iMac 27 inch 5K Retina

loganberry

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 17, 2014
15
2
Wales, UK
I intend purchasing the iMac in the very near future.

I need some help deciding on either having
  • A fully spec' with 1TB storage
Or
  • A fully spec' with 512GB storage plus adding in the future a Samsung Portable SSD T3 500GB external drive, that is if the T3 will be compatible.
I would be very much interested in any views and comments on the subject.

Thank you in advance.
 

Lunder89

macrumors 6502
Oct 16, 2014
392
128
Denmark
I have bought the iMac 27" 5K, late 2015, mid-tier model (with the AMD Radeon M390). And going for a 512 GB SSD is a very good idea. The machine is lightning fast at everything.

I don't know if you can add a harddrive later, the iMac is as far as I know glued together.
 

catlv

macrumors member
Dec 27, 2016
33
10
I have a 512GB SSD on mine and put a spare 64Gb SDXC card on the back.

So far, the SDXC has been a great storage/backup alternative.

I'll spring for a 256GB SDXC card the next time the Sandisk Ultras go on sale.
 
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loganberry

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 17, 2014
15
2
Wales, UK
I have bought the iMac 27" 5K, late 2015, mid-tier model (with the AMD Radeon M390). And going for a 512 GB SSD is a very good idea. The machine is lightning fast at everything.
I don't know if you can add a harddrive later, the iMac is as far as I know glued together.
Thank you for the reply. Yes the iMac is glued together but it is possible to add an internal hard drive to replace the original one but I would never take on the task myself and it would probably break the warranty cover anyway and it is because of this that I was thinking of purchasing the external SSD Drive if of course it is compatible.
 

Fishrrman

macrumors Core
Feb 20, 2009
19,609
6,828
The most important thing is to NOT BUY an iMac UNLESS it has either a 2tb (or 3tb) fusion drive inside, or a "straight" SSD inside.

You DO NOT want an iMac with ONLY a platter-based HDD inside.
It will be intolerably slow.
 

loganberry

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 17, 2014
15
2
Wales, UK
The most important thing is to NOT BUY an iMac UNLESS it has either a 2tb (or 3tb) fusion drive inside, or a "straight" SSD inside.

You DO NOT want an iMac with ONLY a platter-based HDD inside.
It will be intolerably slow.
I was going for the 1TB Flash Drive which was a bit pricey for me to be honest so I decided on the 512GB Flash Drive plus an external compatible SSD portable drive later on, but I might go for the 1TB Flash after all. No intention of mechanical hard drive of any kind.
Thank you for your input.
[doublepost=1487602978][/doublepost]
I have a 512GB SSD on mine and put a spare 64Gb SDXC card on the back.

So far, the SDXC has been a great storage/backup alternative.

I'll spring for a 256GB SDXC card the next time the Sandisk Ultras go on sale.
I was just researching the SanDisk ixpand £64.90 for 64GB and £75.92 for 128GB from Amazon UK.
Might do the trick. Only want it for mostly photos and some videos.
Wow the one you mentioned is very reasonably priced fair play.
 

Trahearne

macrumors 6502
Oct 6, 2014
418
73
What's wrong with external HDD/SSD anyway? If you just gonna store media and not doing some crazy data crunching, USB 3.0 is fast enough not to be a problem at all. The only downside is that it takes one of your USB ports, but you have four to begin with...
 

Lunder89

macrumors 6502
Oct 16, 2014
392
128
Denmark
Thank you for the reply. Yes the iMac is glued together but it is possible to add an internal hard drive to replace the original one but I would never take on the task myself and it would probably break the warranty cover anyway and it is because of this that I was thinking of purchasing the external SSD Drive if of course it is compatible.
And I just totally missed that you wrote external in the original post. My bad.
But why shouldn't an external SSD be compatible?? Are you planning on running som RAID configuration?

And back on topic, I think a good advice would be to avoid any spinning harddrive, they will eventually fail, and cause annoyance when the computer needs to be taken apart for a replacement.
The drive may hold, since it doesn't have to work as hard, as if it was running the OS, but still. In the long term, SSD will do you well.
 
