Planning on purchasing new imac 27"

Discussion in 'iMac' started by JacobBlen, Sep 12, 2013.

  1. JacobBlen macrumors newbie

    Sep 12, 2013
    Hello all,
    I am planning on purchasing a iMac 27" in the next few months, I just have a few questions and wondering if I could get some advice.

    Firstly I am architecture student and I own a MacBook Pro 13" (2009). So my theory is to bring my MBP to uni, but do all my heavy lifting with the desktop.

    I will be using programs like autoCAD, photoshop etc., sketchup, revit and also do some a fair bit of heavy 3D rendering. I want this desktop to last quite a few years so I am planning on adding a few extras to increase performance. I also do next to no gaming, so don't worry about taking that into account.

    Now I'm not an expert with computers so I'm not exactly sure on what upgrades to get and what will give me the most advantages.

    1. RAM
    So I understand that increasing the RAM will give me significant improvements, however should I upgrade to 32G or would 16G suffice?

    2. Upgrade from i5 to i7
    Would this be beneficial and help the desktop not outdate as quickly? Or assist with performance in general?

    3. Storage
    So I am tossing up between the fusion drive or flash storage. I would prefer the fusion drive (for the obvious reasons) unless there are any significant associated risks. I have heard that because its two drives in one there is a higher chance that it could crash etc.

    4. Graphics card
    For the work I will be doing (3D rendering, and probably some animation), would the upgrade be required? Or is the card already included sufficient enough if I'm not doing much gaming?

    So the easy answer is just to upgrade everything to allow me to keep this desktop for as long as possible, however I don't quite know enough to know whether all the upgrades are required for my needs.

    Thanks in advance for any help you can give me.

  2. Bear macrumors G3

    Jul 23, 2002
    Sol III - Terra
    Unless something changes, buy it with 8GB from Apple and buy a 16GB kit from a reputable manufacturer. This will cost less than 16GB from Apple. Later on if you need more you can replace the Apple 8GB with another 16GB kit and still save money.

    The 3D rendering will be helped by getting the i7. For your use, no question the i7 will be better.

    Graphics... not much gaming depends on what game. Also I'm nopt sure about the programs you use, but there are programs that take advantage of the GPU, so it's worth asking the companies that created the rendering applications you will be using. Also, you need to think a bit to the future. Right now the high end 27" (675MX) model would probably be fine for you. Although if you can easily afford it, just get the largest internal SSD you can get and then add external storage (HD or SSD) as needed.

    As for storage, it depends on the price of SSDs when you buy. right now, for myself I would look at getting a fusion drive for the system disk and getting a 256GB SSD externally to store certain stuff that I want guaranteed quick access to. Based on what's available today, a fusion drive is probably the right way for you to go and you could always add an SSD externally if you need it.
  3. fig macrumors 6502a


    Jun 13, 2012
    Austin, TX
    The other two points were well adressed so I'll just hit these two:

    I had the same concerns when buying my Mini a few months ago, after waiting a good seven months after the Fusion Drive was introduced and hearing no issues I felt comfortable going with it and have no regrets. It makes a really significant difference in day to day operations while still giving you the benefit of lots of hard drive space.

    For what you're doing it can't hurt, particularly if you're working with more complex models. The faster video card is going to come into play when you're working with shaded previews, rotating models, and doing other real time type work. You should be ok with the stock card but, particularly as you're more of a power user than most, I'd do a bit of future proofing and go with the video card upgrade.

    In general, I'd go CPU upgrade above all else.

    And from a former architecture student, good luck :)
  4. JacobBlen thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 12, 2013
    Thanks everyone for your help, I think Il pretty much just max it out, but at this stage go the fusion drive. Very much looking forward to it

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