Which choice for iMac - more RAM or faster chip?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by WannaSwitch, May 25, 2010.

  1. WannaSwitch macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2008
    #1
    I'm going to be getting a new iMac for my wife in another month (birthday present, but also waiting to see if they are refreshed soon). She uses Photoshop and Lightroom quite a bit for photography, and it's starting to drag down her 24" iMac (about 2 years old now) and I was going to surprise her with the 27" now that the display issues seem to have been worked through. When configuring the system to get my budget ready for it, I came up with a choice that I wasn't sure which one would be best with her application usage, and wanted to see what you all thought.

    First thought was a 27" with the i5 processor. I see they come with 4GB standard now, and for $180 (corporate discount) I can go to 8GB of RAM. Or, for that same $180, I can get the i7 processor instead. Using Photoshop CS5 and Lightroom 2 (wanting to have them both open editing), which would be more beneficial - the RAM or the processor?

    Of course, I could just save some more pennies and get them both (or get third-party RAM upgrade at half the cost), but all things being equal, what would be the best upgrade?
     
  2. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #2
    Get the i7 and and buy 2x2GB for 100$, you can even buy them module by module and there might not be need for +4GB
     
  3. GadgetGeek71 macrumors 6502

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    Mar 5, 2010
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    Wherever I May Roam
    #3
    I tend to always go for the faster processor. It's easy to add more memory.
     
  4. WannaSwitch thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2008
    #4
    Thanks for the info, I'll put the extra money into the processor and get aftermarket memory to add that's cheaper. Do you still have to replace memory in pairs? Like, keep the 2x2GB configuration that's in there and get a single 4GB chip to bring it to 8GB total, or would I need to get another set of 2x2GB for that upgrade?

    *edit* missed that you said I could do module by module, so I wouldn't need to get them in pairs. Question answered I believe :)
     
  5. Omnigray macrumors newbie

    Omnigray

    Joined:
    May 7, 2010
    #5
    i7

    definitely the i7 man.

    two reasons

    4gb of ram is more than enough for her purposes.

    you can always upgrade ram, can't upgrade the chip.
     
  6. hundert macrumors regular

    hundert

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2010
    #6
    I am pretty sure that 24 she is having is fine for her.

    She will never need 8GB of ram.

    Unless she has 3Ds Max, Photoshop, After Effects, Final Cut, Lightroom open at the same time all loaded with 20 megapix pictures and hundred layers, she really does not need that iMac.

    What I am trying to tell you is that the 24 inch machine she is having is still a monster (which it truly is)

    by the way, I don't see Apple releasing new iMacs until Fall this year. The Update cycle has been 11 8 11 8 month. The next is 11.
     
  7. hundert macrumors regular

    hundert

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2010
    #7
    I am pretty sure you can upgrade the chip from i5 to i7. I can even do it, I have all the tools, I open iMacs with the toilet plunger - works great, even better than those suction cups
     
  8. Omnigray macrumors newbie

    Omnigray

    Joined:
    May 7, 2010
    #8
    lol im almost certain that 90% of mac users are not quite as crafty as you
     
  9. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #9
    But an i7 chip is 300$ plus upgrading it is something that 98% of people can't do and it voids warranty as well
     

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