Help with 27" iMac selection

Discussion in 'iMac' started by roadkill401, Jan 11, 2015.

  1. roadkill401 macrumors 6502

    roadkill401

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2015
    #1
    I hate being so indecisive. Paralysis by analysis.


    I had bought a 27 riMac i7 with 8gb ram. it turned out to be a DOA unit and is being sent back. Rather than simply get them to send me the same unit replaced, I got them to issue a refund and I will re-order in hopes of getting a better matched system for me.

    ( I did put in some apple spec Mushkin 16gb ram that after 14h went bad and may have brought down the unit. Unknown. The self test reported the memory bad so replaced with the original 8gb mac but issues still persisted so apple RMA's the unit back)

    Needs:

    I do photography, but as a hobby. I own Adobe CS6 Designer and use Photoshop. I have a small sideline woodworking business and have plans to used Dreamweaver to make and maintain a website. (Oh yea, my CS6 license is right now for Windows)

    I am a techie by nature, and like to play with stuff, so I will be using VMware Fusion with a Windows, Linux, FreeBSD vm's. I do own several Synology NAS units so I have network storage capacity but don't know how to link it very well with OSx. Have 2gb on a TimeMachine.

    I do own an iPad so having that linked and backed up is a plus.

    looking to get a machine to cover me hopefully for a good 6+ years.

    Suggestions / Questions:

    1) I could look to get a Standard 2013 i7 8gb & 1tb hard drive refurb.
    + put some money in to upgrade ram myself +16gb
    + lower cost upfront and buy a newer unit in say 1 year after Apple care runs out. (4 years total)
    - worried about memory and what will work and what won't
    - moving parts HD and not as fast as SSD

    2) I could look to get a Standard 2013 i7 16gb & 1tb fusion refurb
    + memory upgraded by apple so no worry
    + lesser cost but would look to get 2 years after Apple care (5 years total)
    - moving parts HD but has close to SSD speed.

    3) I could get another i7 5K riMac 16gb & 1tb fusion NEW
    + possible better screen
    + Faster CPU
    + memory upgraded by apple so no worry
    - large upfront cost so would really need it to last 6+ years
    - 3+ years with zero apple care coverage so big costs if it goes wrong and older machines are more likely to
    - moving parts HD

    4) I could get an i7 5K riMac 16gb & 256 SSD
    + no moving hard drive parts to go wrong
    - 1/4 the storage so will I run out with daily use


    I think that a 512 SSD would just be getting the cost above my comfort zone for cost.

    Ram out here costs $170 for crucial 16gb upgrade. cost from apple for 16gb factory is $172 with my epp plan. So it is very close to similar costs.


    Any thoughts or help would be appreciated.

    Matt
     
  2. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2011
    Location:
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    #2
    Option 4 will be your best bet. That said I'd throw in the upgraded M295X GPU as well. You can always expand your storage with an external SSD (that's what I did with my 21.5" iMac with a 256GB SSD, and added a 512GB Samsung 840 Pro in an external LaCie Rugged TB drive).
     
  3. redheeler macrumors 603

    redheeler

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2014
    #3
    I would go with option 4 (which I assume is option 3 with an SSD), since external storage can be added at anytime if necessary.

    Keep in mind that if you go with the 16 GB Crucial you can combine it with the 8 GB already present for a total of 24 GB. The Apple upgrade will leave you with a mere 16 GB.
     
  4. Sirmausalot macrumors 6502a

    Sirmausalot

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2007
    #4
    Just because you got unlucky with your RAM doesn't mean your reasoning to upgrade it yourself the first time was wrong. Just order different RAM. I think the i7 and 295 are essential upgrades in a high end machine. I would opt for a 1TB fusion over a 256SSD, but if you have the cash, a 512SSD over that.
     
  5. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Joined:
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    #5
    IMO a 256GB instead of a 1TB FD would be a safer option. The absence of a HDD sector makes it more reliable.

    Besides, a 256GB SSD is far faster than a 1TB FD.
     
  6. AppleFan360 macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2008
    #6
    Agree.

    256GB is really very small and doesn't leave much room for expansion. The 1TB FD is a great option if you need space and the boost in speed from an SSD at a much lower cost. As far as reliablity, the fusion drive is just as good as anything else and will probably last the entire useful life of the iMac.
     
  7. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    #7
    There's still a HDD there. If it breaks, you're going to have to spend the hassle of spending it back to the Apple store, or if you've the balls, then you'd have to waste time taking apart the entire display just to get at the HDD bay.

    An SSD is far more unlikely to break. Just top up storage with external storage. At least if that breaks, you can just easily buy another USB hard drive.

    I keep all my media in external storage. Internal storage only has OS X and apps. Boot Camp is done via an external SSD.
     
  8. AppleFan360 macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2008
    #8
    That's a big "IF" the hard drive breaks. I have owned 5 iMacs now and NONE of the internal hard drives have ever broken. Reading this site you would think hard drives break all the time but in reality, most iMac users never experience the issue.

