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  1. #1

    Member Since
    Jan 14, 2013
    New iMac configurations
    Hi all,

    I'm (finally) finishing my masters in may (software engineering) and my 2008 macbook is in dire need of replacement. While I still get the student discount benefits I'm thinking of getting the new iMac

    My main study is in java / web development so I can't decide on configurations! I wouldn't need the 27" and I was originally going to get the 3.1 GHz i7 with 16GB RAM, but then was having doubts as to whether the extra 500 GBP from the base model 21.5" was really worth it performance-wise. I mainly use my mac for android / java / web development, occasional audio recording (nothing professional) and the normal internet usage! Can anyone shed any light on their experiences / advice on configurations?

    Any input is greatly appreciated!


  2. #2

    IvanLasston's Avatar
    Member Since
    Feb 26, 2010
    Rocky Mountain High, Colorado
    1.8 GHz i7 MBA 11" OSX 10.8.2
    Anything that is CPU intensive (compiling for you) can benefit from having the i7 vs an i5. Is it 500 worth? That is a question only you can answer. Considering that time is money - faster compiles can have a significant impact on how much you can get done in a day.

    Generally speaking "normal usage" - most computers are overkill so most people can get away with the lower ends. On the other hand - the more you spend now - then "longer" it will last in terms of being able to run programs etc as they become more compute intensive.

    For the desktop - i7 actually have hyperthreading whereas the i5 do not. In essence the i7 will end up looking like a 8 core machine (and for most tasks it will act like an 8 core machine) It is just the really high 100% cpu tasks where hyperthreading doesn't help as much - but it still helps having the i7 as they are generally faster clock rates anyway.

    For RAM - 8GB is good but if you can get 16GB it probably wouldn't hurt. Compiling can be RAM intensive as well. Also since you are doing development (especially for android) you may need Virtual Machines at some point to test out programs - so having more RAM for running other OSes always helps as well.

  3. #3

    baggss's Avatar
    Member Since
    Oct 10, 2004
    3.4 Ghz i7 27 in iMac (2012), 3.4 Ghz i7 MacBook Pro (2015), iPad Pro (2014), iPhone 6+
    My advice here is the same as always:

    Get the most computer you can afford. If you can afford the extra 500 GBP without breaking the bank then spend it. There is no such thing as being sorry that you have too much RAM, too fast a CPU, to fast/big a HDD etc, but there is such a thing as being sorry you have too little RAM, too slow a CPU or not enough HDD.

    Never assume that what you do today with your computer is what you will do tomorrow, or next week, or next month or next year or in 5 years. Buy as much computer as you can. Future proofing yourself for the "next big upgrade" is never a bad thing.

  4. #4

    Member Since
    Jan 14, 2013
    Thanks to the both of you for your input! I guess it does make sense to save and wait that little bit longer as in the long run it'll do me good!

    And yes Ivan I would be using virtual machines and android device emulators so having the extra RAM would again be wise of me. I think I'll save and max out the 21.5" in terms of RAM / CPU, like both of you are suggesting it will 'future proof' me for longer!

    Thanks again to the both of you!

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