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Switcher Hangout The place for switchers to discuss their new machines, and how to work with OS X. General support can be had here for newbie stuff, like "How do I restart my new iMac?" :)

Big Decisions

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Member Since: Mar 01, 2010
Posts: 1
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I'm relatively new to apple. First it was the iphones, then for x-mas I bought my son a mac book air 2.13 with the ssd drive. He seems to love it over the dell he had. I never really get to touch the thing until he needs to learn how to use something....but it is just nice from the second you unbox it till you put it away.

Now my wife just started getting into photography and bought a new slr but now she wants an imac because of the monitor and design. (I want it too, dont really need it but an excuse is an excuse!)We primarily use our computers for surfing the web but she wants to use it to edit photos etc, nothing big. I want to make sure I get something that will be good for a few years. We were looking at three models:

1) 27" 3.06 4gb of ram 1tb hd std imac.
2) 27" 3.06 8gb of ram 1tb hd std imac.
3) 27" Quad core 2.66 4gb of ram 1tb hd std quad model.

My question is the 8gb of ram really faster over the std 4gb of ram. Also for what I'm using it for is the quad core faster over the std 4b model or even 8gb model.

I was leaning towards the 8gb ram model but dont want to waste money if they arent that different. She constantly complains our computer is slow. I use at&t uverse internet service which gets me 18mbps service. They now have a 24 mbps so maybe i can upgrade, but i just want to make sure the thing is fast.

I'm not really a computer person so I would really appreciate everyones advice and feedback.

Thanks in advance
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Member Since: Jan 22, 2010
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Mac Specs: Mid-2012 MBP (16GB, 1TB HD), Monoprice 24-inch second monitor, iPhone 5s 32GB, iPad Air 2 64GB

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Any of the iMacs are way overkill for your described needs and will just fly in terms of speed. You can always add RAM later so save yourself some money now (maybe buy Applecare with the savings).

Yes, 8GB brings some mild benefit over 4GB but not until you start using the really high-end software like the CS4 suite.

If money's not an issue then yes, the high-end quad is a bit better future-proofed than the others but really all of them are fantastic machines way ahead of what most people on this forum have at the moment, so again you're VERY good to go with any of them.
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Member Since: Feb 25, 2010
Location: Idaho
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Mac Specs: MBPr 13" Mid-2014 i5 256gb SSD 8gb Ram, iPad Mini 2 32gb

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First off, welcome to the forum and welcome to the mac world.

I have the 1st computer you mentioned, except the 21.5" version. I, too, am into photography. If you are doing basic photo editing, you will be just fine with the 1st computer. It works great! I can edit photos and do other tasking at the same time. For now, I am using iPhoto until I can afford/find a different program to use. Where you may want a faster processor or more ram is if you get into video editing.

As for future proofing, you will want to go with the quad core. Just make sure to get the 8gb of ram or plan on upgrading. You don't truely unlock the potential of the quad core without the ram.
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