Help me choose the right BTO iMac

Discussion in 'iMac' started by GatorHater, Dec 3, 2012.

  1. GatorHater macrumors newbie

    Dec 3, 2012
    Hello all,
    Making the switch from PC to Mac. I have 2 iOS devices and now want to upgrade from my 8-1/2 year old Dell to the new iMac. I've settled on the 21.5" version (limited desk space) and my biggest dilemma is whether to get the Fusion Drive or not.

    I plan to use the unit mostly for the following (home computer):
    1. web browsing/e-mail
    2. photo storage & editing
    3. video creation (compiling videos taken from D-SLR camera & iPad into DVDs)
    4. storage & organization of multimedia library (mostly music)
    5. big function will be for syncing & backing up the daily multitude of pictures & videos taken with my family's iOS devices
    6. would like it to last at least 5 years, preferably 8-10 like my current Dell

    I'm between 2 configurations (I think): entry-level 21.5" with 16GB RAM or upper-level 21.5" with 8GB RAM & fusion drive.

    I guess the question is: for what I plan to use the machine for, is it worth $180 for double the RAM? what about $250 for the fusion drive?

    To get technical, I can afford up to around $1800 total but I want to be as economical as possible and not spend more than I need to.

  2. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    I'd opt for the 8gb/fusion model that you have listed because the 16gb of ram really won't be noticed on your machine - at least initially.

    I'd also consider the 27" if you can swing the cost, I think the larger display is where you'll get that wow factor and longevity of the machine :)
  3. GatorHater thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 3, 2012
    It's not the cost of the 27", it's the space - there's not nearly enough room on the desk in my home office for the 27". :)

  4. Chupa Chupa macrumors G5

    Chupa Chupa

    Jul 16, 2002
    Since you are new to Mac the two HUGE difference you are not accustom to.

    #1 resale value. Typically PCs don't have any. But Mac generally retain their value extremely well. This makes it really easy to buy the entry level stock unit and then sell a year or two later and recoup 60-70%.

    For example I just sold my early 2011 MBP for $800. I bought it at Microcenter a little after release for $1099 on sale. So total cost to me for 1.8 years of use was $300. I then took the $800 and put it toward the new entry level 21" iMac. You spend the same money flipping your computer every year or two as you would if you just maxed out a Mac and held it for 4-5 years. But a maxed out 2012 machine in 2016 is still going to be dated.

    #2 Apple constantly changes the rules based on the technology it wants to implement. It's not uncommon for Apple to stop supporting, or limit support for 4 year old+ machines if they don't have the hardware to support new software features.

    We saw this with 10.8 which, for example, won't install on an early 2009 Mac Mini or 2006 or earlier iMacs. So even if you buy a beefed up Mac there is no guarantee Apple will support it 4,5,6 years down the road. Another reason to flip machines every 1-2 years.

    So my advice to you... decide which screen size you want and buy the entry level model. Sure it won't give you any bragging rights or boost your ego... if you need that, some here do as you can see. But it will give you a solid machine without breaking the bank and give you the best return if you sell in a year or two.
  5. GatorHater thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 3, 2012
    Thanks for the info. I don't think I'll be flipping my unit in 1-2 years but possibly around 5 years, esp if Apple starts to limit the support.

    Any further thoughts on if Fusion Drive is right for me? Is it important to max out the RAM now considering I can't upgrade it later?


Share This Page