Become a MacRumors Supporter for $50/year with no ads, ability to filter front page stories, and private forums.

RedlegsFan

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Mar 15, 2012
508
211
Title says it all. What configuration do you buy and where from. $2,000 even to spend.
 

sartrekid

macrumors 6502a
Oct 30, 2014
531
512
Germany
You haven't said what you'll be using it for, nor have you mentioned which size you're going for or where you live.

Anyhow, if I had to buy an iMac for a budget of 2,000, I'd go with a refurbished model:


http://www.apple.com/shop/product/G...uad-core-intel-core-i5-with-retina-5k-display

Ideally, I'd go with an i7 processor and a 256GB SSD drive. However, they're slightly over the budget limit, hence the less powerful option above. If you could spend 279 USD extra, then this would be a great option: http://www.apple.com/shop/product/G...z-quad-core-intel-core-i7-with-retina-display
 
  • Like
Reactions: Truefan31

RedlegsFan

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Mar 15, 2012
508
211
Basic use. Some photo editing. I'm in Ohio.

I was really just curious to see how others would use this budget amount.

I'm most likely grabbing a model from B&H photo that's 1,999 new.

M380
2TB fusion
8GB Ram
 

sartrekid

macrumors 6502a
Oct 30, 2014
531
512
Germany
The 380 really isn't the best. Are you against refurbished models certified by Apple? If not, then I would recommend the one I linked to which is the same @AlexGraphicD described. If you want new, then yeah, your options aren't as good. But for your needs, it might very well be sufficient.
 
  • Like
Reactions: AlexGraphicD

RedlegsFan

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Mar 15, 2012
508
211
What's the negatives on the 380, for those using the machine for mainly basic use?

And no, I'm not against refurbished. But buying new from B&H photo means I don't have to pay sales tax, which would be over $100.
 

sartrekid

macrumors 6502a
Oct 30, 2014
531
512
Germany
What's the negatives on the 380, for those using the machine for mainly basic use?

And no, I'm not against refurbished. But buying new from B&H photo means I don't have to pay sales tax, which would be over $100.

Ah, I understand.

For basic use there are likely no big disadvantages. The problem is that the GPU has to push a lot of pixels due to the screen being 5k and the weaker the GPU, the worse the overall performance. The 380 is one of the weakest cards in Apple's offerings, if not the weakest. How much it'll impact you on simple day-to-day tasks, I wouldn't know. I have the m395 and I do notice some lag here and there.
 
  • Like
Reactions: mustang52

AlexGraphicD

Suspended
Oct 26, 2015
368
309
New York
. I have the m395 and I do notice some lag here and there.

Really? That sucks to hear...id like to know what do you use your Mac for mainly? Web browsing or heavy professional video editing and such?
And when does the lag appear most when you open a lot of programs at the same time?
 

sartrekid

macrumors 6502a
Oct 30, 2014
531
512
Germany
Really? That sucks to hear...id like to know what do you use your Mac for mainly? Web browsing or heavy professional video editing and such?
And when does the lag appear most when you open a lot of programs at the same time?

I bought the i7/395/2TB to replace my old Mac Pro. I use it for professional work, mainly graphic design, illustration, development, and video editing. I notice that my iMac sometimes throttles when I work on larger files or use certain PS brushes (on big files) or apply filters. Just a few days ago, I had to restart my computer because even after closing Photoshop (the only heavy-duty app open at the time) pretty much every other opened app would stutter/be unresponsive.

It's not a disaster by any means and it doesn't happen frequently, but yeah, I was a little shocked. Other scenarios where I sense some lag is when I use Mission Control (though that doesn't bother me much at all).

On the whole, however, I'm quite happy with the iMac. I knew when I bought it that it wasn't going to be a powerhouse like my old Mac Pro, but I also didn't want to buy the totally overpriced and outdated 2013 nMP, so the iMac felt like the only alternative within the Apple realm (Hackintoshes excluded).
 

AlexGraphicD

Suspended
Oct 26, 2015
368
309
New York
I bought the i7/395/2TB to replace my old Mac Pro. I use it for professional work, mainly graphic design, illustration, development, and video editing. I notice that my iMac sometimes throttles when I work on larger files or use certain PS brushes (on big files) or apply filters. Just a few days ago, I had to restart my computer because even after closing Photoshop (the only heavy-duty app open at the time) pretty much every other opened app would stutter/be unresponsive.

