Is entry level iMac future proof enough?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by bakatamaki, Sep 26, 2013.

  1. bakatamaki macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2013
    #1
    Hi there,

    I own a 2010 macbookpro entry level which i use mainly for web browsing and watching video. I seldom game but occasionally i play teamfortress 2 and minecraft.

    I am looking to buy a 2013 haswell 21.5inch iMac but not quite sure what spec should i spend my money on. My old MBP is still working fine but is quite frust that i cannot on many programs at a time as it running at 2.4GHz core 2 duo.
    I have just finished university so a dekstop with big screen look great to watch video on!:) If i got the entry level 2013 iMac i am afraid that in 3 or 4 years i will be frustrated with it just like my MBP. I need opinions that should i pay some extra money for 2.9GHz 21.5" or just get a entry level iMac? I am very unhappy to run a 5400rpm harddisk so regardless which iMac i chose i'd probably get a fusion drive or SSD ( They are the same price now!) Which drive you guys think is better?

    PS. In my country an entry level iMac cost almost 2x the average salary of uni fresh grad. So no i wont max out the iMac, it cost too much to do that, probably just upgrade the harddisk to save some $$. So i really hope this imac would keep me happy for at least 3-5 years.

    Thank you.
     
  2. Idarzoid macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2013
    #2
    RAM upgrade to 16GB and hard drive upgrade should be fine. (Since you can't upgrade either of these at a later date.)

    If you want a decent speed and some capacity, 1TB/3TB fusion drive, if you want speed and you have external storage, go with SSD.

    As for the CPU, it depends, if you're going to be doing a lot of video rendering, photo processing, the extra threads on i7 will help, if not, i5 will be enough.

    Iris Pro will handle TF2 and Minecraft without any problems.
     
  3. bakatamaki thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Sep 26, 2013
    #3
    Yea if my 3 years old entry level can handle TF2 and minecraft so should the latest imac model. I just use this 2 games as example that i do occasionally play some game.

    What i am worrying now is if i get the lower end model of 21.5", will i be changing a new computer for the same reasons as i changing now ( too slow and laggy even in minecraft). Since i paying alot more now i really hope that even the entry level iMac can keep me happy for more than 3 years. XD

    If you were in my shoe, you only have extra money for either a better CPU & graphic card (2.7GHz or 2.9GHz) or better harddrive, which one would you prefer?

    Sorry i use long and naggy word. Thanks for the patience.
     
  4. Bear macrumors G3

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    #4
    16GB of RAM and I'd say a Fusion drive so you have a reasonable size disk in the iMac. This should future proof the system a fair bit.
     
  5. iStiggy macrumors member

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    Mar 24, 2013
    #5
    If your budget is really tight, I would get the 256 SSD and not upgrade the ram. If your need to swap memory it will be faster than a spinning disk and you can always add external drives to the iMac. I know that swapping memory will shorten the life of the SSD, but in 3-7 years you will upgrade again. You probably won't be swapping too much in the near future. So I wouldn't worry about shortening the SSD life span.
     
  6. Bear macrumors G3

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    #6
    The memory in a 21.5" iMac are no longer user upgradeable, that's why I recommended getting the 16GB right away.
     
  7. bakatamaki thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Sep 26, 2013
    #7
    well, if i chose to upgrade to 16gb i probably have to gave up the SSD/FD option as they cost around the same to upgrade. upgrading ram from apple is just way to expensive T.T
     
  8. jg321, Sep 26, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2013

    jg321 macrumors 6502

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    #8

    If you have to choose between the RAM and the FD/SSD, I'd choose the FD/SSD every time, as this will give the most noticeable improvement in day-to-day tasks.

    I'd suggest the SSD; you can always supplement storage with an external drive later. Unless you know you have a shed load of data that you need access to all the time, in which case FD.
     
  9. bobtennis macrumors member

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    Jul 8, 2013
    #9
    Although I would tend to side with Bear, about having as much memory as you can at the start because it is not user upgradable (easily), you may have a point that the SSD can compensate somewhat for a lack of memory.

    I have a MacBook Air with 2 gb memory and a 128gb SSD, and it page-outs frequently, yet, I don't even notice it much because the memory swap to the SSD is so quick. I'd say this is good to a point, the more memory that needs swapping, the more you will notice slowdowns. So, if your demands are not too heavy on memory, and you don't page out too frequently, it may make sense to go the SSD route over the increased memory, if you must make a choice.

