New iMac - Yeah Quads are great, but as my 1st Mac, what would 'cut it' for my needs?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by darthbane2k, Oct 22, 2009.

  1. darthbane2k macrumors 6502a

    Oct 22, 2009
    This would be my first Mac, coming from a Windows background. I wish to use it as my main computer to work with MS Office, check email, browse the web, boot camp with Windows 7, play back music and HD (1080p) movie files with some light work in iphoto, photoshop (not too often) and my hobby, video editing. I have no interest in gaming.
    Would the base model iMac 27” cut it? I find it expensive as it is, and find the extra £220 to purchase the quad option a lot of money. But would buying the core2 model at this moment of time be a waste of money?
    Would require your honest opinions. Of course the better processor will always be better, but I would be happy for a snappy system that will not slow down or struggle when editing and playing back 1080p video. I have no idea what demands imovie and final cut have as im new to Mac – so please could you let me know what type of performance I can expect from the base 27”.
  2. A Macbook Pro macrumors 6502

    Aug 22, 2009
    I suggest getting the base model and upgrading the RAM to 8GB. That would do.
  3. darthbane2k thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Oct 22, 2009
    Thanks - still welcome other opinions though!

    As for upgrading RAM, its probably better if I do this myself, as the apple option is expensive. Some of you have recommended newegg to purchase the additional 2x2GB to up the iMac to 8GB, but im based in the UK. Not sure what type is compatable with these apple products. Can any UK iMac owners advise? Thanks.
  4. kate-willbury macrumors 6502a

    Feb 14, 2009
    um you barely do anything with your computer. the base cheapest model will be fine.
  5. ditzy macrumors 68000


    Sep 28, 2007
    If you were video editing professionally I'd suggest the quad. As it would be considerably faster. However, the 27" duo will meet all your needs.
  6. darthbane2k thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Oct 22, 2009
    Im not editing professionally. Like I said, just a hoby - so a few short films I will produce for fun plus family home video stuff.
    All I want to avoid is slow, stuttering 1080p video playback and when editing - on my windows box it grinds the system to a halt.

    Also of concern is the 256MB graphics card on the base 27". Now is that sufficient? Im not into gaming, just want to edit video and do titles and stuff.
  7. SmugMac macrumors regular

    Sep 25, 2009
    The based 27-inch iMac with 4GB RAM would suffice, in fact easily exceed your needs.

    Enjoy your switch to Mac - I did and love every moment of using :apple: products.
  8. dwd3885 macrumors 68020

    Dec 10, 2004
    dude you don't need quad yet. I don't need quad yet and I have the exact same uses..I'm coming from a MBP and this will be more than enough for at least a few years. I figure USB 3, bluray, lightpeak will all be on the iMac in two years, maybe even next year, so why buy the most expensive one when those three reasons will be better to upgrade.
  9. Shivetya macrumors 65816

    Jan 16, 2008
  10. craig1410 macrumors 65816


    Mar 22, 2007

    Any of the iMac's will meet your needs fully without question. Heck my 2 year old iMac would meet your needs (see sig for spec)!! Want to swap?:p

    Seriously though, it sounds like you want the 27" model and who could blame you. It is seriously gorgeous and a joy to sit in front of. In terms of CPU, I agree with others - you don't need quad cores yet. Having said that, I don't "need" quad but that's what I would buy to ensure that the lifetime of the machine is as long as possible. I'm hoping for 5 years+ of useful life from my current iMac although Apple do have a habit of luring your credit card out of your wallet when they release new models... :( Spread the cost over the lifetime of the product whatever you think that will be (3 to 6 years depending on usage I would expect) and then consider if buying a quad core will extend a 4 year life to 5 or a 5 year life to 6. Then do the sums over the revised lifetime and it doesn't seem so bad in terms of annual cost.

    4GB of RAM is what I use and I would suggest you stick with that initially and only upgrade to 8GB if you need to. I actually bought 4GB from day one and to be honest 2GB would have been plenty and by the time I needed 4GB the price would have halved (I bough mine from by the way. One good reason to buy extra memory is if you start using virtual machines (VMWare or Parallels etc.) to run other operating systems on your Mac (eg. Windows, Linux etc.). Having said that, 4GB is still fine for now, maybe a different story in a year or two.

    Above all, enjoy your machine when you get it. You won't regret switching to the Mac, trust me!

  11. darthbane2k thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Oct 22, 2009
    Thanks for all of your replies. I expect this mac to last me 3-4 years. I've 95% decided on the base 27". Managed to order 2 x 2GB RAM from crucial for £66, and have no problem with installing myself.

    Only thing is - after another trip to the apple store this lunchtime, im fearing the 27" is too big! If I get 27" Im gonna have to buy a new desk or remove the printer / letter tray shelves from my existing one.
    But the 27" is soooo beautiful!

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