iMac for 3D and VFX work, advice needed!

Discussion in 'iMac' started by LauraGrubbe, Apr 11, 2014.

  1. LauraGrubbe macrumors newbie

    Mar 31, 2014
    I am looking to buy a new computer for work, and I would like to hear some experiences or anything about the iMac. I have a 5 year old iMac atm, but I can't do what I need to do, it's to worn down I guess. Here are the specs I was considering, as far as I understand you can't upgrade the new iMac more than this:

    - 3.5GHz Quad-core Intel Core i7, Turbo Boost up to 3.9GHz
    - 32GB 1600MHz DDR3 SDRAM - 4X8GB
    - 1TB Fusion Drive
    - NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780M 4GB GDDR5

    And here is what I need to be able to do:

    - Heavy 3D modelling/big projects in Autodesk Maya for up to 16 hours at a time
    - 3D animation
    - Rendering in Maya and V-Ray (easily 10+ hours at a time)
    - Big projects in NUKE and After Effects. Again a lot of rendering and quick view.

    My plan is to hook up my current 27" as an additional screen with thunderbolt, that shouldn't be a problem, right?

    Anyway, will this work out? Do you have any experience/know anyone who works with 3D on a mac? It's a big investment for me so I wanna spend my money wisely and I feel much more comfortable working on a mac than a PC so it's definitely worth the few extra buck for me. I would just like some reassurance that it wont go slow or crash (My current iMac can barely do 4min of rendering before crashing so I have to use other computers for that)

    Any help or advice is much appreciated, thanks!
  2. Ak907Freerider macrumors 6502

    Apr 19, 2012
    You should have no issues with that set up. That is the exact model I use. Thing is in that price range going for Mac Pro is in about the same price. For a base Mac Pro that will perform even better. But the 780m is pretty impressive. Going full ssd has it's speed perks but I needed room over full out speed. The fusion has been a beast for speed and has room for any project you need to tackle. I have yet to notice any slowdown. I also run a second monitor well a 32 inch samsung led tv has more inputs that I need use it for ps3. Using thunderbolt to hdmi has been perfect. Bought cable on amazon for $8 works perfect. So buy it enjoy it and if it isn't up to your standards return it and give a Mac Pro a shot.
  3. LauraGrubbe thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 31, 2014
    Sounds great, thank you so much for you respons! I usually only have the project/projects I'm working on on my com and the rest goes on an external hard-drive so I don't need that much space. I feel more comfortable about it now, but I'll probably have a talk with the guys at humac about the difference between iMac and Mac Pro ;)
  4. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Apr 23, 2011
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    I use Maya on my 27" too for heavy rendering (3.5GHz i7, 32GB RAM, 4GB GTX780M and 512GB SSD) and it absolutely flies.

    However, I suggest getting only 8GB of RAM first. Apple charges daft prices for RAM upgrades. You can buy 4x8GB sticks from elsewhere (like Crucial for instance) and get a lower price.

    You might want to consider a pure SSD setup too. A Fusion drive is about as likely to fail as a HDD because the FD still has a HDD sector. If the HDD sector fails, the entire FD drive is toast (think of the FD as an RAID0 combination of a 128GB SSD and a HDD).

    256GB should be plenty fast for your needs (720MB/s read, 670MB/s write) as it looks like Apple only uses the Samsung variant of the 256GB in iMacs. 512GB isn't that much faster (720MB/s write, 750MB/s read).

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