The holygrail of all questions: CPU or RAM!

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Delino_Denoob, Jan 27, 2016.

  1. Delino_Denoob macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2016
    #1
    They are so many different opinions on this, but in the end it's what the individual is working with.
    Well I guess the best option here is to just upgade both, make it future proof, especially because both are soldered in, I think, buuuut I'm not featuerd in the forbes list so I need to deside wich is more beneficial for me, before order.

    So In my case i'm planning on buying the latest 21.5' iMac (4K that is). I mainly work with Printmedia (Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator), a lot of video editing (FCP X or Premiere Pro) and a little Retro Gaming (via Emulators).

    I am not multitasking between the Pro Apps too much, so Im fine with one or 2 Apps open at a time and close another if necessary. I am much more interested in a smooth, fluent workflow experience. The files are not ultra-huge files like Avatar but It's still more on the professional side and if the Render-process times passes by faster, that'd be neat too. Start-up times on the other side isn't a huge factor to me.

    The Model I am looking for is build like follows:
    • 3.1GHz quad-core Intel Core i5 processor
    • Turbo Boost up to 3.6GHz
    • 8GB of onboard memory
    • 1TB hard drive1
    • Intel Iris Pro Graphics 6200

    THE QUESTION OF COURSE IS: Should I upgrade to the i7 and make it to a 3.3GHz quad-core and Turbo Boost up to 3.8GHz or double the 8Gigs?

    And can I help the performance of RAM by hooking up a let's say 1TB external?


    Sorry for my Youtube English.
    Greetings from Germany :)
     
  2. throAU macrumors 601

    throAU

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2012
    Location:
    Perth, Western Australia
    #2
    RAM vs. CPU?

    Almost always RAM. Unless you know you're doing some heavily CPU bound work, RAM will give your machine a lot more longevity and ability to more effectively work with larger data sets or multiple applications.

    CPU may help you with transcoding speed when rendering video, but for virtually everything else the RAM will help way more. The RAM will give your machine a much longer usable life as future applications grow in size.

    Also, SSDs are a huge performance boost.

    External hard drives won't help performance, they'll just give you more storage - if you want performance I'd consider going for at least a fusion drive or an SSD (I'd go SSD first, even in preference to the additional RAM).

    If you can stretch for it, go for a 512 GB SSD (or at least the 256) - the internal storage is a royal pain to replace, and the 1TB hard drive will be a HUGE performance killer. Definitely get the 16 GB RAM and hook up more storage via external drive.


    So in order of priority:

    - ditch the 1TB hard drive for an SSD
    - upgrade the RAM to 16 GB
    - go for the faster CPU.
     
  3. kenmoses macrumors newbie

    kenmoses

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2016
    Location:
    Colorado
    #3
    Ram vs CPU

    I asked the same question before I placed my order (last night) and received answers on both sides of the argument. I have little experience with Apple products other than the 2nd generation iPod Touch and my iPad Air. So, without knowing any better I ordered the following options to the 4K Retina display 21.5 iMac:

    • 3.3GHz quad-core Intel Core i7, Turbo Boost up to 3.8GHz
    • 16GB 1867MHz LPDDR3
    • 512GB Flash Storage
    I'm hoping to be satisfied with it for several years to come. I wish you the best with whatever configuration you decide upon.
     
  4. Delino_Denoob, Jan 27, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2016

    Delino_Denoob thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2016
    #4
    Hey thanks throAU and kenmoses for your kind and honest answer.

    The more I search for the real deal the more I think I'll go with both.
    It seems that if you only push one side of the two you wouldn't get a huge of a difference in performance over a long term of usage. But with both upgraded the System is a much much more balanced Powerhouse!! Even after a year or two. I guess balancing is here the key factor even tho' it's an extra 400. *urgh*

    Because I can't afford it that easyly I really need to make rather harsh compromises
    like don't get eat for 8 Months x)
     
  5. Sirmausalot macrumors 6502a

    Sirmausalot

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2007
    #5
    If you do a lot of video editing, then the 4K iMac is not for you. The iGPU is underpowered and you will be very unhappy with the experience I think. Also, the 1TB hard drive (if it isn't a fusion, and even then the 1Tb fusion) is less than you need for what you want to do. You are paying for the build quality, all in one, and Mac OS X (which is better than Windows 10). But that said, you should get a windows desktop machine because it will be within your price range and you will have the power you need to do the work that you want. The 4K iMac is not a pro machine.
     
