Anyone using a Retina iMac as a “Familly Mac”?

AndreUK

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Mar 26, 2008
26
1
I am an infrequent updater, i.e. tend to spend a lot up front, buy high end and keep for a long time. I am wondering whether a retina iMac would fit mine and my wife needs (basically to replace our 2 very old and very slow Macbook Pro’s). I was thinking of getting an iMac and maxing out with an i7 / non-Apple Ram / 1TB SSD. Not hugely keen on external storage, but realise that it’ll probably be necessary at some point once we combine all our stuff onto one system.

Or am I being stupid?

————————————

Current setup, Me:
- 17” MBP (2008) connected to 23” ACD permanantly on a desk in a small study. Used mainly for family admin, work admin, photos using Aperture, iTunes Library and occasional games (previously WOW, now occasional Diablo and Indie titles, but tempted by Elite Dangerous)
- 11” MBA (Mid 2012). Used mainly for work related admin, but play some games when bored and on the move. Will keep this until it dies.

Current setup, Wife:
- 15” MBP 2007 (2007). Used for everything apart from work, i.e. admin, decent size iPhoto library (my wife loves photography but hates post processing), iTunes Library, and very very rarely gaming (happy days playing side by side WoW or Diablo on our laptops, with a couple bottles of wine and excess junk food etc., but almost never now)

We also have just bought a PS4 which I think is bloody fantastic! but still like the idea of dabbling in a bit of light PC gaming (it takes me back to some really good times!).
 

Ledgem

macrumors 68000
Jan 18, 2008
1,751
502
Hawaii, USA
Hardware-wise you wouldn't have any issues, but it sounds like the bigger consideration you and your wife would need to consider is what happens if you're sharing one computer. Up until now it seems you've both had your own computers. Even if you retain your laptops, you'll both be vying for the higher-end system, which will be faster and generally nicer to use. Will that work out for the two of you? If you don't think so, you might be better off going for two lower-end iMacs (or 5K iMacs, if you're set on those), rather than one that is maxed out.
 

AndreUK

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Mar 26, 2008
26
1
Thanks Ledgem, you're absolutely right. I'm trying to get my head around the transition from having a laptop each to one iMac with everything on it (forgot to mention we both have iPads, and where possible my wife does a lot of her day to admin on her iPad).

But two 5k iMacs!! Just the thought of it is making me drool!! But, as much as it would be the "ultimate solution", I'm not sure I can really justify it though.
 

perspective7

macrumors newbie
Jan 1, 2015
17
0
I love mine, absolutely love it, went from a normal iMac 2011 to 5k retina, i notice with your spec, you went for non apple branded memory, which is what i did as you save a lot of money, but the other option to think of is go for 512 flash internal instead of 1TB, i saved £400 pounds.

Have to say again, after 2 months, god it is lovely ;)
 

phpmaven

macrumors 68040
Jun 12, 2009
3,375
441
San Clemente, CA USA
Thanks Ledgem, you're absolutely right. I'm trying to get my head around the transition from having a laptop each to one iMac with everything on it (forgot to mention we both have iPads, and where possible my wife does a lot of her day to admin on her iPad).

But two 5k iMacs!! Just the thought of it is making me drool!! But, as much as it would be the "ultimate solution", I'm not sure I can really justify it though.
I can't even imagine sharing a computer with my wife. It just wouldn't work. Of course, I'm a developer and spend many hours a day on my Mac, so your situation is different. But I can't imagine any scenario where that would work, unless I suppose we were both just light users of email and surfing. Even then, there's no way I couldn't have my own system. "Are you almost done?" "Almost, just a few more minutes". I would shoot myself after about 1 day of that. Of course, as you can tell, I have zero patience when it comes to waiting. :)

Once you get that beautiful machine in the house, I can't imagine you won't be having issues with both of you wanting to use it at the same time.
 
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Ledgem

macrumors 68000
Jan 18, 2008
1,751
502
Hawaii, USA
I also can't imagine comfortably sharing a computer with my wife. We both engage in tasks that aren't optimally performed on iPads, and we both engage in "time wasting" activities on the computer (me more than she). I suspect it would become a source of friction and discomfort.

If your wife seems to be using her iPad more than her computer then there's a possibility that the arrangement could work out, but you also have to question why she's using the iPad more. If she just likes the interface and the portability then you're OK, but if she feels that the computer is slower than the iPad then there's a chance that her habits would change with a newer, faster computer.
 

jamesdmc

macrumors 6502
Oct 17, 2007
258
1
Cittagazze
I am an infrequent updater, i.e. tend to spend a lot up front, buy high end and keep for a long time.
Same here. In my case, the family iMac is a 2007 2.4GHz Core 2 Duo.

I was thinking of getting an iMac and maxing out with an i7 / non-Apple Ram / 1TB SSD.
This configuration is a finalist to replace the aforementioned iMac.

