27 inch iMac Tech Specs best for me

Discussion in 'iMac' started by boombox15, Jun 26, 2014.

  1. boombox15 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2013
    Location:
    Cedar Rapids, Iowa
    #1
    Hi everyone

    My 2009 27 inch iMac is on it's last legs and it's time for a new one. I know it may not be the best time to buy, but it's supper slow even with 8GB of RAM and a SSD. My plan is to buy one now, and keep it until the Retina iMac or late 2014 iMac comes out. So now the question is what kind of configuration do I need?

    These are the things I would do on the computer

    Use all of the pre-loaded apps
    Download More from the Mac App Store
    Store photos in iPhoto
    Edit photos in Aperture
    Make movies in iMovie and export movies
    Use iWork for making documents
    Listen to Music in iTunes


    My editing is a hobby, and not professional. I tend to have 1 app open full screen, and maybe 2 or 3 running in the background.

    I know for sure that I am going to get the 512GB SSD, but I'm unsure about the processor, CPU, GPU and RAM. I think either 8 or 16GB should be good. Any advice helps. My plan is to buy within a week, and give my old iMac to my wife so she can use it for her work.

    Thanks!
     
  2. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2011
    Location:
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    #2
    The base 27" (3.2GHz i5 and 8GB RAM) should do you fine, with 1GB of GT 755M.

    Don't buy RAM from Apple, their prices are plain daft. Stick with the stock 8GB of RAM first and buy RAM from elsewhere later down the road.
     
  3. macs4nw, Jun 27, 2014
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2014

    macs4nw macrumors 601

    macs4nw

    #3
    I wouldn't be so quick to write off that 2009 iMac. You say you have an SSD in there, but not how big. That machine should still run pretty good, if you have enough storage, that is. Why not try a clean install and see if that speeds things up somewhat, and if so, double the memory to 16GB, and get at least 512GB of SSD storage. That should do wonders, and cost a lot less than a new 27" iMac.

    Unless of course it's those Radeon HD 4670 or HD 4850 graphics that are dragging you down. If that's the case, by all means go for a 2014 iMac. If you're thinking about selling in a year or less, why not check out the refurb store. You could save hundreds, while still getting full warranty.

    Looking at your list, I believe you'd do quite nicely with a Core i5, 16GB of memory, a Fusion drive, and the GTX 775M with 2GB of VRam. If you are going to do a lot of Aperture or iMovie work, I'd go for the GTX 780M graphics with 4 GB of VRam. And if your budget allows, upgrade that Fusion drive to an SSD with at least 512GB. AppleCare will make it easier to resell your computer, when you want to go for the r-iMac, when it makes its appearance.
     
  4. boombox15, Jun 29, 2014
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2014

    boombox15 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2013
    Location:
    Cedar Rapids, Iowa
    #4
    Ok, I think I'm fine with the 3.2GHz processor, 512GB SSD, and the 755M. But now my only question is if I should get 8 or 16GB of RAM. I want to do it at the time of purchase, because it's easier that way. I also priced out 3rd party RAM and it's about the same price as Apple charges for the upgrade.

    I should also mention that I will now likely be using Lightroom since Aperture is no longer being developed. Photoshop CC is also something that I may be using. If these programs require different specs, let me know. I will continue to use Aperture as it will still be supported in Yosemite.

    Thanks!
     
  5. Dreadnought macrumors 68020

    Dreadnought

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2002
    Location:
    Almere, The Netherlands
    #5
    I think the 775m is the sweet spot, also for your work. 8GB of RAM will probably limiting for your use when you have big libraries of photos loaded. Get another 2x4 or 2x8GB somewhere else after trying the stock for a while.

    With your current ssd, is the ssd almost full? This could cause the slowdown.
     
  6. boombox15 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2013
    Location:
    Cedar Rapids, Iowa
    #6
    Maybe I will consider the 775M, although my editing is not professional, it's just something I like to do on the computer. My SSD in my current iMac is about 80% full, and while that could be the cause for the slowdown, I think after almost 5 years, it's time for an upgrade.
     
  7. NT1440 macrumors G4

    NT1440

    Joined:
    May 18, 2008
    Location:
    Hartford, CT
    #7
  8. fingernagel macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2010
    #8
    Wow. I just sold my iMac from 2009 to get a new one too. I already placed the order. Late 2014 iMacs are probably coming till 2015. With the work I do I couldn't wait.

