Why upgrade to 4.0GHz and M295X?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by mstgkillr, Oct 18, 2014.

  1. mstgkillr macrumors regular

    Feb 11, 2012
    For those of you that are purchasing the new 5k iMac and upgrading to the 4.0GHz processor and/or the M295X... what is your justification behind it? Are you a professional, gamer, for longevity, just have to have the best, etc...

    What activities will you actually notice a difference between the two?
  2. Slyth66 macrumors member

    Jul 23, 2013
    I am a video editor and (hopeful) filmmaker and college student. I really didn't want a 27 inch screen but I felt like since this is the only update to the iMac line I might as well get it, and if I'm gonna be stuck with it for a while, I wanted to make it the best it could be for the long term for only a few hundred more.

    And to be honest, I just saw that most people here were doing it so I pulled the trigger as well, haha. I was originally only going to upgrade the GPU.
  3. KenAFSPC macrumors 6502a

    Sep 12, 2012
    Longevity would be my justification.

    If I spend $3000+ on a computer, I expect to use it at least 5 years.

    I would also opt for a SSD if that's not easy or possible to add after the fact. Unlike the faster CPU, the SSD will make a noticeable difference right now.
  4. Wahlstrm macrumors 6502a


    Dec 4, 2013
    It´s the hardest display on the planet to run right now, so it seems unwise to not put as much power as possible behind it..

    If you ever tried the first gen rMBP 13 you know what you want to avoid att all costs. Much of that got solved with software but better hardware sure helps :)
  5. DerekS macrumors 6502

    Jun 25, 2007
    I actually placed an order without the cpu bump, then cancelled and reordered with it.

    I don't want any regrets, and I wanted the i7. In both cases I bumped the gpu because I want all the horsepower I can get for this monster screen!
  6. boy-better-know macrumors 65816

    Jun 30, 2010
    well, I have not bought the retina - but I did get the new thin iMac 2 years ago when it launched and maxed out the specs for the sake of longevity. It's still powerful and can handle anything I throw at it.

    Will upgrade when new generation design is released (or if the retina blows me away when I am in store).
  7. fastlanephil macrumors 65816


    Nov 17, 2007
    I'm looking at the Retina for my DAW computer and if I do get one it would be specifically because of the the 4GHz option as I have no real need for 5K, it being more than an arms length away and my Dell U3014 as my main display in front of me.
  8. leenak macrumors 68020

    Mar 10, 2011
    Longevity partly plus I like to play games plus I am a part time grad student that does some data crunching. I mean it is reasonable that I may want to sell it in a couple years, who knows? but in case I don't want to deal with the hassle of selling, at least the current specs will last me a while.
  9. dyn macrumors 68030

    Aug 8, 2009
    The 4GHz cpu doesn't just have more GHz, it's also an i7 with Hyperthreading. Should give you a bit more performance with both multithreaded and single threaded apps. Dunno if the difference is worth the extra $ though, I somehow doubt it.
  10. xmichaelp macrumors 68000


    Jul 10, 2012
    If I could afford one my justification would be that i'm already spending 2.5k, what's another 500? I'd have the machine for 5 years or so and would like to keep it fast for the future.
  11. xmichaelp macrumors 68000


    Jul 10, 2012
    New design? I'd bet Apple has the current one for three more years minimum. They rarely change it.
  12. ElectronGuru macrumors 65816

    Sep 5, 2013
    Oregon, USA
    The point it makes sense to change is when the non retina models are EOLd.
  13. iSayuSay macrumors 68040


    Feb 6, 2011
    iMac is a locked ecosystem. If you have the means, and the money, CPU and GPU upgrade might be worthwhile because it cannot be replaced later, or at least not as easily as storage or RAM, for example.

    Yeah you paid premium for it, you see an upgrade from stock i5 to i7 costs $250 while the real-world difference is only about $100. Why would I pay $250 for an i7 UPGRADE and for which I don't get the stock i5? The same case for graphic option, Apple asks $250 to switch from M290x to M295x, which is also ridiculous. And there is also shameless Apple RAM upgrade for the blind and lazy consumers. But then again you're buying a sealed disposable machine, so you're really at Apple's mercy here.

    If you only do facebook, itunes or try to impress some friends though, even the base $2500 retina iMac is a lot of money to spend for a computer, let alone CTO ones.
  14. Abazigal macrumors G4


    Jul 18, 2011
    My biggest concern would be the graphics card. I have the base 27" iMac from 2011, and I realise it can't really power games in bootcamp at native 2k resolution. I have to run games at 1080p windowed to avoid lag.