If I go with that configuration, it will be used for tasks that won't come close to pushing it: primarily web, email, and a Windows virtual machine for Quicken. Seriously, that's pretty much it. The 1TB SSD will only be about 55% full. But I want the next iMac to last as long as the current one if possible, so I'm planning to go all out except for the graphics card. No gaming here.
 

AndreUK

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Mar 26, 2008
26
1
Wow, loads of really useful advice thank you.

I'm tempted in the first instance to go for the maxed out r-iMac in the hope that it will last and see how "sharing" one system works. I still have my 11" MBA for anything I may need to do when there's "desk competition".

If desk top competition becomes a problem then I think I'm going to either:

- hold out for the 12" r-MBA for the missus (which is hopefully on the near horizon) and that can be plugged into the 23" ACD if the missus wants a bigger screen for photo editing. I think she favours portability over screen real estate and lots of stuff now is just saved in the cloud etc, so for a lot of stuff laptops / desktops are basically just access points.

- or get a second r-iMac (as already mentioned, a serious luxury / extravagance, and may be waste for my wife's needs, but wow that would be awesome!).

Jamesdmc - have you gone down the route of setting up individual accounts on the iMac? and if so do you have individual itunes and photos libraries, or do you just share one?
 

denilol

macrumors member
Jun 24, 2011
40
1
Another thing to consider is that the r-iMac right now is a 1st gen product. Even maxed out, it may not have the graphical head-room to last 5-7 years the way you would like it to.

Any reason you're not looking to upgrade to rMBPs?
 

AndreUK

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Mar 26, 2008
26
1
That's my only hesitation, ie 1st Gen. But apart from some heat / fan issues when pushed hard, most people seem to be really really happy. I don't think we can realistically wait until 2nd Gen, I wish I could, but our current MBPs are really struggling.

Re: 2x new MBPs, I have considered it, but my old maxed out 2007 MBP has sat permanently on a desk attached to an ACD, so an iMac would really be a more sensible solution.

I was hoping that this could act as some sort of "home-hub", ie a powerful system that could accommodate more than one user for light as well as occasional heavier tasks, and store all our content etc (neither of us are in I.T. or media, but I have always been a tech-enthusiast / hobbyist and we also have a baby on the way so the wife's photography, Nikon raw, and video is only going to sky rocket!).

Rather than having lots of stuff all over the place I was hoping to try and keep most of it on one system, hence my original question, anyone using the r-iMac as a family PC / Mac?

Thanks again.
 

wrz0170

macrumors regular
Apr 29, 2008
114
0
Reno, Nevada
Wow, loads of really useful advice thank you.

I'm tempted in the first instance to go for the maxed out r-iMac in the hope that it will last and see how "sharing" one system works. I still have my 11" MBA for anything I may need to do when there's "desk competition".

If desk top competition becomes a problem then I think I'm going to either:

- hold out for the 12" r-MBA for the missus (which is hopefully on the near horizon) and that can be plugged into the 23" ACD if the missus wants a bigger screen for photo editing. I think she favours portability over screen real estate and lots of stuff now is just saved in the cloud etc, so for a lot of stuff laptops / desktops are basically just access points.

- or get a second r-iMac (as already mentioned, a serious luxury / extravagance, and may be waste for my wife's needs, but wow that would be awesome!).

Jamesdmc - have you gone down the route of setting up individual accounts on the iMac? and if so do you have individual itunes and photos libraries, or do you just share one?
We are almost in a similiar situation. Just the Wife and I with two 2010 Macbook/Pro that are showing their age.

For the most part, we do almost all work on our iPads. However, she dabbles in amatuer photography and a 13" laptop just isn't cutting it anymore. So we thought we would go for the retina iMac. She would probably use it more than I will. We plan on separating accounts, etc. Keeping important data on external drive(s).
 

jamesdmc

macrumors 6502
Oct 17, 2007
258
1
Cittagazze
Jamesdmc - have you gone down the route of setting up individual accounts on the iMac?
Are you kidding? That's the first thing I did.:D
...do you have individual itunes and photos libraries, or do you just share one?
Nothing is shared. I don't have to filter out Ross Lynch, Ariana Grande, or [insert name of latest cookie cutter/manufactured Disney "star" here] when I put iTunes on shuffle. No cute kitten pics either. We're one big happy family, but we have our own individual tastes, and I keep them separate.
 

AndreUK

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Mar 26, 2008
26
1
I would just like to thank you all, really appreciate the advice (I've read it all and it's all been very helpful).

I think i'm going to go for it, i.e. a single maxed out r-Imac in the first instance (running separate accounts), I have my MBA in reserve and both of us have iPads (for casual stuff). Both of us are staring at spinning beachballs for more time than actually being productive, so waiting another 6-7 months for 2nd gen is 6-7 months too long.

Really appreciate the input on "desk-competition". If that becomes a problem I'll be looking to get a separate system for the wife (laptop or desktop).

