Is there any reason to wait for the new iMacs besides price?

Kurrgo

macrumors member
Original poster
Oct 6, 2014
42
0
I'm working on a project on a somewhat short timeframe and am looking to buy a new iMac to work on it. I do alot of photo editing and amateur video projects so I'll be doing very little video editing.

I'm going to buy the 21.5" and select the following specs:
3.1GHz Quad-core Intel Core i7, Turbo Boost up to 3.9GHz
16GB 1600MHz DDR3 SDRAM - 2X8GB
1TB Fusion Drive


PS - is the fusion drive really worth the $200? I typically buy applecare so don't want to do self-install due to warranty issues.

Thanks!
 

MartinAppleGuy

macrumors 68020
Sep 27, 2013
2,243
888
I'm working on a project on a somewhat short timeframe and am looking to buy a new iMac to work on it. I do alot of photo editing and amateur video projects so I'll be doing very little video editing.

I'm going to buy the 21.5" and select the following specs:
3.1GHz Quad-core Intel Core i7, Turbo Boost up to 3.9GHz
16GB 1600MHz DDR3 SDRAM - 2X8GB
1TB Fusion Drive


PS - is the fusion drive really worth the $200? I typically buy applecare so don't want to do self-install due to warranty issues.

Thanks!
I know of many users who would recommend a FD but all of those users have not tried the same Mac with a HDD. Most compare their FD iMac to a much older HDD iMac so it's not exactly a fair comparison. I have the 2013 21.5" iMac with a HDD and find it great :) It boots up in around 30 seconds which is around double that of the fusion/SSD alternative but most Mac users only restart once in a blue moon so I never see that being a factor. As for app launching times, I have hardly any difference between my iMac and a similarly specced MBP retina 15" with an SSD. This is because once an app has been opened for the first time, parts of the app are stored in RAM so that it can launch faster the next time it is open. So in really terms, opening an app on a HDD may take 2 seconds longer than on the FD for the first time after a restart, but after that they will be so close that it would be a tie.

As for an update to the iMacs, I don't see any changes to the 21.5" iMacs, just a 5K 27" iMac.
 

Kurrgo

macrumors member
Original poster
Oct 6, 2014
42
0
I know of many users who would recommend a FD but all of those users have not tried the same Mac with a HDD. Most compare their FD iMac to a much older HDD iMac so it's not exactly a fair comparison. I have the 2013 21.5" iMac with a HDD and find it great :) It boots up in around 30 seconds which is around double that of the fusion/SSD alternative but most Mac users only restart once in a blue moon so I never see that being a factor. As for app launching times, I have hardly any difference between my iMac and a similarly specced MBP retina 15" with an SSD. This is because once an app has been opened for the first time, parts of the app are stored in RAM so that it can launch faster the next time it is open. So in really terms, opening an app on a HDD may take 2 seconds longer than on the FD for the first time after a restart, but after that they will be so close that it would be a tie.

As for an update to the iMacs, I don't see any changes to the 21.5" iMacs, just a 5K 27" iMac.
Is HHD the standard, non-fusion drive?

Thanks for all of the information. It is truly appreciated! Thank you!
 

airjay75

macrumors regular
Oct 1, 2014
199
158
It is possible that all of the iMacs will see an update of some sort - increased processor speed, more memory, better video cards, etc. Also possible that we will only see a new 27" retina iMac, and possible there won't be any update to the iMacs at all. I am also in the market for a 21.5" iMac, but I'm waiting until after the rumored Oct. 16th event to make a decision.
 

Kurrgo

macrumors member
Original poster
Oct 6, 2014
42
0
I know of many users who would recommend a FD but all of those users have not tried the same Mac with a HDD. Most compare their FD iMac to a much older HDD iMac so it's not exactly a fair comparison. I have the 2013 21.5" iMac with a HDD and find it great :) It boots up in around 30 seconds which is around double that of the fusion/SSD alternative but most Mac users only restart once in a blue moon so I never see that being a factor. As for app launching times, I have hardly any difference between my iMac and a similarly specced MBP retina 15" with an SSD. This is because once an app has been opened for the first time, parts of the app are stored in RAM so that it can launch faster the next time it is open. So in really terms, opening an app on a HDD may take 2 seconds longer than on the FD for the first time after a restart, but after that they will be so close that it would be a tie.

