How much better is the retina iMac compared to the previous model?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by ssledoux, Apr 28, 2019.

  1. ssledoux macrumors 65816

    ssledoux

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    #1
    For basic use, is the retina THAT much better/noticeably different?
     
  2. BigBoy2018 macrumors 6502a

    BigBoy2018

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    #2
    For regular use, absolutley no difference. For big things, like video renders that take 10 minutes or more, you might see a slight improvement, but nothing significant.
    In other words, going from a 2017 to a 2019 iMac will NOT be anywhere close to transforming your workflow. Most people wouldnt notice.
     
  3. ssledoux, Apr 28, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2019

    ssledoux thread starter macrumors 65816

    ssledoux

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    #3
    What about the processor? Any difference? I’d be getting the entry level of the new one. Looks like Apple only has one offering from the previous one (new anyway).

    I guess I am just wondering if it’s worth the $200 difference in price to get a new device over one that’s already 2 years old.
     
  4. BigBoy2018, Apr 28, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2019

    BigBoy2018 macrumors 6502a

    BigBoy2018

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    #4
    I was talking about the processor. Now I realize you were originally asking about about the retina screen. You confused me since you said ‘compared to the previous model’ and since iMacs have had retina screens since 2014 I figured you were asking about the processor in the first place.

    At any rate, you will probably notice a nice difference going from standard resolution to retina, though how much depends on your eyesight. Some people swear by the retina screen, others are more ‘meh’.

    So then getting back to system speed, if youre talking about going from a base 21-inch 2017 iMac to a base 21-inch 2019 iMac, then YES, hat is a nice jump in speed since youre going from 2 cores to 4 cores and also getting a dedicated video card in the 2019 base iMac.

    If however youre comparing the rest of the line mid to mid tier and top to top tier, the improvements in the 21 and 27 inch iMacs are nothing to write home about speed-wise for most uses.
    --- Post Merged, Apr 28, 2019 ---
    Edit: I just remembered Apple does still sell the gimped 2.3ghz 2-core model but thats a holdover from the 2017 line so I would ignore that one.
     
  5. ssledoux thread starter macrumors 65816

    ssledoux

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    #5
    I was thinking the 2017 models versus the new retina 4K as far as noticeable differences in screen.

    There’s a mid-2017 model refurb that looks good, 3.0 quad-core, intel core i5 with retina 4K. How would that compare to the new entry level model?

    Sorry - been a long time since I was in the iMac game (especially purchasing), and I just don’t wanna buy more than I need, but I don’t want to start off way behind either.
     
  6. BigBoy2018 macrumors 6502a

    BigBoy2018

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    #6
    Very, very little difference between those models you’re looking at, screen or otherwise.
    Get the 2017, save a bunch of money, be happy.

    The big issue with most imacs is the fusion drive, but I replace all my fusion drive iMacs after purchase with sata ssds (Evo 860), but I’m guessing youre not the type to go that route.
     
  7. SkiHound2 macrumors regular

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    #7
    It's not entirely clear what you are comparing? Or if you are thinking about upgrading from a 2017 to 2019 comparing them in terms of a future purchase. I'm not aware of any difference in the Retina screens between 2017 and 2019. They are very nice screens. If you have a 2017 I don't see much reason to upgrade. If you're thinking of buying a 2017 vs a 2019 I'd probably go with the 2019. The slowest i5 in the low tier 2019 benchmarks faster than anything other than the top end i7 from the 2017 models, and it's probably pretty close to that on a lot of tasks. That said, unless you are doing demanding tasks the real world difference between a 2017 and 2019 is not going to be very apparent.
     
  8. ssledoux thread starter macrumors 65816

    ssledoux

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    #8
    I’m buying, and was just wondering if the 2019 is significantly different. I think for my uses buying the refurb and saving the difference (actually, getting an Apple TV with the difference and still coming out ahead) makes a lot of sense.

