Just bought the wife a retina iMac

Discussion in 'iMac' started by mintakax, Oct 19, 2014.

  1. mintakax macrumors regular

    Dec 19, 2013
    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 ?
  2. tillsbury macrumors 65816

    Dec 24, 2007
    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 $).
  3. mintakax thread starter macrumors regular

    Dec 19, 2013
    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.
  4. ToroidalZeus, Oct 19, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2014

    ToroidalZeus macrumors 68020


    Dec 8, 2009
    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.
  5. tillsbury macrumors 65816

    Dec 24, 2007
    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.
  6. ToroidalZeus macrumors 68020


    Dec 8, 2009
    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.
  7. mintakax thread starter macrumors regular

    Dec 19, 2013
    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.
  8. mshepherd macrumors regular

    Feb 29, 2004
    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.
  9. SchneiderMan macrumors G3


    May 25, 2008
    You should have upgraded the GPU instead of the RAM through Apple.
  10. Tanax macrumors 6502a

    Jun 15, 2011
    Stockholm, Sweden
    He did? He cancelled the order, did you read the thread?
  11. Roller macrumors 68020

    Jun 25, 2003
    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. :)
  12. pasadena macrumors 6502a


    Sep 12, 2012
    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 ?


    From what I've seen, adding memory modules in the iMac is ridiculously hassle-free now.
  13. mintakax thread starter macrumors regular

    Dec 19, 2013
    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.


    Hehe-- Thanks !
  14. CaptOblivious macrumors member

    Sep 29, 2014
    I would have picked the standard 8GB and saved $$ and upgrade to more ram yourself.
  15. Blue Fox macrumors 6502a

    Blue Fox

    Apr 13, 2009
    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)
  16. maclove4life macrumors regular

    Oct 17, 2014
    Very good! Max out that graphic as the ram is upgrade able like others said.

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