Is the $1499 iMac model worth the $300 price difference over base?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by MrXiro, Aug 9, 2011.

  1. MrXiro, Aug 9, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2011

    MrXiro macrumors 68040

    MrXiro

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    #1
    I just got the 27 inch base model but feel like it is overkill so I am considering the 21.5 inch model but can't decide if I should get the base or the 2.7 ghz. Based on the reviews the benchmarks for them are neck and neck and maybe not worth the extra $300.

    Any opinions on the models?
     
  2. tinkletwink1 macrumors newbie

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    Aug 9, 2011
    #2


    Where are you seeing that the benchmarks are neck and neck? If that were the case, no one would be buying the 2.7 ghz model. It really all depends on what you plan to use it for.

    I landed the 21.5 2.7 ghz model brand new on ebay for about the price of the base model. You may want to look there for a deal if you don't need to purchase one immediately. I waited until I found a smoking deal to maximize my dollars.
     
  3. marsmissions macrumors 6502

    marsmissions

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    #3
    It is worth the price.

    Bigger harddrive, better graphics, faster processor. Definitely worth the price.

    These are things you can't easily upgrade.
     
  4. MrXiro, Aug 9, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2011

    MrXiro thread starter macrumors 68040

    MrXiro

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    #4
    This is macworld scores:
    http://images.macworld.com/images/article/2011/05/2011imac_spdmarkchart-236803.png
    215 vs 223... What is that 10 seconds an hour more of render time?
    Also read that the 6750m and the 6770m are the same gpu just clocked faster.
     
  5. meli, Aug 9, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2011

    meli macrumors member

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    #5
    There's obviously different ways to think about it. For me, I went with the base model. Put the $300 into a savings account for your next computer; you've already saved 1/4 the price of a brand new computer.

    Yes the CPU is faster on the more expensive model, but you'll never notice unless you are running bench measurements or using a watch to time renders, etc.

    GPU's generally don't matter unless you're a gamer. Though more applications are taking advantage of the GPU, but I'm not sure if the difference between the two GPU's is that great.

    You can always buy an external drive, even one with Thunderbolt. And the internal drive is the one component that you'll probably replace during the lifetime of your computer anyway. When/if necessary, you can upgrade to a larger internal drive.
     
  6. MrXiro, Aug 9, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2011

    MrXiro thread starter macrumors 68040

    MrXiro

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    #6
    I agree with all of these statements. If you look at the score it's not even THAT much faster... I've read the the 500gb HDD is actually faster than the 1TB due to it being a smaller drive... not to mention I plan on hopefully running the OS off of a Thunderbolt external SSD drive when an option is available... until then I can still use firewire as a storage drive for my video editing and my 2tb USB2 drive as my media storage and back up.

    I do game on my iMac... but just Steam games like L4D2 and Portal... they ran just fine on my i3 iMac with a much weaker video card than the current gen beasts.

    I just wanted to make sure I wasn't missing out on any huge benefits by getting the higher spec'd model... ultimately it's the same specs as my current 27 inch which hasn't impressed me as much as I had hoped.
     
  7. atticus570 macrumors regular

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    Jun 15, 2010
    #7
    I thought the same when I bought mine but I decided on the base model Im happy with it I use motion 5 and some other advanced apps ,i have been very happy with the speed . I would save the 300$ and buy more ram and an external hdd
     
  8. MrXiro thread starter macrumors 68040

    MrXiro

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    #8
    Yeah... I want a firewire drive... I've never owned one. Also want to get one of those new Sony SLT cameras... and this will save me some cash to I can actually purchase such things.

    As for RAM... I actually have 8gb of RAM that I've already installed into my 27 inch that I can use on whatever computer I do end up buying.
     
  9. zarathu, Aug 9, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2011

    zarathu macrumors regular

    zarathu

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    #9
    This is not entirely correct. If you are using Aperture or Final Cut pro, the GPU does matter. These two programs are GPU dependent applications, where as Light room and Photoshop are CPU dependent applications. If you run either of these two you need the fastest GPU you can afford. They are also memory hogs and Aperture will use about 4.5 gb's if you have it available.
     
  10. MrXiro thread starter macrumors 68040

    MrXiro

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    #10
    Good to know... but is the 6750m that much slower than the 6770m? What's your opinion on the two 21.5 inch models?
     
  11. zarathu macrumors regular

    zarathu

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    #11
    My problem was two fold:

    1. I couldn't actually afford the 27 inch model.

    2. Even if I could afford it, I have no room on my desktop for a screen that big.

    I wish they would make a top of the line processor into a 21.5 inch screen. However, the mid 2011 model screams at even the base level. I just encoded a 2.5 gig movie and burned it to DVD using Toast in about 40 minutes. On my C2D macbook pro from 2007, I would have had to go out for lunch and come back hours later and hope it was done.

    The iMac's fans never even came on despite the fact that it was running all four cores at about 3/4 of the 400% max.

    There is a difference in the models. The fastest GPU is about 75% faster than my base model according to GPU bench marks.
     
  12. T-Mac macrumors member

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    Tennessee
    #12
    I have the $1,499 model on the way to my house as I type this. I've always subscribed to the idea that you buy the highest-spec'd machine for the amount you are wanting to spend. Four years from now, I won't really miss the $300 but the added disk space and slightly higher speed will be appreciated.