    I’m not doing things that are going to strain any machine I purchase. I usually tend to like newer and better, but in this case, I think they’ll be so close it won’t matter. I got a better than entry processor from 2017, so I don’t think it’ll be a noticeable difference for me at all. And I’m saving $250!
     
  9. BigBoy2018 macrumors 6502a

    BigBoy2018

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    #9
    Thats the right choice IMO
     
  10. ssledoux thread starter macrumors 65816

    ssledoux

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    #10
    Just hit send on that order! Picking up from my nearest Apple store Wednesday!
     
  11. ssledoux thread starter macrumors 65816

    ssledoux

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    #11
    Okay so I had posted a thread in the iPad forums about my use case and what would be the best choice for my situation, and someone mentioned SSD versus a traditional hard drive.

    Your thoughts on this? Benefits of one over the other as far as performance?
     
  12. mikehalloran macrumors 65816

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    #12
    It depends on how old you are and how good your vision is whether or not you'll appreciate the display. The second my wife takes a good look at my new iMac, I expect her perfectly adequate 2011 will no longer be good enough. No way will I tell her differently. Like I, she makes her living on an iMac though we do vastly different things.

    An SSD runs circles around a mechanical HDD. Best way to know is to play with one.

    The non-Retina iMacs are the base models. Whether that's good enough for you is not something anyone else will really know. We aren't you.

    Ask enough questions. Do enough research. There are only a few thousand recent threads started by people all wanting to get the best machine while spending as little as possible. Read a few.

    The answer may become obvious... or not.
     
  13. ssledoux thread starter macrumors 65816

    ssledoux

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    #13

    Okay I’m pretty confused. The new models are all retina, and it looks like the 2017 models I’m looking at are also 4K retina, so I guess I’m confused about your comment that the non-retina ones are the base models, unless I’m missing something when I look at the Apple site.

    And I don’t even know what an SSD is, and how it runs circles around a hard drive. In what way? Speed? And if so, is that when you have a lot of things going at once, or all the time? When you say run circles, is it twice as fast, ten times as fast, what? My knowledge of specs is fairly limited since my use for all my devices is probably a lot less strenuous than others’ needs. I’m talking about going to websites, doing photo books online, and typing docs 95% of the time I’m on the computer - nothing I do is gonna push it much harder than that.
     
  14. BigBoy2018 macrumors 6502a

    BigBoy2018

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    #14
    SSD is the big difference maker with modern computers. Even a so-called ‘slow’ ssd will be a transformational difference in real world speed and ‘feel’ of your computer.

    Personally, I dont pay the crazy Apple ssd prices, but have bought the iMacs with the sata fusion drives and upgraded them myself with a samsung 860 Evo.
    I’ve done that on 3 different iMacs.

    My 2017 27 inch imac has a 4tb ssd that I put in it and it cost $650. For 4 TERABYTES! You cant even get that size ssd from apple, but if they did offer it, it would probably be a $2400 upgrade charge.

    At any rate, get the ssd if you can, either through apple or do it yourslef after purchase. Transformational!
     
  15. ssledoux thread starter macrumors 65816

    ssledoux

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    #15
    Well I have NO idea how to do that, however, the iMac I purchased had the 1TB fusion, and they have one with the 256gb SSD for a little under $200 more (I think it has a slightly faster processor as well).

    How will that affect me as far as what I can store on the iMac? Should I go for the refurb with the SSD?
     
  16. BigBoy2018 macrumors 6502a

    BigBoy2018

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    #16
    Personally I like to have lots of storage internally, but if you got the one with a 256 ssd, theres no problem getting an inexpensive usb c external enclosure and putting a 1tb ssd in it and keeping that always connected to your imac. Then you’d have plenty of storage at seriously good speeds. These days a 1tb sata ssd goes for about $150 so thats not much to pay for really fast storage.
     
  17. ssledoux thread starter macrumors 65816

    ssledoux

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    #17
    Yeah I’d like that as well, but I’m sure it’s out of my price range. I just hope the 256 won’t hinder me too much. That terabyte was looking good. I think the speed would be nice though, although I wonder if I would really know the difference with my basic use.

