Upgrading to iMac

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by AcesHigh87, Jul 25, 2011.

  1. AcesHigh87 macrumors 6502a

    AcesHigh87

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2009
    Location:
    New Brunswick, Canada
    #1
    Hey guys, I'm a university student going into my 3rd year as a multimedia major with a certificate in the film program. I plan to work in editing or filming as a career.

    I currently own an early 2008 macbook that I bought refurbished in, I believe, early 2009. It runs fine for bringing to class (for notes), browsing the web and doing photoshop work but isn't exactly powerful enough to do the kind of editing I need to work on. With my future goals in mind I need to start getting experience with the high end editing programs (FCP, Premiere, AE, etc) but can barely run them currently. My hardware can run premiere and after effects but it whines a lot and works very slowly. It's not up to date enough at all to run the new Final Cut.

    So, my plan is to buy one of the iMac's and use it as my editing computer, keeping my macbook for just classwork and such. My main question coming here is, which one would be best? Obviously, top end would trump all but I'm ignoring that because my budget would likely be capped at about $1800 (Canadian, after student pricing).

    What I'm wondering is, for that price point, what do you think would be my best option? This includes any size configuration (21.5" is big enough but wouldn't complain about 27") and any additional hardware updates that would help me out but stay under the budget.

    So, that's my long-winded explanation. Any help would be appreciated. I will likely be buying sometime around Christmas of this year or early next year.
     
  2. Obscurelight macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2011
    Location:
    NYC
    #2
    I would suggest grabbing the 21.5 so you can get more specs for your budget rather than pay for extra screen space you can probably live without.

    2.8GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i7
    8GB 1333MHz DDR3 SDRAM - 2x4GB
    1TB Serial ATA Drive
    AMD Radeon HD 6770M 512MB GDDR5
    Apple Magic Mouse
    Apple Wireless Keyboard (English) & User's Guide

    Comes out to just under $1800 with the education discount
     
  3. AcesHigh87 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    AcesHigh87

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2009
    Location:
    New Brunswick, Canada
    #3
    I would go trackpad over mouse since I already own a magic mouse but you didn't know that so, moving on.

    Thanks for the reply and I'll look into that one. What I am wondering though, if I did want to save a bit of money (like I said, 1800 is my absolute cap) would it be better to keep the i5 processor and upgrade the RAM or would it be better to keep the 4GB RAM and upgrade the processor?
     
  4. Obscurelight macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2011
    Location:
    NYC
    #4
    If you are running programs such as after effects both RAM and CPU is important but if speed is what you are after go for the processor upgrade and skimp the RAM. I have both the mouse and trackpad. The mouse comes free with an iMac purchase. The trackpad is more of a toy really if you are doing anything from gaming to video editing the mouse will be more efficient and faster.
     
  5. AcesHigh87 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    AcesHigh87

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2009
    Location:
    New Brunswick, Canada
    #5
    Well from what I've seen in the selection screen for hardware and such it seems like you can get either free, you only pay if you get both. Since I already have the magic mouse I might as well just get the trackpad. Even if I never use it why bother with having two magic mice?

    Anyway, back to the main point. I'll see what I can do for money when the time comes. Hopefully I won't have to skimp on either, at least that's the basic plan but if I do I'll likely take your advice and get the i7 over the RAM. It's only 180 bucks extra to get both though so that probably is the best option for the additional bonus.
     
  6. talmy macrumors 601

    talmy

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
    Location:
    Oregon
    #6
    Keep in mind that you can add RAM later (and at lower cost than Apple RAM), while you are stuck with whichever processor your iMac came with.
     
  7. AcesHigh87 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    AcesHigh87

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2009
    Location:
    New Brunswick, Canada
    #7
    I thought only the mac pros could really be upgraded. Aren't the iMac's like impossible to get into?
     
  8. talmy macrumors 601

    talmy

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
    Location:
    Oregon
    #8
    The RAM is easily upgraded in an iMac, and is the only thing that can be upgraded without risk.
     
  9. AcesHigh87 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    AcesHigh87

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2009
    Location:
    New Brunswick, Canada
    #9
    As in personally upgraded or would I need to bring it into a service centre or something? Also, would any stick of RAM work or are there certain mac certified ones that need to be used?
     
  10. kirsch92 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2009
    #10
    Easily upgraded by yourself with a screwdriver, and a spare 60 seconds of time. The iMac manual even gives you instructions.

    Depending on model, you can get 2 matched 4G sticks from newegg for about $60 US.

    OWC sells mac ram too.
     
  11. AcesHigh87 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    AcesHigh87

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2009
    Location:
    New Brunswick, Canada
    #11
    Yeah, i just looked at that. Looks like I could get 8 extra GB of RAM for like 75 bucks which would be great. Does anyone have experience with iRAM though?

    Anyway, thanks for all the responses guys. Right now it looks like my build will be:

    2.8GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i7
    4GB 1333MHz DDR3 SDRAM - 2x2GB (upgraded with a bonus 8GB)
    1TB Serial ATA Drive
    AMD Radeon HD 6770M 512MB GDDR5
    Magic Trackpad
    Apple Keyboard with Numeric Keypad (English) & User's Guide

    This would put my total cost, before tax, at $1 654. I figure I could get the protection plan as a gift or something easily within the year. It's a lot of money but damn I want it now lol
     

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