    I am doing professionally editing and motion graphics. Also some 2D animation, illustration and web design. I used my late 2009 computer for this and it was pretty ok. But mostly on the motion graphics/animations part I couldn't stand the longer waiting times (previews and render) anymore. Therefore, I bought now the 'new' late 2013 model.

    I am telling you this because I completely don't understand, how your computer can be too slow. The most heavy task you describe is photo editing in aperture. My late 2009 iMac could even handle my timelapse with 200 pictures in raw mode (I use Lightroom).

    Are you sure you need a new computer? You could install everything from scratch and check with your most heavy task. If it is still too slow, then yes, get a new one. But if not, just put there some more RAMs or a bigger SSD in.

    The late 2009 27inch iMacs are beasts.
    Just sayin.
     
  9. thesimplelogic macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2014
    #9
    For this I would agree with the others and get the 4GB GPU. It'll definitely help keep things running smoothly - and means you're future proofing the computer.

    For the RAM, please buy it separately. You'll be able save at least 200 dollars if you buy it outside of Apple. 32GBs through Apple is 660$ (in Australia at least) and through OWC (just the website I use) it is 400$.

    However, if you do decide to get it from the factory, get 16GBs as long as it is still in budget.
     
  10. garycurtis macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2010
    Location:
    Los Angeles & Northern California
    #10
    I've got a 27" Late 2013 iMac. 1tb HD and 16Gb of RAM. 3.2Ghz i5 CPU, the 750 GPU. That's the cheap GPU.

    All I do is Aperture processing. Along with using the NIK Suite plugins for same. Aperture is funny about how it uses processing hardware. It relies mainly on the CPU. But only in the periods when Aperture is building it's own Previews (not the ones from the camera), it relies heavily on the GPU.

    I find that my modest machine really scoots working with pictures. Importing them, adjusting them, cataloging the library. I only work with Nikon RAW files. Jpegs would even be much, much faster.

    Video is an entirely different story. I never shoot any. You might want to start cruising the Apple Support Aperture Forum. Ask questions there. Good luck.
     
  11. boombox15 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2013
    Location:
    Cedar Rapids, Iowa
    #11
    So Many Choices, So Little Time

    Ok, So now I have hit a bump in the road

    I am also investing in a MacBook Pro and a iMac, however, there is so much to decide between.

    My budget with let me only either get the $2599 15 inch Retina MacBook Pro, or the $1799 13 inch Retina MacBook Pro along with the 27 inch iMac I want. However, I am worried that the 13 inch screen is too small. I have used a 2008 15 inch MacBook Pro which I sold last month, and my 2009 27 inch iMac.

    If the 13 inch screen isn't too small, then I'm fine getting the iMac as well.

    So, if I'm buying a MacBook Pro, is there any reason to get an iMac as well? Im either just getting a 15 inch Pro and NOT the iMac, or the 13 inch and the iMac.

    I will be doing the same things that I posted above on both computers. Also, for the iMac, I am going to have to stick with 8GB of RAM unless the 21.5 inch iMac meets my needs, in which I would select the $1499 iMac with 512GB SSD, i5 Processor, and 8GB of RAM
     
  12. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2011
    Location:
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    #12
    Get the $2599 15" rMBP and an external display. Then you can have portability, power and a big screen.
     
  13. boombox15 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2013
    Location:
    Cedar Rapids, Iowa
    #13
    Another choice I could do is still get the 27 inch iMac, and customize the $1999 model with 512GB of storage instead of 256GB. Like I said, the only way I can get the $2599 model is to forget about getting an iMac. Would the Iris Pro be enough for me?

    Of course, I could still get a desktop if I got the $2599 model, but I would have to settle for a 21 inch iMac and give up the extra 6 inches of screen size that I have been using for 4.5 years, I truly love the size of the 27 inch iMac.
     
  14. rrl macrumors 6502

    rrl

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2009
    #14
    It's only an extra 17.5% to max out the processor and the graphics on the high end 27". Add a 1TB fusion drive and you've reached $2549. Like others have said, when the time's right buy your memory from a third party for the win. Score!
     
