iMac Questions

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Nyalotha, Jun 7, 2011.

  1. Nyalotha macrumors member

    May 27, 2011
    First of all let me start you off with a little background. I currently own a windows ('09, 3 gig of ram, everything else poop) a 2008 macbook pro, and an ipad.

    The macbook pro is used for photo editing (semi-pro photographer) its only got 2 gig of ram, I manage to get by with Cs4 / LR3.

    The windows computer is for World of Warcraft *puts on flame retardent suit* and the ipad is used on the job to sync photos, show to clients and use photosmith to let clients rate/star photos they want.

    I'm essentially looking to replace both the pc and the MBP with an iMac, seeing as the MBP is used essentially as an editing computer (battery non-existent almost)

    I know I'm looking at 21-inch, as 27 is too large for my liking / how close I sit to my computer. I've heard / read on these forums upgrading RAM is cheaper from non-apple? Where would I get this / whats recommended? Does this void the warranty?

    2.5GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i5
    2.7GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i5

    I have no clue how noticable .2GHz is? Will the 2.5 be able to run WoW on highest settings? I don't play many new games, maybe some Starcraft 2 but I can accept that + maybe the latest call of duty on the lowest settings.

    AMD Radeon HD 6750M with 512MB
    AMD Radeon HD 6770M with 512MB

    Same question as these are all alien to me :X

    I'm only asking the gaming aspect moreso because I'm fully aware if my 2g 2008 MBP can run my photo programs that this iMac must do it a hell of a lot faster.

    Anything else I should know? Appreciate it, love these forums ^^

    edit: And i will be waiting for july/september for the mightiest of Lions :)
  2. claimed4all macrumors 6502

    Sep 26, 2008
    Not sure which model would be best for you, but why not buy now? Lion is only 30$ and you may not want to upgrade right away if some large bugs surface.
  3. Nyalotha thread starter macrumors member

    May 27, 2011
    Good point that I hadn't thought of. Mainly because I hear that if I buy now I will always have Lion running ON TOP of snow leopard, whereas I'd rather just the Lion? Unless the new ones would still have both partitions. (I'm very computer slow >.<)
  4. Badger^2 macrumors 68000


    Oct 29, 2009
    Most of the things you are asking are pretty irrelevant to the type of usage you do.

    You could easily run all of those apps on an older Core2Duo.

    The question is: what can you afford to buy?

    and your specs are off, the 2.7 has a 1GB 6770. and a 1TB drive. So you get more than just .2 ghz.

    great deals here:

    ram is DIY, and has been covered ad infinitum on this forum, please search.
  5. Bear macrumors G3

    Jul 23, 2002
    Sol III - Terra
    I'd say go for the higher end 21" for what you want, there are 3 difference I see between the two models:
    1. 2.5GHz vs 2.7GHz
    2. 500GB vx 1TB disk
    3. 6750M vx 6770M video
    I know between gaming and photography you'd most definitely want the last 2. And the faster processor will help, but without the other 2 upgrades it wouldn't be worth it.

    As for buying now, go for it. when Lion installs, it replaces Snow Leopard. It doesn't run on top of it. You'll be eligible to get Lion for free anyway.
  6. Spike88 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 25, 2010
    Nyalotha: Seeing what you wrote in opening post, I'd probably pick:

    21.5-inch: 2.7GHz
    2.7GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i5
    1920 x 1080 resolution
    4GB (two 2GB) memory - which is base
    2TB hard drive1 (for $150 more)
    AMD Radeon HD 6770M with 512MB

    For options:
    - Only order wireless Magic Mouse. If wondering, I have the TrackPad and it now sits 99% of the time. Tried it for a few months and now it collects dust.
    - Wired larger keyboard (with numeric pad).
    - iWorks
    - Other needed apps.

    Due to medium "load", I'd buy additional 4 Megs Ram (2x2GB) at OWC store re:

    For your future iMac usage, I'd estimate 8 GBs is a nice memory size. Especially if you keep multiple apps open in the background. My iMac uses 4 GB and it has lots of remaining memory. But, I do plan to upgrade it to max 8 GBs in 1-2 years - as I put more and more app demand on it.

    In addition to above, I would buy an external 2TB HD via FW800 port. For example, Western Digital drive. And, configure "included" Time Machine to confirm automatic backups. Especially since Photos is your main business.

    To start, this is what I'd order - based on medium usage demands....
  7. Nyalotha thread starter macrumors member

    May 27, 2011
    Run? Yes. Run smoothly? No. WoW on the highest settings = 1-2 fps, Cs4 = 2 full minutes to open.

    And if my specs are incorrect. AWESOME! But according to

    AMD Radeon HD 6770M with 512MB
    on the upgraded 21".

    I didn't notice the added hard drive space, thank you.

    Thank you very much, you did make the higher model seem worth it :)

    Will the 2TB base make a large difference? I only ask because I own somewhere north of 8TB of backup hard drives.

    I'm not sure on the trackpad vs. magicmouse, I have a gaming mouse with many a button that i'll be using. So the keyboard with numpad isn't wireless? Thank god!