It's not a disaster by any means and it doesn't happen frequently, but yeah, I was a little shocked. Other scenarios where I sense some lag is when I use Mission Control (though that doesn't bother me much at all).

On the whole, however, I'm quite happy with the iMac. I knew when I bought it that it wasn't going to be a powerhouse like my old Mac Pro, but I also didn't want to buy the totally overpriced and outdated 2013 nMP, so the iMac felt like the only alternative within the Apple realm (Hackintoshes excluded).

I don't like the prospect of buying a 2k iMac and being laggy and unresponsive. As I see it the best option right now would be the maxed out model but I may as well wait for the next upcoming update in cpu and gpu hoping that it will be faster and better than the current line.
 

sartrekid

macrumors 6502a
Oct 30, 2014
531
512
Germany
I don't like the prospect of buying a 2k iMac and being laggy and unresponsive. As I see it the best option right now would be the maxed out model but I may as well wait for the next upcoming update in cpu and gpu hoping that it will be faster and better than the current line.

It's still a great performer. I didn't mean to sound as negative about the computer as I might have come across. It's just that I paid close to 3k for the second best model they currently offer and I paid about the same price for my Mac Pro which might be slower but at least doesn't throttle (and we're talking about a only slightly upgraded 1.1 model with a better GPU and SSD)... It served me well for 7 years. I wish they did these kind of sturdy powerhouses today. Alas, I know that we (professional users) aren't of great interest to Apple anymore.

So yeah, if I were to buy an iMac (as my work machine) again, I'd not opt for second best but pick the top-of-the-line model instead and fully maximise it. Unless, of course, they updated the Mac Pro.
 

AlexGraphicD

Suspended
Oct 26, 2015
368
309
New York
It's still a great performer. I didn't mean to sound as negative about the computer as I might have come across. It's just that I paid close to 3k for the second best model they currently offer and I paid about the same price for my Mac Pro which might be slower but at least doesn't throttle (and we're talking about a only slightly upgraded 1.1 model with a better GPU and SSD)... It served me well for 7 years. I wish they did these kind of sturdy powerhouses today. Alas, I know that we (professional users) aren't of great interest to Apple anymore.

So yeah, if I were to buy an iMac (as my work machine) again, I'd not opt for second best but pick the top-of-the-line model instead and fully maximise it. Unless, of course, they updated the Mac Pro.

You'd max it out even if you didn't do heavy video editing? I do graphic design too and casual video editing for short videos on YouTube. Nothing intensive or heavy.

I read a lot that the new rumored gpu models won't benefit the casual user other than the 4K video editors and gamers both of which I'm not and won't be in the near future....if that's the case then I'll go with the current models the refurb ones especially.

Also I don't know if the TB3 and USB 3 ports are going to offer me any significant benefit other than the good feeling that I own the latest cool technology ports...
 

sartrekid

macrumors 6502a
Oct 30, 2014
531
512
Germany
You'd max it out even if you didn't do heavy video editing? I do graphic design too and casual video editing for short videos on YouTube. Nothing intensive or heavy.

I read a lot that the new rumored gpu models won't benefit the casual user other than the 4K video editors and gamers both of which I'm not and won't be in the near future....if that's the case then I'll go with the current models the refurb ones especially.

Also I don't know if the TB3 and USB 3 ports are going to offer me any significant benefit other than the good feeling that I own the latest cool technology ports...

As long as a mid-tier or slightly above model could handle all that which I throw at it, I wouldn't max it out or buy the top model. However, even for what I do currently, the "almost" top model does have the occasional hiccup. Also, I tend to not buy a new machine ever year but rather keep one machine for at least 5 years, sometimes more.

I will be doing 4k video soon and my video editing workload will increase in the not-too-distant future, so I'd want my computer to be able to handle that without choking too much. I'm not all that much of a gamer, either, but I do game occasionally, so that'd be nice if the machine had decent support for that.
 

AlexGraphicD

Suspended
Oct 26, 2015
368
309
New York
Yes I also plan to keep it for at least five years. My first iMac is alsmost six years old and I wouldn't buy a new one if I hadn't move in the US from Europe.

