iMac Retina vs Non retina

Discussion in 'iMac' started by supercooled, Mar 13, 2015.

  1. supercooled macrumors 6502a

    Sep 6, 2007
    Hi guys, I'm looking for some guidance.

    I'm ready to get an iMac from the refurb store. For someone like myself who wants a fast machine to edit videos and play the occasional games on Steam, should I go with the non-Retina iMac which I'm assuming sacrifices the high resolution panel for faster performance. Is this correct? I'm looking to spend between $2,500-$,3000.

    I want to pick the Retina iMac purely for future proof because of the newer ports, screen, etc. but perhaps it's better to buy the old iMac? I also have a Dell PQ281whatever that's 4k which I will use as a secondary monitor.

    Still not sure which is a better value.

    Any thoughts?
  2. MistrSynistr macrumors 65816

    May 15, 2014
    I'm having your same trouble.

    The screen on the 2013 iMac to me is super HD though because I work off a 1080p monitor now with a 2012 Mac Mini...

    Problem is I went into the Apple Store recently and saw the 5K and now I'm trying to justify the extra $800 or so to get it.
  3. AppleFan360 macrumors 68020

    Jan 26, 2008
    If I were you, I would spring for the 5K iMac. It really is a beautiful display especially if you edit videos. Your second 4K monitor will also make an excellent add-on since you already have it on hand.

    The 5k iMac can easily be had in your price range. Just use the Student/Government store on the Apple site. Also budget in AppleCare (again from the same store) to make sure you protect your investment.

    Sure, it might be a better value to get the non-Retina iMac but if you are willing to spend up to $3000, the retina version is within your reach.

    For your type of usage, I recommend upgrading to the i7 processor. Rendering videos is much faster that way. You should be OK with 8GB of RAM (can be upgraded later if needed) and the 1TB Fusion drive which comes stock. If you can handle it, upgrading the video card might be a good idea as well.
  4. supercooled thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Sep 6, 2007
    I should clear a few things up.

    The currency is canadian. The apple store here only has the x290 video card as I am buying refurbished. I can spring for the i7 but gests show its a very minor bump in performance. That said is the old video card in the 2013 faster than the current and ones?

    I do like the screen but everyone says the base model with the 2gb vram is sketchy and performs badly in some apps.
  5. AppleFan360 macrumors 68020

    Jan 26, 2008
    When rendering videos it is NOT a minor bump.
  6. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Apr 23, 2011
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN

    Heavy multithreaded tasks can be 35-40% faster than a regular i5 in my experience.
  7. campyguy macrumors 68040

    Mar 21, 2014
    I can offer only about 15 minutes of exposure to a riMac, along with owning 27" iMacs since 2009. I was in a local Apple Store this week, and know that I'll be buying an iMac in 4-6 months (one with a VESA mount to go with the Herman Miller Flo Plus I ordered today). I checked it out a few weeks ago, and the second impression left me glad that I left my credit card in the car.

    The screen on the riMac is frickin' awesome, and I have 2 Dell 27" 4k monitors on my desk. The display model I looked at had the 4GB graphics card - it was smooth, responsive, and displayed a few optimized apps with detail I'd never seen on a display screen before. Even the "normal" apps were so detailed I couldn't believe my eyes.

    The riMac will be my next Mac - an i7, and I'll be connecting it to one of my Dell monitors. I'll also be cruising the refurb store right after the new version comes out, and be happy to buy one that will be returned by a person with buyer's remorse.
  8. andy9l macrumors 68000

    Aug 31, 2009
    England, UK
    iMac Retina vs Non retina

    As pointed out, the i7 is NOT a small bump in the right conditions - ie. during multi-threaded processes.

    The M290X does seem to struggle on the 5K iMac, but this is likely, at least partly, down to poorly optimised software - something that will improve in time. Apple do not sell the M295X in refurb units anywhere. It's weird.

    If you're set on a refurb iMac of some sort, I fear the lack of an M295X option means that the fully-loaded 2013 is probably a better option. It's a shame.

    The 5K iMac screen is simply stunning. I'm no photographer, but a photographer friend sent me some photos from his safari. I honestly have never seen anything like it. The screen is the only thing I really miss after returning mine.
  9. steve23094 macrumors 68030


    Apr 23, 2013
    I'm sure they will turn up eventually. I have long wondered how much stock is needed before something turns up on the refurb store.
  10. loteq macrumors newbie


    May 12, 2008
    Ive got 2 5k imacs i5. They both used to stutter quite a bit but Im not sure if its 10.10.2 or what but they are both suddenly quite smooth and the mission control stutter seems to be completely gone.
  11. graybell macrumors newbie

    Apr 10, 2014
    Are there any downsides to the 5K retina apart from price? I remember reading somewhere that they run very hot. What about fan noise? :apple:
  12. fathergll macrumors 65816

    Sep 3, 2014
    The price isn't a downside for the Retina. It's actually an very cheap computer for what you are getting. I think the 21" iMacs are a complete ripoff for example. $1500 for a 21" all in one computer with a 5400 rpm HD. That my friends is pricey.

    Anyway general downsides are(not everyone has them but they have been reported enough times that they are definite issues);

    • Laggy performance with some actions on Yosemite with the M290X video card
    • Loud fan noise on the M295X
    • High GPU heat on the M295X

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11 March 13, 2015