Advice on iMac upgrade

Discussion in 'iMac' started by mariana888, May 23, 2019.

  1. mariana888 macrumors regular

    mariana888

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2010
    Location:
    UK
    #1
    Hi,

    We have two iMacs in need of replacement:
    • iMac Retina 5K (Late 2014), 27 inch
    • Processor: 4 GHz Intel Core i7 processor
    • Memory: 16 Gb 1600 MHz DDR3

    What would be the recommended upgrade:
    • Retina 5K display
    • 3.0GHz 6-Core Processor with Turbo Boost up to 4.1GHz
    • 8Gb 2666MHz DDR4 memory
    Or
    • Retina 5K Display
    • 3.1GHz 6-Core processor with Turbo Boost up to 4.3GHz
    • 8Gb 2666MHz DDR4 memory

    We work with graphics but mostly line artwork, not sound or video.....Do we need to upgrade to 16Gb Memory?

    Your advice would be highly appreciated.
    Thank you.
     
  2. Fishrrman macrumors P6

    Fishrrman

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #2
    If you're going to get 27" iMacs, get them with 8gb of RAM from Apple, then add more yourself. Apple overcharges for RAM. (then again, if it's a business expense, perhaps that's not an issue).

    HOWEVER -- regardless of CPU speed, THE BEST DECISION you'll make is to order the iMacs with an SSD inside (instead of fusion drives).

    They will run faster, for longer, with SSDs.
     
  3. mariana888 thread starter macrumors regular

    mariana888

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2010
    Location:
    UK
  4. Banglazed macrumors demi-god

    Banglazed

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2017
    Location:
    Cupertino, CA
    #4
    You should check your RAM utilization in Activity Monitor to ensure you have sufficient memory. If you are cutting it close or future proof it, I recommend 16GB. You can definitely get the 8GB and upgrade it yourself at a cheaper cost than through Apple. Do not get the fusion drive because it is fused with a mechanical hard drive and flash storage. The hard drive will eventually fail in the future. Go with the SSD option and ensure TRIM is enabled. If you are tech savvy, while replacing the RAM, you can also reapply thermal paste that it may run at least 5-10 degrees cooler.
     
  5. theluggage macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2011
    #5
    Well, first question is, why do you need to upgrade? 2014 i7 iMacs were more than adequate for line art and 2D graphics, they're still supported by the latest OS, so unless they're faulty or you have some business reason (warranty/leasing/tax) for upgrading now - or are just craving that 'new computer' smell - it wouldn't be a high priority.

    Yes, the newer machines are somewhat faster, but its not going to be a game-changing improvement.

    Apart from that: x2 on what @Fishrrman said about RAM and SSD.

    The 3.0/4.1GHz CPU should be fine for you - I doubt that you'd notice the extra 0.1GHz (or the slightly better GPU) on 2D work - put the money towards getting a 256 or 512GB SSD - the machine will start up faster, applications will load faster and if you do run short of RAM the SSD will soften the impact.

    If 256 or 512GB sounds a bit small, use external storage to extend it - maybe think about sharing a big "Network Attached Storage" drive between the two computers for archives/libraries etc. (or, maybe, cloud storage, but I'm old-fashioned) You'll need some sort of external storage for backup purposes anyway. It's really the system and applications that benefit most from the internal SSD.

    Friends don't let friends buy the 1TB Fusion drive (which comes with a pathetically small SSD cache). If you really must have 1TB+ built-in storage, either grit your teeth and fork out for the 1TB SSD or at least go for the 2 or 3TB Fusion drive (which have bigger SSD portions).

    The 5k iMac has very easy-to-upgrade RAM (no screwdriver needed) so there's no need to 'future proof' by buying more than you need. Run 'Activity monitor', ignore "memory used" (MacOS uses all the memory it can to cache things) and look at "Memory Pressure" and "Swap used" - if the former is in the green and the latter is 0 you're OK for memory. If not, buy a 16GB upgrade kit from someone like Crucial and you'll have 24GB RAM for less than Apple want for an upgrade to 16GB.
     
  6. mariana888 thread starter macrumors regular

    mariana888

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2010
    Location:
    UK
    #6

    The quick answer to that question is that they are leased machines and they need to be returned.... we are not allowed to keep the lease going according to our company policy.

    Thank you everybody for the input, it is really appreciated. I think I know what I need to do
     

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5 May 23, 2019