Looking to purchase 21.5 iMac with undecided specs! HELP!

Discussion in 'iMac' started by LegendaryW33nie, Mar 4, 2014.

  1. LegendaryW33nie macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2014
    #1
    Right now i've just really started to get into video editing and i've been working on my 2012 MacBook air with 4GB of RAM and such. When I work on it for a long time, it starts to get really hot and I have to take breaks so it doesn't get laggy. I've been looking for an iMac for a while now and i've saved up enough for one but I do not know what I should upgrade and what I shouldn't. I used FCPX to edit videos if that helps. The main dilemmas I am having are between:

    2.9GHz Quad-core Intel Core i5, Turbo Boost up to 3.6GHz
    vs.
    3.1GHz Quad-core Intel Core i7, Turbo Boost up to 3.9GHz [+$200]

    8GB 1600MHz DDR3 SDRAM - 2X4GB
    vs.
    16GB 1600MHz DDR3 SDRAM - 2X8GB [+$200]

    1TB Serial ATA Drive @ 5400 rpm
    vs.
    1TB Fusion Drive [+$200]



    I think I already know i'm upgrading the RAM because you can't do that later. I'm just stumped if its worth it to go up to the i7 and if it will be that much better. As for the Fusion drive, heard good things about it but don't really know if it's necessary. Any help would be grateful. I'd rather not do all three, two out of the three is more reasonable money wise. Thanks!
     
  2. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2011
    Location:
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    #2
    The i7 is crucial if you're doing video, because video makes use of the i7's hyper threading capabilities (the i7 can do this because it has 8 threads, the i5 only has 4 threads. On average, an i7 will perform around 30-40% faster than an i5 in multithreaded tasks like encoding and video).

    You'll also probably need 16GB of RAM, since it's not user-upgradeable post-purchase.

    If you can't afford an SSD, Fusion sounds good because it's a huge boost over a traditional HDD. That said, I went for a 256GB SSD in my 21.5" iMac for pure speed (Fusion is about 500/350 MB/s read/write and a 256GB SSD is about 720/650 MB/s read/write).

    I also do video editing with FCP X and AE, and the i7 really shines in it. The SSD is used as a scratch workspace; completed projects are moved to external storage.

    At this stage, I'd suggest you continue saving up more until you can afford all 3 upgrades.
     
  3. kathyricks macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2012
    #3
    I'm also into photo and video editing and got the base model 15.4"retina MBP with 8GB RAM and 256 GB SSD because all the youtube reviews show it's a screamer for importing and rendering video. Got it instead of an iMac because my previous experience with an iPad Air got me hooked on retina screens and SSD's.

    If I were to get a new iMac I'd consider an SSD essential to help with speed and so if I could only afford the 21" model I'd order it with 8GB Ram and a 256GB SSD (price would be $1499).

    256 GB is smallish, admittedly, so I use it in conjunction with a 1TB Western Digital external hard drive to store large video files.
     
  4. LegendaryW33nie thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2014
    #4
    I guess I should add that I have a 3TB Lacie External Hard drive so memory wouldn't be an issue. I guess I'm just torn between the different storages. I don't really know what the difference is between them and if it would be necessary for me. Would the fusion be better then the others?
     
  5. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2011
    Location:
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    #5
    The fusion is only better than the HDD. The pure SSD options of 256 and 512GB are faster than the Fusion. Refer to my previous post for the speeds.
     
  6. p3ntyne macrumors 6502

    p3ntyne

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2014
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    #6
    If you cant afford a big enough ssd to have everything you need on there, than the fusion drive is definitely a better option. It saves you time of having to manage all of your files and you won't have to constantly check how full your disk is.

    Also, the blackmagic disk speed test program can be a little misleading. The only reason the ssd portion of a fusion drive would be slower than an ssd is that the lower capacity means slightly lower write speeds.
     

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