2019 iMac i9/64gb/575x/1tb fusion - Will it be enough?

mcsey2k1

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jun 19, 2019
8
1
Hi Forum Users,

I am new here, so please be kind. :) I am seeking some advice to see if I got a good deal and will my new iMac be powerful enough.

So I just purchased a used LN condition 2019 27' iMac with the following specs: i9/64gb/575x/1TB fusion drive for $2699 no tax from BH Photo. I also just brought a new/sealed Samsung 1TB X5 for $300 no tax (ebay) which brings my total to $2999. I plan on using the X5 as the boot disk as I am not a big fan of mechanical drives.

I am a photographer and I have a Panasonic S1R, a 47MB Full Frame camera. I shoot 70% jpegs and 30% raw and I don't edit movies much, but occasional (10%) I will be editing 4K videos, just of family events. no hardcore editing. And I don't do games. I will be installing Windows 10. I am coming from Windows 10, but not too new to the MAC eco.

So my questions are:
  • Did I get a good deal for the used iMac and X5 or should I just went with a new iMac, same specs, but with a 1TB SSD and skipped the X5?
  • Knowing my work flow, will my new computer, specifically the 575x, be powerful enough? I am assuming the i9 and 64gb will be plenty (overkilled, in fact), but I got it used so I didn't have a choice.
  • Also, when I setup my X5 as my primary drive and can I install both Mojave and Windows 10 on the X5 and boot from either OS or does it have to be one or the other? My 1TB Fusion will be for long term storage.
Thanks to all in advance.

Kind Regards,

J-
 

ZipZap

macrumors 603
Dec 14, 2007
5,426
856
How used can it be if its a I9. Having had both a SSD MacBook Pro, the a Late 2014 iMac 5K with as 1TB Fusion and now a iMac Pro SSD, I can say that the SSD is just so much better. Also, booting from an external drive may be slower but sort of defeats the purpose of an all-in-one.

I ran parallels in the 2014 iMac and it worked fine but was slower than I like. If find no reason to create a Windows partition vs. running VMs.

The machine you bought is fine and will do what you want. Skip the external boot.
 
Last edited:

mcsey2k1

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jun 19, 2019
8
1
How used can it be if its a I9. Having had both a SSD MacBook Pro, the a Late 2014 iMac 5K with as 1TB Fusion and now a iMac Pro SSD, I can say that the SSD is just so much better. Also, booting from an external drive may be slower but sort of defeats the purpose of an all-in-one.

I ran parallels in the 2014 iMac and it worked fine but was slower than I like. If find no reason to create a Windows partition vs. running VMs.

The machine you bought is fine and will do what you want. Skip the external boot.

Thanks ZipZap - I agree, it can't be that used if it is an 2019 i9. I also agree that an external boot drive defeats the purpose of an all-in-one.

I heard the 1TB fusion drives are soo slow and they are 5400rpm (the 3TB is better because of the larger flash). I have not had an IDE/mechanical drive for over 6-7 years, so I am a little reluctant to use the Fusion drive as the primary drive. On the contrary, I have read where people are using a fast thunderbolt external SSD, like the X5, as their primary drive and is so much faster (by a lot) then the Fusion drive, even if it is external.

Just to make sure I am clear, are you saying the 1TB Fusion will be faster, then booting to the 1TB thunderbolt external drive? (I am not worried about the boot-up process) Sorry in advance if I miss-understood.

Thank you so much for you advise and input.

Kind Regards,

J-
 

robgendreau

macrumors 68040
Jul 13, 2008
3,284
229
I would use the external boot. The flash component of that Fusion drive is pretty small, and if using say a scratch drive in Photoshop then it might slow you down. Might be slower even accessing a big Lr catalog with lots of preview making, esp at 1:1 to use on that 5k display.

I'd definitely try it and compare. Some speed comparisons with internal SSDs here: https://www.macworld.com/article/3298577/samsung-portable-ssd-x5-review-wickedly-fast-portable-thunderbolt-3-storage.html. As the article notes, NVMe external SSDs like the Samsung (great deal you got, BTW) is "PCIe over a wire."
Given you do photography, you're going to need external drives esp for the video anyway. So the fact you have wires hanging off is unlikely to trump the utility of the X5. And whether the whole machine boots faster using the measly flash on that Fusion? I kind of doubt it, but if you have say anything but basic system files loading when you boot I'd think the NVMe external would be faster. You don't have much control over the Fusion, so hard to say.

But again, try it. And let us know what happens.

And look at this forum thread here: https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/samsung-x5.2181056/

Users have tested the drive as a boot drive and report it's faster than the spinner Fusion.
 
