retina iMac configuration

Discussion in 'iMac' started by sasha.danielle, Apr 16, 2015.

  1. sasha.danielle, Apr 16, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2015

    sasha.danielle macrumors regular

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    #1
    My needs are not heavy (a bit of Logic X is the heaviest use I'll have). I'm a writer, so mostly I'm just after the screen here. Also movie watching, surfing etc. That said, however, a stuttering computer will annoy me to no end. I'm just sensitive that way.

    How much of a difference would the i7 processor make in day to day operation? Will scrolling on the web be jerky without it? I just want a buttery operation.

    I should mention I am also planning on 24gb RAM.

    What do you guys think? Would the i7 be worth it for someone like me? Or is better graphics support a better place to put my money?

    Also what configurations are known for causing the machine fan to kick in a lot? I like a quiet computer.
     
  2. tillsbury macrumors 65816

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    #2
    Upgrade to Fusion, then graphics, then all-SSD, then processor. In that order. RAM can be done at any time.

    The fan on my riMac is silent unless I am doing video processing/conversion/output.
     
  3. sasha.danielle thread starter macrumors regular

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    #3
    Is RAM last on the list just because it's least important or because I can upgrade it myself?
     
  4. tillsbury macrumors 65816

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    #4
    Bit of both, really. But mainly because you can do it yourself, so there's no need to think about it at ordering time.
     
  5. yjchua95 macrumors 604

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    #5
    The default is already Fusion.
     
  6. tillsbury macrumors 65816

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    #6
    My mistake. I was thinking of the smaller imacs, just been dealing with those recently.
     
  7. senseless macrumors 68000

    senseless

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    #7
    Base model with your added ram will be good. You can get good discounts on the base model, as opposed to the custom configurations.
     
  8. roadkill401 macrumors 6502

    roadkill401

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    #8
    The processor will have just about zero effect on the scrolling or view ability of web sites, along with any writing app on what I assume is the 5k imac. The only thing that the i7 brings is hyperthreading that gives a slight advantage to multi threaded tasks that use common buffered data such as rendering.

    As well, the upgrade to the video card will have little to no effect as well. There are those out there the seem to be fixated that the standard video card can't handle the 5K resolution and feel that you need to put some larger gaming video card for it to work fine.

    I have been running not only my 5k screen but two additional 1080 monitors at the same time (3 screens in total) and get the buttery smooth scrolling on all of them, and I have the standard M290X card.

    The biggest bottleneck you have is getting the data from your drive to your ram. For that you need either the fusion (standard) or you can upgrade to the SSD depending on how much data you have and other factors.

    Yosemite is a bit of a PIG and having a bit more ram is better than not enough. It thoeretically should work with 4gb of ram, but again as the riMac comes standard with 8gb that should work fine too.

    That just leave the screen. the Retina 5K screen simply looks great and doesn't have the eye strain that a lower res screen can give if you spend your days reading text.
     
  9. Lancetx macrumors 68000

    Lancetx

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    #9
    The base configuration with an upgrade to 16GB of RAM should certainly be sufficient for what the OP is wanting to do. That upgrade can be done very inexpensively by simply adding two additional 4GB modules to the existing RAM that it ships with. An 8GB (2x4GB) kit costs less than $60 currently if you shop around.
     
  10. sasha.danielle thread starter macrumors regular

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    Mar 15, 2015
    #10
    Oh really? That's fantastic! Where are these discounts usually found at?

    ----------

    Thanks for the feedback everyone! This is fantastic news and will save me a whack of cash.

    Right now, then, I'm kind of leaning towards a refurbished base model with 256gb SSD and an additional 16gb RAM.
     
  11. yjchua95 macrumors 604

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    #11
    I disagree. In heavily multithreaded tasks (4K video editing with FCP X), I notice that tasks are almost always around 30-40% faster than my colleagues's 3.5GHz i5.

    That said, since the OP isn't doing anything particularly heavy, the base retina iMac should be fine.
     
  12. vegastime macrumors regular

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    #12
     
  13. sasha.danielle thread starter macrumors regular

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    #13
     
  14. vegastime macrumors regular

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    #14
     
  15. roadkill401 macrumors 6502

    roadkill401

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    #15
    So what you are saying is that your 4ghz i7 is about 30-40% faster than a slower 3.5ghz i5. So the actual gain from the Hyperthread is about 15% or so.. I'd still put that under the slight category.
     
  16. yjchua95 macrumors 604

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    #16
    Between a 3.4GHz i5 (non-retina 27") and a 3.1GHz i7 (21.5"), I still see at least a 27-35% performance difference.

    You can't measure performance gains by linearly comparing the core count and clock speed alone.
     
  17. AlexJoda macrumors regular

    AlexJoda

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    Apr 8, 2015
    #17
    If you compare the I7 with the I5 in FCP X you might also compare the M295X with the M290X in FCP X. Is there also a noticeable performance improvement and how much will that be ? My read is that the CPU ist still much more important than the GPU for normal editing in FCP although the GPU is used sometimes...
     
  18. yjchua95 macrumors 604

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    #18
    I'd say that in really serious workflows, the GPU will be more important than the CPU, since the GPU has way more computational power available.

    That's why the nMPs all have dual GPU setups - for FCP X to leverage.
     
  19. AlexJoda macrumors regular

    AlexJoda

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    Apr 8, 2015
    #19
    I can follow that argument for the nMP which has dual desktop GPUs but not for the M295X in Retina iMac. Because of the throttling it only give me about 8% performance gain in real world testing over the 290. I was asking if you are able to notice that in FCP X ?
     
  20. yjchua95 macrumors 604

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    #20
    At this moment, not really, because I don't have an i7/M295X and an i7/M290X to compare with.
     

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