Thinking of getting a 27" iMac: some questions

Discussion in 'iMac' started by G.O.B, Dec 3, 2010.

  1. G.O.B macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 15, 2010
    #1
    Hi,

    I'm looking to buy a 27" iMac, ideally before Christmas, but I have a few questions.

    1) The Buyer's Guide says that the current iMacs are mid-cycle, and an update is not too far away. By your estimates, will this be a major overhaul, or just an improvement in components?

    2) I'm leaning towards the i3 as opposed to the quad core i5 - under what circumstances would one need a quad core processor? I'll primarily be using it for work (which only involves Pages and a few light PDF editing programs) and video, with a little bit of gaming on the side on occasion - will the i3 cater to these needs?

    3) On the topic of games, how's the graphics card in the i3 model (ATI Radeon HD 5670, 512MB)?

    4) Final thing - to raise a bit of cash, I'll be selling my MBP. How best can I ensure that no information is stored on it? I basically want it to be like it was bought in a factory, with no user information, downloaded programs, etc. Recommendations?

    Thanks!
     
  2. biggd macrumors 6502

    biggd

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2008
    Location:
    Calgary
    #2
    1. Prolly the updated icore chips
    2. i5 having more cores will keep u faster longer, and increase the "usability" and life compared to i3
    3. Unknown
    4. Save all ur data to an external drive and do a fresh install of Mac os
     
  3. rkaufmann87 macrumors 68000

    rkaufmann87

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2009
    Location:
    Folsom, CA
    #3
    1. Only Apple knows for sure when new products will be released, anything else is speculation, rumor and guesses. If you need a new computer the time to buy is now. If you don't need a new computer then don't get one.

    2. Because you mention doing video and some gaming I would recommend the i5 and if you can afford it get a i7 27" machine. These machine will provide the best performance for video editing and a 3D gaming experience.

    3. If you can only afford an i3 get a machine with the ATI Radeon HD 5670 with 512MB due to your gaming needs.

    4. You can best restore your MBP to it's original state by re-formatting (I'd recommend doing a Zero Out Data (under Security Options) and then reinstalling OS X using the Install Disc and then installing the Apps using the Apps Disc. This will leave it looking like new when the new owner turns it on. Of course include the original discs in the sale. NOTE: If you use iTunes then prior to re-formatting open iTunes and de authorize that machine. You have a max of 5 machines per account.
     
  4. G.O.B thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 15, 2010
    #4
    Thanks, I'll bear that all in mind.

    I should have been clearer in my OP - when I meant video, I meant watching HD content and a lot of films, not video editing (i.e. word processing, internet, films will be my main uses - none of which is that intensive?)...does that change your answer?

    In terms of whether I can afford the i7, I can, but don't know if I can justify it at this stage.

    Here's some of the prices I face (in GBP):

    i3, ATI 5670: £1,231.40
    i5 QC, ATI 5750: £1,451.13
    i7 QC, ATI 5750: £1,592.13

    All of which have 4GB of RAM (enough?) and a 1TB HD (which is definitely enough for me). If the i3 will comfortably serve my needs, I'd feel most comfortable getting it, as I can't justify an extra £350 to improve performance in areas I don't really need. With VLC on my iPhone and iPad, I won't be encoding much video anymore, and I won't be playing many top top end games either, do you reckon the i3 will suffice?

    As for doing a clean install of OSX - I'm not 100% sure I still have my disc. If I don't, will it be possible to use the disc that came with my dad's new MacBook, which he got a few weeks ago, or are the discs linked to a certain computer (doubt it, but just checking?)

    Thanks again!
     
  5. biggd macrumors 6502

    biggd

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2008
    Location:
    Calgary
    #5
    If ur not encoding video but watch, then an i3 will do
    If you don't need 1T then get the low end i3
    you can upgrade ur ram later
    If your gonna use it for productivity software the i3 will work

    Chances are ull use your iPad more anyways. I never even turn my iMac on anymore
     
  6. DanielCoffey macrumors 65816

    DanielCoffey

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2010
    Location:
    Edinburgh, UK
    #6
    I'd say the 4GB ram will be the minimum you want - get 8Gb if you can at all afford it.
     
  7. rkaufmann87 macrumors 68000

    rkaufmann87

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2009
    Location:
    Folsom, CA
    #7
    No my answer hasn't changed due to the gaming.

    I would probably upgrade the RAM to 8GB or even 12GB, RAM has really come down in price over the last few months. Just DO NOT buy it from Apple, here in the US a favorite vendor is OWC (www.macsales.com) people in the UK are finding similar prices and quality.

    As for using your Dad's discs no they will not work, these discs are hardware specific. I would recommend buying a set from Apple, the cost is nominal and you will probably recover it when you sell the machine. Having the original media generally increases value by showing you take proper care of your property. Also wise purchasers will stay away from Macs that don't come with them so you reduce the amount of people that may be interested in your computer. Next time keep these in a safe place, a good practice I picked up is putting all my important software media in a binder so I can refer to it later if needed.
     
  8. filfortugno macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2010
    Location:
    Montreal, Quebec, Canada
    #8
    If you're concerned about an update than get the quad-core i5 with at least the 5770 gpu, this way if there is an update you've bought a computer that isn't blown away but stays quite competitive. Also the update will be probably be speed bumps.
     
  9. G.O.B, Dec 4, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2010

    G.O.B thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 15, 2010
    #9
    Okay, fair enough.

    Am I right in saying that, if I have 4GB already, I'd only need to buy another 4GB to make it 8, or is the built-in RAM incompatible with the Crucial stuff and I would have to remove it and add 8GB from Crucial? I realise this question is very amateurish, but I've pretty much never upgraded a computer's components before.

    I would probably buy one of these: http://www.crucial.com/uk/store/mpartspecs.aspx?mtbpoid=769226C4A5CA7304

    2x4GB RAM from Crucial. Could I just slot each of the 4GB cards in alongside the existing 2 x 2GB cards preinstalled and it would work fine?

    Good advice again, thank you. Whereabouts can I buy these discs from?
     

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