Another this or that post...

Discussion in 'iMac' started by starkmj, Jun 9, 2017.

  1. starkmj macrumors member

    Jun 18, 2007
    Buying new 27 inch iMac.

    Both of these configs cost the same.

    Which would you get?

    • 3.4GHz quad-core Intel Core i5, Turbo Boost up to 3.8GHz
    • 8GB 2400MHz DDR4
    • 1TB SSD
    • Radeon Pro 570 with 4GB video memory
    • Magic Mouse 2
    • Magic Keyboard - US English

    • 4.2GHz quad-core Intel Core i7, Turbo Boost up to 4.5GHz
    • 8GB 2400MHz DDR4
    • 2TB Fusion Drive
    • Radeon Pro 575 with 4GB video memory
    • Magic Mouse 2
    • Magic Keyboard - US English
    Main question is which is better? The i7 processor or having an SSD drive?
  2. kschendel macrumors 6502a

    Dec 9, 2014
    The answer is ... surprise ... it depends on what you're doing. If I had to generalize, though, I'd very tentatively suggest that more people would benefit from the large SSD than from the CPU and GPU speed bump.
  3. ed. macrumors member

    Jan 31, 2008
    only one advice: GET MORE RAM!
    if you don't do processor intensive tasks (video rendering, 3d and so on), get the i5 and the ssd.
  4. dborod macrumors regular

    Jul 22, 2002
    For me, and how I use computers, an SSD is more useful than either CPU or GPU.
  5. Trahearne macrumors 6502

    Oct 6, 2014
    Do you need 1TB of blazingly fast internal storage though, heh?
  6. kschendel macrumors 6502a

    Dec 9, 2014
    Possibly not, but a 512 Gb SSD wasn't one of the OP's given options. :)
  7. starkmj thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 18, 2007
    Well the reason I didn't give that as an option is because my photos are already about 400 gb, so I didn't want to take up almost all of my internal drive with photos.

    I mainly use it for imovie, and Photos and my 13 year old daughter is really getting good at video editing using Camtasia.

    I plan on moving her up to FCP within a year, so I'm just trying to figure out which is better in the long run.
  8. PatriotInvasion macrumors 68000


    Jul 18, 2010
    Boston, MA
    I always thought the Fusion Drive was a temporary stop gap when it was released 5 years ago. Guess not. SSD all day.
  9. kschendel macrumors 6502a

    Dec 9, 2014
    If movie and video editing is the primary use, I'd change my answer and get the higher spec CPU and GPU, with the idea of eventually adding a larger outboard SSD via usb3 or thunderbolt. And if someone who actually uses FCP and iMovie on an iMac chimes in, believe them and not me. :)
  10. jcuecker macrumors newbie

    Sep 10, 2015
    Get the i7 model. You can always add a external SSD via thunderbolt 3 without a performance hit. You can't easily replace the CPU or GPU if they start to feel too slow.
  11. nyc2pdx macrumors 6502

    Oct 20, 2012
    Portland, Oregon
    excellent point!
  12. ed. macrumors member

    Jan 31, 2008
    I'm also considering whether to get a 2TB FD or a 512SSD, and as my current music + photos app library + apps would probably fill the SSD alone by themselves, I was thinking about getting a fast external ssd (an usb 3 ssd should be enough) and keep the itunes and photos app libraries there... I'm a bit worried by the maintenance though, as my previous experience (admittedly more extreme) of keeping the whole user home folder on a separate drive caused some glitches in the past.
    Does anyone have good / best practices experiences of external drive itunes library and photos?
  13. TCM1000 macrumors newbie

    Jun 10, 2017
    Get the better GPU and CPU with a 500Gb SSD and keep your photos on an external HD. Also just get the minimum RAM as you can upgraded later more cheaply from third parties.
  14. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009
    My opinion only follows.

    Get choice #2 above, BUT...
    ... instead of the fusion drive, get a 512gb SSD, or perhaps even a 256gb to save money.
    ... get a USB3.1 Gen2 external SSD and plug that in to increase storage.

    USB3.1 Gen2 has the ability to run at 10gbps (2x times as fast as USB3.1 Gen1).

    You'll have the faster CPU and GPU, an internal SSD that will run VERY fast, and lots of fast external storage for large libraries of music, photos, or movies that don't really have to be located on the internal drive.

    Again, my opinion only.
  15. Moohooya macrumors newbie

    Jul 11, 2010
    Can you recommend a thunderbolt 3 external SSD? I'm failing to find any that are affordable. Perhaps related, with SSD garbage collection, would a USB 3.1 SSD be just as good as Thunderbolt and TRIM, or is there still a difference? I'm not sure how garbage collection works. What about the new APFS, does that change the preference between USB and thunderbolt?

  16. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009
    There's no reason that I can see to even bother with tbolt3 on the new iMac, unless you are doing something that absolutely requires the speed.

    Easier and cheaper to use an SSD in a USB3.1 Gen2 enclosure, for 10gbps throughput...
  17. Scepticalscribe Contributor


    Jul 29, 2008
    The Far Horizon
    I'd recommend that you amend your thread title to make it more precise: Thus, the title should include what the "this or that" are about - otherwise, for anyone tripping over this thread from outside the iMac section - (as I did) it makes little sense.

    And, re computers generally, the rule of thumb seems to be as much memory as your pocket can pay for.

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