Is the 2017 5k iMac good for daily use?

65301361

macrumors member
Original poster
Sep 24, 2018
37
1
I am thinking update my gtx 775m 27” iMac to a 2017 base model 27” 5k iMac. My worry is if the gpu can handle the screen now? In the past I have noticed a lot of people complaining about the performance of retina Macs( Regina MacBook Pro and 4K or 5k iMacs). They are lag and slow especially in Ui animation even just in light daily use because the gpu are not good enough to handle the high resolution screens which is so disappointing since it’s an expensive machine. As the gpu got a big update in 2017. I assume it will works fine now? So anyone has the base model of 2017 27” iMac can tell me if it works well without any lag or something like that? Thanks!
 

Arctic Moose

macrumors regular
Jun 22, 2017
171
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Gothenburg, Sweden
I upgraded my 2016 to a 2017 (4.2 GHz, Radeon Pro 580 8 GB, 64 GB RAM, SSD only) in the hopes of alleviating the UI glitches. It is much better, but still not great. If you are as picky about the UI smoothness as I am you should really consider if you can afford an iMac Pro. That is what I will be aiming for next time.
 

65301361

macrumors member
Original poster
Sep 24, 2018
37
1
Or
I upgraded my 2016 to a 2017 (4.2 GHz, Radeon Pro 580 8 GB, 64 GB RAM, SSD only) in the hopes of alleviating the UI glitches. It is much better, but still not great. If you are as picky about the UI smoothness as I am you should really consider if you can afford an iMac Pro. That is what I will be aiming for next time.
Or I can just stay at my non-retina screen iMac :)
 
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bbnck

macrumors 6502a
Mar 19, 2009
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Apple addressed the majority of the performance issues you would have noticed in macOS High Sierra. The GPU can handle the Retina display but the operating system wasn't properly optimised. The Window Server now runs on top of Apple's Metal 2 graphics stack so system animations are a lot smoother. The most jarring was Mission Control animations which were a joke under 10.12 Sierra and previous releases – when you opened Mission Control it would lag with literally just five app windows open. Under macOS High Sierra, it takes a tonne of app windows to be able to trigger any kind of animation stalls in Mission Control now. I have a 2017 iMac with a 570 GPU. I don't know if this experience is the same for 2015 iMacs or other 2017 models with less powerful GPUs, but hopefully someone else can confirm that for you.

What I will say is the iMac I have now is a warranty replacement from a 2015 iMac which had a display issue. It had a Radeon R9 M380 and the animation stalls were pretty much the same under macOS Sierra on both machines.
 
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65301361

macrumors member
Original poster
Sep 24, 2018
37
1
that blurry old thing?
Well yes the blurry old daddy. I’m using it now. I think the monitor is very good not blurry. If the high resolution screen is gonna lag the performances I will stay at the old thing :)
[doublepost=1537861211][/doublepost]
Apple addressed the majority of the performance issues you would have noticed in macOS High Sierra. The GPU can handle the Retina display but the operating system wasn't properly optimised. The Window Server now runs on top of Apple's Metal 2 graphics stack so system animations are a lot smoother. The most jarring was Mission Control animations which were a joke under 10.12 Sierra and previous releases – when you opened Mission Control it would lag with literally just five app windows open. Under macOS High Sierra, it takes a tonne of app windows to be able to trigger any kind of animation stalls in Mission Control now. I have a 2017 iMac with a 570 GPU. I don't know if this experience is the same for 2015 iMacs or other 2017 models with less powerful GPUs, but hopefully someone else can confirm that for you.

What I will say is the iMac I have now is a warranty replacement from a 2015 iMac which had a display issue. It had a Radeon R9 M380 and the animation stalls were pretty much the same under macOS Sierra on both machines.
I remember the 2017 iMac came with high Sierra? How could you run it on Sierra?
 

bbnck

macrumors 6502a
Mar 19, 2009
567
311
I remember the 2017 iMac came with high Sierra? How could you run it on Sierra?
2017 iMac update was announced at WWDC and made available on June 5, 2017.

macOS High Sierra was made available on September 25, 2017.

What would these 2017 iMacs have preinstalled if purchased between June and September of that year?
 

65301361

macrumors member
Original poster
Sep 24, 2018
37
1
2017 iMac update was announced at WWDC and made available on June 5, 2017.

macOS High Sierra was made available on September 25, 2017.

What would these 2017 iMacs have preinstalled if purchased between June and September of that year?
I guess Sierra
 

mj_

macrumors 6502a
May 18, 2017
801
466
Austin, TX
I have to agree with @65301361, UI animations are buttery smooth in High Sierra. I never ran Sierra on my 2017 iMac (base model) but I did run it on a 2015 and 2016 MacBook Pro and there was definitely a difference in overall smoothness when upgrading from Sierra to High Sierra. Granted, HS came with its own trainload full of other problems but UI smoothness was definitely not one of them.

