2007 Alu iMac > 5K - which option?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by kmpowell, Jul 27, 2015.

  1. kmpowell macrumors member

    Aug 16, 2003
    My trusty 2007 aluminium 20" iMac has been showing it's age for a fair few months now - since the Yosemite and photos update it's been really struggling on basic tasks, and a blue vertical line has appeared in the middle of the screen which I have been told indicates graphics card problems. So with 5Ks appearing in the refurb' store I thought now would be a good time to upgrade to something that will last me another 8+ years. My only dilemma is which one to get to future proof myself against performance and storage adfvances, with the following things to bear in mind:

    - In the period of time I will own it HDD will probably become redundant and Flash become the norm
    - The 20" machine has a 256GB HDD, and that's pretty much full (give or take a few GB)
    - I use the machine to store all my photos which is the only large media format on it
    - It's powered up 24/7 and is used to run my home CCTV system
    - Internet/Photos/iTunes/Airplay are it's primary tasks when I'm using it

    The options available in my price range (£1500-£1800) are:
    - 3.5Ghz / 8GB / 1TB fusion - £1569
    - 3.5Ghz / 8GB / 256GB flash - £1569
    - 4.0Ghz / 8GB / 1TB fusion - £1739
    - 3.5Ghz / 16GB / 3TG fusion - £1809

    But given I want to future proof my head is telling me I need a 512GB flash minimum. But there's only one 512GB flash available and to get it I will need to splash a bit more cash which is really pushing the money for something that is only used for recreational purposes:

    - 3.5Ghz / 16GB / 512GB flash - £1909

    What would you do if you were me?

    Thanks in advance
  2. Pushkar macrumors 6502a

    Jun 9, 2009
    SW London, UK
    I'm considering something similar and I have the same year iMac, as to wether to stick with the smaller 21.5 size or go all out for the retina iMac.

    I think it is really between the 1st and 2nd option - and depends on the performance HDD wise you will receive.
    The SSD cannot be beaten, and for me personally I would go for the 256gb and get an external drive for files.

    I think for 'future-proofing' the iMac, you should upgrade the Mac to 16gb of RAM although this is easy to do yourself so avoid paying Apple the premium for doing so.
    Whilst there is a fair amount of speed increase to be gained from the i7 processor, it will more likely be an overkill...

    Me personally would opt for the 2nd option and get some extra ram for the Mac.
  3. The Economist macrumors 6502

    The Economist

    Apr 4, 2011
    You probably don't need a 4.0GHz i7 unless you were doing something processor-intensive so the 3.5 GHz CPU is good enough. Since RAM is user replaceable I'd stick with 8 GB and upgrade it at some other time if needed.

    I'd personally go for flash storage (256 GB to stay on budget, but definitely more if I could afford it) and an external drive for photos and music, but if you don't have an external drive you'd have to buy one and and that'd be another expense. So the 1TB Fusion Drive becomes an attractive option in this scenario.

    I've read that the base graphics card suffices for most people, I'm not sure if it will be good enough in the future though. Since I also game on my Mac that'd be the only thing I'd upgrade with Apple. This is not case I believe.
  4. throAU, Jul 27, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2015

    throAU macrumors 601


    Feb 13, 2012
    Perth, Western Australia
    Beware future proofing (or attempting to, you really can't) for too far into the future.

    You will just pay a HEAP of money today and end up with a machine with a heap of really slow ports on it 5 years into its life. (e.g., everyone will be using and selling peripherals for USB5 superhappyfunfastspeed and you'll still have USB3)

    Spend less on a machine today, and upgrade it in 2-4 years. You'll end up with a faster machine on average and can sell the older machine(s) for some reasonable amount of money before they're totally useless as well.

    Plus, you'll also have warranty coverage for all/most of your ownership. Blowing a whole heap of money on a super spec machine today means that if it dies after 3.1 years, you're screwed - on a machine that cost a heap of money.
  5. davekarn macrumors 6502

    Jul 27, 2007
    I went from a 24-inch mid 2007 iMac w/:
    2.8 GHz
    4 GB RAM
    ATI Radeon HD 2600 Pro graphics card
    750 GB HDD

    To a late 2014 5k iMac w/:
    3.5 GHz
    24 GB RAM (after market of course)
    290x graphics card
    1TB Fusion

    While I'm proud that the old 07 made it this far, the jump in quality and ease that this computer runs is night and day. I think if you got something similar to the setup I have you'll be more than happy. Like you, I prefer to "future proof" things as well, but I'm also (to my detriment at times) an impulse buyer and saw this at the store and had to pick it up immediately and have no regrets so far.
  6. phpmaven macrumors 68040


    Jun 12, 2009
    San Clemente, CA USA
  7. kmpowell thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 16, 2003
    Thanks everyone, so by the sounds of it I'll be fine processor and RAM wise and my only dilemma here is whether i go with...

    1 - 1TB Fusion
    2 - 256 Flash + External Flash
    3 - 3TB Flash

    4 - 512 Fusion

    ... considering my current 256HDD is full, and I don't want an external, it comes down to whether Fusion will be a compromise or not?!? If it isn't then a 1TB will suffice, if not then a 512GB Flash is probably best.

  8. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Oct 24, 2013
    For your usage the fusion should be absolutely fine it has 128GB of flash that will generally hold all your apps and most used files and the media, photos etc will be stored on the 1TB HDD where it really doesn't matter all that much.
  9. Hastings101 macrumors 68020


    Jun 22, 2010
    In your case I would go with the 3.3 i5, 8GB RAM, and the 1TB Fusion. You really don't need the power of the better processors or the extra RAM considering your usage. Same for the flash storage. Unless you suddenly get into gaming or using processor intensive tasks I think that machine would last you just as long or longer than your current one.
  10. kmpowell thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 16, 2003
    They don't do the 3.3 in the refurb store, only the higher 3.5GHz model. So it'll be one of those with the Fusion, I think :)

Share This Page