As for an update to the iMacs, I don't see any changes to the 21.5" iMacs, just a 5K 27" iMac.
Thanks again! One more question. If I upgrade all of the components I'm looking at on the 21.5, it comes out to around the same price 27". However, the 27" has a 7200 rpm HDD drive 3.2GHz quad-core Intel Core i5
. I was going to upgrade the 21.5 to a 3.1 i5. Does the screen size impace performance at all? In other words, if I can pay around the same amount for the 27", are there any drawbacks? It seems like the 7200 rpm is a significant benefit if I'm getting the same (or .1) more processing speed.
 

MartinAppleGuy

macrumors 68020
Sep 27, 2013
2,243
888
Thanks again! One more question. If I upgrade all of the components I'm looking at on the 21.5, it comes out to around the same price 27". However, the 27" has a 7200 rpm HDD drive 3.2GHz quad-core Intel Core i5
. I was going to upgrade the 21.5 to a 3.1 i5. Does the screen size impace performance at all? In other words, if I can pay around the same amount for the 27", are there any drawbacks? It seems like the 7200 rpm is a significant benefit if I'm getting the same (or .1) more processing speed.
The 3.2Ghz CPU in the entry 27" is actually the same CPU as in the high end 21.5" (with the difference being the base clock is lower on the 21.5" [2.9 vs 3.2] but the turboboost speeds are the same [3.6]). You will see very little difference in this (and the difference between a 5400RPM HDD and a 7200RPM HDD are not major either). If you are upgrading to an i7, you will still be better off with the 21.5" iMac but if you are only upgrading the RAM then go for the 27" (where RAM is upgradable). The GPU on the 27" model is the 755m which performs just a hair faster than the 750m on the 21.5" iMac. This difference will no longer exist due to the 27" iMac running at 1440p rather than 1080p.

As for upgrading RAM, OS X now comes with a RAM compression feature in which inactive parts of RAM can be compressed to allow more data in RAM before having to Swap to disk. This is the reason I bought 8GB of RAM instead of 16GB, as I have been able to use 18.5GB of RAM with my 8GB of RAM before swapping. And just for reference, I do a lot of heavy video editing, photo editing, 3D work, Flash, and gaming. To make this as simple as possible, here is how it 'works' on each OS:

Windows: reach 8GB on 8GB of RAM, slow down to a crawl
OS X <10.8: reach 8GB on 8GB of RAM, slow down to a crawl
OS X 10.9+: reach 8GB, contents of RAM get compressed, reach 18.5GB and slow down to a crawl

Defiantly something to consider, and I have found it to work flawlessly when running many apps at once. If you are running a VM, I would however recommend sticking with the 16GB.

What is it you plan to use your iMac for?
 

imanidiot

Suspended
May 1, 2011
708
506
Denver, CO
It is possible that all of the iMacs will see an update of some sort - increased processor speed, more memory, better video cards, etc. Also possible that we will only see a new 27" retina iMac, and possible there won't be any update to the iMacs at all. I am also in the market for a 21.5" iMac, but I'm waiting until after the rumored Oct. 16th event to make a decision.
I'm in the same boat, looking to replace my mid-2010 21.5" iMac. I almost pulled the trigger on a refurb last week, but heard the rumors about Oct. 16 and have decided to wait. I've been going back and forth about this since the current iMacs were refreshed last Sept., so what's another 10 days at this point?
 

Wayfarer

macrumors 65816
Jun 15, 2007
1,174
353
Yes, the fusion drive is worth it. Blazing fast read and write speeds and boot time. It's the future.™
 

Kurrgo

macrumors member
Original poster
Oct 6, 2014
42
0
The 3.2Ghz CPU in the entry 27" is actually the same CPU as in the high end 21.5" (with the difference being the base clock is lower on the 21.5" [2.9 vs 3.2] but the turboboost speeds are the same [3.6]). You will see very little difference in this (and the difference between a 5400RPM HDD and a 7200RPM HDD are not major either). If you are upgrading to an i7, you will still be better off with the 21.5" iMac but if you are only upgrading the RAM then go for the 27" (where RAM is upgradable). The GPU on the 27" model is the 755m which performs just a hair faster than the 750m on the 21.5" iMac. This difference will no longer exist due to the 27" iMac running at 1440p rather than 1080p.

