New to Mac Need Advice on Slecting Best Machine

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Dr. Unk, Nov 16, 2009.

  1. Dr. Unk macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2009
    #1
    Hey guys, I'm new here and I'm looking for advice.

    I'm coming off of a HP laptop (AMD Turion Dual Core processor @ 2.10 GHz, 3gbs RAM, ATI graphics 256 mb) with Windows 7 freshly installed. After that being a deception, (slowly starting to bug up and return to the old Vista state of performance) I'm seriously considering purchasing an Imac.

    I do some graphics processing from time to time but mainly I record and edit audio. I need something that could easily support the software and decrease the latency between my audio input box and the computer registering time.

    I'm thinking of getting the new 27inch Imac with the quad core i5 processor. With this, I was thinking of upgrading the ram to 8gb.

    Knowing next to nothing about macs, would this be enough for me? Would I see more performance from the RAM upgrade or the processor upgrade? Can I add the RAM myself later?

    Any input is very much appreciated.

    Thanks in advance for your help!
     
  2. thegoldenmackid macrumors 604

    thegoldenmackid

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2006
    Location:
    dallas, texas
    #2
    You can add ram yourself later. The ram upgrade will be more noticeable then the processor upgrade.
     
  3. itommyboy macrumors 6502a

    itommyboy

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2009
    Location:
    Titletown USA
    #3
    Not sure what program you use for your editing but chances are the i5 would do what you need and do it well. It would certainly be an amazing upgrade vs what you currently use.

    If you have the money I say bump to the i7 as video and audio editing is very cpu intense, not to mention it's the top of the current line for only a couple $ hundred more. In most any cases of editing video/audio you're going to see a greater performance increase having the fastest processor available vs a slower cpu beefed up with more RAM.

    That being said you want at least 8GB of RAM no matter which way you go. If you're not afraid of dropping in your own then by all means buy RAM from a 3rd party vendor like Crucial or Mac Mall (much less expensive than Apple) and do it yourself. It's very easy to put RAM in these machines calling for nothing more than a screwdriver and about 5 minutes (many video tutorials online).

    At the end of the day it is my personal humble opinion that compared to what you've been using for a computer, either the i5 or the i7 won't let you down and should provide a good couple of years at least of happy, efficient computing for both work and play.
     
  4. shadowfayre macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2006
    #4
    Everything I have read here and other places state that the i5 is plenty good enough for everyday tasks. When you add video and sound editing, the i7 becomes a better choice. That said, the majority seems to point RAM is a better buy than CPU; however, RAM is easier to change later (does not require dis assembly).

    I plan on going with an i5 for a couple of reasons. One, the i5 will be available at resellers versus a BTO from Apple. Two, By summer, I hope to replace the iMac with a Mac Pro. I do quite a bit of video and sound editing (nothing professional); however, for a short period of time, the i5 will be fine...especially considering I am coming from the 1st Generation Mac Book Pro.
     
  5. UrFatMom macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2009
    #5
    Yeah an i5 8gb ram should do. If it still is too slow for you, you can always get 4x4gb sticks if you're rich :D
     
  6. computerjunkie macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2008
    #6
    You gonna keep the iMac when you upgrade to that Mac Pro? Use as a monitor maybe?

    Regards,

    G.

    Edit:
    P.S. I just realized...what a horrible case of thread hijack!!! Disregard...I know the OP is looking for legit needed info. Sorry.
     
  7. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #7
    Don't buy the RAM from Apple, you can get it for less from 3rd party sellers like Crucial and OWC.

    Also, Core i7 is just, what, 180$ more (not sure) and regarding to benchmarks, it's noticeably faster so if that isn't going to blow up your wallet, go for it

    [​IMG]
     
  8. itommyboy macrumors 6502a

    itommyboy

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2009
    Location:
    Titletown USA
    #8
    Not the case when it comes to editing video or audio. Granted you want the most RAM you can have/get, but :apple: to :apple: comparison for editing you'll get more bang for your buck with a better cpu. Even what seems like a minor processor bump from the i5 to i7 can and does add up to fewer editing minutes over the course of a day - hours over the week - you get my drift.
     
  9. Dr. Unk thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2009
    #9
    Thanks for the quick input guys.

    A few more questions. Is the 3rd pary RAM easily available or do you have to order it off the net? Will adding my own RAM void an Applecare warranty?

    Thanks again!
     
  10. itommyboy macrumors 6502a

    itommyboy

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2009
    Location:
    Titletown USA
    #10

    Yep get it off the net here or here or here.

    No it does not void Applecare warranty.
     
  11. i7QuadCoreMania macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2009
    #11
    i7 hands down, ram upgrade can be done later for a measley 100 bucks, now that there is 4 slots in there. But you can't spend 100 bucks later to put in an i7.
     
  12. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #12
    If there is a decent electronic shop near you, you can go and ask if they have the right RAM, but buying from Crucial or OWC is easy and you might save some money too
     
  13. Dr. Unk thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2009
    #13
    Damn, crucial is listing a 4BG stick at 299.

    Will the prices eventually go down or am I on the wrong track?
     
  14. 50548 Guest

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2005
    Location:
    Currently in Switzerland
    #14
    First of all, congrats for considering joining the realm of superior computing; you won't regret it!

    As for the iMac, I'd rather pick the i7 as a more "future-proof" machine...you can't change processors after buying the machine.

    And of course, you can ALWAYS add more RAM for a cheaper price later...

    In a nutshell:

    iMac 27" with Core i7;
    4Gb or 8Gb RAM;
    1Tb HD.
     
  15. itommyboy macrumors 6502a

    itommyboy

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2009
    Location:
    Titletown USA
    #15

    Ha ha those were like $600 or so a stick only 6 months ago. Have you priced them on Apple? Makes you feel a bit better that way. :D Prices on RAM always end up going down, unfortunately by the time it's a gimme buy, there is better faster RAM in better faster machines. That being said you probably will not find RAM much less expensive than that for the Macs you're looking at for some time.
     
  16. Green2Delta macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2007
    #16
    Really? I was just in an Apple store a few days ago and asked them that same question and they said it would void the warrenty. Although it would make sense for them to say that to try to get you to buy RAM from Apple. Can I ask where you got that info?
     
  17. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #17
    It voids it if you break something while doing it but otherwise it won't. Apple even provides instructions for how to do it.
     
  18. itommyboy macrumors 6502a

    itommyboy

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2009
    Location:
    Titletown USA
    #18
    Much like Hammer said....other than it being fairly common knowledge to those "in the Mac know" I had one personal experience that verified this to be true. My first MBP which I upgraded the RAM in had an issue. I told the Apple phone tech on my first call about the fact that I installed my own RAM. He said as long as my issue was not memory related it would not (and it did not) void any warranty - extended or standard.
     
  19. Dr. Unk thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2009
    #19
    Well guys just an update.

    I ordered a Imac i7 with 8bg of Ram.

    I figured I might as well just bite the bullet right away with the ram ha.

    Anyways thanks a lot for everyone's input.

    I just hope it gets here before X Mas now...
     

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