Help to choose new 27" iMac

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Jaffaman27, Jun 28, 2017.


Which iMac should I buy for my needs?

  1. i7-7700K + 580

    8 vote(s)
  2. i5-7600K + 580

    5 vote(s)
  3. i5-7600 + 575

    2 vote(s)
  4. i5-7500 + 570

    7 vote(s)
  1. Jaffaman27, Jun 28, 2017
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2017

    Jaffaman27 macrumors member

    Jul 7, 2010
    Tampere, Finland
    So yet another thread about which iMac to choose, but I've been reading a lot and still haven't been able to make a solid decision what spec I should go for..

    All of my options would include 512 SSD and the RAM would be upgraded by myself to 40GB..

    So naturally my options are:
    1. i7-7700K + 580 (3179€)
    2. i5-7600K + 580 (2939€)
    3. i5-7600 + 575 (2759€)
    4. i5-7500 + 570 (2559€)

    Of course saving some money is also nice, but lets not concentrate on that..

    Currently I'm still using my 27" 2010 iMac with 2,93GHz i7 processor, 12GB RAM and Fusion HDD..
    The GPU is in todays standard very sad and slow..with 1GB VRAM :)

    I'm using the iMac full-time for my work, graphic design, website stuff etc. No professional video editing, 3D work or gaming.. Some hobby level video stuff can be something I will do sometimes tho.

    What I do is basically have Photoshop and Illustrator pretty much always open.. on top of those, I might have Dreamweaver and Adobe XD if I'm developing something OR InDesign if I am doing print work.
    Also I will occasionally have a Virtual Windows 10 running on VirtualBox.
    Naturally I will have few browsers open with dozens of tabs and Spotify/Youtube etc. running pretty much all the time.. I use Lightroom, but not heavily and I don't usually work with RAW images (but might do in the future). I don't see my needs changing too much in the years to come.

    So basically I don't use too heavy apps, but I do multitask a lot and I need my computer to be fast while doing things as I prefer to concentrate on my work instead of waiting and watching a beach ball.. :)
    And I would prefer my new iMac to be fairly quiet.. meaning quiet 99% of the time, but if it huffs and puffs now and then for a short period of time when I'm heavy lifting, its fine.

    I need a computer for the next 6-8 years as I don't like updating too often.

    In a basic level, my current setup works mostly ok.
    But I want a retina screen and I want my setup to work butter smooth while working on a 20+ page illustrator file with CAD drawings and at the same time dozens artworks in Photoshop with hundreds of layers. I could always split the files and make them less complex that way, but I don't want to.. :) But with my current setup, I have to.
    So I want the new setup to fly with complex multi-artboard projects and push those apps even beyond that..while multitasking with other apps.. And while using a secondary display.

    In a way all of the new iMacs would probably be a huge update and up to the task(?).
    And the lower specked ones would be less hot = more quiet.
    But as I want to have a GREAT performance in ALL situations for years to come, I fear that if I under spec now, I would be disappointed in few years when the next version of app X is more resource demanding or something..

    Any help would be appreciated :)
  2. EugW macrumors 601


    Jun 18, 2017
    I voted i5-7600 + 575 just cuz that's what I ordered ;) but probably an i5-7500 would be OK too.

    The i7-7700K + 575 might give you a bit more oomph for a few things, but then you risk fan noise. It would be a lot better for video exports though. I had that for a week, and it was mostly silent, but I figured I could trade off some performance to guarantee quietness.
  3. Jaffaman27 thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 7, 2010
    Tampere, Finland
    I like the idea of the 65W i5-7600 processor as it looks to be nice and cool. And probably the 575 GPU is very nice for my needs too.. This is very high on my list.

    But at the same time it's just 200€ away from getting the i5-7600K and the 580 GPU..
    The processor, seems to be of a similar performance but more hot = more noisy fans.. but the 580 sounds very nice, as I do think I would benefit of a good GPU (?).. But then again, 575 is light years better what I have now..

    But if I go there, it's just a little more to get the i7 and the hyper threading. And I read some forums about Adobe apps and hyper threading and they seem to take use of that in some ways (at least Adobe people recommended to select i7, but it was an older thread) and also I guess it would be useful with my multitasking use (?).. Or would it make a difference? I do have a i7 processor now and cant really say how it would compare to a similar i5 without hyper threading.

    So basically my top choices seem to be either i5-7600+575 (for probably very nice performance for my needs and silent operation) OR the i7-7700K+580 (for maximum performance with the possible, occasional (?), fan noise)..
    Why there is no choice for the 65W i7-7700+580.. or even i5-7600+580..would be an easier choice..damn Apple!