    If I want to use the retina iMac for 5-6 years at least, the graphics card looks like it will be obsoleted the first. For a $3k machine (including Applecare and everything), the extra cost seems like a no-brainer for me at least.
  15. kathyricks macrumors 6502

    Nov 26, 2012
    I'm going to get the base $2499.00 model with 256 GB SSD and Applecare and then sell it after 3 years because by then it will be both semi-obsolete and not likely 100% reliable anymore. The base $2499.00 model will not depreciate as much over 3 years as compared to the higher end models.
  16. Malus120 macrumors 6502

    Jun 28, 2002
    I figured if I'm already spending $2500 on a new imac I might as well spend the extra $500 and get what I really want.

    Honestly the gpu upgrade has always been a no brainier on the iMacs from a longevity standpoint, especially now that it's soldered on, and the fact that I'm a gamer just makes that all the more true.

    As far as the cpu upgrade goes, in previous years id say it wasn't really worth it (plus 100mhz... Meh) unless you really needed hyper threading, but a 500mhz difference in both base and boost clock will be noticeable and significant for both single and multi threaded workloads.

    In summery, my question would be if you're planning on even remotely stressing your new retina imac, why WOULDN'T you upgrade the cpu and gpu?
  17. say19 macrumors member

    Oct 19, 2014
    My reasons are same as above.

    - iMac is an all-in-one, so what you buy now (other than RAM) is what you are stuck with for the next few years. Better to spend big now.
    - 5k is new under the sun; may as well buy as much horsepower as you can in the hopes it can drive that massive screen better

    The counter arguments for me are always:

    - a max spec iMac starts to cost so much that you wonder if you shouldn't actually be spending that money on a base model Mac Pro or heck even a Windows PC
    - one of the big strengths of i7 is hyperthreading which is great for Motion and FCP but means nothing much at all for gaming i.e. for most of my usage i5 is as good

    This time around I alllllmost went for Mac Pro - but that is serious money right there and I would have had to use it with a tiny monitor until I could afford to buy a proper one. Also, Mac Pros aren't built for gaming at least with the current crop of video cards, from what I read. So it's throwing money at capacities I really don't use much (video renders etc etc). As far as the Windows PC alternative goes - I'll be honest, I didn't mind Win 7; and Win 8.1 looks "good enough". But there is so much variety in Windows hardware I just feel too inexpert to make a sensible decision. That's a dumb reason I know. Maybe I will consider a PC more seriously next upgrade cycle. Another thing that kept me with OSX/Mac this time round was the convenience of sync/coordination with all the iOS devices in my house now hehehe.
  18. ek9max macrumors regular

    Feb 22, 2011
    I figured that I'm spending all this money on a high end computer. I may as well spend a few hundred to make sure I have a good video card and fast processor.

    The 1TB ssd was just for kicks. lol
  19. Bryan Bowler macrumors 68040

    Sep 27, 2008
    Sure, things break from time to time, and Apple is not perfect. But, my 2006 20" iMac and my mid-2010 27" iMac are still working perfectly and have never missed a beat.

    I can't wait to add a new 5K iMac into the mix!

  20. Irishman macrumors 68030

    Nov 2, 2006
    I think Apple surely MUST know by now that the 2GB GPU is underpowered. It's why they offer the upgrade to a 4GB card (despite what seems like overkill from the perspective of running lower res monitors).
  21. firsmith macrumors member

    Oct 16, 2014
    yep - the fact my early 09 Imac is still running just fine outside of being a little slow (and I've never done a clean reinstall) is what made ok with dropping this coin on the replacement.
  22. TRAV9614, Oct 19, 2014
    Last edited: May 15, 2017
  23. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Apr 23, 2011
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    I upgraded to the 4GHz i7 for the hyper threading capabilities alone.

    I also went for the M295X considering that the GPU is already driving a 5K display, so it's better to have more VRAM available for my work.
  24. definitive macrumors 68000


    Aug 4, 2008
    because the 290 gpu is gonna choke while using that screen. just look at the first retina macbook.
  25. dagamer34 macrumors 65816


    May 1, 2007
    Houston, TX
    The first 15" Retina MacBook Pro doesn't do too well because the Intel HD 4000 graphics didn't cope very well. Nvidia GT 650M is more than 2x as powerful. iMac won't have that issue since it will always be running off a powerful, dedicated GPU.

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