2017 5k iMac?

jm31828

macrumors regular
Original poster
Sep 28, 2015
129
29
Bothell, Washington
I found a great deal at b&h photo on a new 2017 27” iMac 3.5ghz with 8gb ram and and Radeon pro 575 video card, $1375. $200 cheaper than the best deal I could find on the base 3.0 ghz 2019 27”.

For my light use the specs will be fine, but is there any reason to be concerned about buying a 2017 vs a 2019? It seems everything is the same vs the slight bump to 8th gen processors on the 2019’s?

I will be replacing my 2014 Mac mini with this, and hoping to keep it 5 years it do for light duty including photo editing in Skylum apps (that still r we irk on my paltry old Mac mini).
 

jz0309

macrumors 6502
Sep 25, 2018
252
1,080
Temecula, CA
at that price I'm guessing it comes with the 1 TB fusion drive - there are hundreds of threads on that topic here so educate yourself if that will suit your needs or not. Me personally, I would not get an iMac with a fusion drive but YMMV.
 
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jm31828

macrumors regular
Original poster
Sep 28, 2015
129
29
Bothell, Washington
at that price I'm guessing it comes with the 1 TB fusion drive - there are hundreds of threads on that topic here so educate yourself if that will suit your needs or not. Me personally, I would not get an iMac with a fusion drive but YMMV.
Yeah, for me the fusion drive is fine- it’s the same drive that would have been in the base model 2019 that I had looked at.

Essentially the 2017 I ordered is an i5 quad core 3.5ghz and the 2019 I was going to buy was an i5 6 core 3.0 ghz. I know there is a slight difference in these two, but otherwise on paper these two seem identical- was just curious if there are any other differences between the 2017 and 2019 that would have made it worth spending the extra $200 to go to the 2919 base model vs the 2017 midrange model I ordered?
 

537635

macrumors 6502a
Mar 7, 2009
631
541
Slovenia, EU
Yeah, for me the fusion drive is fine- it’s the same drive that would have been in the base model 2019 that I had looked at.

Essentially the 2017 I ordered is an i5 quad core 3.5ghz and the 2019 I was going to buy was an i5 6 core 3.0 ghz. I know there is a slight difference in these two, but otherwise on paper these two seem identical- was just curious if there are any other differences between the 2017 and 2019 that would have made it worth spending the extra $200 to go to the 2919 base model vs the 2017 midrange model I ordered?
Fusion Drive was not fine in 2017. It is even less fine today. Spinning hard drives are only suitable for long term storage. For active work, even running an operating system, SSD are a must nowadays.

In other words - when selecting a computer, it is pointless to look at any other characteristics when you are dealing with a spinning hard drive. The computer simply won't feel like something from this decade.
 
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jm31828

macrumors regular
Original poster
Sep 28, 2015
129
29
Bothell, Washington
Fusion Drive was not fine in 2017. It is even less fine today. Spinning hard drives are only suitable for long term storage. For active work, even running an operating system, SSD are a must nowadays.

In other words - when selecting a computer, it is pointless to look at any other characteristics when you are dealing with a spinning hard drive. The computer simply won't feel like something from this decade.
I know many feel that way- my point is just that which ever one I bought, either was going to have the fusion drive. These were deeply discounted holiday sales with pre-configured setups, no option to change drives.

So I was really just concerned as to any down side to the 2017 with these specific configurations.
 

Fishrrman

macrumors P6
Feb 20, 2009
17,614
5,754
The 2017 you ordered should be fine.

Be aware that a 1tb fusion drive may "slow down" over time (the SSD portion is only 32gb, forcing writes to the HDD, which is slower).

If that happens, you can plug in an external USB3 SSD (such as the Samsung t5) and get boot/run speeds that are somewhat faster.
 

jm31828

macrumors regular
Original poster
Sep 28, 2015
129
29
Bothell, Washington
Thanks for the responses! I am planning to upgrade RAM in it as soon as it arrives. It seems from discussion in other threads that OWC is considered to be the best brand to go with- do most here agree?
 

gian8989

macrumors 6502
Oct 23, 2015
261
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Thanks for the responses! I am planning to upgrade RAM in it as soon as it arrives. It seems from discussion in other threads that OWC is considered to be the best brand to go with- do most here agree?
you don't need to upgrade ram now for light use (8GB is more than enough). Invest that money in an external ssd.
 

jz0309

macrumors 6502
Sep 25, 2018
252
1,080
Temecula, CA
there are many choices for RAM, plus as suggested by @gian8989 you might not need it right away ...

