Help buying my first IMac

Discussion in 'iMac' started by ainsoph, Feb 14, 2015.

  1. ainsoph, Feb 14, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2015

    ainsoph macrumors newbie

    Feb 14, 2015
    Hello all,

    I've been a PC user all my life, but I'm looking to invest in an Imac in about 2 weeks. I'm torn between two options, and I'm hoping you can help me out.

    I'm trying to decide between the 5K Retina, and regular 27" Imac.

    My budget is about $3100, so that's what's prohibiting from deciding. For that price, I could get a fully loaded regular. However, seeing as I create images for a living, the 5K would be a dream come true. To get into my price range, I had to downsize the RAM to 8gb, while keeping the 4.0 I7 and the AMD 4gb.

    My question, is getting the 5K with only 8gb of RAM worth it? Am I better off doing this, and upgrading the RAM later?

    I have some extremely large Photoshop documents, with sometimes 1000+ layers, and my PC just isn't cutting it anymore. I also do alot of detailed renders with C4D, Modo, and ZBrush. Anything that'll get my render time down, I'm all for. No animation btw, just stills.

    I'm not the most hardware-knowledgeable person, so speak dumb to me.

    Another concern is heat. I've never owned an all-in-one, and with potentially day long renders, I don't want anything to overheat, or god forbid, melt. I'm probably just way too paranoid, I know.

    Basically, being a visual artist, is the 5K worth it, and just invest in more ram later? Is RAM even going to help me PS and render at lightning speeds? Or is that more the processor/v-card?

    Thanks a ton for any info you can share with me !
  2. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Apr 23, 2011
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    The 5K is totally worth it. As a cinematographer and photographer, the 5K screen is just amazing.

    My own 5K iMac is an i7/32/512/M295X config.

    If you're going with a 1TB SSD, I'd suggest bumping it down to a 512GB SSD. You can always use external storage (that's what I do anyway). Then you can get the 16GB RAM from Apple (their pricing is alright, but not for 32GB) and buy another 2x8GB yourself to get it to 32GB. Going with 8GB means you've to remove the 2x4GB that came with it and buy another 4x8GB yourself.
  3. Fatboy71 macrumors 65816


    Dec 21, 2010
    Re the ram.

    Providing the 27 inch Retina iMac is like the none Retina iMac. I would purchase the iMac with just the included ram and purchase additional ram from elsewhere. The last time I looked, Apple were ridiculously expensive for ram compared to other places on the net.

    Its an easy job to install your own ram and only takes a few minutes. You simply remove the little pop off cover on the back, insert your ram, put the cover back in place and that’s it done.

    If the Retina iMac comes as standard with 8 GB, you could always leave this in, purchase 16 GB from elsewhere and this would give you a total of 24 GB. This would mean you are able to make use of the 8 GB that the iMac came with.

    Or if you wanted to go to 32 GB from the off set, you would then need to remove the 8 GB (the iMac came with) and purchase 32 GB from elsewhere. Some places offer to purchase unwanted ram, so you could either sell the 8 GB ram to them and put it towards the cost of the 32 GB, or keep hold of the 8 GB.

    Personally though, I would keep hold of the 8 GB, as sometimes Apple ask you to install the included ram if you are having issues, i.e. for troubleshooting purposes.
  4. ainsoph thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 14, 2015
    Cheers for the replies guys, much appreciated. I'll definitely be upgrading my own RAM.

    I do have one more question. I've been reading tons of reviews the past few days, and getting mixed reactions. Does anyone have any real experience with 3D rendering on the 5K? I'm trying to render hi-res stills at a very large size. I don't want to spend 3 grand on a machine that won't render much faster than my supremely outdated PC?

  5. Ray&Paula, Feb 16, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2015

    Ray&Paula macrumors regular

    Feb 12, 2015
    Just wanted to chime in...... Here's a "No Brainer" :rolleyes:
    I took a look a Crucial for 16gb (2x8) of RAM $131.99. This makes 32gb of RAM at $263.98. Savings over Apple $336.02 for a couple minutes of installation. All this and sell the 2x4gb ram that came with your iMac!
    Also if you're interested in the PROMISE Pegasus2 R4 8TB (4 by 2TB) Thunderbolt 2 RAID System you can save $45.00 through B&H Photo. Oh, I almost forgot, you get a FREE 256GB Pegasus J2 SSD Thunderbolt Storage Solution that normally sells for $449.00 (Check out the link below)!
    $381.02 Saved over Apple configuration
    "PLUS" FREE 256GB Pegasus J2 SSD Thunderbolt Storage Solution! :eek: :D :)