Last edited:

mcsey2k1

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jun 19, 2019
8
1
I would use the external boot. The flash component of that Fusion drive is pretty small, and if using say a scratch drive in Photoshop then it might slow you down. Might be slower even accessing a big Lr catalog with lots of preview making, esp at 1:1 to use on that 5k display.

I'd definitely try it and compare. Some speed comparisons with internal SSDs here: https://www.macworld.com/article/3298577/samsung-portable-ssd-x5-review-wickedly-fast-portable-thunderbolt-3-storage.html. As the article notes, NVMe external SSDs like the Samsung (great deal you got, BTW) is "PCIe over a wire."
Given you do photography, you're going to need external drives esp for the video anyway. So the fact you have wires hanging off is unlikely to trump the utility of the X5. And whether the whole machine boots faster using the measly flash on that Fusion? I kind of doubt it, but if you have say anything but basic system files loading when you boot I'd think the NVMe external would be faster. You don't have much control over the Fusion, so hard to say.

But again, try it. And let us know what happens.

And look at this forum thread here: https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/samsung-x5.2181056/

Users have tested the drive as a boot drive and report it's faster than the spinner Fusion.

Thanks Robgendreau for your valuable input, it's inline with what I thought all along. I will use the X5 as my external drive, when my new gear comes. Do you think I got a good deal on the open box iMac from BH for $2699 no tax? (2019, i9/575x/64gb/1gb fusion)

I will take a look at your referring forum thread.

Kind Regards,
 
Last edited:

ZipZap

macrumors 603
Dec 14, 2007
5,426
856
Again, why spend extra on an external drive for booting when you can get and internal SSD, and boot even faster.
 

dannynjoni

macrumors regular
Oct 14, 2010
125
42
Yeah. I use Adobe LR and Premiere and recently purchase my first iMac in many years. I've been pretty happy with my SSD 2017 MBP but really wanted more "Retina" screen realestate to work with. I purchased the 1TB Fusion and was frustrated to notice the MUCH slower speed of the hard drive. I decided no way I was going to live with it after trying pretty hard to talk myself into it for nearly a month.

I replaced it just a couple of days ago with a 512GB SSD version and it's no exaggeration just how much better the overall experience is. I tried my Samsung T5 with the Fusion model hoping I'd be happy but there is just simply no comparison between these two models. Sorry.

But maybe you will have a better experience. My Fusion model only had 8GB of RAM and I've never tried one with more RAM like yours, so I'm hopeful for your sake that makes a big difference. I bet it will.
 

mcsey2k1

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jun 19, 2019
8
1
Yeah. I use Adobe LR and Premiere and recently purchase my first iMac in many years. I've been pretty happy with my SSD 2017 MBP but really wanted more "Retina" screen realestate to work with. I purchased the 1TB Fusion and was frustrated to notice the MUCH slower speed of the hard drive. I decided no way I was going to live with it after trying pretty hard to talk myself into it for nearly a month.

I replaced it just a couple of days ago with a 512GB SSD version and it's no exaggeration just how much better the overall experience is. I tried my Samsung T5 with the Fusion model hoping I'd be happy but there is just simply no comparison between these two models. Sorry.

But maybe you will have a better experience. My Fusion model only had 8GB of RAM and I've never tried one with more RAM like yours, so I'm hopeful for your sake that makes a big difference. I bet it will.
Thanks for sharing your experience. My new Mac and X5 hard drive will be coming on Saturday I will give it a try and let you know.

Thanks
 

codernova

macrumors member
May 13, 2019
87
28
You got a good deal on a monster of a machine. If it's somehow not 'enough' for your photography work (and more) I'd be _very_ surprised.
 

smbu2000

macrumors regular
Oct 19, 2014
245
103
Definitely sounds like you got a good deal on that imac as the CPU and RAM can be expensive upgrades. Should be more than enough for your needs with the external boot ssd.
Again, why spend extra on an external drive for booting when you can get and internal SSD, and boot even faster.
The imac was already preconfigured so the OP can’t change anything on it like the small ssd on the 1TB fusion drive.

Using an external ssd (in this case nvme) is the best option.
 

mcsey2k1

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jun 19, 2019
8
1
Definitely sounds like you got a good deal on that imac as the CPU and RAM can be expensive upgrades. Should be more than enough for your needs with the external boot ssd.

The imac was already preconfigured so the OP can’t change anything on it like the small ssd on the 1TB fusion drive.

Using an external ssd (in this case nvme) is the best option.
Thank you smbu2000 for you input, truly appreciated.

My X5 came in yesterday and my IMac got delayed by FedEx so it will be here tomorrow. Once it comes in I will do a pre and post boot speed comparison between the internal Fusion drive and the external Samsung X5 nvme drive, I am sure there will be a huge difference, favoring the X5

Thanks, once again.