    Of course the super fast SSD and more and faster RAM (compared to my old setup) will help a lot too.. not just the CPU and GPU.

    But as said in the original post, I do push my Illustrator and Photoshop quite a lot in a way of multiple artboards and layers and complex designs. And I would like to push them quite a lot more in the future.
    I would, for example, want to have my full website design (with all the views + mobile designs) on a single PSD, each view on its own artboard. And also on the Illustrator, I would like to work on 20-50 page/artboard files with CAD drawings and other complex vectors and high resolution images while still have butter smooth performance (no waiting and looking at the beach ball).
    These are not possible with my current setup, not even close. And while doing these tasks I am multitasking with other apps and even VM Windows.

    Would you / others here think the mid setup be up to all this or should I top up and go for the i7..?
  4. fathergll macrumors 65816

    Sep 3, 2014
    Probably i5-7600K + 580 (2939€) is the best bet. The 580 gpu seems to run pretty cool and the i7 seems to be main cause of heat.
  5. Jaffaman27 thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 7, 2010
    Tampere, Finland
    And I think I should add that currently I use a 24" LED Cinema Display as a secondary display, and I would like to connect that with the new iMac also.. Don't know exactly how, tho? :rolleyes:

    But later on, I might buy a new display, probably 4K resolution..

    In any case I think running a secondary display will use more resources, especially the GPU..
  6. paulryp macrumors regular

    Sep 22, 2016
    Are you wedded to Apple because of work? If not can you go native PC and save alot. Im in the same position and I'm not ready to give Apple £3K for the spec i need (i7 + 580)
  7. Jaffaman27 thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 7, 2010
    Tampere, Finland
    By performance per euro this looks to be a very solid option I think.. better than the mid model.
    But the processor seems to be very similar in performance (according to benchmarks) to the i5-7600 while producing a lot more heat.. So do I benefit from the 580 vs 575 in my usage?

    But with this option, it would make sense to go all in and buy the i7 (with hyper threading)..
    Or maybe the i7 might be the thing to avoid..
    So the question is, would I benefit from the extra power and the hyper threading of the i7?

    These are the questions I'm trying to find some answers..
    --- Post Merged, Jun 28, 2017 ---
    I'm not "forced" to use an Apple, but I prefer to..
    I don't like the costs, but I'm ok to pay for it..for the experience I get with Mac OS compared to Windows.

    I just need to find something that is good enough for my needs that I specified earlier + some more (for future)..
    And if it means i7+580, I will just have to live with the occasional fan noise..
    But if I really don't need all that power, I would gladly save some money and take the cooler/more quiet machine.
  8. paulryp macrumors regular

    Sep 22, 2016
    --- Post Merged, Jun 28, 2017 ---
    The forums have conflicting reports on the i7 noise levels. If your doing 3D then i7 was a must but nowadays GPU rendering can make up for multithreading. Its a coin flip for me on the i7 vs i5 due to the reported noise levels. If noise levels weren't on the table i would defiantly go for the i7.
  9. blufire95 macrumors member

    Jul 23, 2012
    Difference between 575 and 580 is only 100€, because the SSD Upgrade is cheaper. So I would choose the 570 or the 580 with i5.
  10. keysofanxiety macrumors G3


    Nov 23, 2011
    Go full blooded I say, fan noise be damned. The i7 is a much better processor and the hyperthreading will be vastly important if you're looking for system longevity. 580 graphics too.
  11. Luxtrau macrumors member

    Jun 16, 2017
    I chose i7. It is safe for the future, because of the hyper threading. But I have to confess that I don't need it that often. When I do, I'm glad I have it.
    If running Virtual Win 10 I highly recommend to get as many CPU Power as possible. But you can also install Win 10 on another partition. I did.

    I chose maxed out iMac because I want to use this computer for a very long time!
  12. macsplusmacs macrumors 6502

    Nov 23, 2014

    when are say "another partition" did you mean you installed windows using bootcamp on internal drive, or a VM and you "pointed" to a VM sitting on an external drive?
  13. Luxtrau macrumors member

    Jun 16, 2017
    Yes, I installed it using Bootcamp on internal drive. It was very easy and very quick. Win 10 is working like a charm on the iMac, I was surprised.
    When you use original Apple SSD for installing Win via Bootcamp, you can't make a mistake. I once installed it on my Mac mini where I replaced the original HDD with a Crucial SSD and Bootcamp installation wasn't working and it was really tricky to get it to work.
  14. fathergll macrumors 65816

    Sep 3, 2014

    I don't know how to answer that question 100% accurately since I don't fully understand your exact usage and I'm not qualified to really understand accurately how Adobe apps will sufficiently take advantage of the added hyperthreads that the i7 offers. I'm sure it's there but how much of a difference it will make for you I don't know.