As for vendors, I've gotten mine from OWC and have nothing but good experience, eg I upgraded my 2008 MPro right away with RAM and ~ 6yrs later it failed and they replaced it right away. Not that others wouldn't do that, just my own experience ...
 

theluggage

macrumors 601
Jul 29, 2011
4,178
2,894
Thanks for the responses! I am planning to upgrade RAM in it as soon as it arrives. It seems from discussion in other threads that OWC is considered to be the best brand to go with- do most here agree?
There are only about 3 actual manufacturers of RAM (Micron, Samsung and 1-2 others) - anything else is re-badged. You’re not over clocking a PC or building a see-through gaming rig, so you dont need go-faster heatsinks or over-specified chips, just the basic RAM of the correct type and speed.

I have always gone with Crucial - they’re basically the retail arm of the RAM manufacture Micron, and have a RAM finder that will show you the right RAM for your Mac model. In my experience, the RAM fitted by Apple has been the same Micron-branded sticks differing only in capacity.
 
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SCREAM ESP

macrumors newbie
Oct 18, 2018
18
0
Asturias, Spain
I own that very same 2017 model, and I can tell that FD is a pain.

I've ordered a Sabrent SSD NVMe 1Tb and external Thunderbolt 3 enclosure to migrate my OS and use it external. Speed promises are from 3500Mbs R/W for "just" 140 euros, but I think it worths it
 

SCREAM ESP

macrumors newbie
Oct 18, 2018
18
0
Asturias, Spain
It's TB3 for sure. Don't know why Amazon change description, but still says "Type-C 10Gbps"

Picture:

IMG_20191205_210340-1.jpg


Inside the box there are both USB and TB cables, maybe that can take to confusion

EDIT: I think what you guys mean. Properly said, this it is not a typical Thunderbolt enclosure, but USB C. Anyway, speeds of "up to" 10Gbps are more than enough for my needs. This enclosure + Sabrent SSD can reach speed of up to 3500Mbs on both Read and Write access, what still is a great leap over Fusion Drive

PS: Sorry about my english, sometimes some "lost in translation" issues can appear 😅
 
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ondert

macrumors 6502
Aug 11, 2017
374
691
Italy
Can you reach those speeds really via a usb type C case? I was looking for a real tb3 enclosure, if that is the case, there is no need to look for a tb3 case since they are much more expensive.
 
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SCREAM ESP

macrumors newbie
Oct 18, 2018
18
0
Asturias, Spain
That's how they told me on a Mac related spanish telegram channel. One of the members at that channel has same configuration.
Anyway, once MacOS is installed on the new drive I can tell you for sure
 

ondert

macrumors 6502
Aug 11, 2017
374
691
Italy
Well.. it is actually simple, it says 10Gbps which means 1250Mbps, so you should reach about this speed at max, then the nvme drive can’t transfer its full power.
 

BigBoy2018

macrumors 6502a
Oct 23, 2018
923
1,732
at that price I'm guessing it comes with the 1 TB fusion drive - there are hundreds of threads on that topic here so educate yourself if that will suit your needs or not. Me personally, I would not get an iMac with a fusion drive but YMMV.
I love the iMacs for the very reason you criticize it. That fusion drive can be replaced with a full on SSD (4TB in my case) for a moderate price and some not-that-difficult surgery.

With other apple computers, upgrading the drive is absolutely impossible. But because the iMac still has a standard SATA connection to it's fusion drive, upgrading to a massive SSD is still possible.

In this regard, I think the 2017 or 2019 27" iMacs are the best possible macs (if you don't need portability). Much less expensive, upgradable, and powerful.

I have a 2017 with a 4TB samsung 860 EVO ssd and will absolutely buy a 2019 iMac within the next year. These are the absolute pinnacle of value IMO.
 

SigmundJake229

macrumors newbie
Feb 2, 2013
17
1
Iowa
I hope you don't mind me getting involved in this conversation. What about OS upgrading? 2017 will be 3 years old soon. My early 2011 MBP has not been updated in 2 years already..... It probably could handle the upgrade, but Apple doesn't support it. Granted they are cheaper, but at what cost? The 2019 is 2 years newer, 2 more years of updates to the OS. Maybe have a look at Apple refurbished?
 

SCREAM ESP

macrumors newbie
Oct 18, 2018
18
0
Asturias, Spain
Well.. it is actually simple, it says 10Gbps which means 1250Mbps, so you should reach about this speed at max, then the nvme drive can’t transfer its full power.
@ondert You are right. I've asked for a snapshot showing speed test, and it stays under 1000Mb/s. So the SSD is clearly limited by the enclosure's speed

photo_2019-12-06_14-13-34.jpg



Well, I think I can live with it until I feel brave enough to open the iMac...Or pay someone to do the job