27 iMac - max out now or buy minimum and wait for upgrade?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by SweepieNYC, Nov 17, 2018.

  1. SweepieNYC macrumors newbie

    Nov 17, 2018
    My 2010 Mac Book Pro is dying on me (constant kernel panic? It reboots constantly and I’ve had it looked at by a Mac expert friend in my IT department who was not able to fix) and I need to replace it with iMac as soon as possible. Choosing iMac over another MBP because I also need new larger monitor.

    I am a graphic designer (print) working primarily on my computer at my corporate office, but do a fair bit of work remotely from home. Am no longer doing much freelance work though that may change with time. I often work via GoToMyPC, but because of lagging issues (and because key commands often don’t work via GoToMyPC), I will likely need to work locally on my new Mac and install necessary software. I use Creative Suite—primarily Indesign and Photoshop and Illustrator + font management program + MS Office. I don’t do any motion work or video editing. Do want to link to new iPad Pro in next 6 months. My work files can be stored in the cloud (I use DropBox and iCloud) or on my work computer if they are strictly work (as opposed to freelance) related.

    I was hoping for iMac update at Oct 30th event and because I am forced to buy something now, am trying to decide whether to max out the top tiered 2017 machine (more on that below) or go with a straight mid-range model (no special configuration) and possibly trade it in when the newer iMac lines come in. Basically hesitating about spending 3K+ when newer model might appear in 6 months. Unfortunately I can’t wait that long to purchase. Another financial factor is plan to buy new iPad Pro—for personal use + Procreate for illustration and lettering.

    So I am considering the top tier iMac with following configuration and looking for ways to trim the costs:
    4.2 GHz i7 + 8GB (or 16?) + either 512 GB SSD or the 1Tb SSD.
    Since I’d be able to add cheaper 3rd party memory later on if need be, I was leaning towards the 8GB.
    Hesitating between 512 GB SSD or the 1 TB. I’ve seen others say “max out where you can” but am not expert enough on the tech side of all this to know what the real pros/cons of this choice is.

    Alternatively: is all this overkill if I am only working in Indesign/Photoshop a few times a week and the rest via GoToMyPC (with work computer doing the heavy lifting)? I could go straight mid-range (no extra configuration), spend less, and then upgrade in a few years when a new iMac comes into play.

    But given what I use the Mac for, will the newsest and greatest really make that big a difference? Would a maxed out 2017 be just as strong a choice to carry me another 5-8 years?

    Thanks in advance for any advice.
  2. Grohowiak macrumors regular


    Nov 14, 2012
    I was hunting for refurbs with SSD and 8GB of ram.
    Got 256GB SSD.
    I got Photoshop, Lightroom, Illustrator, AD Maya, Unity, Sketchbook and Cubase 9.5 among other things. Loads of projects on each software and still 177GB left as I'm offloading everything to external SSD.
    Look at HD space left on your Mac. Do the math and don't listen to people that will tell you theories how 32GB is minimum yet all they do is browse facebook and watch netflix. You managed to work close to 9 years on your current laptop. Just think about it for a second.
  3. mikehalloran macrumors 68000

    Oct 14, 2018
    The Sillie Con Valley
  4. mreg376 macrumors 65816


    Mar 23, 2008
    Brooklyn, NY
    I am a proponent of getting new computers when when you need them, not according to a manufacturer's product cycle (unless new ones have been actually announced). So if you need a new iMac now, get one now. Get the i7 for sure, and definitely get only 8GB, as you will save hundreds of $$$$ by adding any of the high quality third-party RAM out there. As for storage, that's up to how much you think you'll need. If you think there's any chance you'll use more than 512 during the life of the machine, and you don't want to futz with external drives, get the 1TB drive now. The Apple SSD's that come in the current iMacs are blazingly fast. If Apple continues it's recent pattern the new iMacs, when they arrive, will be 20% more expensive and you may be stuck with paying in addition exorbitant Apple prices for RAM upgrades at the time of purchase..
  5. goldbuffalo macrumors member

    Jun 8, 2017
    Get what you need and love it for the next 5 - 10 years.

    You know how it goes, this one was what everyone was waiting for last year, after the next upgrade, people will be saying wait for the next one, it’ll be even better....on and on it goes.
  6. mikehalloran macrumors 68000

    Oct 14, 2018
    The Sillie Con Valley
    What upgrade?

    Beyond the wild speculation around here, there is no reason to believe that an iMac upgrade/refresh is happening anytime soon.
  7. SweepieNYC thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 17, 2018
    If Apple continues it's recent pattern the new iMacs, when they arrive, will be 20% more expensive and you may be stuck with paying in addition exorbitant Apple prices for RAM upgrades at the time of purchase..[/QUOTE]

    Excellent point about new models! Thanks!
    --- Post Merged, Dec 1, 2018 ---
    Thanks to all who replied! I ended up getting the 2017 iMac (i7 with 8GB) and am very pleased with this beautiful machine. I ultimately went with the 1TB, which is likely more than I needed, but it happened to be one of just a few pre-configured models immediately available at B&H in NYC with a nice Black Friday/Week discount, which pushed me over the edge. (512 wasn't available, so that choice was taken away if I didn't want to wait a few more weeks and also miss the sale) Relieved to have finally made this decision and glad I didn't wait any longer!
  8. nambuccaheadsau macrumors 68000


    Oct 19, 2007
    Nambucca Heads Australia
    You use it for business so you get depreciation on your IRS returns?

    If so go for what you want now and use it. There is 'always' a new model just around the corner.
  9. JonMPLS macrumors 65816

    May 23, 2010
    I just voted with my $$. I waited to see if there were any great specials on Black Friday. I really needed to upgrade, as my 2009 (doh!) MacBook Pro is just getting too slow and buggy. Not a power user, occasional Photoshop and Lightroom.

    Last time I waited until my Mac actually failed, which is just a wee bit too late. Ordered 27" i5 with 1TB SSD.

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8 November 17, 2018