Need advice for graphics card in Retina iMac

Discussion in 'iMac' started by orush, Nov 21, 2014.

  1. orush macrumors newbie

    Nov 21, 2014
    Hello guys,

    currently I am owning the latest 27" iMac non Retina Model with the 780m Graphics card and the i7 processor. I instantly felt in love with the Retina model after seeing the display, so I am thinking about buying this model.

    I am thinking about the standard model with the i5 and the 290 graphics card. One question to you guys:

    Is the graphics card better or at lest equal when it comes to speed ? I am playing some games like wow, teso, d3, hos etc. Is the standard card good enough for this. Mainly from the working side I use xCode etc. I will upgrade the RAM manually to 32GB.

    Thank you
  2. Col Vandal macrumors member

    Sep 2, 2010
    I have the base model and find it quite good for my uses, but I don't really game. I look at it this way: If I game on the base model GPU and have to run games on lower settings, I'm fine with that because it's the base model. However, if I got the top GPU and have to adjust anything to play games, I'd be annoyed. Therefore, my expectations are kept to what I need to do with my computer like using Photoshop and other editing software. I play games on a console.
  3. Sirmausalot macrumors 6502a


    Sep 1, 2007
    My opinion is that you are purchasing one of the highest end personal computers out there and you are looking to hamper its performance by trying to save a few hundred bucks. In order of importance, here are the upgrades:

    1. GPU In most situations, there is no comparison between the 295X and the 290. If you ever want to run a second monitor, do graphics intensive work/play (and why else would you buy a machine like this) then you should get the better card. There is anecdotal evidence of heat problems, but nothing to push you towards the lower end.

    2. CPU. There is a large difference between the i7 and the i5 for multithreaded applications. Again, key is graphics/video work. Like the GPU, pretty much impossible to upgrade later. Do it now.

    3. RAM. Surprisingly, this is not as important as you think. I'm running Premiere Pro, Photoshop, and web browsers right now. According to my utility, I still have 8GB free (out of 16GB) So use this budgeted money to upgrade the other components and then upgrade RAM next year if you need.

    4. Hard drive. Again, you can always get an external thunderbolt SSD later. And I'd opt for the fusion as it is 120GB flash + 880 GB hard disk. For the same price, you get only 256GB SSD and no extra space.
  4. RUQRU macrumors regular


    Apr 14, 2011
    Mac Addict!
    I did the opposite. Got all the high end options (i7, 295X and 256GB SSD. I am upgrading the RAM with 32GB of Crucial RAM.

    So I have a 4TB Thunderbolt RAID, additional 256GB Thunderbolt SSD and a 2TB Thunderbolt drive for Time Machine.

    I think the boot SSD really makes a difference in system startup and apps launching. But to each their own...
  5. inhalexhale1 macrumors 65816

    Jul 17, 2011
    Hey there...

    The m295x ranks between a GeForce GTX 780M and a 970M.

    The M290X performs a bit below the GeForce GTX 780M and slightly above the Nvidia GeForce GTX 680M (But slightly BELOW the GTX 680MX from the 2012 iMac).

    IMO if you are a gamer, you need to grab the updated graphics. Keep in mind that while a decent card, the m290x is outclassed in benchmarks by the GPU from the 2012 iMac. Also, if you'll be doing a lot of gaming (and I'm assuming at 1440p), a refurbished model might be the best choice. Same performance, much less money, but you will lose the retina display. Best of luck!

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