Help choosing

Discussion in 'iMac' started by tiger2, Oct 15, 2015.

  1. tiger2 macrumors member

    Sep 8, 2012

    I'm a teacher and want/need a new iMac for home use. I think I know the answers to my questions, but just want input from others who probably know more about the technical side of things.

    I'm thinking about the stock 3.3 ghz i5 27 inch. I figure I don't need the i7 processor - I don't do gaming or any photoshop type stuff, etc. I do use iMovie, iBooks Author, iWeb (yes, still) and all the normal Safari, Photos, Office, etc.

    I can upgrade the ram myself to 32 gb as soon as I can. Cost for this should about $150 - $200?

    No need for upgraded video card.

    2tb fusion drive is big enough. I have a lot of music, photos, school files. My current drive is 750 gb and about three-fourths full.

    I typically buy a new computer once every 5 or 7 years, so I want something spec-wise that will last that long. I'm currently using a 2012 MacBook Pro, but want the larger screen and honesty I don't need the laptop anymore, I use an iPad for most portable type stuff. I'd love an Air or Mac Book, too, but finances don't allow right now. At school I use 21"iMac. Since they don't allow private computers on the network, I just use a thumb drive to hold all my files, bring it back forth and sync it to my MacBook Pro using Chronosync.

    Thoughts? Suggestions? Advice?

    Thank you for your time!
  2. cbrand493 macrumors 6502

    May 19, 2015
    Perth, Australia
    Base 27" 5K with 2TB fusion. I wouldn't even bother upgrading the ram straight away, you're never going to use 8GB doing what you do.
  3. colodane macrumors 6502a


    Nov 11, 2012
    Upgrading the RAM yourself is the best way to go. But 32 GB is way more than you will need. Your best option is to get the iMac with 8 GB. Then buy an additional 16 GB from Crucial and just pop them into the empty two slots. This will give you an awesome 24 GB and cost you less than $100 for the extra RAM.
  4. tiger2 thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 8, 2012
    Thank you!
  5. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Oct 24, 2013
    Got to agree with this you'll not need more than 8GB unless you change your computing habits fairly drastically and even 16GB is massive overkill.
  6. tiger2 thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 8, 2012
    This is why I'm glad I asked. I just assumed that having more ram, within reason, improves the performance for most tasks.

    I thought I also read somewhere that the fusion drive works better with more ram. Is this not correct?
  7. cbrand493 macrumors 6502

    May 19, 2015
    Perth, Australia
    No. More RAM won't speed up the Fusion drive any more.
  8. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Oct 24, 2013
    If you have a hell of a lot open and all running stuff then it'll help to have more things in RAM cache but the OS manages this very well these days and if you aren't using RAM it's just sitting there idle. As cbrand says it won't help the fusion drive at all.
  9. tiger2 thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 8, 2012
    Thanks again.

    I bought a base 5k with 2 tb hard drive this past weekend. So far, I LOVE it. The screen is HUGE and I'm still getting used to it. It's crazy fast. I do hear the hard drive churning along at times so I hope this is normal. I didn't hear this on my 2012 MacBook Pro.

    Don't know if I care for the tiny keyboard. I wish they made the same magic 2 style but in the full size, with number keys on the side. With education discount and $300 gift card, it cost me $1800.
  10. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Oct 24, 2013
    Yes the i7 is better but the numbers do not apply to the number of cores they are just a naming convention.

    I have just read your posts about ssd's in another thread, I am afraid you have not the slightest understanding of any sort of tecghnology your assumptions are ridiculous and you are no help to anyone looking for genuine help. I'm afraid I can't continue any discussion with you unless you actually learn something about the tech you profess to be an expert on, I do hope you aren't a computer salesman.
  11. Coldmode macrumors regular

    Mar 10, 2010
    It's normal for a Fusion Drive to be doing a lot of work when you first get it. A Fusion Drive is a 2 TB hard drive and a 128 GB SSD, and Core Storage moves stuff around between the drives so the files you use most are on the SSD. Once you've used the machine a lot and your most used files have made it to the SSD, the HDD won't be grinding along as much.
  12. tiger2 thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 8, 2012
    Thanks, this is good to know.

    Update on the tiny keyboard: I don't like it. Hopefully, it'll grow on me.
  13. G.McGilli macrumors regular

    Oct 19, 2015
    Yes you are right.

    On the Apple page for the new iMac - it says that if you are going to use a 2 or 3TB Fusion drive you should at least have 32gb of RAM.

    Go to Mac page, select a 27" iMac - then click SELECT. Then where you configure it - where you choose storage click on:


    And at the bottom it will say to use 32gb memory for a larger Fusion drive.

    "For the best performance, iMac systems with 32GB of memory should be configured with a 2TB or larger Fusion Drive or all flash storage."
  14. hifimacianer macrumors member

    Feb 5, 2015
    No, it says if you HAVE 32GB RAM you should also order a 2GB fusion or a SSD drive.

    But of course you can use a fusion or ssd with only 8GB of RAM too.
  15. jordanz macrumors member


    May 13, 2012
    I think Apple was making the point the other way around. I took it to mean if you're going to use 32GB of ram, you need to have 2 or 3TB fusion or all flash. Most likely because the 1TB fusion only has 24GB SSD so that will impact speed when the OS dumps/caches memory data to the hard drive.

    Edit: @hifimacianer beat me ;)
  16. raynold2010 macrumors member

    Aug 18, 2010
    Hi there,
    A message from a teacher colleague...
    If you still can exchange your iMac, i would strongly advise you to get the SSD model -- all the traditional drives, including Fusion are kinda noisy.
    Currently I have a Macbook pro with 256 GB SSD, and it's plenty enough for me. It's absolutely soundless. All my huge files go on a external drive.

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