iMac Mid 2015 or Late 2015??

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by CTay, Apr 12, 2016.

  1. CTay macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2013
    #1
    Any help for Pros and Cons for the 2 listed iMacs below would be greatly appreciated. I am a Mac user via a 2009 Macbook pro and this will be my first brand new Mac. The specs are close but there are subtle differences which I could use help with. There is a 100 dollar increase for the Late model but I am not concerned with that. I am more interested in what will perform better. I don't do anything taxing on the system but would like to get the best bang for the buck. Any help would be appreciated.


    Late 2015
    • 27" Retina 5K IPS Display
    • 5120 x 2880 Screen Resolution
    • 3.2 GHz Intel Core i5 (Skylake)
    • 8GB of 1867 MHz DDR3 RAM
    • 1TB 7200 rpm HDD
    • AMD Radeon R9 M380 GPU (2GB GDDR5)
    • 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0
    • Thunderbolt 2 + USB 3.0
    • Magic Keyboard & Magic Mouse 2 Included
    • Mac OS X 10.11 El Capitan
    Mid 2015
    • 27" Retina 5K IPS Display
    • 5120 x 2880 Native Resolution
    • 3.3 GHz Intel Core i5 (Haswell)
    • 8GB of 1600 MHz DDR3 RAM
    • 1TB 7200 rpm Hard Drive
    • AMD Radeon M290 GPU (2GB GDDR5)
    • 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0
    • 2x Thunderbolt 2 and 4x USB 3.0 Ports
    • FaceTime HD Camera, Dual Mics, Speakers
    • Mac OS X 10.10 or 10.11
     
  2. davidg4781 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2006
    Location:
    Alice, TX
    #2
    I'm not an iMac pro but I don't see any benefit of getting the mid model, other than saving $100. GPU had a higher model number, so I'm assuming it's better. RAM is a bit faster. CPU is Skylake, which means hopefully more effecient even though it's 100 MHz slower.

    Get the late.
     
  3. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2013
    #3
    Don't buy any computer without some sort of solid state drive, on the 2014 that would be a 1TB fusion or better in the 2015 that's a a 2Tb fusion or better (the 1TB fusion in the latest machine only has 24gb SSD vs the 128gb SSD in the 2 TB fusion and the same 128gb SSD is found in all the fusion drives of previous iMacs, apples penny pinching here is inexcusable).

    Solid state storage is what makes modern computers fast snappy and fluid to use (not to mentions phones and tablets) I can't in good conscience recommend anyone buy a computer with just an old style mechanical HDD anymore especially as modern OSes are so much better on flash storage.

    You don't give us any idea of what you use the computer for so recommending any other secs is impossible. However they will perform pretty much the same as far as I can tell just a few percent performance difference almost impossible to notice. The 2015 will be quieter and cooler though many reviews have noted this.
     
  4. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #4
    Food for thought, the late 2015 model's 1TB Fusion drive only has 24GB, where as the older model has 128GB. Either upgrade to the 2TB model, or select the older iMac.

    Other thoughts, the late 2015 is running Skylake and it is not incurring the heat/throttling issues the older model has been known to deal with, so I'd opt for newer model.

    I have the late 2015 iMac running a 2TB drive and its wicked fast, and I'm very happy with the Fusion drive. Obviously an SSD would be the best case, but for my data needs and budget the Fusion drive made too much sense and I've not had any buyers remorse.
     
  5. CTay, Apr 13, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2016

    CTay thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2013
    #5

    --- Post Merged, Apr 13, 2016 ---

    So, let me ask this... is it better to get the fusion drive or opt for installing a SSD after arriving? I only ask because I have a 240gb SSD on hand. I have seen where people have added them and created a DIY fusion.
     
  6. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2013
    #6
    Well it's really dificult it's glued together and requires serious disassembly that will probably void your warranty. I wouldn't do it to a new Mac but if you want some idea of how hard it is take a look at the guide on ifixit.com.
     
  7. pjfan macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 24, 2009
    Location:
    Columbus OH
    #7
    I echo Samuelssan2001's opinion. No reason to buy a new system without Fusion or Solid State Drive.

    The late 2015 iMac has a higher rated screen quality. Personally, I would buy an October 2015 iMac from the USA Refurb store with 512 GB Solid State or 2+ TB Fusion based on screen quality and latest processor.
     
  8. svenning macrumors newbie

    svenning

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2015
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #8
    TOTALLY SECOND THAT! I replaced the harddrive on my 2010 Macbook pro (yes 2010, don't judge) with an SSD. I went from having to wait 1m30sec to open iTunes and start a song...to 6 seconds!!! And I cloned the old harddrive to the SSD, so it wasn't even a fresh install or anything.
     
  9. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #9
    SSDs offer overall superior speed but at a price. Fusion allows you to have some SSD like speeds for some of your frequently access files but for a cheaper price.

    The issue for people buying new iMacs (and I include myself) is that the price for a 512GB, and 1TB SSD is exorbitant - Apple charges a premium and my data needs are in excess of 512GB of storage. In my case, a Fusion drive made more sense to me. For 3rd party upgrades, SSD costs are much less expensive, and I'd opt for that over the Fusion drive.
     
  10. CTay thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2013
    #10
    This was my original thought. Fusion drives are new to me. I have a Macbook Pro (2009) with a SSD running the OS and I manually choose what I keep on the drive, albeit I am not always diligent in this process.

    My next question would be, If I order the 1Tb fusion, could I replace the smaller stock SSD with a simple clone and benefit from the added storage or will the setup still read a partition created from the original setup and not recognize the added storage? Hope that made sense.

    I guess my original thought was that I already have the 240ssd on hand and I could simply add it to the new iMac. I am fine with the install process and the steps of opening up the imac. However, it seems to be more than a simple plug and play.
     
  11. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #11
    No, and as mentioned the current iMacs are sealed (read glued), and its not recommended to open them up, at least that's my position. Why risk destroying the iMac and/or voiding the warranty.

    The flash drive that is part of the Fusion drive is apple's propriety design. You can possibly buy a replacement on ebay but I don't think there's anyone selling them. I could be wrong, as I've not researched it.

    You're better off with a 2TB Fusion drive as that comes with a 128GB of flash storage as opposed to 24GB.
     
  12. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2013
    #12
    You could do this but you would need a PCIe connected SSD and you don't have one only OWC currently make third party ones and they are not 4 lane so slower, don't support trim so can slow with time, and are more expensive than an apple upgrade to a 2tb fusion drive. You could just swap out the HDD for a SATA 3 SSD and have a 1Tb SSD and a 24gb PCIe connected SSD as a fusion drive that would be pretty darn fast, but you would risk your computer and void your warranty.
     
  13. CTay thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2013
    #13
    I see. That pretty much makes my decision to go with the Fusion 2tb. I appreciate all the help everyone, and as always, you all have been very informative.
     

Share This Page