Just bought the wife a retina iMac

mintakax

macrumors regular
Original poster
Dec 19, 2013
162
8
My wife's passion is photography. She currently has an older Mac Pro . Several months ago I upgraded to a nMP so its her turn to upgrade.
Unbeknownst to her, I just bought her a semi-loaded retina iMac (I7, 1TB SSD,32GB, standard graphics card). She does not do any video.
Did I do the right thing ?
Whats the best external storage short of a Promise TB2 raid ?
 

tillsbury

macrumors 65816
Dec 24, 2007
1,406
306
If your budget restricts you to the standard video card, then I would suggest upgrading that instead of the RAM. You can save at least $200 by ordering a third-party RAM upgrade. Although in fact 16Gb RAM would be more than enough for anything other than very serious use of virtual machines.

If I were you I would cancel and reorder with 8Gb RAM and upgraded video (if you are happy to install your own ram), or 16Gb and upgraded video (if you would rather order with OEM RAM), or 32Gb and upgraded video (if you don't have a budget restriction and can stomach the extra $).
 

mintakax

macrumors regular
Original poster
Dec 19, 2013
162
8
If your budget restricts you to the standard video card, then I would suggest upgrading that instead of the RAM. You can save at least $200 by ordering a third-party RAM upgrade. Although in fact 16Gb RAM would be more than enough for anything other than very serious use of virtual machines.

If I were you I would cancel and reorder with 8Gb RAM and upgraded video (if you are happy to install your own ram), or 16Gb and upgraded video (if you would rather order with OEM RAM), or 32Gb and upgraded video (if you don't have a budget restriction and can stomach the extra $).
Thanks, but my experience (with her machines in the past) is that more ram=better. 16 Gb might do it and although I have installed many ram chips in Macs, I don't want to hassle with it for this one. Given that she doesn't do any video or games , I thought the standard vid card would be sufficient ? Maybe I'll cancel and re-order with the better vid.
 

ToroidalZeus

macrumors 68020
Dec 8, 2009
2,301
821
How long do you plan on keeping the machine? The ram, ssd/hdd and even the cpu are upgradable so it'll be the graphics chip which will limit the longevity of the system.

If I was purchasing the retina iMac I would get the i7 cpu, 8GB of ram, 256gb SSD, 295x. (then upgrade the ram and ssd later with off the shelf parts)

If she doesn't edit videos then 8GB of ram will be plenty and games also don't even take advantage of more than 8GB of ram either. Spending money on ram is probably the worst place to use your funds, even upgrading to a larger SSD would make more sense.
 
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tillsbury

macrumors 65816
Dec 24, 2007
1,406
306
The CPU is not upgradable. The SSD will be, but requires dismantling. The RAM is user-upgradable and so is the only thing you should order low to save money. You can, for example, order 16Gb of third-party RAM and install that to give a total of 24Gb. I would challenge anyone to be able to measure the performance difference between a 24Gb and 32Gb machine, particularly one running OSX Mavericks onwards and using an SSD for any paging requirements.
 

ToroidalZeus

macrumors 68020
Dec 8, 2009
2,301
821
The CPU is not upgradable. The SSD will be, but requires dismantling. The RAM is user-upgradable and so is the only thing you should order low to save money. You can, for example, order 16Gb of third-party RAM and install that to give a total of 24Gb. I would challenge anyone to be able to measure the performance difference between a 24Gb and 32Gb machine, particularly one running OSX Mavericks onwards and using an SSD for any paging requirements.
iFixit says the CPU is not soldered in place and uses a socket instead.

Extra ram doesn't improve performance unless you are using the ram. Anything over 8GB is overkill unless it's for video editing, virtual machines, stuff like that etc.
 

mintakax

macrumors regular
Original poster
Dec 19, 2013
162
8
Thanks all-- She will keep the machine for several years. I cancelled original order, switched to 16GB ram and upgraded video card. That was a good suggestion.
 

mshepherd

macrumors regular
Feb 29, 2004
146
3
I might consider going with smaller ssd. My wife is into photography and with RAW files there is just no way to keep a library on a boot drive. I eventually had to move her photos off onto an external thunderbolt raid. So all she really needs is 256gb ssd boot. Video and photos on external because the library is approaching 3tb. I think the money you could save by going to 256 could pick up a real nice external thunderbolt raid.
 

Roller

macrumors 68030
Jun 25, 2003
2,527
964
Thanks all-- She will keep the machine for several years. I cancelled original order, switched to 16GB ram and upgraded video card. That was a good suggestion.
That makes sense, since you can upgrade the memory for less than Apple charges. That's a really nice gift, BTW - good thing my wife doesn't read MacRumors. :)
 

pasadena

macrumors 6502a
Sep 12, 2012
793
161
Seattle, WA
Thanks all-- She will keep the machine for several years. I cancelled original order, switched to 16GB ram and upgraded video card. That was a good suggestion.
Good call. Now buy 16Gb from Crucial and you've practically got free RAM (or a free GPU, your choice lol).

I would wait though. 90% of people won't ever need more than 16Gb. I'm curious, what does she do that she would need 32 ? Is that her professional machine ?

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16 Gb might do it and although I have installed many ram chips in Macs, I don't want to hassle with it for this one.
From what I've seen, adding memory modules in the iMac is ridiculously hassle-free now.
 

mintakax

macrumors regular
Original poster
Dec 19, 2013
162
8
Good call. Now buy 16Gb from Crucial and you've practically got free RAM (or a free GPU, your choice lol).

I would wait though. 90% of people won't ever need more than 16Gb. I'm curious, what does she do that she would need 32 ? Is that her professional machine ?

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From what I've seen, adding memory modules in the iMac is ridiculously hassle-free now.
She probably doesn't need 32GB ram, so I think 16 will suffice for her. I have 32 in my nMP and I do occasionally run out of memory (huge PS documents and large scientific datasets being processed in IDL), so I kind have this more is better attitude.

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That makes sense, since you can upgrade the memory for less than Apple charges. That's a really nice gift, BTW - good thing my wife doesn't read MacRumors. :)
Hehe-- Thanks !
 

Blue Fox

macrumors 6502a
Apr 13, 2009
502
34
If your budget restricts you to the standard video card, then I would suggest upgrading that instead of the RAM. You can save at least $200 by ordering a third-party RAM upgrade. Although in fact 16Gb RAM would be more than enough for anything other than very serious use of virtual machines.

If I were you I would cancel and reorder with 8Gb RAM and upgraded video (if you are happy to install your own ram), or 16Gb and upgraded video (if you would rather order with OEM RAM), or 32Gb and upgraded video (if you don't have a budget restriction and can stomach the extra $).
You would think the 16GB would be enough, but I regularly max out the 16GB of RAM in both my top of the line retina MBP (work machine), and my iMac in Photoshop while editing photos or doing other projects. Photoshop (especially using plugins), is a RAM Hog. I've used as much as 29GB so far in Photoshop (now that I have recently upgraded to 32GB in the iMac)
 

maclove4life

macrumors regular
Oct 17, 2014
206
0
Thanks all-- She will keep the machine for several years. I cancelled original order, switched to 16GB ram and upgraded video card. That was a good suggestion.
Very good! Max out that graphic as the ram is upgrade able like others said.