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  #1  
Old 01-06-2013, 04:00 PM
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Default New iMac processor speed/ram

Im buying a new imac shortly and I was wondering if anyone here has any opinions on the performance I should seek.

I'm probably getting the 21.5 because 27 just seems damn huge to sit on my desk. I would update it to 16 gigs ram and add the fusion drive. My main question is: should I bother updating the processor to an i7 or is the i5 just fine.

I do not do any video editing and am not a gamer. I'm looking for something to record with (protools) and something that will not suck in a year.

The only thing that bugs me about this new mac is that it doesn't have an HDMI input. More adapters to hassle with.
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Old 01-06-2013, 06:10 PM
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Default Re: New iMac processor speed/ram

I would spend the money here for RAM.

http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/apple/memory/iMac

I have used them for my iMac and my Macbook. Much cheaper than Apple and guaranteed performance, and extremely easy to do.

I just looked Apple wants 400.00 for 16 gig. 108.00 sounds much better and it literally takes 10 minutes to do. Video below

http://eshop.macsales.com/installvid...id_2011_mem_h/
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Old 01-06-2013, 08:09 PM
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Default Re: New iMac processor speed/ram

Just be aware that on the new 21.5 iMacs, RAM cannot be expanded by the user, which is a shame I think, although I really like Apple products...

Quote:
Originally Posted by GRUNTERSDAD View Post
I would spend the money here for RAM.

http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/apple/memory/iMac

I have used them for my iMac and my Macbook. Much cheaper than Apple and guaranteed performance, and extremely easy to do.

I just looked Apple wants 400.00 for 16 gig. 108.00 sounds much better and it literally takes 10 minutes to do. Video below

http://eshop.macsales.com/installvid...id_2011_mem_h/
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Old 01-06-2013, 08:39 PM
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Default Re: New iMac processor speed/ram

We just bought a 27inch iMac with 16 gigs of ram and it was worth it.

I would go with the Ram.

We use Logic at our studio and the 16gb will do it, undoubtedly.
And like Alain said, I don't believe the 21.5 can be expanded..

Good luck!

-Josh
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Old 01-06-2013, 08:46 PM
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Default Re: New iMac processor speed/ram

I have the 20" Apple Cinema Display, and I swear, I wish I had gotten the 30" back then. I think regardless of what you do on it, screen real estate is important. Scrolling through recorded waveforms can be a major pain too. But definitely get all the RAM you can afford, that's important. Get the 27" screen too.

Just consider it's going to be a tool you'll be sitting in front of for hours. What will you need to make that time less of a strain?

(This coming from a guy who started on the original MacPlus with 4MB of RAM - I know what lack of screen estate to work with is like - NEVER AGAIN!)
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Old 01-06-2013, 09:21 PM
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Default Re: New iMac processor speed/ram

I hadn't read that, but this ad says they are selling the memory boards.

Also read and view this.
http://blog.macsales.com/15932-what-...2012-imac-21-5

Having watched this video you may not want to attempt this. why apple did this no one knows. Better reason to buy the 27 inch
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Old 01-07-2013, 12:11 AM
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Default Re: New iMac processor speed/ram

Processor-wise, if you don't see why you should need an i7, then you probably don't need an i7.

As for the RAM upgrade, the 21.5 model isn't user-servicable (unfortunately) so if you want to be able to upgrade the RAM in the future, you have the buy the 27" model. Apple have made this decision and I don't support it even though I'm a long-time Mac user. Buying the RAM upgrade through Apple at purchase is a very expensive way to do it. Case in point, I recently upgraded the RAM in my MacBook Pro (that I am typing this on) from 4GB to 8GB and it cost me 40 - I did the upgrade myself (I do my own computer servicing). Doing the same through Apple would've cost probably about twice that.

If you do want the 21.5, you are better off in the long run swallowing the price of a RAM upgrade and that would futureproof the system. 16GB is the maximum option and I suggest you take it if you can. Having an SSD is definitely a good call. Nowadays the HDD is the usual performance bottleneck and the price of SSDs is going down rapidly - my next computer will have an SSD. You get the advantages of bulk storage and performance with the combined HDD/SSD 'Fusion Drive' although be aware that you may have issues if you're dual-booting with Windows. From what I've read 'Fusion Drive' (under OS X) 'just works'. Make sure to back everything up though because if one of the two drives fails then the whole mass volume fails. Time Machine helps a lot there but an external HDD (2TB or more) dedicated only to backup is definitely a good idea - perhaps a software RAID might be a good idea.

