iMac upgrades

Discussion in 'iMac' started by DJ_Jungle, Dec 18, 2015.

  1. DJ_Jungle macrumors newbie

    Dec 18, 2015
    Hi Everyone,

    I'm looking to make some upgrades to a new 21.5" 4k iMac I'm planning on purchasing. I would like to upgrade the RAM to 16g and upgrade to a fusion drive. Are both these upgrades worthy? If I upgrade to fusion drive, I was thinking about upgrading to the 2T version since it has 128g of flash and the 1T only has 24g of flash.

    What do people think? I don't do any hard core stuff on my mac (no video processing), but I would like to use this new iMac for 8 or 9 years if I can push it that long. I mostly use Photos, Mail, iTunes, web browsing, MS Office, Google docs, and some Garage Band. I would like to possibly use some DJ'ing software and possibly Ableton in the future. I would probably also use iMovie at some point (I don't think I'll ever get to Final Cut pro). Thanks for your advice.
  2. Lankyman macrumors 68000

    May 14, 2011
    Get the 27" (this from someone who owns an older 21.5" iMac). Used to be a great option but sadly no more as Apple have crippled this particular form factor with soldered RAM slow old tech HDD, integrated graphics etc.

    By the time you make one half-way decent with BTO options you may as well have purchased one of the superior 27" models.
  3. MadDane macrumors 6502a

    Apr 5, 2015
    As Lankyman said, you will be better off with the 27". Without taking any discounts into account, you are looking at $2000 for a 21.5" 4k with 16GB RAM + 2TB Fusion Drive - the same as the mid-tier 27". With that you only get the 1TB Fusion Drive, but you will get superior hardware in every other aspect. It will also give you the option of installing RAM down the line, as it is user replaceable. This means that it will cost far less to upgrade than the 21.5".
  4. DJ_Jungle thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 18, 2015
    I'm not sure I want that big of a screen. I think I would prefer the smaller screen and would rather not pay more for a bigger screen unless the better internal hardware makes that much more of a difference. I see your point about the user replaceable RAM. If I were to replace it myself, I would be tempted to upgrade to 32g if I get the 27" iMac. That would mean I should also upgrade to the 2T fusion drive if I do that, right (Apple recommends the 2T fusion drive if you have 32g of RAM). I guess I can just get 16g of RAM and the 1T fusion drive, but I'm hoping to keep this new iMac for 8 or 9 years, so 1T doesn't sound like enough storage for me.

    Even if I go 27" iMac with 8g RAM and 2T fusion drive (with intent to upgrade RAM myself), that's starting to sound more expensive. I am concerned about the integrated graphics, but I figure I'll just be messing around with Photos and iMovie (no Final Cut), so it won't make that big of a difference. Am I wrong? I don't mind spending some money for quality, but I don't want to overspend on things I don't need/use. Thanks for the advice.
  5. MadDane macrumors 6502a

    Apr 5, 2015
    Since you are talking about keeping the iMac for so long I would highly recommend that you get a Mac that you can at least upgrade the RAM on. The 1TB Fusion Drive only has enough SSD memory for the OS. The 2TB would give you a larger HDD (again, same for both sizes). What I would do is to get the most reliable storage (SSD) for the OS and applications and then supplement with external USB3 storage. That way if/when the HDD gives up all you do is unplug the drive and replace it with a new.

    With the 27" you get better hardware as I mentioned. The graphics card is discreet vs. integrated in the 21.5". You get a faster processor and you can choose to upgrade to faster RAM. If you end up with an internal HDD it will also be faster (7200rpm vs. 5400rpm). With the needs you are mentioning I would probably leave it at 8GB RAM for the time being and in a few years from now upgrade with 2x8GB sticks, giving you a total of 24GB. Also, once you have had a 27" screen there is no way you would want a smaller one (in my experience). It is so much more useful with the extra screen real estate.

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