i7 or 2GB vram BTO options

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Wreckie, Jun 20, 2011.


Which BTO

Poll closed Jun 30, 2011.
  1. i7

    29 vote(s)
  2. 2GB vram

    4 vote(s)
  1. Wreckie macrumors regular

    May 9, 2011
    Which BTO option is better and what should I choose? Never planning to add extra monitors as 27" is hell a big.
  2. timtom33 macrumors member

    Mar 30, 2011
    To answer your post:

    Why is the 2GB of VRAM even an issue? Its $80 when your spending a fortune as it is. It's like buying a Ferrari and then skimping on the floor mats to save $100.

    Now if to go i5 or i7 is more of a decision, but i have always gone for the best as it's something you can't change later. CPU is a key component in any system. Will have better resale as well.
  3. Wreckie thread starter macrumors regular

    May 9, 2011
    As I live in Europe, it matters +100€ to add vram BTO, which is ~$140.
  4. iSayuSay macrumors 68040


    Feb 6, 2011
    If i have to choose between them, definitely go with i7 upgrade. Vram is not necesarilly improve performance. 1gb ram for GPU is plenty enough for most gaming and single monitor works.

    Go with i7. And i really recommend bto iMac for newly customer out there. BTO iMac tend to hold better value, even after a few years or newer iMac released. It simply because they are unique, not regularly available on the market/retail.
  5. iMikeT macrumors 68020

    Jul 8, 2006
    I ordered my BTO iMac on Thursday and I'm expecting it to arrive no later than Wednesday. Anyway, I added both the i7 CPU and the 2GB GPU without having to make any tough decisions. Just said yes to both easily, without fail.
  6. Wreckie thread starter macrumors regular

    May 9, 2011
    I wish Apple products had same price tags in EU as in USA. Then it wouldn't be a question.
  7. iMikeT macrumors 68020

    Jul 8, 2006

    I wish the dollar actually had more value, even WITHIN the USA, but it currently doesn't. I wish that people who live and work in the USA actually made a livable wage and we had better social safety nets in place like you guys do in the EU, but we don't. Really, a discussion for another day and topic.

    Bottom line is that you can't win them all so you just roll with the punches and take what you can get.
  8. Wreckie thread starter macrumors regular

    May 9, 2011
    I tought people in US had best life in world :p. Anyways, I think I might go with both BTOs if I can afford that, if not then just i7.
  9. OakNinja macrumors newbie

    Jun 20, 2011
    +1 I finally registered on MacRumors just to be able to rate this :)

    BTW - i went with no BTO on my 2011 iMac - figured i5 quad and 6970m 1gb would do the trick until its totally outdated :)
  10. WickedStealthy macrumors member

    Apr 29, 2011
    It is not really an issue. But what we typically see overhere is that companies overcharge. Years back, the dollar was strong and we needed to pay more because of the exchange as they proclaimed. Now the dollar is far weaker they don't have that argument but they still do it and blame the tax (which is not true).

    A few years ago I imported some motorycle stuff directly from Japan. Even after getting charged by 21% and additional duty taxes I paid almost 40% less for the same product including shipping and handling. At that point I upset quite some local importers when I posted these figures on a public forum ...

    Basically we get screwed all the time by manufacturers (cars, motorcycles, electronics,tire manufacturers, ...)
  11. Sirmausalot macrumors 6502a


    Sep 1, 2007
    i7, no doubt...

    Though you don't tell us what you'll be doing with the machine...ony a few programs truly take advantage of the i7s hyperthreading...or the extra video RAM for that matter.
  12. Bear macrumors G3

    Jul 23, 2002
    Sol III - Terra
    "Insufficient data for meaningful answer."

    "Insufficient data for meaningful answer."

    What are you doing with your computer? The i7 is a bit faster than the i5 even if applications can't make use of the hyper threading. And of course you may or may not be using your computer for programs that would take advantage of more VRAM.

    For me, based on my current system usage, it would be the VRAM if I had to choose one. I know what I'm doing is hitting up against VRAM limits. I've yet to really bog down the CPU.
  13. Michael D. macrumors member

    May 6, 2011
    Helsinki, Finland
    For most, the i7 makes more sense.
    Most tasks do not need VRAM in excess of 1 GB.
    Depends on what you do with the iMac.
  14. iMikeT macrumors 68020

    Jul 8, 2006

    Nothing but a dream and we have a phrase for that, it's called "The American Dream".

    If you're not in a hurry to order your iMac, meaning that you don't plan on ordering it in the next week, save for a little while and get both. Patience can be your friend.

    I never realized that I had that affect on people, you're too kind.
  15. bniu macrumors 6502a

    Mar 21, 2010
    i7 definitely. i5 does not have hyper-threading while i7 does. With the i7, you're essentially getting an 8 core CPU (and well worth it, I run lots of CPU heavy tasks that use all 8 virtual cores). And while you're at it, try to squeeze in some extra money for the 2GB VRAM.
  16. Wreckie thread starter macrumors regular

    May 9, 2011
    I've heard that most programs don't use HT yet, maybe it is too early for HT?
  17. Objector macrumors member

    May 16, 2011
    You will definitely notice more performance from the i7 than from the extra VRAM. The clockspeed from the upgraded the upgraded 6970m is the same as the 1gb version, so their speed will be the same. And since there aren't many applications that use more than 1gb VRAM, you won't notice the difference.
  18. Bear macrumors G3

    Jul 23, 2002
    Sol III - Terra
    Hyper threading isn't all that it's cracked up to be.

    For me, I'd compare the i5 vs the i7 as if the i7 didn't have hyper threading. That will be a more accurate result right now for a lot of people.

    On an i7 I have, I have never caught hyper threading in action (using Activity Monitor) no matter how busy the cores are. So yes, it is very software dependent.
  19. VPrime macrumors 68000


    Dec 19, 2008
    London Ontario
    What do you plan to use the machine for?
    Most people don't need the 2gb video card at all, Even for gaming the 2gb vram is pointless as any future game to take advantage of the 2gb vram will be bottlenecked by the core speeds any ways.
  20. MythicFrost macrumors 68040


    Mar 11, 2009
    It's not about using HT but how many cores it can use. Applications can't distinguish between a physical core and a virtual core. They just use it if they can. However, HT (virtual cores) don't offer as much performance as physical ones. I generally consider that you get ~30% of the performance as you would from a physical core.

    But if you don't use any applications that use all cores, or use lots of applications at once, it doesn't really help.

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