    Won't need iworks either, already got it on my ipad which I assume means I can open the apps on the mac aswell? If not I may consider it aswell.

    And sorry when you say buy an additional 4, you mean so my iMac would be running a total of 8 gig ram, yes?

    Thank you everyone for responding so far, love this community!
  8. Objector macrumors member

    May 16, 2011
    Really? Normally WoW even plays slightly better on Dual Cores! I can play WoW on highest settings (except for shadows) on my 3 year old system. E8500 (3,16ghz), 9800gtx+ (512mb) and 4gb of ram...

    You say you think a 27" is too big for your liking, but I think as a semi-professional photographer, the screen-estate can really come in handy. You don't have to look at it as one gigantic screen, but more like a dualscreen in one pretty enclosure. So you can have multiple apps open, next to each other and you can look at your photos in a much higher resolution.I don't want to make you buy a 27", but that is the reason I am planning to buy one.

    I think of the two 21" iMac's, you'll be more happy with the better one.
  9. Nyalotha thread starter macrumors member

    May 27, 2011
    Keep in mind my PC is 3 gig of RAM, and my MBP is still the standard 2 gig of RAM. Maybe that's the biggest difference? I guess I should mention it's the 13" MBP :X

    Going from editing on a 13" to a 21" is a large enough gap for me. I mess around with a 27" fully loaded iMac at work, and its just a little too much for me, especially based on price point.

    But thank you and I agree the better one will probably make me much happier :p
  10. Badger^2 macrumors 68000


    Oct 29, 2009
    I dont have WoW, but I play Half Life 2 and CoD on my C2D iMac via steam no problem.

    No, I dont have it on the highest settings.

    Assuming when you say "CS4" are you referring to Photoshop, since "CS" means the entire suite... Pshop 12 (CS5) opens in less than 30 seconds on my C2D.

    and once it is open -- 3 hours of working later... well those 30 seconds really didnt matter anyway.

    sorry about the vram, I thought it was 1GB on the upgraded 21"
  11. Ubuntu macrumors 68000


    Jul 3, 2005
    Get the trackpad. I purchased my iMac in the store on the basis that if I didn't like the magic mouse I'd return it and order an iMac online with the trackpad. I'm returning this iMac tomorrow as the magic mouse is a nuisance to work with (in terms of photoshop etc) and play games with. I too have a gaming mouse and so I never use the magic mouse - it just seems kinda silly having two mice being used at the same time. The trackpad is very nice for general browsing etc and the gestures are better than that of the magic mouse.

    Spec wise, I have the 2.7 Ghz iMac you mentioned. On Mac OS X I run WoW as so:

    1920x1200 resolution (tried 2560 x 1440, drops fps by about 15-20 and doesn't really give me much extra space in windowed mode)
    Texture Resolution: High
    Texture Filtering: 8 x Anisotropic
    Projected Textures: Enabled
    Shadow Quality: Fair (Can be Ultra)
    Liquid Detail: Ultra
    Sunshafts: High
    Particle Density: High (Can be Ultra)
    View Distance: Ultra
    Environment Detail: High (Can be Ultra)
    Ground Clutter: Fair (only because I actually don't like it being too cluttered)

    I've not spent a lot of time adjusting the effects though, I could probably set a few more to ultra but I don't really care that much. The game looks great as it is.

    I get around 45-60FPS. In Stormwind Dwarven District I get 60FPS whereas in trade district it'll sometimes go down to 50 depending on how busy it is. I've only done a few raids which have again been 50-60fps (VSync on btw so capped) and everything else seems fine really. It can struggle a bit when you go from sitting idle in the same spot for ages and then fly out into Elwynn for example but otherwise its pretty good.
  12. Nyalotha thread starter macrumors member

    May 27, 2011
    Badger, wouldn't your C2D iMac have vastly superior specs though to a 13" 08' MBP that was base?

    But I appreciate the help in knowing what a machine can and can't handle.

    edit: Thank you ubuntu! That amount of detail! I'm getting super excited :) Do you notice a drop or increase when in say raids/BG's? Do you use many addons? I.e. bartender, vuhdo or grid, kind of thing.
  13. Ubuntu macrumors 68000


    Jul 3, 2005
    Yeah I use bartender, recount, deadly boss mods, altoholic, atlasloot, bagnon, postal and some others. I only notice a slight drop in performance in raids, usually spikes when a lot is happening and its complete chaos, sometimes it will go down to 45FPS but it usually evens out to 50+.

