Previous 1 2 3 4 Next 46 Replies Latest reply: May 9, 2015 3:21 AM by vintageaxeman
richsadams Level 1 Level 1 (70 points)

I'm finally going to upgrade from my '08 24" iMac to a new 27" iMac "dream machine" and need some professional advice.  The heavy lifting will be for periodic video editing via Final Cut Pro, After Effects, etc.

 

Here's what I'm planning on:

 

  • RAM: 16GB 1600MHz DDR3 SDRAM
  • SSD: 512GB Flash Storage
  • GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780M 4GB GDDR5

 

Here's where I'm torn:

 

  • CPU: 3.4GHz Quad-core Intel Core i5, Turbo Boost up to 3.8GHz

     OR

  • CPU: 3.5GHz Quad-core Intel Core i7, Turbo Boost up to 3.9GHz

 

In the past there seemed to be a greater difference between the CPU options, but now, the disparity doesn't seem as wide.  I checked Intel's site and their bottom line:

 

"The Core i5-4670K has 33% less cache than the Core i7-4770K and no Hyper-Threading. The Core i7-4770K's Hyper-Threading feature helps by creating four additional virtual cores for a total of eight threads, which increases performance during multitasking procedures."

 

So I'm not sure which would be the most beneficial in my case, particularly during the "heavy lifting" stage.

 

I'm stretching my budget as it is but am willing spend the additional $200 for the i7 if it would really make a difference and it sounds like it might, but I'm hoping for some expert advice.

 

TIA!


iMac, OS X Mountain Lion
  • richsadams Level 1 Level 1 (70 points)

    Sorry...this is the link describing the differences between the Haswell i5 and i7:

     

    http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/Intel/Core_i5_4670K_and_i7_4770K_Comparison/

  • LowLuster Level 6 Level 6 (12,050 points)

    None of the Newest iMacs have an i7 CPU. If you want an iMac with i7 you'll have to buy a leftover, before they run out of them, at an Apple store or authorized reseller or buy a Refurbished late 2012 from Apple. But in either of those cases you won't be able to customize it. You'll have to take whatever they have in stock. You can upgreade the RAM yourself but that is all you can upgrade.

  • richsadams Level 1 Level 1 (70 points)

    LowLuster wrote:

     

    None of the Newest iMacs have an i7 CPU. <snip>

     

    Thanks, but it would seem so...

     

    http://store.apple.com/us/configure/ME089LL/A

     

    Screen Shot 2013-09-29 at 2.27.59 PM.png

  • LowLuster Level 6 Level 6 (12,050 points)

    Sorry I missed that. I was looking at the tech specs and missed the light grey text below it that states you can get a i7.

     

    New iMac text.PNG

  • richsadams Level 1 Level 1 (70 points)

    No worries.  Spending more than I did on my first new car I tend to go over the details with a fine-tooth comb! 

     

    Still wondering if the additional $200 is worth it or not though.

     

    Cheers!

  • LowLuster Level 6 Level 6 (12,050 points)

    For $200 I think not. Yes the i7 will be faster but not $200 faster IMHO.

  • anthonyfromglen ellyn Level 1 Level 1 (15 points)

    I would go with the 1GB fusion drive and get the I7 instead of the I5. The 128GB SSD part of the fusion drive is plenty big for the system and lots of apps. I use Photoshop, Lightroom and MS Office and they all load instantly. After getting my 27” with the fusion HD I could not get use to using my 13”MacBook Pro with a traditional HD anymore and installed a OWC SSD in it.

  • richsadams Level 1 Level 1 (70 points)

    anthonyfromglen ellyn wrote:

     

    I would go with the 1GB fusion drive and get the I7 instead of the I5. The 128GB SSD part of the fusion drive is plenty big for the system and lots of apps. I use Photoshop, Lightroom and MS Office and they all load instantly. After getting my 27” with the fusion HD I could not get use to using my 13”MacBook Pro with a traditional HD anymore and installed a OWC SSD in it.

     

    Thanks for the advice Anthony!  Completely agree...having installed an SSD in my current iMac as well as using my MacBook Air w/SSD, jumping on a machine with a spinning hard drive seems like slo-mo! 

