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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?" :)

Questions About iMac Hardware/Customization


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coreygeorge

 
Member Since: Mar 12, 2011
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So I am sick of my PC and am looking at a Mac desktop and not knowing much about computer hardware I am a little baffled when it comes to the customization (it really effects the prices). With the basic upgrades (only 8GB not 16GB) it's about $2,549.00 but I can get the 8GB, i5 and 1TB for $2099.99 at future shop right now. Is that a good deal or will these upgrades be beneficial to me??

Can anyone answer these questions:

Difference between 2.8GHz and 3.2HGz? Which is better? 2.8 is more money so is it worth upgrading too?

Quad-Core Intel Core i5 and i7? Difference? i5 is cheaper but is there a really good reason to go up to i7 (which is $200 more)?

8GB to 16GB - Is it worth upgrading or is just a lot of extra space? I have music, photos, documents (I write a lot) and then a game or two that will be on the computer

1TB Serial ATA Drive - is that a good enough size? I can upgrade to a 2TB but it's $150, is this something I could upgrade in the future if needed?

I should say there is no option of having a 3.2GHz with i7, only i3 or i5. Only the 2.8GHz comes with i7 and it is more expensive, not sure why, I was told 3.2GHz is better.

Any help would be very appreciated
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robduckyworth

 
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Member Since: Jan 04, 2011
Location: Reading, UK
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Mac Specs: 15" MBP, 2.5GHz i7, 750GB, 6770M 1GB, iPad 3, iPhone 4, custom PC

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2.8GHz < 3.2GHz if they have the same amount of cores

a 2.8GHz quad core will be faster than a 3.2GHz dual core, and so on.

i5 vs i7

Core i5 vs. Core i7: Differences Between Intel's i5 and i7 Processors

1tb would be more than enough for most people. what would really help is if you let us know what you actually use your computer for.

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coreygeorge

 
Member Since: Mar 12, 2011
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Guess you could use more detail about that, sorry. As I said I have music, photos, documents (I write a lot) and then a game or two that will be on the computer (I play stuff like Left 4 Dead, Sims 3 and Simcity).

I have a macbook pro for school so the desktop is for personal use. I download movies, watch a lot of my Tv shows on my computer as well, play games, use it for music a lot (I have about 30 GB of music -- I plan to cut it down though).

Usually I have two or three games on my computer on top of a fair amount of documents (3.70 MB worth of writing on my PC right now).

Good graphics is a plus, I delete Tv shows after I watch them though and burn the movies to a disk so it's always clear of that stuff but space for music/documents/a few games is the biggest thing.

I can always get an extension for space if really needed in the future if you think 1 TB will be enough for what I do.
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robduckyworth

 
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Member Since: Jan 04, 2011
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Mac Specs: 15" MBP, 2.5GHz i7, 750GB, 6770M 1GB, iPad 3, iPhone 4, custom PC

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okay it seems to me you are a little confused as to what RAM does in comparison to the hard disk

8GB or 16GB? this is RAM. this is what your system uses while its running. it is storing data you need access to immediately. every program you open, TV show you watch, music you are listening to at that specific time, are loaded onto the RAM. everything you are not using is stored on the hard drive.

the more RAM you have, the more programs or data you can have running at the same time, theoretically. it does not constitute to your storage space. different programs take up different amounts of memory.

most people dont need more than about 4GB, let alone 8. its usually alot more benificial for people doing alot of audio, video or photo editing, or gaming.

word processing is a fairly "light" task, in that it doesn't take alot of system resources.

the games you are currently playing are not the most resource demanding, but as time moves on games will become more demanding, so making sure you have a good processor and graphics card now would be beneficial if some time in the future you decided to play any of the newer releases.

that being said, most of the current games out can run on the relatively underpowered graphics processor i have, albeit at a lower resolution. the range of iMacs you are looking at, have relatively powerful ATI graphics cards in them, which would be more than enough to run Left4Dead comfortably. of course, having an good processor is also important for these kinds of games, and an i5 or i7 are well up to the task.

as for the hard drive space, the items that would seem to take up the most space would be your games, but having a terabyte of memory would be more than enough to hold everything you have said here. depending on how many movies you have, i reckon you would have around 500GB to spare on a 1TB drive. and if you run out of space, you could always get a cheap external drive and put your music/videos on there.

hope this clears things up somewhat.

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