Is the $100 price difference worth it on 2015 iMac?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by gipmac, Nov 12, 2015.

  1. gipmac macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2015
    Location:
    Atlanta
    #1
    I'm new to the forum and need some help.

    I'm comparing the late 2015 27" iMac mid-tier base model with 512 GB SSD vs top tier model base model with 512 GB SSD. It looks like the difference between the two is the step up to a 3.3 Ghz processor and M395 AMD RMD video card on the top tier model. I will be using my iMac for spreadsheet, iBank, minor photo editing, music and basic home use. Should I step up to the top tier model for a $100 price difference?
     
  2. bent christian Suspended

    bent christian

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2015
    #2
    Either one sounds like overkill for these uses.
     
  3. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2013
    #3
    For that use case any modern computer will kill it, buy whatever you like.
     
  4. DaakuMaujii macrumors member

    DaakuMaujii

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2015
    #4
    I agree. For your use case, the low-end model with Fusion Drive would be sufficient. I personally love the true SSDs because they are amazingly fast, but the Fusion Drive on my office Mac gives good enough speeds for booting Mac OS X and running applications and have large storage capacities.

    My suggestion based on your requirements; the low-end model M380, 8GM RAM and 2TB fusion would work great. Wonderful machine with relatively fast storage and large enough capacity to store photos and videos. Optional true SSD, but then I'd consider the 256GB and attach a 2TB USB-powered external HD to the back of the iMac stand (they only cost about 100$).
     
  5. gipmac thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2015
    Location:
    Atlanta
    #5
    Thanks for your comments. I was considering the mid-tier option to sort of future proof as I plan on keeping the iMac for at least 5 years.
     
  6. Coldmode macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2010
    #6
    Even the base model should last that long. We're talking a few percentage points of performance between base and mid at this point.
     
  7. gipmac thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2015
    Location:
    Atlanta
    #7
    Thanks for helping me sort this out. I will get the smaller SSD but stick with the base unit.
     
  8. DaakuMaujii macrumors member

    DaakuMaujii

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2015
    #8
    Do you think your needs will change over the next five years? Most Macs survive five years before they are retired and replaced with newer models.

    The Fusion Drive offers ~500 to 600MB/sec transfer rate, the true SSD somewhere in the range of 1500 to 1800MB/sec. It only makes a difference if you read and write large files often. For regular office use the Fusion Drive is fast enough you probably won't notice the difference with the true SSDs. Use external hard drives to backup your data or storage large files you don't access frequently, whether you use a Fusion Drive or SSD.

    Regarding graphics, to only real benefit comes from pushing the graphics card. The M390 give a good performance jump over the M380 (up to a decent 40 to 50%). If any change of gaming is involved I would definitely recommend the M390 over M380. The M395 only gives you 10 maybe 20% improvement in the best scenario's. But only if you use GPU intensive tasks, like gaming. Future application may rely more heavily on the GPU for data processing such as video editing. Worst case is you'll have to wait a little longer for the task to complete. With gaming it may be more relevant because better GPU gives you better frame rates or higher quality graphics.

    When it comes to memory, in a couple of years consider an upgrade to 16GB. For now 8GB should be sufficient.

    If money is not an issue, by all means get the best you can afford. It provides the only guarantee it will last longer. If money is tight, save the extra bucks and consider selling the iMac when it becomes too slow for your use and use that money to buy the then next-generation iMac that will be even better than the current.
     
  9. Fishrrman macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #9
    I think you'd do just fine with the 2tb fusion drive model, which offers a 128gb internal PCIe based SSD paired with a 2gb HDD.

    It will be PLENTY fast, and have all the internal storage you'll need for quite some time.
     
  10. bent christian Suspended

    bent christian

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2015
    #10
    People seem to not understand that computer systems are plateauing for all but those with very specific, generally professional, needs. They throw large amounts of money away, unnecessarily. The paradigm is changing. Any quad core with 8GB of RAM and at least a 7200rpm drive is going to be relevant for basic use, for the next ten years. Internet technology and applications will change. Those changes will not outstrip the very fast base model systems we have available to us today. I still use a Core 2 Duo bought new in 2007. It was mid-tier at the time. This five year old Thinkpad will accomplish all the tasks you mentioned in your OP.
     
  11. dljor macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2013
    #11
    last time that i checked, the difference is only $20 at Education store
     
  12. DaakuMaujii macrumors member

    DaakuMaujii

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2015
    #12
    It is, in the education store. Unfortunately not available for everyone.

    Interestingly, if you also add the CPU upgrade, the high-end model is $25 cheaper than the same-specced mid-end model. Those prices on the new iMac are really weird :/
     

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