First time buyer iMAC... HELP

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Inamali, Aug 26, 2013.

  1. Inamali macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2013
    #1
    Hello

    First time buyer and my first thread here :)

    IS there a big difference between :

    21,5 inch
    2,9 GHz Intel Core i5
    8 GB (2 x 4 GB) RAM
    1 TB harddisk1
    NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M with 512 MB

    and

    27 inch
    2,9 GHz Intel Core i5
    8 GB (2 x 4 GB) RAM
    1 TB harddisk1
    NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M with 512 MB

    Now the questions :)

    1: 512MB graphic card on 27inch - is that enough for this iMac with 2,9 GHz??

    2: Considering these configurations is it better to buy 21,5 inch with 7i processor OR 27 inch with 5i processor??

    3: I am planing to use iMac for PhotoShop, video making, and off-course web surfing, music and that stuff. My budget allows me to buy one of these two iMac`s.

    Please give me some feedback.. experience with imac`s... anything will help..
    Maybe some questions are stupid but... I have never had iMac... so my questions are not stupid :)
    THanks
     
  2. Fatboy71 macrumors 65816

    Fatboy71

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2010
    Location:
    UK
    #2

    I have the 27 inch iMac but with the 1TB Fusion Drive. I don't play games. I do video and photo editing, surfing, email, and music and I also make video guides, and I find the 660M is more than adequate for my usage.

    Here's the spec differences between the 650M and the 660M:

    GT 650M:

    GPU Engine Specs:
    384 coresCUDA Cores
    Up to 900 MHzGraphics Clock (MHz)
    Up to 27.2Texture Fill Rate (billion/sec)
    Memory Specs:
    DDR3\GDDR5Memory Interface
    128bitMemory Interface Width
    Up to 80.0Memory Bandwidth (GB/sec)
    Feature Support:
    4.1OpenGL
    PCI Express 2.0, PCI Express 3.0Bus Support
    DirectX 11, Optimus, PhysX, OpenCL, DirectCompute, 3D Vision, CUDASupported Technologies
    Display Support:
    3840 x 2160Maximum Digital Resolution
    Up to 2048x1536Maximum VGA Resolution
    YesHDCP
    YesHDMI
    3D Vision Ready
    Yes3D Blu-Ray






    GT 660M:

    GPU Engine Specs:
    384 coresCUDA Cores
    835 MHzGraphics Clock (MHz)
    30.4Texture Fill Rate (billion/sec)
    Memory Specs:
    2000Memory Clock
    GDDR5Memory Interface
    128bitMemory Interface Width
    64.0Memory Bandwidth (GB/sec)
    Feature Support:
    4.1OpenGL
    PCI Express 2.0, PCI Express 3.0Bus Support
    YesCertified for Windows 7
    3D Vision, 3DTV Play, CUDA, DirectX 11, PhysX, SLI, TXAA, FXAA, Adaptive VSyncSupported Technologies
    2-waySLI Options
    Display Support:
    3840 x 2160Maximum Digital Resolution
    Up to 2048x1536Maximum VGA Resolution
    YesHDCP
    YesHDMI


    Apart from the texture fill rate difference, there doesn't seem to be a lot of difference to me.


    Too be honest, I think an i5 processor will be more than adequate for your uses. I have the i5 processor in my iMac and I installed extra ram myself and saved a fortune compared to Apple's prices, and I do pretty much what you would be wanting to.


    I was in your position around 7 months ago when I got my iMac (my first Mac also). I was previously a Windows user for 10 years. I was nervous of the move, but I haven't regretted it one bit. I only wish I'd done the move earlier :)


    If I were you, I would go with the 27 inch (has the ram is user upgradable in the 27 inch, but it is not in the 21.5 inch). At least you would be able to add more ram as and when required.

    I would also go with the i5 processor in the 27 inch and perhaps use some of the extra money (that you would have paid for the i7) to get the Fusion Drive. The Fusion Drive is something you will see the benefit of every time you use your iMac. Whereas the i7 processor, you might never see its full potential.

    The Fusion Drive is a good compromise until such time that an all SSD iMac is more affordable.
     
