i7 or 395x upgrade?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by erdmann23, Oct 26, 2015.

  1. erdmann23, Oct 26, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2015

    erdmann23 macrumors newbie

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    #1
    I have been a long-time macbook pro and mac mini user and I am excited to purchase my first iMac. I could use some input on which to area to upgrade as I can only afford one - to upgrade to the i7 or the 395x?

    I plan to buy the $2300 model and upgrade to a 512GB SSD and upgrade the ram myself.

    I am not a gamer at all. At the moment I do some light video and photo work, but plan to do more in the future with this iMac. I would like to hold onto this machine as long as I can, so I would l want the best upgrade to future proof or have it last longer and still perform well in 5 years.

    I am currently leaning toward the i7 because it is a bigger jump in benchmarks from the i5. And because based on all the threads I am reading, the 395x isn't as big a jump from the 395. But I do wonder if the 4GB of graphics ram will be more useful in 3-5 years when there are more graphic intensive programs out.

    So, if you could choose only one of the following upgrades to future proof with, would it be the i7 or the 395x?

    Thanks for the feedback and help.
     
  2. Sirmausalot macrumors 6502a

    Sirmausalot

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    #2
    I would get both upgrades and get along with 8GB RAM for a year.
     
  3. looking4anotebo macrumors 6502

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    #3
    Definitely the I7... not much evidence out there that the 395x is substantially better than the 395.
     
  4. theosg macrumors newbie

    theosg

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  5. xmichaelp macrumors 68000

    xmichaelp

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    #5
    i7 gets you 25 percent performance jump over i5. Can't say the same for the 395x
     
  6. sluggishadj macrumors newbie

    sluggishadj

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    #6
    Totally agree.
     
  7. mattoligy macrumors 6502

    mattoligy

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    #7
    Is there any argument to support the 395X upgrade? Going to put an order in shortly, have never pad this much for a computer before and I'm very nervous! Have chosen the high end with the i7 upgrade but stuck over the graphics upgrade as it's £200 and from what I've read on here it's not worth paying...

    As long as I can play games like sim city on the 395 and edit 4K video I'll be ok I think. I'm trying to steer towards photography as a career path so will need something a pro would use just in case. Never know what the future holds and I want this to last me five years.

    Does anyone know if the 4GB on the X would be beneficial a few years down the road in this industry?
     
  8. im2slick4u macrumors newbie

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    #8
    Pretty much all AAA titles that came out in 2015 need 4GB of RAM (or at least more than two) to run at high or maxed graphics. I'm sure this trend will continue in the future and eventually trickle down to indie games and smaller budgeted publishers. If you are just playing simulation games the i7 upgrade will actually help more than the m395x though. My Macbook Pro with an Ivy Bridge i7 QM and GTX 650M performs better in Cities Skylines than my other computer with an i5 4590 and GTX 970.

    Another argument for the R9 M395X is you can't upgrade to it after the fact while the CPU can technically be upgraded later on to any socket LGA1151 CPU. Its a very diffucult upgrade to perform but there are guides and videos and such and some computer shops can do it for you. It also voids your warranty unless you go through an ASP.

    Also if you like the new Sim City I would recommend checking out Cities: Skylines its a much better game.
     
  9. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #9
    I think that's the sweet spot in the configuration - best bang for your buck
     
  10. mattoligy macrumors 6502

    mattoligy

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    #10
    Yeah I want to try cities skyline. So would the 4GB make these kinds of games run better? I bought a new MacBook Pro earlier this year and sim city was so choppy I could hardly play it so I returned it to the Apple Store! It was only the 13" though, the one with a force touch trackpad!

    Also I am concerned about future proofing. However I guess it comes down to...

    1) pay extra £200 for a (small?) gain

    2) save the £200 and put it toward a new iMac in 3 years time
     
  11. im2slick4u macrumors newbie

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    #11
    The issue with the 13" is it doesn't have dedicated graphics. Any dedicated graphics contemporary to the integrated alternative would be better. Cities: Skylines should be fine on 2GB, the M395X isn't that much faster than the M390X. I would recommend at least the i7, if you can swing the M395X go with that too.
     
  12. AppleWarMachine macrumors 6502a

    AppleWarMachine

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  13. twilexia, Oct 27, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2015

    twilexia macrumors 6502

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    #13
    I do think the m395X will help with gaming but the 300$ question is how much. For example will it allow you to run the latest FPS at ultra, vs the M395 which will only help you run it at high? If so, then it's worth it. But that doesn't seem to be the case. A lot of gaming benchmarks have come out and have placed the M395X very close to the M395.

    However, you mentioned you do a bit of video editing so I did some research and found this article:

    https://www.pugetsystems.com/labs/articles/Adobe-Premiere-Pro-CC-Professional-GPU-Acceleration-502/

    Basically what they did was they found a bunch of GPUs with 2GB Vram, 4gb Vram and 6gb Vram and compared how long it takes to render a video in Premiere pro. So for 1080p editing, the difference between a 2GB GPU and 4GB GPU is around 10-20% less rendering time. The reason for this small difference is because at a certain point, the CPU becomes the bottleneck and caps all the gains from the GPU.

    However, once you introduce 4k video editing, the 4GB Vram GPU outperforms by >100%.

    Now of course these are not the same graphics cards but I think if you're planning on doing any kind of heavy video editing in the future, you should go for the M395X, however if you keep it light or just do it once every week or so, then the M395 will be more than enough.

    Edit: I realize it's not an apples to apples comparison as the Graphics cards in the Puget article are very different in terms of # of stream processors and texture units.

    P.s. and yes I would definitely go for the i7
     
  14. erdmann23 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #14
    This info was super helpful and makes a lot of sense. From other threads, it seems there are a lot of people asking the same question. Your post has been the most helpful that I have seen.

    Based on my light use of video, I am going to stay with the 395 and upgrade to the i7. The $250 for the graphics card upgrade doesn't seem worth it.
     
  15. Sirmausalot macrumors 6502a

    Sirmausalot

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    #15
    I replied with a more detailed answer in another thread. But know this: the Adobe Creative Suite makes heavy use of the GPU and associated VRAM. Extra VRAM will help with more complex 4K timelines and any sort of associated effects. Color correction, LUTs, complex transitions, and especially layers will benefit from more VRAM. Otherwise you may need to turn the resolution down for playback. For encoding and outputting the CPU and the GPU will work together and the longer the timeline, the more important it is to have a beefier i7.
     
  16. twilexia macrumors 6502

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    #16
    Just quoting your answer from the other thread where I asked you this question.

     
  17. satinsilverem2 macrumors 6502

    satinsilverem2

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    #17
    For the best bang for your buck, I would go for the i7.
     
  18. Kappsi macrumors newbie

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    Oct 16, 2015
    #18
    The i7 + 395 (non-X) is probably the most common configuration, for good reason. So far the benefits from the 395X have been very questionable. Maybe that'll change in the future, but assuming you stick to 1440p for gaming, I'm not sure about the 4GB being really necessary.
     

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