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

2.7GHz or 3.1GHz CPU?

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Member Since: Feb 13, 2007
Location: Worthing, West Sussex, UK
Posts: 212
Peakoverload has a spectacular aura about
Mac Specs: 27" iMac 3.1Ghz 16GB RAM, 1TB HD. iPhone 4.

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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
AMD Radeon HD 6770M with 512MB

iMac 2:
3.1GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i5
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?
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Member Since: Oct 01, 2007
Location: UK
Posts: 6,759
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Mac Specs: 27" iMac i7 (2011) 10.10, iPhone6, iPad Air 2, AppleTV2

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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.

External hard disk acquisition addict - but admitting the problem is the first step to a robust backup

Please use the reputation system if you think you've been helped - top right of this post
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Member Since: Jan 23, 2009
Location: Born in Scotland, Worked in Scotland then England, Now live in Wales
Posts: 867
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Mac Specs: 2010 27" iMac 16GB RAM, SSD & 1TB IHD (Mavericks) + 2013 27" iMac Fusion SSD & 3TB IHD, 32GB (Maver

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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.

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Member Since: Jan 10, 2012
Location: Highland, Indiana - U.S.A.
Posts: 165
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Mac Specs: Late-2013 27'' iMac, 3.4GHz Quad-Core i5, NVIDIA GTX 775M 2 GB GDDR5 Mem, 8 GB Mem, Yosemite 10.10.4

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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.

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