GPU Choice

Discussion in 'iMac' started by jazzer15, Dec 12, 2015.

  1. jazzer15 macrumors 6502

    Oct 8, 2010
    Well, I think I'm sneaking up on my iMac purchase (I may order today) ;). I'm pretty sure I am going to go with a 27 inch i7 w/512GB SSD. The last piece of the puzzle is graphics. I am a photo hobbyist but am not a gamer and am not heavily into video (just an occasional iMovie). I do tend to keep my computers for quite a long time, but I still assume there is no good reason for me to move up to the 395x from the 395. Do most of you agree with that or have a different point of view?
  2. igucl macrumors 6502a

    Oct 11, 2003
    I'm in the same dilemma at the moment. Really tempted by the Skylake-updated 27-inch. But I don't know anything about the AMD R9's, or how they compare to each other. Does anyone know if there are benchmark comparisons between them?
  3. rkaufmann87 macrumors 68000


    Dec 17, 2009
    Folsom, CA
    You likely don't need to upgrade the GPU, however if you want to future proof it then get the GPU upgrade. The upgrade cost spread out over 4-6 years of use is almost nothing.
  4. T'hain Esh Kelch macrumors 601

    T'hain Esh Kelch

    Aug 5, 2001
    You'll likely have absolutely no need for the upgraded GPU, so I would save the money and spent them on SSD or RAM.
  5. jazzer15 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Oct 8, 2010
    Is there really anything one can really do to "future proof"? It is rather difficult to know what will be needed 5 or 6 years from now. However, i guess buying more than one needs is a bit of insurance -- provided the other components last.

    And, with regard to longevity, would the 395x run hotter than the 395 on an ongoing basis (i.e., even if not pushed?). That might be a reason to go with a 395 if the upgrade isn't really needed now.
  6. v.i.p.e.r macrumors newbie

    Apr 22, 2012
    I went for the 395 last week...

    - the 10-15% more power wouldn't change a game from unplayable to playable now and in the future.
  7. santaliqueur macrumors 6502a

    Aug 7, 2007
    I got the 395x, because I keep my machines for several years. Only part I didn't max out was the SSD, went with 512. Bought my own RAM of course.
  8. jazzer15 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Oct 8, 2010
    Thanks for your responses.

    Will the computer be louder (i.e., will the fan be kicking in a lot) with the 395x vs the 395?
  9. Ledgem macrumors 68000


    Jan 18, 2008
    Hawaii, USA
    For what it's worth, I have the i7 with 395x and a SSD. I've only heard the fans kick in once, when I was doing a four-way video chat and the processor was consistently pegged around 30-50% (still not sure why that happened; I repeated the same thing today and the processor usage was much lower, fans didn't kick in at all). Granted, everyone has different sensitivities to their computer's sounds; I tend to think I'm on the more sensitive side, but that disclaimer is worthwhile anyway.

    I chose the 395x for a few reasons, but the big one probably comes down to the fact that the added money wouldn't have been a huge strain on me and I would not have forgiven myself if I experienced slowdowns. At least this way I can know that it's a limitation of the hardware/software, and not due to my own choice. My goal is also to keep the computer for a long time and, futile though it may be, I also wanted to "future-proof" as much as possible.

    If you can afford it, just do it. I've now seen multiple statements about heat concerns with the 395x, but I'm not sure where they're coming from. Has someone released temperature data indicating that it's hotter? The fan rarely kicks in (and I am occasionally gaming) and the casing doesn't feel warm to me whenever I touch it... and I'm in the tropics, where it's consistently been in the low 80˚F range which should put even more strain on thermal management.
  10. santaliqueur macrumors 6502a

    Aug 7, 2007
    Late 2015 i7, 512GB SSD, M395X.

    I've only heard the fan turn on once, and it was during a graphics-intensive game, during a brief silent period. If there is any background noise or any audio coming from the speakers, I don't think you'd even notice the fan.
  11. jazzer15 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Oct 8, 2010
    Thanks all. I decided to just stick with the M395, but not because of heat concerns. I just realized that there was not really a reason for the upgrade. I started out thinking that the "stock" 27 inch i5 with 2TB Fusion drive and M395 would be more than enough for my use for many years, especially since I am still using a late 2009 i7 with a standard 2TB HDD. Nonetheless, I decided to splurge and get the i7 and 512GB SSD upgrades, both of which I thought would give me reasonable bang for the buck.

    I suppose one way to look at it would have been that I might as well just get the thing maxed out at that point, but given where I started, it just seemed very unnecessary. So, I decided to stick with the M395. I figure while I could have spent the extra money on the 395X, why not save a few $$. I still need to purchase some more RAM and external drives anyway. Hopefully, time will show that my decision was a good one and I wasn't being "penny wise".
  12. MadDane macrumors 6502a

    Apr 5, 2015
    I have the exact same machine in mind as the one you ordered (i7, 512GB SSD, M395) and I am also coming from a late 2009 i7, though it have been upgraded with a FusionDrive three years ago (2TB + 128GB SSD) and 20GB RAM. I hope you will enjoy your machine. Let us know how it performs when you have received it. I am a bit curious to hear from people that have made the same upgrade as I have in mind (from 2009 to 2015).
  13. Sirmausalot macrumors 6502a


    Sep 1, 2007
    Adobe Programs make use of the extra RAM on the graphics card as do some games. So save your money and go with the 395.
  14. jazzer15 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Oct 8, 2010
    Well that's what I did, but I do use Lightroom and a little Photoshop.
  15. jazzer15 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Oct 8, 2010
    MadDane, Thank you very much. And good luck with your own decision.
  16. desmond2046 macrumors regular


    Jun 2, 2015
    Columbus, OH, United States
    395 will be more than enough for non-gamers. 395x will be overkill unless you have a really big budget. (395x is only 10% better than 395 in terms of GFLOPS, but $200 more expensive)
  17. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Oct 24, 2013
    No there really is nothing you can do to future proof a 27 inch iMac these days, the RAM is user upgradeable to 64GB and storage can be increased with fast external storage very cheaply, by the time you need anything else it will be CPU/GPU and they are pretty much non upgradeable.
  18. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    I think that's a wise choice. I see little need to upgrade to the 395x myself. So far I've been incredibly pleased with its performance.
  19. bry223 macrumors regular

    Mar 1, 2004
    I think the biggest miss here is the VRAM difference. The 395X may only be 10% faster but it has 4gb of VRAM vs 2gb for the 395. If you want to game at 4k-5k it's going to be a stretch with only 2GB's.
  20. jazzer15 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Oct 8, 2010
    But the question here was regarding photo editing not gaming. How important is the VRAM for Lightroom, some photoshop and various plugins like NIK, Topaz, Macphun, On1, etc.?
  21. cynics macrumors G4

    Jan 8, 2012
    Gaming at 4k is a stretch for either option. It shouldn't even be considered an option.

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