iMac 2010-2011 in 2016?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Owlie, Nov 13, 2016.

  1. Owlie macrumors newbie

    Owlie

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2016
    #1
    Hi, I want to change my setup so im thinking about buying an iMac 27 for making my music. I wonder if buying a computer from 2010-2011 will be a good idea in 2016?

    I want it to work with Logic Pro X with up to 50 tracks (including samples, vst synths etc). I also want to make/edit some videos sometimes, max Full HD 30fps.

    Spec I'm interested in is: 27" i7 with min 16gb of ram, 1gb graphic card and SSD + HDD.

    Is it worth to buy something like this today? I want to work with it at least about 3 years. My friend (producing music for living) said that even today this computers are performance beasts and I will be happy with one but I want to ask for more opinions.

    Cheers!
     
  2. ITguy2016 Suspended

    Joined:
    May 25, 2016
    #2
    Do you have a specific budget? IMO I would recommend buying a 2012 model as they have USB 3.0 (as opposed to USB 2.0) and better specs. However if the budget is tight a 2010 - 2011 model is, IMO, a great choice (after having just bought a mid-2010 model yesterday afternoon). Unfortunately I cannot speak to the applications as I do not use them.
     
  3. Owlie thread starter macrumors newbie

    Owlie

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2016
    #3
    Thanks! I guess I will stick to the 2010/11 cause I don't need 3.0 for stuff I'm doing. I do have a VERY specific budget :D and I'm just curious if buying older model with better spec (i7, more RAM) is better than buying for example 2012 or 2013 but with i5, less RAM etc in the same price.
     
  4. mpe macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2010
    #4
    It is crazy, but high-end configuration from 2011 (i7 Sandy Bridge 3.4 GHz) has similar CPU performance as entry-level configuration from 2015 (i5 6500).

    Obviously newer machines have faster interfaces, storage, GPUs, retina screens. However, as far as pure CPU power, we haven't got far from 2011...
     
  5. ITguy2016 Suspended

    Joined:
    May 25, 2016
    #5
    The answer is: It depends. There are a lot of variations between i3, i5, and i7 processors. So you'd have to know which specific Mac model you're considering to know which one you have. For example the mid-2010 model Core i5 processors are based on the Nehalem architecture (this is, IMO, a substantial improvement over the Core 2 Duo / Quad processors). The 2011 models use the Sandybridge architecture (an improvement over Nehalem) whereas 2012 models use Ivy Bridge (an improvement over Sandybridge). 2013 models use Haswell processors (an improvement over Ivy Bridge). Thus it's possible a later model Core i5 system can outperform an earlier model Core i7 processor. Again the devil is in the details.

    Personally I find the "Haswell" Core series processors as used in the mid-2010 models to be a good price / performance tradeoff. But then I'm typing this from a dual process 2.3GHz PowerMac G5 system. I've been very pleased with my new mid-2010 3.06GHz 21.5" iMac. I felt it was very good from a performance / price perspective. However without knowing your applications I cannot speak to whether it would be suitable for your needs.
     
  6. mlody macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2012
    Location:
    Windy City
    #6
    I am still using iMac 2010 i5 2.8Ghz. I added 250 GB SSD and upgraded the memory to 16GB. Since I do not do anything fancy on the computer, it serves me well, but I do find the USB 2.0 to be a limiting factor even in the basic usage, so if you have a chance to make a choice when buying, I would highly recommend getting iMac 2012 at least.

    Not only you will get USB 3.0 which you can use with fast storage or SSD for backups or even boot, but you will also be able to use Airdrop between iOS devices and the iMac which is another feature that I wished I had.
     
  7. Owlie thread starter macrumors newbie

    Owlie

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2016
    #7
    I can afford 2010 with i7 or 2011/12 with i5 (same price in my country) rest of the spec is the same.

    I just reached my friend and asked him what exactly he's using - it's Mac 27' Mid 2011 2,7 Ghz i5 with 24gb RAM and he says that it's like a rocket after upgrading to SSD last year (he's using Sierra + Logic Pro X). So it will be fine for me too, but maybe buying mid 2010 with i7 could be better idea?

    I don't need features like USB 3.0 or anything that is related to other Apple devices since I don't use them at all. The only USB device I'm using is audio interface and it's 2.0 cause 3.0 makes no difference in latency.

    So I would like to know if it's better to get older i7 (mid 2010 Intel Core i7 I7-870 2.93 GHz for example) or newer i5 (2011/12)?
     
