iMac suggestions

Discussion in 'iMac' started by joe.absolutely, Nov 13, 2010.

  1. joe.absolutely macrumors newbie

    Nov 13, 2010
    Okay, I know how all too common this question is, but I need your advice.

    I'm looking at getting either the 3.06GHz 21.5" iMac or the 3.2GHz model and am not sure if the extra $300 is justifiable. A little about what I intend on using it for: I am a photographer, so the 1TB HDD was the first thing (besides the processor speed) that caught my eyes since I do a lot of photo editing in RAW format all through Photoshop CS4, I also am a musician and use Logic 8 for music recording and editing and I play around a little with Final Cut - so I tend to use pretty demanding programs, and really anything will be an upgrade from my macbook that I am using now with a 2GHz processor and 2GB of RAM. I don't game, so I doubt the graphics card will really apply to me much (unless it'll dictate quality in either CS4 images or Final Cut videos), so really it is the HDD and processor that I am mainly looking at. And I am also ONLY interested in the 21.5" model (the 27 is wayyy too big for me to work with).

  2. 184550 Guest

    May 8, 2008
    If you have the extra money to throw around, sure.

    Keep in mind though it'll only be a .14ghz boost.

    If I were purchasing under your circumstances, I'd spend the extra money on an external hard(s) for backs up and such and forgo the speed boost.
  3. joe.absolutely thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 13, 2010
    I thought about just buying the base model and getting an external to save some money, but, i mean, will the .14GHz difference be all that significant? and will the difference between the graphics cards be beneficial for what I'd use the computer for? and also (stupid question), programs cannot run off of an external drive that is plugged in a computer, right? I'm so torn haha
  4. ayres macrumors regular

    Sep 27, 2010
    i'm in more or less the same situation as yourself...

    looking to upgrade from my previous imac, and while the quad core i5 imac really speaks to me and urges me to splurge, the fact that it is only in the 27 inch is a real turnoff.

    also, my girlfriend is strongly opposed to the 27 inch because of its excessiveness. and that helps me out because i really don't want to drop $2k.

    so my question to you is this; why not order online and get the i5 in the 21.5 inch?

    or is that over your budget?

    while the cpu is only slightly faster, other specs are beefed up a little.

    remember that with the sdxc card slot, you can store very large amounts of data on sd cards. then again, those 64gb cards cost A LOT of money.
  5. joe.absolutely thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 13, 2010
    I thought about getting the i5 quad 21.5" iMac until I saw the price tag. haha yeah, it is way out of my budget. Really I only wanted to spend about $1,200 or so, but I am a student and can get the 3.2GHz model for $1,399 so that is what had me thinking if I would benefit from the $300 (or $250, in this case) upgrade from the base model. I really don't want to have to fumble around with and rely on external devices for storage either.
  6. ayres macrumors regular

    Sep 27, 2010
    get the 3.2ghz and improve some of the specs...
  7. ThemacNub macrumors regular

    Aug 26, 2010
    I'd say more ram rather than a faster processor for photo manipulation.
  8. Tempto macrumors member

    Oct 24, 2010
    I would go for the 3.2GHz one. The slightly improved graphics card will help your image/video editing along with the small processor speed boost, and would be able to handle slightly more demanding programs that may come out in the future.
  9. joe.absolutely thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 13, 2010
    Yeah, I keep leaning more and more to the 3.2GHz model, mainly because the 1TB Harddrive sounds good alongside the better gpu. Still kicking them both around, though. And more RAM will definitely be essential in the future too, but I'm not worried about that right now since I'm currently working with only 2GB of RAM.
  10. MonkeySee.... macrumors 68040


    Sep 24, 2010
    From what i've read, people advise aslong the lines of a SSD. Don't know myself but apparently they are good for speed etc.

    I'm opting for the base model and storing all my photos etc on an external drive and maybe someday stick the SSD in and a bit extra ram.
  11. joe.absolutely, Nov 26, 2010
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2010

    joe.absolutely thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 13, 2010
    Okay, I figured I'd re-open this thread since I have still yet to make a decision between the 500GB and 1TB iMac 21.5" models...So hopefully this helps:

    Best Buy has a Thanksgiving Day sale that runs until this Saturday for the base-model 500GB iMac for $1,199.99 with an $125 gift card (which would be a $75 larger return than me doing a price match from Apple for a student discount which would only give me $50 off.)

    or I can still do the 1TB model for $1,399.99 (which would be an $100 off with my student discount price match).

    the $1200 model I still would have to pay regular price on, but would get the $125 gift card which I would have no problem finding a way to spend that at best buy - so really the base model is looking more flattering, but my question is still: is the 1TB model worth the extra $200 dollars (or $325 if you factor in the gift card)?? and is the .14GHz difference and the better video card really something that I would notice a significant difference in with what I would be using it for?? HELP
  12. joe.absolutely thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 13, 2010
  13. applefanDrew macrumors 65816

    Jul 17, 2010
    Honestly, the only reason I'd go for the upper end 21 inch is if I was putting the i5 in it. Otherwise, go with the base and use the other 300 or so for something useful (external HD, etc, etc). Just what I would do and I am a student as well.
  14. SpitUK macrumors 6502


    Mar 5, 2010
    East Yorkshire, UK
    Dont listen to your girlfriend on computer purchases dude. They always say get the cheapest or smaller screens and when you get a bigger screen they end up using it more than you!!
  15. nickosbad macrumors regular

    Feb 16, 2009
    I've been trying to decide which 21.5" iMac to go for aswell, I can't really justify the cost or size of the 27" one and the way I see it is that for £200/$300 extra you are getting a slight speed bump, a far bigger HDD and an improved graphics card

    I know the speed bump is not huge but surely every bit counts, especially when I want it to last a good few years??

    When I bought my 2.16ghz MBP, it flew, the processor was well fast, now it is slow compared to others out there and that was nearly 4 years ago!!
  16. joe.absolutely thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 13, 2010
    yeah, this is what i was thinking too. really don't think from looking at the bench tests that the .14GHz difference is that significant on a lot of programs (mostly they clocked in at the same times or a few seconds off); so the main concern for the upgrade to the 3.2GHz computer would just be storage and the better graphics card, now it's just figuring out if the graphics card is that significant of an upgrade that I would notice.

    definitely agree with you on the 27"...way too large to be sitting less than two feet away from. haha and yeah, i have one of the first generation Macbook aluminums that they came up with a couple years back and it only has a 2GHz processor; 160GB HDD; 2GB RAM and it is still fairly fast (except in logic, photoshop, etc), so i definitely know that the upgrade to even the 3.06 processor is going to be a huge improvement - alongside the 4GB of RAM too.
  17. joe.absolutely thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 13, 2010
    haha this

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