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  1. #1

    Member Since
    Feb 13, 2007
    Worthing, West Sussex, UK
    27" iMac 3.1Ghz 16GB RAM, 1TB HD. iPhone 4.
    2.7GHz or 3.1GHz CPU?
    I'm looking to replace my aged iMac with a shiny new one. My current iMac spec is 2.33GHz Intel Core 2 Duo CPU with 3GB RAM. This has been fine for years but now I'm finding it slow when using certain applications like Adobe Lightroom and MacFamily Tree (genealogy program but this is slow because the database file I have for it is nearly 9GB in size).

    The two iMac's I'm currently considering are identical except for CPU and graphics card.

    iMac 1:
    2.7GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i5
    8GB RAM
    AMD Radeon HD 6770M with 512MB

    iMac 2:
    3.1GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i5
    8GB RAM
    AMD Radeon HD 6970M with 1GB

    Is it worth going for the 3.1GHz considering that this adds an additional £250 to the bill?

    By comparison I also have a MacBook Pro laptop with a 2.4GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 and this runs all the programs I have on the iMac very fast and I have no complaints at all but I do want to try and ensure that this iMac will last 4-5 years (like my current one has).

    I don't play games on the Mac, I do some video editing but only occasionally and not HD (yet). I do a **** of a lot of Photo Editing using Photoshop and Lightroom and also Apples Aperture. I do a lot of normal 'office' type stuff and a bit of DTP. I also do some audio editing using programs like ProTools and Logic Pro. I do also use the iMac as a 'Media Center' for music and video.

    With that in mind, am I actually going to see a significant performance difference between a 2.7GHz and 3.1Ghz CPU?

  2. #2

    mrplow's Avatar
    Member Since
    Oct 01, 2007
    Mac Mini i5 (2014 High Sierra), iPhone X, Apple Watch, iPad Pro 12.9, AppleTV (4)
    With any tech purchase the two rules I try and stick to:
    1. Only buy/upgrade when you can't do what you need to do
    2. Buy/upgrade the the highest level your budget allows

    There are few post-purchase upgrades that you can do to an iMac. If your budget runs to the 3.1Ghz spec then that's the one to get.

    Please use the reputation system if you think you've been helped - bottom left of this post

  3. #3

    IWT's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 23, 2009
    Born in Scotland, Worked in Scotland then England, Now live in Wales
    Late 2015 5K 27-inch Retina iMac, 4GHz i7, 32GB RAM, 1TB Flash Drive, macOS Sierra 10.12.6
    I totally agree. My work is very similar and, if you can afford it, go for the 3.1GHz. You will notice the difference and you can't upgrade these components on an iMac. So, I'm with mrplow on this.


  4. #4

    Spellbinder's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 10, 2012
    Highland, Indiana - U.S.A.
    Late-2013 27'' iMac, 3.4GHz Quad-Core i5, NVIDIA GTX 775M 2 GB GDDR5 Mem, 8 GB Mem, El Capitan 10.11
    I'll just chime in here and agree. If the funds are available for the "better" of the 2 configurations, by all means do it.

    I opted for the higher specs as well (see below my avatar). Aside from there being a noticeable difference between 2.7GHz and 3.1GHz, I believe that there will be an even bigger difference between the AMD Radeon HD 6770M with 512MB and the AMD Radeon HD 6970M with 1GB.

    Again, if it is at all in your budget, the 3.1GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i5, 8GB RAM, AMD Radeon HD 6970M with 1GB configuration will not disappoint. You'll get a bigger bang for the buck and will not have to worry if you made the right choice or not.
    “Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible.” - Frank Zappa

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