Should I opt for a higher spec'd iMac?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by keystothecity, Dec 9, 2013.

  1. keystothecity macrumors member

    Jul 4, 2013
    Hi Guys,

    I just ordered a new iMac, and I'm having second thoughts about whether or not I should opt for a model with better components.

    This is the model I bought:

    Originally released September 2013
    3.4GHz quad-core Intel Core i5 processor
    27-inch (diagonal) LED-backlit display with IPS technology; 2560-by-1440 resolution
    8GB memory
    1TB Fusion drive
    NVIDIA GeForce GTX 775M graphics processor with 2GB of GDDR5 memory
    Built-in FaceTime HD camera

    I purchased this configuration as a refurb for approximately $1920 + tax. Since I am already spending over $2000 after taxes on a computer, I am wondering if I should "future proof" and opt for some better specs. The upgrades I am thinking of:

    1. 3.5GHz Quad-core Intel Core i7, Turbo Boost up to 3.9GHz
    Should I spend the extra money on an i7 processor? Will there be a noticeable performance difference between the two?

    2. NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780M 4GB GDDR5
    How noticeable would the performance between these two graphics be? Is it worth the extra money to upgrade?

    Since I am buying refurb units I would likely have to opt for a model which also includes either upgraded RAM or 3TB Fusion drive. The total cost would be approximately $450 + tax more than my current model.

    What do you guys think? What do you advise that I do? Is my current unit the sweet spot in terms of value for performance? Thanks in advance for all of your help!
  2. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Apr 23, 2011
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    Here's how the i7's compared to the i5:

    The 3.4GHz i5 is an i5-4670, while the 3.5GHz i7 is an i7-4771.

    For the graphics, it's significant if you play games at high/max settings.

    I will never recommend a Fusion drive, because it still contains a mechanical HDD, which means it's also just as likely to break down as a Mac with just a mechanical HDD. Besides, if the mechanical HDD part fails, you can't just operate off the SSD. The entire drive is basically toast.

    Besides, a pure SSD setup is much faster than a Fusion setup.

    Fusion read/writes: 520/350 MB/s.
    SSD read/writes: 750/650 MB/s.

    Here's the time taken for my iMac to startup with a pure 512GB SSD setup:
  3. Bear macrumors G3

    Jul 23, 2002
    Sol III - Terra
    You didn't say what you are using your computer for. Only some applications can make full use of an i7. And for most things upgrading the video won't matter.
  4. JustMartin macrumors 6502a

    Feb 28, 2012
    What Bear said.

    Without knowing whether you want it for intensive gaming or whether you do a lot of disk io on very,very large files(hey, we went for years with spinning disks and Fusion is a good compromise), we can't really help.

    It might be better to spend any extra money making sure you have a good backup solution in place.
  5. keystothecity thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 4, 2013
    Hi Guys,

    Thanks for all the replies. To answer the questions in regards to my intended usage, I anticipate most of my usage will be browsing, email, spreadsheets and other basic business tasks.

    I do have an interest in getting into graphic design and video editing, so that is why I am considering the upgraded specs. At the moment though I'm still new to that realm so it's hard to say how things will develop.

    I guess the added costs of the specs being discussed equates to almost 25% of the value of the model I have currently purchased. I guess for me it's probably hard to justify those upgraded specs right?
  6. AndrewMRiv macrumors regular


    Oct 29, 2013
    Ah, it sounds that you will be more than okay with your specs. I understand how you're feeling since the extra specs sound really nice. But do save your money! Instead, buy apple care or external hard drives for backups and more storage.
  7. AL2TEACH macrumors 6502

    Feb 17, 2007
    Denver, CO.
    not saying this because it's the same model I have but it should be more than okay.

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