Confused about iMac

Discussion in 'iMac' started by JonSarge3108, Jan 5, 2016.

  1. JonSarge3108 macrumors regular

    JonSarge3108

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2015
    #1
    Hi all,

    Looking at getting a refurbished iMac. The spec is;

    27-inch iMac 3.3GHz Quad-core Intel Core i5 with Retina display.
    8GB memory
    1TB hard drive

    How future proof is this please? It would be a business laptop so used for spreadsheets, tableau, emails and nothing intensive like photo or video editing.

    My other query was the display - can I hook a second display in? And can I get a second display that matches the first ? (OCD)

    If not,do I need the Mac Pro to get 2 matching displays?

    Thank you all.

     
  2. laudern macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2011
    #2
    Well if you are wanting a laptop you're going to be pretty disappointed with a 27" imac.

    But as for future proofing, you'll be fine. My 09 macbook with 4gb is still working great for the exact same things you just described.
     
  3. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #3
    I think your current configuration seems decent but if you want to future proof it, I'd go with a 256 or better yet 512GB SSD, over the spinning hard drive.

    You can hook up a second monitor, I use two monitors. It won't match exactly because the Apple Cinema display has a smaller black bezel where as the iMac has the silver larger belzel 2016-01-05_06-18-43.png
     
  4. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2013
    #4
    An Imac is a huge desktop computer, so if you are looking for a laptop you are bang out of luck.
     
  5. Fishrrman macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #5
    If you want a "laptop", buy a laptop.
    The 27" iMac is about as far from a portable machine as you can get.

    That said, I would advise you to NOT buy ANY iMac UNLESS it has a "fusion drive" or an SSD inside.

    I predict that you are NOT going to be satisfied with the performance you receive from an iMac with only a platter-based hard drive inside.
    I realize that the "perception of performance" is a personal thing.

    It's easy enough to add RAM to a 27" iMac, but -very difficult- to upgrade the internal drives.
    You -could- add an external SSD to serve as your boot drive if you wished.
    But it's just better to get a fusion drive or an SSD "up front" ...
     
  6. JonSarge3108 thread starter macrumors regular

    JonSarge3108

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2015
    #6
    Thank you all,

    Apologies - 'laptop' was a mistake, old habits. I'm looking to give my laptop to my better half (a late 2014 MacBook Pro 15" I think) and use a desktop at home and iPad Pro on the road - iPad works already I just fancy the extra screen space at home.

    I also have this option;

    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
    256GB Flash Storage
    AMD Radeon R9 M290X graphics processor with 2GB of GDDR5 memory


    I guess the flash storage is then SSD? Am I silly thinking I'd end up wanting 2 monitors and need them to match? Is that stupid?
     
  7. Btrthnezr3 macrumors 6502a

    Btrthnezr3

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2010
    Location:
    Texas
    #7
    If you are wanting matching monitors then maybe a Mac Mini with two monitors would be better for you? After using a computer at work with two monitors, I don't think I could go back to a desktop with just one.
     
  8. JonSarge3108 thread starter macrumors regular

    JonSarge3108

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2015
    #8
    Thank you - is a Mac Mini as powerful as an iMac ? Any downsides ?
     
  9. redheeler macrumors 603

    redheeler

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2014
    #9
    No, but for the tasks you described, it shouldn't make any difference. The main thing you'd miss is the stunning 5K display.
    --- Post Merged, Jan 5, 2016 ---
    Yes, Flash Storage is Apple's way of saying SSD. If you're set on two displays, the 5K iMac display will make your second display look noticeably lower quality if it's only 2K or even 4K, and that would bother me somewhat as well.
     
  10. Btrthnezr3 macrumors 6502a

    Btrthnezr3

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2010
    Location:
    Texas
    #10
    What if you got a nicely spec'd mini and picked up two decent monitors? Then as prices wound down on some of the better options, you could upgrade? Idk just thinking out loud.
     
  11. HobeSoundDarryl, Jan 5, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2016

    HobeSoundDarryl macrumors 603

    HobeSoundDarryl

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2004
    Location:
    Hobe Sound, FL (20 miles north of Palm Beach)
    #11
    The Mac Mini is THE way for your non-intensive computing tasks. 1 or 2 good monitors and a Mac Mini is going to go a long way. As Btrthnezr3 says, upgrade when you need more.

    You might also want to take a look at the 21:9 displays as a potential alternative to 2 displays. Those "ultra-wide" displays will give you much more horizontal real estate on a single screen.

    A Retina iMac will be overkill for the functions you describe. Even Flash/SSD may not be that big of a deal for those uses... though you can get a Mini with SSD and/or hit up OWC or similar for big SSD upgrades to a Mini.

