My First iMac buying advice

Discussion in 'iMac' started by dondon4720, Jul 20, 2014.

  1. dondon4720 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2012
    #1
    So it is time for me to upgrade my 4+ year old desktop so I am biting the bullet and finally getting an iMac but I am having trouble deciding on which configuration to go with.

    The main things I use my current desktop for now is work (webdesign), gaming, and light video editing as a hobby (Adobe premiere). I also use Photoshop and the other Adobe CS6 Software. So should I get the i5 or i7 and 775m or 780m. I plan on getting Battlefield 4 and Hardline when it comes out so it will need to run those games smoothly as well as Skyrim. I am enrolled in college so I will be getting the education discount :)

    this being my first mac I also have a few other questions:

    are fusion drives worth the money, and if I get one will 1 TB suffice for both windows and mac? (I know that I will need and external hard drive at some point what are some good brands)
    and
    Should I get Apple Care ?

    I am trying to keep it as close to $2000 as possible but a little bit over is OK.
     
  2. zarf2007, Jul 20, 2014
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2014

    zarf2007 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2010
    #2
    For what you want to do especially the games you'd be better getting the 780m Gfx card. For processor the i5 or i7 is fine but if your thinking of keeping the iMac for another 4-5 years I would go i7 if you can stretch to it.

    Fusion is a no brainer, I would get at least the 1tb fusion and prefer pure SSD but could never go back to normal hard drive as fusion/SSD will give you the single biggest performance boost.

    If you split the fusion drive for osx/windows the windows os will not gain the performance increase as it will only utilise the hard drive part of the fusion whereas osx will use both SSD/hard drive.

    You can always add more usb3 storage. Definitely get AppleCare.
     
  3. dondon4720 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2012
    #3
    I plan on going with the gtx 780M and the i7 but would it be better to just go with 256GB flash storage (same price as the fusion drive) and then get a 3TB external drive for files and games with a shared partition (gaming footage captured on the windows side to edit on Mac side), should I go with thunderbolt or USB 3.0?
     
  4. zarf2007 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2010
    #4
    the 256GB (or higher) flash storage is the best option for speed and as you said add a 3TB external drive.

    tbh go with usb3 for that as either TB or usb3 are restricted by the speed of a sata3 hard drive anyway so it only really makes a difference in performance if you bought an external SSD drive (as that could really utilise the TB or usb3 interface).

    for an external hard drive a usb3 enclosure is likely to be cheaper than a TB one anyway (and as I said there would be no difference in performance).
     
  5. dondon4720 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2012
    #5
    The only issue is how do you get the mac apps to install on the external drive instead of the SSD because if I am going to dual boot windows and OSX on the SSD that leavs 120 ish GB for each side. I know how to do it in windows, I have a laptop with a ssd boot drive and I have everything but the os allocated to the other 750GB drive in the laptop. Is there a way to do this on OSX?
     
  6. zarf2007, Jul 20, 2014
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2014

    zarf2007 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2010
    #6
    most applications use an installer program and in OSX ask you to choose which drive they install onto so that shouldnt be a problem. They do still add some files under Libraries (though i have seen a similar thing with windows where a small number files are still installed to C: even if you install the app in D) for example so will still use a small amount of space on the SSD drive.

    Obviously on the external drive you would create an OSX and Windows Partiton (e.g 1.5TB each) using the disk utility in OSX.

    The few applications that insist on installing to the ssd drive can usually be just dragged and dropped to the external drive which you can then run them from.....there may still be one or two that insist on installing/running from the ssd drive but they are quite rare now.
     
  7. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2011
    Location:
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    #7
    I'd go for a 256GB SSD for pure speed and reliability.

    For Boot Camp, you can buy a relatively-inexpensive Buffalo HD-PATU3 1TB HDD.

    You can only install Boot Camp on external Thunderbolt drives. Windows won't install over USB. There's some workaround to get it running on USB, but it's pretty fiddly, I think.

    I went for a 256GB SSD in my 21.5" iMac (and Boot Camp in a HD-PATU3) and never regretted it.

    All my media files are stored in a Synology NAS.
     
  8. tomwvr macrumors regular

    tomwvr

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2012
    Location:
    Frederick Maryland
    #8
    I would get an I5 27 inch with 780 video card with 4 GB ram. I would also go with the Fusion Drive


    I have a Late 2012 27 inch with the 68MX - and and I5 processor .

    Skyrim runs great on this machine as well as XCOM.

    I don't see any need for the I7 - if you have the extra cash buy a Time Machine instead of the I7
     
  9. iMacFarlane macrumors 65816

    iMacFarlane

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    Apr 5, 2012
    Location:
    Adrift in a sea of possibilities
    #9
    If you don't mind my asking, how are you running Skyrim? Are you in native resolution? Do you have any lighting or weather mods installed to increase the beauty and realism? Are you using keyboard/mouse, or a controller? What kind of framerate are you getting?

    I'm planning to buy a computer to properly play that game (it's become, like, a thing with me) on a computer, and if I could do it well on a Mac I'd prefer to.
     
  10. tomwvr macrumors regular

    tomwvr

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2012
    Location:
    Frederick Maryland
    #10
    I run a program called CrossOver - it is a windows simulator that runs in IOS. This allows me to run all my windows programs in Steam.

    I have no mods installed but I run it in ULTRA mode - never lags looks awesome - I have no idea what the frame rate is Ive never checked since it runs great.
     
  11. iMacFarlane macrumors 65816

    iMacFarlane

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2012
    Location:
    Adrift in a sea of possibilities
    #11
    I have Crossover, too. It's pretty great, and I've run Skyrim in it, but it performed pretty poorly on my 2012 cMBP with the not-so-super 4000HD iGPU.

    If you say it doesn't lag, then your framerate is 30+, sounds great!
    I highly recommend you check out the Steam Workshop and try some of the mods available. Some of them tweak the gameplay, some beautify the graphics, some add entire new campaigns and areas to play (Falskaar)!

    Just Fus Rho Do it!
     

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