iMac 2011 (top CPU) vs iMac 2015

Discussion in 'iMac' started by vanil, Oct 19, 2015.

?

Is the upgrade worth it?

  1. Yes

    8 vote(s)
    25.0%
  2. Yes, but add a 2TB Fusion Drive!

    9 vote(s)
    28.1%
  3. Only if I add a i7

    2 vote(s)
    6.3%
  4. Only if I get a R9 M395X

    3 vote(s)
    9.4%
  5. No, keep the old one

    10 vote(s)
    31.3%
  1. vanil macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2009
    Location:
    Italy
    #1
    Hi everyone,
    I have an iMac (mid-2011) with the following specs:
    CPU: i7 3.4 Ghz
    GPU: AMD 6970M (1GB VRAM)
    RAM: 8GB
    HD: 1TB 7200 rpm

    I'm thinking about selling it and buying a 2015 iMac, I would go for the following one:
    CPU: i5 3.2 Ghz
    GPU: AMD R9 M390 (2GB VRAM)
    RAM: 8GB
    HD: 1TB Fusion Drive

    If I get enough money from my old one, I could upgrade the Fusion Drive to 2TB but that's it.
    My typical use is light gaming (I could also use Bootcamp), light FCPX editing.

    I have read some benchmarks and I think that the new i5 should perform slightly better than my old i7, I also think that the new GPU should be better than my old one (I should tune down the resolution for gaming though).

    What do you think? Is the upgrade worth it?

    Thanks everyone,
     
  2. AlexisV macrumors 68000

    AlexisV

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2007
    Location:
    Manchester, UK
    #2
    Surely you've missed the main reason for upgrading? The retina screen!

    Once you use one, the old ones look so pixellated!
     
  3. T'hain Esh Kelch macrumors 601

    T'hain Esh Kelch

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2001
    Location:
    Denmark
    #3
    I do not think it is worth it. Use your money on adding an SSD to your current system instead. The i7 in your current machine is very capable (I have the same one).

    Also, never get the 1TB Fusion drive, as it only has a 24GB SSD.
     
  4. Lankyman, Oct 19, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2015

    Lankyman macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    May 14, 2011
    Location:
    U.K.
    #4
    Thank goodness for maturity of vision then as I find my mid-2011 IPS screen more than adequate for my needs.

    I'm quite sure Apple could sell sand to the Arabs. I upgraded my mid-2011 i5 iMac - RAM now 20gig with a EVO 850 SSD and kept the HDD too. I'm still waiting after some 4 years for this machine to break sweat.

    Do the upgrade and smile all the way to the bank. The new iMac's are totally stuffed as far as consumer upgrades are concerned. I will be looking at going back to a PC when upgrade time finally comes around. I will be more than content to use Windows 10 rather than have Apple rip me off.
     
  5. fathergll macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2014
    #5
    Keep your current iMac and save money until you can afford the 2TB Fusion or 256 SSD. The 1 TB Fusion has a tiny SSD in it.
     
  6. AlexisV macrumors 68000

    AlexisV

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2007
    Location:
    Manchester, UK
    #6
    Man goes mental over ordinary post pointing out how nice the retina screens are.

    World looks bemused.
     
  7. Kappsi macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2015
    #7
    For gaming, the retina screen won't really help much considering you can't game at 5k anyways.
     
  8. majestice macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2015
    #8
    That is not top of the line. I have 2011 with i7 3.4, 6970 2GB, 16GB RAM (bought elsewhere) , 256GB SSD + 2TB HDD
    I am upgrading now to the top of the line i7 4.0, 395X 4GB, 1TB SSD and 32GB RAM (bought elsewhere)
    If you want to survive with the new computer as long as you have with the old one, I'd say top everything that you can't top yourself later. If SSD is too expensive for you then get the biggest fusion drive. Top out processor and GPU. RAM you can always add later without having to take the machine apart. Lower spec i5 processors won't be much faster than the old top of the line i7. My true top of the line 2011 benchmarks almost the same score in geekbench with last year Retina i5 3.5GHz. The difference is last year's mid spec Retina is 2-3% faster than top 2011.
     
