[Help] Base 27" ($1799) or higher end 27" ($1999)

Discussion in 'iMac' started by C-Dub, Dec 6, 2012.

  1. C-Dub, Dec 6, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2012

    C-Dub macrumors member

    Jun 24, 2010
    Appreciate if someone can help. If my plan is to just upgrade to fusion drive (no CPU, GPU upgrade), would I be better off with just the base 27" ($1799) or upper end 27" ($1999)?

    Our family's main use for the iMac will be web browsing, social networks, document/spreadsheet editing, storing photos, music, skype, streaming youtube/netflix, and iMovie editing. If any gaming, it will be social network gaming (Farmville type) and toddler, young children learning games.

    Will the 3.2GHz i7 make a lot of difference over the 2.9GHz i5?
    Will the NVIDIA 675MX with 1GB make a lot of difference over the 660M?
    At last, is fusion drive even worth the upgrade for our usage?

    Thank you and I really value your input!
  2. FreemanW macrumors 6502

    Sep 10, 2012
    The Real Northern California
    I may be incorrect, but it sounds as though you may not be in a rush to purchase/order a new iMac. If that's the case, find some floor models in the Apple Store (once they hit) and see if the performance delta is personally noticable to you, and then, if it is worth it to you.

    The faster processor along with a fusion drive is going to be snappier than the slower processor with a std spinning platter hdd. You are the only one that can answer the question as to whether the performance delta is worth the price delta. :)
  3. HunterMaximus macrumors member

    Jun 25, 2008
    Toronto, ON, Canada
    I'd say go with the base model with a Fusion drive. You're not doing anything that would really benefit from a faster CPU or GPU (exporting in iMovie would speed up, but in the grand scheme of things, we're probably talking saving a few minutes at most, unless you're working on very large projects, or you use it a lot).

    The Fusion drive however will definitely make an impact in your day to day usage. At this point, most software is bottlenecked by disk access speed, not CPU power — adding an SSD (or Fusion drive) improves that tremendously. I'd strongly recommend one.
  4. Incindium macrumors member

    Apr 3, 2009
    3.2GHz is an i5 for $1999 on the 27". The 675mx is considerably faster than 660M and adding that you get the higher clock speed on the i5 as well makes the upgrade worth it in my opinion. That and the fusion drive should make it one fast system. Definitely get the fusion drive if you can afford it.

    3.2 GHz i5/675mx and fusion drive is my configuration of choice and what I actually ordered myself.
  5. C-Dub thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 24, 2010
    will my investment last longer if I go for the higher end 27" + Fusion + GPU upgrade? I plan to go 32GB later on.
    Also, with enough reading, I see I pretty much have no gain from the CPU upgrade

    thanks all.
  6. HunterMaximus macrumors member

    Jun 25, 2008
    Toronto, ON, Canada
    For starters, don't think of it as an "investment". It's a useful tool to be sure, but like cars, the value plummets the second it's off the lot.

    Realistically, nothing is going to improve its longevity that much. More RAM may help down the road, and a Fusion drive will definitely improve the user experience now and in the future, but because of the generational nature of speed bumps these days, there's not much you can do to really extend its usefulness. That's doubly true if sometime down the road Apple decides to cut off some Macs from a future version of OS X — having a slightly faster GPU or CPU won't fix that.

    For your needs, I think you'll be very well off with the base 27" and the Fusion drive. Upgrade the RAM down the line if you feel the need. Otherwise don't worry too much and enjoy your new Mac :)
  7. CoreyLahey macrumors regular

    Jun 18, 2012
    Even the base models from previous years would suit your purposes well ; ) From thenew ones a base model with Fusion seems to be the best value in your case, but I find nothing in your description that would call for the faster CPU or GPU.
  8. torana355 macrumors 68030

    Dec 8, 2009
    Sydney, Australia
    For your usage the base 27" will be more then enough, and the fusion drive is the best upgrade you can do.

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