Advice on Purchasing new Desktop needed

Discussion in 'iMac' started by thesimplelogic, Jun 27, 2014.

  1. thesimplelogic, Jun 27, 2014
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2014

    thesimplelogic macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2014
    #1
    Hi everyone,
    Long time lurker, first time poster.
    Recently, it has come to my attention that my much beloved Intel iMac of 8 years is finally coming to the end of it's life.:rolleyes: The hard drive is whirring and failing, a few times it has shut down due to this, it really is on it's last legs!

    So, recently I have been looking at new Apple desktops in trying to decide which one would be best for my current needs.
    At the moment, I am still in school etc, and so for me it is really between the iMac and the Mac Mini, but I'm not quite sure so would appreciate a few opinions.

    What am I using the computer for?
    I will be using the computer to buy/run Logic Pro X and Aperture (although Aperture is just dabbling). This is the main reason that I am indecisive as I want a machine that will be able to handle MIDI input and be a good audio workstation, as well as doing the obvious types of school work such as Word, PowerPoint, iWork and the likes. I would also like it to be able to handle a LITTLE bit of light gaming - Minecraft for example.

    What is the Budget?
    About 3,000 australian dollars. This would be for the iMac in total or the Mac mini with a Thunderbolt display.

    Some questions that I have are;
    With Logic, does the 27 inch iMac have a big advantage over the 21.5? Originally I was leaning towards the 21.5 inch, but now that I know I have the space I am inching towards a 27 inch.
    If I was to get an iMac for use with Logic, and went for the top of the range iMac, would a faster processor or better graphics card be more important?

    Thanks in advance for your help!

    The Simple Logic
     
  2. Dor Levy macrumors member

    Dor Levy

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2013
    Location:
    Israel
  3. khedden macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2014
    Location:
    Charleston, SC
    #3
    Great advice there.

    OP, I would recommend getting the best CPU you can, plus an SSD or fusion drive, and plan to move to 16 GB of memory shortly if you don't order the machine with that much right away. The 27" iMac will let you upgrade memory easily yourself, which will save you some money.

    I don't believe Logic Pro X uses the GPU for anything, but Aperture does. So if it's in your budget, I would recommend opting for the best GPU you can since that cannot be upgraded later.
     
  4. thesimplelogic thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2014
    #4
    That's what I was reading about, that having the i7 is better as Logic is very good with hyper threading and virtual cores. EDIT: reread previous post an understood. Personally I do like the iMacs even thought the newer ones seem to be not as well liked as previous ones. Maybe it's just the long running attachment ;)

    Upgradeability is good but not a huge deal for me :) thanks for your help though! :)
     
  5. jg321 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2012
    Location:
    UK
    #5
    The reason I opted for an iMac was that I wanted just one thing on my desk (forgetting keyboard and mouse of course!).

    I already had a monitor that I liked, and sold it in favour of an iMac.

    They are very neat machines, but I do appreciate an all-in-one has it's disadvantages.
     
  6. thesimplelogic thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2014
    #6
    I have to agree, I love having an all in one form factor. And I just adore the new iMacs. I had a look in the Apple Store today and tested one with a Fusion Drive, and it was a huge improvement from what I currently have.

    Nothing is confirmed quite yet but this is what I think I will be getting;
    27 inch iMac
    3.5Ghz i7
    16 gigs of ram (I'll upgrade more when I need it)
    1 TB Fusion Drive (I'm planning to get a external ThunderBolt Drive. Does anyone have any recommendations?)

    I'm thinking that I will leave graphics as standard, because for the amount of gaming and Aperture that I do it will be fine. However, it's upsetting that Apple won't develop Aperture anymore! Then again, it was a long time coming I guess. Let's hope Logic and FCPX don't eventually come to the same fate.

    What do you guys think? Are there any changes to the configuration you think would be better in the long run?
    Thanks again!
     
  7. jg321 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2012
    Location:
    UK
    #7
    That sounds good to me. As you say, you can upgrade RAM as and when you need.

    Fusion seems sensible - 256GB flash only would be quicker, but typically desktops need storage!

    Why a Thunderbolt external hard drive by the way? If it's a spinny one, USB3 will be more than adequate.
     
  8. thesimplelogic thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2014
    #8
    Spinny :D
    No, I agree with you. I was looking on OWC and I think I would get a USB3 one. I really like the look of the NewerTech ministack pro. I love that it has a superdrive in it, as well as the 2 TBs of storage.

    Yes, I could just get the fusion drive in 3TBs but I would get this so I could partition it and have my Time Machine on one half and and documents/files on the other. :)
     
  9. khedden macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2014
    Location:
    Charleston, SC
    #9
    I may be misunderstanding, but you should obviously not have your time machine backup on a partition of that same disk as your docs.
     
  10. thesimplelogic thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2014
    #10
    Oh, really? I was not aware of that. Could you please explain as to why not? :) A few professionals I know do that - maybe I'm the one who's misunderstood. Please explain :)
     
  11. khedden macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2014
    Location:
    Charleston, SC
    #11
    If you have a disk failure, then you will lose your docs and your backup since they are on the same physical disk.
     
  12. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2011
    Location:
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    #12
    If you keep the Time Machine backup in the same drive as your boot drive, it means that when the drive fails, you also lose the Time Machine backup.

    Always keep backups in separate physical drives.

    Edit: Looks like someone beat me to explaining it already...
     
  13. thesimplelogic thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2014
    #13
    Thanks for the advice. Perhaps then I could just use the built in disk for documents and use the 2TB just for backups.

    ----------

    I understand now, but no, I know not to put it on the boot drive as that defeats the purpose. By documents, I meant as in saving them secondarily on the partition of the external. So the 1 TB would be boot, apps, music, docs etc,
    First partition of the external would be backup, second partition would be not important documents or old ones that I no longer need.

    Would that be okay? You guys seem to know a lot more than me :) thanks for all the help by the way.
     
  14. khedden macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2014
    Location:
    Charleston, SC
    #14
    If your external 2TB drive develops issues, then you could lose everything on it. If you're okay with that, then you can partition as you specify. Losing the backup is not too bad since you will still have the original data on your internal SSD. Losing the old docs is your call.

    What I would suggest is just having one drive for your time machine backup and keep all your data on the internal SSD with the OS. If you need more space for all your docs, then get a second external for them and backup both the internal SSD and the external doc drive to the time machine drive. This is kind of what your already planning with the two partitions, but having a second external would allow you to backup everything and insulate you against any single drive failure.

    What I also do myself is backup to cloud servers via CrashPlan (there are other good services as well) so that if my house burns down or if I have two drive failures in short order, I don't lose all my docs, photos of my kids, etc.

    As people keep their computers longer and longer due to CPU advancement stalling out, I've started seeing many more folks have to deal with HDD failure. It's not pretty when there's not a good backup already in place.
     
  15. thesimplelogic thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2014
    #15
    Thanks a lot :) I realised that the way I wrote that message about the external was not very well written... Oh well.
    That sounds like a really good plan. I have always used Time Machine and Dropbox, but thankfully I have never had to deal with HDD failure quite yet. I think I will follow what you have said. Use the external as a backup for the SSD, everything which is stored on the SSD and then also create a cloud backup.

    Thank you so much for your help (and everyone else's). It's made the process a lot easier and quicker :)
     

Share This Page