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i9 upgrade, when is it justifiable?

iTurbo

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Sep 9, 2008
315
373
I've been kicking around the idea of buying a new iMac since mine is getting a little old (late 2012). It's a BTO machine; quad core i7, GeForce 680MX graphics, 32 GB RAM, 1 TB Fusion.....it was pretty much top of the line back then (aside from SSD) and it's always been great.

I'm wondering though, what is a good/justifiable use case for upgrading to the i9? I honestly don't think it would benefit me a whole lot, but I'm curious anyway. It seems the 2019 iMacs are all either 6-core i5 or the 8-core i9 with no i7 even available?
 

macduke

macrumors G4
Jun 27, 2007
11,299
15,341
Central U.S.
My personal justification is that I’m going to have this machine for 6-8 years and it needs to be able to handle advanced photography (42MP RAWS, sometimes stacked for astrophotography, sometimes stitched together for landscapes), occasional 4K video editing, graphic and web design (including running Virtual Box for Edge, although that is coming to Mac at some point), as well as running several of these at the same time for some heavy multitasking, and some decent PC gaming on Windows 10. It should also be able to handle things beyond what I’m doing today, such as if I got a camera that does 80MP RAWS or 4K 60p 10-bit video. I think where I’m at, with this being primarily a personal projects machine that I will sometimes use for freelance, a high end iMac makes the most sense and saves a couple grand vs. an iMac Pro or the likely higher price of a new modular Mac Pro and new Apple display while still maintaining a relatively high level of performance.
 
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Abbas

macrumors regular
Jul 9, 2008
136
24
Dubai
I am still undecided and waiting on the reviews. I want a mostly-quiet machine and I've read the i7 from last gen wasn't. If the i9 stays quiet most of the time, I'll get that to make me a bit more future-proof.
 
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iTurbo

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Sep 9, 2008
315
373
Yeah see, I was into the "future proofing" thing too, which is why I decided to BTO my '12 iMac with all of the upgrades, except SSD (very expensive at the time).

In retrospect, I should have saved money on the quad-core i7 upgrade and spent it on SSD storage! I mean, sure, everybody wants "the best", but now I realize I would have been just fine rocking an i5.
 
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pwm86

macrumors member
Oct 23, 2016
48
68
Austria
Yeah see, I was into the "future proofing" thing too, which is why I decided to BTO my '12 iMac with all of the upgrades, except SSD (very expensive at the time).

In retrospect, I should have saved money on the quad-core i7 upgrade and spent it on SSD storage! I mean, sure, everybody wants "the best", but now I realize I would have been just fine rocking an i5.

You could install an SSD:
https://eshop.macsales.com/shop/ssd/owc/imac-21.5-inch/2012
I use an 2009 iMac 24 with 1TB SSD installed last year (as one of 3 machines) under Mojave (for unsupported Macs)
and I am completely content.
 
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dazlicous

macrumors 65832
Jun 2, 2011
1,502
738
Manchester
If I was gonna pay 3k+ on a iMac I would always max out the CPU and GFX personally to get the most longevity out of it
Even if it’s overkill at time of purchase
 
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