I'm a Graphic Designer and was Thinking About the 5K iMac

Discussion in 'iMac' started by holland909, Oct 19, 2014.

  1. holland909 macrumors newbie

    Oct 19, 2014
    Hello, I have always been coming to this website since the first leaked images of the iPhone 4 and have enjoyed it since. A few weeks ago I have graduated from college with my Bachelor's in Graphic Design and I have been looking to upgrade my 6 year old computer (2008 iMac 24") to move forward with my field.

    I was curious if the new iMac would be a solid choice for a graphic designer? I understand it is perfect for photographers, which I am sure down the road, I will probably appreciate it when I need to use photos. But is the hefty price of $4200 worth it (I upgraded the processor, RAM and storage to their max) or should I possibly go with one of the previous models instead?

    I really would like anyone's opinions on this. Thank you. :)
  2. EnderTW macrumors 6502

    Jun 30, 2007
    TBH, at that price, if you have to ask.. I highly discourage you from getting this machine.
  3. Pressure, Oct 19, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2014

    Pressure macrumors 68040


    May 30, 2006
    You would be better off upgrading the RAM yourself and grab an external drive for storage of projects (via TB2). Could be LaCie 10TB 5big Thunderbolt 2 Series Hard Drive for $1,299 if you want fast performance and storage.

    256GB flash storage is more than enough for applications (Adobe CC, etc.) in my experience.

    Pick the faster processor (Core i7 4Ghz) and the graphic upgrade (M295X 4GB) and you should be set. $2,999 ($2,749 with education prices) and around $300 for 32GB RAM.
  4. pasadena macrumors 6502a


    Sep 12, 2012
    I'm not a GD, so I can't really say, I suppose there are a lot of different types of Graphic Design.

    Honestly, nobody *needs* it. I most certainly don't, and I bought one.

    The real question is : can you afford it. And by that I mean, can you buy it without credit, and if you do, what will you have to not buy instead ? The best computer in the world may help your workflow and productivity, but it won't get you clients.

    Now, if you decide it's worth it, the next question is - is maxing it out worth the additional $$$ ?

    CPU and GPU are a good idea, and cheap enough.

    1TB SSD ? No, not at that price. That's my own opinion but the main advantages of SSD are speed, silence and reliability. If it's just for storage, get an external disk that will cost you much less. And spend some of that money you saved on another disk for backups.

    32GB RAM ? No, not in BTO. Get it at 8, buy Crucial RAM and save yourself $400.
  5. leenak macrumors 68020

    Mar 10, 2011
    With easily upgradeable RAM and the fact that I don't think a graphic designer would have a need a lot of memory, I'd keep it at 8gb. And I'd be hard pressed to suggest more than 512gb SSD to most people that aren't bootcamping. 256 is plenty for many people.

    I think there are cheaper options unless you really, really want a 27", a refurbished maxed out 21" might do you well but if you are going from 24", you might not enjoy it as well. The price difference between a 27" refurbished and 5k aren't that different sadly.

    I think the thing that comes down to it, you want to advance in your field but do you have a steady income and can you afford it? I know you are in a competitive field and as a new college grad, I'm guessing you aren't getting paid a lot. I think the 27" will be fun to use and a great upgrade to what you have but it is really up to you to figure out if it is worth it to you.
  6. kendrickhphoto, Oct 19, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2014

    kendrickhphoto macrumors member

    Jan 20, 2011
    Honestly if you're having a hard time with the price I'd suggest not going with the 1 TB of flash storage. I'd either go with the 256 GB SSD or the 1 TB fusion drive since photos and your graphic files should be left on an external RAID array since they're most likely important to making you money.

    You can still use your education discount if you just graduated since you'd still have access to your student email if they said anything about it.

    If this machine is going to be making you money then just take your pay and see how long it would take you to recoup the cost. It is most likely an investment and should be treated that way since it is just a tool.

    I also suggest you max out the RAM with Crucial RAM instead of Apple it is much cheaper.

    If you went with the 4.0 GHz i7 and M295x with 8 GB of RAM and a 256 GB SSD/1 TB Fusion with the education discount brings it to $2749.

    Then you can go with the Crucial RAM for $272 which brings it to $3021 and that would give you $1200 and you could buy the external storage with the savings and you wouldn't have to purchase it right away.
  7. holland909 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 19, 2014
    I appreciate everyone's feedback. I have went ahead and chose a bit of everyone's opinions and put it into the iMac. I have went ahead and purchased the Crucial RAM from Amazon as well. Much much cheaper, so thank you for designating me to that.

