iMac - upgrade CPU or graphics?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by gwelmarten, Aug 23, 2011.

  1. gwelmarten macrumors 6502

    Jan 17, 2011
    I'm ordering the 27Inch iMac later today with the 3.1Ghz i5 processor by default. I will be buying with 8gb RAM and upgrading to 16 as soon as I get it. I was wondering, I would like to upgrade either the Processor to the 3.4Ghz i7 or the Graphics from 1GB to 2GB. Which should I choose?

    I will mostly use the computer for Xcode making apps and don't play games very often on it (if ever). I will run Windows in parallels and bootcamp and will be using After Effects as well as iMovie and iPhoto regularly. I do graphics with things like Photoshop and Flash, but also websites with Dreamweaver. I often have loads of stuff open in lots of desktops (like 4 desktops/spaces with maybe 20 tabs in Safari and 2 Adobe CS5 programs open). Which would be the most beneficial upgrade for me?

    Thanks in advanced.

  2. nOw2 macrumors regular

    Sep 1, 2009
    CPU. You will not stress the graphics at all but Xcode, Photoshop and of course Flash will see some benefit from a faster and Hyperthreaded CPU.
  3. Sackvillenb macrumors 6502a


    Mar 1, 2011
    Canada! \m/
    I second that notion. While some of your apps (like photoshop) can benefit from a good graphics card, you've already got a good graphics card in there (and going from 1 to 2 gb won't make much difference for what you're doing), but but a CPU upgrade will give you a variety of benefits for many programs.
  4. jmpnop macrumors 6502a


    Aug 8, 2010
    Going from 1GB to 2GB will not make any difference, go with better CPU.
  5. Hirakata macrumors 6502


    Mar 17, 2011
    Burbank, CA
    I agree with the others to go with the i7, but I would suggest just getting the iMac with the default 4 GBs of RAM. To get 8 GB from Apple, you'll be paying $200 extra. You can get 16GB for under $150 from other parties these days.
  6. JonasDK macrumors member

    Aug 18, 2011
    This. Go with the better CPU and buy RAM elsewhere - save yourself some money.
  7. Young Spade macrumors 68020

    Mar 31, 2011
    Tallahassee, Florida
    The SSD would also provide performance increases across the board.

    The CPU increase with the SSD (you can't install it yourself I don't think....) will make the iMac a usable computer for many years to come.

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