2017 5k iMac Impressions

The Clark

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Dec 11, 2013
286
311
Victoria, BC
After years of lusting over the 5k iMac, I decided to pick one up and share my thoughts with you all. Before we begin, allow me to cover some of the basics..

Owned for: 2 days
CPU: Quad Core i5 with 3.4 base clock (3.8 turbo)
Ram: 8GB DDR4 2400 (ordered an additional 16gb from OWC)
GPU: Radeon™ RX 570 4GB
Storage: 256GB SSD + 2 External Drives (HDD + SSD)
Operating System: MacOS 10.14.2

This is my first Mac desktop and the most powerful Mac I've ever owned. I also have a custom built PC that runs very well, but Windows has been getting on my nerves ever since 2015 and I've wanted to fully move to a Mac for years.

I am a student studying Information and Computers Tech. and I do a lot of programming. I also have a Youtube channel that I regularly make videos for so this iMac will be primary used with the following software

Final Cut X
Eclipse/IntelliJ IDE
Sublime/Atom w/ multiple plugins
Adobe Photoshop
SQLDeveloper
MS Office
+ a lot of non specialty software (Spotify, Firefox/Chrome etc)

MacOS:
The biggest reason I wanted to switch to a Mac was for MacOS (shocking I know). MacOS is a unix based operating system which means a lot to me as I spend a decent amount of time in the terminal and unlike linux, things typically just work out of the box. I don't have to worry about driver issues and let's be honest, MacOS is dead sexy. It's also optimized for the hardware that it runs on, which is more that I can say for the train-wreck that is Windows (bugged updates that you have little control over, invasive telemetry, ads/games in a PAID OS etc..).

Productivity:
One of the things I have to mention early on is this machine has been fantastic for productivity/multi-tasking. As you will see in the photos below I have the Magic Trackpad and it's IMO a must have for all of the gestures MacOS provides, especially in Final Cut or when you're swiping between apps via three fingers. All of the software that I used in Windows is available in MacOS but now I can use MacOS exclusives like Coda 2 and Mindnode.

Peripherals:
Initially I had no intentions of using the Magic Keyboard 2 because I already own 3 mechanical keyboards. However, I'm completely sold on the Magic Keyboard 2 since using it during the setup. The feedback is great. Definitely more shallow than I'm used to, but still highly responsive. Each key is sturdy and features a slight concave which really enhances the typing experience. It's also aesthetically pleasing and I love how thin it is.

Screen:
Best display I've seen on a Desktop Computer (all-in-one or otherwise). Yes, the colours are extremely vibrant and it's huge, but the text.. THE TEXT IS THE BEST PART OF THIS DISPLAY; Everything is so clear! If you're a writer, programmer, or you enjoy reading articles/forums etc on your computer you'll LOVE this monitor. It is however, not perfect. Uniformity is pretty good but I noticed a warmed colour shift from right to left. Each iMac I checked out at Best Buy/Staples had the exact same characteristic so I'm assuming that's just how she goes. I have yet to see a perfect LCD screen, and that's because one simply does not exist. With that minor niggle aside, this is still truly a fantastic display that you really have to see in person to appreciate.

Conclusion:
So far I am very satisfied with this purchase. Already I can tell it's going to be a lot better than Windows. MacOS seems to just make everything a little easier, even the data migration from my MBP to my iMac was super easy to do, and everything transferred without a hitch. I cannot recommend this computer enough.

Pictures:







Thanks for reading, and I'll apologize in advance for any grammatical errors/spelling mistakes. I did not proof read this.
 
Last edited:

SecuritySteve

macrumors 6502a
Jul 6, 2017
769
915
California
It's all fun and games until you try to play some games... which is my only criticism of Macs. I'm glad you're happy with your purchase. :D
 

nihil0

macrumors 6502
May 19, 2016
254
101
Very true haha. For gaming you'll definitely want a Windows PC or a dedicated console.

Thanks!
I have highest basic 5k 2017 iMac and I played games with no problem using Bootcamp. Granted, games under macOS are mostly not as smooth (we all know why) - but they are playable also
 
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wardie

macrumors 6502
Aug 18, 2008
348
109
I have highest basic 5k 2017 iMac and I played games with no problem using Bootcamp. Granted, games under macOS are mostly not as smooth (we all know why) - but they are playable also
In 4K HDR though?
 

alien3dx

macrumors 6502a
Feb 12, 2017
852
179
After years of lusting over the 5k iMac, I decided to pick one up and share my thoughts with you all. Before we begin, allow me to cover some of the basics..

