iMac retina base model 5 months in. Thoughts?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Macmamamac, Mar 21, 2015.

  1. Macmamamac macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2015
    #1
    Hi, was just wondering what iMac retina owners think of their machine now that they have had it for a few months?

    Would love to hear from people who own the base model and brought it around the time of release.

    I'm in the market for one and have read a lot on the internet about lag and how the base GPU doesn't cut it.

    Is the base model worth it or is the i7 and 4GB GPU essentially for a smooth experience?
     
  2. Aggie83 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2015
    #2
    iMac retina base model 5 months in. Thoughts?

    It'd be a crime for the base model to not run smoothly. Why release a $2500 machine that really needs better components. That is just ridiculous.

    That being said, many here are obsessed about specs and testing over actual performance than real world eye and hands on experience doing the things you do every day.
     
  3. Macmamamac thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2015
    #3
    Agree with sentiment. But other first generation models have had problems. Just wanted to gauge general opinion from those who have owned the machine for a few months now.
     
  4. blufrog macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2014
    #4
    I just took the Red Pill and now I get to find out how deep the rabbit hole goes... :D

    From everything I have seen, if you're not gaming, the M290X will "be sufficient". Don't lose sight of the fact that it is driving 14.7 million pixels!!!! That is a big task for any graphics card. If you think you will want to run 3D programs, go for the M295X.

    HOWEVER... be very aware of what you're going into. It runs hotter than is healthy, but all the research I did so far has not shown the system to be actually glitching as a result of heat (something PCs do very well when running hot is glitch/crash like crazy). I haven't seen people reporting such issues, though many have commented on the heat generated.
     
  5. aevan macrumors 68000

    aevan

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2015
    Location:
    Serbia
    #5
    iMac Retina base model is a very fast computer. Base model performance is similar to a fully upgraded non-retina iMac from 2013 (i7, 780M). Which is to say - it's great.

    M290X is a good GPU and one of the best iMac GPUs bested only by M295X and similar to 780M. It's great even for gaming and modern games, even very demanding ones, run smooth in 1440p.

    Mission Control and Preview (for large photos) animations lag. They lag a lot - much more than one would expect, especially compared to other OS animations which are very smooth (yes, everything else works perfectly fine). This led people to believe it's a software issue. Even if it's not - these are the only two things that lag and it's a minor issue for everyone who doesn't have OCD.

    There are certain things that seem taxing, but their performance is identical on all Retina machines - I doubt they are better on i7/M295X, and they are even sligthly worse on top of the line Retina MacBook Pro. For example, large notes in Evernote are really smooth on non-retina iMacs but are a slightly jerky on retina ones. This is mostly due to optimisations and not hardware, but it's something to note.

    The Fusion Drive is very fast, completely silent and the system flies.

    The base model is quite cool and fans rarely kick in (only heard them during games)

    Basically, the performance is great. You will not regret getting the base model. People who are dissatisfied are usually upgrading from a fully upgraded 2013 iMac and are expecting a performance increase.
     
  6. capitanbuzo macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2007
    #6
    What is the gaming experience like for games like WoW or Skyrim? I'm debating a base retina iMac, the one with an i7 and a M295X or going the hackintosh route but I'm curious as to the riMacs performance here as there is no comparison to the display.
     
  7. blufrog macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2014
    #7
    I can only comment on all the research I did... It seems to be very good. If your reasonable with the resolution (2560x1440) it seems you can run everything fine. You may be able to run individual games at even higher resolution, but it depends on that games base performance, and what you find acceptable.

    Again, it can't be stressed enough that you need to realize the GPU is driving a 5k display, and that despite this it runs very well.
     
  8. jtaylorau, Mar 22, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2015

    jtaylorau macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2014
    #8
    going good till last week when worst nightmare became true after 5 month rimac start ghosting /image retention now gone in for service hate lg displays like rmbp 2012 all over again except it's much bigger take in
     
  9. GatorGhost macrumors regular

    GatorGhost

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2014
    #9
    Buy it! It runs great. I am looking to changing this system out for the third generation when it comes in a couple of years from now. In the mean time I am very satisfied with the system overall and the screen is the deal maker for me. I have not seen any graphics issues that are problematic and have noticed no lagging that I say is not expected with an i5 system versus i7 system with a 4gig card, which would certainly be better. I feel the optimization in Yosemite is possibly the concern versus the base hardware. Just my two cents!
     
  10. aevan macrumors 68000

    aevan

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2015
    Location:
    Serbia
    #10
    How did it manifest? I have some retention but only when using the Image Retention Test - and only on a gray background. I don't notice it in regular work.

    Apple claims this is normal behaviour, so I'm wondering why did they take yours for service? Was it noticeable in regular work?
     
  11. imanidiot macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 1, 2011
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    #11
    Got mine in December and I love it. I considered ordering the upgraded CPU and Graphics card, but like others, was concerned about possible heat/fan noise issues, plus it would have put me over 3K and I was uncomfortable spending that much on a computer (given what I do, mosly text files in Pages and web/email). So I opted for the base model and have been very pleased, had no issues (well, the first one I received had a couple of dead pixels, but I got it replaced, and the second one was perfect). Unless your needs dictate otherwise, I think the base model is great.
     