     

    My first intention was exactly as you suggest...a 1TB Fusion Drive.  The difference between the 1TB Fusion Drive and a 500GB SSD is $300, so that would certainly pay for the i7 and leave a little money to spare.  Hmmm...now I'm leaning Fusion...more food for  thought! 

     

    I guess I'm still trying to determine if the additional cache and hyper-threading of the i7 will really have a noticeable impact on my video work, particularly rendering.  I suspect that it will, but can't be sure.  Hopefully someone with some specific first-hand knowledge in that arena will stumble on this and point me in the right direction.

     

    Thanks again for the great advice!

  • Bradford W. Miller Level 1 Level 1 (30 points)

    The closest comparable model for which there are Geekbench 2 benchmark results is the late 2012 27" iMac. You can see them using Mactracker, but the difference is (all 4 core options apparently)

     

    i5, 2.9GHz     9197

    i5, 3.2GHz     9535

    i7, 3.4GHz     12884

     

    So i7 would give you roughly 33% improvement over an i5 on a sample load. You may want to also look at the geekbench 3 results here:

     

    http://browser.primatelabs.com/mac-benchmarks

     

    That doesn't directly answer your question on how your 'heavy lifting' apps would perform, however, it's a good general benchmark on the CPU. It does not address how the GPU performs, and it is possible that your workload would be more heavily influenced by the choice of GPU than CPU.

     

    I looked but could not find a recent benchark of Final Cut Pro on a recent imac. My suggestion would be, if possible, to take a sample to an Apple Store and run on one of their machines to see if you notice enough difference to want to 'spend the money.'

  • anthonyfromglen ellyn Level 1 Level 1 (15 points)

    Again, you are  spending a lot of money here and of course you want it to use it more than a just a few years. I think the trade off here for the fusion + I7 beats out the 500GB SSD and I5. I'm very happy with the fusion drive. These new iMacs have the new faster connection for the fusion (and the SSD). I think what I have is blazing fast and the new fusion & SSD drives are 1.5x faster then my 1st generation fusion drive.

  • richsadams Level 1 Level 1 (70 points)

    Thanks Bradford, excellent info and thanks for the link!  I'm still wondering how much difference there would be in the applications I'm using, so heading over to the Apple store with a little project might be worthwhile.  Not sure if they'd have FCP on two machines with different CPU's, but you never know.

     

    I'm planning on getting the GPU upgrade.  It has 4GB VRAM so that and more RAM should make the video work pretty fast, no matter which CPU I get (and am leaning toward the i7 now that's it's closer to my budget).

     

    Agree with you and Anthony about the Fusion Drive over the SSD now.  Although I use an external "scratch" drive for video projects, having the extra space would be welcome.

     

    Cheers!

  • richsadams Level 1 Level 1 (70 points)

    Thanks again Anthony...as mentioned I think I'll take your and Bradford's advice and get the Fusion Drive.  I was reading up on things and see that the new PCI Express-based flash storage has improved the Fusion Drive's response times by at least 50% over the 2012 Fusion setup.  Nice.

     

    One of my concerns (and why I was considering the SSD) is heat...knowing that the GPU will probably get pretty hot under a load, plus the CPU...adding a spinning HDD to the mix will raise the temps even more.  Have you experienced things getting uncomfortably warm with your new iMac?

     

    I'm starting to get into rarified Mac atmosphere now (dollars wise) and am wondering if the new Mac Pro might be an option.  Wonder what it will cost?  I'd want to spring for a Cinema Display so all-in-all I'm pretty sure that's beyond what I want to spend though.  Wonder when they'll release it?

     

    I've been very happy with my iMac however, so I'm pretty sure that's where I'll land.

     

    Cheers!

  • peterfromatlanta Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

    I would go for the I7. After Effects will take advantage of the Hyperthreading with it's "render multilpe frames simultaneously" option. Not sure about Final Cut.

  • richsadams Level 1 Level 1 (70 points)

    Thanks Peter...hyperthreading for AE will certainly be helpful.  Leaning toward the i7 more and more now.

     

    Cheers!

Previous 1 2 3 4 Next