Buying my first iMac

Discussion in 'iMac' started by duce2777, Jan 20, 2015.

  1. duce2777 macrumors newbie

    Feb 10, 2012
    So I've been waiting for my old laptop to die and think it's finally on its last leg. So I have around $2000ish to spend and was looking at the base model 27 inch. I have a few questions I hope someone can help answer. Also I'm not doing anything crazy with the CPU I just want a good family CPU that will last with my wife and two kids.

    1. What if any thing needs to be upgraded? Memory or hard drive, etc?

    2. Should I wait? I know you can play this game forever but I wast sure if there was something epic possibly coming out that would be worth waiting?

    3. Should I buy Apple care?

    4. Anything else I'm not thinking of?

    Thanks you
  2. Rud3Bwoy Suspended


    Oct 9, 2011
    yes get apple care.

    ram up to you but buy it from amazon/crucial.

    hard drive def go ssd 512 gb is enough for me you may be different
  3. phpmaven macrumors 68040


    Jun 12, 2009
    San Clemente, CA USA
    If $2K is all you have to spend and you want 27", this is as far as you can go:

    27-inch: 3.4GHz
    3.4GHz quad-core Intel Core i5
    Turbo Boost up to 3.8GHz
    8GB (two 4GB) memory
    1TB hard drive1
    NVIDIA GeForce GTX 775M with 2GB video memory
  4. duce2777 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 10, 2012
    I can go above 2000 if there's an upgrade that I really need. Also getting a 10% local government discount so I get a little bit extra
  5. robgendreau macrumors 68040

    Jul 13, 2008
    Make sure you get either the Fusion or SSD drive; don't waste money on a new Mac with a regular hard drive.

    There are several 27"ers in the US Apple Store refurb section for under $2k WITH Fusion drives. Even a retina for $2200 that would certainly meet your needs.
  6. cheezeit macrumors 6502

    Jul 10, 2010
    Dallas, TX
    I bought a 27" iMac mid with the 775mx +ac. Upgraded the ram separately to 32gb kept the 1tb inside and added a 256ssd in a tb enclosure. Best value imo if you dont mind the separate upgrades. It'll probably find a new home when i decide to post. That 5k looks tempting
  7. ELMI0001 macrumors 6502


    Jan 5, 2009
    Olympic Hills GC
    Completely agree. So much so that I ordered a 27 inch with Fusion yesterday for $1999.

    I had a $2k budget. My 500GB SSD in my laptop is nearly full. I wasn't springing for the SSD in this machine but didn't want less than 500GB in my new machine. There was no way I was going back to a regular hard drive.

    My config was;
    3.2Ghz i5
    8GB RAM
    1TB Fusion
    GT 755 1Gb
    Magic mouse, numeric keyboard, etc.

    In the 27 inch you can upgrade the RAM later for a reasonable price. I think Crucial or OWC had a 24 or 32GB set $340 when I looked into it.
  8. duce2777, Jan 20, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2015

    duce2777 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 10, 2012
    So I need a fusion harddrive and need to upgrade my memory on my own. It's +180 to upgrade to 16GB is it cheaper after market and is it easy to install? And the fusion drive is +180 for 1TB.

    Looking at the refurbished it seems like most were built in 2012 isn't that older technology? And it seems crazy to drop $2000 on a refurbished CPU from 2012 is that normal?

    This is fairly new 2119 w/o apple care or tax or upgraded memory. Should I drop $2500 on something like this its a little more than I wanted to spend.

    Refurbished 27-inch iMac 3.5GHz Quad-core Intel Core i5 with Retina display
    Originally released October 2014
    27-inch (diagonal) Retina display with IPS technology; 5120‑by‑2880 resolution
    8GB memory
    1TB Fusion drive

    AMD Radeon R9 M290X graphics processor with 2GB of GDDR5 memory
    Built-in FaceTime HD camera
  9. ELMI0001 macrumors 6502


    Jan 5, 2009
    Olympic Hills GC
    Crucial sells 8GB sticks for $71.99 each. Here's the video I watched before deciding I could do it on my own. It looks very easy.

    I looked at the refurb retina's and other refurbs but decided new for less than $2k was fine for me. My needs were the same as yours - something for the whole family (myself, wife, 2 small kids), something that should last 3-5 years.
  10. Flynnstone macrumors 65816


    Feb 25, 2003
    Cold beer land
    I also recommend the SSD or Fusion options.
    OP mentions "kids", so the next question is there going to be a lot of video?

    If this is the case, then a large (3TB) with fusion or a 500 SSD + external drives.
    (And don't forget backup drives)

    my 2 cents

    I have a 2009 24" iMac with a 2TB internal (no fusion or SSD) with multiple external drives. Still runs great.
  11. 4kediting macrumors newbie

    Jan 21, 2015
    Nashville, TN
    5K is tempting, but not the base model.
  12. 4kediting macrumors newbie

    Jan 21, 2015
    Nashville, TN
    I know not everyone needs a workstation but there are two main reasons to get a desktop that (I believe apply to everyone) screen real estate and no consideration on i7s using draining battery power)

    It is with those ideas I recommend going with the i7 version. I know it bumps up the price but Macs last for so long and in a few years an i5 will be a powerful as the current i7, and what about a few years after that, e.g. five years from now....

    2,399.99 new

    3.5GHz Quad-core Intel Core i7, Turbo Boost up to 3.9GHz
    8GB 1600MHz DDR3 SDRAM - 2X4GB
    1TB Fusion Drive
    NVIDIA GeForce GTX 775M 2GB GDDR5

    Over budget and tough when the 3TB fusion drive is only 150$ more.

