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Apple Desktops Discussion of Apple's desktop machines including Mac Pro, iMac, Power Mac, and mini

iMac 27" for graphic/web design and music production

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Member Since: Aug 30, 2011
Posts: 1
xomichel is on a distinguished road

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I'm planning on getting a 27" iMac soon and not sure what to get. I will be using it mainly for graphic design, web design, and music production. I plan on running either Adobe® CS5.5 Design Premium or Adobe® CS5.5 Web Premium AND Logic Studio regularly. Money is not too much of an issue but if the upgrade makes little difference, I would rather save the money. If it would be worth the money to upgrade I want to though. This is not my first Mac, I have a MBP but when I was buying it years ago I didn't look too much into the upgrade options and regret not upgrading and researching more before buying now.

The options are:

3.1GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i5
3.4GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i7

4GB 1333MHz DDR3 SDRAM - 2x2GB
8GB 1333MHz DDR3 SDRAM - 2x4GB
16GB 1333MHz DDR3 SDRAM - 4x4GB

Hard Drive
1TB Serial ATA Drive
2TB Serial ATA Drive
256GB Solid State Drive
1TB Serial ATA Drive + 256GB Solid State Drive
2TB Serial ATA Drive + 256GB Solid State Drive

AMD Radeon HD 6970M 1GB GDDR5
AMD Radeon HD 6970M 2GB GDDR5

I'm not sure what the difference between the 3.1GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i5 and 3.4GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i7 processor options are. Would it be worth the upgrade? Other than that, so far I am planning on these options:

8GB 1333MHz DDR3 SDRAM - 2x4GB
Should I upgrade to 16GB 1333MHz DDR3 SDRAM - 4x4GB?

Hard Drive
2TB Serial ATA Drive + 256GB Solid State Drive

AMD Radeon HD 6970M 2GB GDDR5

Help! Thanks for reading all this and any input!
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Member Since: Mar 16, 2007
Posts: 756
dekan is a jewel in the roughdekan is a jewel in the rough

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Some things (maybe except RAM and HDD) are impossible or very hard to upgrade later. That's why, when purchasing a new Mac I usually go for a few upgrades so it lasts me longer.

I just got the 27" iMac less than a couple months ago and went for the i7 processor and the 2GB graphics card. Just to save me some hassle I also went for 8GB of RAM. Although - that upgrade is quite expensive via Apple compared to buying the RAM and switching it out yourself.

HDD I left at the 1TB SATA drive. Enough for right now and can always be changed/upgraded in the future.

To summarize, I would upgrade to i7 and 2GB graphics. You could save the money on RAM and HDD and upgrade that yourself.


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Member Since: Jun 07, 2006
Location: NYC
Posts: 288
zacster is on a distinguished road
Mac Specs: Intel iMac 20" Core Duo 256mb VRam 115gb SSD 2gb Ram Finally!!!

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Go for the SSD. Do not hesitate over the cost. You can always hang a 1tb drive off of a USB port.

I just did an experiment that I read on another post somewhere. I opened 40 apps from my SSD on my 1gb 2ghz Core Duo iMac. That's right, a 1st gen Intel iMac. They all open almost instantaneously. Its really cool. The only fly in the ointment is that a lot of the apps have a dialog box and they all start jumping up and down.
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