Unsure which spec for Development imac.

Discussion in 'iMac' started by pulsewidth947, Jan 21, 2013.

  1. pulsewidth947 macrumors 65816

    pulsewidth947

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2005
    Location:
    squarefrog.co.uk
    #1
    In a couple of months I will be leaving my current day job to concentrate on programming full time. I've decided to get an imac but not sure what to upgrade. I'm going to mostly live inside Xcode, and possibly Eclipse a bit further down the road. I don't do much video work, outside of converting videos to mp4 for xbmc.

    I do enjoy playing games so I'm pretty set on the 680MX upgrade, and the 1TB fusion drive (I'd rather a 256gb SSD, but hey ho).

    My biggest worry is whether to invest in the i7 or not. I am currently eligible for UK HE discount so get 15% off. So the upgrade works out as about £140.

    Finally, is it worth upgrading the ram? My current dev machine (2010 MacBook Pro) 2.4ghz i5 has 4 gb and I get by. My guess is use it for a few months and see if I need to chuck in another 8gb.

    Any advice would be great.
     
  2. jstnlzr macrumors regular

    jstnlzr

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2012
    Location:
    Ohio
    #2
    you are saving up for a couple months, so yes, all max upgrades, because why not?
     
  3. OlegPasko macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2012
    Location:
    UA
    #3
    My choice for programming — maxed out 21,5 iMac (except CPU) and external display (with vertical positioning). iMac's display for IDE and external for rendering (web-site or iOS emulator).
    Of course — SSD (or FusionDrive) is necessary, but not shure about i7 — not really speed advantages.
     
  4. pulsewidth947 thread starter macrumors 65816

    pulsewidth947

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2005
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    #4
    Money isn't really an issue as ill be using a retainer to pay for it. Having said that, £150 is still a fair chunk of money, so would rather not do it for the sake of it. But you do have a valid point - why not :D

    ----------

    I like the idea of a vertical screen. I do have a 24" screen, but I'm just finding 1920x1080 a tiny bit squashed. Yes the ssd is essential. I can't go back to pure hdd anymore.

    I think it has to be the 27" as the graphics card is much better, and that screen is huge!
     
  5. Bear macrumors G3

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    Jul 23, 2002
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    Sol III - Terra
    #5
    Buy third party RAM, it's a fraction of the price that Apple charges. Buy a 16 GB kit to put into the 2 empty slots on the 27" - that will give you 24 GB.

    As for the i7, it has more processor cache, slightly faster (GHz) and hyperthreading. Is that worth it to you? How long are you planning on keeping the machine? What type of programs are you developing?
     
  6. pulsewidth947 thread starter macrumors 65816

    pulsewidth947

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2005
    Location:
    squarefrog.co.uk
    #6
    Oh yes, I've always used crucial ram. In fact I had a nerdy laugh about apple wanting £260 for 16 gb for Mac mini when crucial wanted £63. Is it ok to mix the original 8gb with another 16? It's not like the old days of needing matched pairs for performance? I've been so out of the loop with hardware for years.

    I'm not sure if its worth it, as I don't completely understand what it entails. I will primarily be developing ios apps, with a view to go to android also. There will be some web dev when times are slow, but I know that'll be easy on even the base imac.

    I plan to keep the imac for as long as I am able to work on it (at least 4 years). I still have a 2006 Mac mini which is in use daily, so I look after my machines.
     
  7. vodouman macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2008
    Location:
    London
    #7
    Just thought I'd comment on this.

    You don't really need such a powerful machine to run XCode or anything development related (talking Apple development here)...

    27" iMac is overkill power-wise. Definitely justifiable, though. I couldn't get any serious development work done on a MacBook Pro.

    I think it's screen real estate that is why a 27" is great for development. Going for the extras like upgraded GPU and i7 are highly unnecessary, assuming that you're creating iOS/Mac apps.

    In summary, I will say that I am going to be buying a new 27" iMac in the coming months. With the upgraded GPU and 1TB Fusion drive. I will use it for development but I want the extras for gaming in Windows... And just because I can...
     
  8. pulsewidth947 thread starter macrumors 65816

    pulsewidth947

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2005
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    squarefrog.co.uk
    #8
    Oh absolutely. That's a fair comment. I was happy with getting a Mac mini for work, until my fiancé convinced me I could justify the imac. I want the GPU for gaming (stupid steam sales :rolleyes:). I just don't want to get the i5, and then regret it a few years later.
     
  9. snwau macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2013
    #9
    I currently develop on an old 2008 MBP, so no an i7 is not essential, but it's becoming frustrating working on my machine. RAM is the biggest limitation (currently maxed out at 6GB for the SR chipset).

    I routinely have Xcode, Photoshop and Safari (lots of tabs open) all open which are all big RAM users, leaving hardly anything for anything else and the system really chugs.

    So I have a 27" iMac on order, i7, 3TB fusion, 680mx and already purchased 32GB crucial RAM to install as soon as it arrives.

    i7 upgrade was a small expensive given the total cost of the machine, it'll have the potential to last you longer with the extra grunt. i7 will help reduce compile times ever so slightly (more so for larger projects, depends on the size of the projects your developing).
     
  10. pulsewidth947 thread starter macrumors 65816

    pulsewidth947

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    Jan 25, 2005
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    #10
    Yeah I know that feeling :)

    I don't think I need the i7. I don't think the projects will be overly large or complex. I suppose then it boils down to gaming, which I guess doesn't need it either.
     
  11. Bear macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2002
    Location:
    Sol III - Terra
    #11
    Yes that combo is fine for performance as you have 2 of each capacity module. If the iMac was configured properly in the factory, you will get best performance by filling in the empty slots with the 16GB kit.

    On the Mac Pro, it's a bit different.
     
  12. mslide macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2007
    #12
    Any difference between the i5 and i7 that you notice today will only become more and more unnoticeable as time goes on. Get the i7 because you want/need the performance today and not because you hope it will prolong the life of your computer. It's like comparing different specs of iMacs/MBPs that are several years old today. You probably won't notice much of a difference, if any. Go back 5 years and all Macs pretty much feel the same... slow.
     
  13. pulsewidth947 thread starter macrumors 65816

    pulsewidth947

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2005
    Location:
    squarefrog.co.uk
    #13
    Ah thats good to know. Thanks!

    ----------

    This is a really good point. I hadn't thought of that. I'll save the money and use it for more RAM then!
     

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