Imac help

DIMEZ

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Mar 5, 2009
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I am a graphic designer and I am purchasing a new iMac. I am confused which one I should Buy. I plan on using this machine for photoshop and plan on getting into light film editing.

I was looking at a

2012 imac 27 i7 with the 680mc graphic card.

Or should I buy the refurbished base iMac retina 5k with the 290 card.

I can upgraded the i5 to i7 down the road but not the gpu.

I really don't have the money to max the 5k out...would the performance be the same on both?

Pleas help with which on i should chose.

thanks
 
Last edited:

Johnlpi

macrumors member
Feb 17, 2015
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You’re going to get as many responses as there are people -but - you should be fine with the 2012 iMac 27” w/ i7 + 680mx. It’s too bad you can’t spring for the 775M, though.

I can’t recommend the retina iMac due to the black-lit bleed. Also be advised that a lot of people on these forums have also complained about the non-retina iMac’s having yellow screens.

Remember thought that you do get 14 days with it so you have plenty of time to inspect it.
 

Samuelsan2001

macrumors 604
Oct 24, 2013
7,682
2,103
Upgrading the processor may not be an option..

I am a graphic designer and I am purchasing a new iMac. I am confused which one I should Buy. I plan on using this machine for photoshop and plan on getting into light film editing.

I was looking at a

2012 imac 27 i7 with the 680mc graphic card.

Or should I buy the refurbished base iMac retina 5k with the 290 card.

I can upgraded the i5 to i7 down the road but not the gpu.

I really don't have the money to max the 5k out...would the performance be the same on both?

Pleas help with which on i should chose.

thanks
I believe it is possible I also believe it is a nightmare on the retina imac. Imacs should be considered non user upgradeable these days with the exception of RAM in the 27 inch.

To be honest unless you want the 5K screen for editing 4k video then it is really just down to screen preference.

I would reccomend the i7 if you have apps that can leverage the hyperthreading otherwise it will make very little difference.
 

redheeler

macrumors 604
Oct 17, 2014
7,397
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I can’t recommend the retina iMac due to the black-lit bleed.
Backlight bleed is common on iMac models dating years back, although it's more perceptible on the retina due to its lack of a severe off-axis IPS glow which masked it on older models.
 

DIMEZ

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Mar 5, 2009
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MD
I believe it is possible I also believe it is a nightmare on the retina imac. Imacs should be considered non user upgradeable these days with the exception of RAM in the 27 inch.

To be honest unless you want the 5K screen for editing 4k video then it is really just down to screen preference.

I would reccomend the i7 if you have apps that can leverage the hyperthreading otherwise it will make very little difference.
Either of the iMacs i get I plane on opening them, I plan on doing some ssd upgrades. So upgrading the retina iMac to an i7 would be a problem.

Im just wonder if I go with a two year old machine would it be comparable to the base iMac?

The 2012 should cost me between $1600 - 1800..or should I buy a base 5k retina iMac for a couple hundred more. But since I use photoshop 90% of the time would it be a problem with the 290x card. Btw I do already have a 2012 maxed on rMBP. Since I do do graphic design maybe go with the 5k screen? I do want a machine that performs well and doesn't give me headaches.
 

Samuelsan2001

macrumors 604
Oct 24, 2013
7,682
2,103
Photoshop runs fairly well on a macbook Air...

Either of the iMacs i get I plane on opening them, I plan on doing some ssd upgrades. So upgrading the retina iMac to an i7 would be a problem.

Im just wonder if I go with a two year old machine would it be comparable to the base iMac?

The 2012 should cost me between $1600 - 1800..or should I buy a base 5k retina iMac for a couple hundred more. But since I use photoshop 90% of the time would it be a problem with the 290x card. Btw I do already have a 2012 maxed on rMBP. Since I do do graphic design maybe go with the 5k screen? I do want a machine that performs well and doesn't give me headaches.
Unfortunately thats a tough shout it really depends what you do light use of photoshop will run on anything, very heavy use with huge RAW files etc can be a completely different matter.

CPU and GPU wise both those machines are fairly close, the AMD will be a bit better with the 5K screen but the other one doesn't have that to worry about.

http://www.game-debate.com/gpu/index.php?gid=2005&gid2=1290&compare=radeon-r9-m290x-vs-geforce-gtx-680mx

If your workload runs fine on the rMBP either will be good.

I don't think you can upgrade the drive in the retina at all because it is fusion or SSD only and so is apples proprietary PCIe connector. To be honest if you are buying refurbished I'd reccomend you go for one already specced with the SSD size you need and use USB or thunderbolt external storage for your files....
 

DIMEZ

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Mar 5, 2009
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Unfortunately thats a tough shout it really depends what you do light use of photoshop will run on anything, very heavy use with huge RAW files etc can be a completely different matter.

