Graphics option and longevity

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Prosumer71, Mar 27, 2017.

  1. Prosumer71 macrumors newbie

    Prosumer71

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2017
    #1
    If I'm after longevity when configuring a new iMac, should I choose the better graphics card even though I don't need it for what I will be doing now? I'm not getting the iMac for playing games, but I'm a fan of Civilization and would like it to work with at least a couple of future versions without changing computer.
     
  2. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2013
    #2
    Yes graphics is now the one area in computing hardware(as opposed to mobile hardware like tablets and phones) that is still getting big leaps in performance over a couple of years. Also choose at least a 2tb fusion or all SSD configurations the HDD and 1Tb fusion can be a real bottleneck.
     
  3. bernuli macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2011
    #3

    I think Apple is shifting more towards disposable computer hardware. My recommendation is to get what you need now, and plan on replacing machine when you need more power. GPUs are advancing pretty quickly from what I gather. A couple years down the road there might be much better GPU options available but may not apply to a machine you buy today.

    I would price out a fully loaded iMac, then buy a base model. Put the difference in cash aside and save it for when or if you need to upgrade.
     
  4. petsk macrumors 6502

    petsk

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2009
    Location:
    Northern Europe
    #4
    If you are looking for longevity, save the extra money and upgrade 1-2 years earlier instead.
     
  5. Prosumer71 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Prosumer71

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2017
    #5
    Thanks for the input. Now I'm looking at a refurbished late 2014 iMac with the following specs:

    4 GHz Intel Core i7
    16 GB 1600 MHz DDR3
    AMD Radeon R9 M290X 2048 MB
    1 TB Fusion Drive

    The price is about 60% of the original price.

    How is this for longevity? I get the impression the difference between M290X and M390 isn't that much of a deal, and the next big leap in graphics won't happen until fall anyway (?). I won't be doing much pro editing work that demands an i7, however could the extra power be somehing that adds to the longevity of the computer? What makes me hesitate is that I would prefer an SSD or a larger fusion drive. Also the display is supposed to be better in the 2015 model.
     
  6. cynics macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2012
    #6
    Define longevity...

    Depending on what you are doing that Mac could last you a very very long time.

    I would go for the 2-3tb Fusion because the SSD portion is larger in them, plus you have more space....Its just better value.
     
  7. Prosumer71 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Prosumer71

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2017
    #7
    When I no longer can run the latest OSX on it, or iTunes. With my current computer (2006 Mac Pro) I no longer can upgrade my iPhone without giving up being able to sync it and my music to iTunes. Also I'd like to be able to run Civilization VII and perhaps even Civ VIII eventually.

    Not sure what you mean here. It's a used iMac so I don't have any other option than the 1TB fusion drive it comes with. However, as it is the 2014 model, it should have the 128 Gb SSD portion, and that's a good thing I guess.
     
  8. cynics macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2012
    #8
    I'm sorry, you are correct I thought I read 2015.

    There is no future proofing Macs when it comes to official OS releases and proprietary software.

    Their updates are arbitrary and more based on particular year minimum specs. They tend to be more related to the specs of other things with the machine like Bluetooth, USB versions and things like that. Older devices start losing newer features because of that.

    That's why you typically don't see their new OS's make exceptions for older machines (e.g. 2015 iMac or later; except a 2014 iMac with xxx GPU or something silly).

    So in that regard I would get the latest model. And get specs you'd find useful for the task you are performing. Maybe consider specs you'd want to run a different OS toward the end of its life.
     
  9. paulryp macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2016
    #9
    Im building a Hackintosh as I'm not willing to pay £3000 for an iMac.

    If your not interested in VR or running games at anything near reasonable frame rate then that iMac is all you will need as long as you put an SSD in it.
     
  10. nambuccaheadsau macrumors 6502a

    nambuccaheadsau

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2007
    Location:
    Nambucca Heads Australia
    #10
    If possible, look for a similar machine to your specs with the 4GB gfx card. This is the M295X card which came quite often in a machine with the i7 CPU.
     
  11. Prosumer71 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Prosumer71

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2017
    #11
    Yes, I just found another model with only 8GB Ram, but with the 4GB Graphics card and with 3TB Fusion Drive. Buying it tomorrow. Thanks!
     
  12. nambuccaheadsau macrumors 6502a

    nambuccaheadsau

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2007
    Location:
    Nambucca Heads Australia
    #12
    That is wise mate.

    Memory can be purchased from Crucial or OWC much cheaper than dealing with an inadequate gfx card for gaming for the next five years.
     
  13. Prosumer71 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Prosumer71

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2017
    #13
    Well, after reading all the reports about the fan noise issue on the 2014 model with the i7 and M295X combo, I reconsidered and decided to wait for a 2015 model to show up.
     
  14. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #14
    The 2015 model runs cooler and is less likely to throttle down due to the heat.
     

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