A lot of people will probably think getting the maxed out is a waste of money, but from previous experience, for me it's worth it, as I'm one of those who tries to get maximum longevity out of an item (i.e. any compromises now may seem like a bit of a bad decision 3-4 years down the line).

My wife always laughs at me when I say to her "I'm not sure if this is a good idea dear, let me just go and consult 'the community' ".

Cheers.
 

phpmaven

macrumors 68040
Jun 12, 2009
3,375
441
San Clemente, CA USA
I would just like to thank you all, really appreciate the advice (I've read it all and it's all been very helpful).

I think i'm going to go for it, i.e. a single maxed out r-Imac in the first instance (running separate accounts), I have my MBA in reserve and both of us have iPads (for casual stuff). Both of us are staring at spinning beachballs for more time than actually being productive, so waiting another 6-7 months for 2nd gen is 6-7 months too long.

Really appreciate the input on "desk-competition". If that becomes a problem I'll be looking to get a separate system for the wife (laptop or desktop).

A lot of people will probably think getting the maxed out is a waste of money, but from previous experience, for me it's worth it, as I'm one of those who tries to get maximum longevity out of an item (i.e. any compromises now may seem like a bit of a bad decision 3-4 years down the line).

My wife always laughs at me when I say to her "I'm not sure if this is a good idea dear, let me just go and consult 'the community' ".

Cheers.
I always subscribed to the idea of getting the best system I can afford. I got the "full monty" riMac and don't regret it for a moment.
 

BlakeBrattina

macrumors 6502a
May 10, 2011
530
41
Bay City, MI
Are we sharing the iMac as our "home" computer in the den, yes. Does she really use it all that much, not really. We both have our own laptops, and both have our own iPads, so we rarely run into any issues in terms of use.

Truth be told, the RiMac is a bit much of a machine for anything she would do, and nearly a bit much for my use as well, but it sure is nice.
 

Irishman

macrumors 68030
Nov 2, 2006
2,646
580
I am an infrequent updater, i.e. tend to spend a lot up front, buy high end and keep for a long time. I am wondering whether a retina iMac would fit mine and my wife needs (basically to replace our 2 very old and very slow Macbook Pro’s). I was thinking of getting an iMac and maxing out with an i7 / non-Apple Ram / 1TB SSD. Not hugely keen on external storage, but realise that it’ll probably be necessary at some point once we combine all our stuff onto one system.

Or am I being stupid?

————————————

Current setup, Me:
- 17” MBP (2008) connected to 23” ACD permanantly on a desk in a small study. Used mainly for family admin, work admin, photos using Aperture, iTunes Library and occasional games (previously WOW, now occasional Diablo and Indie titles, but tempted by Elite Dangerous)
- 11” MBA (Mid 2012). Used mainly for work related admin, but play some games when bored and on the move. Will keep this until it dies.

Current setup, Wife:
- 15” MBP 2007 (2007). Used for everything apart from work, i.e. admin, decent size iPhoto library (my wife loves photography but hates post processing), iTunes Library, and very very rarely gaming (happy days playing side by side WoW or Diablo on our laptops, with a couple bottles of wine and excess junk food etc., but almost never now)

We also have just bought a PS4 which I think is bloody fantastic! but still like the idea of dabbling in a bit of light PC gaming (it takes me back to some really good times!).
You're really going to spoil the family!! :)
 

panzer06

macrumors 68040
Sep 23, 2006
3,009
70
Kilrath
Whether married, roommates, or adult kids living at home... they all must have their own computers. No iMac or other sharing. I do maintain an inexpensive windows laptop with a guest login to loan to those in need.

There's just no way I want anyone besides myself using my gear.

That said, if you and your family have the personality to share, the diligence to make sure everyone stays away from malware sites and the patience to utilize separate logins, I suppose such an arrangement may be possible under the right circumstances.

Cheers,
 

Ledgem

macrumors 68000
Jan 18, 2008
1,751
502
Hawaii, USA
It sounds like the decision has been made. I'd be interested in hearing how it all works out after you and your wife have been sharing the computer for a few weeks. Drop us a line when you have the time.
 

driftless

macrumors 65816
Sep 2, 2011
1,476
174
Chicago-area
Good luck, I hope that with a little bit of planning and unselfishness that it works out well for you. If you haven't already thought of it, bluetooth keyboards might extend the functionality of your iPads.
 
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jamesdmc

macrumors 6502
Oct 17, 2007
258
1
Cittagazze
...if you and your family have the personality to share, the diligence to make sure everyone stays away from malware sites and the patience to utilize separate logins, I suppose such an arrangement may be possible under the right circumstances.
For our family iMac, this arrangement has worked for the past 7+ years. No problems to report.

That said, I do have my own 2008 Mac Pro downstairs in the man cave that NOBODY touches except me.:D