Buying a IMAC for the First time! Suggestions needed please

Discussion in 'iMac' started by petlic, Mar 21, 2017.

  1. petlic macrumors newbie

    petlic

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2017
    #1
    First things first i will explain my use..

    50% Music Production.. I have some pretty quality equipment that i want to record with and the imac is going to be my main workstation this stems from. I will be downloading alot of plugins to run through midi which i am not sure how much space that will take up.

    30% Editing Videos.. Pulling images, videos, etc off the internet and using final cut pro to create videos. In this case i will be using adobe products such as photoshop and illustrator to help create content.

    20% Downloading music, videos. Using a program to extract from youtube to an mp3. Storage does not need to be crazy big here... never gone over 200 gbs ever when doing this on past computers.

    10% Surfing internet, emails, Microsoft word.

    My first question is imac 21.5 vs imac 27.. do i need the 27 to get great / excellent performance for what i am doing? in the past i have used macbook pros.

    IS their negative feedback to the new IMAC displays ? not sure if anyone feels this way or have past models looked nicer?

    As far as upgrades should i just get the stock 27" or 21.5" but premium stock and install the ad-dons such as ram, hard drive, sound card myself? will this be a way cheaper alternative and is it complicated?

    I really want to run a parallel as i need to have access to windows when creating music.. is this recommended? any dropbacks to running two platforms on an IMAC? is their a better way to do it ?

    I know these are alot of questions but would greatly appreciate any help!!!
     
  2. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #2
    Definitely get the 27" over the 21", it has a better CPU, includes a dGPU, larger display and the ram is upgrade - just to name a few advantages.
     
  3. petlic thread starter macrumors newbie

    petlic

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2017
    #3
    Thank You for your response! I have done some searching around and there is no real consensus on when the new IMAC is launching (from what i have found). Do you anticipate the next couple of months because if i wait and it comes out october then to me i feel like i have waited too long. I know you cant directly answer this question but do you think it will be worth the wait from what you have seen in IMACs over the past new releases?
     
  4. casperes1996 macrumors 65816

    casperes1996

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2014
    Location:
    Horsens, Denmark
    #4

    The honest answer, from a happy owner of a max'd out 5k iMac(2014), the budget you're willing to se aside for the computer, is the determining matter, because for video editing especially, the more you can throw at it the better, and if you have the budget for a max'd out 5k (CPU and GPU especially, RAM you can handle afterwards, I say get 16 from Apple, as you then only need to buy two extra DIMMs and not swap out all 4, and for storage, a 2TB Fusion will probably do fine). I don't know if I do more intensive video edits than you're going to, but I often feel like my i7 4790K+R9 M295X is underperforming a bit when working with larger FCPX projects.

    If you want to run both Windows and macOS, I recommend dual booting instead of using Parallels. With a virtual machine like Parallels, you need to set aside a certain amount of system resources for the VM and that may not be optimal. Though it does include the benefit that you don't have to reboot to switch between the two. Suppose it depends what you need it for, though you might want 32 gigs of RAM if you're using the VM, where I'd say that, at least for a few more years, 16 will actually work fine if it's just macOS, and again, can always be improved later.
    Changing the hard drive is a bit of a messy operation, and I highly suggest not opening up the computer. RAM can be swapped without pulling off the display, but for anything else, you need to take apart the display, and put it back on yourself, and that's something I really recommend you don't do. Depending on what you mean by "sound card" exactly, there are probably some pretty good external options.

    What exactly do you need Windows for? Could make it easier to help on that aspect.

    Oh, and the displays - They're brillant. As I said, I have the 2014 5K, and it looks amazing. The newer ones are even better with the P3 colour space, although there won't be a difference for not-P3 content.
     
  5. cynics macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2012
    #5
    For your task (ignoring cost) I would go for the 27" model for the screen alone. The 21.5" can get cramped with a lot of tracks for music production. Even more so with your specific use with video editing, the extra screen real estate will help tremendously since you'll be working between windows.

    MacOS (like every modern OS) has different plans/desktops which can help quite a bit however there will be times you'll want multiple things on a single desktop.

