Late 13 vs 2017 iMac?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Mr. Bell, Dec 9, 2018.

  1. Mr. Bell macrumors newbie

    Dec 9, 2018
    hey guys. So I had my hard drive die on my late 2013, 3.4ghz iMac. I was told at the Apple store that I couldn’t have an SSD installed but I just found out that’s incorrect. So I’m thinking about getting an SSD on my 2013 or just trading it in for a 2017, either the 3.4ghz 21 inch with Fusion drive or the 27 inch 3.4ghz with the same. Which is the best option? The 2013 is obviously cheaper, would the performance in the 2017 models be that much better?

    If I go for one of the 2017 models, is the 27 inch base model that much better than the top end 21 inch? Looks from tests it’s a good 40% faster. My useage would be 4K video editing in iMovie and photo editing with Photoshop CS6, tasks that my 2013 handled just fine, but it ould be faster. Thanks
  2. Release macrumors member


    Feb 28, 2012
    Get one or two external Samsung T5 SSD's for a hundred bucks each from Amazon or Best Buy and keep using it for a few more months until Apple (hopefully) puts out a new iMac. Use one of those as you boot drive. Don't bother with a Fusion drive.
  3. joema2 macrumors 68000


    Sep 3, 2013
    If using iMovie or FCPX on 4k H264 material there is a huge performance increase on the 2017 iMac 27 which uses Intel's Kaby Lake CPU. This is likely due to Kaby Lake having Quick Sync. I have both 2015 and 2017 i7 iMac 27s and the 2017 is about 2x faster on this specific codec in FCPX or iMovie. I assume the same is true for i5 models if those are also Kaby Lake CPUs.

    I previously had an 2013 i7 iMac 27 and it was a nice machine but the Retina display of the newer ones is much better. The CPU generational difference makes less difference for Lightroom/Photoshop. An opposing view is the retina display might slow down an older version of Photoshop if it's not "retina smart" about handling screen data.

    The 27 inch models have discrete GPUs so that is also a benefit over the 21.5. I'd personally rather have a mid-range 2017 iMac 27 than a top-spec 21.5". However do not get one with a 1TB Fusion Drive.
  4. Mr. Bell, Dec 10, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2018

    Mr. Bell thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 9, 2018
    Thanks for the info. Both the midrange and top end 21 iMacs have dedicated graphics, the top end has 4gb too. Don’t really want to play the waiting game with Apple on an update, been there before. I don’t want to bother fixing the old one and setting everything up on it again just to turn around and buy a new one in a few months and doing it all over again. I’d rather just get a new one now and be done with it. Besides, it could be another year before we see new iMacs and Apple is notorious for removing ports on new designs, I don’t want an iMac with no USB ports or an SD card slot. Why no Fusion drives? Straight SSD is too expensive from Apple.

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