I have to say that the displays on the Apple computers are just gorgeous. My parents both have newer Macs (a 21.5" and I think a Core Duo2 24") and I've never seen a better display on a computer. My MacBook Pro screen is also gorgeous. With that in mind though, if you're editing audio it really helps to have a second display - even if it is basic. Splitting the mix and arrange windows is always helpful and I've been running this way for years.
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Old 01-07-2013, 02:45 AM
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Default Re: New iMac processor speed/ram

The 27 inch is 500.00 more than the 21.5 inch. To upgrade to more RAM from Apple is 800.00. However the same RAM is only 109.99 USD from MACSALES.com and can be done yourself on the 27 inch. However if you don't want the large size monitor then I guess you are stuck paying Apple 800.00 to do it for you. I also like Apple but this is highway robbery.
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Old 01-07-2013, 02:59 AM
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Default Re: New iMac processor speed/ram

Upgrading from 8GB to 16GB in the UK is 160. There is no option for 32GB on the 21.5". I'm speccing a 27" i5 with 16GB of RAM and the smaller fusion drive at 1,859. The equivalent 21.5" with an i7 is 1,769. That makes a difference of 90. The cost of the screen on the 27" is considerably higher, which makes it slightly better value if you don't feel that you need an i7.

With the i5 rather than the i7 on the 21.5" model I just specced, the total is 1,609 - which makes the difference 250.

So, in terms of value, the 27", i5 model with 16GB and the 1TB fusion drive looks like the best value. To buy an equivalent quality Dell 27" monitor alone would be in the order of 400.

Honestly? I'd get the 27" that I specced. Although it may seem huge, the extra screen real-estate is definitely worth it and for the sake of 250, well worth it. If having a 21.5" screen is by definition what you need then I would get the best option you can afford. Although the GPU isn't a priority, having the option of more horsepower for graphics and video processing is worth it. The 27" has a better GPU but the higher tier of 21.5" has a reasonable card.
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Old 01-07-2013, 05:49 AM
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Default Re: New iMac processor speed/ram

So why does it have to be an iMac? How 'bout a MacMini with a seperate third-party monitor? We use these Samsung 27" monitors in my office and those are great, especially if you don't need calibration for photography. I love my MacMini, adn the cool thing is, it'll be easy to just get the newest one when the time comes.
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Old 01-07-2013, 07:56 AM
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Default Re: New iMac processor speed/ram

After looking at this, I agree with you guys, getting the 27 is definitely the best overall value.
Looks like I will get the 27 with the i5 and the fusion drive. I can then upgrade the ram myself up to 32 gig later. The 27 also has better graphics thrown in.

Charging what they do for ram is just plain wrong.

I appreciate your input guys!

Now a 3 week wait...
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Old 01-07-2013, 08:21 AM
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Default Re: New iMac processor speed/ram

Jeff, I'm a complete computer duffer. I have the 21.5" i5 16GB 1TB model. I wish I'd known you couldn't upgrade the 21.5". I looked at the 27" at the time, but the cost difference was huge. I took one home to try, but found that the 21.5" actually suited my desk layout better. I sit fairly close to the screen. That said, if the price difference had been less, & I was aware of the non upgrade status of the 21.5", I would have gone for the 27".
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Old 01-07-2013, 01:26 PM
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Default Re: New iMac processor speed/ram

Well, I went a little nuts and upped it to the i7 processor. Kept it at the 8 RAM and will up that myself later.

They gave me 18 month interest free financing so I justified it by saying it was only an extra 11 bucks a month.
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Old 01-07-2013, 02:59 PM
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Default Re: New iMac processor speed/ram

Quote:
Originally Posted by keep it simple View Post
Jeff, I'm a complete computer duffer. I have the 21.5" i5 16GB 1TB model. I wish I'd known you couldn't upgrade the 21.5". I looked at the 27" at the time, but the cost difference was huge. I took one home to try, but found that the 21.5" actually suited my desk layout better. I sit fairly close to the screen. That said, if the price difference had been less, & I was aware of the non upgrade status of the 21.5", I would have gone for the 27".
Thing is though, you'll probably find the RAM adequate anyway Andy. It's worth upgrading it but in reality it's only really to futureproof the system. OS X is quite efficient and when my laptop only have 4GB of RAM it dealt with everything well. Having 8GB hasn't made any significant change to the system performance but I know it's there for when I eventually put an SSD in my laptop or fiddle with large sample libraries.

Having the extra RAM is nice but for 90% of applications, it's not really a problem.
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