So I'll probably wait for the next update since I don't have the budget yet to pull the trigger in any model anyways.
 

sartrekid

macrumors 6502a
Oct 30, 2014
531
512
Germany
Yes I also plan to keep it for at least five years. My first iMac is alsmost six years old and I wouldn't buy a new one if I hadn't move in the US from Europe.

So I'll probably wait for the next update since I don't have the budget yet to pull the trigger in any model anyways.

That's definitely a sensible decision. I'm very interested to see what configurations the new models will have. I have a good feeling as the new AMD cards - should they stick with AMD - are pretty decent this time around.
 

MCAsan

macrumors 601
Jul 9, 2012
4,587
442
Atlanta
Wait for the new models to be announced. Then you can decide if you want a 2016 model, or the closeout deal on a 2015. Always check the AppleInsider as a reference: http://prices.appleinsider.com

There could be some extra good deals on 2015 closeouts for Black Friday.


BTW, OP never stated it had to 27" iMac. A 21" 4K iMac could be an alternative especially since we have no other technical requirements listed. Any modern iMac can run Mail, Safari and other basic stuff. It is when you want to games, edit 4K video, that you likely need to be using a 27" 5K with i7CPU, 395GPU, a 512 SSD for boot/OS/apps/caches (1TB SSD if you much have storage inside instead of external library drives), and at least 16MB of memory.
 
Last edited:

MistrSynistr

macrumors 68000
May 15, 2014
1,650
1,997
Always go for a refurb with an SSD.

I got a 2013 model for far under that price, worked amazing, never an issue cosmetic or internal.
 
  • Like
Reactions: AlexGraphicD

RedlegsFan

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Mar 15, 2012
508
211
I'd opt for a refurb or B&H Video. I'd wait for black friday, as they'll have some really good sales.

Does B & H typically have Black Friday deals on iMacs ? I might do this if this is expected. I'm ready to buy, now just waiting for just the right time (either upgraded iMacs or a really great deal)
 

maflynn

Moderator emeritus
May 3, 2009
70,083
38,537
Does B & H typically have Black Friday deals on iMacs
Yes they do. It may not be the exact configuration you would normally choose, but they typically offer some nice deals on some decent configurations.
 

tubeexperience

macrumors 68040
Feb 17, 2016
3,192
3,895
Buy whichever processor and graphics you actually want, as those are not upgradable.

You can skim on memory and HDD/SSD as those can be upgraded later.
 

AlexGraphicD

Suspended
Oct 26, 2015
368
309
New York
Can someone tell me if the following applications are multithreaded or not? Is there any benefit to the i7 if you don't use multithreaded programs at all?

Final Cut Pro
Photoshop
Illustrator
iMovie
Indesign
Affinity Photo
Affinity Designer
Premier Pro (I don't use it just being curious)

Thanks.
 

MCAsan

macrumors 601
Jul 9, 2012
4,587
442
Atlanta
You can skim on memory and HDD/SSD as those can be upgraded later.

You can add memory on 27" iMac, not on 21" iMac. To swap out HD/SSD on either you have to open the case and that likely violates warranty. Get a 512 SSD so there is plenty of room for boot/OS/apps/caches and then put large libraries of photos, videos, documents...etc. on external HDs......without opening an iMac case.
 

tubeexperience

macrumors 68040
Feb 17, 2016
3,192
3,895
You can add memory on 27" iMac, not on 21" iMac.
Well, okay. I was assuming the OP wants a 27" iMac. That might not have been an appropriate assumption to make.

To swap out HD/SSD on either you have to open the case and that likely violates warranty.
Not at all! Removing the screen does not void the warranty assuming that you didn't break something.

Get a 512 SSD so there is plenty of room for boot/OS/apps/caches and then put large libraries of photos, videos, documents...etc. on external HDs......without opening an iMac case.
Probably not worth an extra cost $500 that can be spent elsewhere i.e. the graphics card.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Weaselboy

MCAsan

macrumors 601
Jul 9, 2012
4,587
442
Atlanta
Probably not worth an extra cost $500 that can be spent elsewhere i.e. the graphics card.

Worth is a personal value judgement. Personally I would never have a Mac without an SSD if at all possible. You get the read/write speed benefit all the time....and no HD to mechanically fail as all HD will do eventually.
 
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.