    My head still tells me avoiding the need to swap memory is better, and the standard 8gb is probably enough for most users (at this point in time, anyway), but, I would still feel more comfortable with that 16gb headroom. But, if it comes to a choice based on budget, it may work to opt for the SSD or Fusion instead.
     
  10. MrGimper macrumors 601

    MrGimper

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    Andover, UK
    #10
    The other option of course is to buy a pre-owned 2012 model with 16gb+ RAM and a Fusion drive. I guess the prices have dropped since the new models have come out.

    Do you HAVE to have the latest model? Just a thought...
     
  11. bakatamaki thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Sep 26, 2013
    #11
    That a good option too, but apple store online (where you can get student discount) dont sell their old products?

    Anyone have any idea how much a 2012 model gonna cost?
     
  12. MrGimper macrumors 601

    MrGimper

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    Sep 22, 2012
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    Andover, UK
    #12
    Is Student Discount still available on the Apple Store Refurb purchases? I don't know.

    Got to the online store and in the search box type "refurb"... Should get a link to their refurb products
     
  13. AaronM5670 macrumors 6502

    AaronM5670

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  14. Serban Suspended

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    Jan 8, 2013
    #14
    To OP. In your case take the base model of the high end 21.5". And if you can afford take Fusion drive. The 750M with 1g vRAM it will still work fine in the next 2-3 years. 16 gRam maybe in the next year you will not need, the SSD or Fusion drive is not a MUST, you can always wait 2-3-4 seconds more/app. But your GPU you will always use.

    So my advice for you take the high end model 21.5" with 750M, and based on your money put fusion drive, and 3rd place put 16 GB RAM.

    So base model with 16 GB RAM+Fusion Drive< base high end 21.5"
     
  15. Serban Suspended

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    #15
  16. bakatamaki thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Sep 26, 2013
    #16
    i am sorry, there is no refurbished model available on my country. :(
     
  17. stiligFox macrumors 6502a

    stiligFox

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    #17
    Without reading the rest of the thread, if you do get the baseline 21.5 iMac, upgrade to Max ram, as it is next to impossible to do it later, since disassembling the iMac is extremely hard.

    I'd go Max ram, SSD, one notch up graphics, and you should be good for 5-6 years, if not more.
     
  18. TrollToddington macrumors 6502

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    Feb 27, 2011
    #18
    I've been using my 2010 i3 iMac 21.5" which I bought in Jan 2011. My usage is more or less the same as yours, web browsing, document writing, video, Aperture (Nikon D700), Sibelius. My iMac is still pushing it, it works like new. I think I may get a few more years out of it, basically, I intend to use it until it's hardware crashes.

    My opinion is that even the base 21.5" 2013 Haswell iMac is an overkill for what you need it to do in the newxt few years. If I were you I'd get the 256GB SSD upgrade if I were to futureproof the computer.
     
  19. bakatamaki thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Sep 26, 2013
    #19
    wow, quite a few suggested upgrading the RAM, i don't understand, 8gb is not enough??
     
  20. leman macrumors 604

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    Oct 14, 2008
    #20
    Get an SSD or Fusion Drive, you don't really need upgraded RAM. People recommend it because... well, I am not sure actually. There is no real reason to assume that your would need 16GB RAM for the stuff you do over the next 3-5 years. If anything, the OS X is becoming more RAM-efficient. And with an SSD, occasional page-out is almost unnoticeable. You only need that much RAM if you are working with large data sets. Which does not seem to be the case.

    As to the graphics, a 750M will serve you longer if you are interested in gaming. But Iris Pro is certainly 'good enough' for games like Minecraft.
     
  21. Idarzoid macrumors 6502

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    Mar 15, 2013
    #21
    It usually is, but the problem with retina/Air/21.5" iMac models, you can't upgrade the RAM. (first two you can't, the latter you kinda can but you'd have to take it apart.)
     
  22. Serban Suspended

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    Jan 8, 2013
    #22
    its more than enough for now..but if you want to keep the imac for more than 2-3 years...i think than 16gb RAM will be the new 8gb RAM. Think about it ..in 4 years i think even the OSX will ask minimum 8 gb RAM
     

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