As for upgrading RAM, OS X now comes with a RAM compression feature in which inactive parts of RAM can be compressed to allow more data in RAM before having to Swap to disk. This is the reason I bought 8GB of RAM instead of 16GB, as I have been able to use 18.5GB of RAM with my 8GB of RAM before swapping. And just for reference, I do a lot of heavy video editing, photo editing, 3D work, Flash, and gaming. To make this as simple as possible, here is how it 'works' on each OS:

Windows: reach 8GB on 8GB of RAM, slow down to a crawl
OS X <10.8: reach 8GB on 8GB of RAM, slow down to a crawl
OS X 10.9+: reach 8GB, contents of RAM get compressed, reach 18.5GB and slow down to a crawl

Defiantly something to consider, and I have found it to work flawlessly when running many apps at once. If you are running a VM, I would however recommend sticking with the 16GB.

What is it you plan to use your iMac for?
It doesn't look like the Apple website has an upgrade to the i7 available on the base model 27". So I'd be better off with the 21.5 and upgrading to the i7?

I will be doing music recording in Logic, editing of Photography with Lightroom and Photoshop, and some video editing in iMovies and Final Cut Pro. Considering this, which configuration would you go with? The 27" with the 3.5 i5 or the 21.5" with the 3.1 i7? I'm guessing the HDD RAM will be fine for me. I wouldn't be running any type of virtual machine functionality. I would just be using the OS Mac supplies.

There really is alot to consider here. I sincerely appreciate your thoughts and expertise!
 

MartinAppleGuy

macrumors 68020
Sep 27, 2013
2,243
888
It doesn't look like the Apple website has an upgrade to the i7 available on the base model 27". So I'd be better off with the 21.5 and upgrading to the i7?

I will be doing music recording in Logic, editing of Photography with Lightroom and Photoshop, and some video editing in iMovies and Final Cut Pro. Considering this, which configuration would you go with? The 27" with the 3.5 i5 or the 21.5" with the 3.1 i7? I'm guessing the HDD RAM will be fine for me. I wouldn't be running any type of virtual machine functionality. I would just be using the OS Mac supplies.

There really is alot to consider here. I sincerely appreciate your thoughts and expertise!
For your line of work, I think you may be better off getting the 27" with the Core i5, or even just the core i5 21.5" iMac. From my experience, and i7 only really shows itself when rendering a large amount of video where taking 30% off your render times can be worth the money. As for RAM and data transfer speeds from the HDD, you will be perfectly fine for your work. Just as a reference, Photoshop on my 21.5" iMac (2.9-3.6Ghz i5, 8GB RAM, 1TB HDD, 750m GPU) opens in under 2 seconds.

Hope this helps :)
 

Kurrgo

macrumors member
Original poster
Oct 6, 2014
42
0
For your line of work, I think you may be better off getting the 27" with the Core i5, or even just the core i5 21.5" iMac. From my experience, and i7 only really shows itself when rendering a large amount of video where taking 30% off your render times can be worth the money. As for RAM and data transfer speeds from the HDD, you will be perfectly fine for your work. Just as a reference, Photoshop on my 21.5" iMac (2.9-3.6Ghz i5, 8GB RAM, 1TB HDD, 750m GPU) opens in under 2 seconds.

Hope this helps :)
Thanks for the insights! It's nice to understand what will be meaningful for an upgrade. I sincerely appreciate it!

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I'm in the same boat, looking to replace my mid-2010 21.5" iMac. I almost pulled the trigger on a refurb last week, but heard the rumors about Oct. 16 and have decided to wait. I've been going back and forth about this since the current iMacs were refreshed last Sept., so what's another 10 days at this point?
I hear you. I'm tempted to wait as well. Although, I'd love to get the ball moving on my purchase. It doesn't seem like there are any rumors about processors etc....
 

imanidiot

Suspended
May 1, 2011
708
506
Denver, CO
Thanks for the insights! It's nice to understand what will be meaningful for an upgrade. I sincerely appreciate it!

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I hear you. I'm tempted to wait as well. Although, I'd love to get the ball moving on my purchase. It doesn't seem like there are any rumors about processors etc....
If nothing interesting (to me) is announced on Oct. 16, then I'm just gong to do it. I don't care about Retna, or 4 or 5k, I just want a machine that is up to date and a HDD that is not 4 years old. Otherwise, no qualms. I don't want to wait a year, I'm old, and it's not a matter of the latest and greatest. I love the form factor and I just want it to work.
 

