Please help me spec my first Mac

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Slip Jigs, May 5, 2011.

  1. Slip Jigs macrumors 6502a

    Feb 18, 2008
    It's going to be a 27", 1 TB Drive - that's where I'm at now. The question is the same old question, so I apologize for that in advance. But this will be my first real Mac computer, I already have iPhone and iPad.

    Considering the following uses (top ranges), how much will I actually need to upgrade from the base model? I know more is better, but is more actually needed?

    • Audio production using Logic or Protools, will use external drive for that.
    • HD video editing, short videos up to 30 minutes. most likely in iMovie or FC Express
    • iOS Development
    • Web Development, Adobe apps.
    • Light gaming

    Specs in question:
    • RAM 8 gigs minimum, noticeable difference with 16?
    • Processor, I have no idea here. I don't mind if it takes a few extra minutes to render a video, or if max out with a few fewer effects processors on audio. Which one of the processors has the most noticeable improvement over the next lowest model?
    • Video card: at what point does one require the 2GB over the 1GB?

    These three are the biggies, and I understand the fundamentals of what each contributes to overall performance. But a lot has changed in the 4 years since I bought my current Dell XPS Q6600.

    Any thoughts are appreciated!
  2. MythicFrost macrumors 68040


    Mar 11, 2009
    I'd say the $1999 model with the i7 3.4GHz upgrade is enough. Purchase RAM from a third party like OWC, $50 for 2x2GB, $100 for 2x4GB. You could do the latter and end up with 12GB in your system and that should be plenty. I don't think you'll in anyway need 2GB of VRAM.

    (I'm assuming Pro Tools has no problem with hyper-threading in the i7)
  3. Slip Jigs thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Feb 18, 2008
    I'll have to check into Pro Tools, including whether I can transfer my Windows license to Mac, which I doubt - so I may end up going with Logic.

    Excellent suggestion on the RAM - that must mean it has 4 slots, need to install in pairs and I don't waste what ships with the machine? And the i7 sounds like a good choice too.

    Thanks for the advice!
  4. MythicFrost macrumors 68040


    Mar 11, 2009
    No worries :)

    That's right. It has four slots and it does need to be installed in pairs. 2x2GB and 2x4GB should work great. I've got 12GB in my 09 27" iMac.

    If you're unable to transfer the license, you could just buy a copy of Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit and install it on a partition (Which you would create with BootCamp Assistant). Then you can boot into OS X or into Windows 7 (for Pro Tools).

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