i7 or 4GB video card?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by suprmario, Oct 16, 2014.

  1. suprmario macrumors newbie

    Apr 18, 2012
    Everyday lurker but I really don't post much as I always seem to find my answer.

    I am set on getting the retina iMac, I like to casually play games on my current 2011 iMac and edit photos daily via Lightroom and PS. I intend on needing to edit 4K video very soon.

    I was saving money for this day and have just enough money set aside to be able to either upgrade the processor or the video card, my question is which should I choose to handle those tasks better on this new retina display. Photo editing takes priority over games and I already have the memory on hand to make it at least 16GB for now and am going with SSD option. The expansive knowledge of fellow forum members is greatly appreciated. Thank you! :apple:
  2. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Apr 23, 2011
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    Both greatly speed up rendering times.

    At this point, I suggest that you continue saving up more and go for both the i7 and 4GB R9 M295x. You can always go with 8GB of RAM first and buy your own RAM elsewhere.
  3. paolo- macrumors 6502a

    Aug 24, 2008
    I'd probably go with CPU, but it depends on the kind of work you do. Lightroom doesn't take advantage of GPU acceleration. So waiting for images to show up not fuzzy is actually a CPU task. In Photoshop, the GPU is mainly used for the intense filters like smart blur, liquify...
  4. suprmario thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 18, 2012
    Thanks for the tips everyone. Looks like I will save up a little more and in the mean time wait for some real world usage reviews. Thanks again!
  5. pasadena macrumors 6502a


    Sep 12, 2012
    That's what I'd do too if I were you. Both are probably good upgrades and you can't change them up later.

    I was hesitating too, but ended up upgrading both and keeping the 8Gb RAM to stay in my budget, because the price to upgrade to 16Gb is ridiculous, even with my epp discount. I'll upgrade it to 24Gb total for less than that.
  6. AppleDroid macrumors 6502a

    Apr 10, 2011
    Also give it a week for places like anadtech and barefeats to post benchmarks. My money is that the gpu will be the best upgrade unless you just surf the web and other normal tasks.
  7. suprmario thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 18, 2012
    web surfing is almost exclusively done on ipad now. definitely going to wait on some benchmarks, thanks!
    I just hope the AMD card is up for the task. All the chatter on the forums leads me to believe Apple had better options to pull from Nvidia. Not that I buy EVERY apple product that is released, but maybe a good idea to put my safety back on for a couple weeks before pulling the trigger on this one.
  8. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Apr 23, 2011
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    The Radeon R9 M295X is an unreleased card that is only available exclusively for the retina iMac for now (just like the GTX 680MX in the iMac back in 2012), so we won't know its real performance until benchmarks come out.

    I'm willing to wager that the M295X is a monster of a card.
  9. definitive macrumors 68000


    Aug 4, 2008
    honestly, if you are set on buying a retina imac, wait another year. just head over to macbook or yosemite subforums, and you'll see that there are people complaining about the 2012 retina models being underpowered. i feel like the same thing might end up happening with this imac, unless you buy a built to order, in which case you might as well get a mac pro instead.
  10. paolo- macrumors 6502a

    Aug 24, 2008
    Looking at those forums, it seems to be a bug in Yosemite rather than a problem with the computers. Those problems don't show up on other versions of the OS. Also, the GPU used in the current version of the rMBP is just an overclocked version of the GPU in the original 2012 rMBP (they also doubled the memory). The GPU in the 2012 model also outperforms the current base 15" rMBP which only has an integrated GPU.

    The m290x is getting a lot of flack but I don't think it'll be a horrible card that's going to bring the computer to a halt because it can't keep up. Obviously if you want to have decent GPU acceleration in some apps it won't be enough though.
  11. steve23094 macrumors 68020


    Apr 23, 2013
    I have heard that before, but what exactly are they referring to? I have a mid 2012 rMBP and it's fine. OS and App animations are smooth, including scrolling and this is all done most of the time using the integrated GPU. Sure I can't game at 2880 * 1800 but did anybody expect you could? That would be more their fault for being too optimistic.
  12. Wahlstrm macrumors 6502a


    Dec 4, 2013
    I´m thinking that with almost 15 000 000 pixels to push around you don´t want to save on the graphics card..

    The i7 is nice to have, but the 295 might be a must have for an over all good experience with the machine.

    Or put in another way; I rather wait a few more minutes for Lightroom to finish exporting my photos that have to live with a stuttering UI..
  13. Helldiver macrumors newbie

    Apr 2, 2008

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