iMac 27" 5k Review

Discussion in 'iMac' started by CaptRB, Sep 19, 2017.

  1. CaptRB, Sep 19, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2017

    CaptRB macrumors 6502a

    CaptRB

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2016
    Location:
    LA, California
    #1
    I recently received my new iMac 27"

    Specs are as follows:

    5K i7 4.2GHz/580/512SSD/24GB RAM 2TB T3 SSD and Dell P2715Q 4K

    Primary usage includes writing, professional photography for catalogue and web presentation and some light video work.

    I spec'd out the system to an i7 because virtually every pro shooter I know told me to stay away from the i5 and not to worry about drives, which could be updated. I initially chose the FD 2TB drive, but a memory failure on that machine resulted in Apple shipping me this new unit with the 512 SSD at no charge.

    OVERALL
    I love this system. The i7 is noticeably quicker than the new i5 (my son's machine). The screen is beautiful. Apple continues with the crummy magic keyboard which somehow is STILL not backlit, so I use the excellent Logitech unit which is vastly better and backlit. It also connects to three systems with a press of a button. Running photoshop with various plug-ins I able to load up a huge amount of RAW Nikon or Canon files and batch process with ease. Everything happens very quickly and there's little to complain about. If you're a photographer, picking up a good card reader is essential.

    5K DISPLAY
    It's a beautiful display, but really no better than the 450 dollar 4K P2715Q right next to it. The Apple display seems to have a slight advantage in dynamic range via better control of highlights. But the Dell does a bit better with shadow details. Pixel density at 27" is high on both monitors so it's tough to see much (if any difference). The matte finish display of the Dell is superior to the highly reflective Apple display when it comes to video/photography. With the right room lighting either monitor is up to pretty much any task. The Dell is a superior product in the end because of the matte display. The Dell also rotates to portrait mode and has a FAR more adjustable and stable stand.

    SSD VS. FUSION & i7 VS. i5
    I had the 2TB fusion. In the next room is the same unit with the 1TB Fusion. All of these are fast machines once you add some RAM. The SSD version that I'm reviewing brings up programs and files a bit faster, but I don't see it making a huge difference in most workflows. Obviously there will be some situations where the SSD will be MUCH better. But listen to folks at a few of the top Hollywood post production houses (and in NY too!). Get the i7. Don't get a far slower processor to get the SSD because you can add the SSD later on. If there's ever going to be a bottle-neck, choose a machine where this can be addressed with a fairly easy upgrade. Start with the i7, add RAM, maybe an external T5 SSD and later on, if you need it, swap out the FD for a nice SSD.

    SOUND
    The sound of the iMac isn't terrible, but you already know that it's best to go with some external speakers. I use the HK sound sticks, but they're barely acceptable. You can spend thousands on a good computer sound system, so good luck.

    MAGIC MOUSE/KEYBOARD
    Boy, is this thing long in the tooth. Microsoft has some far better alternatives. My son stole mine, so I'm about to order something better. The best use for the Magic Mouse is with my MacBook Air as it's a very slim mouse and easy to carry around. As for the keyboard...no thanks! An illuminated keyboard is a must and I have it with the Logitech K811 Apple keyboard, which also controls my Air if want.

    FINALLY
    So this is the setup that replaced my new MBP with the awful defective keyboards. The Air will suffice for work on the go and this desktop is a monstrously powerful system that should last quite a while. There's not much to complain about...but I'm always looking! ;-)

    20170919_132334_resized.jpg

    Cheers,



    R.
     
  2. CE3 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2014
    #2
    Thanks for the review!

    RE: Magic Mouse & Keyboard: I had never used either until I got an iMac. I absolutely love the magic keyboard. It's the best typing experience I've had in a long time. I agree that a backlit option would be nice though. The magic mouse is another story. It's too small for me and went back in the box.
     
  3. CaptRB thread starter macrumors 6502a

    CaptRB

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2016
    Location:
    LA, California
    #3
    The Apple Magic Keyboard is fine, but it needs to be improved and LIT. After using laptops I really hate keyboards that don't have a backlight.

    I'm using the Logitech unit pictured below. Even with the backlight (which can be adjusted) the battery lasts a LONG time and charges fast. It has 3 USER buttons so I can use it with my iMac, Air or iPad. It has the same footprint as the Apple unit and has all of the same Apple keys. It has a bit more key travel, but most will adapt fast.

    There is also a version for PC's.

    20170919_153512_resized.jpg



    R.
     
