Choosing a 21.5" iMac, allow for Logic Pro usage

Discussion in 'iMac' started by neilw, Oct 21, 2014.

  1. neilw macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2003
    Location:
    New Jersey
    #1
    Well, the Mac mini update was sure disappointing, so I'm pretty much back to considering a 21.5" iMac to replace my 2009 model (which has been, by far, the best Mac I've ever had). Although I lust after the Retina 5K model, I just can't fit it on my desk right now.

    And so I'm trying to figure out how to spec my new machine. I'll be getting the fusion drive for sure, but everything else is up for grabs. My usage is general and not very demanding, and would be well satisfied with 8 GB and the 2.7 GHz i5, *but* I really want to allow for the possibility of doing some hobbyist recording with Logic Pro X. My guess is the 2.7 GHz model with 8 GB would even be fine for that.

    But I am still lured by the maxed-out 3.1 GHz i7 model with 16 GB, which I figure would take as far as I wanted to go for at least a couple years more. Are there any hidden limitations on that machine that would make it an unwise investment? I'm not looking to game with it, so GPU performance is not that important. I'd imagine that storage is the first limit I'd hit, but that is the one thing I can effectively expand externally as needed.

    It is the prospect of a Retina 21.5" iMac coming in another year or so that makes me hesitate to commit to a machine for longer term.

    Anyone have any thoughts? I know I haven't even formed a coherent question here, but I'm just trying to clarify my thinking before plunking down $2K+ on a maxed-out machine.
     
  2. xmichaelp macrumors 68000

    xmichaelp

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2012
    #2
    i5 will probably be fine for hobbyist recording. Pros usually shoot for i7s though.
     
  3. jji7skyline macrumors 6502

    jji7skyline

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2011
    #3
    i5 will be more than enough. As an audio producer myself, the only time I feel my 2011 i5 ever being used fully is when bouncing and exporting.

    You would really benefit from an SSD though, especially if you have loads of tracks the same time (10+ audio at DVD quality).
     
  4. neilw thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2003
    Location:
    New Jersey
    #4
    What about 8 GB? Once I spring for 16 GB I might as well pop the extra $200 for the i7.

    Basically, the i5 makes sense if I make the whole configuration *significantly* less expensive than the i7, so that would probably mean the 2.7 GHz i5 and 8 GB.
     
  5. xmichaelp macrumors 68000

    xmichaelp

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2012
    #5
    That's your call, i5 and 8 GB should be sufficient. Especially if you might upgrade in a year or two when the retina one comes out.
     
  6. jwill99 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2013
    #6
    I placed an order for the 21.5" iMac today. I went back and forth between the hi end 21.5 and the 27". Finally decided that the 27 is just too big for my needs so I ordered the 21.5 with the i7, upgraded the ram to 16 and chose the 1gb Fusion hd. I have 8mg of ram in my MacBook Pro (15" mid summer) and part of the reason that I wanted a new computer was because the ram can not be upgraded in my laptop. Since it can only be upgraded in the 21.5" iMac when you place the order, I just upgraded everything.It is better to get it when you order than to get a few months down the road and wish that you had.
     
  7. neilw thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2003
    Location:
    New Jersey
    #7
    Thanks for the replies.

    I think I'm going to go with the i7, 16 GB, and then feel comfortable that it'll last a long time. And then just stay the hell out of the Apple Stores when the retina 21.5" model comes out.
     

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