21.5-inch 4K - Advice on future proof

Discussion in 'iMac' started by DeApp1e, Dec 27, 2015.

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  1. DeApp1e macrumors 6502

    DeApp1e

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    #1
    Hello,

    I need some advice, if any can provide?

    I'm looking at buying the 21.5-inch iMac with Retina 4K display shall i can upgrade the RAM or Hard Drive? but unfortunately not both (currently).

    I'm looking at using the iMac for word processing, and web surfing - but possibly in the future using video editing and Photoshop (so the Mac needs to be future proof).

    Would you recommend me upgrading to 16GB of RAM from 8GB or upgrade to the 1TB Fusion Drive?

    OR, should i wait a few months (try and save some more money) and buy the iMac with 16GB and 1TB Fusion Drive? I can't decide as 'trying' would be difficult with my bills, but it could be possible...

    Don't think i need to upgrade the processor from 3.1GHz quad-core Intel Core i5. But correct me if i'm wrong :)

    Thanks,
     
  2. Nospig macrumors member

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    #2
    Wait and do both. You don't need the 16GB now but can't upgrade it yourself later. The standard 5400 rpm hard drive has to be swapped out for a Fusion drive at least. Even better would be wait until the next version of the 21" Mac so you get the latest chipset, Thunderbolt versions and possibly (guessing) a SSD as standard.
     
  3. maxsix Suspended

    maxsix

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    #3
    Buy the iMac that suits your needs now and let go of your hope to future proof.

    Now that Apple products are like sealed appliances its best to take a realistic view point. Apple is in the business of selling us new hardware frequently, future proofing goes against Apple's business plan.
     
  4. roadkill401 macrumors 6502

    roadkill401

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    #4
    If you are looking to buy soon, then the need of RAM would far out weigh the drive space. From looking at it from a realistic perspective, you can very easily add an external drive to the iMac after the fact and probably get far better drive performance than buying the 1TB fusion. Save that money and put it towards an external USB3 case and a 1tb SSD that will work faster in the long run.
     
  5. kazmac macrumors 601

    kazmac

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    #5
    I agree with maxing out the ram to 16gb now and going with faster external storage down the road.
     
  6. DeApp1e thread starter macrumors 6502

    DeApp1e

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    #6
    They release an early version and late version right? How 'early' would you predict they release the newer model in 2016?
     
  7. DeApp1e thread starter macrumors 6502

    DeApp1e

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    #7
    I thought it was worth a shot with the future proof ;) I know it won't last more than 2 years.

    Do you think it's worth waiting to upgrade both RAM and Hard Drive?
     
  8. DeApp1e thread starter macrumors 6502

    DeApp1e

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    #8
    Thanks for the advice! It see where you're coming from, never thought about an external drive :)
     
  9. MadDane macrumors 6502a

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    #9
    If the past is any indication (it usually is) they might not release a new and updated iMac until fall 2016.

    But the 4k iMac should be good for more than two years. I don't see why it shouldn't last 5, if you invest in some solid state storage down the road. Also, I personally think the SSD in the new 1TB Fusion Drive is simply too small. I think you are better off installing the OS and apps on an external SSD and just store pictures, movies, documents and stuff like that on the internal HDD.
     
  10. oldmacs macrumors 68040

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    #10
    I'd say RAM. Thats something you can't change where as you can always add external storage later.

    Its easy to get years out of your Mac. Unfortunately the lack of upgradability has made it harder, but its still doable.
     
  11. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #11
    I'd get the 16GB and if possible the 256GB SSD, that will definitely provide you with ample computing power now and in the future.
     
  12. DeApp1e thread starter macrumors 6502

    DeApp1e

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    #12
    Thanks for the idea - I might reserve what you said though, maybe get 256GB of Flash and use it for the OS and install apps/documents etc on an external drive :)
     
  13. DeApp1e thread starter macrumors 6502

    DeApp1e

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    #13
    Thanks! Think i may go for this config, would 256GB of Flash be enough for the OS and future upgrades? I'll buy an external drive for apps/docs etc.
     
  14. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #14
    I have a 256GB SSD in my 2012 rMBP and its been more spacious enough to hold my music library, and other docs. Its too small to hold my Lightroom catalog and images (I have 400GB of images). I think for the 256GB will be fine for many years.
     
