Max £1500 on a 4K - where's the sweetspot?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by kmpowell, Nov 24, 2015.

?

Which option is the 'sweetspot' for me?

  1. 21" 4K + i5 + 16GB + 2TB Fusion

    5 vote(s)
    25.0%
  2. 21" 4K + i5 + 8GB + 512GB Flash

    12 vote(s)
    60.0%
  3. 21" 4K + i7 + 8GB + 2TB Fusion

    2 vote(s)
    10.0%
  4. 21" 4K + i7 + 16GB + 1TB Fusion

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  5. Other (please specify what in a reply)

    1 vote(s)
    5.0%
  1. kmpowell, Nov 24, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2015

    kmpowell macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2003
    #1
    I recently posted about my trusty 2007 aluminium 20" iMac which has been showing it's age for a fair few months, struggling on basic tasks, and a blue vertical line has appearing in the middle of the screen indicating graphics card problems. 5Ks were/are in the refurb' store for £1529, so I thought I would upgrade to something that will last me another 8+ years. My problem however is the sheer size of the 27". The size has stopped my pulling the trigger.

    So with the introduction of the 4K, I started weighing up options. My partner works for a company that gives discount on the apple store so I set a £1500 max budget which leads me to the following conclusions that all come in at exactly £1502.40.

    21" 4K + i5 + 16GB + 2TB Fusion
    21" 4K + i5 + 8GB + 512GB Flash
    21" 4K + i7 + 8GB + 2TB Fusion
    21" 4K + i7 + 16GB + 1TB Fusion

    My usage and considerations:
    - My 20" machine has a 256GB HDD, and that's pretty much full (give or take a few GB)
    - I use the machine to store all my iPhone/DSLR shot photos/videos which is the only large media format on it.
    - It's powered up 24/7 and is used to run my home CCTV system
    - Internet/Photos/iTunes/Airplay are it's primary tasks when I'm using it.

    So what would you go for if it were your money? I have a gut feeling, but I'd be interested to hear your views.

    Thanks in advance
     
  2. fathergll macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2014
    #2
    My money would get 27" 5k refurb without question

    If Im forced to use a 4K Im going with 21" 4K + i5 + 16GB + 2TB Fusion. If you are ok with an external drive the 256GB SSD is a fine replacement to the 2 TB Fusion
     
  3. AlexisV macrumors 68000

    AlexisV

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2007
    Location:
    Manchester, UK
    #3
    Oops, clicking on the wrong thing because I forgot you couldn't upgrade the memory on the 21.5"

    Get the 21" 4K + i5 + 16GB + 2TB Fusion

    128Gb worth of flash storage is fine for your needs.
     
  4. keysofanxiety macrumors 604

    keysofanxiety

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2011
    #4
    IMO the sweet spot is as far away from a spinning hard-drive as possible. I think i5/8GB/512SSD is the best option for your usage and to ensure system longevity.
     
  5. Sirmausalot macrumors 6502a

    Sirmausalot

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2007
    #5
    I think the 4Ks this year are not a good bet. This is the first version of the 4K and is a compromise with Broadwell. Next year will bring Skylake with better iGPU. That said, the 27" really, really is well worth it. Get it with a 2TB fusion for budgetary reasons but lower end everything else.
     
  6. Niclord, Nov 24, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2015

    Niclord macrumors newbie

    Niclord

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2015
    #6
    The 1TB fusion only have 24GB SSD, I7 is not really needed for what you will do and 8GB memory is like 4GB was a few years ago.
    If you use it 24/7 the 512SSD will last longer, is faster and brings less heat. Also if you store iPhone photo's and videos, why don't you use a SDXC card in the mac? Put a 64 or 128SDXC card in the back SD slot for extra storage.

    21" 4K + i5 + 8GB + 512GB Flash seems the best option to me but personally I would go for the refurb 27", better graphics card then the intel, better CPU (new) and you can always add more memory if needed.
     
  7. keysofanxiety, Nov 24, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2015

    keysofanxiety macrumors 604

    keysofanxiety

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2011
    #7
    OP didn't want a 27" unfortunately, they wanted a 4K 21" soon as their current iMac is giving up the ghost.

    Yes, in my personal opinion, I do think the 27" is a better choice. I also think buying a 13" rMBP is better than buying a rMB. However were I to give that recommendation, it runs the risk of being a wasted post as they just don't want a 27".

    Sometimes it's best to make a decision based on what they're specifically looking for; I'm quite often guilty of imposing what I think is the right choice, rather than listening and appreciating that some people just want something different. :oops:

    What you said about waiting for Skylake is absolutely spot on, though. Hopefully OP's iMac will hold up until then.
     
  8. twilexia macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2015
    #8
    If the options in your poll are your only options, I'd definitely go for the 16GB RAM, 2TB Fusion and i5 which IMO is the sweet spot. You will notice 0 differences between i5 and i7 for your purposes, and honestly I think 2TB Fusion gives you more comfortable space and will be just as fast as the 512 Flash in 99% of real-world situations. The most important thing is because the 4k model doesn't have upgradable RAM you should get the 16GB RAM. 8GB is simply not enough in any desktop machine.

    If you are comfortable using an external drive and have one you trust, I think the 512 GB SSD + 16GB RAM + i5 is ideal.
     
  9. Sirmausalot macrumors 6502a

    Sirmausalot

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2007
    #9
    I appreciate you being civil here. I can become cranky on these boards. But the OP had a poll that specified other and asked to specify and I did.
     
  10. keysofanxiety macrumors 604

    keysofanxiety

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2011
    #10
    Just noticed this, boy do I feel stupid. If it's any consolation, you could fry an egg on my face right now from blushing :D
     
  11. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2013
    #11
    If you go 21 inch then the i5 16GB 2TB fusion is the best option for your use case.