    To me your original question is what are the best options for 6-8 years while considering thermal performance. Most likely thats the i5 + 580 GPU. If you don't have any concerns about thermal performance then the i7 + 580 GPU is the best.

    Personally if I was buying a computer for work and speed was my concern for the next 6-8 years I'm going with the i7.
  15. EugW macrumors 601


    Jun 18, 2017
    A friend of mine is a very successful web designer who counts many large companies you would know as clients. He is all day long in Adobe Creative Suite, and he uses a 3.5 GHz i5 4690 iMac from 2014. Even though he can write off his computer purchases, he didn't bother getting a new iMac this year. He just wishes the GPU were a little stronger to handle things like Expose more fluidly on his external monitor but otherwise it's fine, and the 575 is way faster than his GPU is anyway.

    He just suggests getting a lot of RAM. He uses 24 GB and is fine with that, but these days I might suggest just jumping to 40 GB if you're going to be a heavy user and/or use a lot of VMs, since the RAM isn't expensive. That would mean getting 8 GB from Apple, and then 2x16 GB elsewhere from a reputable source like Crucial. He also uses Fusion and is OK with that, but I would suggest SSD.
  16. Jaffaman27 thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 7, 2010
    Tampere, Finland
    Thank you all for the help, information and voting..

    I just called for Apple to double check that I can (if needed) return a BTO iMac..
    And as that is now cleared and I have 14 days to "test drive" the machine, I will most likely order the i7 iMac.
    During that time I will push it to my usage limits to see how much noise it makes and if it bothers me or not.

    I know the update is most likely a bit overkill for my needs, but at least I have the power there if needed and it should last me again for many years to come. And hopefully, as EugW mentioned somewhere else, it is similar or more quiet than my current setup (as he has the same and also have experience on the new i7).

    To seal the deal, the Apple guy on the phone offered me a decent discount. So it's worth to call for so some stupid question, if you are planning on buying.. maybe there is a discount waiting for you too.. :)

    So my new 27" iMac setup will be:
    - i7-7700K 4,2 GHz CPU
    - 8GB RAM (upgraded to 40GB myself right away)
    - 512 GB SSD
    - Radeon Pro 580 GPU
    + the bigger/extended magic keyboard..
    Normal price: 3209€
    After discount: 3000€

    Compared to my current setup it should be a beast according to Geekbench:
    Single Core: 5576 vs 2696
    Multi Core: 18912 vs 8213
    OpenCL: 120602 vs 8016
  17. SaSaSushi macrumors 68040


    Aug 8, 2007
    Takamatsu, Japan
    Excellent choice! In fact, it is exactly what I went with right down to the keyboard. You're going to love it!

    Oh, and I am quite sensitive to fan noise and so far this machine is quieter in regular usage than the Late 2013 27-inch iMac it replaced.
  18. Falcon80 macrumors 6502

    Oct 27, 2012
    Did not know Apple can offer discount over the phone. :)
  19. Jaffaman27 thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 7, 2010
    Tampere, Finland
    Yes, that was a pleasant surprise.. :D
  20. EugW macrumors 601


    Jun 18, 2017
    What was the reasoning for the discount, and how did it come up?
  21. Jaffaman27 thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 7, 2010
    Tampere, Finland
    I called them to make sure I can return a BTO iMac..
    Then I just explained in general my needs and what I've been looking for etc.
    In the end, the guy said that please let him know when I have made my decision, he can give me a -5% discount.

    So then I asked how would I pay if I made the order on the phone and he said that he would take my credit card information etc. To shorten the story a bit, I have a 3000€ credit card limit, so I couldn't make the order that way as the order would be approx. 3050€ after the 5% discount. I mentioned about that and he said "we can sort it out, let see what kind of discount he can give" or something similar..

    In my mind that means he can round the total to 3000€.. But let see.. -5% discount at the least.

    So I didn't ask for any discount in any point, it came from the customer support person.
    And if it makes any difference, before the call connected I selected "I am looking for assistant to purchase a mac" and that it would be "for work or professional purpose"..
  22. EugW macrumors 601


    Jun 18, 2017
    Nice. Never heard of that outside of institutional purchases and the like.
  23. Jaffaman27 thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 7, 2010
    Tampere, Finland
    Yeah, Apple is not known for giving a lot of discounts.. actually just the opposite.
    They usually ask the full original price until they have something new to offer, even if its old and outdated hardware.
    Only then you can find the old stuff on sale..but normally even those discounts are only nominal and hardly attractive.

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