  4. colodane macrumors 6502a

    colodane

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2012
    Location:
    Colorado
    #4
    The Logitech K811 is awesome. I have one and love it!
     
  5. CaptRB thread starter macrumors 6502a

    CaptRB

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2016
    Location:
    LA, California
    #5


    Yeah, it pretty much puts the Apple OEM unit to shame. Now looking for a better mouse.


    R.
     
  6. Psychobueller macrumors newbie

    Psychobueller

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2011
    #6
    Me too! I can’t go back to a non-backlit keyboard. I work often in low light situations and it’s become indespensible.
     
  7. Starfia macrumors 6502

    Starfia

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2011
    #7
    I am a definite keyboard connoisseur, I've discovered – occasionally eBaying and buying new ones last decade until companies started converging on what I consider ideal ones. The Logitech K810 was the first one that felt nearly ideal – unfortunately it turned out to be a common issue for the down arrow key to lose functionality due to wear over time. But anyway, yes – it deserves to be hijacking this thread a little. ^ _ ^

    Since then I've hopped around and currently use the wonderful SteelSeries Apex M800, despite not gaming much on the Mac; but macros and custom lighting schemes on a per-app basis are incredibly cool and useful.

    Let's just see whether the iMac Pro launches with an optional backlit black keyboard with Touch Bar, mm? Mmmm? That's all I could think might restore said temptation-indicating bead of sweat which I think the M800 allayed.
     
  8. Foxglove9 macrumors 65816

    Foxglove9

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2006
    Location:
    New York City
    #8
    I guess I'm in the minority of people who hate the K811 Keyboard. One of my least favorite keyboards I've owned and I go back to the Atari 800 computer. For some reason I was constantly mistyping and missing keystrokes. I'm not sure if the spacing is different than what I was used too coming from a 1st Gen Magic Keyboard. Also a few keys would not register or stick if not pressed dead center. The lighted keys I always turn off, never felt a need to use it. It does have fantastic battery life, and looks beautiful. I like the ability to easily switch to different devices.

    I have 2 other Logitech keyboards I currently use for my PC and iPad, and those are fine. For the iMac I loved the Magic Keyboard and so far the Magic 2 Keyboard (extended) is just as great.
     
  9. zipur macrumors 6502a

    zipur

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2011
    Location:
    The great state of Texas
    #9
    I want to add my vote for the K811 and the must have device currently on the market. The ability to switch to three device quickly, battery life, back light, size, tilt and feel. I am so happy I took earlier suggestions and picked one up.
    I'm a telecommuter so being able to dump a keyboard from my desktop for to computers plus still having ability to quickly jump on my IPAD when needed. --- K811 is a great all around tool.
     
  10. Solomani, Oct 4, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2017

    Solomani macrumors 68040

    Solomani

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2012
    Location:
    Alberto, Canado
    #10
    I also am using and like the (new for 2017) Magic Keyboard with Numeric Pad, this is the new extended version of the wireless Magic Keyboard. It's perfect for me as far as key placement and feel. Sure it would be nice if it were backlit, but I suppose that's not too important for me as my vision is fine, I use my iMac in a well illuminated environment. And best of all…. at least 2 companies already sell "Thin Skins" (ultra thin, clear, silicone keyboard covers) for this new magic keyboard model. I have been using the thin silicone keyboard covers since the 1990s!
    forito skin.jpg

    However, I do miss having the one useful USB port that was present in my older wired USB Magic Keyboard.
     
  11. klatox macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2015
    #11
    I agree that Apple really needs to update the Magic Keyboard with backlighting. The Magic Mouse is also good for basic stuff and the gestures are cool, but it's not comfortable at all.
     
  12. theluggage macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2011
    #12
    I got that and thought it was OK - but I've actually gone back to my old aluminium wired keyboard with numeric pad because the feel is just nicer & the angle better (although the new version is still, apparently, 'scissor' mechanism rather than the new MBP 'butterfly' style, they've still - and quite unnecessarily - significantly reduced the height/travel of the keys). Also, as you say, the wired keyboard doubles as a desk-level USB hub, and I've still got plenty of USB2 devices that benefit.

    The new Magic Trackpad is great, though - its well worth considering getting that at a reduced price in place of the Tragic Mouse. I have a Logitech MX Master that I use for a few things like graphics and games for which the mouse is still king, but I'm using the trackpad for most general use.

    Well, you either like computing in the dark or you don't. Personally, I prefer doing it with the lights on.
     
  13. Dry Rot macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2009
    Location:
    Australia
    #13
    Manufacturer's names? Who sells them please? I haven't seen them around for a while.
     
