I really need help: which iMac should I buy?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by mr77, Jun 27, 2013.

  1. mr77, Jun 27, 2013
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2013

    mr77 macrumors newbie

    Jun 27, 2013

    I’ve decided to make the switch from my 4GB DDR3/1TB/2.8GHz 1st gen i5/1GB XFX Radeon HD 5770 PC that’s been making me pull my hair to an iMac. I am however having difficulty choosing which one. Right now, I’m caught in between buying the $1799 iMac and the $1999 one. This will be my first ever Apple computer.

    I want a computer that will last me a while. That being said, I will buy a 3TB Fusion drive because I’ve almost exhausted my current hard drive. I’ve understood there’s a consensus about how it increases the general speed of the computer, and I definitely need that. As for the RAM, well, part of that reason I am only buying a 27” is I will be able to add RAM to it myself for much cheaper than what Apple asks for, and I need a large screen for visual purposes. This is all decided.

    What I am having trouble deciding is whether I should or not:
    a) Buy the $1799 computer with NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M (512 MB), or the $1999 computer with NVIDIA GeForce GTX 675MX (1 GB), or buy the $1999 computer and add NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680MX (2GB) to it?
    b) Buy the $1799 computer with 2.9 GHz (turbo: 3.6 GHz) i5, or the $1999 computer with 3.2 GHz (turbo: 3.6 GHz) i5, or buy the $1999 computer and add 3.4 GHz (turbo: 3.9 GHz) i7 to it (do I really need hyperthreading?)?

    My general use comes down to using Word, Adobe Reader, Windows Media Player (not all the time though), Mozilla Firefox (at least 5 tabs open, with half of those being from YouTube), with different windows from my folders open – all at once. Every 1/5 times, I use Adobe Photoshop (which I will use with at least Mozilla on) – I do a lot of amateur photography. I rarely play PC games, because I do not have the time for it, but if I do, they’re usually old games from before 2004 – at this point, the only next gen games I’d consider would be the Arkham games. If I do really need software that is only Windows compatible, I might run an emulator or something along those lines. Oh yeah, and every now and then, I run defrag, virus scan, updates... although I’ve been told most of that won’t be an issue with Apple.

    What shall I do, guys? Thanks a lot for your help! :D

    P.S. Or should I just forget about all this and wait until Apple releases a new iMac with Haswell that could possibly have a Retina display, and have 802.11ac support? I mean, they just completely changed the look of the Mac Pro. Who says they won’t do the same with the iMac? They’re even going to release OS X Mavericks...
  2. GimmeSlack12 macrumors 603


    Apr 29, 2005
    San Francisco
    Your general uses are not very computer intensive tasks. Not sure how long "a while" is in regards to lasting you but I'll assume 5 years.

    You won't be missing $200 over the next 5 years will you? So get the $1999 version. You're splitting hairs over a bigger GPU vs. processor clock speed.
  3. mr77 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 27, 2013
    Thanks for your reply! In regards to how long I want to keep it, I was also thinking 5 years. Would, however, aiming for 7 years be impracticable with an iMac?
  4. Jedi Master macrumors regular

    Apr 5, 2013
    ar the moment on the Death Star
    IMac design only 6 months old, Haswell won't bring much to the iMac

    Buy now, be happy
  5. JustMartin macrumors 6502a

    Feb 28, 2012
    What Jedi Master said.

    They're not likely to do a major redesign on the iMac as they've only just done one. And it doesn't seem you would gain much from the upgrade anyways.

    And despite what some people regard as absolute facts, no-one knows what the next iMac will contain and most people don't believe it will be retina.
  6. TyPod macrumors 68000


    Nov 2, 2006
    And Yourself?
    7 years is a long time for almost any computer, but it definitely can be done.
  7. VideoBeagle macrumors 6502a

    Aug 17, 2010
    App Q&A testing by request.
    they show their age, but like I'm only now retiring my Power Mac g5 which is 9-10 years.

    The below is a graph from another thread showing the different upgrades price vs performance increases (bang for buck).

  8. Bear macrumors G3

    Jul 23, 2002
    Sol III - Terra
    Based on your stated usage, I would recommend the $1999 iMac with the Fusion drive. You have no real need for the i7 and don't need the 680MX.
  9. mr77 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 27, 2013
    Right, that's what I thought, but suppose I wanted to keep the iMac for 7 years, would I then need to get it with the i7 and 680MX?

    Also, will buying the $1999 w/ 3TB Fusion Drive suffice (and eventually adding more RAM when I see fit) for 5 years?
  10. Bear macrumors G3

    Jul 23, 2002
    Sol III - Terra
    Yes add RAM when you feel you need it or the price gets too low to resist. How long a Mac will last depends on if what you're doing changes and also the changes in the software you're using. Having said that 4 to 5 years for that configuration for your usage should be about right. The i7 and 680MX could add a year or so to the life.
  11. flavr macrumors 6502


    Nov 9, 2011
    Why the 3GB fusion? That won't add life in any way and is VERY expensive. If you want to add reliable life get the standard HD and get an external SSD that you can update easy as prices drop. Spend the extra $150 that you'll save on the fusion for the 680mx, add your own RAM and call it a day...done
  12. ssdaytona macrumors regular

    Apr 20, 2011
    ^ agree with above. Get an external. But I'd also skip the 680mx. No need unless you're an avid gamer. 7 yrs later you can sell the iMac and get a much improved system with what you have now.

    I've gone through many iMacs and I always buy the base 27". A couple of years later I sell it and buy another 27". The base 27" has the best resale/initial cost over say a fully maxed out 27"

Share This Page