iMac 21 or 27 for Gaming and Video Editing

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Sync Or Swim, Jan 3, 2013.

  1. Sync Or Swim macrumors newbie

    Jan 3, 2013
    Hello Macrumors

    I have been a long time lurker and this is my first post. This will be my first iMac. :) I just need some help on deciding which iMac to purchase.

    I used to have a 2010 13" MBP. It ran Starcraft 2 fine on low/med settings and it was too slow for FCP X. The fans would scream after running SC after 30 minutes and it couldn't even handle FCP X.

    My 2010 13" MBP specs was

    MBP 13" 2010
    2.4GHz Inel core 2 duo
    8GB of RAM
    250GB 5400RPm HD
    Nvidia GeForce 320M (256MB)

    Can the 21 iMac run SC2 on max settings? SC2 is the only game I play on the computer. With heart of the swarm coming out on March, I want to be able to play it at least on high settings at the native resolution.

    Here is a list of what I'll spend most of time on.
    Web browsing > Starcraft 2 > Final Cut Pro X > Minor photo editing and music production.

    iMac 21.5"
    2.9Ghz i5
    16GB of Ram
    1TB Fusion Drive
    Nvidia GT 650M (512MB)


    iMac 27"
    3.2Ghz i5
    8GB of Ram
    1TB Fusion Drive
    Nvidia GTX 680MX (2GB)

    Also I'll be ordering it through Mac Mall. Has anyone order from Mac Mall? If so how was your experience?
    Will I benefit from the i7 CPU?
    I plan on keeping the computer for a very long time and I have no intention of reselling it. I'll be keeping it until it dies.
    I'm a college student and budget is tight. Altough, I can afford the 27 iMac.
    Any advice would be great. Thank you.
  2. GreXXL macrumors member


    Apr 7, 2011
    Vienna, Austria

    First things first: Welcome to the board ;)

    As for your questions there are some considerations to be made:

    For gaming on high settings it would be best to use the much more advanced graphics card of the 27'' model. This will give you a huge improvement in performance, though you should remember its still a mobile card.

    As for the i5 vs i7 I think you would have a good performance impact especially when editing high res video. Then the power of the i7 really starts to kick in. So it might be a good choice.

    As for running with the 27'' model you also have the possibility to upgrade RAM later (aftermarket) for a cheaper price. This is not possible for the small iMac. And RAM will also have a great impact when handling large files, like when you edit video.

    Hope this helps,
  3. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    If you only play SC2, it doesn't matter much. If you also intend to play more resource-intensive games, I strongly recommend the 680MX.
  4. T'hain Esh Kelch macrumors 601

    T'hain Esh Kelch

    Aug 5, 2001
    If you want a future proof gaming machine, then the 680M, hands down.

    With the 27" iMac you can also change RAM yourself and get it quite cheap anyway.
  5. Fried Chicken macrumors 6502

    Fried Chicken

    Jun 11, 2011
    27" iMac.

    Nothing else to say.
    If you had said web browsing and watching pornography I would have said go ahead and use the 21".

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