2017 iMac potential purchase advice

Discussion in 'iMac' started by barcode00, Oct 31, 2018.

  1. barcode00 macrumors member

    Dec 25, 2010
    Rest assured, I'm not looking for future predictions of iMac releases.

    I'm looking for purchasing advise when considering my uses (below). Thanks in advance.

    I'm considering purchasing a 2017 iMac - currently I own a 2016 MBP but the screen size is limiting for my work flow and I could do with a tad more power which the iMac might provide (?)

    The configuration I am considering is 27" Retina 5K Mid-2017 Intel Quad-Core i5 3.4 GHz with 1TB SSD.

    My uses are word processing, photography, photo editing and software development - no video editing, though it would be interesting to know how it might cope.
  2. mikehalloran macrumors 65816

    Oct 14, 2018
    The Sillie Con Valley
    Photo editing would benefit from the increased horsepower offered by the i7. If you are really creative, the i5 will take a lot longer when it comes to image rendering. It’s not a slight difference. If you’re just cropping and adjusting color balance, an i5 is ok.

    The i7 is well worth the extra $200, IMO. The only way to know really is to A/B the two. Certain tasks I do take a minute or two on an i7 but 20 minutes or more on an i5 (no, not video).

    Photo editing likes more RAM but you want to buy that 3rd party as I’m sure you already know.
  3. kentlim macrumors newbie

    Sep 26, 2017
    Is there any overheating issue with the i7 though? I read it some time back, but not sure whether the issue has been resolved.
  4. colodane macrumors 6502a


    Nov 11, 2012
    In my opinion, there is probably not an overheating problem per se with the i7. It is most likely a reliable unit. However there is a downside. In order to cool the i7 CPU during high usage applications (video editing, etc) the fan will run more often and at higher speeds. The result will be significantly more acoustic noise than with an i5. It will be noticeable.

    Everybody has their own preferences, but I really appreciate a quiet computer. The $200 extra charge for the i7 is negligible. But even if the charge was zero I would definitely prefer the i5. That is why I have the i5. In over a year I haven't noticed the fan once.
  5. mikehalloran macrumors 65816

    Oct 14, 2018
    The Sillie Con Valley
    The SSD version runs quieter than the Fusion. Makes sense as the mechanical motor is gone. When I converted mine, the fan went to idling except under the heaviest loads — as it should.

    If you do audio or video or graphics, you will appreciate the time savings of an i7. I've A/B'd the same projects on otherwise identical machines. The difference can be huge.
  6. SkiHound2 macrumors regular

    Jul 15, 2018
    Interesting to hear you say this. I'm still using a late 2012 with 2.6ghz i7 and have been planning to upgrade to a newer set up. I would've thought that for stuff like LR, PS, etc., there wouldn't be much difference between an i5 and i7 for that use. I know Adobe has been making slow strides in terms of improving code so that LR makes more use of multiple cores/threads. And I know that DxO can use all the cpu power you can get if exporting several images using their prime noise reduction. This maybe makes me think harder about going for an i7.
  7. mreg376 macrumors 65816


    Mar 23, 2008
    Brooklyn, NY
    As another poster mentioned, there has not been a single report of the 2017 i7 overheating. It does run its fan audibly when you push the i7 to its limit, and that is what people have mentioned. I've had the 2017 i7 since May and can't hear the fan unless I try to play a full-screen 8K 60fps video. If I've heard the fan twice in six months it's a lot.
  8. zweirad macrumors newbie


    Jul 14, 2011
    north carolina
    I use Creative Cloud to make a living. The Core i5 is probably fine for most things except intensive video processing. I've been looking on the Apple Refurb site for a replacement for my 2010 iMac. Currently, the best option there is a 3.8 GHz Core i5. It's a decent deal and with RAM from a third-party vendor, it should last as long as the 2010.

    @SkiHound2: The biggest upgrade is the video card. Where my iMac has 512MB of video memory, the top 2017 has a Radeon Pro 580 with 8GB. Adobe Illustrator uses an app called the AIGPUSniffer to see if it can accelerate video processing. My old iMac fails the test. The new one should be much better. I'd love to get a 1TB SSD, but for now the 2TB Fusion Drive should be OK. Later on, I plan on upgrading to an SSD.

    @barcode00: The question you may want to ask is whether a second screen is a better option for your MacBook Pro. If it can drive a 4K monitor, you may not need to upgrade from the laptop.
  9. Fishrrman macrumors P6


    Feb 20, 2009
    "The configuration I am considering is 27" Retina 5K Mid-2017 Intel Quad-Core i5 3.4 GHz with 1TB SSD."

    I would NOT pay Apple's ridiculously high price for the 1tb SSD.
    I'd suggest the 512gb SSD, which is far more reasonable.

    If you need "more room", get an external USB3 drive (even a USB3 SSD).

    Having said that, I WOULD recommend that you pay $200 (US) for the 3.5ghz "midrange" model upgrade. That comes with a 7600 CPU (the 3.4ghz has a 7500 CPU), and you get a slightly better graphics card, as well.

    I sense that the 7600 CPU would help somewhat for video editing.
    But if you want to do much 4k video editing, you'd want an i7 CPU anyway...
  10. redfirebird08 macrumors 6502


    Feb 15, 2007
    Same here. I'm not a power user though, so the extra performance from the i7 is not a big deal to me. SSD plus i5 combo has given me hands down the most quiet computer I have ever used. The thing is dead silent. Kinda scary in a way, lol
  11. Grohowiak macrumors regular


    Nov 14, 2012
    Same CPU as I have and it will do just fine.
    Just remember that Adobe photoshop/illustrator and etc generally runs poor(er) on macs. Better system will not make the experience better.
  12. mikehalloran macrumors 65816

    Oct 14, 2018
    The Sillie Con Valley
    Do you make your living on it or is it a hobby?

    I make my living on mine. An i7 with an SSD and enough RAM gets more work done in the given amount of time. Sometimes, it really is that simple.

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