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MadDane

macrumors 6502a
Apr 5, 2015
600
226
As I read it the OP has no intentions of using a platter based hard drive (which, if you ask me, is also the right choice).

You ask whether you should buy Apple's (expensive) 1TB SSD or go with a less expensive 512GB option + external SSD. The question is, what are you going to use the machine for? If you need a lot of fast storage, the I would say the 1TB is the way to go. If you mainly need the extra 512GB for storing stuff like pictures, movies and photos, then I would definitely save the money and buy the external instead.

Also, if you can wait a few months that might pay out as rumor has it that a new one is in the works. But when it will actually be released is, of course, another story.
 
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loganberry

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 17, 2014
15
2
Wales, UK
As I read it the OP has no intentions of using a platter based hard drive (which, if you ask me, is also the right choice).

You ask whether you should buy Apple's (expensive) 1TB SSD or go with a less expensive 512GB option + external SSD. The question is, what are you going to use the machine for? If you need a lot of fast storage, the I would say the 1TB is the way to go. If you mainly need the extra 512GB for storing stuff like pictures, movies and photos, then I would definitely save the money and buy the external instead.

Also, if you can wait a few months that might pay out as rumor has it that a new one is in the works. But when it will actually be released is, of course, another story.
Yes! You have covered all my needs, 500GB for storing photos mostly. I wonder when the update will be, maybe March? I wish! My present PC is a Dell XPS420 Windows and Vista O/C which is about 10 years old now with 2 x 500GB hard drives and also a 1TB Seagate external Hard Drive. Samsung T3 500GB external drive will cost £159 and an extra 8GB Ram by Crucial will cost £66. That's the way I will be going and very excited. Thank you for your comments.
[doublepost=1487624241][/doublepost]
And I just totally missed that you wrote external in the original post. My bad.
But why shouldn't an external SSD be compatible?? Are you planning on running som RAID configuration?

And back on topic, I think a good advice would be to avoid any spinning harddrive, they will eventually fail, and cause annoyance when the computer needs to be taken apart for a replacement.
The drive may hold, since it doesn't have to work as hard, as if it was running the OS, but still. In the long term, SSD will do you well.
I have never owned any Apple product and I'm unsure about compatible components for the iMac, but I am learning before I buy. No RAID configuration intended. Thank you for your welcome comments.
 

fastlanephil

macrumors 65816
Nov 17, 2007
1,211
235
I wonder if there is a speed difference between the 2015 512 and the 1TB flash drives. Someone on the Mac Pro forum claimed his newer 1TB Mac Pro flash drive was faster than the current 256 or 512 Mac Pro flash drives. I'm unable to find any testing of this with the Mac Pro or iMac. There is a huge difference between the 2014 and 2015 iMac 1TB flash drives done by Barefeats.
 
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loganberry

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 17, 2014
15
2
Wales, UK
I wonder if there is a speed difference between the 2015 512 and the 1TB flash drives. Someone on the Mac Pro forum claimed his newer 1TB Mac Pro flash drive was faster than the current 256 or 512 Mac Pro flash drives. I'm unable to find any testing of this with the Mac Pro or iMac. There is a huge difference between the 2014 and 2015 iMac 1TB flash drives done by Barefeats.
Very interesting, I have no idea but I will research tomorrow. Thank you for your post.
 

EnderBeta

macrumors 6502a
Aug 5, 2016
559
519
I wonder if there is a speed difference between the 2015 512 and the 1TB flash drives. Someone on the Mac Pro forum claimed his newer 1TB Mac Pro flash drive was faster than the current 256 or 512 Mac Pro flash drives. I'm unable to find any testing of this with the Mac Pro or iMac. There is a huge difference between the 2014 and 2015 iMac 1TB flash drives done by Barefeats.
Yes the 1TB is faster. It was something about the number of channels that can be written to at once being more on the larger SSD.
 
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beachmama

macrumors newbie
Feb 20, 2017
8
3
Sonoma Coast
I intend purchasing the iMac in the very near future.

I need some help deciding on either having
  • A fully spec' with 1TB storage
Or
  • A fully spec' with 512GB storage plus adding in the future a Samsung Portable SSD T3 500GB external drive, that is if the T3 will be compatible.
I would be very much interested in any views and comments on the subject.