  6. Delino_Denoob, Jan 27, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2016

    Delino_Denoob thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2016
    #6
    Yeah a lot of my friends tellin' me this. I am dumb throwing so much money in an Apple Bin when I can have a lot more Power efficiency in a Windows build for the same price. But the thing is I am a Creative Designer now for years and years. The last time I had a PC was in my late Rugrats-years when I only played Wolfenstein and stuff. I actually can't go back to windows and feel comfortable even though I safe a couple hundreds... It's stupid I know...
     
  7. throAU macrumors 601

    throAU

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2012
    Location:
    Perth, Western Australia
    #7
    An iMac will do hobbyist video just fine. as will a macbook.

    I do plenty of home-user video work on my 13" rMBP (chopping up 1080p motorcycle track videos) and it's fine. 4k will be a bit more of a stretch, but you're not going to get a huge amount more power out of a PC without spending a decent amount of money, and you'd lose OS X.
     
  8. joema2 macrumors 65816

    joema2

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2013
    #8
    Delino_Denoob, take it from another professional video editor, Sirmausalot's advice is exactly right. You could probably get by with editing modest amounts of 1080p video on a 4K iMac, but you ideally need a lot more. If you will be using FCPX that helps some because it is highly tuned for the Mac platform. It has integrated seamless proxy support that helps lesser machines edit faster. However the content must still be transcoded to proxy, which takes time and disk space. I would not want to do lots of video editing on a 4K iMac, and especially not using Premiere.

    Delino, if you will be using Premiere I would suggest a Windows machine since you have more options in all areas: CPU, GPU, disk, etc. If you now or will ever be editing H264 4K, don't even consider a 4K iMac -- it is just way too slow for that.

    It sounds like you are using the Adobe suite. While I like FCPX (I use both FCPX and Premiere CC), IMO it's easier and better to use Premiere in that case. That in turn drives the platform decision toward Windows. This is an Apple forum and I hate to recommend a different solution but that's the reality. If you live and breathe in the Adobe suite, that dominates your experience more than the underlying operating system.
     
  9. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2013
    #9
    Save a bit longer and get the 27 inch, the ram is user upgradeable and the graphics are far superior (not to mention the usefulness of a 5k screen for editing 4 k video) and the CPU is skylake rather than the broad lake in the 21.5inch.

    Make sure you have some sort of decent SSD wether that's a 256gb SSD included and an external HDD for files or a 2TB OR 3tb fusion is up to you but an SSD is a must in this day and age and the 1 TB fusion only has a 24gb cache rather than the full 128gb SSD found on the 2&3TB fusion drives.
     
  10. vkd macrumors 6502a

    vkd

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2012
    #10
    Case in point: mid-2011 27" iMac i5 2600 4GB RAM

    Stock apparatus performed adequately but increasingly slower under load. Upon installing 16GB total RAM, performs uniformly under all circumstances at acceptable speed.
     
  11. kenmoses macrumors newbie

    kenmoses

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2016
    Location:
    Colorado
    #11
    I feel your pain because I also faced that issue. Late last night I decided to go forward with the purchase by putting it on a credit card and hope for a healthy 2015 tax refund.
     
  12. Delino_Denoob, Jan 27, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2016

    Delino_Denoob thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2016
    #12
    Hahaha got 'cha.
    Well my b-day's in a few weeks and I'm hoping for a group of Benjamins to make my decission a little bit easier.

    I'll use the Mac/ Pc for Home Office and hobby stuff
    --- Post Merged, Jan 27, 2016 ---
    Thanks man! i appreciate it
    Windows just goes against my feelings. And that's the real issue I think I have here
     
  13. Sirmausalot macrumors 6502a

    Sirmausalot

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2007
    #13
    Then save up until you can afford a 27" with a dgpu and a 2tb fusion. I advise against purchasing on credit.
     
  14. Delino_Denoob thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2016
    #14
    Thanks a lot for all the feedback guys!! It really helped. :D :apple:
    Let's see what happens...
     

Share This Page