iMac vs Macbook Pro vs other options?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by dvrkclouds, Aug 7, 2015.

  1. dvrkclouds macrumors newbie

    Aug 7, 2015
    hi everyone,

    interested in buying a iMac from Apple store for photography purposes

    spending range $1200-$1500 and would like to know what is my best option

    -plan to buy 2.75ghz processor

    -with or without fusion drive

    i understand fusion drive is combination of 128gb flash storage with 1 or 3 TB harddrive.

    my question is: will this fusion drive be a problem when uploading/transfering/working with numerous photos(ex. more than 128gb) from my camera...?

    i want fusion drive for the purpose of working simultaneously with programs/photos, is this a good enough reason to buy it?

    i don't ever plan to fill up 1TB quickly however i see myself easily surpassing 128gb, therefore, will fusion drive be full and become slow after SSD is full?

    Macbook Pro is option as well, I do not care much for portability because i have old macbook pro that I use as backup however it is not fast enough to run software anymore...

    Retina display is also not a huge deal in my opinion, I tend like the big screen and working stationary is not a problem

    I haven't done as much research into the notebooks because I have wanted a iMac from the start, my family has recommended new Macbook Pros, Air instead because they seem to have similar capabilities...

    Are they right? Or do I have better options?

    Thank you for your help !!!

  2. McGiord macrumors 601


    Oct 5, 2003
    Dark Castle
    Go for the iMac with the Fusion Drive. Check the refurbished store, if not in a hurry wait a few more months for the new retina iMacs to be released for a better deal.
  3. /V\acpower macrumors 6502a

    Jul 31, 2007
    To answer your questions about Fusion Drives :

    Basically, it start by filling the 128 gb SSD and when it is filled it will start moving stuff to the HDD.

    However, it's not that "new stuff will get to the HDD", it's just that when you have more than 128gb of data, the system start moving data from the SSD to the HDD based on an algorithm that tries to make an estimate of which file are you likely to use a lot and which won't. (well technically it's more complicated, but that's the big summary).

    Also, it always leave 4gb of free space on the SSD for new files. So, when you download a new file, it is written on the SSD, and later the Fusion Drive will decide if that file remain on the SSD or if it get moved on the HDD.

    But all of this happen without you really noticing anything. Even "speed", opening picture is still fast on an HDD so while you may "feel" things opening a little slower sometimes, it's nothing that will make a big difference.

    Basically, the biggest difference you will get is with Boot times and app opening time. Most of it will remain on the SSD since those are files that are likely to be used often.


    So, to summarize, Fusion Drive will be fine. It's like you had a SSD and an external HDD, but you have OS X manage which file goes where instead of you.

    Also, the "speed of the Fusion Drive" is kind of an abstract concept, since it depend of which files are where. What I can say (using one since fall 2013), is that even if there is sometimes stuff that take a little while to open, it's never a "general slowdown of the OS", and most of the time it's very subtle. I think it work great.

    However, if you are to buy a 21,5 inch iMac, I suggest then you go with the 256GB SSD, since the HDD in this smaller model is slower and it will probably feel clearly slower when some stuff are not on the SSD.

    I honestly don't understand what you are saying, it doesn't make sense. I think you are thinking about RAM, since this is the thing that will let you open more apps and photos simultaneously. Fusion Drive is about storage, and storage speed simply mean that it will make app and files open faster, but once they are running, it won't affect how smooth every apps perform.
  4. /V\acpower macrumors 6502a

    Jul 31, 2007
    Also, whatever you decide, don't forget to backup. Buy a Time Capsule or an external HDD that is bigger that your storage and let Time Machine backup everything. Even if you use an external HDD to store your photos, then get a second HDD for Time Machine and make it backup the other external HDD too.
  5. dvrkclouds thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 7, 2015
    Thank you for all that info! I will probably go with 256GB SSD since I am interested in the smaller iMac model it seems a better option for my purpose. As for RAM, will 8GB Memory be sufficient?
  6. warrenl macrumors member


    Jun 23, 2015
    I would recommend at least 16GB. I would also recommend getting an external drive, and using that to store a back up of your photos. Use the internal SSD to do an initial sort/edit then move the photos to the external. Also have another external as back up.

    If you are okay with your existing Macbook, then get the iMac
  7. dvrkclouds thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 7, 2015
    Thank you Warren. I bought the iMac today and actually exceeded my budget by upgrading the RAM but I am happy with my decision, here is what I added:
    2.9GHZ processor
    16GB Memory
    256GB SSD

    Total was around $1869, came with free Beats Headphones !
    Thank you all for the help!

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