iMac advice

punio75

macrumors member
Original poster
Oct 2, 2015
59
8
Lincolnshire, UK
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??
 

willmtaylor

macrumors G4
Oct 31, 2009
10,300
8,162
Here(-ish)
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??
Are you asking whether to get the slower or faster processor? Am I missing something?
 

Fishrrman

macrumors Core
Feb 20, 2009
19,134
6,567
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.
 
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ApfelKuchen

macrumors 68040
Aug 28, 2012
3,515
2,161
Between the coasts
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??
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.
 

SaSaSushi

macrumors 601
Aug 8, 2007
4,100
493
Takamatsu, Japan
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.
 

gjkiii

macrumors newbie
Jun 8, 2007
26
0
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.
I am in the market for an iMac as well as well. Why is the fusion drive a bad idea?
 

ggibson913

macrumors 6502a
Sep 11, 2006
861
304
Thanks!
Yes, my next thought was fusion or ssd?

I appreciate this is a common question around these parts!!!
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.
 

gjkiii

macrumors newbie
Jun 8, 2007
26
0
Just curious, but did you bother to read the entire thread before posting or just the post to which you are replying?
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.
 

SaSaSushi

macrumors 601
Aug 8, 2007
4,100
493
Takamatsu, Japan
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.
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.
 

ZapNZs

macrumors 68020
Jan 23, 2017
2,310
1,155
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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