CPU and GPU wise both those machines are fairly close, the AMD will be a bit better with the 5K screen but the other one doesn't have that to worry about.

http://www.game-debate.com/gpu/index.php?gid=2005&gid2=1290&compare=radeon-r9-m290x-vs-geforce-gtx-680mx

If your workload runs fine on the rMBP either will be good.

I don't think you can upgrade the drive in the retina at all because it is fusion or SSD only and so is apples proprietary PCIe connector. To be honest if you are buying refurbished I'd reccomend you go for one already specced with the SSD size you need and use USB or thunderbolt external storage for your files....
You are right with buying one specked out...I should do that.. But I can upgrade the drive with fusion. I was planning on replacing the PCIe with a 256GB PCIe and A samsung 840 ssd instead of the spinning drive.. That is possible right?
 

matreya

macrumors 65816
Nov 14, 2009
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You are right with buying one specked out...I should do that.. But I can upgrade the drive with fusion. I was planning on replacing the PCIe with a 256GB PCIe and A samsung 840 ssd instead of the spinning drive.. That is possible right?
If you're looking at upgrading a 2nd-hand 2012 model iMac, then it has a SATA3 3.5" HDD inside it. No PCIe SSD slot. I wouldn't touch the Samsung 840 EVO with a barge pole (I have 4 of them, and they're all buggy). The 840 Pro is OK, but you'll need to enable TRIM with something like Trim Enabler to keep it from slowing down.

If you're looking at a Retina iMac, then the base model already comes with a Fusion drive, and the PCIe SSD inside it is currently not replaceable as there are no 3rd-party makers of these SSDs...
 

DIMEZ

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Mar 5, 2009
518
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If you're looking at upgrading a 2nd-hand 2012 model iMac, then it has a SATA3 3.5" HDD inside it. No PCIe SSD slot. I wouldn't touch the Samsung 840 EVO with a barge pole (I have 4 of them, and they're all buggy). The 840 Pro is OK, but you'll need to enable TRIM with something like Trim Enabler to keep it from slowing down.

If you're looking at a Retina iMac, then the base model already comes with a Fusion drive, and the PCIe SSD inside it is currently not replaceable as there are no 3rd-party makers of these SSDs...
For the 2012 i know its not pcie based..that another reason why i was looking into a 2012.. the ssd is cheaper and i can use the one from my matchbook which is 255gb and put it in the iMac and buy a 512 for my laptop...

Wow, thanks for the heads up with the ego...Thats what i was looking at. That bad huh?


For the retina iMac? I cant replace the PCIe bad with one from apple from a 2013 - 2014 machine?


Thanks to everyone that has responded this is really a great help on making me make a decision.

----------

What about an Apple refurbished 2013 iMac 27 with GTX-780m and either Fusion Drive or SSD: http://store.apple.com/us/browse/home/specialdeals/mac/imac
Thats actually not bad. The reason I was considering a 2012 is because I was going to save money. I figured if I had to go anywhere in the 2200+ range if i should consider A retina because of the screen.

One thing I like about the retina is I get more real estate and can have more files open at once.
 

matreya

macrumors 65816
Nov 14, 2009
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Wow, thanks for the heads up with the ego...Thats what i was looking at. That bad huh?


For the retina iMac? I cant replace the PCIe bad with one from apple from a 2013 - 2014 machine?
Yes, the Samsung 840 EVO has a problem where it slows down read access to data that was written a few months earlier. Samsung released a firmware update but that didn't completely fix the issue, and have promised another fix by next month.

As for replacing the Retina iMac's PCIe SSD with another apple one from a 2013-14 iMac, that's possible, but you'd have to source one from eBay, but I wouldn't think many people would be selling them.
 

DIMEZ

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Mar 5, 2009
518
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MD
Yes, the Samsung 840 EVO has a problem where it slows down read access to data that was written a few months earlier. Samsung released a firmware update but that didn't completely fix the issue, and have promised another fix by next month.

As for replacing the Retina iMac's PCIe SSD with another apple one from a 2013-14 iMac, that's possible, but you'd have to source one from eBay, but I wouldn't think many people would be selling them.

I check the prices on eBay last night.. that had some ssd available. I did some research on everything I wanted to do to see what would be a cheaper route.

still trying to figure it out.

have any recommendation on what ssd i should look at instead of the evo?
 

matreya

macrumors 65816
Nov 14, 2009
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I check the prices on eBay last night.. that had some ssd available. I did some research on everything I wanted to do to see what would be a cheaper route.

still trying to figure it out.

have any recommendation on what ssd i should look at instead of the evo?
The best SSD I've used so far is the Intel 730.