    I second the 27 inch suggestion though go with a base model with 2TB fusion and upgrade the RAm yourself.
     
  12. TechZeke macrumors 68020

    TechZeke

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2012
    Location:
    Rialto, CA
    #12
    For your uses, Option 2 is best choice. You won't need 16GB of RAM, and the 512GB SSD will be the biggest upgrade over anything else in the system performance-wise.
     
  13. kmpowell, Nov 25, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2015

    kmpowell thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2003
    #13
    Thanks for your feedback guys - very much appreciated. My thoughts after reading what you've written...

    If I go 4K it seems to make sense to go i5, and then take a 2TB fusion over the 512GB flash which allows me to push that money into fixed 16GB for a bit more future proof.

    I hear what you're saying about the 27" though, and if I can get over the size issue in my head, there are two options just (!) in my price bracket that I can add to the mix. So gut feeling from BOTH size options is now one of the following:

    1. New 21" 4K + 3.1 i5 (Broadwell) 6200 + 16GB + 2TB Fusion (£1502.40.)
    2. Refurb 27" 5k + 3.5 i5 (Haswell?) M290X + 8GB + 1TB Fusion (£1529.00 +RAM upgrade cost at a later date)
    3. New 27" 5K + 3.2 i5 (Skylake) M380 + 8GB + 2TB Fusion (£1,587.60 +RAM upgrade cost at a later date)

    The acceptance of the 1TB fusion on the refurb is because the flash partition is bigger than the new 1TB fusion which forces me to go 2TB.

    Thoughts on which of the three?

    :)
     
  14. bent christian Suspended

    bent christian

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2015
    #14
    16GB of RAM is overkill for the usage in your OP, but it's your money. Waste it how you see fit.
     
  15. kmpowell thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2003
    #15
    Why is it a 'Waste' as such? If my 8yr old machine has 4GB of RAM, surely a non-upgradable machine that is being planned to run for another 5+years should have 16GB in it?!?
     
  16. bent christian Suspended

    bent christian

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2015
    #16
    Surely you need four times the RAM to do the exact same things.

    Nope.

    People here will convince you to spend more on a system than you need. That is why these rooms exist. People here spend $2k every five years on a machine to check email and listen to music. It's their money. The truth is, any quad-core processor, 8GB of RAM, and a 1TB Fusion drive will be plenty for general use and will be relevant for the next eight to ten years.
     
  17. AlexisV macrumors 68000

    AlexisV

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2007
    Location:
    Manchester, UK
    #17
    12Gb is the sweetspot in my experience. I can tell the difference between my home iMac on 8Gb and my work one with 12.

    Go for 16.
     
  18. bent christian Suspended

    bent christian

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2015
    #18
    Two posts up, someone has $2k to spend on a system to "[watch] videos on YouTube, Vimeo, DailyMotion, Bestreams, GorillaVid, Vodlocker, etc".

    Ha, ha!
     
  19. TechZeke macrumors 68020

    TechZeke

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2012
    Location:
    Rialto, CA
    #19
    16GB is massive overkill for you uses. I highly doubt it's going to take 16GB of RAM just to browse the internet, view photos, and play itunes in 5 years. You could do all 3 on 2GB of RAM right now.

    Go for the 27" refurb. The processor is a haswell chip that will actually be faster than either of the other CPUs. Plus, the M290X GPU will be significantly faster than the M380 GPU. As if you would actually notice the difference between either of these machines performance-wise anyway with your uses.
     
  20. kmpowell thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2003
    #20
    Interesting, so the late 2014 5K has Haswell not broadwell? And it's still faster than both the new generation processors?
     
  21. fathergll macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2014
    #21
    ^^^I've used more than 8 GB doing the above plenty of times on a couple Macs I own.
     
  22. bent christian Suspended

    bent christian

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2015
    #22
    I have yet to max out the usage of memory in my iMac (8GB), and I am usually doing more than watching video over the Internet and listening to music (working in Photoshop, Adobe Premiere, Adobe Illustrator).
     
  23. fathergll macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2014
    #23

    Are you using extensions with non-safari browsers with multiple tabs open? I've done it both on my Macbook Air and Retina iMac many times.
     
  24. bent christian Suspended

    bent christian

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2015
    #24
    I use Firefox with an ad blocking extension, but I am not usually browsing the Internet while I am working. I will have Spotify open.

    I'm sure someone could, feasibly max out RAM using a Web browser and a music player. If they wanted to. If that was the intent. What we need to consider is real-world usage, though. In real-world usage, most people will go nowhere near even 8GB of RAM for general use...let alone 16GB. They are unlikely to have bunch of tabs open when watching video. Most of us only have two eyes and a limited capacity of attention.

    But, hey - it's not my money that will be wasted. If that's what the OP wants, the mission is quite easy to accomplish.
     
  25. fathergll macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2014
    #25

    Well I guess the OP will find out in 2023 if your still correct about going no where near 8GB.



    Well it's not a life changing amount of money to double your RAM considering he's looking at a computer in the neighborhood of $2,000 and using it for 8+ years. What i'm saying is if I spent 2 grand on a desktop computer in 2015 and I was limited to 8GB for the computer's life i'd personally feel life I got ripped off.

    Look at the OP's case. 2007 iMac still in use today. Would you rather pay less and had the computer soldered with 2 GB of ram for all these years or would you rather pay extra money to have 4 GB soldered in? (I'm using an analogy of the ram not being upgradable in 2007 like today). I don't think many people today would say he wasted his money on having the extra ram all these years.
     

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