Help with first iMac purchase

stephen82

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Aug 13, 2012
12
0
I have been awaiting the new 21.5 iMacs, and like most people I am a bit disappointed. I want to replace a PC desktop (I switched to a Macbook Air three years ago, use iPads, and really like OS. I ordered a 21.8 non-retina iMac with 8 gb ram and the 256 SSD. I use office applications and do photo editing - but my photo editors are not the ones demanding of resources. I don't need a big HD because I keep my photo and media files on external HD's. And I do want a desktop (whether PC or Mac).

Just want some feedback for my first iMac - is this configuration the bad choice that so many people are posting about? Should I cancel my order and go for the 27"? I think I would be happy with either size. Spending the money for an iMac is not something I take lightly - but then again I want to get the most bang for my buck - and if that means spending more I will.

Thanks,
Steve
 

redheeler

macrumors 604
Oct 17, 2014
7,631
7,364
If you do photo editing and plan to keep it a while, it would be a good idea to go with the Retina. Even text in office apps will look noticeably crisper.
 

Sirmausalot

macrumors 65816
Sep 1, 2007
1,065
270
Steve, your main bad choice was not going for retina! Cancel. If you have space for the 27, then it will be fantastic for photo editing -- especially if you are working with RAW images. Also, make sure you get the 2TB fusion drive -- best bang for the buck for the budget minded. Strongly suggest going into an Apple store if there is one near you.
 

im2slick4u

macrumors newbie
Sep 22, 2015
29
1
Michigan
What you ordered is a good machine, especially for what you want to use it for. How long do you plan on using this for? If you want to get more than two years out of it I would highly recommend going with 16GB of RAM because that is not user upgradable later on as 16GB of RAM is becoming the norm for high end machines and eventually will be the standard for all consumer devices. The SSD is super fast and will probably continue to be faster than most SSDs for a few years, it gets around 2 gigabytes per second which is insane. If I were you I would go retina but since your coming from a Macbook Air it won't be a huge deal, especially if your not a pixel junkie. I'm assuming you got the i5 processor which is good for what you need, upgrading to the i7 or a higher clock speed won't yield any noticeable speed improvements in general use.
 

im2slick4u

macrumors newbie
Sep 22, 2015
29
1
Michigan
Steve, your main bad choice was not going for retina! Cancel. If you have space for the 27, then it will be fantastic for photo editing -- especially if you are working with RAW images. Also, make sure you get the 2TB fusion drive -- best bang for the buck for the budget minded. Strongly suggest going into an Apple store if there is one near you.
Since he's using an external drive for his photos the 256GB flash storage will be a better option because it is a lot faster than a fusion drive.
 

Sirmausalot

macrumors 65816
Sep 1, 2007
1,065
270
Since he's using an external drive for his photos the 256GB flash storage will be a better option because it is a lot faster than a fusion drive.
I think the 256 is too small! Either go to the 512SSD or the 2TB fusion. But since he's on a budget, and mainly working with photos, the 2GB fusion (with the 128GB FLASH built in) is a good choice.
 

Jimmdean

macrumors 6502
Mar 21, 2007
410
145
Steve,

I ordered the same one you did. I have a bit of a strategy with Macs to always buy the cheapest configuration I can. Obviously in this case you cannot buy the 1.6 model, and 5400 RPM drives are just ridiculous, so I think I still stuck to it.

Sticking to this strategy makes upgrading to the next one a lot easier. Eventually, whether one or two cycles from now, all models will be retina and all with have flash standard (or fusion with a free swap to flash) and be generally less expensive across the board than they are now (taking into account costly upgrades will no longer be needed).

i would have hated to go all-in on this non-skylake retina, then have completely redesigned units come (which they eventually will) and have buyers remorse.
 

stephen82

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Aug 13, 2012
12
0
Thanks for the quick replies!
I don't work with RAW files, only jpegs. I would like to get four useful years out of it - I purchased apple care, so three years minimum.

The 512 SSD isn't an option for the non-retina 21.5. 256 should be fine since on my current desktop setup I only use about 10 gigs for files - mostly work, excel, etc. with the rest on externals - and I use three external HD's for redundancy.

When I thing about upgrading from my original purchase - say going retina or 27" - the price begins to go up considerably and I just don't know if I will make the best use out of if. In reality, I don't spend a great deal of time on my desktop- daily use of office files and a maybe five hours a month editing photos at most.

Staying with what I have with the cheaper price will make it easier to upgrade in 3 years and then give it to my wife who gets my hand-me-downs. It just seems like Apple doesn't make it easy unless you want to go all out! And I have been very happy with my Apple purchases - the Air I purchased three years ago turned out to be the best notebook I have used.
 

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