Is the high end 27" iMac worth it? [3.1Ghz/1GB 6970M]

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware edited January 2014
Hi



My [2.4Ghz] 24" iMac video card died so I need to buy a new 27" iMac

By the time I add everything I need to make it work I don't think it will be worth it.



Is it worth it to pay the extra coin for the 27" 3.1Ghz and the 1Ghz Radeon 6970M?



anyone care to explain a little better?

thanks,

C

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 9
    mysticmystic Posts: 514member
    Why don't you get the old one fixed?
  • Reply 2 of 9
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Mystic View Post


    Why don't you get the old one fixed?



    Hi



    It's going to be close to $400 when is all done and honestly I think is time to upgrade

    The upgrade would be beneficial and very noticeable compared to the 2.4Ghz Core 2 Duo that I have



    C
  • Reply 3 of 9
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,436moderator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Mastersonics View Post


    My [2.4Ghz] 24" iMac video card died so I need to buy a new 27" iMac

    By the time I add everything I need to make it work I don't think it will be worth it.



    Is it worth it to pay the extra coin for the 27" 3.1Ghz and the 1Ghz Radeon 6970M?



    The difference in cost is quite high between the entry i5 27" and i7 27" but there are some benefits. Whether you will make use of those benefits is something only you can decide.



    The CPU difference is marked with this chart:



    http://www.primatelabs.ca/blog/2011/...arks-mid-2011/



    The i7s are hyper-threaded so show up as 8-core and do perform better. If you aren't doing CPU intensive tasks though, even a 50% performance difference won't be all that noticeable.



    The 6970M is around double the performance of the 6770M and has twice the VRAM but this only helps for apps like Motion and high-end 3D gaming.



    If you want an everyday machine, the entry 27" is just fine. Also, sell the 24" on eBay for spares/repairs detailing the problem with it and you should still get some money for it. Core 2 Duo machines are a bit old now but I'd guess $400-500 for the parts.
  • Reply 4 of 9
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Marvin View Post


    The difference in cost is quite high between the entry i5 27" and i7 27" but there are some benefits. Whether you will make use of those benefits is something only you can decide.



    The CPU difference is marked with this chart:



    http://www.primatelabs.ca/blog/2011/...arks-mid-2011/



    The i7s are hyper-threaded so show up as 8-core and do perform better. If you aren't doing CPU intensive tasks though, even a 50% performance difference won't be all that noticeable.



    The 6970M is around double the performance of the 6770M and has twice the VRAM but this only helps for apps like Motion and high-end 3D gaming.



    If you want an everyday machine, the entry 27" is just fine. Also, sell the 24" on eBay for spares/repairs detailing the problem with it and you should still get some money for it. Core 2 Duo machines are a bit old now but I'd guess $400-500 for the parts.





    Hi Marvin

    thanks so much for pitching in and helping with my decision

    So the older 27" i7 will be a better buy or is it the BTO 27" i7?



    I usually do basic video editing and lots of audio editing

    I do lots of research [web browsing] and end up with LOTS of open tabs [You Tube]

    and Safari most likely will crash on me.



    Is this because of having too little VRAM?

    I get the beach ball very often...



    If I get the i5 27" I will get 16GB of RAM for it [Can't believe the prices, ]



    thanks again

    regards,

    C
  • Reply 5 of 9
    hmmhmm Posts: 3,405member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Mastersonics View Post




    Is this because of having too little VRAM?

    I get the beach ball very often...




    Disk paging is one of the most common causes of the beach ball. I don't think the gpu options are going to be a factor in how often you see that. More ram helps in this regard as long as the application can address it.
  • Reply 6 of 9
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hmm View Post


    Disk paging is one of the most common causes of the beach ball. I don't think the gpu options are going to be a factor in how often you see that. More ram helps in this regard as long as the application can address it.



    Hi



    So what can I do to get the beach ball as little as possible?

    I do have a lot of tabs opened when I use Safari.



    Would it be better to go to a SSD instead?



    cheers,

    C
  • Reply 7 of 9
    pbpb Posts: 4,234member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Mastersonics View Post


    Hi



    So what can I do to get the beach ball as little as possible?

    I do have a lot of tabs opened when I use Safari.



    Would it be better to go to a SSD instead?



    cheers,

    C



    RAM is fairly cheap and getting as much as you can is the best you can do.



    On the other hand, an SSD is quite expensive but it will speed up disk access each time the system is going to page out. I had recently the opportunity to check out in a shop an iMac and a Macbook Air. The MBA felt really more responsive than the iMac because of the SSD, while its CPU is much slower. It was incredible. Of course the iMac will destroy any MBA in number-crunching but the overall responsiveness feeling of the latter is very pleasant.
  • Reply 8 of 9
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,436moderator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Mastersonics View Post


    So the older 27" i7 will be a better buy or is it the BTO 27" i7?



    I was comparing the BTO i7. The older i7 will match the i5s.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Mastersonics View Post


    Is this because of having too little VRAM?

    I get the beach ball very often...



    It could be Flash if you have an older version of Safari. Under Lion, plugins are isolated from the browser os if they crash, they leave the browser up.



    But extra RAM and an SSD helps. If you get the 256GB SSD + 1TB option for $600 more, you can avoid the $600 RAM upgrade and either add 2 x 8GB DIMMS from Crucial for $55 for a total of 12GB RAM:



    http://www.crucial.com/store/listpar...202011&Cat=RAM



    or 4 x 8GB for 16GB for $110. 3rd party SSDs are cheaper ($400) and faster but installing them behind the screen is ridiculous so it's your only real option and the price difference isn't bad.
  • Reply 9 of 9
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Marvin View Post


    I was comparing the BTO i7. The older i7 will match the i5s.







    It could be Flash if you have an older version of Safari. Under Lion, plugins are isolated from the browser os if they crash, they leave the browser up.



    But extra RAM and an SSD helps. If you get the 256GB SSD + 1TB option for $600 more, you can avoid the $600 RAM upgrade and either add 2 x 8GB DIMMS from Crucial for $55 for a total of 12GB RAM:



    http://www.crucial.com/store/listpar...202011&Cat=RAM



    or 4 x 8GB for 16GB for $110. 3rd party SSDs are cheaper ($400) and faster but installing them behind the screen is ridiculous so it's your only real option and the price difference isn't bad.







    Thanks for your help guys

    still undecided but I'm leaning towards the 3.1 iMac with 16GB of RAM

    I think this one will be just perfect for the next 3 years



    Looking at how iCloud and Time Machine will help me organize my data.



    cheers,

    C
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