Owned for: 2 days
CPU: Quad Core i5 with 3.4 base clock (3.8 turbo)
Ram: 8GB DDR4 2400 (ordered an additional 16gb from OWC)
GPU: Radeon™ RX 570 4GB
Storage: 256GB SSD + 2 External Drives (HDD + SSD)
Operating System: MacOS 10.14.2

This is my first Mac desktop and the most powerful Mac I've ever owned. I also have a custom built PC that runs very well, but Windows has been getting on my nerves ever since 2015 and I've wanted to fully move to a Mac for years.

I am a student studying Information and Computers Tech. and I do a lot of programming. I also have a Youtube channel that I regularly make videos for so this iMac will be primary used with the following software

Final Cut X
Eclipse/IntelliJ IDE
Sublime/Atom w/ multiple plugins
Adobe Photoshop
SQLDeveloper
MS Office
+ a lot of non specialty software (Spotify, Firefox/Chrome etc)

MacOS:
The biggest reason I wanted to switch to a Mac was for MacOS (shocking I know). MacOS is a unix based operating system which means a lot to me as I spend a decent amount of time in the terminal and unlike linux, things typically just work out of the box. I don't have to worry about driver issues and let's be honest, MacOS is dead sexy. It's also optimized for the hardware that it runs on, which is more that I can say for the train-wreck that is Windows (bugged updates that you have little control over, invasive telemetry, ads/games in a PAID OS etc..).

Productivity:
One of the things I have to mention early on is this machine has been fantastic for productivity/multi-tasking. As you will see in the photos below I have the Magic Trackpad and it's IMO a must have for all of the gestures MacOS provides, especially in Final Cut or when you're swiping between apps via three fingers. All of the software that I used in Windows is available in MacOS but now I can use MacOS exclusives like Coda 2 and Mindnode.

Peripherals:
Initially I had no intentions of using the Magic Keyboard 2 because I already own 3 mechanical keyboards. However, I'm completely sold on the Magic Keyboard 2 since using it during the setup. The feedback is great. Definitely more shallow than I'm used to, but still highly responsive. Each key is sturdy and features a slight concave which really enhances the typing experience. It's also aesthetically pleasing and I love how thin it is.

Screen:
Best display I've seen on a Desktop Computer (all-in-one or otherwise). Yes, the colours are extremely vibrant and it's huge, but the text.. THE TEXT IS THE BEST PART OF THIS DISPLAY; Everything is so clear! If you're a writer, programmer, or you enjoy reading articles/forums etc on your computer you'll LOVE this monitor. It is however, not perfect. Uniformity is pretty good but I noticed a warmed colour shift from right to left. Each iMac I checked out at Best Buy/Staples had the exact same characteristic so I'm assuming that's just how she goes. I have yet to see a perfect LCD screen, and that's because one simply does not exist. With that minor niggle aside, this is still truly a fantastic display that you really have to see in person to appreciate.

Conclusion:
So far I am very satisfied with this purchase. Already I can tell it's going to be a lot better than Windows. MacOS seems to just make everything a little easier, even the data migration from my MBP to my iMac was super easy to do, and everything transferred without a hitch. I cannot recommend this computer enough.

Pictures:







Thanks for reading, and I'll apologize in advance for any grammatical errors/spelling mistakes. I did not proof read this.
just remember osx is case insensitive like windows.. linux case sensitive . Office mac cannot run xll but anyway still got visual studio for mac.
** not grammar nazi as long can be read.
 

nihil0

macrumors 6502
May 19, 2016
254
101
In 4K HDR though?
Is 4k hdr only way to play game? Anything less is not considered real gaming? Is 1440p subpar resolution for you? I don't understand your question at all. This is not 9Gag where you can brag that you are member of so-called PC master race.
 

06tb06

macrumors regular
Sep 12, 2017
110
89
2,711 miles from Apple Campus
I remember when I got my first iMac. Still impressed to this day. Everything you need in one machine.

We have the same specs (minus the 5K display and Radeon 570 graphics). I ordered my iMac with 16GB of RAM just because the 21.5-inch models aren't as serviceable (easily) as the 27-inch iMacs.

You're right about text on these Retina displays, crisp and sharp.
 
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The Clark

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Dec 11, 2013
286
311
Victoria, BC
I remember when I got my first iMac. Still impressed to this day. Everything you need in one machine.

We have the same specs (minus the 5K display and Radeon 570 graphics). I ordered my iMac with 16GB of RAM just because the 21.5-inch models aren't as serviceable (easily) as the 27-inch iMacs.