    Also you said about waiting till Lion is released. If you're not an education customer (and thus not waiting for the free iPod promotion that is expected to happen soon, look around the forums) then I'd go and buy the iMac now as you will get a free upgrade to Lion:

    "The Mac OS X Lion Up-To-Date upgrade is available at no additional charge via the Mac App Store to all customers who purchased a qualifying new Mac system from Apple or an Apple Authorized Reseller on or after June 6, 2011. Users must request their Up-To-Date upgrade within 30 days of purchase of their Mac computer. Customers who purchase a qualifying Mac between June 6, 2011 and the date when Lion is available in the Mac App Store will have 30 days from Lion’s official release date to make a request."
  14. Nyalotha thread starter macrumors member

    May 27, 2011
    Perfect! My '09 **** box currently plays at around 20-30 fps on low to NO graphics, so dropping to 45 FPS is laughable :)

    And yeah, graduate of a few years now, looks like I'll be swinging by my local apple store on the way home.

    ubuntu do you have the 1TB or 2TB? 4gig or 8gig? Just curious :)
  15. Ubuntu macrumors 68000


    Jul 3, 2005
    I just have the 1TB one, my previous computer only had a 250GB HD so I don't really need 2TB and I'm happy to use an external disk if needs be as its a desktop computer anyway. I have 4GB RAM, I might upgrade sometime along the line but at the moment I don't really need it. I had only 2GB on my old macbook (which I played WoW on and used photoshop on) so 4GB tends to be plenty unless I'm careless with my application management. It does start to struggle when I have Photoshop, Flash Professional, Dreamweaver, MS Word/Powerpoint, WoW, Safari with too many tabs etc open but of course I don't need to have them all open at the same time.
  16. taylortm, Jun 7, 2011
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2011

    taylortm macrumors member

    Mar 11, 2011
    California, USA
    They're both spectacular machines

    I agree with the general trend of this thread: get as much computer as you can afford. That said, I just advised two clients to buy the ENTRY LEVEL 21.5" iMacs. These people are "old" and definitely at the opposite end of the spectrum from power users. Who cares about 500GB vs 1TB HDD? Sounds like you already have a storage system that dwarfs that. The only thing I can't speak to is the graphics card difference. I'm not a gamer. But my point was to say that I was VERY impressed with the performance of day-to-day stuff (Safari, Mail, iPhoto) on the low-end machine. The new quad core machines make my 1.5-year-old 27" iMac look a bit less snappy.

    One other thing I wanted to comment on, though...
    I disagree with Bear (respectfully, of course). Apple calls this their "Up to Date" program and, generally, gives you FOURTEEN days "back in time." In other words, if you buy a Snow-Leopard-containing iMac on July 1 and Lion releases any time after July 15, you'll likely be out of luck on the free upgrade. That said, it's $30. I wouldn't base my timing on that, in the least.

    edit: Woops! Ubuntu beat me to it with actual facts. :eek: I was slightly afraid of that. But, anyway, better for Nyalotha
  17. Nyalotha thread starter macrumors member

    May 27, 2011
    So now you're telling me I don't even need to upgrade the RAM to get all that.....excuse me I need a tissue.
  18. Ubuntu macrumors 68000


    Jul 3, 2005
    Normally, yes, but this time they're being generous. I've posted a link above:

    "Customers who purchase a qualifying Mac between June 6, 2011 and the date when Lion is available in the Mac App Store will have 30 days from Lion’s official release date to make a request."

    Probably not. To be honest I was going to order the extra 4GB RAM before I even got the iMac but I'm glad I didn't. Its best just to try it out with the standard 4GB of RAM and then see how it is. For WoW etc you won't really see a great difference from RAM anyway, thats mainly to do with the GPU (including the VRAM) and CPU, which are very good for WoW.
  19. Jim Campbell macrumors 6502a

    Jim Campbell

    Dec 6, 2006
    A World of my Own; UK
    That's really not how it works -- don't be put off for that reason.


  20. Nyalotha thread starter macrumors member

    May 27, 2011
    Well it's settled, getting the better of the 21's, selling the MBP for 300$ (already got a buyer ) and blowing up the PC :)
  21. bpeeps macrumors 68030


    May 6, 2011
    Do you understand how installs work? Lion would replace the SL install. You won't have two operating systems installed with running on top of another...

    Clearly you are not understanding the upgrade vs clean install. They both re-install the OS, except the latter erases all USER data.
  22. Brown Trout macrumors member

    Mar 6, 2011
    Definitely get the trackpad. After only 4 days with this thing I love it. Also have the MMouse but the trackpad is more versatile. You will want it even if you use your iPad for couch surfing.

    My iMac is on one side of a steamer trunk I use as a coffee table. If you want to just surf on the couch it has the range and works great if you go horizontal and don't have a flat surface that you would need for the MMouse.
  23. eagandale4114 macrumors 65816


    May 20, 2011
  24. Duluth Baptist macrumors member

    May 9, 2011
    Duluth, MN
    I'll vouch for the Magic Mouse. My family has it and we love it, navigation is effortless with it.

    That said, you have a gaming mouse already, which I'm sure is a fine product. The trackpad will add a lot more value to your setup, and with Lion's emphasis on gestures, it will become a great way to navigate your OS. If you have a mouse, get the trackpad.

    Future-proofing is a nice concept, but the truth is that for most uses, even the base-level iMacs provide tremendous hardware capability with no modification. I've been making intense use of CS5.5 the past month in my year-old 3.06 Core 2 Duo without much difficulty. Portal 2 plays nicely as well.

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