Imac upgrades during purchase

Discussion in 'iMac' started by oscarwolfey, May 4, 2014.

  1. oscarwolfey macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 3, 2014
    #1
    Apologies if this has already been answered somewhere else. My macbook pro is on its way out and I'm considering switching to Imac. I intend to use it mainly for work with illustrator, photoshop and indesign (potentially more in the future). It was recommended to me in the apple store that I upgrade to 256GB Flash Storage as it will improve the performance when using programmes such as these. I'm always a little wary of taking advice from shop workers as my knowledge on this kind of stuff is very limited so I'm looking for an unbiased opinion.

    Also, is there much difference between the 21.5" and 27" besides the obvious (this coming from someone who still doesn't even understand what RAM is). and are the differences important for what I want to use it for.

    Again, sorry if this has all already been answered.
     
  2. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2011
    Location:
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    #2
    On the 21.5", RAM isn't user-upgradeable post purchase. Go with what you need and what you can afford. On the 27", you can upgrade the RAM yourself.

    As for HDD, Fusion, or SSD, HDD is the cheapest (and the slowest) option. Read and write speeds are around 100MB/s.

    Fusion Drive provides the best of both worlds, with around 500MB/s reads and 200-400MB/s writes.

    A pure 256GB SSD provides the maximum speed, with 720MB/s reads and 650-670MB/s writes. Also, it's much more reliable than the other two because it has no moving parts.

    The shopkeeper is right, going to an SSD will mean a huge difference. Watch this for proof: http://eshop.macsales.com/owcpages/ssd-bootest-mbp-101112.html

    The big difference between the 21.5" and 27" is:
    1. Screen size.
    2. Graphics card options (GPU)

    I have both the 21.5" and 27" and am satisfied with both, so the size is a matter of personal preference.

    First, in both models, you're given the choice of either an i5 or an i7. For multithreaded tasks, I recommend an i7, as it's 30-40% faster than an i5 in multithreaded tasks. A 3.1GHz i7 in the maxed-out 21.5" will outperform the 3.4GHz i5 in the high end 21.5" in multithreaded tasks.

    The difference between the 3.1GHz i7 (21.5") and 3.5GHz i7 (27") isn't much, so they perform almost identically.

    For the GPU, on the 21.5", you have two options (Iris Pro or GT750M). In OpenCL tasks, the Iris Pro will do better, but when using CUDA-assisted software and playing games, along with rendering, the GT750M will trash it.

    The GT750M performs closely to the GT755M in the base 27".

    The GTX775M is a different story and is a huge improvement over the GT755M.

    The GTX780M is a monster for video editing, rendering and heavy gaming.

    I'd recommend you the 3.1GHz i7 21.5" iMac, with 16GB of RAM, 1TB Fusion Drive or 256GB SSD, and the 1GB GT750M card.
     
  3. oscarwolfey thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 3, 2014
  4. oftheheavens macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2008
    Location:
    cherry point
    #4
    that was one of the most informative replies i have seen in a long time, i even learned something. Thanks for your input.

    Throw one question your way. I am looking to wait till at least WWDC to see if any iMac upgrades come out, if not i was going to get the maxed out iMac 27in with the 3TB fusion and the 780. Is the difference between the 780 and the possible next 880m in the iMac be a huge difference and worth the wait? Going to be playing games on ultra (like elder scrolls) and doing a lot of go pro video editing.
     
  5. Nyy8 macrumors 6502a

    Nyy8

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2011
    Location:
    New England
    #5
    Let me see if I can help you out here.

    The 880m (if Apple decides to use it) is a rebranded 780m, and the 780m is a rebranded 680m in a way.

    None of these graphics cards are "vastly" superior to one another, they all preform on a somewhat same level. The only big difference is the amount of ram in the cards. The 880m will include 8GB (or at least it should) if apple doesn't modify it in anyway.

    Here is a chart comparing the three:
    http://imgur.com/WcDGGwR
     
  6. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2011
    Location:
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    #6
    Nyy8 has already answered your question before I could :D

     
  7. Zellio macrumors 65816

    Zellio

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2012
    #7
  8. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2011
    Location:
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    #8
    Which translates to not user-upgradeable. Taking it apart voids the warranty :D
     
  9. SaSaSushi, May 6, 2014
    Last edited: May 6, 2014

    SaSaSushi macrumors 68040

    SaSaSushi

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2007
    Location:
    Takamatsu, Japan
    #9
    Indeed, and unlike on 2011 and earlier iMacs, with its lack of magnets in favor of double-sided tape it's quite a bit more difficult to access the internals without leaving some evidence of the operation.

    Eventually, I'll probably open up my own iMac to upgrade the PCIe SSD but there is no way on earth I'm doing it until the AppleCare runs out. It's just not worth the risk.
     
  10. SaSaSushi, May 6, 2014
    Last edited: May 6, 2014

    SaSaSushi macrumors 68040

    SaSaSushi

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2007
    Location:
    Takamatsu, Japan
    #10
    So I just watched the OWC walkthrough video you linked to for upgrading RAM on the 21.5 inch iMac.

    Putting aside the warranty issues for a moment, I thought it was just a matter of getting under the hood, but the RAM is on the lower side of the logic board meaning you have to remove the HDD, HDD bay, power board and the entire logic board itself to flip it over and get at the RAM, LOL!

    There are many cables that need to be detached and reattached as well as an adhesive strip that goes over the heatsink cover. You basically need to completely disassemble the machine into its component parts and then reassemble it, while leaving no traces of the job if you're worried about your warranty.

    I can just imagine how that would have gone for me when I was dealing with some incompatible RAM modules when I upgraded my 27 inch. There's no way to boot up and test the RAM without completely reassembling it. It'd be a lot of fun to spend an hour doing that whole job only to get it reassembled and find out you had a bad or incompatible stick of RAM. :eek:
     
  11. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2011
    Location:
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    #11
    Long story short: Don't attempt to replace RAM in a 21.5" iMac unless it's out of warranty :)
     
  12. Nismo73 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2013
    #12
    The question I have for someone waiting to see if the iMacs get upgraded after WWDC is, does the 880m definitely have the Maxwell architecture or is it still Keplar based?
     
  13. joe-h2o macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2012
    #13
    You can actually replace the RAM without taking out the logic board, but it's fiddly and you risk damaging the board and the RAM itself. I know someone on there boards has done it without removing the whole board, but obviously you're working "blind" on the far side so you need to be careful.
     

Share This Page