$2K absolute max for a new Mac

Started Jan 11, 2013 | Discussions thread
kb2zuz Veteran Member • Posts: 3,202
Re: $2K absolute max for a new Mac

Just a couple thoughts. First RAM is the most important thing for most of photoshop. There are certain filters that are more processor dependent, there are some filters that are more GPU dependent, but far any away the biggest thing overall is RAM. The nice thing is if you go with the 27" you can upgrade later as you need to extend the life of your computer. Jumping up from 3 to 8GB of RAM will give you a huge impact. If you do decide on the 21.5" make sure you max out the RAM as it's not upgradeable in post.

As far as GPU keep in mind that the 27" has 77% more pixel than the 1080p display, so if you play at full resolution, don't think that the 1GB video card won't give you a 2x advantage. I have been told the 650M is pretty good (and it's leaps and bounds above your 128MB Radeon).

As far as i5 vs i7 I think this is where you are going to see the smallest difference. The biggest difference between the two is i7 has hyperthreading which only benefits threaded applications, and even then it only benefits them in certain situations.

I too have a 2006 Core Duo iMac and finally pressed the purchase button on a 27" iMac, 3.4GHz i7, 8GB of RAM, 1TB fusion drive, GTX 680MX 2GB, and apple Care (which I probably wouldn't have gotten without the educational discount).

The i7 what the last thing I decided to add on (and I had already put aside money in my head to upgrade the 8GB of RAM). The better graphics card will have a bigger impact on lightroom and many games, the fusion drive will have a bigger impact on starting applications. Even the apple care was a greater value to me than the i7, as while I've not had a single issue with my iMac i had 1 or 2 keyboards and a couple mice (stupid ball in the mighty mouse) go on me the first 3 years I had the computer, and those replacements paid for the apple care.

If your budget is strict, keep in mind if you live in a state that has an apple store, you will have to pay state sales tax even if you buy online. My order I estimated to cost just under $2600 came in over $2750 because of sales tax.

One other thing to consider is Apple does offer (through Barclaycard) interest free financing for 12 months on purchases under $1999 and 18 months on purchases $1999 and up (just make certain the balance is paid in full by the end of the term) maybe considering that the wife will let you stretch the budget a little.

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