iMac buying help.

Discussion in 'iMac' started by flashymac, Jan 26, 2013.

  1. flashymac macrumors newbie

    Aug 14, 2011
    So, I'm interested in buying a new 2012 iMac sometime in the near future, but had some questions about how to customize my machine. I mainly use my computer for basic tasks like email/web browsing, but if a new iMac could handle it I would like to do some gaming as well. I also do some light photoshop work and occasional editing in premier. Anyways, my questions:

    1. Size. Should I get a 21.5" or 27"? From what I can tell, the smaller size should be fine for normal use, and the 27" is only really needed for heavy work with intensive applications which could use the added space/pixels. There is also a large price difference between the two.

    2. If I were to invest in other upgrades, what would be the most beneficial? I understand that RAM is easily upgradable on the 27", but if I chose the smaller size, would the standard 8gigs become to low in the future (is an upgrade to 16gigs from apple worth it?). On to processors, I doubt I need an i7 just for its hyper threading feature, so out of the available i5's, would I notice much of a speed increase with added GHz? Next, I doubt I will need more than 1TB of hard drive space, but is the pricy fusion drive update worth it? Finally, graphics cards, do I need more than what the iMac comes with?

    Basically, what upgrades would have the most noticeable performance enhancements for my use? I don't exactly have a set budget, but don't want to be wasting my money on unnecessary add ons. Thanks in advance!
  2. madridboy86, Jan 26, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2013

    madridboy86 macrumors newbie

    Jan 24, 2013
    depends on how much you want to spend on it?

    this is what I put into mine and I'm notice quite alot of difference between my old MAC and my new one

    old one
    24-inch iMAC (Early 2009)
    2.66GHz processor
    4GB (two 2GB SO-DIMMs) of 1066MHz DDR3 SDRAM
    640GB Serial ATA 7200 rpm
    NVIDIA GeForce 9400M graphics processor with 256MB of DDR3 SDRAM

    new one
    27-inch iMac

    3.4GHz Quad-core Intel Core i7, Turbo Boost up to 3.9GHz
    32GB 1600MHz DDR3 SDRAM - 4x8GB
    1TB Fusion Drive
    NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680MX 2GB GDDR5
    Apple Magic Mouse
    Apple Keyboard with Numeric Keypad (British) & User's Guide (English)

    but it's really up to you what you put into it, but if I was you I would add in the
    NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680MX 2GB GDDR5, coz most of the mac games are now using 512 MB to 1GB Graphic Chips, so I would try and stay ahead of the pack and the Fusion Driver cuts the write speed down quite abit I'll give ya an e.g.

    CoD 4 a very old game I know, copied across on my old MAC in 15 - 30 mins. while on my new MAC between 4 - 7 mins (fusion drive)

    could only play it with the default setting (Old MAC) with tons of lag while recording a gameplay, new MAC Everything Ultra Hi-Res, with screen flow running in the background and no lag while playing or recording and runs like a dream I've also heard people saying that Batman Arkham City is Jaw dropping with the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680MX 2GB GDDR5, running everything full, I'm downloading Football Manager 2013 from Steam at the moment with Borderlands 2 and Killing floor coming tomorrow I'll let you know how I get on :)
  3. flashymac thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 14, 2011
    Sounds like a great computer, but from my calculations its almost a $3000 machine, and I'm not looking to spend that much. Anyone else have some input?
  4. AppleDApp macrumors 68020


    Jun 21, 2011
    What's your budget? Which screen size do you prefer or have room for?
  5. seanm9 macrumors regular

    Dec 29, 2007
    Cape Cod, MA
    the lack of expansion (read RAM) in the 21" for me is the deal breaker... from what i read Premier and Photoshop will use as many cores as you can throw at them so the i7 should help, and i think most adobe products can be helped by Cuda so the 680mx should help.... fusion seems like something that could have benefits, but then again if you upgrade the RAM in the 27" with another 16 gig's of Crucial RAM (about $70) for a total of 24 gig. you may gain some speed from making the scratch disk in RAM... which is faster than the Fusion Drive.... fully loading the 21" only gets you 16 gigs a slower i7 (3.1GHz) and and the fusion drive...for $2149.... the 27" you can get the faster i7 (3.4GHz)and the 680mx for about $200 more... no fusion drive and less ram... but you can buy the crucial RAM yourself... TB means you can make your own Fusion Drive (i'll admit that is on both models) or just use an external TB SSD as the boot drive and use the internal to store your media (iTunes, etc.) or even install windows on the internal.... and since Boot Camp cant use the fusion drive you lose that advantage anyway...set up your desk right and the external TB drive would be unseen if that is an issue

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