    I agree that the performance between the two models is not likely to be significant. The biggest plus to me is twice the hard drive size. I certainly would never attempt to upgrade the hard drive and now I won't have to.

    Either way it's a win.
     
  13. AppleFan360 macrumors 68020

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    Jan 26, 2008
    #13
    For me the $1499 model was worth it. Bigger hard drive is a big plus. Put about 8 more gigs of RAM in that puppy and it will scream (no, the apps themselves won't speed up but switching between them will).

    All around a great experience and glad I didn't go with the base model.
     
  14. MrXiro thread starter macrumors 68040

    MrXiro

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    #14
    The thing is though that 500gb isn't that much more storage space not to mention the 500gb HDD is faster due to the platter size.

    I also have a 2tb external I've been using for the last few years...

    The real "selling" factor on the $1499 model for me is the video card... and that is only because i don't know the real world comparisons of the 6750m to the 6770m
     
  15. obsidian1200, Aug 10, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2011

    obsidian1200 macrumors 6502

    obsidian1200

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    #15
    IMO, if you already plan on using external storage, the internal hard drive space between the two models is negligible. The processors are fairly close in clock speed, and are both quad core, so chances are you might not notice the difference anyway. The GPUs are the main difference, but I haven't heard many people saying that the base iMac is terrible because of the lesser GPU. If you game, having a better GPU would benefit you, and some other graphics applications would enjoy having it, too. The only thing I'd probably seriously consider between the two models are this:

    1. NVM, corrected by leeds utd fc below :)

    2. For an extra $200 dollars, you can upgrade the processor in the 1499 iMac to an i7 processor. You might not need the hyperthreading capabilities right now, but I think having them would help your computer last longer as software becomes more processor intensive.
     
  16. leeds utd fc macrumors member

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    Leeds UK
    #16
    I have the base 21.5 iMac, and it does have four RAM slots. It's currently happily running 12GB :)
     
  17. jji7skyline macrumors 6502

    jji7skyline

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    #17
    Well... the dearer model has better graphics, larger HDD and better processor. If you're going to do some serious stuff (video editing, photoshop) the dearer model will be worth it.

    I own the base model (I'm on it right not) and believe me, its more than I will ever need even using GIMP and iMovie and graphics programming and everything.

    Its quad-core i5! :D
     
  18. MrXiro thread starter macrumors 68040

    MrXiro

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    #18
    Well I know it has better, bigger and faster... but are the better, bigger and faster specs that substantial? Enough to garner a $300 premium? I think that's what I'm more curious about in my decision to get one or the other...

    I'd love to get the i7 but I'm going through Amazon for my iMac... so no BTO options for me. :(
     
  19. obsidian1200 macrumors 6502

    obsidian1200

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    #19
    Sweet, my mistake then :) It's good that the base iMac didn't get screwed in terms of RAM. I wonder why Apple doesn't offer the upgrade though... they could make a killing off RAM upgrades if they did :confused:.
     
  20. AppleFan360 macrumors 68020

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    #20
    What are you kidding? Negligible? Having 500GB more of internal hard drive space is a godsend when doing heavy tasks like video editing and even playing games.

    I personally do video editing and everything is done on the internal drive until I'm finished with the project. I then transfer everything externally for archiving. Trying to do heavy tasks with an external drive is cumbersome and slow (at least until reasonably priced Thunderbolt drives show up).

    All I'm saying is that using an external drive is not the answer to everything. There are times that you need the speed benefits of an internal drive.
     
  21. trip1ex macrumors 68000

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    Jan 10, 2008
    #21
    Whether it is worth it or not is up to you. There's no right or wrong answer.

    Do you want to spend $300 for a slightly faster cpu and gpu and 500gb more hard drive space or not?

    Me I'd go cheap. Save the $300 for next year's low-end model which will be faster than the current $1499 perhaps with the same amount of hd space as well.
     
  22. leeds utd fc macrumors member

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    Leeds UK
    #22
    Yeah, I agree. It IS rather strange that Apple only offer the 8GB upgrade on the base iMac. Although, does anyone actually buy the RAM from from Apple? Those prices...ouch!
     
  23. MrXiro thread starter macrumors 68040

    MrXiro

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    #23
    Yeah... I'm leaning that way. I'm using the 27 inch base right now which is spec'd exactly the same as the $1499 and I'm not that impressed by it... it's fast yes... but not as much as I thought it would be over my 21.5 i3 base from last year. Hence why I was asking. If the 1499 model only saves me 10 seconds of render time for every hour I need to render then to me it's really not worth it.
     
  24. jji7skyline macrumors 6502

    jji7skyline

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    #24
    No. I'd just go with the base model.

    1. You can get much more than 1tb external HDD for $300

    2. The difference in performance is unnoticable and what lags in the base model is probably going to lag in the top-end model

    3. You can always install more RAM ;)
     
  25. AppleFan360 macrumors 68020

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    #25
    What are you basing this on? I had both the lower and the top end models. The top end model is definitely and noticeably faster (not a whole bunch but still faster).
     

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