I now have Mojave running on the iMac and it has not changed much. Mission Control (aka Expose) with 15 application windows open is smooth from the first go, and I have yet to notice any stutter or lag. I do have to add though that I did experience some minor UI lag on both MacBook Pros in multi-monitor HiDPI setups so I can't vouch for a multi-monitor HiDPI iMac setup.
 

Fishrrman

macrumors Core
Feb 20, 2009
19,376
6,690
IF you're going to get a 2017 iMac, it might be worth adding $200 to the buy-in price and get the 7600 CPU (instead of 7500) and a little better graphics, too.

I WOULD NOT buy ANY iMac UNLESS it came with an internal SSD at this point.
Even the 256gb (adds $100 to price).
 
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mj_

macrumors 6502a
May 18, 2017
801
466
Austin, TX
Honestly, I don't think the 7600 CPU and slightly better GPU are worth the premium. It would make much more sense to invest that money in internal (and/or external) SSD storage and a new backup drive.
 

65301361

macrumors member
Original poster
Sep 24, 2018
37
1
IF you're going to get a 2017 iMac, it might be worth adding $200 to the buy-in price and get the 7600 CPU (instead of 7500) and a little better graphics, too.

I WOULD NOT buy ANY iMac UNLESS it came with an internal SSD at this point.
Even the 256gb (adds $100 to price).
actually I know it might sound unbelievable but I feel the ssd and 7200 hdd are kinda the same in terms of daily using experience. the launch time of the apps are just slightly slow than ssd which is absolutely acceptable for me. so the ssd is not really a must have thing for me.
[doublepost=1537887526][/doublepost]
Apple addressed the majority of the performance issues you would have noticed in macOS High Sierra. The GPU can handle the Retina display but the operating system wasn't properly optimised. The Window Server now runs on top of Apple's Metal 2 graphics stack so system animations are a lot smoother. The most jarring was Mission Control animations which were a joke under 10.12 Sierra and previous releases – when you opened Mission Control it would lag with literally just five app windows open. Under macOS High Sierra, it takes a tonne of app windows to be able to trigger any kind of animation stalls in Mission Control now. I have a 2017 iMac with a 570 GPU. I don't know if this experience is the same for 2015 iMacs or other 2017 models with less powerful GPUs, but hopefully someone else can confirm that for you.

What I will say is the iMac I have now is a warranty replacement from a 2015 iMac which had a display issue. It had a Radeon R9 M380 and the animation stalls were pretty much the same under macOS Sierra on both machines.
you said if you open tonne of apps you can still notice the animation stall? have you updated it to Mojave? Is it better or the same?
 

jerwin

macrumors 68030
Jun 13, 2015
2,771
4,604
What I will say is the iMac I have now is a warranty replacement from a 2015 iMac which had a display issue. It had a Radeon R9 M380 and the animation stalls were pretty much the same under macOS Sierra on both machines.
the m380 was substantially underpowered even when compared to the m390.

m380: 1.6 GFlops
radeon pro 570: 3.9 GFlops
 
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bbnck

macrumors 6502a
Mar 19, 2009
567
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you said if you open tonne of apps you can still notice the animation stall? have you updated it to Mojave? Is it better or the same?
Nothing like it was under OS X El Capitan and macOS Sierra. If I have 15+ app windows open, occasionally Mission Control animations can stutter for a split second when the animation sequence begins. I'm not trying to point out flaws to seed fear and uncertainty into your buying decision, but you asked the question so this is the truth. But you should know Mission Control animates app windows live. We're not talking a static preview of the app window as it was before Mission Control started animating. It will show you any changes that happen to any app window before, during and after the animation sequence and also while Mission Control is open. As a software engineer myself, I would argue animating 14.7 million pixels at once – knowing fair well the app windows might change during and after the animation sequence – and to do that all perfectly 9 times out of 10 – is a pretty remarkable engineering achievement. These iMacs always run at 5120 x 2880, no matter what scaled resolution you choose. The only time it doesn't run at 5K is when you select a low resolution mode, which isn't possible unless you enable the hidden setting in Display preferences.

No, I have not yet upgraded to macOS Mojave. But again, the Window Server now uses Apple's Metal 2 graphics stack and is the single reason system animations are so smooth now. It's like night and day compared to OS X El Capitan and macOS Sierra.
 

Arctic Moose

macrumors regular
Jun 22, 2017
171
208
Gothenburg, Sweden
actually I know it might sound unbelievable but I feel the ssd and 7200 hdd are kinda the same in terms of daily using experience. the launch time of the apps are just slightly slow than ssd which is absolutely acceptable for me. so the ssd is not really a must have thing for me.
Sounds unbelievable is about right, how can you stand the freight train noise? :)
 
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