  9. majestice, Oct 19, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2015

    majestice macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2015
    #9
    Here's two new iMac 5Ks i5 with 8gb of RAM vs top of the line iMac 2011:
    http://browser.primatelabs.com/geekbench3/compare/3885176?baseline=412700
    http://browser.primatelabs.com/geekbench3/compare/3885162?baseline=412700
    So changing the top of the line 2011 for new i5 wouldn't be much of an upgrade. Of course the screen will be much better and this test doesn't really take the GPU performance in to the consideration which is likely to be 1.5 to 3 times faster on new iMac depending which GPU you go with
     
  10. majestice macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2015
    #10
  11. vkd macrumors 6502a

    vkd

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2012
    #11

    I too have a 2011 iMac and agree with your post apart from the last part where you mention Windows. You lost it there (in my opinion).
     
  12. vkd macrumors 6502a

    vkd

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2012
    #12
    Now try saying that without using the word "top". :)
     
  13. majestice macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2015
    #13
    I'm saying it because there is HUGE difference between the top and mid range each year. Now please take a look at the topic title:
    iMac 2011 (top) vs iMac 2015
     
  14. vanil thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2009
    Location:
    Italy
    #14

    You're right, I just edited the title to correct my mistake :)
    Your comparison is just what I was looking for, an i5 is probably not going to be enough of an upgrade for FCPX.

    Depending on how much money I can raise with my old one I will try and get as many upgrades as I can in order to get at least an i7 and a 2TB Fusion Drive.

    Thanks everyone!
     
  15. Lankyman macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    May 14, 2011
    Location:
    U.K.
    #15
    Define mental
     
  16. Lankyman, Oct 19, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2015

    Lankyman macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    May 14, 2011
    Location:
    U.K.
    #16
    I use OS X and Windows 10 most days and have nothing but praise for W10 - MS are right back on form with this OS. I'm always prepared to offer praise where it's due.

    I don't own Apple goggles.
     
  17. twilexia macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2015
    #17
    In this one you compared the 8GB i5 to 16 GB i7 though.... what about 16GB i5?
     
  18. Max(IT) Suspended

    Max(IT)

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2009
    Location:
    Italy
    #18
    this. The screen alone worths the upgrade
     
  19. majestice macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2015
    #19
    Those tests are public so why don't you go through the website and find the comparison you'd like to see. I just picked the couple of the newest ones I saw... and the OP was planning to buy a comp with 8gb. So feel free to find ANY available benchmark yourself
     
  20. jerwin macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2015
  21. RageDaddy macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2015
    #21
    Just rip the 2011 open, buy 512GB SSD and throw that HDD away. You wont see any difference in normal use (other than the resolution and better display quality), but if you are proffesional and get paid for image/videostuff then you should get the new 5k for sure..
     
  22. vanil thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2009
    Location:
    Italy
    #22
    Unfortunately I'm not a professional :)
    Anyway, is the HD swap done at an Apple Store or do I have to go the DIY route? If the latter, what kind of model/size do I have to look for?
     
  23. RageDaddy macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2015
    #23


    Crucial BX100 SSD, 250GB or 500GB. DIY is really easy, but if you're not DIY kind of person (cars, PC´s etc) let someone else do it....
     
  24. Lankyman macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    May 14, 2011
    Location:
    U.K.
    #24
    I used the Samsung EVO 850 500gig. However, I also kept the original HD in there so increased the storage at a stroke. I keep the OS, apps and often used programmes on the SSD whilst photos films music etc. live on the HDD.

    If you are going to discard the HDD in favour of SSD only then do buy the thermal sensor cable for the new drive. If you don't you will have the fans roaring full blast all the time. You will get lots of advice that it's ok to use fan control software but the sensible money is on the thermal sensor cable. If you go for the SSD/HDD combo then you don't need the sensor but will need that proprietary sata cable.

    Before you even buy the drive etc. do watch the OWC videos on how to swap the drives to ascertain if this is within your comfort zone of expertise.
     
  25. RageDaddy macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2015
    #25
    Sensor is not needed. Just install Mac's Fan Control and let it start with the mac.

    http://www.crystalidea.com/macs-fan-control
     

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