Help Me Pick a Late 2015 27” Refurbished iMac For Photography Work

Discussion in 'iMac' started by SpecFoto, Aug 10, 2017.

  1. SpecFoto macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2013
    Location:
    So Cal
    #1
    Hi All,
    Looking for a 3.3GHz 27” 5K iMac to work with my existing 2nd Cinema 27” Display screen (rules out the new 2017 iMacs). I use both Light Room and Photoshop. The iMac model I am looking at the Apple Refurbished iMac page is $1699 and has 8GB Ram, (I will put 4 Crucial 8GB sticks into whatever model I buy), either a 2TB FD or a 256GB blade and a AMD Radeon R9 M395 2GB video card. There are 3 upgrades available via different configurations that I would like opinions on, I have put them in order of what I think are the most important:

    1. 512GB Blade storage. Having a 500 GB partition on my MP SSD start up drive has shown me that LR is much faster if the cache files are stored here vs. a HDD. But I have no experience with blade type storage and assume it can be partitioned just like a SSD. Anything else I need to know?

    2. 4.0GHZ i7 quad core. The geekbench scores with this upgrade are actually better than my MP 2012 and about a 30% increase over the 3.3GHz i5. But is this something I will really need or miss when using LR and PS?

    3. AMD M395X vs. M395 video card. The X version is 4GB vs. 2GB in the standard M395. The only game I really play is Civilization V, (maybe Civ VI sometime in the future) and frankly it is bearable even on my 2012 quad core i7Mac Mini. Will this extra 2GB of video ram help with LR and PS?

    All of these options were about $250 each originally but can be had for $200 or so at the refurbished store. While I would like to add all 3, my budget will let me add 2, which ones should they be?
     
  2. czacha macrumors member

    czacha

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2017
    #2
    Go for the fastest GPU you can get. Lightroom in 5K + second display... this will hurt at full screen ;) Check videos on YT where people show how slow iMac can work with Lightroom on full screen with such high resolution. I'm affraid it will work slower than your Mac Pro at the moment.

    If you can go with new model. I know price is higher, but I guess you are buying this for work not for fun so paying more for faster iMac might better choice.
     
  3. MadDane macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2015
    #3
    The new iMacs work perfect with both the 27" Cinema and Thunderbolt Displays. You just need to get the right adapter and you are good to go.

    If memory serves me right, a M395X compares to a Radeon Pro 570. So you could even get the 2017 base model, upgrade to a 512GB SSD and you would most likely have a faster machine than a refurbished 2015 (unless you want the i7).
     
  4. SpecFoto, Aug 10, 2017
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2017

    SpecFoto thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2013
    Location:
    So Cal
    #4
    Do you have a Cinema Display hooked up to a new iMac or a link to such an adapter? Mine are the LED Cinema Displays, not the TB displays.

    According to Apple, this is from the KB: HT207266
    " The Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) to Thunderbolt 2 Adapter doesn't support connections to these devices
    • Apple LED Cinema Display
    • DisplayPort or mini DisplayPort displays
    • DisplayPort or mini DisplayPort adapters, such as Mini DisplayPort to HDMI or Mini DisplayPort to VGA adapters"
    When I called Apple about this earlier this year, the tech person I spoke with confirmed the LED Cinema display would not work as a 2nd display with the 2017 iMacs with any adapter Apple offered. That is why I am looking for a 2015 model.
     
  5. MadDane macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2015
    #5
    I have a 2009 iMac and I used to have a 2016 MacBook Pro. I used the iMac as an external screen with Target Display Mode. But since your display is with Mini Displayport, what you need is a USB-C to Mini Displayport cable/adapter. What you looked at was a Thunderbolt cable, and there Apple is correct. That will not work.

    Here there is an article from earlier this year about this: http://www.macworld.com/article/316...or-macbook-pro-here-are-the-adapters-you.html

    Anyway, you just need the right adapter and your LED Cinema Display will work perfectly fine with a 2017 iMac.
     
  6. SpecFoto, Aug 12, 2017
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2017

    SpecFoto thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2013
    Location:
    So Cal
    #6
    MadDane, thank you for that info and link. The only reason I was looking at the 2015 iMac was because I was lead to believe my LED Cinema Display's would not work with the new iMac. The Apple tech I spoke to certainly should have known the LED would work with their new IMac, even if it meant saying I had to buy another company's adapter......I specifically asked about other options and was told there were none.

    Although the article's author did not test the new iMac's USB C ports with the adapters, I can't believe they wouldn't work.

    So now I need to change my threads title to "Help me pick a new 2017 iMac for photography work"
     
  7. MadDane macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2015
    #7
    SpecFoto, what is your total budget? But I would say that, unless you use the iMac professionally, the base model with a SSD of your choice would be the best bang for your buck. Then upgrade with aftermarket RAM.
     
  8. SpecFoto, Aug 15, 2017
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2017

    SpecFoto thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2013
    Location:
    So Cal
    #8
    As I am starting to do more video in my photography, I would like to buy the Radeon 8GB video card model to future proof myself for 4 years or so. Base at $2299 is OK, with the 2TB FD and 8GB ram as I will upgrade both the HDD drive to 5TB (internal 2.5") and ram to 40GB right away myself. Am reading the i7 upgrade causes extra heat and noise, something I want to avoid. Only decision now is whether to go for the 512GB SSD blade at $200 more. Edit: Well actually $400 more as B&H is having a special on the $2299 base model for $200 off at $2,099.
     
  9. MadDane macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2015
    #9
    I, personally, think that the biggest upgrade you can make, especially talking about future proofing (as much as it is possible) is to upgrade to full SSD. I would take that over any other upgrade to the base model 27" any day.
     

Share This Page