Help with buying a new iMac 21,5

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Sea-Monster, Mar 1, 2013.

  1. Sea-Monster macrumors newbie


    Mar 9, 2010
    Hey Guys.
    I could really use some advice. I don't know much about apple hardware and therefore i could really use some advice.

    I have an old iMac 27 inch from late 2009 that i want to replace with an iMac 21,5.

    I just have some problems understanding the outcome of the different hardware... Will i be able to notice the better hardware with what i use my computer for?

    Currently i have a " ATI Radeon HD 4850 512 MB" in my 27 inch.
    The new iMac will get either
    2.9GHz Quad-core Intel Core i5, Turbo Boost up to 3.6GHz
    3.1GHz Quad-core Intel Core i7, Turbo Boost up to 3.9GHz

    Graficcard in 27 inch
    ATI Radeon HD 4850 512 MB
    the new 21,5 inch iMac will get.
    NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M with 512MB.

    I basically use my computer for watching movies, playing a few games (civilization 5, left 4 dead 2 and so on) and for work (word, excel).

    Currently civilization is a bit laggy during the end of the game.

    Do you guys think i will get a more smooth running computer, without lag issues? The grafic card isn't that much better, so im hoping the CPU might be what will save the computer.. but as i said i really don't know anything about this hardware.. so i hope you can help and advice me.

    by the way. Can you recommend the fusion drive?

  2. phoenixsan macrumors 65816


    Oct 19, 2012
    For me....

    most modern games tax out the CPU and GPU. So, having that consideration in mind, I will max out both the processor and the graphic card, if planning to play more than the ocassional game and I can afford it. Regarding to the Fusion drive, seems to me you dont need it. And feel free to check this link about the GT640M and GT650M:

    Hope that helps you to make an informed decission/bought

  3. Serban Suspended

    Jan 8, 2013
    You can't compare playing games on your 27" on 1440p on your older radeon with the new core speed in 650m and playing on 1080p.
  4. Yebubbleman macrumors 68030


    May 20, 2010
    Los Angeles, CA
    The Radeon HD 4850 is older than the GeForce GT 650M; so that, alone, ought to give you a bump in speed. My guess is that it'd be a fairly significant one given that the Radeon HD 4850 in that machine isn't really a Radeon HD 4850, but rather a mobile graphics card that is rebranded to reflect how on par that card is to the actual 4850, which is, again, three (going on four) generations old. So, yes, you will notice a decent improvement, and yes, I recommend going with the higher-end model (with the GT 650M) over the lower-end model (with the GT 640M).

    I do not think that, for your uses, you'll notice much of a bump in speed by going with the Core i7 processor over the Core i5, so you might as well just stick with the 2.9GHz Core i5.

    I do, however, think that Fusion is worth doing as (a) it offsets the fact that you're running a 2.5" 5400RPM laptop hard drive and (b) it, more than any other upgrade you can put in that machine, will give you a dramatic speed increase as the hard drive is the biggest bottleneck in system performance today. Is it necessary? No. Is it really nice and worth the cost of the upgrade? I'd think so.

    In addition, seeing as you can't perform this upgrade later on the 21.5" iMacs, I'd highly recommend going with 16GB of RAM. Not because you might need it today (because it sounds like you won't) but because down the road, when a minimum of 16GB of RAM is required for things like OS upgrades or software updates, your iMac will be able to make the cut where those with 8GB of RAM wouldn't.

    That was a great article. Thanks muchly for that. :)

    Uh...sure he can. (a) He can compare the overall experience and how much lag he gets on the newer system versus the older one, considering his downgrade in screen size. (b) He can also later attach a 27" display (be it a Thunderbolt or non-Thunderbolt display) and switch it to be his primary display and then he can measure like-for-like performance if he so desires.
  5. Serban Suspended

    Jan 8, 2013
    If he want to compare he must play on older 27" on 1080p not 1440 because the 21.5 has 1080p native resolution.
    So the new graphic card will be giving him a little bump in smooth play and another bump that will play on less demanding resolution 1080p instead of 1440p

    So overall it will be a big difference
  6. Djaneras macrumors newbie

    Mar 1, 2013
    Archi iMAC

    Hi There,
    i am an architect and used to work on pretty powerfull PC's, but whenever new software comes out (even AutoCAD), not to mention 3d STudio max i was forced to upgrade my machine.
    Now i am switching on to iMAC 21.5 with GT6500 and 512mb. Will this be enough for my CAD drafting 2d and 3D, Photoshop, (3d Studio MAX not so much).
    ready to cash tomorrow
  7. Serban Suspended

    Jan 8, 2013
    If that was a question, then the answer is yes it is enough
  8. Djaneras macrumors newbie

    Mar 1, 2013
    Will this be enough for my CAD drafting 2d and 3D, Photoshop, (3d Studio MAX not so m

    yes it was a question
  9. maiden666 macrumors newbie

    Feb 26, 2013
    I've just bought a base 21 inch.
    I can't comment on gaming stuff,but I've been rendering movies off at least 1 gb,while playing iTunes and surfing safari,and have had no issues.
    Everything seems to run very smoothly.
    Whether it will in a year or so,who knows,but it's a dam sight better than my old five year old PC.
    It loads images up has fast has I can scroll down the page.
    It takes bout 40'seconds to switch on,maybe with fusion it would be even quicker and I was considering this option,but...
    Seems has It was in a apple store and they had some base models in stock and that it was my first mac and just went and bought it in store.

  10. DLary macrumors member

    Oct 21, 2005
    I just bought a maxed out 21.5. It scores 4 times higher on the Heaven graphics benchmark than my 27" iMac with the ATI 5750. The new iMac will be difficult to upgrade so get as much capability as you can afford. Investing in capability now may extend the usefulness of the computer by several years on the back end. The fusion drive works just as advertised and programs start with virtually no delay. I don't have that much data on it, so I suspect most of the time I am accessing the SSD part of the fusion drive.

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