    You can find these in the refurbished store and save 200$
  13. duce2777 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 10, 2012
    Assuming I'm buying the after market memory from crucial do I want/need 16GB over the 8GB. I know I'm already way over budget I just don't want to have to upgrade again down the road. Or is the extra 16GB just over kill.
  14. duce2777, Jan 21, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2015

    duce2777 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 10, 2012
    Ok check this one out I just found it on Adorama.

    Apple 27" iMac with Retina 5K Display, 5120x2880, Intel Core i5 Quad-Core 3.5GHz, 8GB RAM, 1TB Fusion Drive, AMD Radeon M290X, Mac OS X 10.10 Yosemite (Late 2014)

    2349.00 with free Applecare and no tax outside of NY/NJ and I live in California.

    I built the same one on Apples website using the local government discount and came up with 2,603.35

    Just not sure if I need all of that or if I want to order from Adorama instead of Apple. I don't know anything about Adorama, anyone have any suggestions.
  15. ixxx69 macrumors 65816

    Jul 31, 2009
    United States
    Adorama is an authorized reseller, which means you can purchase from them and get all the same support from Apple as if you'd bought it from an Apple Store. If you have any issues with your Mac, you can call Apple directly or take it to an Apple Store the same as if you'd bought it from an Apple Store.
  16. duce2777 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 10, 2012
    Sorry for all the questions

    Sorry for all the questions you guys have been great. I knew nothing about iMac before and feel like I have been getting tons of great info here. So I'm still kicking around a few options and I need to call Adorama in the morning.

    If I choose to go through apple I'm trying to decide if I can go with the 3.2GHz with the NVIDIA GeForce GT 755M 1GB GDDR5 or the next level 3.4 with the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 775M 2GB GDDR5. It's $180 dollar difference does it make a huge deal. Is something I'll even notice?

    If I go with this I was planning 27 inch, 3 GB fusion, upgrading the memory 16GB on my own through Crucial and 3 years apple care.

    Thanks again
  17. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Apr 23, 2011
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    The GTX 775M is far more powerful than the GT 755M.

    If you don't mind spending the money go for it.

    Just make sure you get a Fusion Drive at the very least.
  18. duce2777 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 10, 2012
    It's only money right. Should I go with the 16Gb upgrade in memory from crucial or stick with 8Gb I figured I order now so it's here when my iMac shows up. #
  19. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Apr 23, 2011
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    You can also just order 16GB from Apple straight away, their upgrade price from 8 to 16 is pretty good.

    From 8 to 32, it's robbery.
  20. duce2777 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 10, 2012

    So I haven't called Adorama yet I'm still at the fire station and not off work. It looks like Adorama only will let you pick up the iMac not purchase them online. (Adorama = NY / Me = CA) Anyone have any experience with them? They have crazy deals.

    I could get the same iMac from them for about $300 dollars less and thats with using the EPP discount from Apple. (2673.76 Apple / 2321.99 Adorama) Does Apple price match? The prices on Adorama's website look to good to be true.

  21. 4kediting macrumors newbie

    Jan 21, 2015
    Nashville, TN
    8GB is awesome for family PC. I wouldn't worry so much about ram yet, it's an anytime upgrade. I would spend money on things you can't upgrade later.
  22. Alesc macrumors 6502


    Nov 11, 2014
    In Europe, it is less expensive to buy 8GB Apple + 16GB Crucial than the robbery 16GB Apple option... Yes, 24GB less expensive than Apple 16GB...
  23. eucsstamticc macrumors member

    May 4, 2010
    I just ordered my BTO iMac 5k and I spec'd that base RAM for it. I purchased 2 16gb RAM kits from after tax and standard shipping it was $319.31. I will have 32gb RAM. Crucial said their RAM has Lifetime warranty so if it ever goes bad I put my standard 8gb RAM back in and send theirs back for replacement/repair. The cost to upgrade to 16gb on Apple is $200 and to 32gb is $600. I believe OWC sells 32gb RAM kits for around $380 if I am not mistaken.. and you can send your 8gb RAM that came with it back to OWC for $37.

    To me Crucial is the best deal for it. But make sure you get RAM specifically for the iMac 5k if that is what you ordered.


    I am not sure what kind of discount you are looking at but Apple has stores for Education, Business, and Government.

    I purchase mine through the Education Store since I am a full time student. I was able to save about $240 through Apple.
    go to the link and scroll all the way to the bottom and you'll see a column labeled "more stores" with education, business, government, refurb&clearance and see if any of those could apply to you.
  24. drjwagner macrumors newbie

    Jan 22, 2015
    I think I paid $399 for the Apple factory original RAM from Mac RAM Direct as I recall. They have their houses brand for a little cheaper. The big plus I saw in the Apple RAM form MRD was they also give a lifetime warranty for the exact RAM that Apple only gives 1 year with.
  25. joema2 macrumors 65816


    Sep 3, 2013
    Ditto on both of those, get the 775M and at least Fusion Drive at a minimum.

    Those will give it significantly longer useful life. Software developers are making continuously greater usage of the GPU, so a lower-end non-upgradeable GPU could age the system fairly quickly.

    You could argue for just web browsing and simple stuff you don't need the upgraded GPU but as web-based (and video) content uses more HTML5, it's a good long term investment.

Share This Page