  3. ioannis2005gr macrumors 6502

    ioannis2005gr

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2013
    Location:
    Europe
    #3
    ;)In my opinion, iMac 21.5'' with i7 3.1GHz, GT650M 512MB vRAM, 16GB RAM and 1TB Fusion Drive is a complete beast of power....iMac 27'' gives you a huge monitor but you should consider to buy 1GB 675MX vRAM instead of the poor 512MB 660M vRAM...simply, better graphics!

    Keep in mind, many customers of the iMac 27'' LG panel have experienced several problems (see other related threads). Thus, don't forget to buy the Apple Care extended warranty.
     
  4. orangextc macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2013
    #4
    How much would the 675 vs the 660 make a difference in terms of photo editing? I've been trying to decide between the two myself.
     
  5. ioannis2005gr macrumors 6502

    ioannis2005gr

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2013
    Location:
    Europe
    #5
    photo editing? nothing! video editing? it depends....generally, go with the bigger and better to have peace of mind!
     
  6. orangextc macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2013
    #6
    That's good to know. I feel a little guilty splurging on an imac for my photography hobby. But I'm pretty much leaning towards getting the standard 27" config (refurbished) and booting from an external ssd.
     
  7. The Robot Cow macrumors 6502

    The Robot Cow

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2012
    Location:
    Central California
    #7
    To be honest a base 21.5" is pretty good. No need to worry about the minor difference with graphics cards and processors. I have a base model with fusion drive and i can play Portal 2 really smoothly
     
  8. malvicus macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2013
    #8
    I think you have some valid suggestions here. If you were going to go the 21.5 inch route, I'd consider future proofing it with 16 GB of RAM since you can't upgrade computer once you buy it unlike the 27" where you can upgrade RAM later if you need to.
     
  9. VideoBeagle macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2010
    Location:
    App Q&A testing by request.
    #9
  10. historyteacher macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 23, 2010
    #10
    I just bought the base 27'' a few weeks ago and I am super happy with it. Wonderful screen and fast especially coming form a 5 year old MacBook. I would have liked the fusion, but decided to get the new AirPort Extreme and an external hard drive instead. Sure, mine doesn't start in 13 seconds like the fusions, but I can deal. I agree with the above post about the user upgradeable ram on the 27" as being important. Can always go external ssd via thunderbolt later down the line too. Good luck with your decision!
     
  11. crzdcolombian macrumors 6502a

    crzdcolombian

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2010
    #11
    my brother is a graphic designer for Fortune Magazine but has tons of clients he works for and uses the 27inch just added more ram. I think he did a little over kill but says the extra space on the screen is defiantly better.

    That being said it depends on what you need it and how often you are using photoshop and CS6. I see a bunch of people asking about games but in all honstesty if that is what you want then buy

    1300 for base iMac
    300-500 for a decent 37-42 inch LED tv
    200-400 for a PS3/Xbox 360/PS4

    Macs aren't gaming computers
     
  12. blanka macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2012
    #12
    If you do photo and video editing, then get a Mini 2.3 or 2.6 quad with a screen suited for your tasks.
    The iMac does not offer video/movie framerates, where a mini can handle that (24/25p support for example).
    The quad 2.3 Mini is faster than ALL non BTO iMacs. It has the most computer power for the money, and with video encoding and heavy RAW files you want CPU power, not GPU power.
    And open the Mini yourself, and slide in 16Gb RAM and a 256-512Gb OZC Vector or Samsung 840 pro in the second empty drive bay, you're still around 1000 bucks and it will be much faster than Fusion too.
    Idea for a screen: The 500 bucks Dell U2713HM.
    It does perfect out-of-the-box sRGB with matte panel, it has support for judder-free 24p/25p display, you get all the important ergonomic adjustments and a decent warranty. So better than the iMac screen for less.
     
  13. DavidG328 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2009
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #13
    You know, I was curious whether or not the Fusion drive made the biggest difference when I was playing around with iMacs at the Apple store. Seems like it's the upgrade to go for, right? I was looking at the base 27 inch, figuring the GPU was fine for what I'd need it for. I'll be buying a new gaming console this fall, so that's not super important...yet I want to play Rome II eventually. I was just looking at the next step up, 3.2 iMac and figuring with student discount, I could just get that and have the better GPU.

    Might just roll with the base + Fusion now.
     

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