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

snowtrooper1966

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Oct 13, 2011
258
174
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)
 

kschendel

macrumors 65816
Dec 9, 2014
1,026
322
Yup. Buy 8 Gb, then go to a RAM vendor (datamemorysystems.com, crucial.com, 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.
 

EugW

macrumors 604
Jun 18, 2017
7,298
4,683
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

Plus

2 x 8 GB from Crucial for $134.
 

snowtrooper1966

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Oct 13, 2011
258
174
Clarksburg, WV
Great feedback all, thanks!

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.
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.


Save the money on memory upgrade and buy aftermarket RAM. it's user upgradable.
Yup. Buy 8 Gb, then go to a RAM vendor (datamemorysystems.com, crucial.com, 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.
Plus 2 x 8 GB from Crucial for $134.
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....


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.
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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