  15. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2011
    Location:
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    #15
    The $2599 model of the 15" rMBP has a 2.3GHz i7 (which is even more powerful than the 3.4GHz i5 in the high end 27" iMac because the i7 supports hyper threading), 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD and 2GB GT750M.

    http://browser.primatelabs.com/geekbench3/compare/650408?baseline=412593

    Mine's a 2.6/16/1TB/750M variant of the 15" rMBP, but I have no problems doing heavy 4K video editing on it. The 2.3GHz variant will also perform almost identically.

    The Iris Pro will be enough for regular tasks, and the 2GB GT750M will aid you in more demanding ones.

    That said, the 2GB GTX 775M in the high end 27" is much more powerful than the 2GB GT750M in the 15" rMBP.

    Anyway, my suggestion is that you proceed with a 2.3/16/512/750M variant of the 15" rMBP and buy a nice 27" display. Then you've the best of both worlds.

    The Haswells in the 15" rMBP don't throttle even under heavy tasks (I stress-tested it with the macoh utility off GitHub), although the fans will spin up.
     
  16. boombox15 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2013
    Location:
    Cedar Rapids, Iowa
    #16
    Ok, so I actually can afford the 27 inch iMac and the 15 inch, however, I would have to stick with a standard hard drive in the iMac. Would a hard drive be ok for my uses or do I truly need the SSD?

    Also, I can afford the iMac with the SSD, however, it would force me to give up the iPad Air that I am buying. So if I'm happy with my iPhone 5S, do I really need an iPad Air?

    I really like the portability of the 13 inch, however, I'm worried the screen might be a tad too small and that I may have to squint a lot to see the screen.
     
  17. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2011
    Location:
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    #17
    Unless you need iOS apps on a larger screen, you don't need an iPad.

    I barely use the iPad Air that I have, because I use my 13" rMBP all the time instead.

    If you can live with slow boot up times, beach balls and slow app launching, then you can go with a normal HDD. Personally, I won't buy a Mac with a HDD at that price because it's like buying an Aventador with its transmission permanently stuck in first gear.
     
  18. Serban Suspended

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2013
    #18
    For an imac i think you need Fusion Drive standard.
    Go for the 21.5" highest iMac with 16 Ram and Fusion Drive
     
  19. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2011
    Location:
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    #19
    I'd recommend a 256GB instead for the sake of pure speed and reliability.
     
  20. Serban, Jul 13, 2014
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2014

    Serban Suspended

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2013
    #20
    Yes i recommend too SSD but 256 GB now days...for a main computer it's kind of litttttleeee :)
    If he can go for 512 GB SSD, go for it, otherwise i say 1T fusion drive
     
  21. Mcdevidr macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2013
    #21
    It seems you have a pretty expensive hobby there. Since you are spending so much anyways why not buy everything completely maxed out then no worries. maxed out rMbp, 128 GB iPad air and maxed out 27 inch iMac and what the heck throw apple a bone and pay for their memory upgrade to 32GB ram as well.
     
  22. Serban Suspended

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2013
    #22
    Very nice, very nice :D
    I have like you see, an late 2013 27" iMac and 15" Macbook pro and iPad Air, and i never regret. I always want in any situation i am into, to have the best.
     
  23. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2011
    Location:
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    #23
    I'm also one of those who must have the best, but only because my work requires it :p

    Normal usage for me is 4-5 VMs running at the same time, heavy video editing (1080p and mostly 4K), plus Photoshop.
     
  24. cambookpro macrumors 603

    cambookpro

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2010
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #24
    I'd question the need for both an MBP and an iMac. Either get a more powerful iMac, or an external display for your MBP - I'd save the rest and buy an iPad. iPads are much more fun :p

    In all seriousness though, I tried the iMac + MBP combo, but I always ended up defaulting to one or the other (usually the MBP due to portability). It's a pain to keep all your files in sync and to have to do everything twice on both computers. A 15" or high-end 13" rMBP with an external display will be about as powerful as an iMac, with all the benefits of having a laptop. Of course, if your heart is set on a desktop, you'll have more cash handy to upgrade it with a big SSD.

    I'd really recommend an iPad - it's easy to dismiss them as a glorified iPod touch, but I've ended up doing so many tasks on it that are so much easier than on a Mac.
     
  25. boombox15 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2013
    Location:
    Cedar Rapids, Iowa
    #25
    I ordered the iMac last night and got the $1799 model with 512GB of Flash Storage. While it's still processing, does anyone think I should keep it as it is, or get the 1TB fusion drive instead.

    Thanks!
     

Share This Page