Is this the right spec for me?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by MsDawe, Jan 11, 2015.

  1. MsDawe macrumors newbie

    Jan 11, 2015
    Hello, I've been lurking on this forum for a while and people here are helpful so I'm asking for some advice.

    My faithful, nine-year-old Dell is showing its age and I'm looking at replacing it.

    I work as a graphic designer in a PC-based office but occasionally dabble at home. I'm using Adobe CS2 but hope to upgrade to CS6 once I've updated my home computer. I primarily use InDesign, Illustrator and Photoshop. I'm really getting into my photography at the moment and process quite a few RAW files so this will be the replacement's main use.

    I've looked at the 15" MacBook Pro Retina which is a bit cheaper than the iMac Retina (I'm in the UK). To be honest though I don't need the portability, I'm not keen on doing design on a laptop and that lovely retina display will be lost as it will just be plugged into another monitor.

    I've spec'd up the following iMac 5K Retina:

    1. i5 3.5GHz - I can do i7 if you think it's necessary or more 'future-proof'.
    2. 512GB SSD - I use just over half of my Dell's 256GB hard drive and over the past six months I've started backing things up to two separate external hard drives. I think the 512GB will be enough and the SSD seems to be preferable over Fusion.
    3. 8GB of RAM - I'll upgrade this myself but since I only have 1GB at the moment and a 512GB graphics card anything is a bonus!
    4. AMD M290x 2GB - I think this is enough or do I need the M295X?
    This is a fairly big investment for me so I want to get it right and to last me at least five years. I've looked at Windows PCs but the consensus from colleagues is that Macs, although more expensive are worth the extra initial outlay for the relatively hassle-free life you get from them.

    Thanks in advance.
  2. mojolicious macrumors 68000


    Mar 18, 2014
    Sarf London
    That'll do you for five years. I wouldn't automatically upgrade the RAM beyond 8GB, either.

    The video upgrade would only be an issue if you were a gamer, or looking to get into serious video editing.

    If you're currently using ~120GB of disk space and are 'archive disciplined' then I'd be tempted to go with the 256GB storage and upgrade to the i7 processor. Would make it an easier and more valuable sale in a few years' time, even if you don't really 'need' the extra processing power.
  3. ixxx69 macrumors 65816

    Jul 31, 2009
    United States
    I agree with everything Mojo said, except I would recommend sticking with the 500GB SSD. Those RAW photo files will take up a lot of space. The longer you don't have to offload them to an external drive, the happier you'll be. The i5 is plenty of CPU (especially considering what the OP has been using), and the i7 won't be missed for the stated usage. I don't recommend getting features you don't need just for resale value. However, if the extra money for the i7 is no big deal, then certainly get it.
  4. andy9l macrumors 68000

    Aug 31, 2009
    England, UK
    It looks like you've already done the research yourself and are looking for validation - great.

    The short answer is yes; that iMac will last you a good 3 years or more. It will be an incredible jump in performance in the short-term too.

    Whilst the i7/M295X build is singled out in ongoing disputes about potential heat problems, there appears to be very few problems with the i5/M290X build you're looking at buying. I'd go for it - and enjoy the outstanding screen.

    In the short time I had my i7/M295X model, my colleague sent me some RAW photos in just over 4K resolution. I can honestly say they took my breath away - I've never seen anything like it. I'm returning my 5K iMac, and I'll still admit to that. It's absolutely fantastic for photography.

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