Retina iMac: Upgrade GPU or Processor?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by BJB Productions, Oct 22, 2014.

  1. BJB Productions macrumors 65816

    BJB Productions

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2008
    #1
    I'm a photographer and do occasional video work on the side. What would be more beneficial for me to upgrade :: Processor to 4.0GHz i7 or GPU to M295X?

    - I'm not a gamer
    - Mainly using Lightroom, PS, and other adobe apps.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. Pressure macrumors 68040

    Pressure

    Joined:
    May 30, 2006
    Location:
    Denmark
    #2
    It largely depends on your workflow.

    What applications do you expect to use? Besides those 3 you mentioned.
     
  3. BJB Productions thread starter macrumors 65816

    BJB Productions

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2008
    #3
    I work with 1000s of RAW files with PS and LR mainly. I do (some) video work. Usually not 4k.

    Lightroom
    Photoshop
    Illustrator
    Bridge
    Premiere Pro
    Audition
    iTunes
    Chrome
    Spotify
    Billings Pro
    ...and some other random apps that probably don't matter...
     
  4. Georgio macrumors 6502

    Georgio

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2008
    Location:
    Essex, UK
    #4
    Assuming you're upgrading to at least 16GB of RAM, which you should do, I would actually go with the 295 GPU as the display really needs something with a bit of power to drive it effectively.
    The CPU is already pretty good, though as an icing on the cake I would really try and get the i7 upgrade as well.
     
  5. JediFragger macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2014
    #5
    Personally I'd go with the cpu upgrade if it had to be one, power increase all over then (and not gpu/software dependant)
     
  6. Pressure macrumors 68040

    Pressure

    Joined:
    May 30, 2006
    Location:
    Denmark
    #6
    Well, most of those tasks will benefit from the faster processor and it's higher single core performance.

    The M290X is adequate, despite what others may say. However, I would definitely get both upgrades myself.
     
  7. BJB Productions thread starter macrumors 65816

    BJB Productions

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2008
    #7
    Unfortunately, I don't have the budget to upgrade both.
     
  8. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2011
    Location:
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    #8
    Well, I guess you'll have to save up more then. Because if you're already going to spend this much on the retina iMac, you might as well as save up a bit more and max it out.

    Keep in mind that the i7 has hyper threading.
     
  9. BJB Productions thread starter macrumors 65816

    BJB Productions

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2008
    #9
    I have no need for a maxed machine. Good note regarding the i7.
     
  10. forg0t macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2014
    #10
    According to iFixit, the processor is user upgradeable. If you're feeling ballsy later on. I usually spend my money on things that cannot be user upgraded first, like the gpu, and then if I decide I need the other stuff I'll install them myself later.
     
  11. Bryan Bowler macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2008
    #11
    BJB,

    I too strongly recommend upgrading both, but if you absolutely positively can't, then I would probably go ahead and upgrade the CPU since it will enable hyper threading.

    My first choice however, would be to save for another month or two and upgrade both, especially with the work you do.

    Hopefully you're only ordering it with 8 GB of Apple RAM and then adding Crucial RAM to bump it up to 16 GB, right? I certainly don't know what your plans are, but if you're thinking about buying Apple's RAM for either 16 GB or 32 GB, then that would be money wasted that could go towards covering the cost of upgrading the GPU. Food for thought...

    Bryan
     
  12. jji7skyline macrumors 6502

    jji7skyline

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2011
    #12
    CPU all the way. For non-gaming purposes the M290X is more than enough power. After all, all it needs to do is a little pixel pushing, and a little 2D/3D composition for the OS. It's the actual rendering in games that get graphics cards going.

    In fact, modern integrated graphics cards in Intel chips can support 4K even on the cheaper Haswell motherboards.

    With the programs you mentioned, the higher clocked and hyperthreaded CPU will be a bigger performance increase.

    Make sure you get an SSD, and upgrade the RAM yourself with either an 8GB or 16GB kit.
     
  13. hyune83 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2008
    #13
    Probably CPU for photoshop. But who knows in the future as adobe is getting more gnu dependent?
     

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