27" iMacs - how much do I need & spend?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Frznrth, Mar 25, 2017.

  1. Frznrth, Mar 25, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2017

    Frznrth macrumors member

    Apr 2, 2015
    I want to get a 27" with 3 Tb. Mostly I want it to store and share home movies and pics. Kids would use it for homework - PowerPoint, Word and web crap. - no budding graphic designers at home.

    Would the "base" one be all I (we) need?

    Is 8 Ram enough to start with or would paying for 16 be worth it?

    The ones with better graphics and processors would be wasted on us unless my kids wanted to use it for gaming?

    Will price likely drop once the new ones are out?

    Thanks for the help.
  2. Fishrrman macrumors P6


    Feb 20, 2009
    You DO NOT WANT any iMac with only a platter-based hard drive inside. It will be too slow.

    You DON'T want the 1tb fusion drive option. It has only a 24gb SSD portion of the fusion drive -- too small to really be useful.

    You DO want an iMac that has either a 2tb fusion drive or a "straight" SSD (not fusion). These WILL be very fast.

    So... you might be interested in either the "2tb fusion" model or the "3tb fusion" model. Both of the above come with 128gb SSD portions -- enough size and very fast.

    I seem to recall reading here that folks have had problems with the 3tb HDD's that come with the 3tb fusion option. Failure rates too high. Haven't heard that about the 2tb version.

    If you could live with an "Apple refurbished" product, these are being moved out on ebay for very good prices.
    The 27" 5k iMac (8gb RAM, 2tb fusion drive) with 395 gpu is selling in the $1,700 range.
  3. Frznrth thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 2, 2015
    Thanks. I will definitely be getting one with 3 TB. So it will be fusion. Just wondering still if the better processor/graphics will make any difference to me and if a price drop might come with the release of new ones?
  4. merkinmuffley macrumors 6502a

    Dec 3, 2010
    Doubtful for the usage you mention that you'd see any performance difference in the higher end processor/GPU. Load it up with memory (I use OWC memory). Yes, the price should drop a bit when the 2017 model is available.
  5. Frznrth thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 2, 2015
    Thanks. Load up the memory? I'd see a difference with more than 16 for what I'm going to use it? 16 to 32 is a bit of a price jump - best to get after market?
  6. Fishrrman macrumors P6


    Feb 20, 2009
    Just buy 8gb of RAM (from Apple).
    Add more later if you need it.

    For the usage you specified in your orignal post above, 8gb should be fine.
  7. Frznrth thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 2, 2015
    Sounds good.
  8. kanselmo macrumors member

    Jul 21, 2010
    In my opinion - long term, it is a good idea to separate out the media. If price is no worry, I would say to get a thunderbolt raid array for your media, and an ssd for the computer's internal drive. This will give you a lot of flexibility with the internal storage. I have this setup with a lacie dual drive setup as raid mirror. Works great. A 27" iMac has user-upgradeable ram so just get the minimum and order more from crucial.com or somewhere if you want more.
  9. jharvey71884 macrumors 6502

    May 3, 2011
    I would buy a base model refurbished. For $100 you can bump the ram up to 24gb yourself. For another hundred, you can get a USB SSD enclosure and SSD 240b drive. Look for electronics Valley on eBay. They sell refurbished iMac's for cheaper than Apple.

    You can use the SSD to run OS, and the internal drive for storage.

    Is what I'm doing and runs like a champ. I also have three more external hard drive's off of it. So about 16tb total. External monitor.
    --- Post Merged, Mar 26, 2017 ---
    My setup

    Attached Files:

  10. Frznrth thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 2, 2015
    Thanks for the source for more memory. Much cheaper that getting it from Apple. Unfortunately funds are limited maybe sometime in the future I could set something up like you have but for now it will just be the iMac and some backups.
    --- Post Merged, Mar 26, 2017 ---
    Thanks. I'll have a look. Definitely not opposed to refurbished if I can save a bit.
  11. G.McGilli macrumors regular

    Oct 19, 2015
    Always amazed at the replies to any question like this. For what you've listed - the base unit will run perfectly. Yes, for gaming you would look at a faster processor and video card. Sharing home movies is much different than editing them in a video production suite - or photo production with 20 layers in a Photo Suite - and therefore 8gb will suit you well. With the Fusion drive - your machine would wake/sleep almost instantly - and all the core programs you listed like Web/Powerpoint/Word etc will be stored on the SSD part of the drive as it would be accessed most - making it nice and speedy on load and working.

    It's like people who I know who drive electric cars now. They swear by it - and how fast they are compared to gas engine cars - and they will never go back to gas engine cars again. (SSD vs HDD) But, they really don't get to the grocery store any faster than me :)

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10 March 25, 2017