Kurrgo

macrumors member
Original poster
Oct 6, 2014
42
0
For your line of work, I think you may be better off getting the 27" with the Core i5, or even just the core i5 21.5" iMac. From my experience, and i7 only really shows itself when rendering a large amount of video where taking 30% off your render times can be worth the money. As for RAM and data transfer speeds from the HDD, you will be perfectly fine for your work. Just as a reference, Photoshop on my 21.5" iMac (2.9-3.6Ghz i5, 8GB RAM, 1TB HDD, 750m GPU) opens in under 2 seconds.

Hope this helps :)
Does anything in this equation change if I'm editing my photos, video, and audio from an external FW800 drive?
 

inhalexhale1

macrumors 65816
Jul 17, 2011
1,020
644
PA
Thanks for the insights! It's nice to understand what will be meaningful for an upgrade. I sincerely appreciate it!

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I hear you. I'm tempted to wait as well. Although, I'd love to get the ball moving on my purchase. It doesn't seem like there are any rumors about processors etc....
I agree, if the 16th is indeed the day updates will be announced, might as well wait a few days and see.
 

Samuelsan2001

macrumors 604
Oct 24, 2013
7,682
2,103
Other than no firewire on new macs??

Does anything in this equation change if I'm editing my photos, video, and audio from an external FW800 drive?
As the Title says Firewire was dropped from all macs a couple of generations ago.
 

Kurrgo

macrumors member
Original poster
Oct 6, 2014
42
0
Nope, everything with still work as above :)
For some reason, I'm nervous about the 5400 rpm RAM on the 21.5. With the 21.5 I can upgrade to the i7. I can't do this with the base model 27" but the 27" has 7200 rpm. Am I overthinking this?
 

Truthfulie

macrumors regular
Dec 18, 2013
248
0
I don't think there'll be much you'd miss much. But I think Fusion may come as a standard with the new models or at least it should, with price of SSDs dropping rapidly.
 

xgman

macrumors 601
Aug 6, 2007
4,780
606
Yes, the fusion drive is worth it. Blazing fast read and write speeds and boot time. It's the future.™
well actually the future is SSD. Fusion is still a cost compromise, but way better than normal drive.

----------

Unfortunately, I spent a decent amount of money on a FW drive when I bought my laptop. I'll get a cable to convert for now.
You would be better off getting an inexpensive USB3 enclosure and moving the actual drive inside the firewire drive itself over to that.
 

MartinAppleGuy

macrumors 68020
Sep 27, 2013
2,243
888
For some reason, I'm nervous about the 5400 rpm RAM on the 21.5. With the 21.5 I can upgrade to the i7. I can't do this with the base model 27" but the 27" has 7200 rpm. Am I overthinking this?
Up to you really, I have never noticed a difference between 5400RPM and 7200RPM and if you are using an external drive for work, it won't matter due to App Caching caching all of the apps you use (which would be on the HDD) so it won't make any difference. I think it breaks down to 27" vs 21.5".
 

Kurrgo

macrumors member
Original poster
Oct 6, 2014
42
0
Up to you really, I have never noticed a difference between 5400RPM and 7200RPM and if you are using an external drive for work, it won't matter due to App Caching caching all of the apps you use (which would be on the HDD) so it won't make any difference. I think it breaks down to 27" vs 21.5".
Ok - last question. It seems like my current processor is what's dated my computer in terms of editing as it can't support 3D in Photoshop. Do I do that alot? No. But I'm wondering if I should be buying the i7 for that reason along. It's the newest and may have more longevity due to this.
 

MartinAppleGuy

macrumors 68020
Sep 27, 2013
2,243
888
Ok - last question. It seems like my current processor is what's dated my computer in terms of editing as it can't support 3D in Photoshop. Do I do that alot? No. But I'm wondering if I should be buying the i7 for that reason along. It's the newest and may have more longevity due to this.
I really don't see any noticeable increase upgrading to an i7 for music production and photo editing. The 21.5" iMac with the 750m (my iMac) GPU supports it and is works great with my i5. I also do a lot of very heavy video editing and I would still struggle to justify an i7. Hope this all helps :)
 

Balckoutgr

macrumors newbie
Aug 9, 2014
28
1
I think there is a huge difference in speed between 5400 and 7200rpm HDD .

There are many videos at youtube with boot times etc.