    Besides, SSD's are not perfect either especially if the memory controller fails.
     
  9. Astelith macrumors regular

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    Location:
    Spain/Italy
    #9
    I'd say option 4 but with i5 and SSD 512, for your use I think you will hardly notice the difference and an SSD can brought to you a way more benefits, plus you have a NAS (like me) and you can store everything there via gbit ethernet with enought performance for archiving and backup with Time Machine (a service integrated by the NAS system)
     
  10. Sirmausalot macrumors 6502a

    Sirmausalot

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2007
    #10
    I'm not so sure why you are so insistent that the hard-drive is going to fail. Yes, they do fail sometimes, but motherboards also get fried, graphics cards go up in smoke, computers fall off tables. In the case of the RiMac, the 1TB fusion is great bang for the buck, a much better choice than a 256 SSD.

    And a reminder to all you kids at home: back up today. if you don't have a back up drive, order one!

     
  11. yjchua95 macrumors 604

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    #11
    The OP mentioned that he's going to be using several VMs.

    So an i5 is going to be a bottleneck when several VMs are active, since it lacks hyper threading.
     
  12. Astelith macrumors regular

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    #12
    Yes, you are right, I forgot this point, so even more important the SSD, you will need also disk IOPS other than CPU, he should stretch a little bit the budget for the i7 and 512 SSD or this machine will go short on space in the short/mid term.
     
  13. yjchua95 macrumors 604

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    #13
    I run my VMs through an external SSD, but if the OP can afford it, then a 512GB is preferable.

    My 21.5" has a 256GB, while my retina iMac has a 512GB. That said, I run VMs off an external SSD because I constantly switch between macs.
     
  14. Astelith macrumors regular

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    #14
    And the performance was good even with the usb right ?

    Sorry for the OT but, how is the retina performing with footage from the Alexa ?
     
  15. roadkill401 thread starter macrumors 6502

    roadkill401

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2015
    #15
    I gave a try to plugging in a 1tb hard drive via USB3 onto a mac mini to see how it works. The transfer rate seems to be the same as the internal 500gb drive on the unit. I can't say that speed demon is what I am looking for. I don't want a huge bottleneck but can live with reasonable performance.

    Right now I do have a windows laptop that I killed the 2.5" hard drive on, so I replaced it with a 128gb SSD that was pretty inexpensive. To be honest, I have not even filled 1/2 of it over the past 9 months of it essentially being my only computer.

    I don't think that 256gb would be too small for me. For the most part it just comes down to daft things that take up a whole load of space that aren't really essential. Things like when you re-encode a Bluray @25gb source + 12gb encode... queue up 4-5 of those to run over night and it eats up quite a bit of space. But if the performance hit on running that over a USB3 external drive is no big deal then that takes up zero space essentially on the SSD.

    But I have read that performance from a fusion drive is pretty darn near that of an SSD in the parts that count. ie it's pretty smart and does work fast. There is something to be said to having everything all in one. It's that psychological thing about saying no to 1TB and yes to only 256gb (1/4) even if it's all SSD.
    I can't tell if an SSD will really last longer than a hard drive. ( I still have some 60gb hard drives from 20 years ago that work perfectly ). To say hard drive platters fail, but so have SSD units. if a controler board goes, you've lost everything.

    I can quite easily use external usb3 drives or NAS for storage so SSD only does make sense on one side as performance will be better if just sligtly, but I have definately lost quite a bit from failed SD and CF cards that is sort of like what SSD's are made from.
     
  16. Astelith macrumors regular

    Joined:
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    #16
    If 256 is enough for you than go for it :) and in case you can use an external USB3 SSD or traditional
    Consider a speed of 702 write 725 write for the SSD and 310 write 725 read with the fusion drive on Retina iMac.

    More info here:

    http://barefeats.com/imac5k1.html
     
  17. roadkill401 thread starter macrumors 6502

    roadkill401

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2015
    #17
    Thankyou to everyone who commented

    I re-ordered my riMac today.

    I ended up ordering it with the 16gb ram from apple.

    ( know that i could potentially buy it cheaper if I upgrade myself, but for me the benefit of Apple under warranty memory was enough to offset the small added cost )

    I ordered as well with the 256gb SSD drive and will deal with having my VM
    s on an external enclosure. Probably for the most part everything will more than fit onto the SSD and I have the gig network NAS for all the garbage collection stuff that you keep but really don't need.

    I am going to try my luck with one of those Trackpad's this time. I am just so use to using them with my ipad and current laptop that I think it will just be easier. if I don't like it, i can just buy myself a new magic mouse.
     
  18. yjchua95 macrumors 604

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    #18
    It was good.

    400MB/s in both reads and writes.

    The retina performs silky smooth with footage from the Alexa (it's a 2K camera). But if I were to use an Alexa 65 (doubt I'd be able to rent one), I'd probably need to use proxy footage in editing.

    Fans do get a tad bit loud when editing but that's normal :)
     

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