27" iMac (NON RETINA) video card configuration options!?

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Hello,

Regarding the 27" iMac (NON RETINA) model, you have the option to upgrade to either the 2GB NVidia card or the 4GB NVidia card. I was wondering if the 4GB card is really necessary or if the 2GB card would be more than enough for my needs? I basically use a computer for normal/everyday tasks (such as E-Mail, web surfing, chat, webcaming, watching videos online (lots of streaming) (which will include streaming/mirroring with Airplay to my HDTV), an occasional game (nothing crazy) basic photo editing, occasional video editing (again basic personal/everyday types of editing) etc...

I am coming from a Windows world where every thing freezes up on me (I can't even use Facebook on my current Windows 8 machine without Facebook constantly freezing up on me) it's driving me insane! Granted I have a very cheap laptop right now so I'm sure most of the problems is related to the hardware but I don't want to have to deal with this if I move over to the Mac world so I want to make sure I get what I need.

I'm assuming a 4GB video card is perhaps overkill for me but wanted to make sure before I order.

Thanks!

P.S. I'm assuming this site is the best/most popular site regarding a Mac forum? I can't stand what Apple has done to their community forum, it's so unorganized-very strange for them to do something so sloppy...
 

pigoo3

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I was wondering if the 4GB card is really necessary or if the 2GB card would be more than enough for my needs? I basically use a computer for normal/everyday tasks (such as E-Mail, web surfing, chat, webcaming, watching videos online (lots of streaming) (which will include streaming/mirroring with Airplay to my HDTV), an occasional game (nothing crazy) basic photo editing, occasional video editing (again basic personal/everyday types of editing) etc...

For the computing tasks you mentioned…you don't even need the 2gig video hardware. The 1gig video would be perfectly fine for internet videos, streaming, email, web surfing, etc.

I have an iMac from 2009 (6 years old)…and it can handle just about everything you mentioned just fine.:) So a brand new model 27" iMac with just the 1gig video would absolutely kick my 2009 iMac's butt big time! Thus the 1gig video 27" iMac would be fine.

Many Mac experts will agree that Mac's are not the best gaming machines. So this is the only computing task you mentioned that "MIGHT" be questionable. But I'm pretty sure that with the "nothing crazy" gaming you mentioned…that the 1gig video 27" iMac would be fine. But…if you have the cash…and want to upgrade to the 2gig video 27" iMac…go for it. The 4gig video??…this would probably be overkill (but it is only $150 more)…if you got the cash.

So there you go…my 2 cents!:)

- Nick
 
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I'd suggest doing a Google search on:
27" iMac NVIDIA GeForce GTX 775M 2GB GDDR5 or NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780M 4GB GDDR5
and have a read. Then decide if the price is worth it for your needs, and don't forget you may get more advanced with your graphics and needs, and it's not a huge increase in cost.

PS: Don't forget to check Apple's Refurbished section, they may have just what you want and at a $$ savings as well. But the good buys don't usually last long and can sometimes disappear in a few hours.
 

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...and don't forget you may get more advanced with your graphics and needs...

This is always the "wild card" unknown when purchasing a new computer. What will I be doing in the future on this computer that I don't do now??;)

- Nick
 
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Wow! I thought that 4GB VRAM seemed a bit high, so I thought I'd check my own 2011 27" iMac as I couldn't recall exactly what it had:
An old AMD Radeon HD 6770M I guess by todays standard and 512 MB VRAM.

Tiny and slow by comparison and I can't say that I've ever noticed any graphic problems, but I also don't do any high end graphics and especially no games. FWIW. ;)
 
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Yes I would just rather be safe than sorry, I have been checking out the refurb section too, pretty good money saving there! Also for argument sake, I'm still deciding on whether I want the 21.5" or 27" iMac...I need to go to a store so I can decide for myself. If I end up going with the 21.5 model, then my only option for the graphics card would be the 1GB card...but you guys say that would be perfectly fine as well, yes?

I'm thinking the 4GB card is not necessary but if I go with the 27" model I will most likely get it with the 2GB card.
 
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"PM"...which link do I want to read when I do the Google search for what you told me to search for?
 
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This is always the "wild card" unknown when purchasing a new computer. What will I be doing in the future on this computer that I don't do now??;)

- Nick


Easy for me Nick in my senior 70+ years, and not much change in my 25± years of Macing.