  14. J.Gallardo macrumors regular

    J.Gallardo

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2017
    Location:
    Spain
    #14
    Nice report.
    Very informative,
    BUT:
    after some research (and thinking in the beginning to get a fusion disk) I’ve come to realize the native Apple SSD is the way to go. It’s an insanely fast pcie ssd disk, only made by Apple. It’s got special connectors, so it’s impossible at this time to upgrade from fusion to a such a fast disk. Of course, you could install an internal standard ssd, but speed (being fast) will be 25% of native internal ssd.
    Just take in consideration (perhaps some video & image pros aren’t aware of this).
    I’m considering getting even a modest 256Gb one, and use Thunderbolt ports with external ssd’s as needed (they will be as fast as internal upgraded ssd, without the hassle).
     
  15. Solomani, Oct 5, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2017

    Solomani macrumors 68040

    Solomani

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2012
    Location:
    Alberto, Canado
    #15
    Here is the one I just ordered from Amazon not too long ago. The brand is called Forito. Please note I am linking to the product on the Amazon USA store, I take it you are in Australia.

    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0721SDTZZ/_encoding=UTF8?coliid=I1YI477W1TS6OQ&colid=2HSLJB7D2WWBI

    Another brand, which I bought for a past iMac and Macbook, is KB Covers, but sadly they have not yet released a silicone skin/cover for my new Magic Keyboard Wireless Extended. I'm sure it's coming soon. They have keyboard covers for all the other recent model Macbooks and MBPs.

    http://www.kbcovers.com

    KB Covers will ship worldwide, and their International shipping is not exorbitant.
     
  16. CaptRB thread starter macrumors 6502a

    CaptRB

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2016
    Location:
    LA, California
    #16




    When I work on photographs, I reduce the lighting in the room. It's common practice. Go to any video editing suite and you're not likely to see a bright room. Indirect lighting is common. So a backlit keyboard is a wonderful thing.

    Apple's magic keyboard not being backlit is nuts. People have been asking for this feature for YEARS.

    It's incredible that Apple has dropped the ball on every keyboard except for the MacBook Air.



    R.
     
  17. burgman, Oct 5, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2017

    burgman macrumors 65816

    burgman

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2013
    #17
    What is your genetic history that allows you to see in the dark? Never seen anyone use back-lighting in bright environment. Makes a product more versatile, not having it makes no sense.
     
  18. Solomani macrumors 68040

    Solomani

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2012
    Location:
    Alberto, Canado
    #18
    I was adopted by Professor Xavier. I've got special powers.
     
  19. mortenjensen macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2012
    #19
    Thanks for the review!!
    I am really interested in hearing more about the no-difference between the 5k and 4K. My next buy will be a mbp with a 27" screen or the iMac 5k. I am going to use it for office work, lots of reading. I would imagine that the crispness of the5k would be considerable better than on a 4K setup when it comes to reading e-books and so. Is this not the case?

    Morten
     
  20. CaptRB thread starter macrumors 6502a

    CaptRB

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2016
    Location:
    LA, California
    #20


    On a 27" screen the pixel density at 4K is already VERY high. I have the Dell 4K right next to the 5K and there's really no difference. The Dell matte finish on the screen is better for my photography work.
    We've put 5K video up and they look about the same. When writing the sharpness is identical in MS Word, Pages or Final Draft.


    R.
     
  21. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2013
    #21
    The main bonus to 5k for the iMac is the ability to edit video and photos at 4K resolution 1 to 1 pixels and still have space on your desktop for the editing tools and widgets, rather than any perceived increase in sharpness.
     
  22. mortenjensen macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2012
    #22
    Thanks. This really surprises me since you gain twice the amount of pixels. But it is a pleasant surprise that widens my options
    Morten
     
  23. Dry Rot macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2009
    Location:
    Australia
    #23
    Thanks for that. Much appreciated.
     
  24. Dry Rot macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2009
    Location:
    Australia
    #24
    The Amazon one won't ship to Australia and it looks like KB Covers don't make one.

    Anyone know of a silicone cover which ships to Australia for a 2017 extended (numeric) iMac keyboard?
     
  25. Solomani macrumors 68040

    Solomani

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2012
    Location:
    Alberto, Canado
    #25
    KB COVERS told me they will release one soon. They responded to my email directly.

    I am using the Forito one now, but I still like the quality of my old KB covers, the feel and quality of the KB is superior IMHO. The Forito was just cheaper in price
     

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