iMac spec advice

Discussion in 'iMac' started by KeithJenner, Feb 11, 2011.

  1. KeithJenner macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2010
    #1
    Hi,

    I am probably going to get an iMac in the next few months, to replace my MacBook Pro as my main computer. I'm just trying to get an idea on specs.

    I will be going for 21.5", as I'll be using it on my desk, and I think 27" will be a bit too big sitting close up. Also, the main attraction of the 27" is the SSD option, but that's too expensive at the moment anyway.

    I use it generally for spreadsheets, databases and iTunes, and the basic model iMac would be fine for that (my Macbook is). However, I also do quite a bit of video converting (mainly Handbrake DVD Rips) and intend to start using iMovie a bit in the future. Not huge projects, but just editing small home vids.

    I also have quite a large iPhoto collection (about 5,000 photos I think) and have just upgraded to Aperture although I haven't done much with it yet.

    The two questions are, do people think that given these usages, I will get much benefit from either going for 8gb rather than 4, or the i5 processor rather than the i3.

    Video conversion times aren't a major issue for me, as I just tend to queue them up and leave them going. If it takes a few extra hours to convert a batch then that isn't a big problem, but I need the computer to be able to perform other tasks well whilst converting videos.

    Any suggestions will be appreciated.

    Keith
     
  2. skiltrip macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    May 6, 2010
    Location:
    New York
    #2
    Sounds like the i3 would meet your needs just fine.

    Do yourself a favor and skip the 8GB upgrade. Get 2x2GB from Crucial.com or Macsales.com and put it in yourself. It'll cost you 50 bucks. If you can use a screwdriver, you can upgrade the RAM.
     
  3. GoDuke1 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2011
    Location:
    North Carolina
    #3
    I also think the i3 would be fine. I use mine about the same, and have no complaints on performance. I did opt to get the slightly faster 3.2Ghz i3, in plans for it to last me a little longer (my PC was 7 years old before I replaced it with this iMac).

    I'll agree with skiltrip on the RAM upgrade also. That's what I did. Easy as pie upgrade and it was less than 50 bucks from Crucial.
     
  4. KeithJenner thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2010
    #4
    Thanks for the advice.

    I would be going for the faster i3 anyway, as the 500gb HDD on the base model is too small, but I think I'll stick with i3.

    Good advice about the RAM. I've always done it myself in my PC days, but was concerned about opening up the iMac. If it's pretty easy then I'll certainly wait as I will then only get it if it's necessary anyway.

    Thanks again.
     
  5. Btrthnezr3 macrumors 6502a

    Btrthnezr3

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2010
    Location:
    Texas
    #5
    Good choice...I also got the upgraded i3 and got OWC Ram to bump it to 8gb.

    You'll love it!
     
  6. biggd macrumors 6502

    biggd

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2008
    Location:
    Calgary
    #6
    At next product refresh I would assume SSD would be an option for 21" iMac
     
  7. skiltrip macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    May 6, 2010
    Location:
    New York
    #7
    There's a little door/plate on the bottom edge of the screen. Unscrew it, opening up, and you'll see two sticks of ram, and two open slots. You just gotta push the new sticks in. You'll know they are in because you'll hear and feel them click into place.

    I haven't done it myself yet but I've watched a couple vids on YouTube where people demonstrate it. Check them out.
     
  8. coryndiego macrumors regular

    coryndiego

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2008
    Location:
    San Diego, Ca.
    #8
    RAM Question

    I just returned an imac i7 Quad 2.93 and Apple said that all they had was a Quad i7 with 1-4gb ram stick vs. 2-2gb sticks. Is there a performance difference? I'm anticipating the replacement to have 1 - 4gb stick.
     
  9. TMRaven macrumors 68020

    TMRaven

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2009
    #9
    You'll lose dual channel bandwidth configuration, but that's not very noticeable in most real world applications.
     
  10. coryndiego macrumors regular

    coryndiego

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2008
    Location:
    San Diego, Ca.
    #10
    I thought I read that the i7 Quad has three channel memory bandwidth capability but adding another couple of stick would solve that... 2 - 2mb sholuldnt cost much... 8gb is plenty for me. thanks for the reply!
     
  11. TMRaven macrumors 68020

    TMRaven

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2009
    #11
    There's multiple lines of i7 quadcores though. iMac uses the performance grade Lynnfields, while the i7 quads you're thinking of are the enthusiast grade Bloomfields. One of the major differences between the two is that Lynnfield has dual channel bandwidth while Bloomfield has triple.
     
  12. coryndiego macrumors regular

    coryndiego

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2008
    Location:
    San Diego, Ca.
    #12
    thanks for the insight. As you stated originally, I probably wont notice the difference. I plan on adding anyway.
    thanks!
     

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