5k iMac: can I justify?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Notechy, Apr 11, 2015.

  1. Notechy macrumors member

    Apr 11, 2015
    As distinct from fancying one, can there be any conceivable logical justification for me buying a 5k iMac?

    My Windows laptop (used in conjunction with a 21 inch monitor, and USB keyboard and mouse) is getting a little mature and my son, who is highly computer savvy and now much happier in the land of Apple than of Windows, would much prefer that the continuing techie support which he gives to me be in the Apple world. And my wife and I both have iPads and iPhones. So when I get a successor to the Windows laptop it will, I believe, be an Apple computer. Fine.

    Because of the iPads we do not really need the portability of a laptop. If we had one we might carry it to be near the TV occasionally but that would be about it. So an iMac, I think.

    I do love nice and clever technology. But what is it to be used for?

    It's most demanding certain use will be for photo "editing". I put editing in quotes for good reason. There is a lot of that activity. We have 20000-30000 photos. But 90% of that activity is selection and transferring, not editing. The other 10% is mainly cropping, with the residue being simple enhancements using Photoshop Elements. The principal products of this activity are transfers of the "edited" and organised photos for viewing on a 55 inch Sony HD TV mainly via copies transferred to a PS3, and sometimes via a USB hard drive attached to the PS 3. The organised photos are also copied to our iPads.

    Modest though this use might be for a topish-end iMac, it is currently the use which most prevents consideration of managing with no computer.

    Others current uses are mainly based around domestic issues - managing our correspondence, very light spreadsheet activity, copying/scanning/printing with the attached multifunction device. And while most of our email and Internet activity is on the iPads, I prefer the laptop and full screen for any particularly intensive web browsing especially when comparing multiple sites. All of our CDs have also been input to iTunes on the laptop.

    A possible future use would be for video "editing", having bought a new camera which does good video including 4k video (a Panasonic FZ1000). If this takes off, again the so-called editing would be at the light end of the spectrum, largely trimming and joining. Except that any 4k material would need to be converted to HD format for the TV, PS3, and whatever the iPads require.

    No games, unless son or grandsons require and sort them.

    So, what here, if anything, would justify/warrant/benefit from a 5k iMac?

    And, as a supplementary, could the TV, directly or via the PS3, display the photos and/or video as slickly as now if they took stored content via wifi from an Apple Time Capsule or similar device instead of being copied on to the PS3's hard drive?

    I am of course also seeking my son's advice on all of this, but he does not have an iMac.

    Advice, please.
  2. rkaufmann87 macrumors 68000


    Dec 17, 2009
    Folsom, CA
    Why not simply go to an Apple Store and/or reseller and look at one yourself and then make an educated decision. You can connect the TV to the computer most easily via an AppleTV ($69) and can use the TV as a second display, view your photos, stream video and audio from the Mac to the TV/Home Theater etc...

    In short, millions have gone before you (myself included) who would now never consider a PC in their house ever again.
  3. shaunp macrumors 68000

    Nov 5, 2010
    As the previous poster said, go have a look. I would recommend not getting the standard 1TB Hard Disk though as it will be very slow and ruin the experience on what will otherwise be a very nice machine for you. For what you've said you will be doing a Fusion drive will be great, just get apple care on top of the basic machine and that should be enough to keep you happy for a few years.
  4. tdhurst macrumors 601


    Dec 27, 2003
    Phoenix, AZ

    The retina screen is amazing.

    Get a Fusion drive.

    While I'm not a desktop guy, the retina screen is enough to make me seriously consider an iMac and a MB next time instead of just a rMBP.

    The riMac screen is THAT nice.
  5. Steveatesh macrumors regular


    Oct 29, 2014
    North east England
    I think you are asking the wrong question, the right question to ask is why you can't justify getting a Retina iMac for your uses, as it is a perfect computer for you.

    My transition from Windows to Apple is not dissimilar, the one thing that often is overlooked with the riMac is the screen makes ALL use a joy, especially anything test based. Photos - fabulous. Ease of use - not too different form windows 8 in my opinion. Text - game changer.

    If you go for Apple, go for the riMac.
  6. blufrog, Apr 11, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2015

    blufrog macrumors member

    Dec 19, 2014
    If you're already considering buying an iMac (e.g. the "standard" 27" model) then the 5k is worth the upgrade. The screen is outstanding, and worth every $.
  7. Ulenspiegel macrumors 68030


    Nov 8, 2014
    Land of Flanders and Elsewhere
    For your user habits there is no need to buy a 5K iMac.
    I would suggest visiting an Apple store or a similar shop where you can have a look at a number of Apple computers which are by the way much cheaper than the 5K iMac and can meet your needs easily.
  8. TitaniumTiti macrumors newbie

    Aug 10, 2014
    I would say, hold back for a while, this 5K iMac cannot be used as target display (used as a monitor), so when the hardware got obsolete (not too far away du to bare minimum video card for this size of display) you have to ditch the whole machine! Wait until the display connection get updated or the thunderbolt connection support as external display, at least you can reused that futur iMac as secondary display.