  12. Steveatesh macrumors regular

    Steveatesh

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2014
    Location:
    North east England
    #12
    Had mine since beginning of Novemebr, no regret at all.
    It is a fast computer, the only lag I see is on some of the tools in Lightroom, and even then that is not too bad.

    Best computer I've had.
     
  13. Astelith macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2014
    Location:
    Spain/Italy
    #13
    I have the maxed out version and I'm completely satisfied, the only think to say is AMD and WoW doesn't tag along very well, if you deactivate shadows and water you can play at 5K with 40-60fps in ultra details.
    For the production tools it's just amazing and I'm sure even the base will do a good job, some unit seems having software issues that cause lag but a lot of people with the base are very happy
     
  14. jtaylorau macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2014
    #14
    first noticed it few weeks ago while using in design as all adobe products use gray backgrounds now appear mission control & solid background after 4min
     
  15. alexxk macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2010
    #15
    I need one for image editing in Lightroom and Photoshop..

    I will wait for a refresh model with better GPU and CPU based on people's feedback.. plus I will add more RAM.. that's the only thing I want to do after I buy..
     
  16. JustMartin macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2012
    Location:
    UK
    #16
    Not sure what you mean by 'hotter than healthy.' You mean hotter than the chips are specified to handle? Well, not according to everything I've read (and I'm sure Apple wouldn't release a system that pushed the chips past specs). You say yourself that you haven't seen or heard any glutting because of heat. So, however hot these things run, it sounds 'healthy' to me
     
  17. Astelith macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2014
    Location:
    Spain/Italy
    #17
    It runs hot, yes, but I trust Apple's engineers, my 5K is running 24/7 since December, a lot of video/photo editing, games, plex transcode server, music production and other tasks, 0 problems, it works like a charm.
     
  18. JustMartin macrumors 6502a

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    Feb 28, 2012
    Location:
    UK
    #18
    my point exactly
     
  19. Astelith macrumors regular

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    Oct 10, 2014
    Location:
    Spain/Italy
    #19
    And to be precise, the GPU core and CPU core runs hot at 100% load, all the other components are always between 30°C and 60°C even after hours of heavy task.

    I have to say that I have a "lucky unit" others are hotter than mine, but no 5K fried so far, so until then, nothing to worry about. :D
     
  20. fathergll macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2014
    #20
    I’ve had the base model with ram upgraded to 24 GB for 4 months. I went with the base model on a calculated gamble based on a three factors

    • Price: By far the cheapest option at the time I could find($2300, no tax and free shipping).
    • Use: I didn’t have immediate need for high end specs(I wasn’t doing 4k editing for a movie or heavy gaming)
    • Predicted reliability: I’ve read firsthand accounts from people who repair Apple computers and they noted thermal issues have been the number one issue with iMacs in the past. I knew the 295x would put more thermal stress on the computer.

    My thoughts so far after 4 months:

    • Pros: Top notch screen, runs cool, no fan noise, can be lighting quick at times in general use

    • Cons: Oddball lag issues pop up almost definitely relating to Yosemite, preview has lag especially with high resolution photos(there is lag at times trying to open up full size files from a 24 MP camera for example)

    My thoughts so far: If Yosemite updates do not improve the lag issues then the 295x would have been a better bet(unless 295x issues pop up down the road with thermal issues). It wasn’t a simple $250 upgrade for me at the time as there were no deals on 295x configurations that I saw that were actually available for purchase. It would have cost me something like an extra $600 just to buy a custom order iMac with a 295x and that was not worth the cost given the all of the unknowns.
     
  21. familychoice macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2015
    #21
    I had the base i5/M290X model and sent mine back. I could put up with the mission control jerkiness and other reported lags, but I had big issues zooming into .pdf files. Have a thread on here about it, and seems unresolved as some also have it, some don't. If you're not using big .pdf's and can put up with some of the lag then it shouldn't be a problem though. Personally I'm waiting for the next refresh before buying.
     
  22. BJB Productions macrumors 65816

    BJB Productions

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2008
    #22
    I purchased one back in November shortly after it was released. I ended up returning it due to the significant light bleed and lag. Now that there's some decent deals on refurbs showing up in the Apple Store, I'm considering giving it another go. The lag really did bother me... they still haven't addressed this in any software updates?

    I was hoping I could hold out for the next refresh but not sure when that will be.
     
  23. fathergll macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2014
    #23
    Nope. It's still there. In your case you either have to wait or grab a 295x GPU model(Which may introduce other issues)
     
  24. jamesschmidtke macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2008
    #24
    I experience lag dragging video thumbnails into vlc, bluray player or any video software. Anyone else notice this? The comp in general is ok,not too many complaints
     
  25. Glockworkorange macrumors regular

    Glockworkorange

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2015
    Location:
    Chicago, Illinois
    #25
    I'm four months in. Fantastic computer. The only negative is the lag in Mission Control. Rest is fine. Then again, I'm just web browsing, using Office and Remote Desktop.

    ----------

    Exact same deal here (but I got Apple Care included). Exact same experience as well.
     

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