iMac advice

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by punio75, Aug 12, 2017.

  1. punio75 macrumors member

    punio75

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2015
    Location:
    Lincolnshire, UK
    #1
    Firstly, thanks guys for all your help in making my purchase of a new MacBook pro so simple!

    Now I'm moving on to my home machine- a iMac.
    At home I would consider myself a 'light' user.
    Usual stuff- watch videos, surfing, have a lot of music etc..

    I am upgrading a 21" Late 2013 iMac.

    Real estate- 21" is still the best size for me.

    1st question-3.0GHz quad-core 7th-generation Intel or 3.4GHz quad-core 7th-generation Intel??
     
  2. willmtaylor macrumors 604

    willmtaylor

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2009
    Location:
    A Natural State
    #2
    Are you asking whether to get the slower or faster processor? Am I missing something?
     
  3. punio75 thread starter macrumors member

    punio75

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2015
    Location:
    Lincolnshire, UK
    #3
    Apologies, yes.
    Is it worth the extra cost for my needs?
     
  4. Fishrrman macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #4
    For the uses you specified above, the 3.0ghz should do fine.

    8gb of RAM should do.

    The MOST IMPORTANT item is the drive.
    I suggest you DO NOT get a fusion drive.
    Get a "straight" SSD instead.
    Even a 256gb (512gb would be better, 1tb "not worth it").

    Use an external USB3 drive for "surplus storage" (movies, perhaps your music library).

    Final thought:
    If you get a 27", you'll never regret it.
     
  5. ApfelKuchen macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2012
    Location:
    Between the coasts
    #5
    I'd go with the 3.4 GHz - not because of the higher clock speed on the processor, but for the Fusion Drive vs. standard HDD, and the better GPU. (Another option would be the 3.0GHz with a $100 Fusion upgrade.) Not sure the GPU will be that beneficial for your current use, but with things moving towards AR and VR, a better GPU may be beneficial down the road.

    The standard configuration of the 3.0GHz is pretty close to what you have on the 2013 iMac (assuming you don't have Fusion on that 2013). If you don't have Fusion on the 2013, then it is time to step up to either Fusion or all-Flash. Besides the Retina display, that'd be the single-largest performance upgrade you can buy for this machine; far more important than either CPU speed or GPU.

    If your next question was to be about Fusion vs. All-Flash... For your use, Fusion should be fine, even with the "small" 24GB of Flash that comes with the 1TB Fusion configuration. You'll have 1TB of internal storage running everything at near-Flash speeds, with no need to manage fast vs. slow storage.

    I'm assuming anyone moving from a previous iMac has at least 500GB already on the previous Mac's HDD, so spending $200 extra on 256GB Flash will require an additional $50-$75 investment in an external HDD that will always run at 20% the speed of the internal storage.

    I have a late 2013 iMac with Fusion, and another late 2013 iMac with all-Flash. As I've said often in these forums, in everyday use it's very hard for me to detect a performance difference between those machines.
     
  6. punio75 thread starter macrumors member

    punio75

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2015
    Location:
    Lincolnshire, UK
    #6
    Thanks!
    Yes, my next thought was fusion or ssd?

    I appreciate this is a common question around these parts!!!
     
  7. SaSaSushi macrumors 68040

    SaSaSushi

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2007
    Location:
    Takamatsu, Japan
    #7
    I think music, photos and backup storage are all best served on external media such as inexpensive USB3 drives.

    It is my personal opinion that spinning drives inside Macs, like the HDD component of Fusion Drives are something to avoid if at all possible. They generate noise and heat, consume additional power and are prone to inevitable failure.

    My Late 2013 iMac had a 1TB Fusion Drive and was the last Mac I'll ever own with a HDD. The HDD component, fortunately, failed with one month left of its three year AppleCare coverage and then unfortunately that very same replacement HDD was noted by Apple service to be failing when the person I sold it to last month sent it in to them for a hinge replacement on a recall program, now seven months out of AppleCare.

    That story has a very unlikely happy ending. Fortunately again, Apple ended up replacing it for free because of what they called service delays on their end.

    Never again.
     
  8. punio75 thread starter macrumors member

    punio75

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2015
    Location:
    Lincolnshire, UK
    #8
    This is what I'm looking at:
    3.0 GHz processor
    8GB memory
    512GB SSD

    What do you think?
     
  9. jaduff46 macrumors regular

    jaduff46

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2010
    Location:
    Northern NJ
    #9
    In line with @Fishrrman's suggestion, which I agree with.

    Looking at a similar configuration myself to replace my 2010, although may bump the memory to 16 GB.

    Best of luck and let us know how it goes.

    John
     
  10. gjkiii macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2007
    #10
    I am in the market for an iMac as well as well. Why is the fusion drive a bad idea?
     
  11. SaSaSushi macrumors 68040

    SaSaSushi

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2007
    Location:
    Takamatsu, Japan
    #11
    Just curious, but did you bother to read the entire thread before posting or just the post to which you are replying?
     
  12. ggibson913 macrumors 6502a

    ggibson913

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2006
    #12
    I have the Fusion Drive and no regrets but you can't really go wrong with an SSD. It depends how much stuff you have. Granted things like Photos and iTunes library can be offloaded to an external drive but I have to say it is nice to have everything on the same (logical) drive.

    I think you will find that by the time you add the better processor and better drive, you will have worked your way up to the 27 5K with a similar configuration. For more bang for your buck, go to the refurb store, you can save some decent money there.
     
  13. gjkiii macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2007
    #13
    I read the whole thread and saw your opinion on the fusion drive. I was looking for multiple opinions on the fusion drive before making my decision and thats why I quoted a different poster.
     
  14. SaSaSushi macrumors 68040

    SaSaSushi

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2007
    Location:
    Takamatsu, Japan
    #14
    Another poster with the same opinion. That's two.

    There are entire long threads devoted to that topic alone in these forums. You need but search for them.
     
  15. ZapNZs macrumors 65816

    ZapNZs

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2017
    #15
    Are you upgrading your current machine mainly for the higher resolution display?
    How much space are you currently using?

    It sounds like the base 4k iMac will meet your needs (especially considering that you can upgrade the RAM to 16 GB in the future, should you ever need to.) I agree a SSD over a Fusion Drive might not be a bad idea. Where as the performance difference could be unnoticeable or could be pronounced depending on how you use your computer, as iMacs tend to have a long lifespan, this lifespan could be longer than the typical lifespan of a HDD, and at the 4+ year mark the reliability of the SSD over the reliability of the HDD could be very pronounced.

    If you went with an iMac with a base 256 SSD or a 512 SSD, you always have the option or purchasing an external HDD or external SSD, which you could use for files you infrequently access or ones that take up a lot of space but don't require a tremendous amount of speed. For example, there is a $200 difference between the 256 and 512 SSD options. If you went with the 256 SSD, for not much more than the $200 you saved by purchasing the smaller SSD, you could purchase a 512 GB external SSD that you can use for media storage, and a 1 TB external HDD you could use for Time Machine to backup both the iMac's internal hard drive and the external SSD.
     

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