    Since you are shopping refurbished, maybe cost matters? If so, you can always see how it goes with a hard drive and get an external SSD to hook to the Mini if you need faster storage.
     
  12. flynz4 macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2009
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #12
    Mike,

    If you use a twelve south HiRise stand for the ACD or ATD... then the actual screens line up perfectly. The iMac "chin" hangs down, but the black bezel and screen area are perfectly aligned.

    Click the link below, and scan the picture gallery... there is a photo with an iMac and ATD next to each other. It is actually the last picture in the HiRise gallery. I also keep my DVD drive and a local backup clone drive in the provided bay. It is pretty sweet.

    https://www.twelvesouth.com/product/hirise-for-imac

    /Jim
     
  13. Thunderbird macrumors 6502a

    Thunderbird

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2005
    #13
    I had a similar question about a second monitor for a 5K 27" iMac. I wouldn't need them to match aesthetically, but was wondering about matching the resolution.

    If you used a 27" a 1440p monitor as a second display, would the screen content look uneven between the two monitors? Can you scale the 5K down on the iMac to match an external 27" 1440p monitor? What kind of second monitor do most people use with their 5K 27" iMacs? What kind of second display would make the best pairing?
     
  14. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #14
    The newer mac has a newer chipset (skylake). It runs faster a bit faster but more importantly cooler. The older iMac imac is running on a 256SSD which is faster.

    Personally for future proofing, I like the 2015 edition, but the 2014 model is no slouch by any means. Both will serve your needs.
     
  15. roadbloc macrumors G3

    roadbloc

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2009
    Location:
    UK
    #15
    From my experience, you cannot future proof Apple gear. Most of the obsolescence in Apple products is artificial. Regardless of specs, Apple will grant it a 5 year supported life at very best.
     
  16. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2013
    #16
    You can match the resolution with the Dell 5K monitor, unfortunately at a deep discount on amazon it is still $1600.

    http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_2?url=search-alias=aps&field-keywords=Dell+5K+monitor

    The imac displays as 1440p anyway scaled to best for display so they should match perfectly as would a 4K scaled to 1440p (altough that will probably give you a slightly blurry result).

    That's just nonsense, almost all manufacturers provide no support outside the warranty (usually 3 years). Apple provide 3 years with warranty then an extra 2 years minimum where they will still service and repair at a cost and their software support is currently at least 7 years. They are far and away the best after sales support in the consumer electronics world and prove it every year by topping the customer satisfaction studies worldwide.
     
  17. roadbloc macrumors G3

    roadbloc

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2009
    Location:
    UK
    #17
    No it isn't. Microsoft support their OSs for 10+ years. Apple support theirs until the successor is out. Sooner or later, Apple will decide your model is too old to upgrade and you'll be left without software support whilst a Wintel machine would most likely stiff have support without any OS upgrades needed.

    Like it or not, all of my Macs have had a shorter support life than any of my PCs.
     
  18. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #18
    Sorry, but you're incorrect on that.

    El Cap's requirements are all 2009 Macs and some 2007 an 2008 models. That means you can run the latest OS on a 9 year old computer. A far cry from the 5 years you're saying.

    Apple has discontinued repairing Macs from 2009, so right now it seems that they're dropping support of a 7 years which is different then 5

    I understand you don't care for apple or their latest products but you cannot say that apple stops supporting them after 5 years (at best) because the facts don't line up with your statement.
     
  19. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2013
    #19
    Apple may stop OS support but your hardware will support new OSes for at least 5-7 years and then get another 3-5 years on that OS, how's your math at this point.
     
  20. Thunderbird macrumors 6502a

    Thunderbird

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2005
    #20
    Thanks, could you possibly elaborate on this? I'm not quite sure what you mean by the iMac displays as 1440p anyway.
     
  21. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2013
    #21
    Well it looks exactly the same as the old iMac which is 1440p everything the same size for icons fonts etc, of course due to the insane pixel density and superior screen tech it is a far sharper and better coloured image than the old imac screen. You can of course change the scaling to get more screen real estate (ie make everything smaller) but due to the nature of scaling this may not be as sharp.

    I understand that this is a terrible explanation but you have google and can learn about hi def screens and scaling to your hearts content.
     
  22. MadDane macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2015
    #22
    I know that, on principle, this is the case. However, I have been running with scaling on my rMBP 13" for more than 2 years now, and there is no perceived difference in sharpness between the default and scaled. If anything, it (to me) looks way better with more space on the screen.

    For reference I use 1680x1050 and it looks beautiful. In the past I have been running 1920x1200 for a couple of months, however things became too small.
     
  23. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2013
    #23
    That's fair enough many people can't see any difference at all I do notice it when scaled but it doesn't bother me it's still far better than a non retina screen.
     

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