    I am looking forward to the new machine at the beginning of next month! :D
  8. kendrickhphoto macrumors member

    Jan 20, 2011
    What all did you end up ordering?
  9. holland909 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 19, 2014
    I ended up ordering the following configuration:

    4.0GHz QC i7 Turboboost 4.4GHz
    8GB 1600MHz DDR3 SDRAM-2X4GB
    1TB Flash Storage
    AMD Radeon R9 M295X 4GB GDDR5
    Apple WL Kybd (English)+UG

    And also put in the order for that Crucial RAM card. I stuck with the 1TB Flash Storage. I believe that is enough to last me a good while and will look into picking up an External Drive. I also got the Apple Care and applied the Student Discount. So my total came to roughly to $3500. That was the price range I was seeking out. :)
  10. kendrickhphoto macrumors member

    Jan 20, 2011

    Awesome, now you're just in for the wait the rest of us are in.
  11. dagamer34 macrumors 65816


    May 1, 2007
    Houston, TX
    Is that $3500 pre-tax?
  12. holland909 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 19, 2014
    $3469 pre-tax. I think the tax was about $152.
  13. pasadena macrumors 6502a


    Sep 12, 2012
    Damn, where do you live ?
  14. kendrickhphoto macrumors member

    Jan 20, 2011
  15. jji7skyline macrumors 6502


    Aug 10, 2011
    It's good value considering that a good IPS 4K monitor just by itself costs $1000+.

    If you're working with photos or high resolution images, it'll be most useful.

    You should probably configure for the i7 @4Ghz (assuming it's a 4790K).

    I highly doubt that you will ever use 32GB, what I'd do is buy the 8GB and upgrade to 16GB by buying a 8GB kit for around $100, or sometimes less.

    Go for 256GB flash storage and store your other files on a USB3 hard drive. Unless of course you are planning on bootcamping, then the 512GB SSD may be useful.

    The R9 M295x upgrade for $250 is not a bad deal, and should be useful if you plan on gaming. Otherwise, the M290X is powerful enough. Note that you won't get CUDA acceleration with AMD GPUs, only OpenCL. CUDA is what Adobe programs use, while OpenCL is what most Apple programs use.
  16. holland909 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 19, 2014
    I live in Arizona.
  17. hyune83 macrumors member

    Sep 19, 2008
  18. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Apr 23, 2011
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    I have the same machine as yours, just that I didn't max the SSD and settled on the 512GB instead., and I went for a wired keyboard and mouse.

    I also picked up my own RAM and put in 4x8GB chips to make it 32GB.

    It's a beast, enjoy it :)
  19. Georgio macrumors 6502


    Apr 30, 2008
    Essex, UK
    I'm a designer using a Mac every day with Illustrator, Photoshop and inDesign.
    My advice is that if you have the money then go for the RMac as there isn't a better visual tool out there at the moment for graphics.

    However, I would also add that you need to build in the cost of the upgraded GPU and possibly the i7 CPU if you're doing a lot of intensive Photoshop layering etc.

    Eat peas and rice for a month, give up booze for a month, do what it takes, just don't skimp on the upgrades as this machine really needs them to be a 9/10.
  20. jji7skyline macrumors 6502


    Aug 10, 2011
  21. holland909 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 19, 2014
    So I just realized I only bought 2 8GB Crucial RAM chips plus the one that is already in the iMac. Will the machine work with just 3x24GB in it or will I need to look for one more to make it 32GB?
  22. Bryan Bowler macrumors 68040

    Sep 27, 2008
    Your 5K iMac will come with two 4 GB RAM sticks (for a total of 8 GB of RAM). So by adding the two 8 GB of RAM that you bought, you will now have 24 GB of RAM. It will work just fine in that configuration.

    There are only 4 available slots for RAM in the iMac. If you must have 32 GB, then you need to order two more 8 GB sticks of Crucial RAM and then sell the two 4 GB sticks of Apple RAM ($40-$45 +/-).

  23. mojolicious macrumors 68000


    Mar 18, 2014
    Sarf London
    As Bryan says, it'll be fine. For absolute super optimum mega performance* you'd want 4x identical DIMMs, but two matched pairs ie 8/8/4/4 is preferable to 8/8/8/0.

    * which probably amounts to a couple of percentage points faster than 8/8/4/4

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