Late 2012 2.6GHz MacMini upgrade to 27" 2017 4.2GHz iMac

Discussion in 'iMac' started by snowtrooper1966, Jul 11, 2017.

  1. snowtrooper1966 macrumors regular


    Oct 13, 2011
    Clarksburg, WV
    Screen Shot 2017-07-11 at 7.20.24 PM.png

    Time to upgrade, and have a very specific budget cap 2799.
    The new iMac will be replacing a late 2012 MacMini that had been custom configured with a 2.6GHz processor upgrade, 8GB of RAM and the 1.1TB Fusion Drive.
    Been serving us well, and no real issues in light daily use, currently have 650GB of available space on drive after 400+GB file management delete and clean OS install.

    Pretty well set on the 2017 27" 3.8GHz base model custom configured with:

    4.2GHz i7
    16GB 2400MHz DDR4
    3TB Fusion Drive

    For some reason I'm bent on 32GB RAM, but that alone puts me over budget.

    Have checked out the Apple store refurb page, but the new specs of the 2017 line have me leaning that direction, and will likely have this for 5+ years, so would like it to be relevant and competitive as long as possible....

    Mainly normal web browsing, with mrs snowtrooper looking to do some photoshop/lightroom RAW file processing, getting more serious about her DSLR Canon, LOL

    Have really had excellent experience with all things Apple, and the customer service Ive been given over the years since my 3GS.Will be purchasing AppleCare+ to extend to 3 year warranty as well. With this in mind, feel relatively confident in my choice, and have not researched the bejeezus out of this as I normally do for big purchases.
    Was not really even expecting to be able to do this upgrade at this time, TBH, so really did not even pay attention during the May Special Event.

    Any obvious fault in my choice to anything to be aware of with this model?
    (Did briefly see a mention of the fan, but noise does not bother us, and if its a serious hardware issue, know AppleCare will take care of it)
  2. niteflyr macrumors 6502a

    Nov 29, 2011
    Southern Cal
    Save the money on memory upgrade and buy aftermarket RAM. it's user upgradable.
  3. kschendel macrumors 6502a

    Dec 9, 2014
    Yup. Buy 8 Gb, then go to a RAM vendor (,, etc etc) and buy 2x8 Gb more for 24 Gb total. That will be plenty. If you really want you can go for 2x16 (total 40) but I seriously doubt you'll see any real difference for what you are doing.

    You're probably over-spec'ing your CPU as well but if you don't mind fan noise, I'm not going to argue. :) I'd be tempted to go for the base model, 1 Tb SSD, and buy an outboard 1-2 Tb USB3 drive for archival stuff. Splitting files over multiple drives isn't convenient for everyone, of course.
  4. nambuccaheadsau macrumors 65816


    Oct 19, 2007
    Nambucca Heads Australia
    The specs you show us is for the 3.8GHz i5, not an i7. Don't worry about what Turbo Boost says.

    The i7 is 4.2GHz.
  5. EugW macrumors 601


    Jun 18, 2017
    I would recommend an i5, but if you are hell bent on the Core i7, then consider this configuration:

    Mid-tier iMac with Radeon 575
    CPU upgraded to Core i7 4.2 GHz
    8 GB RAM
    512 GB SSD
    Total $2599

    Or else:

    Top tier iMac with Radeon 580
    CPU upgraded to Core i7 4.2 GHz
    8 GB RAM
    512 GB SSD
    Total $2699


    2 x 8 GB from Crucial for $134.
  6. snowtrooper1966, Jul 12, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2017

    snowtrooper1966 thread starter macrumors regular


    Oct 13, 2011
    Clarksburg, WV
    Great feedback all, thanks!

    Not even counting Turbo Boost, as part of the upgrade, LOL
    The specs selected are the base 3.8GHz as seen above, once configured as i proposed in the OP would be an i7 4.2GHz.

    Guess I left out important detail:
    This purchase is on Apple Store Gift card, so I'm configuring with the thought cash will not be available now for RAM upgrade. Family of five and one income, disposable cash is hard to come by. If by chance I can set aside 130 to 250 cash, I will look to get the 2x8GB / 2x16GB Crucial or Corsair kits to upgrade and get my 32 / 40 RAM I initially wanted....

    Trust me, I'd like nothing better than to have all SSD storage (even though the 1.1TB Fusion Drive has served us well), but even the base i5 3.8GHz with that addition is over budget by $100, unfortunately, and as we currently have 1.1TB on the Mini, I would not feel like i upgraded @ 512GB SSD, which understandably could be remedied by adding a external drive for additional space, but with my limited understanding of splitting files for multiple drives seems potentially problematic for us…

    Have a 3TB Airport Time Capsule for backups, but think an external 3-4TB for redundancy, RAW and music files would be ideal at some point if I can budget for that down the road as well.

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