21.5 imac BTO advices? and questions

Discussion in 'iMac' started by dalittlegirl, Dec 12, 2012.

  1. dalittlegirl macrumors newbie

    Dec 12, 2012
    Hi everyone,

    I've been using a early 2008 white macbook model(upgraded to 4GB ram) and am hoping to purchase the new 21.5" imac since my macbook is constantly freezing and I'm functioning faster than it is.

    I'll definitely be upgrading it but I can't max out all the upgrades since it's too expensive for me to do all three (processor, memory, hard drive) so i'm posting to ask for some advice!

    A little about me: I use the internet a lot and am constantly opening a million tabs and also have to do a lot of downloading. Apart from normal computer user activities I also like to watch a lot of videos and have a lot of music. With these in mind I also will be using my new imac to work a lot of music production (logic pro) as well as some video editing (but not super pro type).

    I'm thinking if I should:
    - upgrade processor to i7 and 16GB ram
    - upgrade processor to i7 and fusion drive
    - upgrade 16GB ram and fusion drive
    - or just upgrade one of the three

    Now I'm not a computer expert so I don't know what upgrades will best suit my needs, I wouldn't want to upgrade it and end up not using them, even though it's awesome to have all three it's just too much money..

    Apart from the imac I'm also planning to buy an extra external hard drive, and with that in mind I don't know if the fusion drive is really needed for me since I don't plan on storing too much on the imac but mainly just having a faster startup speed and overall fast performance.

    Oh and I would also like to ask for some opinions in getting a hard drive.
    Do I have to get the ones that say they're mac ready or can I just buy ones that says it's only windows compatible and then reformat it myself? Will there be any differences in performance if I format myself?

    Does the spindle speed make a big difference? (5400rpm vs 7200rpm)

    Any recommendations on a good 2-3TB hard drive with USB3.0 and good for mac?

    I have a seagate expansion 2TB USB3 drive for my pc and it's really nice, but I don't know if it can be formatted for mac.. if you guys know that it can work on mac and the performance won't be affected then I think I'll just get one more of those and format it for my mac since it's much cheaper than the ones that are mac ready...

    I was thinking about going for a thunderbolt hard drive but I guess I just don't have the money now.. so yeah haha

    anyway my final budget is 2100 dollars USD including the BTO imac and hard drive, so please help! :)

    please provide your opinions! I really appreciate it :)
  2. jomirrivera macrumors 6502

    Mar 15, 2011
    I was asking some of this questions a copule of days ago and the consensus was to go for the 16GB ram (since it is not user upgradable) and the fusion drive. Forget about the i7 because the i5 will be fast enough!
    If you dont do heavy photoshop or video rendering, the i7 is just a waste of money!
  3. AppleFan360 macrumors 68020

    Jan 26, 2008
    For what you do, the 16GB upgrade will probably be enough. If you have the extra money, do the Fusion as well. You won't waste your money on that one.
  4. dalittlegirl thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 12, 2012
    I don't think I'll be doing a lot of photoshop.. I might do some video rendering but it won't be videos longer than 5 minutes...

    I was intrigued with the i7 upgrade cause it had the hyper threading with the extra cores or whatever but I guess the money comes first :)


    Does the fusion drive upgrade really make such a big difference for the performance of the imac?
    I'm planning on upgrading just because i want it to be able to handle more applications simultaneously as well as responding much quicker...
    I work extremely fast when I use the computer and tend to open a lot of programs at the same time.. which is why I would really want to avoid having the computer respond slower than my commands within 4 years time..
  5. dalittlegirl thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 12, 2012
    Im hoping to use this new mac on heavy music production so would i5 vs i7 matter? or should I just have 16GB upgrade and nothing else.. or use the fusion drive with the ram upgrade or...?

    also...any ideas on the extra hard drive (regarding my first post) ?
  6. AppleFan360 macrumors 68020

    Jan 26, 2008
    Put simply, yes. Big difference in speed especially when navigating the iMac.

    Probably not a huge difference between the i5 and i7. You will see a much more noticeable increase with 16GB of RAM and a Fusion drive.
  7. jomirrivera macrumors 6502

    Mar 15, 2011
    Go for the upgrades in this order: Fusion Drive>RAM>i7

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