
     
  4. Lucianrider macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2012
    Location:
    St. Lucia, West Indies
    #4
    If you only need to make one concession, go with the Fusion drive over the 512 SSD as that is a $150 dollar upgrade. If you go with the 1 TB its $300 dollar upgrade. Just make sure you have one or the other as the SSD whether it be Fusion or full SSD will make a huge difference in performance...
     
  5. Apple fanboy macrumors Core

    Apple fanboy

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    Behind the Lens, UK
    #5
    Take the Fusion over the pure SSD. The speed difference is negligible as the stuff you are using most will be on the SSD section and you'll eat up the 512GB in no time if you do a lot of PS work.
     
  6. TweakOnline thread starter macrumors regular

    TweakOnline

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2012
    Location:
    Europe
    #6
    Ok, so a 3 TB or a 1 TB Fusion Drive would perform as good as a single, 512 GB SSD? And do you know how much noise a Fusion Drive can make? (since the SSD's are noiseless :) )

    Edit: it seems a 780m + i7 processor + 3tb fusion drive has the same price as an i7 processor + 512gb ssd. :)
     
  7. BESLC macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2010
    #7
    Do you qualify for any discounts, education etc? If so,you could spec your machine and stay in budget. Another option is a refurb, which has same warranty as new. If you don't see the machine you want right away, keep checking they update frequently.

    I personally feel the 780M is worth the extra cost, as is the i7. They are more than I really beed at the moment,however it gives me a lot of flexibility for future needs. I tend to look at what I may need in the future as a consideration when speccing a machine. Most of us keep our machines a few years, so for me I felt it was a sound investment.

    The ram, you can buy and install. The Apple pricing on ram is way too high. The thing about ram, you can add it at anytime,so it is not something you need to add right away,unless you are having memory issues.

    The fusion drive is a conventional HD coupled with a SSD drive, I find it much faster than my other iMac using a SATA drive. I personally am very happy with the fusion,especially for the storage capacity. You will find threads in the forum,which indicate reliability is similar between the flash and fusion drives.
     
  8. Apple fanboy macrumors Core

    Apple fanboy

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    Behind the Lens, UK
    #8
    My Fusion Drive is pretty quite. It doesn't actually spin up all that often. I wouldn't let noise influence your decision as it's pretty negligible.
     
  9. TweakOnline thread starter macrumors regular

    TweakOnline

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2012
    Location:
    Europe
    #9
    I agree with both of you guys. Indeed, I get some study discount, but to keep the calculation simple I've noted the standard Apple Store prices in this topic. :)

    I think I go for a 3 TB Fusion Drive, i7 processor and a 780m videocard. At this time I have a Windows machine with 128GB SSD and two 1TB harddrives. But the processor, videocard and motherboard is getting old and I would like to switch entirely to an Apple eco-system. :)

    Thanks for all help! I'm going to do some research and read some benchmarks. :)
     
  10. Ak907Freerider macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2012
    #10
    Check out refurbished iMacs also. I would go i7, fusion drive, and for sure the 780m. Going full ssd is nice but very costly and not a lot of room. Would have to go external.
     
  11. xraydoc macrumors 604

    xraydoc

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2005
    Location:
    192.168.1.1
    #11
    No, a Fusion drive will not be anywhere close to as fast as a dedicated SSD. But, what the Fusion does is provide some of the benefit of an SSD (fast access for frequently used files) with the benefit of a slower mechanical drive (eg., large capacities >1TB that would be cost prohibitive for a pure SSD).

    The Fusion drive is a good compromise for many people. It combines a 128GB SSD with a mechanical HD. The OS will move frequently used files (plus most of the OS) to the SSD whenever possible, automatically, to maximize speed. At some point, you will hit files on the HDD and will see speed drop (though if you access those files frequently, the OS will move them to the SSD, while moving something less frequently used off) to maintain speed. It does this invisibly to the user.

    But like I said, it's a good balance of speed, capacity and price.

    And while not completely silent, it should still be only barely audible. It's only one mechanical HD after all, not a whole array of them.

    A pure SSD volume will be faster, since there's no spinning drive to transfer to/from, but you pay much more per gigabyte.

    For you, I'd probably suggest the 780M, i7 and 3TB Fusion (or 1TB Fusion to save a bit more).
     
  12. matixryder macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2011
  13. WorldTravelBro macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2012
    #13
    Go big or go home. Use a portion of the money you make on your next design job and buy a fully loaded iMac.

    That way you can sleep ok at night thinking you got exactly what u wanted
     
  14. blanka macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2012
    #14
    You program use does not demand more than a basic GPU. After Effects: you said to use it in the future, and it only uses a GPU well for 3D rendering.

    You could as well max out a Mini and get a screen capable of displaying video well.
    2.6 quad Mini, 2x Samsung 840pro 256GB SSD in RAID 0 for the fastest IO in any mac, 16GB, Dell U2713HM with 24p support and a pile of cash on the shelve to update it to the next model in 2 years.

    My suggested setup also beats the crap out of an i5 iMac on CPU speed. CPU and IO is much more important to your use than a GPU.
     
  15. joe-h2o macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2012
    #15
    He said he was going to get the i7 iMac, not the i5, but even so, the Mac Mini uses a 3720QM (if you go for the 2.6), and the base i5 in the iMac is a 4670. Other than the HT, there's not much to choose between those CPUs, especially since to get that HT you're sacrificing almost 1GHz base clock (which is going to be the deciding factor in performance for almost every single thing except for highly-multithreaded apps/benchmarks.

    To say it "beats the crap" out of the i5 in the iMac is grossly overstating the perceived benefit of the situational extra 4 threads.
     
  16. andycho7 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2013
    #16
    I don't know the exact problem, but if you want to install BootCamp, then you might want to think about the 3TB option. I heard there are some problems with it. Might want to research into that before purchasing.

    Besides that, I'd still recommend 512GB SSD. That's just me personally though. I prefer to purchase biggest SSD I can afford and just go with External HDD option later down the road.
     

Share This Page