iMac Purchase

Discussion in 'iMac' started by joshhedge, May 2, 2013.

  1. joshhedge macrumors regular

    Sep 23, 2012

    So my Father is finally getting around to buying his first 27" iMac!

    He has a budget of £1720, including student discount of 15% as he is currently doing another degree.

    So looking up the available options, he will go for the 3.9GHz i7 for definite, but has a choice between upgrading the RAM to 16GB or the GPU to a 2GB 680MX. He does occasional photo editing and video editing, along with RTS games. While I'm aware that he may not need these specs, the insurance payout from his old computer provides that amount of money to spend on a new one. The RAM is user upgradable I believe, and it would be cheaper to upgrade it later on, if required.

    So what are your opinions on what to upgrade, the RAM to 16GB or to the 2GB 680MX?

  2. mehtdosa11 macrumors newbie


    Jun 23, 2012
    nr London
    "unless I am mistaken, that is close to a 2x increase in graphics performance from the 1gb 6970 to the 2gb 680mx."

    quote taken from another post. as apple charge the earth for memory, when you can buy it insanely cheaper online I would go for the gpu upgrade.

    The new 27" imac memory is supposed to be an easy diy upgrade, the 21.5"s are not possible, as I guess you already know.

    full post by Fenn, Dec 13th 2012

    Just got done installing Arkham City in bootcamp and its SOOO much smoother than on my old 27 from last year. I'll tweak the settings a bit but I'm getting 55-62 FPS at native rez in the built-in benchmark. I could have sworn I was averaging around 23-30 on my model from last year. Arkham city always chugged but I wanted to play it so badly so I dealt with sub-par performance on my old 27.

    Seriously unless I am mistaken, that is close to a 2x increase in graphics performance from the 1gb 6970 to the 2gb 680mx. Yes, nvidia vs Ati architecture could be a factor, but this is at least 50-75% better. Gonna install 3D mark in steam to get some official numbers between the machines.

    Also, the screen is just so much better. The glare has been removed and the colors are much more vibrant. I just can't believe how much I absolutely adore this machine.
  3. karpich1 macrumors regular

    Dec 18, 2007
    I think it's cool your dad plays games :)

    Anyway, I'd go with Video card. Supposedly the price-per-performance ratio is solid.

    So your options are:

    A) $200 for ONLY the Apple 16GB unit


    B) $220 for 680MX video card AND Memory
    $150 for the card
    $70 for an extra 8GB ram from​

    B is a much better option :)

    Then again, I'm using American Dollars from the American shop. I don't know if the upgrade prices and crucial shipments are similar in other countries.
  4. joshhedge thread starter macrumors regular

    Sep 23, 2012
    Thanks, I think the prices are competitive in the UK, both for the RAM and Apple store upgrades. I think it's worth making the machine as future proof as possible and as the GPU is not user upgradable, that's probably the most important thing to upgrade!
  5. joshhedge thread starter macrumors regular

    Sep 23, 2012
    Just noticed this, thanks for the response! I think the 680MX is definitely the best buy here.
  6. tears2040 macrumors 6502

    Aug 27, 2010
  7. joshhedge thread starter macrumors regular

    Sep 23, 2012
    I am aware how it works thanks. I just copied direct from the apple store configuration page which states the boost mode value first. Cheeky marketing for you there.
  8. Georgio macrumors 6502


    Apr 30, 2008
    Essex, UK
    100% go with the GPU upgrade over RAM as Apple's is cheekily over-priced.
    Personally I always slap in at least 12-16GB of RAM and I always use Crucial as I find the memory consistantly good and the next day delivery is a bonus.
    If he's looking to do some serious video work then I'd have at least 16GB in there to smooth everything right out.
  9. CitrusPisser, May 2, 2013
    Last edited: May 2, 2013

    CitrusPisser macrumors member

    Apr 20, 2013
    Definitely another for the Vid card upgrade for sure, the 680MX is a pretty beast card, and as others have said, throwing in some RAM yourself later on is a much more economical option. 16gig RAM, 2 gig 680MX and i7 3.4 will be super smooth, kinda jealous actually :p

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