    This is just my opinion based on the way I use my iMac though. Plus the you can probably benefit from the beefier specs of the 27" like others have mentioned.
     
  6. casperes1996 macrumors 65816

    casperes1996

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2014
    Location:
    Horsens, Denmark
    #6
    And boy is it helpful. I constantly have like 8 spaces, haha
     
  7. cynics macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2012
    #7
    Haha so do I. Well at the very least 3 and that when I feel I have everything none essential closed!
     
  8. Fravin macrumors regular

    Fravin

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2017
    Location:
    Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
    #8
    I don't think that user upgradable RAM should be a god hint now. He can buy the 21.5 with maximum RAM configuration directly from Apple.

    Work with digital audio is a complex task. And besides RAM you should look seriously at storage. You should think in how to store that huge files. Running an SSD as main disk an a thunderbolt as external...
     
  9. imanidiot, Mar 21, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2017

    imanidiot Suspended

    Joined:
    May 1, 2011
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    #9
    Don't do it. In two years Apple will not be making desktops. Laptops, maybe. Cook & Co. are hellbent on killing all non-iDevices off. And he/they will. Consider other options, as odious as that may be. Their insensate greed knows no bounds. And they have no integrity. But in the meantime, Apple Watch anyone? And watchbands, god knows we have a magical array of them.
     
  10. Fravin macrumors regular

    Fravin

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2017
    Location:
    Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
    #10
    But wait a sec. The Macs are the best machines in the hole world for running Windows!
     
  11. RootBeerMan macrumors 6502

    RootBeerMan

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2016
    #11
    I'd go with the 27". Save some money and add some 3rd party RAM to max it out and get a nice external HD for backing up your projects. Also, make sure you get a APC battery backup. It'll save you time, money and angst when you have to deal with power outages, storms and surges.
     
  12. apppen1 macrumors regular

    apppen1

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2016
    #12
    Definitely get the 27" with an I7 CPU and an SSD with the most storage you can afford. The basic 8GB Ram is fine if you wan't to save money for now (you can also upgrade it later much cheaper than what Apple sells you RAM for). Avoid Fusion Drive as they seem to cause issues with Audio like random pops while recording.
    I use a 27" inch with an i7, 256gb sdd, and 8gb RAM and I produce music with more than 80 Tracks and 40-60 VST at the same time and the CPU sits in the middle without any hiccups. Great machine just has some UI lags.
     
  13. petlic thread starter macrumors newbie

    petlic

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2017
    #13
    Thank You everyone for the help! taking everything into account when i make my final decision !!!
     
  14. casperes1996 macrumors 65816

    casperes1996

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2014
    Location:
    Horsens, Denmark
    #14
    What's that with the Fusion Drive? I have a Fusion Drive in mine, and haven't experienced any audio issues with recordings?
     
  15. apppen1 macrumors regular

    apppen1

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2016
    #15
    If you do a google search you will find many people reporting this issue.
     
  16. Cineplex macrumors 6502a

    Cineplex

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2016
    #16
    My advice is buy it refurbished! It is like new with the same warranty but less money! Sometimes it can offset the cost of the higher model. I have always bought refurbished and always had a good experience.
     
  17. casperes1996 macrumors 65816

    casperes1996

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    Jan 26, 2014
    Location:
    Horsens, Denmark
    #17
    Just did, and by all accounts I could quickly find, it seemed to be a fairly limited problem that was subsequently fixed
     
  18. apppen1 macrumors regular

    apppen1

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2016
    #18
    I don't know if it was fixed but if it did than it's good to hear that.
     
  19. casperes1996 macrumors 65816

    casperes1996

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2014
    Location:
    Horsens, Denmark
    #19
    I mean - no official words, just reports from Apple's Support site and another MacRumors thread - the first two on Google. Both said it was fixed though
     
  20. Fishrrman macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #20
    OP:

    Do you use an audio interface?
    If so, which maker and what kind of connection to the computer does it use (USB, firewire, thunderbolt)?
     
  21. petlic thread starter macrumors newbie

    petlic

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2017
    #21
    UA Apollo Twin USB Interface.
     
  22. Fishrrman macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #22
    USB should be fine.
    With a firewire interface, I believe you'd need an adapter.
     

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