As for you, I don't know if and how you have any time from all your mac-forums stuff and support or if you're actually going to change. ;)

As for the unknowing young set, I'd probably get the better graphics if I could afford it — just in case, and only $150.00. Not too bad. But I also tend to keep using my Macs longer than many and I was lucky getting my existing 2011 27" iMac used from my Authorized Apple Dealer son, otherwise I'd probably still be using our 2007 24" iMac my wife now uses.
 
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Yes I would just rather be safe than sorry, I have been checking out the refurb section too, pretty good money saving there! Also for argument sake, I'm still deciding on whether I want the 21.5" or 27" iMac...I need to go to a store so I can decide for myself. If I end up going with the 21.5 model, then my only option for the graphics card would be the 1GB card...but you guys say that would be perfectly fine as well, yes?

I'm thinking the 4GB card is not necessary but if I go with the 27" model I will most likely get it with the 2GB card.


Don't forget that they can appear as different size iMacs when you get them home and use them on your desk.

But also be very aware that the entry model 21.5 iMac cannot be upgraded with memory after purchase and some of the other models are similarly handicapped, if want of better description, which I don't think the 27" iMacs are. Double check as Apple seems to change things faster than my old brain can keep up, and by all means, check out the various specs here and read the "fine print" that Apple doesn't make very obvious.
Apple iMac Specs (All iMac Tech Specs) @ EveryMac.com
 
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The one I put in italics, or any variation on it:
27" iMac NVIDIA GeForce GTX 775M 2GB GDDR5 or NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780M 4GB GDDR5
or just use this that Goole creates in Safari's address bar:
https://www.google.ca/search?client...&oe=UTF-8&gfe_rd=cr&ei=H5jyVP_dHcnsiQKUooCQDQ

Yes I know what to search for but what result do I want? I don't see anyone discussing the different GPU's, can you paste a direct link to the discussion or article you are referring to?

Yes I realize you cant upgrade the memory in the 21.5" model, if I ordered that I would indeed order it maxed out at 16GB's.
 

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You've been given pretty good advice above already.
You can take that advice or you can continue to do more research.

Yes I know what to search for but what result do I want? ...

That's part of your homework. You're about to spend $1500 - $2500 on a new computer. Put in the search query and spend an hour to check out the links on the first 2 or 3 pages of returns. Some of them won't have any info you're interested in and some will. Some of the links will be from this or other forums. Some of those will have not only the primary link, but also secondary links listed underneath you can check out. That's the research so that you can make your own decision as to what to buy. You know the adage, you can lead a horse to water... now you have to start drinking.

(For the record, I certainly think any Mac made over the last few years will accomplish the tasks you have described. I am streaming HD content from a '06 MBP and an '11 MBA from Netflix, iTunes, Vudu, Amazon, HBO Go, Max Go, etc. without any issues on a 30Mbps connection.)
 
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No offense Bob but all you're doing is trying to confuse me even more on a subject I obviously don't know as much about as I thought I did. Having me read 3 pages of links is only going to confuse me even more, that's what the forums are here for...for people like you who know the answer to help people who don't.
 
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To me its simple.

You view videos online etc., buy the most you can afford. Nothing disappoints more than saving a few bucks and under peforming for the next three of four years.
 

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No offense Bob but all you're doing is trying to confuse me even more on a subject I obviously don't know as much about as I thought I did. Having me read 3 pages of links is only going to confuse me even more, that's what the forums are here for...for people like you who know the answer to help people who don't.

bobtomay is just trying to help. We all want you to have as much info as you need to make an informed decision on this expensive purchase.:)

It's up to you to decide how much info you need:

- If doing searches for more info is more info than you need…that's ok.
- If you decide to do some additional searches for more info…that's ok too.

We just want you to have as much info as possible to decide.:)

- Nick
 
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chas_m

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Without meaning to be disrespectful, are you so averse to reading and learning a little more about video cards that you can't be bothered to check out few links, particularly when doing so will allow you to make a more informed decision on a $1500-2000 investment?

Learn something new every day, I always say. It will certainly do you no harm to do a little research and learning on your own rather than being spoon-fed some "best guesses" from people who yes, probably know a bit more on the topic -- but don't know your particular needs, future needs, economic situation, domestic setup and a hundred other factors that could render our advice fairly moot.

If you're still at the point where you're debating such basics as the size of the machine -- you need to do more research that we can only offer very limited help with. "Get the best you can afford" has been the general theme of the advice given to you so far, and I think in terms of future-proofing your investment that is a sound choice. But there is also such a thing as overbuying: spending for a 4GB card for someone who just watches YouTube videos and does Facebook is a ludicrous waste of money.
 

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