iMac for a programmer.

Discussion in 'iMac' started by thiagoaos, May 9, 2011.

  1. thiagoaos macrumors newbie

    May 7, 2011
    I have a old macbook white 2008 but he's dying.
    I'm selling my desktop computer and i will buy an iMac. I would like to know what's best for my use.

    I will use to:
    Programmer (ruby, php, java and iphone) 70% of the time.
    Web, watching videos, music, photos ...
    play starcraft 2
    play Diablo 3 when they launch

    I would like to play on mac os x, i will not install windows on bootcamp, only in windows if i need.

    I'm think in the BTO 21,5 with i7.
    But I am in doubt about this or that of 27 base.

    Can i divide 27 screen with two ou more programmers like, terminal, textmate and browser with the native resolution?

    And the video card i will play well sc2?

  2. Psylancer macrumors newbie

    Dec 28, 2006
    I develop software for unix environments but all the programming is done in os x. I use a program called SizeUp that let me assign keyboard shortcuts to place windows where I want them (even among multiple monitors). So I use that with terminal, macvim, and some visualization software. Anything that can be resized and moved with a mouse can be split across the gorgeous 27" screen.

    As for games, remember 2 things.
    1. If you are coming from windows, a lot of people have complaints about os x's mouse acceleration. (There are software ways around this, but I have never had tremendous luck) This becomes very annoying in intense sc matches when adrenaline kicks in and you start moving your mouse faster, all of a sudden your cursor goes unexpected places. As much as I hate to say it, a windows boot camp install comes in really handy.
    2. With the 27" imac you are running a huge resolution 2560x1440. This is great for everything except games. Higher resolution means more horsepower required to run the games in native resolution. There are more rigorous tests out there you can check out, but on my baseline 27" 2011 imac I get about 20 fps in native resolution in WoW with the settings maxed. Swapping into 1900x1080 (the 21.5" resolution) I get a clear 50% fps increase.

    As a self-described tech-snob I would highly suggest the 27" iMac for programming, and multimedia, and just about everything.... except gaming. For gaming I still use a dedicated (albeit getting old) custom built windows gaming machine. And a combination of iMac and Macbook for everything else.
  3. azentropy macrumors 68020


    Jul 19, 2002
    How are your eyes and what is your lighting conditions? If you are in a brightly lit room, or have overhead lights or lights behind you the glossy/glass screen is a nightmare for focusing on text all day IMO. If you have good/strong eyes or don't use it in that type of environment then you will be fine. I'd go for the 27" as yes you can get three pages and toolbars on the screen at a time.
  4. Xybr macrumors member

    Apr 10, 2006
    I have a 27" iMac with 3.4 GHz and 6970M 1GB, it plays SC2 nicely at 1080p res and everything on High. I imagine the GPU will play Diablo III just fine next year. The screen is massive in size. You might go to an Apple Store (or any store that carries the 20" and 27") to compare them.

    But if you want the top-end GPU, you have to go 27". I think it's 'cause there's more space for heat dissipation.
  5. thiagoaos thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 7, 2011
    I lives in Brazil and imac, macbooks, apple staff in general here is very expensive.

    the price difference between the imacs is:

    first to the second - $ 772
    second to third - $ 432
    for the third quarter - $ 540

    With i put i7 in second model the price stay the same as third model.

    In a top model you only play in high at 1080p? How many fps in ultra?

    If you got this with this video card, if i got 6770 i will need to run in low in 1080p resolution. Very bad.

    I acctualy have a gtx260 in 19" screen, i run in ultra with 1440x900 resolution very well. I play 4x4 with no pc lag.

    I hope run in high graphs with 1080p, but now i losting my hope.

    With 1080p (non native) in a 27" screen the graphs look good?

    Nice tip, thanks.

    My eyes aren't the best but my environment is good, is my bedroom, i can custumize the lights.
  6. chrismacguy macrumors 68000

    Feb 13, 2009
    United Kingdom
    For programming, Id go with the 27 if I could. (I have a 27" Cinema on my Mac Pro, and the difference between it and the 1920*1080 (or smaller) screens I have to use elsewhere is night and day) - Being able to have Oracles Reference Pages, TextWrangler/XCode and the Internet for general googling all at once on one display makes writing Java a lot less tedious. Same logic goes for Objective-C coding for the iPhone (I do Java development and Objective-C for the Mac development on mine, and having got the 27" screen, Id hate to go to anything smaller in terms of real-estate again, you lose so much productivity when you do).

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