  8. ITguy2016 Suspended

    Joined:
    May 25, 2016
    #8
    This is a tough call without more information. For example are you interested in the 21.5" or the 27"? Base configuration or upgraded? I suspect much of this depends on your budget.

    A review of the three entry level 27" systems from 2010, 2011, and 2012 (Core i7 on the 2010, and Core i5 on the 2011 and 2012) shows the 2010 Core i7 model holds its own pretty well...at least in Geekbench scores. Since I have no experience with the software you use I cannot comment on suitability of any of them to meet your needs.

    IMO later models are preferred over older models. Not only because they contain newer technology (such as the addition of Thunderbolt on the 2011 models and USB 3.0 on the 2012 models) but they're likely to be supported by Apple in later OS releases. Though all three can run macOS Sierra and therefore will be supported for a reasonable amount of time from now. Price will be a factor. I found the 2010 model I purchased to be reasonably priced for what it is. The cost of later models we a few hundred dollars more. You may be able to find a 27" mid-2010 model for a good price.

    Not sure if I've been any help but hope I've given you something time work with.
     
  9. Owlie thread starter macrumors newbie

    Owlie

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2016
    #9
    You are helping a lot, I think I'm starting to understand how it all works. But to be sure - I found on Geekbench something like this
    mac.jpg
    and to me it's clear that even the slower i5 from 2011 is still slightly better than 2010 i7 (?). And I can buy 2011 27 iMac with i5 3.1 GHz for the same price that 2010 27 iMac with i7 2.9 GHz. So if I'm thinking right, I should go with the 2011 i5?
     
  10. ITguy2016 Suspended

    Joined:
    May 25, 2016
    #10
    I wouldn't rely too much on Geekbench. While it's interesting from a curiosity point of view it really doesn't say much about how a system will run a given application. If I were you I'd try to find some benchmarks of the specific application(s) you intend to run.

    Having said that the scores you provided are a composite of many individual scores. I would recommend you at least investigate the individual scores to determine where each of the strengths and weaknesses are. It's possible a disk test (say SSD versus traditional hard disk) could possibly raise the composite score of an overall system. If disk performance is not that important to you then it may mislead you to purchase one over something which is better for your needs.

    Having said that all three are probably decent choices for you and what to purchase will probably come down to budget and preference.
     
  11. Owlie thread starter macrumors newbie

    Owlie

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2016
    #11
    Yeah, I guess it's more complicated than that but as I said before, my friend is running 2011 i5 2.7GHz with software I will use (and he's happy with it) so i think i'll be safe for me to get same year, slightly stronger 2011 i5 3.1GHz. I wont experiment with 2010 this time. I need stable tool to work. Anyway, thanks again for all your answers!
     
  12. mlody macrumors 6502a

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    Nov 11, 2012
    Location:
    Windy City
    #12
  13. ITguy2016 Suspended

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    May 25, 2016
    #13
    You're welcome. I think the 2011 is a fine choice.
     
  14. Dreadnought macrumors 68020

    Dreadnought

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    Jul 22, 2002
    Location:
    Almere, The Netherlands
    #14
    Only downside of the 2011, is its GPU. They are dying like crazy. You don't have this issue on the 2010 model.
     
  15. Owlie thread starter macrumors newbie

    Owlie

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    Nov 13, 2016
    #15
    Is it replaceable? Actually I think that for a used computer old that much, if nothing happened to this day, it's highly unlikely that it'll happen now, after all this years. Of course everything is possible but it also possible on a different year models, right?
     
  16. Kudos6612 Suspended

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2016
    #16
    Lol if you are worried about a 2010 Mac breaking down, I wouldn't buy a used computer to begin with. it doesn't matter when you buy it, a six year old computer could need replacement parts right away or a year from now. It's al3ays a possibility buying old computer hardware.
     
  17. Owlie, Nov 16, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2016

    Owlie thread starter macrumors newbie

    Owlie

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2016
    #17
    And what do you think about 2013? I wanted HDD + SSD in my iMac but i saw something like Fusion Drive in 2013 models I could buy for the same price. How is FD compared to HDD + SSD? Maybe if I buy 2013 with amount of RAM that I want, It's no need for me to look for the SSD when Fusion Drive is on board?

    Of course in that price 2013 will have less RAM (8 is max) and no HDD + SSD. But I could get them in the same price here in my country. Maybe thats because 2010/11/12 are overpriced. Or 2013 are really cheap cause it's really big difference in price between 2013 and 2014. Anyway, there would be no more posts here if that GPU problem wouldn't show up... I was really convinced to 2011 model but if that problem is popular it's a little bit risky.
     
