Should I get an iMac? Which one?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by FurryPaws, Feb 23, 2014.

  1. FurryPaws macrumors newbie

    Nov 3, 2013
    Hey guys,

    I'm a recent PC convert, using an MBA 13", and I absolutely love the OS, the noiseless and slick hardware and the peripherals. My desk looks so much neater, too.

    What I don't love, however, is being restricted to a tiny screen the insanely loud fans on load.

    So I'm thinking of getting an iMac, but never having used one, I'm not sure which one to get.

    Here's what I use the computer for:

    1. non-professional music production (Garageband, GuitarPro, Ableton Live)
    1 a) music games, like Synthesia and Rocksmith 2014
    2. Work on Windows 8 (cell tracing, which requires a large screen)
    3. Work with MS Office and prepare lessons
    4. Some synchronisation to a mobile device (either iPad Mini or a Surface 2, not sure yet)
    5. Play some Blizzard games (Starcraft 2 and Diablo 3 are the only games I've played in the last five years or so).

    Here are some questions I'd like to have help with:

    I'm considering getting the 21,5" or 27" in their respective baseline configurations, excepting the fusion drive.

    a) Does bootcamp make use of the fusion drive, i. e. would the SSD-part cover the Windows partition?
    b) Can the graphics 'cards' handle Diablo (quite the old game by now) on native resolution? Gaming certainly isn't a priority, but I don't want to gimp myself...
    c) How loud is the machine under load? Is it entirely silent like the MBA when not under load?
    d) Which one is faster under native resolution, the 21,5" using Intel Iris Pro or the 27" using the GT 755 M? Obviously the latter has faster graphics, but it also has to move around more pixels.

    Cheers guys, that's it for now, looking forward to your replies.
  2. rkaufmann87 macrumors 68000


    Dec 17, 2009
    Folsom, CA
    Heck if I were you I'd just get an external display, keyboard and mouse and use your MBP in Clamshell mode. That would be much easier and less expensive than buying a new computer.
  3. FurryPaws thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 3, 2013
    This actually doesn't answer a single one of my questions.
  4. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Apr 23, 2011
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    For your needs, any base model will do.

    Boot Camp only uses the HDD part of the fusion drive and doesn't make use of the SSD.

    The performance increase between the Iris Pro and the GT755M is several magnitudes more than the pixel count increase between the two iMacs.

    The iMac is dead silent, even under medium-heavy load. The only time I heard my iMac fans spin up was when playing Battlefield 4 and running Cinebench, and even so, it's a barely audible whir.
  5. rkaufmann87 macrumors 68000


    Dec 17, 2009
    Folsom, CA
    Sorry but it sure seems like the logical thing to do.
  6. FurryPaws, Feb 23, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2014

    FurryPaws thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 3, 2013
    How so?

    I already voiced concerns about the Intel Iris Pro not being enough, how is the HD 5000 supposed to do it then? That one can't even handle D3 on 1024*768 on very low settings while maintaining constant 60 FPS.

    And sorry for being rude, obviously your idea is the most frugal one and would be really good if the integrated graphics were a bit better.
  7. Nismo73 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 4, 2013
    a) Windows will go on the HD
    b) If you don't want to gimp yourself on the 27", get the 775
    c) Fan will stay at 1200rpm unless you really start to stress it
    d) not sure
  8. FurryPaws thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 3, 2013

    Thanks for the replies, guys!

    Which one is it?

    As pleased as I am hearing about the fan not making too much noise, I'm still concerned about the GPU speed and annoyed that Bootcamp doesn't make use of the fusion drive.
  9. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Apr 23, 2011
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    On my 21.5", I opted for the 256GB SSD to get pure speed out of it, and moved all my media (music, videos and images) to an external Thunderbolt drive.

    At least with a 256GB SSD, you still can have Boot Camp with full SSD speeds.

    Meanwhile, if you're concerned over the Iris's gaming performance, the 5200 Pro in the base 21.5" performs about the same as a GT640M, so it should handle Diablo 3 fine.
  10. ioannis2005gr macrumors 6502


    Aug 10, 2013
    I bought a BTO iMac with Iris Pro for a normal+ home use (not extreme usage or demanding apps). Before my decision, I checked every test and I understood that Iris Pro performs better than GT640M, almost the same as 650M and a little worse than 750M. Everything is a matter of usage. BUT, keep in mind, iFIXit has pointed that processor+eGPU cannot be replaced by a DIY method (sorry!).
  11. The Economist Suspended

    The Economist

    Apr 4, 2011
    Do you have a budget? If you don't, please consider buying the 21.5" with Nvidia graphics and perhaps upgrading to 16GB of RAM.

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