Question about my Imac configuration plan

Discussion in 'iMac' started by warpeace, Feb 17, 2014.

  1. warpeace macrumors newbie

    Feb 17, 2014
    Good evening

    I would like to get some thoughts on what you guys think about my configuration ideas when I go to Apple this week to get my new Imac. I produce and record music, so this Imac will be use primarily for that.

    I would like to get a 27 inch,3.4GHZ i5 processor, 8GB of ram, and a 512GB flash drive storage. I already have an 1TB external hard drive that I will use to store samples,audio files, and etc.

    The music software I will be using on the Mac is Reason 6 and Native Instruments Maschine. Those who produce music on here will be very familiar with these products.

    I'm wondering if you guys think I should upgrade the ram from 8 to 16GB and should I get the i7 instead of the i5?I want to make sure that this Mac runs fast and performs at a high level. I also don't want to spend money on a configuration set up that is overkill either.

    Please give me some great advice so I will make the best choice this week.
  2. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Apr 23, 2011
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    For RAM, don't upgrade from Apple. Apple's RAM pricing is daft. Since it's a 27", you can buy RAM elsewhere and upgrade the RAM yourself.

    I'm not too familiar with music production, but if whatever you use makes use of hyper threading (e.g. encoding and rendering), you'll see a performance increase of around 30-40% with an i7 (not because of the 0.1GHz difference, but because the i7 has 8 threads. The i5 only has 4 threads).

    Go for the 512GB SSD, you'll get pure speed that way. I have a 512GB in my 27" too. I've attached a screenshot of the 256GB SSD in my 21.5", so the 512GB variant will be faster (I got around 770/680 MB/s of reads/writes respectively on the 512GB in my 27"). A Fusion drive will get around 500/350 MB/s in reads/writes respectively.

    Since you don't do gaming or rendering, the 4GB of GTX780M isn't going to be that useful of an upgrade, although it could increase the resale value of your iMac since it's not user-upgradeable. You'll see a great performance improvement in gaming and rendering though, with the GTX780M.

    Attached Files:

  3. warpeace thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 17, 2014
    good point on the ram. I think I will probably consider the i7. I guess topping out on least the processing speed will be useful.

    So you have the 512GB? I'm glad you like it. I don't know anyone with the flash drive storage. I've heard great things about though. Not too many people enjoy the fusion drive as much.
  4. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Apr 23, 2011
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    By the way, you can get the iMac at a cheaper price if you qualify for education discount.

    I love my SSD. My iMac boots up in all of 9 seconds.

    If the apps you use don't support hyperthreading (like rendering and encoding), the i7 won't provide any performance benefits. However, if I'm not mistaken, audio production should involve heavy encoding and an i7 will bring a 30-40% improved performance for such a task.
  5. Igantius macrumors 65816

    Apr 29, 2007
    Reason does use hyperthreading except for audio rendering.

    At best, where hyperthreading is used, it will be about 30% faster (so not as much as 40%) but believe that varies quite a bit. Don’t think there are any benchmarks between i5 and i7 performance for the purposes of comparison and both processors are used by plenty of pleased users.
  6. rkaufmann87 macrumors 68000


    Dec 17, 2009
    Folsom, CA
    One thing I'm surprised no one mentioned is you cannot order a CTO machine at a brick and mortar Apple Store. However, once you have finalized a configuration you can order the machine from Apple's online store and have it delivered to a store. That way you can test it before taking it home. If you don't want to do that you can always have it delivered directly to your home or business.

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