    The Apple hardware lately is a practical joke, they are loosing features faster then ice would melt in the Sahara in plain sunlight!
  9. Pieterr macrumors regular

    Mar 22, 2015
    The Netherlands
    You already answered your own question, I think. The 5K iMac (in its standard configuration) is an excellent match for your intended purposes. It will serve you well for the coming years. Just go for it; you won't be disappointed, as any owner of a 5K iMac will tell you.
  10. cynics macrumors G4

    Jan 8, 2012
    Even a modest amount of 4k editing makes the 5k upgrade cost worthwhile imo. Even just for viewing the 4k videos to their max resolution.

    Two things to think about.

    1. Just because you may not NEED it doesn't mean you can't enjoy it. I'm sure you own plenty of things you don't need but make your life more enjoyable. And trust me when I say the 5k screen is an absolute joy to look at.

    2. The base model retina is 500 dollars more then Apples top tier non retina (keep in mind that model can be upgraded further online). For 500 dollars (plus the parts they replace) you get a 5k monitor (Dells standalone monitor is around 2000 alone), a faster CPU (albeit only slightly), and a Fusion drive (significant upgrade).

    Others have mentioned going to the Apple store and checking it out. While I agree with them I feel the need to mention when I did the same I wasn't that impressed. It was very difficult for me to stand in a store and look at the 5k monitor and be able to appreciate how much better it was. It wasn't until my employer bought me one (for work) and I started using it with my task that I really noticed the differences.

    For me it was like 4k HDTV's at the store. If they are displaying a 4k video designed to show off how good they are they are obviously better and quite impressive. But if they are tuned to a low def channel or on the settings menu you won't see what the fuss is about and the price tag will turn you off.
  11. mrpiii macrumors newbie

    Jun 9, 2009
    Hailey, ID
    I'd Wait

    While you can always decide to wait for the latest and greatest it does seem that now is a good time to wait. Apple is transitioning to USB-C which appears to replace Thunderbolt. They are going to higher resolution displays (7K?)which require displayport 1.3. I suspect the 5K iMac was introduced to plug a gap and may not be the best product to buy. I'm waiting.
  12. Pieterr macrumors regular

    Mar 22, 2015
    The Netherlands
    Don't believe the hype.
    Read the Mac Pro section of this forum.
    People are still struggling to get decent 4K SST out of their state-of-the-art videocards...
  13. Notechy thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 11, 2015
    Thanks to all.

    I had one viewing session in Apple store. Not a great experience as the staff knew less than I expected, actually suggesting that I contact the phone sales people. Text looked good on the 5k and their marketing photo looked vibrant but they seemed unable to get their screen to display at full resolution.

    Photo viewing can be controlled from the Apple TV? Can you move slickly around photo folders displaying selected photos rapidly? Does the iMac need to be left running for this, or can the Aple TV waken it up? Relevant sub forum here has lots of negatives about the device

    Except for gamers, is there any real concern about the adequacy of the video card?

    Thanks again to all.
  14. fathergll macrumors 65816

    Sep 3, 2014
    The video card is fine as long as you use the latest OSX update.
  15. aevan macrumors 68030


    Feb 5, 2015
    You'll wait a loooong time for 7K. Hardware, software, nothing is ready. It will be years, several, before we see anything larger than 5K.

    While USB-C may replace Thunderbolt, we shouldn't write it off just yet, especially for Desktop Macs.

    I'd argue that it's never a good time to wait for new hardware, since something better is always around the corner. However, even if there was a time to wait, the 5K was DEFINITELY not introduced to plug any gaps. It is the next generation of desktop computers. If anything, it is almost too advanced for most content today. No reason to wait, really.
  16. redheeler macrumors 604


    Oct 17, 2014
    USB Type-C can't replace Thunderbolt just yet, considering that the bandwidth is still half that of Thunderbolt 2, not even counting Thunderbolt 3. No doubt it will show up on future iMac models along with Thunderbolt 3 though.