You're right about text on these Retina displays, crisp and sharp.
Nice. Yup, the text/screen is what sold me on the iMac.
 

wardie

macrumors 6502
Aug 18, 2008
348
109
Is 4k hdr only way to play game? Anything less is not considered real gaming? Is 1440p subpar resolution for you? I don't understand your question at all. This is not 9Gag where you can brag that you are member of so-called PC master race.
Nope I didn’t say any of that. I’m just saying that an Xbox I bought off the shelf in the local store for not much money is graphically very capable and the games look awesome on a big telly. Better than on my iMac. It would seem odd to me to buy an iMac as a gaming rig. Sure, it plays games, but really it focus is a great all round computer in a simple consumer package with a great screen and decent GPU for photo/video tasks, which also is reasonable for gaming as a side-benefit. Chill.
 

lexvo

macrumors 65816
Nov 11, 2009
1,220
364
The Netherlands
I bought my 2017 iMac i5 (3.8 GHz) a few months ago and I'm also very happy with it. I have a 1 Tb internal SSD and upgraded the RAM myself to 40Gb.
I run Lightroom and Photoshop on it and performance is just great. As a matter of fact everything is running very smooth. And the 5K display is just nice :)
 
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The Clark

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Dec 11, 2013
286
311
Victoria, BC
I bought my 2017 iMac i5 (3.8 GHz) a few months ago and I'm also very happy with it. I have a 1 Tb internal SSD and upgraded the RAM myself to 40Gb.
I run Lightroom and Photoshop on it and performance is just great. As a matter of fact everything is running very smooth. And the 5K display is just nice :)
Nice. When it comes to photoshop this thing doesn't break a sweat, even in final cut it just keeps going. Really impressive.
 

nihil0

macrumors 6502
May 19, 2016
254
101
Nope I didn’t say any of that. I’m just saying that an Xbox I bought off the shelf in the local store for not much money is graphically very capable and the games look awesome on a big telly. Better than on my iMac. It would seem odd to me to buy an iMac as a gaming rig. Sure, it plays games, but really it focus is a great all round computer in a simple consumer package with a great screen and decent GPU for photo/video tasks, which also is reasonable for gaming as a side-benefit. Chill.
I did not write that I bought it for games. I simply wrote that I tested to play games on it. To see what R580 is capable of. And I was very pleased. I have PS4 but I don't need 4K and HDR for enjoying the games. It looks nice but it is only same gimmick as RTX.
 

tomscott1988

macrumors 6502a
Apr 14, 2009
617
482
UK
I bought my 2017 iMac i5 (3.8 GHz) a few months ago and I'm also very happy with it. I have a 1 Tb internal SSD and upgraded the RAM myself to 40Gb.
I run Lightroom and Photoshop on it and performance is just great. As a matter of fact everything is running very smooth. And the 5K display is just nice :)
Im having the opposite experience. My 2010 mac pro is much faster... I think its the 5k display and the scalling as if I attach my 27" Apple cinema display it works fine.

Im on the most recent version, have 1:1 rendered have the standard preview size on auto and the performance is awful.

Loads of threads on the adobe forums about it. 40gbs of ram, got the cache set to 100gb and its running on a USB C gen 3 raid 0 SSD drive and the performance is awful. The 5k display is set to act like 2560x1440 like my ACD yet the ACD performance is far superior which is where the scaling issue is.

Pretty much the same as the below video.


Users have posted all the way up to Feb this year

https://forums.adobe.com/thread/2544134

It might depend on the files, I use 5DSr, 5DMKIV, 5DMKIII files and the MKIII 22mp files are fine but the 50mp files are awful to deal with.

What camera files do you use?
 

lexvo

macrumors 65816
Nov 11, 2009
1,220
364
The Netherlands
Im having the opposite experience. My 2010 mac pro is much faster... I think its the 5k display and the scalling as if I attach my 27" Apple cinema display it works fine.

Im on the most recent version, have 1:1 rendered have the standard preview size on auto and the performance is awful.

Loads of threads on the adobe forums about it. 40gbs of ram, got the cache set to 100gb and its running on a USB C gen 3 raid 0 SSD drive and the performance is awful. The 5k display is set to act like 2560x1440 like my ACD yet the ACD performance is far superior which is where the scaling issue is.

Pretty much the same as the below video.


Users have posted all the way up to Feb this year

https://forums.adobe.com/thread/2544134

It might depend on the files, I use 5DSr, 5DMKIV, 5DMKIII files and the MKIII 22mp files are fine but the 50mp files are awful to deal with.

