Advice on new Imac

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Chinook203, Mar 5, 2016.

  1. Chinook203 macrumors newbie

    Mar 5, 2016
    I am a heavy user of Lightroom CC and Photoshop CC and just started working with Premiere. A few months ago, my Late 2012 Imac 21 slowed up some with Photoshop. It had 8g of Ram. It started being slow overall. I have taken it to a local Mac guy as he has been able to work on the Imac 21s. He is still doing some diagnostics but believes the hard drive may be going out. He is trying to save it. I get a lot of power surges at my house that cause power outages often and we are wondering if it took its toll on it.

    I am looking at new Imacs as I can't afford to be without one. My only back up computer is a 3 year old windows laptop that can't run Photoshop. I make a big part of my living off photo work, so have to get a new one in if the old one can't be saved.

    Does this sound like one I can do. I am trying to stay around the $2000 mark and hoping to use the paypal bill me later and may go through b&h.

    Specs are:
    • 27" Retina 5K IPS Display
    • 5120 x 2880 Screen Resolution
    • 3.2 GHz Intel Core i5 (Skylake)
    • 8GB of 1867 MHz DDR3 RAM
    • 1TB Fusion Drive
    • AMD Radeon R9 M380 GPU (2GB GDDR5)
    • 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0
    • Thunderbolt 2 + USB 3.0
    • Magic Keyboard & Magic Mouse 2 Included
    • Mac OS X 10.11 El Capitan
    • $1899
    I would upgrade the Ram to at least 16

    Wanted some input if you think there is something I really should upgrade. Is the Fusion drive worth it? I have done a lot of reading on it and it seems to be all over. Some say absolutely, some say don't. I have read the forums here ever since I bought my first Imac (my 2012) one and this forum is what pushed me to change to mac and I haven't regretted it. Wish my old Imac didn't get wierd.

    Anyways, would love suggestions, input, advice. Thanks
  2. zachlegomaniac macrumors 6502a


    Sep 20, 2008
    Those specs will more than suffice for that Adobe software (based on what my colleagues at work have). The fusion drive is a must unless you go straight SSD. I have it on my 2014 Mac Mini, and it performs almost identically to my SSD only MacBook Pro. Hope that helps a bit!
  3. ApfelKuchen macrumors 68030

    Aug 28, 2012
    Between the coasts
    I have a Late 2013 27" iMac with similar specs (non-Retina, 3TB Fusion instead of 1TB, NVIDIA GT755M w/1GB) - best computer I've ever owned, by far. I run InDesign rather than Lightroom and PS, but it's still Adobe. ;-) When I'm working in InDesign I'll typically have 30 or more Safari tabs open, plus Aperture or Photos, Google Earth and Maps, Pages... it never breaks a sweat.

    I have 16GB RAM, but based on what I see in Activity Monitor, the thing might get along fine on 8GB. Since you can add RAM after the fact, you might want to start with the stock 8GB and add more if you actually start running into Memory Pressure issues.

    Definitely go with Fusion. My experience is similar to zachlegomaniac's - I also have a 21.5" iMac with all-SSD - hard to tell the difference between the two.
  4. Chinook203 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 5, 2016
    Thank you both! It very much helps as it tells me I have done my research and am understanding it. I am debating on upping to the 2tb fusion but will read some more. I keep a lot of my photos on external hard drives then have one for time machine
  5. tillsbury macrumors 65816

    Dec 24, 2007
    The 1Tb fusion drive only has a tiny SSD nowadays. You should go to 2Tb at the very least.
  6. kohlson macrumors 68000

    Apr 23, 2010
    You should consider a good UPS (perhaps $200?) as part of your budget. If voltage issues are a problem with your current Mac, that won't get resolved with a new one. Also, try and download a SMART utility and check the disk. At 3+ years old, it could be on the verge of failure, causing the poor performance.
  7. theatremusician macrumors member


    Dec 17, 2013
    If it's surges you're getting, then get a power conditioner rather than a UPS. UPS's are for powering your stuff in a blackout. Conditioners will regulate and keep your power consistent.
  8. MRrainer macrumors 65816

    Aug 8, 2008
    Zurich, Switzerland
    Well, AFAIK a good UPS will do both. At least, that's what I get looking at the catalogue of my local electronics dealer.
    If I would need one, I'd definitely get one that does both.
    We used to joke about 3rd-world countries having bad utilities, or Russia (you know the pictures - just google them).
    Now, it's a regular sight to see people from all over the US complaining about obvious symptoms of decaying public infrastructure.
    Don't want to get off-topic, but bad electric power is NOT normal. Or shouldn't be.
    At least, in the developed world.
  9. Chinook203 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 5, 2016
    Thanks on the advice on the surges. My 3 year old imac is actually with someone checking the hard drive. He does believe its going bad. We get surges and it causes the power to go out. it used to be literally every day. Its about twice a week now. I am trying to research for something where the computer would stay on and not keep getting shut down during those. Thanks for the input on AFAIK and UPSs. I am very much going to look into those, hopefully get more than 3 years out of next imac!
  10. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    I'd opt for the 2TB Fusion drive over the 1TB. You get more storage, and the 2TB fusion drive comes with 128GB of flash storage as opposed to 24GB in the 1TB model.

    Another option is to get the 256GB SSD and store your images on an external drive. Personally, I don't like that option, as I was doing that on my MBP, and that quickly grew old. I do enjoy the spacious, almost cavernous storage that my 2TB Fusion drive provides :D

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