    Would adding a drive be something that would be external? Like just a plug-in? If it’s something I could do easily later, I might just plan on that.
     
  18. BigBoy2018 macrumors 6502a

    BigBoy2018

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    #18
    There is a very noticable difference in real life experience between a fusion drive and an ssd. That said, unless you have them side by side, you’ll probably be none the wiser. You should be fine with whatever option you choose.
    Down the road you could attach an external ssd and make that your main boot drive and use the slower fusion drive for less used file storage.
    Bottom line, you’ll be fine with either option.
     
  19. ssledoux thread starter macrumors 65816

    ssledoux

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    #19
    Well if there’s a huge speed difference, I might just have to do the SSD. It’s a bit more money, so IDK if I can splurge on the Apple TV now, but I think I’m gonna cancel my other order and go for the SSD
     
  20. Bohemien macrumors regular

    Bohemien

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    #20
    256GB should be enough for the system and program files if you don't do something that uses huge libraries (like music production), and these can be moved to external drives. Depends on what you want to do with the computer, me personally I'd try to stretch my storage to a 512GB SSD, but 10 people will give you 10 opinions on this question.

    Another option would be to go with a Fusion drive, that combines a smaller SSD with a larger hard drive, giving you more speed than a pure hard drive.

    There's always the option to put only OS and program files on the internal SSD and store data on an external drive (e.g. you'll get a Samsung T5 SSD with 512 GB for $100 which also transfers data at 500MB/s via USB).
     
  21. ssledoux thread starter macrumors 65816

    ssledoux

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    #21

    Well I think the drive in the original one I purchased IS a 1 TB fusion, but of course I’m reading horrible things about those now. I’m so dang confused.

    Honestly, I’m not gonna have tons of programs. A lot of the stuff I use for work is accessed on the web. I would likely add very little, if anything to my hard drive other than the programs it comes with.

    What I WILL have on there is photos, although I doubt I’d have 10,000. A lot of my photos are on flash drives from when I switched to iPP from iMac before, so I’d wanna load those, but only long enough to get them uploaded into Shutterfly, so I can do them in batches of 500 or so.
    --- Post Merged, Apr 28, 2019 ---
    Okay no - the original one I ordered for $1059 (or 1049 IDK) did NOT have the fusion drive.

    There’s a refurb for 1189 that has the 1 TB fusion, OR I can do 1229 for the 256 gb SSD.
     
  22. ssledoux thread starter macrumors 65816

    ssledoux

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    #22
    I cancelled my original order, and am just gonna wait and decide what to do based on the suggestions here for the fusion vs SSD
     
  23. goldbuffalo macrumors member

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    #23
    SSD is like your thumb drive. Which will be faster. Fusion has a very small amount of SSD but is then mostly the disk drives that spin, like old days.

    Looks like you want a 21.5 inch.

    256 gb is just to small, my computer is using 250 gb right now, and I don’t really save a whole lot on it. That space is also used by the operating system and all the installs.

    A 2017 512 gd ssd refurbished is what I would recommend.
     
  24. ssledoux thread starter macrumors 65816

    ssledoux

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    #24
    Well I think that’s gonna start getting into a bit more than I want to spend. I’ll have to see what the prices look like.
     
  25. Zdigital2015, Apr 28, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2019

    Zdigital2015 macrumors 65816

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    #25
    Ideally, what is your max that you want to spend on an iMac?

    EDIT: I would recommend this one - https://www.apple.com/shop/product/...uad-core-Intel-Core-i5-with-Retina-4K-display

    The 1TB Fusion will be just fine for your use case. It’s not nearly as bad as it is being portrayed here. It is faster than a standard HDD, but not nearly as fast as the SSD. 8GB of DRAM is enough. The extra 400MHz on the CPU and the 4 GB VRAM for the RX560 is better than the 2GB RX555 video card.
     

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