What camera files do you use?
Yes, I saw the discussions too on the Adobe forums. Last year they brought out some performance updates of LR. When I still had my 2011 iMac, I waited till the last performance update before updating LR. In the end it ran fine.

I am using 24MP files of my Fuji X-T2 and some older 21MP files of my Canon 5Dmk2. But I am also editing in PS from LR where files around 200MB (TIFF and PSD) are created. Even these large files run fine.

Maybe it are large RAW files which give problems but I have no experience with these.
 

wardie

macrumors 6502
Aug 18, 2008
348
109
Ye 5DMKIII seem fine but 6DMKII 5DMKIV and 5DSR files run in order of best to worst unfortunately.
My machine (iMac 5K i7) absolutely eats through my (amateur) workload on Lightroom now, and the mentioned updates to LR did help.. but I’m only using raw files off my lowly old 70D I’m afraid so only 20Mp files. Nothing like the above issues on the video.
 

smirking

macrumors 68020
Aug 31, 2003
2,184
1,593
Silicon Valley
Congrats! As a Web developer, I completely agree with the move to an OS that's UNIX based. I've pondered moving the opposite direction you went and go to Windows from MacOS, but the lack of UNIX support straight out of the box is a significant reason I don't get very far whenever I think of doing this.

The 5K monitor is also a huge help for tired eyes when you spend all day staring at lines of code. It's just so much easier to read a 5K screen if you've been pulling a marathon coding session. After 12+ hours, it makes a big difference, especially as you get older.

I own a lot of mechanical keyboards, but I also rather like the current generation of very short travel Apple keyboards. Granted, I wouldn't favor the Magic Keyboard II over one of my mechanicals, but this style of keyboard has a place in my keyboard rotation. I've developed RSI from lots of typing over the years and my MBP's butterfly keys is a good change of pace to keep my hands fresh.
 
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netdudeuk

macrumors 6502
Nov 27, 2012
329
249
Congrats! As a Web developer, I completely agree with the move to an OS that's UNIX based. I've pondered moving the opposite direction you went and go to Windows from MacOS, but the lack of UNIX support straight out of the box is a significant reason I don't get very far whenever I think of doing this.

The 5K monitor is also a huge help for tired eyes when you spend all day staring at lines of code. It's just so much easier to read a 5K screen if you've been pulling a marathon coding session. After 12+ hours, it makes a big difference, especially as you get older.

I own a lot of mechanical keyboards, but I also rather like the current generation of very short travel Apple keyboards. Granted, I wouldn't favor the Magic Keyboard II over one of my mechanicals, but this style of keyboard has a place in my keyboard rotation. I've developed RSI from lots of typing over the years and my MBP's butterfly keys is a good change of pace to keep my hands fresh.
Any good (Windows Subsystem for Linux) ?

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/wsl/about

Regarding long programming sessions and displays, try doing the same on a 14" CRT ;)

My first professional system had a 5" CRT and I spent long hours on that.
 

macduke

macrumors G4
Jun 27, 2007
10,827
14,068
Central U.S.
games in a PAID OS etc..).
NOBODY TELL HIM ABOUT CHESS!! lol
Productivity:
One of the things I have to mention early on is this machine has been fantastic for productivity/multi-tasking. As you will see in the photos below I have the Magic Trackpad and it's IMO a must have for all of the gestures MacOS provides, especially in Final Cut or when you're swiping between apps via three fingers. All of the software that I used in Windows is available in MacOS but now I can use MacOS exclusives like Coda 2 and Mindnode.
Install BetterTouchTool to unlock the true power of that Magic Trackpad, along with other cool things like customizable window snapping. Other good utilities/apps include Paste, Bartender, 1Password, Droplr, Mini Calendar, iStat Menus, Carbon Copy Cloner, CodeKit, Local by Flywheel, RadarScope, VirtualBox, Ghostery, ImageOptim, CheatSheet, Deliveries, and Spark.

Quite - got an Xbox One X for Christmas. It rocks 4K gaming for a fraction of a Mac Mini...
Yeah, it kinda does 4K gaming. A lot of the time it's 1440p, and when it's 4K it's usually more like 30fps. Not bad for the price though. I like mine well enough.

Probably should have held out for the new iMacs... lol.
Yeah, should have checked the buyer's guide. Though if you needed it you could have been waiting a long time because Apple's Mac updates have been pretty irregular in recent years. It's hard to tell.