ug, trouble deciding, please advise.

Discussion in 'iMac' started by sagimac, Sep 2, 2011.

  1. sagimac macrumors newbie

    Sep 2, 2011
    eeesh, I've been reading so much about Mac os and iMacs these past few days I'm seeing apples every where :)

    so, I'm very close to purchasing my first iMac. since I will be occasionally playing world of Warcraft on it, among other multimedia tasks, I think it best to go with the i7 from everything I've read thus far. I'm having a hard time finding a refurbished or late 2010 i7 iMac with decent graphics. I'm not opposed to getting a 27 inch if the price is right but I would prefer the 21.5, it would just be a better fit. I hear it is easier to upgrade to an SSD in the 2010 iMac than the current. I'm not yet certain thunderbolt is worth the extra investment in the current line.

    how much of a hit in gaming performance should I expect if I get the 2010 i7 over 2011? eventually I would upgrade to max speed and amount of ram, regardless of model. I would like to get an SSD eventually as well.

    bring rather deliberate in my decisions, the 2012 refreshes may be out before I finally make up mind or find the one I'm after :)
  2. Tanax macrumors 6502a

    Jun 15, 2011
    Stockholm, Sweden
    As far as I know(checked it on, there are no 21.5 inch iMac's with the i7 processor so if you really want the i7, you'd have to go with the 27 inch model.

    However, you really don't need the i7 for "playing WoW and multimedia tasks". I have a i5 sandy bridge(the 2500k model) -- in my PC but whatever -- and it can handle WoW more than enough. Games and multimedia more often requires a good GPU, not CPU, even if CPU plays a part in it all.

    I'd say go with the i5 model.

    As for screen size it really depends on what you need it for and how much space you have. If you're doing a lot of editing or want to do gaming on large screen, then the 27 inch is better - obviously. If you simply don't have enough room for the 27 inch model or just want a simple screen, then the 21.5 inch model is better.

    As for 2010 or 2011 model, the difference really is that in the 2011 model you'll get the new sandy bridge processors. These are of course going to be better. A quick check on the i5-680 3.6GHz(included in the 2010 27" & 21.5" i5 models) scored 3,475 on CPU benchmark. Another check on the i5-2400 3.1GHz(included in one of the 2011 27" i5 models) scored 6,075 on CPU benchmark.

    Personally I would go for the 2011 model since sandy bridge is awesome. It's also a newer architecture so it's cooler(as in colder) aswell as more future-proof.

    I guess it all comes down to how much you'd be willing to pay.
    If you ask me, the best "mainstream" iMac would be the 27" i5 3.1GHz 2011 model.

    Regarding SSD, it should be fairly simple to install it in the 2011 model aswell as I've seen it on youtube. Don't quote me on that though as I have no iMac and haven't done it myself.
  3. sagimac, Sep 3, 2011
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2011

    sagimac thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 2, 2011
    you can get a 2.8 i7 processor on the 21.5 2011 model, it's just not a common configuration, it seems. I'm in no hurry so I'll keep reading and watching.

    I'm mainly concerned about getting a GPU with 1GB VRAM but if I'm gonna try to stick with the 21.5 VRAM is less an issue and 512mb may be fine. in that case, I'd want to get the best processor possible and max out the installed ram as far as amount and clock speed.
  4. Tanax macrumors 6502a

    Jun 15, 2011
    Stockholm, Sweden
    The difference between i5 and i7 is that i7 has HyperThreading. You won't need that if you're just going to use your iMac for multimedia and some light gaming such as WoW. So you'll be paying for something you won't need.

    IMO the i5 is the "best" processor possible for your needs. In your needs, the i7 will bring the same performance as the i5 but at a higher price-tag. RAM is always nice to have but it's easier to install yourself(and hundreds of dollars cheaper) than buying it built-in. There are tons of written guides on the net aswell as videoguides on youtube. 4GB installed RAM and then just buy your own RAM-sticks to add more memory if you want to max your RAM out. Save those dollars and instead get the 27" if you have the money to spend.

    A good GPU will be what you need to get if you want to do gaming and that is what I think you should focus on maxing instead of RAM and the i7.
  5. sagimac thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 2, 2011
    yeah, I always purchase ram afterwards, myself. waaay cheaper.

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