  18. macmee Suspended

    macmee

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2008
    Location:
    Canada
    #18
    I am probably going to take a lot of s$*% for saying this but I would not buy an imac if I were you, if you intend on making music on it and running it hot, and it sounds like you do.

    iMacs are plagued with image retention issues. Some users don't have this problem but it is pretty common and a few (well, 2 of us) believe that running the iMac hot damages the screen. I assume that making music means you'll be running logic pro or something and it sounds like you'll be putting your mac to work so I bet you would have the retention problems too.

    If I were you I would consult these articles and threads before buying anything:

    http://www.pixedelic.com/blog/imac-screen-issues/

    https://medium.com/mobile-lifestyle...another-apple-product-87c4e5572993#.1wm6oxcpj

    http://forums.macrumors.com/threads...se-no-image-persistence-issues.1969089/page-5

    http://forums.macrumors.com/threads/retina-imac-image-retention.1853972/

    http://forums.macrumors.com/threads...rsistence-issues.1969089/page-5#post-23932444

    http://forums.macrumors.com/threads...rsistence-issues.1969089/page-5#post-23931613

    http://www.imagepersistence.com/

    I really don't want to go on a mac hating rampage and scare everyone away from iMacs, because I love iMacs, but really this is a buyer beware thing and you should be aware of image retention being a pretty common issue I think, before dropping several grand on one of these things.
     
  19. Fishrrman macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #19
    OP wrote:
    "How is FD compared to HDD + SSD? Maybe if I buy 2013 with amount of RAM that I want, It's no need for me to look for the SSD when Fusion Drive is on board?"

    A "fusion drive" IS an HDD+SSD, "melded together" via the OS.
    Two separate drives that "appear as one" on the desktop.

    If you're going to buy a 2013 iMac, get one that has either:
    a. An internal SSD, or
    b. A fusion drive.

    DO NOT buy an iMac that has only an internal HDD (but no fusion drive or SSD).
    It will run as slow as molasses.

    A 2013 will also have USB3, very important.
    You DO NOT want to buy an iMac with only USB2. Again, too slow a technology.
    The 2012 (and later) iMacs have USB3.
     
  20. Owlie thread starter macrumors newbie

    Owlie

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2016
    #20
    So it seems like they are unusable after all. I always thought that Apple computers are perfectly designed and they work like charm (they are pretty expensive). But the more I read the more I'm convinced that Apple just wants a lot of money for something that don't work. These models - dying GPU, these - ****** screens. I guess I'll just buy a PC that works like computer should. Thanks everyone for answers again!
     
  21. ITguy2016, Nov 17, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2016

    ITguy2016 Suspended

    Joined:
    May 25, 2016
    #21
    Unfortunately I'm not very familiar with the iMac line (my first one was the mid-2010 I just bought on Saturday). Hopefully others can give you some advice.
    --- Post Merged, Nov 17, 2016 ---
    Apple seems to be too focused on form instead of function. They're nice systems but Apple has compromised functionality for appearance. I cannot for the life of me think of a good reason for their having made the newer iMacs so thin despite it being a desktop system. I'm sure this has all been said before so I'll stop here.
     
  22. padams35 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2016
    #22
    I wouldn't go as far as 'unusable'. The screen burn outs seem to come from those trying to use the iMac as a Mac Pro workstation and while the 6970m has earned a reputation as a lemon the 6770m has held up. I've been very impressed with my 21.5" 2011 and while I do wish I had USB-3 I think the user upgradable ram was far more valuable.
     
  23. Owlie thread starter macrumors newbie

    Owlie

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2016
    #23
    So excuse me, what are they for? Browsing internet? Watching movies? Expensive devices made just to "stand and be pretty"? I'm sorry but I'm so disappointed right now cause I expected to buy amazing looking BUT functional computer. And from what i see iMacs are only amazing looking. When off.
     
  24. padams35 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2016
    #24
    How about the middle ground? People who need an occasional fast sprint but not 24/7 grinds? Photographers who want spend most of the time viewing images but want a machine that can jump when a change needs to be made? Grad students who need quad-cores for night classes but only run hot for a few hours each week? This isn't binary.
     
  25. madeirabhoy macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2012
    #25
    true but apple have been very good about replacing them, at the moment they will replace if it was purchased within the last 4 years.

    plus depending on your country, for example if you purchased in the uk, the law says products are expected to last a decent length of time irrespective of the law, and its normally accepted that its 5 years Scotland and 6 England or the other way around, I forget.

    so that problem is only the 2011 27" with 1gb 6970m and mine died last year taking the screen with it and apple replaced both at no cost.
     

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