Thank you in advance.
I have a late model 2014 iMac 27" (iMac 15,1) that replaced my prior iMac (filled up the 1TB drive & crashed). I chose the 1 TB flash drive and it's been a great choice for me. I use it for photography and accounting. It's a screamer . . .
 
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EnderBeta

macrumors 6502a
Aug 5, 2016
559
519
I have a late model 2014 iMac 27" (iMac 15,1) that replaced my prior iMac (filled up the 1TB drive & crashed). I chose the 1 TB flash drive and it's been a great choice for me. I use it for photography and accounting. It's a screamer . . .
Yes everything is pretty much instant. For example I can power on my iMac from a powered off state and start VM Ware Fusion, open the Windows 10 VM and let it power on and log into Windows before the Fusion drive system is to the macOS desktop. It is crazy fast.
 

Lunder89

macrumors 6502
Oct 16, 2014
392
128
Denmark
I have never owned any Apple product and I'm unsure about compatible components for the iMac, but I am learning before I buy. No RAID configuration intended. Thank you for your welcome comments.
Then you are in for a treat, buying an iMac for the first time. As someone who have wanted one for almost 10 years, I can tell you it is a little special finally getting one, and placing it on your desk.

In terms of compatible components, you have get into the niche market to find incompatible components, Macs work with pretty much everything out of the box.

Storage devices has to formatted to the Mac harddrive format, before you can store large files on it (larger than 2 GB if I remember correctly). The Mac format, can only be read on Macs. FAT32 can be read and written on both Mac and PC, but will have the 2 GB limit. NTFS can only be read on Mac, unless you buy special software.
(In case you didn't found that out already) ;)
 
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loganberry

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 17, 2014
15
2
Wales, UK
Great comments from all of you, very much appreciated.
I will post on this forum when I become the owner of the iMac and tell you of my experiences with it.
 

Fishrrman

macrumors Core
Feb 20, 2009
19,609
6,828
Unless one literally has money to toss away, I don't think it's worth "paying Apple's premium" to have a 1tb SSD inside an iMac.

I'd call 512gb "the upper limit of reasonableness".
Personally, if I needed an iMac, I'd get a 256gb internal SSD and keep the rest "externally".

Then... add external storage as required. It could be either SSD or a platter-based HDD. A USB3 HDD will easily be fast enough for "offline storage", such as large libraries of music, pictures, or movies.
 
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Shivetya

macrumors 68000
Jan 16, 2008
1,556
231
If you ever plan to bootcamp go with the 1tb SSD. i did 512SSD and find myself constrained for space on both sides
 
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beachmama

macrumors newbie
Feb 20, 2017
8
3
Sonoma Coast
I wonder if there is a speed difference between the 2015 512 and the 1TB flash drives. Someone on the Mac Pro forum claimed his newer 1TB Mac Pro flash drive was faster than the current 256 or 512 Mac Pro flash drives. I'm unable to find any testing of this with the Mac Pro or iMac. There is a huge difference between the 2014 and 2015 iMac 1TB flash drives done by Barefeats.
I specifically chose the 1TB flash drive for speed/responsiveness and can say it lives up to my wiz of a Mac guy's claims . . .
 

nambuccaheadsau

macrumors 68000
Oct 19, 2007
1,835
432
Nambucca Heads Australia
Buy the most flash you can afford. It is a little late say six months later wishing you had gone the larger capacity and has been said the 1TB flash storage IS faster than the 512GB.

I had a Silicon Power Thunderbolt SSD I used as an external drive on a mid 2011 model iMac as the Seagate 1TB was simply too slow. Now I use the SP as an external backup and have the best of both worlds. Ultra fast computer and ultrafast backups.

New model anticipated next month or two and I would wait to see what they offer. Apple often up the eye candy whilst keeping the price low for a seemingly introductory period to get sales moving.
 
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Zwopple

macrumors regular
Dec 27, 2008
118
951
Get at least the 2TB Fusion (the 1TB versions only come with 24gb SSD where as the 2TB has 128gb SSD) and preferably if you can the 512GB SSD and use external storage if you need more.

Not only will you appreciate the speed but the ability to resell or the value of reselling years down the road will be much greater.
 
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