Retina iMac Graphics

Discussion in 'iMac' started by umzyi, May 21, 2015.

  1. umzyi macrumors regular

    umzyi

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2011
    Location:
    UK
    #1
    Dear all

    I am looking to buy the top end base model of 27 inch rimac. I am in dire need of your advice please. These are the specs I am looking to get:

    3.5GHz Quad-core Intel Core i5
    8GB RAM (May upgrade later on myself to 16GB)
    1TB Fusion Drive
    AMD Radeon R9 M290X 2GB GDDR5

    I don't do any gaming at all. I mainly use it for general purpose like internet, watching movies, MS Office and sometime I do encode a couple of home videos to another formats using handbrake, nothing major.

    The confusion I am facing is whether I should get M290X or M295X? How can i justify myself of spending extra for 295X card. A lot of people have share their experience about poor graphics performance on both of these cards but my question is whether the lag is due to Yosemite or the actual graphic cards? Since I am not going to be gaming will M290X will suffice me now and in future (2-3 years)?

    I am currently running 10.10.4 public beta on my late 2013 retina MBPro with 8GB ram and I have no lag whatsoever and very silent fans.

    Thus, those of you who have retina iMac, help me choose and also share your experience of running Yosemite 10.10.3 in terms of system performance.
     
  2. MandiMac macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2012
    #2
    No problem

    Hello,

    if you're not doing any gaming, you won't see a difference at all. All the problems introduced with Yosemite are software related, so at best you're looking at a few minutes shaved off the waiting time when you're creating videos.

    Just make sure you get a Fusion Drive/SSD, and you're good to go for the next years. Good luck!
     
  3. iConnected macrumors 6502a

    iConnected

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2011
    #3
    For the purposes you've described, your proposed spec (incl. graphics card) will be fine. I would also upgrade the RAM immediately, then you'll be all set.
     
  4. TechZeke macrumors 68020

    TechZeke

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2012
    Location:
    Rialto, CA
    #4
    For Internet, Office, and Handbrake? You're joking right?
     
  5. loekf macrumors 6502

    loekf

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2015
    Location:
    Nijmegen, The Netherlands
    #5
    Because you can ? I had a 16 GB in my old Windows PC, so I upgraded to 32 GB immediately. 8 GB RAM in such an expensive machine feels a bit... ehh.. unimpressive ;-)
     
  6. iConnected macrumors 6502a

    iConnected

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2011
    #6
    Umm - and Yosemite.

    So no, I'm not joking. With only a few apps running, you can easily get close to or beyond 8GB of memory used.

    Upgrading beyond the 8GB standard RAM is in no way a bad idea.
     
  7. redheeler macrumors 603

    redheeler

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2014
    #7
    I get you exactly :cool:

    Clearly you're unfamiliar with memory management in OS X.

    On Macs with a lot of RAM (such as 16 GB) a lot will be used, otherwise it's just empty and wasted. On Macs with a smaller amount of RAM, such as my 2008 MacBook Air with 2 GB, it will adapt to use less RAM. My 2008 MacBook Air sits comfortably running Yosemite 10.10.3 with a few apps open.
     
  8. loekf macrumors 6502

    loekf

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2015
    Location:
    Nijmegen, The Netherlands
    #8
    Crucial RAM is 122 euro for 16 GB (2 x 8 GB SO-DIMM). Installing it is very easy.
     
  9. iConnected macrumors 6502a

    iConnected

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2011
    #9
    Not entirely :)

    I am not trying to say that a RAM upgrade is necessary - of course it isn't. The iMac wouldn't be offered for sale with inadequate RAM.

    To quote myself: "For the purposes you've described, your proposed spec (incl. graphics card) will be fine."

    But if the OP is going to upgrade the RAM anyway, why not upgrade from the outset and be done with it?
     
  10. loekf macrumors 6502

    loekf

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2015
    Location:
    Nijmegen, The Netherlands
    #10
    Do you mean that Apple is doing something similar as Microsoft in Windows Vista (and newer) ? Windows will pre-load / cache applications you commonly used depending on the amount of memory you have. As far as I know they are still doing this in Windows 8. In the times of Windows Vista this made sense with slow spinning drives. I wonder whether this still makes sense in the days of SDDs.
     
  11. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2013
    #11
    Of course it makes sense....

    Ram is 10 times faster than the fastest ssd's and it always makes sense to make the most use of expensive components as you can.
     
  12. iConnected, May 21, 2015
    Last edited: May 21, 2015

    iConnected macrumors 6502a

    iConnected

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2011
    #12
    To expand upon my previous reply (and clearly you make judgemental assumptions, btw):

    Macs that have "a lot" of RAM don't simply use "a lot" because "otherwise it's just empty and wasted".

    Whatever the volume of available RAM, RAM is only used when the Mac has a constructive use for it. That is to say, a use with a beneficial purpose.

    If the OP increases their RAM from the base spec of 8GB, it will result in constructive use of whatever amount of the extra available RAM the iMac deems beneficial, resulting in lower memory pressure and concomitant benefits (including fewer reads/writes from/to a drive - whether SSD, Fusion or platter).

    It is never a bad idea to give a computer more RAM than you might technically "need".

    Except when running certain editions of Windows on PCs, in which case extra RAM can amount to a complete waste of money :)
     
  13. umzyi thread starter macrumors regular

    umzyi

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2011
    Location:
    UK
    #13
    I definitely will be upgrading the ram from 8gb to 16gb. Is it just a matter of chipping in another 2 sticks in those two empty slots?

    So you all reckon that R9 M290X 2GB would be enough. Thats good to know!!

    I take that those videos showing mission control and other lag in yosemite are old videos? There has been updates since and I believe that they those issues have be streamlined?

    Thanks
     
  14. iConnected macrumors 6502a

    iConnected

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2011
    #14
    Yes - memory installation instructions can be found here:

    https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT1423
     
  15. nydennis macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2011
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    #15
    This is the same exact point I am in my current purchase. I am going to get the 4.0 for sure but the video card is holding me up. My only reason being is it is the one thing that cannot be changed later.

    The ram I am still researching is on sale this week.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...-cables-_-na-_-na&Item=N82E16820231705&cm_sp=
     
  16. SmallDane macrumors member

    SmallDane

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2014
    Location:
    Denmark
    #16
    Yes, it's easy. But considering that RAM is the only thing about an iMac that you can upgrade yourself at any point in time later using cheap 3rd party components, I would say wait and see. For the uses you have specified, it is very likely that you'll be fully satisfied with 8GB.
     

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