    Apples Configuration: :eek:

    Crucial $263.98 32gb ($336.02 savings over Apples $600.00)*0ghz-quad-core-intel-core-i7-(27-inch,-late-2014)/CT6312882

    OWC $364.99 32gb ($235.01 savings over Apples $600.00) World Computing/1600DDR3S32S/

    B&H Photo $1454.00 (Apple $1499.00) PROMISE Pegasus2 R4 8TB (4 by 2TB) Thunderbolt 2 RAID System "PLUS" FREE 256GB Pegasus J2 SSD Thunderbolt Storage Solution

    My dream station for 4k video editing;

    4.0GHz Quad-core Intel Core i7, Turbo Boost up to 4.4GHz
    8gb from Apple (Replaced w/ Crucial 32GB 1600MHz DDR3 SDRAM - 4x8GB)
    1TB Flash SSD
    AMD Radeon R9 M295X 4GB GDDR5
    Apple Magic Mouse
    Apple Wireless Keyboard (English) & User's Guide

    PROMISE Pegasus2 R4 8TB (4 by 2TB) Thunderbolt 2 RAID System

    Final Cut Pro X
    Pages, Numbers, Keynote
    iPhoto, iMovie, GarageBand
    OS X
  6. JeffyTheQuik macrumors 68020


    Aug 27, 2014
    Charleston, SC and Everett, WA
    As what Fatboy71 said about the memory (I agree with him 100%), you can two-step the upgrade, which is what I did. I put 16GB in, and now I have 24GB, and I'm happy with it. I run multiple Virtual machines (VMWare) on it, and it works well.

    Just letting you know it's possible, and as a former Mac Hater, here are some things that you may experience:

    How is this thing intuitive? I know Windows, and that's intuitive!
    Well, my last version of Windows was 7, and when I use Windows 8, it's hardly that intuitive. Intuition is what you're used to, and give it a month:
    Week 2: hmmm... Safari is nice, and I can use Firefox. I think I'll set up a Time Machine. hmmm... That was too easy! Let's see what else this thing can do!
    Week 3: Nice! I can just use handoff with my iPhone. Cool!
    Week 4: I'm performing now!!!

    This computer will last you about 5-7 years. I bought my last one in 2008, and it lasted until Christmas, 2014, and now my kids use that one, with 6GB RAM for their work.

    Upgrade the O/S? *sigh* That'll be $150... Wait! It's free!

    Hard Drive problems? With Time Machine (TM), if Apple replaces the hard drive (don't do it yourself; Apple won't work on it anymore. I had a video card go bad on my above-mentioned Mac, and they wouldn't replace it or sell me one. I had to go to a local Apple fix-it shop), just hook up your TM drive, and voila! your Mac is how you left it!

    Speaking of that, if you get a new Mac, and want to download all of the apps you got on the App Store, it's just "Select, and wait for installation!" No need to keep those disks and Product Keys anymore, except for Microsoft Applications.

    Keyboard. If there is one thing I don't like about the Mac, it's the keyboard. I like the tactile feedback of a clicky keyboard, so if you do that, just remember, the windows key is now your command key.
  7. ainsoph thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 14, 2015
    Haha, I actually do have some experience working with Macs, I've just never owned one. I'm semi used to Safari...and the close/minimize being on the opposite side. I'm not so much worried about interface learning, I'm pretty quick with that stuff. Much appreciated though! And I totally agree about the keyboard. Namely, no num-pad drives me up the wall. The external will just have to suffice.

    I got a chance to play around with one a bit today, it's god damn gorgeous.

    Ray&Paula, you are awesome. I was already looking at the OWC option, and was set on it. My question to you, or anyone, is Crucial just as efficient as what OWC seems to be? Is RAM simply...RAM? Haha. But definitely thanks for sharing the deals!

    Appreciate all the help, people! I think I'll stick around this place. I am still curious about rendering 3D stills. From what I'm seeing it does just fine. I guess we'll find out next week.
  8. Ray&Paula macrumors regular

    Feb 12, 2015
    Don't know what the differences are between Crucial and OWC. I have had Crucial in the past and never had a problem. OWC talks little more about their warranty, but don't know if its worth the $100.00 difference over Crucial. Both are bragged about throughout the forum. I'd like to add, I haven't done a hard search for either one, but will. Ray :)

    I went back to take a look at the OWC and saw that the price is different from what I saw yesterday. $364.99 32GB

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