iMac upgrade from mid 2011 to late 2014?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by apoenq, Jul 7, 2015.

  1. apoenq macrumors member

    May 21, 2015
    Hi guys, would like ask for your advice on my plan to upgrade my iMac 21" mid 2011 (8gb ram, 500gb hdd) to iMac 27" late 2014 5K (8gb ram, 1tb fusion drive). this used iMac 27" late 2014 will cost me around ~1700USD include apple care until Nov 2017. my iMac 21" mid 2011 can give me around ~500USD if I sell it I believe. So the net money that I need to fork out is around 1200USD. Is this a worth an upgrade?

    My only concern is 5K imac cannot be used as external monitor. >.< do u think the current spec can last for 5-6 years? I don't do professional video/photo editing and high end graphic gaming (I know then why I want to buy 5K iMac right? hahaha). I am interested to buy this 5K iMac because of the reasonable or cheap price. :) Appreciate ur feedback and comment!
  2. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Apr 23, 2011
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    It's a massive upgrade from what you have. And if you're not planning to do heavy video editing or hardcore gaming, it'll last you for 5 years easily.
  3. apoenq thread starter macrumors member

    May 21, 2015
    hi thanks for the reply. How bout the price? is it too high from the market price for late 2014 (base model)? is 1.7K USD cheap? hmm..
  4. Jim L, Jul 7, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2015

    Jim L macrumors regular

    Jul 16, 2011
    The Piedmont, NC
    Hi. I just went from a similar iMac to the Retina.
    OLD iMac: mid 2011 21.5" 16 gb RAM & 250 gb SSD from OWC
    NEW iMac: late 2014 27" 8 gb RAM & 256 gb SSD. I have an additional 16 gb of OWC memory on the way.

    I'm still testing and haven't received/installed the additional memory yet in the new iMac.
    • The increased real estate on the 27" screen is appreciated
    • The wi-fi is marginally faster
    • The newer bluetooth LE 4.0 enables some additional handoff/continuity features
    • Based on the BlackMagic benchmarks I did on the SSDs, the write speed is > double and read speed 50%+ higher than the old iMac
    • The key feature of this iMac is the display and I have found using any application where I'm reading text is a pleasure because of the added crispness. When I jump back to the older display things look a little blurry to me.
    • Off-angle viewing on the new iMac is better too. I think because the display is closer to the front of the glass with less air gap but also due to some other factors.
    • Up-scaled 1080p video looks better to me on the new display.
    • The contrast of the newer retina display also looks better to me.
    • Surprisingly, for the power and size of the new 27" retina
      • It runs cooler than the old iMac (based on touch as well as temperature indications)
      • It weighs only a half pound more!
      • I'm going to do some more tests, but I think it consumes less power in normal use
    Is it worth it? For the ~$1200 differential (including your discounts and sale of your old iMac) it seems like a great deal.
    To me it is worth it so I'm 90% sure I will keep the new iMac (just received it 6 days ago). I will be selling my old one as well.

    I would make one comment about your planned configuration. I'm not a fan of spinning hard drives any more. I would much rather have a smallish 256 gb SSD than a 3 TB fusion drive. Hard drives always fail after a few years and they produce more heat and noise which I also hate. You can always add more storage on your network via an Airport Extreme or using other shares, or you can add storage externally to the iMac via USB3 or Thunderbolt. I would consider going with a pure SSD as large as you can afford. And at some point you might want to add 8 gb more RAM.
  5. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Apr 23, 2011
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    It's really cheap. The price from Apple for the 3.5/8/1TB FD/M290X is $2299.
  6. davekarn macrumors 6502

    Jul 27, 2007
    Not meaning to hijack the topic but reading through this got me excited to upgrade from my mid-2007 24" iMac to the late 2014 iMac 5k! If it's a huge improvement from 2011 to the new one, I have a lot to look forward to. Luckily I never had any hardware failures with the old one at all in the last 8 years. Hoping for the same luck with the one on its way!
  7. apoenq thread starter macrumors member

    May 21, 2015
    Hi Jim, yjchua, dave appreciate for your comments on help on this! regarding the storage configuration since it is used iMac i cannot change fusion drive to SSD. >.< but fusion drive is still much faster than normal hdd right? my understanding that fusion is SSD+HDD inside but i am not sure how the computer manage the storage yah? all apps install to SSD? can we even choose to save files/application to which drive? sorry am noob in this fusion drive thing.. :(
  8. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Apr 23, 2011
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    OS X handles Fusion Drive by itself, whereby the most commonly used files (and the OS itself) will be stored on the SSD, while less frequently used files will be stored in the HDD side. You can't choose which goes to the SSD and which goes to the HDD - OS X does that for you. Unless, you de-fuse the Fusion Drive setup and split them back into two physical drives instead of making two drives appear as one.
  9. apoenq thread starter macrumors member

    May 21, 2015
    i see thank for your explanation. Fusion drive is quite useful then, i think 128GB SSD is enuf for the OS and normal apps..:)

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8 July 7, 2015