iMac 27" advice

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by PlanetExp, Jan 31, 2013.

  1. PlanetExp macrumors member

    Jul 18, 2012
    Sold my Air 11" which sat plugged in to an ugly HP monitor 24/7 in order to upgrade to an iMac. I am really low on cash but could stretch it if I can find a real good reason too. I can't decide between:

    - Entry level 27" + 1TB Fusion Drive
    - High end 27" flat
    - Entry level 27" flat, and use that extra cash on food and unforeseen bills :)

    I am a heavy app user and usually leave everything running until done (lots of tabs and apps simultaneously, rarely will I reboot (relying on sleep mode). I plan on doing video editing but don't know if it will be realized this year or not - it will not be the iMacs first use. I will be using xcode, coda, photoshop, pages, numbers, iTunes, Sibelius, garageband, logic and the occasional game mostly.

    I hate when a computer drags itself along but realize that maxing everything is not an option for my economy so the real question is: will fusion drive snap things up more than the base high end 27" in relation to it's value in spent cash? Is it worth stretching for the FD and if so will it be thrashed when editing 2-4k video eventually - will I be better off saving for an external ssd?

    So many questions, so little money. Thanks in advance!

    P.S. Also do anyone know if adding a FD makes it a "special order" therefore delaying delivery? If I can get it faster that would help my studies (I'm taking the leap changing computers at the start of a new term).
  2. MacSignal macrumors regular

    May 8, 2010
    That is some impressive cash stretching from a sale of a MBA 11 to the purchase of a new iMac. :D You might want to strike some middle ground between the base model and high end to get a config with a SSD. You can always add memory later. Make sure you budget for AC. Good luck!
  3. -jc macrumors member


    Jan 18, 2013
    The iMac 27" is not something you buy if you're lacking money.
  4. Ed A. macrumors member

    Aug 4, 2007
    Southern Connecticut, USA
    Also, don't get the Fusion Drive if you're doing anything with large files, like video editing. I'm a videographer, and I had a new 27" iMac with 3TB Fusion Drive that I had to send back and get the conventional 3TB drive iMac instead.

    If you use large files with the Fusion Drive, the SSD part fills up and doesn't transfer the remaining data to the HDD part. I was editing a 75GB project when a system error message popped up saying that the drive is full, and asked if I wanted to force quit the application (there was no choice to continue).
  5. Mr. Dee macrumors 68000

    Mr. Dee

    Dec 4, 2003
    What I am going with

    I am still saving towards my 27 inch purchase, won't be making the purchase until about November. Waiting for Haswell, hopefully better GPU and just wishful thinking that the Fusion drive will become a part of the standard pricing across all models without the $250 premium.

    My purchase will be the base model with fusion drive because that is in my budget. I will also be purchasing a iPad 5 if and when it comes out. I plan to also max out the RAM to 32 GB.

    I would have settled for standard mechanical drive configuration, but after a year of using an SSD on a HP Z210, I honestly cannot go back to HDD. Its fast. I also saw a review video of the new iMac with a 3TB FD, 32 GBs of RAM and the system boots in about 4 to 5 seconds.
  6. Poncho macrumors 6502


    Jun 15, 2007
    Don't forget the refurb section, found on the Apple store landing page. Save a chunk of money that way
  7. Spink10 Suspended


    Nov 3, 2011
    Be a little while until the new 27's reach refurb store.
  8. Yebubbleman macrumors 68030


    May 20, 2010
    Los Angeles, CA
    Get a maxed out 21.5" iMac instead. Cheaper, still capable.
  9. iamgalactic macrumors regular

    Apr 21, 2010
    You should definitely get the fusion drive - given your described usage. And it will be fine for light video editing.

    If you get to the stage where you're working with large video files you should be using an external fast (raid preferably) drive anyway - any pro would do this.
  10. BlueParadox macrumors 6502

    Sep 3, 2010
    Melbourne, Australia
    If you're a serious videographer, or aiming towards pro video editing, know that it's never a good idea to have the raw footage you intend to edit on your main hard drive - get fast, reliable externals for your footage; USB 3 or thunderbolt compatible.
  11. Ed A. macrumors member

    Aug 4, 2007
    Southern Connecticut, USA
    I'm a professional videographer who works for a local television station. I also run a video company that does commercial video and I'm an Apple Certified Pro in FCP 6, 7 and X. It may have been true in the past that you shouldn't use the main HD to edit, but that's not the case now with much faster processing and much faster drives. It makes very little difference nowadays. What I described is an engineering design oversight that shouldn't occur. It's a typical "hybrid" problem, not unlike a hybrid car, where the hybrid is an underperforming compromise from two proven technologies (SSD and HDD in this case).
    And BTW, I have plenty of external HD Thunderbolt storage.:)
  12. mlamb64150 macrumors member

    Feb 27, 2012
    Isle of Man
    I can't recommend the new 27' iMacs highly enough. It's fast, powerful and gorgeous. I imagine if you're an intensive user then you can get away with a RAM upgrade instead of going for the higher CPU and GPU.

    Find a way to get it, you'll love it. :D
  13. PlanetExp thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 18, 2012
    Thanks for the help everyone!

    Yes it's definitely a stretch getting the 27". I ended up on the short end of the stick selling the air too, but I just couldn't work with it - too flimsy for my lifestyle it would have looked like a strip of bacon in months'. So I threw in some savings ontop, and worked some extra shifts during christmas to get the money.

    Went with the low end 27" 2.9 GHz with fusion drive. Having doubts everyday if I should have taken the high end with 675MX instead, but I think I'll put the money towards an external backup drive instead.

    It's tricky, I'm really tight on cash but $200 ontop of $2050 doesn't feel like that much of a stretch :D

    I reccon I can do light editing with it and when the day comes for the next movie we'll have enough cash for a Mac Pro, in which case I can use the 27" as a display.

    P.S. Its a philosophical question as well as I always end up maxing everything on everything, or buying the most expensive thing, then having a hard time utilizing everything until the next os, or system comes along that makes what I have the new low end. This is the first time I haven't maxed everything actually.

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