Confused on what to buy

Discussion in 'iMac' started by bikerblue, Feb 8, 2016.

  1. bikerblue macrumors newbie

    bikerblue

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2016
    #1
    Hi everyone. I've read so many posts and want to take the plunge to getting a new iMac but looking for a little advice first. I'm a home transcriptionist so spend a lot of time looking at my screen and it will be on wifi, not hard wired. I'm also getting more into amateur photography and starting to take senior pics for people. I need storage for my all my pics as they are big raw files for editing and think the 4 or 5K would be so beautiful to work on for pics. I will need to run parallels as my transcription program is windows based.

    Right now I have a mid 2010 21" iMac but it is so incredibly slow I can hardly stand it anymore and it is messing up my work performance. Speed is very important. I have been leaning towards the 27" 5K with SSD but just don't know. I'd appreciate any advice. Thanks!
     
  2. mmomega macrumors demi-god

    mmomega

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2009
    Location:
    DFW, TX
    #2
    Late 2015 27" i5, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD

    If you got into videos and editing and do that a lot I would personally upgrade to the i7 and then purchase some 3rd party RAM after the fact.
    A large 5TB or so USB 3 External drive (which are around $150 these days) and you should be set.

    If you want much faster be prepared to spend quite a bit more.

    Personally I do some similar work and I went with the i7, 512GB SSD added 32GB of RAM myself, 395X Video card and I have a 20TB Synology NAS for storage. I have all of my equipment hardwired as in my experience everything is much quicker this way.
     
  3. grayskyz macrumors regular

    grayskyz

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2008
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #3
    Solid advice from mmomega but also, anytime you run virtual machines (i.e., windows os in parallels) the more cpu and more ram you can afford the better your performance. And if you think about the fact you have a 2010 iMac (I assume you purchased it in that year or the one after) you tend to keep your computers 5-6 years. So the better the specs the longer you can keep it! ;)

    You're running two computers at the same time virtually so the better the specs, the faster it will run.

    Pro Tip: If you're thinking about getting something other than the SSD drive, don't. It's a pain to change from regular hard drive/fusion drive to a SSD later and the SSD is the most noticeable speed increase you'll notice in most of your day to day activities. Hope that helps!

    Pro Tip2: Check Macprices.net for a quick price comparison.
     
  4. bikerblue thread starter macrumors newbie

    bikerblue

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2016
    #4
    Thank you both for info, definitely the route I'm going!
     
  5. r6mile macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2010
    Location:
    London, UK
    #5
    Out of curiosity, what configuration does your current iMac have? I have the same model (2010 21.5 inch), and after an SSD upgrade and 8GB of RAM it is as snappy as I could want a computer to be. Though granted, it is not my primary work machine.
     
  6. bikerblue thread starter macrumors newbie

    bikerblue

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2016
    #6
    I have core i3 3.2 GHz with 4 GB, 1333 MHz DDR3.
     
  7. jmpage2 macrumors 68030

    jmpage2

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2007
    #7
    All of the advice you got above is solid. I would say go with the i5 CPU but if you can afford the I7 by all means get that. Absolutely get the SSD over a fusion drive and definitely upgrade RAM to at least 16GB.

    Now here's the rub. A VM is never as fast as physical hardware. My late 2012 i7 iMac with fusion drive is pretty snappy but Windows 10 can feel pokey at times even with 8gb of ram dedicated and two cpu cores. Adding more resources also doesn't matter. At some point you simply hit a bottleneck.

    Also I would definitely see if you can run Ethernet cable and hardware the network. Wifi always has problems from time to time in my experience whether it is interference or simply random flakiness. Wired Ethernet should be as solid as your router and much faster too.
     
  8. cschmelz macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2007
    #8
    and delaying for literally years I just received a late 2015 I5, 8gb RAM, 2tb fusion setup. My current iMac (which is still reasonably fast) is a 2010 i7 with 16gb RAM, 256gb SSD (in DVD drive space) and 2tb separate HD.

    This new machine should slaughter the old one, difference between 256gb SSD and 128gb SSD + 2tb spinning drive for practical purposes should be very little, but much easier day to day use.....
     
  9. michaelz macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2010
    Location:
    LA
    #9
    I would recommend this configuration:

    27-inch iMac with Retina 5K display
    • 4.0GHz quad-core Intel Core i7, Turbo Boost up to 4.2GHz
    • 8GB 1867MHz DDR3 SDRAM - two 4GB
    • 512GB Flash Storage
    • AMD Radeon R9 M395X with 4GB video memory
    • Magic Mouse 2
    • Magic Keyboard (English) & User’s Guide
    • Accessory Kit
    $2,999.00

    You should definitely max out cpu and graphic card. SSDs Apple put in those machines are twice as fast as the SSDs you can buy from amazon. $200 upgrade to 512GB is worth the money. You can buy RAMs from OWC, it's cheaper then buy from Apple. Changing RAM on iMac 5K is like change a light ball.
     
  10. Airmaxone macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2016
  11. austintg macrumors member

    austintg

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2015
    Location:
    Texas
    #11
    You could keep on using your current model if you put in an SSD and maxed out RAM. I edit with fcp x and don't want to upgrade until the next generation of processors are released.
     
  12. r6mile macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2010
    Location:
    London, UK
    #12
    I second this. More RAM (you can go up to 16GB in your iMac, or you can keep your existing 4GB and add two 4GB sticks for 12GB in total which is more cost effective), plus an SSD drive, will totally change your iMac for a fraction of the cost of a new one. At OWC, 8GB of RAM costs $58, the SSD upgrade kit (with tools) $38, and you can get a 250GB SSD from Amazon for $88. Less than $200 (+ admittedly paying someone to perform the upgrade if you are not comfortable doing it yourself) for what IMO will feel almost like a brand new iMac.
     
  13. austintg macrumors member

    austintg

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2015
    Location:
    Texas
    #13

    Exactly, I've performed this upgrade on about 7 iMacs for friends and family and they're surprisingly quick and usable. I always take them to the Genius Bar and have them load the latest OS in about 5 mins, fresh installs plus iCloud and Keychain properly set up are a dream.
     
  14. mroffbeat macrumors member

    mroffbeat

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2010
    Location:
    Amsterdam
    #14
    I ordered the i7/395x/512gb on feb 8th, 2 days later it was delivered.
    I have a synology network drive, no need for much space on my iMac.

    I think an SSD is a must-have
     
  15. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #15
    I think the 5k is a sweet spot for the OP, its large, and lots of screen space for the defined tasks. I'd opt for that :)
     
  16. austintg macrumors member

    austintg

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2015
    Location:
    Texas
    #16
    Yeah I mean a 5k is sick unless you're on a tighter budget. All comes down to money in the end anyway or we would all have the computer of our dreams.
     

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