Help! A few questions about upgrading!

Discussion in 'iMac' started by FrankySavvy, Oct 16, 2014.

  1. FrankySavvy macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2010
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    #1
    Some background:

    I have a 2011 27" iMac w/ Intel Quad Core i7 3.4Ghz (Sandy Bridge), 16GB Ram 1 TB Hard Drive and AMD Radeon 6970M w/ 2GB VRAM.

    I am a graphic designer who uses the Adobe Creative Suite a lot, Photoshop, InDesign and Illustrator. I also game on occasion.

    The following questions are to determine if I should upgrade my 2011 27" iMac to the new Retina iMac.

    I am unfamiliar with the way Intel classifies their processors and clock speeds so bear with me. I am also unfamiliar with AMD video cards and how VRAM factors in, all i know, is more is usually better.


    Question 1:

    My existing iMac has an Intel Quad Core i7 with a 3.4GHZ clock speed. Since I was thinking of purchasing the new Retina iMac, it has the Haswell Quad Core i5 with a 3.5GHZ clock speed.

    On paper it seems like a minor jump in clock speed, can someone explain, is it a much faster processor, will I see a massive jump in CPU power?

    Question 2:

    I currently have the AMD Radeon 6970M w/ 2GB VRAM in my iMac, would an upgrade to AMD Radeon R9 M290X with 2GB VRAM, be much of an improvement? Would I need to double the VRAM to 4GB to really notice a difference?

    Help Me!
     
  2. yjchua95 macrumors 604

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    Apr 23, 2011
    Location:
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    #2
    Q1:
    You'd actually see a decrease in power when it comes to hyper threaded tasks, because the desktop i5s don't support hyper threading. Via Geekbench, the i7-2600 in your 2011 iMac actually outperforms the i5-4670 of the retina iMac by a bit.

    Q2:
    Considering the amount of pixels the retina iMac has to push, 2GB of R9 M290X may be a bit tight. I'd highly recommend you go for the 4GB R9 M295X.
     
  3. FrankySavvy thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #3
    Wow, I'm surprised, so the CPU in my four year old machine is just as powerful, if not better?

    And the two AMD gpu's are fairly comparable unless I double the ram?

    That's disapointing.......


    Edit: good for my wallet
     
  4. leenak macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2011
    #4
    well part of the issue is a lot of the improvements in processors in the last few years have been making them better at some things, not necessarily making them faster plus comparing a newer i5 to an older i7, means the i7 is built to do some things that the i5 isn't. If you want to read the comparisons, you can read here:
    http://www.cpu-world.com/Compare/576/Intel_Core_i5_i5-4670K_vs_Intel_Core_i7_i7-2600K.html

    Likewise, I've read that the next processors will not see a lot of improvements other than if you have a laptop, because they are working on things like power consumption, heat output and overall size. Basically, intel processors are good and a lot of improvements will be refinements rather than large jump in speeds.

    And with the video cards, 290 vs 295 is deceiving but the video card, beyond memory, is a large jump between each other.
     
  5. apfelmann macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2007
    #5
    Yes, it's bad.
    Why do all the 15" MBP get i7 and the 27" starts with i5???

    They should give all 27" iMacs i7 CPUs!!!!


     
  6. FrankySavvy thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #6
    So the CPU is basically a wash - unless I build the Retina to the new i7 standard a $225 upgrade. But is the "Haswell" i7 4Ghz vs the "Sandy Bridge" i7 at 3.4ghz, that big of an improvement?

    I am astonished that a Core i7 from generation to generation in four years has't progressed that much.

    And your saying the AMD video card is an improvement even without comparing VRAM?

    I am just trying to justify buying a $2500 iMac or holding out a little longer and staying with my 2011 iMac.
     
  7. leenak macrumors 68020

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    Mar 10, 2011
    #7
    I would just hold onto your current iMac but yes the AMD card is an improvement without the 4GB vram.
     
  8. FrankySavvy thread starter macrumors 65816

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    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    #8
    I was now thinking of waiting until next year.

    Reasons being:

    1) Lower Funds Currently, just bought a 6 Plus ;)

    2) Broadwell/Skylake next year? - Bigger Improvement?

    3) Price may go down in Next Gen Retina iMacs - Maybe?
     
  9. matrix07 macrumors 68040

    matrix07

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2010
    #9
    You may want to read this a bit. From someone who decided to buy it now. heh! heh!
    http://www.marco.org/2014/10/16/retina-imac-vs-mac-pro
     
  10. leenak macrumors 68020

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    Mar 10, 2011
    #10
    I agree with some of your points but honestly, I don't see any reason for most people (unless they do a lot of video editing) to upgrade to 32gb RAM. Also, since the RAM is user upgradeable, many people can choose to go with 8gb and upgrade later. I chose 16gb myself but I'd be hard pressed to go to 32gb.

    And like you mention, broadwell is a small improvement for performance. The biggest thing with broadwell seems to be that it is now at a stage where it can be used in tablets which has no impact on iMacs. Laptops will benefit the most from broadwell.
     
  11. FrankySavvy thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #11
    So really processors won't get much better next year, I just might have the benefit of the price going down on the Retina iMac ;)
     
  12. leenak macrumors 68020

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    Mar 10, 2011
    #12
    You could but I doubt the price will go down. I don't think there is a reason to upgrade unless you really want to.
     
  13. FrankySavvy thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #13
    I think Ill wait one more year. I want to also see if Apple releases a Retina Macbook Air as well.

    Thanks for everyones help!
     

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