First time Imac buyer for logic/music

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by django15, May 12, 2015.

  1. django15 macrumors newbie

    May 12, 2015
    Hi all,

    I am in the process of deciding what iMac to start out with. I have been an exclusive windows user and am about to set up a small home recording setup.

    I will predominantly be using the computer for recording and maybe some video work for youtube. Logic will be my DAW, and I will be using samples and synths.

    I have decided to get the 27inch and 16 gb ram but am deliberating on the following:

    i5 2.4 or i5 or 3.2?

    Storage: Fusion drive vs 256 flash

    Any advice on what suit me best? Could I not get the fusion drive and then an exertnal flash drive (if such a thing exists?)

    As you can tell I am quite clueless, so any advice is greatly appreciated.

  2. keysofanxiety macrumors G3


    Nov 23, 2011
    Fusion is good, SSD-like speeds for a smaller price. If you're going to be using Logic quite often, OS X would automatically move the most-used files onto the SSD anyway, so you'll be seeing pretty good performance.

    Of course were price no object, we'd always suggest going pure SSD, but that's not always economically viable.

    I'm not sure about an i5 2.4; the base 27" iMac has a 3.2GHz Intel Core i5. That is an i5-4570, benchmarking at 7050 on PassMark. The next one up from that, the 3.4GHz i5, is an i5-4670 benchmarking at 7417. So you're not getting a massive performance difference between the two.

    If you were to go full-blooded with the CPU and get the BTO 3.5GHz i7 (which is an i7-4771), that has a PassMark rating of 9938. So it's considerably more powerful.

    The RAM is user-upgreable in the 27" model, so you can upgrade yourself to a maximum of 32GB - don't pay the Apple tax on the RAM.

    Also a lot of the Apple Pro applications use OpenGL (basically uses the graphics to aid with processing), so if you can afford the 2nd-tier 27" iMac with a better GPU (GTX 775M), you'd be slightly better off. Obviously the best one would be the BTO 780M 4GB.

    In conclusion:

    - Save cash on the RAM by buying 3rd party (Crucial do Mac-tested/compatible RAM)
    - Only pay for CPU upgrade if you're jumping to the i7, not really worth the money to jump from i5 to i5
    - Buy as much SSD as you can afford -- failing that, get Fusion as the performance is perfectly acceptable


    - The iMacs are quite outdated, with the exception of the Retina model. The were last updated in October 2013 (see:

    So what I'd do is wait until WWDC next month, as Apple are likely to update the iMacs then. Wait to see what they do, as they may update the pricing and definitely upgrade the internals. So no point paying 2015 prices for 2013 technology.

    TL;DR: wait until next month, and then we'll go from there!

    Best wishes.

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