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$50 extra for 4K Retina Display worth it?

  • Yes

    Votes: 5 100.0%
  • No

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    5

EricB4President

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Nov 20, 2017
15
0
Canada
(Refurbished) 2015 iMac 21.5" 2.8 GHz Quad-core Intel Core i5, 8gb RAM, 1tb hard drive $1474
vs.
(Refurbished) 2015 iMac 21.5" 3.1 GHz Quad-core Intel Core i5, 8gb RAM, 1tb hard drive w Retina 4K Display $1524

Need help. Buying an iMac to program music on Logic Pro X.

Should I put up the extra $50 and get the same iMac but with Retina 4K display or is that just a waste of money?

I do eventually wanna get into Photoshop/Premiere eventually, but it's not a priority of mine.

ALSO, can I add RAM or storage to either of these iMac's down the road even though they are refurbished?

Any help is appreciated
 

Daniel Reed

macrumors 6502
Sep 9, 2016
278
284
San Francisco
Not an answer you want; don't buy either.

Get a 27" w/ the upgraded video card - intel pro-whatever is NOT a discreet video card! And, do ensure you at least get a "hybrid" SSD - better to get an SSD option.

Otherwise you will have problems period

A numbskull (or a clever guy trying to convince management to not buy Macs) ordered 21.5" 4K iMacs for a production environment - surprise surprise, they had problems/freezes/spinning wheels when trying to just open MS office apps, send email, or even working on a single newly created simple photoshop file. (And weird audio glitches/hiccups) I went through hell convincing management the purchace was a bad one. Only after taking it upon myself to talk and negotiate w/ the CDW sales rep directly w/out management approval, and getting an offer too good for management to pass up, did they accept (abeit begrundgingly) the facts of the situation. And yeah, the users were super happy, everything worked as expected, and they were able to upgrade the ram themselves easily.
[doublepost=1511286625][/doublepost]Also, buying a Mac NEW from B&H, with free shipping and no tax, is often near the same price or cheaper then buying direct from the apple refurb store! I also recommend buying Apple care.

If you're short of cash for the better iMac model, I suggest it's better to keep saving then end up w/ a less then ideal Mac.

If you're trying to hit a specific price point in general, then forget.
 
Last edited:

EricB4President

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Nov 20, 2017
15
0
Canada
Would you suggest I went with the (Refurbished) 2015 iMac 27" 3.2 GHz Quad-core Intel Core i5, 8 GB RAM, 1TB Fusion Drive with Retina 5K Display?
I'm not certain how easy difficult it is to upgrade a refurbished 27", but on it's Tech Specs it says it can be configured to i7, 16 or 32 GB RAM, 3TB Fusion Drive or 256GB, 512GB, or 1TB of flash storage (SSD)

Now I believe I did read somewhere that once it's refurbished it's soldered in and cannot be fixed but if that's wrong I'd be thrilled.

Might be a cheaper, effective route: What do you think of this 2017 Mac mini 2.6 GHz Dual-core i5, 16gb RAM, 256GB PCle-based Flash storage (or I could do 1tb fusion instead) (also not sure if i can configure anymore after purchase) $1501 with tax

Also, if you do suggest the Mac mini, would it be better to upgrade the 1tb drive to 1tb fusion drive or 256gb PCle-based Flash storage?

I may get into photoshop/premiere down the road, but that isn't my main priority. Production/mixing/recording/mastering is right now.
[doublepost=1511287525][/doublepost]b&h doesn't work because I'm Canadian.
 

redheeler

macrumors G3
Oct 17, 2014
8,384
8,753
Colorado, USA
The 2015 model is still a good one, I can recommend that (but suggest getting at least a 3 TB Fusion drive or 256 GB SSD, the SSD portion of the 1 TB Fusion drive is a tiny 24 GB which is only enough for the system and maybe a small handful of apps, everything else goes on the spinning hard drive and slows down).
I'm not certain how easy difficult it is to upgrade a refurbished 27", but on it's Tech Specs it says it can be configured to i7, 16 or 32 GB RAM, 3TB Fusion Drive or 256GB, 512GB, or 1TB of flash storage (SSD)

Now I believe I did read somewhere that once it's refurbished it's soldered in and cannot be fixed but if that's wrong I'd be thrilled.
Configured at time of purchase is what that means, and it only applies to when they are bought new from Apple.

The only component that is user-upgradable in the 27" is the RAM, and although the CPU, hard drive or SSD technically is in a socket (not soldered), the upgrade process is very difficult for anyone to attempt themselves and voids warranty (an Apple-certified repair shop might do it for you). An external SSD is always an option, though.
Might be a cheaper, effective route: What do you think of this 2017 Mac mini 2.6 GHz Dual-core i5, 16gb RAM, 256GB PCle-based Flash storage (or I could do 1tb fusion instead) (also not sure if i can configure anymore after purchase) $1501 with tax
There is no 2017 Mac mini. This model was released back in 2014 and contains an underpowered dual-core processor even for 2014.

Apple has done its best over the last few years to make sure the Mac mini is not a good buy, partly to prevent you and others from getting one instead of a much more expensive and higher-margin iMac.
 

EricB4President

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Nov 20, 2017
15
0
Canada
The 2015 model is still a good one, I can recommend that (but suggest getting at least a 3 TB Fusion drive or 256 GB SSD, the SSD portion of the 1 TB Fusion drive is a tiny 24 GB which is only enough for the system and maybe a small handful of apps, everything else goes on the spinning hard drive and slows down).

Configured at time of purchase is what that means, and it only applies to when they are bought new from Apple.

The only component that is user-upgradable in the 27" is the RAM, and although the CPU, hard drive or SSD technically is in a socket (not soldered), the upgrade process is very difficult for anyone to attempt themselves and voids warranty (an Apple-certified repair shop might do it for you). An external SSD is always an option, though.

There is no 2017 Mac mini. This model was released back in 2014 and contains an underpowered dual-core processor even for 2014.

Apple has done its best over the last few years to make sure the Mac mini is not a good buy, partly to prevent you and others from getting one instead of a much more expensive and higher-margin iMac.
So I should definitely not go with the (Refurbished) 2015 iMac 21.5" 2.8 GHz Quad-core Intel Core i5, 8gb RAM, 1tb hard drive? Couldn't I upgrade it's RAM through Apple's technician? And then get a SSD external drive to keep it going? Or would it be worth coughing up the $900 more and get the 27"?

Also, thank you so much for all those answers, that was super helpful
 

redheeler

macrumors G3
Oct 17, 2014
8,384
8,753
Colorado, USA
So I should definitely not go with the (Refurbished) 2015 iMac 21.5" 2.8 GHz Quad-core Intel Core i5, 8gb RAM, 1tb hard drive? Couldn't I upgrade it's RAM through Apple's technician? And then get a SSD external drive to keep it going? Or would it be worth coughing up the $900 more and get the 27"?
The 21.5" 2015 is different from the 27" 2015 in that the RAM is soldered and can't be upgraded separately from the entire logic board. (2017 21.5" models did go back to having RAM upgradable by a technician, but still not user-upgradable like the 27".)

As for an SSD, either external or internal, you'll be wanting that from day one - the 5400 RPM drive makes MacOS Sierra almost unbearably slow. For the iMacs that do have internal SSDs, Apple uses fast PCIe SSDs, so the price is slightly justified.
 
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