    The 8K myth was just a sentence in a blog post. It isn't going to happen. 5K is here to stay for some time to come and will gradually replace the non-retinas as the price comes down.
  17. cincygolfgrrl macrumors 6502


    Apr 2, 2012
    Somewhere In Time
    MacRumors is lousy with 5K evangelists. They are around every corner, in every thread. The fact is the 5K screen is probably amazing, but it doesn't add anything to the day-to-day functions of a computer. It's just a pretty first generation monitor that will still be attached when the unit dies. All computers die.

    As the OP has described the situation, a Mac Mini with a 4K display would fulfill the family requirements. Sure, you can "justify" a 5K iMac, but you could also save a few $/£/€ or whatever your local currency is, and use what you save to get a good quality DSLR/Mirrorless/or Micro Four-Thirds camera with excellent glass.

    Ultimately, Notechy, it's your decision. We're just a bunch opinionated wankers who think our own setups are perfect for everyone who isn't us.
  18. lowendlinux Contributor


    Sep 24, 2014
    North Country (way upstate NY)
    The 5K iMac is the last computer I'd buy if I was in your shoes for all the reason stated above. I'd also not rely on your son for tech support what if he decides to dump Apple?
  19. cynics macrumors G4

    Jan 8, 2012
    I agree 110% with you when it comes to people pushing their setups on others especially around here. But we could probably say the same for any enthusiast forum with any product.

    However IMO 5k adds a lot to day to day function since its the medium for transporting information from the computer to your eyes. Is it required? No, I don't personally own one (I have one at work) and my iMac is fine without it. But that doesn't make it any less impressive and useful. Most everything in the computer is designed to get the information to its screen as quickly and accurately as possible. So (again IMO) its quality takes priority to a certain extent.

    As far as a Mac Mini + 4k monitor goes. Sure, its cheaper. Is that any surprise? Its a lower quality monitor connected to a less powerful computer (for the most part). If we go that route why not get a 1080p monitor and junky PC? Look at all the savings! Plus you'd need a monitor with built in speakers or separate speakers, a mouse and keyboard which can also be picked up cheaper but probably lower quality, and camera which I'll admit the built in one isn't exactly the the highest quality.

    Point is its not "saving money" if you aren't getting equal value. You are just spending less money. Which might be fine if it suits your needs but the OP did express interest in the 5k so people commented accordingly. You seem surprised that so many are talking about it in a thread based around it.
  20. Noctilux.95 macrumors 6502

    Jan 20, 2010
    I just completed a 56 page album (50-70MB per page PS files) and decided to measure the time it took to open all 56 files. It took 16 seconds to open all 56 pages! This thing is lighting fast and with the addition of the OWC Thunderbolt Raid system and Thunderbolt 2 dock made me forget about my Mac Pro.
    Oh and that screen!
  21. TechZeke macrumors 68020


    Jul 29, 2012
    Rialto, CA
    Honestly, in the store, the riMac wasn't nearly as drastic as the move from the TN panel based cMBP to the IPS panel based rMBP. Mostly because the non retina iMacs already use a high quality IPS panel, and 2560x1440 on a 27" screen is that same pixel density as the non-retina MacBook Pros. From the normal viewing distance, the pixels on a non-retina are hard to notice, even after using a retina display Mac like my rMBP.
  22. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    I love the 5k iMac, though if I were to buy the computer, it won't happen until late 2015. I hope by then, a more powerful chipset will make its way into the iMac.
  23. cincygolfgrrl macrumors 6502


    Apr 2, 2012
    Somewhere In Time
    The OP's stated primary purpose is to serve photos to a television, in addition to standard Web, email, and the odd spreadsheet. A Mac Mini, a good monitor, and an Apple TV would serve the OP's stated needs quite well. If s/he wants to move up to a MacBook Pro or iMac to do the stated tasks that would be good too.

    But sharing the glories of your Power User's computer doesn't advance the discussion.
  24. redheeler macrumors 604


    Oct 17, 2014
    You spend less you get less. You spend more you get more. I agree with cynics's post, if the OP is willing to pay extra for the Retina display it makes a huge difference. It isn't "required", might as well recommend a 4 GB baseline Mac mini with 1920x1080 display if all you think the OP should get is what is "required". But IMO it is worth the extra cost for almost any task if the OP is willing to spend that amount in the first place.
  25. MonkeyDavid macrumors newbie

    Aug 5, 2011
    You will never, not for a minute, regret buying it. I love mine. If they come out with an upgraded model tomorrow, it doesn't matter--I've had a few extra weeks organizing my giant photo collection. It's a pleasure to view photos on that screen.
    If you do finally decide to upgrade in a few years, I'm sure your son or someone else will buy it.
    The only warning I have is that after viewing your photos in 5K on that screen, they won't look as good to you in HD on the 55" screen...

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