  15. MadDane macrumors 6502a

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    #15
    256GB should be more than enough for applications and the OS itself for the next many years, if everything else is stored elsewhere (unless you have an extreme amount of applications of course). However, I just want to point out that the 21.5" 4k iMac upgraded with 16GB RAM costs $100 less than the lowest end 5k iMac. In the 5k you can add up to 64GB of RAM later on, if you for whatever reason want to. Also, it is overall a faster computer with a dedicated graphics card, newer and faster processor and so on. The 256GB SSD is a $200 addition with either Mac, so there is no difference there.
     
  16. kazmac, Dec 28, 2015
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2015

    kazmac macrumors 601

    kazmac

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    #16
    Late comment again, but iMacs are released once a year now, probably next October.
     
  17. Serban Suspended

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    #17
    yes 256 its ok if you will buy external drive in the future
    ill go with 16 gb ram and 256 SSD, in this way you have a computer that should last easy 3-4 years
     
  18. DeApp1e, Dec 28, 2015
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2015

    DeApp1e thread starter macrumors 6502

    DeApp1e

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    #18
    Many thanks for the advice peeps! I've decided i'm going to get the 27-inch iMac with Retina 5K display [i5] with 8GB of RAM (for now, will upgrade at the end of next year to 16GB) and 265GB of Flash (will have an external (hopefully) SSD hard drive for documents and music).

    Appreciate the help :)
     
  19. bent christian Suspended

    bent christian

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    #19
    Unless Adobe decides to radically retool Photoshop (they won't), 8GB of RAM will be fine for at least the next five years, for most non-professional uses. An SSD would be good addition. Unless you are doing some intense, high bit rate video editing, 16GB of RAM will most likely be a waste of money for you.
     
  20. satchmo macrumors 68000

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    #20
    I think this is why many are jumping on the 5K iMac. Apple has almost purposely crippled the 4K iMac for semi-professionals. As you pointed out, it becomes a no-brainer once you add the RAM.

    Apple gets your money either way, and likely they get higher margins with the 5K. Maybe there will be quiet 4K refresh in the early new year with Skylake chips. A small price drop of $200 might make the 4K iMac more competitive against it's larger counterpart.
     
  21. kazmac macrumors 601

    kazmac

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    #21
    Congrats. Installing RAM in the 27" is super easy and you'll have more screen real estate, dGPU to boot for not much more than the 21.5"

    When it comes to advice, this board is excellent.
     
  22. torquer macrumors regular

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    #22
    I went for the base CPU, 16GB RAM, and 256GB SSD. With cloud storage and external drives readily available, the amount of storage isn't as much of a concern as the speed of it for my purposes. I would have gone for the 27" but it was more money to get the 256GB SSD and I have a 24" 4K Dell monitor I will use as an external display on the 4k iMac. Desk isn't big enough for the 27" plus an external monitor.

    You could probably work just fine with 8GB of RAM so long as you have either the 2TB fusion drive (more SSD capacity on that one) or a pure SSD. I didn't need 16GB of RAM but it made me feel all warm and fuzzy.
     
  23. zacster macrumors member

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    Aug 15, 2011
    #23
    What I want is a 21.5" with the specs of the top pre-built 27", and for about $500 less. You can't get a proper GPU, the processor is a generation behind, the memory is non-upgradeable. And then it costs too much. For all of those reasons I'm buying the 27" even though I actually think it's a monster size-wise. I've used the 27" in the store and thought I'd need to sit a few feet away to take it all in, but then I'm too far to see the fine print.

    In any case though, I'm meeting my college daughter at the Apple store in about an hour to buy one, and get the student discount (if they even check). 3.3ghz, M390, 2tb, standard build.
     
  24. satchmo macrumors 68000

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    #24
    It's a shame Apple has equated larger form factor with pro features.
    MacBook Pro 15" = Quad core
    iMac 27" = dGPU
    iPad Pro = pencil/upgraded screen

    The one time I recall recently this not being the case, was when they gave the iPad mini the same processor as the regular sized iPad.
     
  25. MadDane macrumors 6502a

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    #25
    This sounds like a very good choice. I hope you will enjoy your machine :)
     

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