Max £1600 on a 5K - where's the sweetspot?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by kmpowell, Nov 29, 2015.

  1. kmpowell macrumors member

    Aug 16, 2003
    As per my 4K thread, I'm now over my 27" phobia, and I'm ready to get a 27" to replace my trusty 2007 aluminum 20" iMac ( to something which will last me another 8+ years!) 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.

    My partner works for a company that gives discount on the apple store so I've set a max £1600 budget.

    My usage and considerations:
    - I'm happy with 8GB RAM in the 27" and will upgrade to 16GB at a later date if needed.
    - I want as much 'flash' storage as possible, so the acceptance of the 1TB fusion on the refurb option below is because the flash partition is bigger than the new 1TB fusion which therefore forces me to go 2TB.
    - 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 it's either small task or large file intensive transfers/tasks.

    Assumption I need clarifying:
    1. All the options below can have their RAM upgraded via a slot in the back of the machine?

    1. Refurb (late 2014) 27" 5k + 3.5 i5 (Haswell) M290X + 8GB + 1TB Fusion (£1529.00)
    2. New 27" 5K + 3.2 i5 (Skylake) M380 + 8GB + 2TB Fusion (£1,587.60)
    3. New 27" 5K + 3.2 i5 (Skylake) M390 + 8GB + 2TB Fusion (£1,653.60)

    Thanks (again) in advance.
  2. v.i.p.e.r macrumors newbie

    Apr 22, 2012
    1. Yes ;)

    i would choose Number 3 because of the possible better resell price. You really need only number 2.

    My suggestion: 3 > 2 > 1(because of the smaller drive and older cpu)
  3. twilexia macrumors 6502

    Oct 16, 2015
    #3. For what I hear m390 is a significant improvement over the m380
  4. MadDane macrumors 6502a

    Apr 5, 2015
    I would agree with the previous posts, that number 3 is the best choice. However, I would recommend going with SSD instead of Fusion Drive. In both the iMac's my parents have had (late 2009 and late 2012) the hard drive have failed after roughly 2 years. And unless you can change them yourself, it is pretty expensive to get fixed. By having say a 256GB SSD in the machine you could have all of your programs and OS on the SSD and data on an external drive. In that way, if/when the hard drive fails it will be very easy and inexpensive to fix.

    Just my 2¢ :)
  5. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    Out of those options, I'd pick #3. I think that flavor gives you the best bang for your buck
  6. twilexia macrumors 6502

    Oct 16, 2015
    You're comparing apples to oranges here. Fusion drives != hard drives. Hard drives have been in use for over 30 years by the computer industry. SSDs have been known to fail as well.
  7. MadDane macrumors 6502a

    Apr 5, 2015
    I wouldn't say that it is comparing apples to oranges. As you say Fusion Drive = SSD + HDD. What I am suggesting is instead of having both built in to the machine that the least (!) likely to fail should be built in and the most likely to fail should be external.
    FWIW I have built my own Fusion Drive in my late 2009 some years ago and it is still working perfectly fine. However up until 2012 they where significantly easier to repair. They are not very easy anymore which is why I suggest SSD only internally. Especially since kmpowell have expressed a wish for the machine to last 8 years.

    Anyway, OP take my suggestion for what it is. A suggestion. No matter which machine you end up with I am sure you will be very happy with it. Good luck :)
  8. Jan.K macrumors newbie

    Nov 29, 2015
    I've bought the 27" 5k with 8GB Ram and 256GB internal SSD. There's no need to pay the Apple "WTF" prices for Ram and SSD. Under 100€ for 16GB extra RAM, 289€ for the Samsung Evo 850 1TB SSD and 180€ for the LaCie Rugged Thunderbolt Case with 1TB HD. I've put the SSD in the thunderbolt case (for the TRIM Support), and use the 1TB HD for backup (with an external USB 3.0 case, ~15€). Saved a lot of money.
  9. twilexia macrumors 6502

    Oct 16, 2015
    Cool idea, is it easy to replace the 1TB HD with the SSD in the LaCie unit? Do you get faster speeds than the Samsung T1 SSD?
  10. Jan.K macrumors newbie

    Nov 29, 2015
    Absolutely easy. No clips, no glue, just four screws. (There are some videos on Youtube). The speed is roughly the same, but USB doesn't have TRIM support, that's why i choosed the thunderbolt solution. The T1 is nice, but you can also use every external USB 3.0 case with UASP. I don't need a portable solution, i use the external SSD for backup, video/photo storage.
  11. twilexia macrumors 6502

    Oct 16, 2015
    Interesting, out of curiosity do you know why they haven't come out with a Thunderbolt SSD SATA enclosure yet (which would provide TRIM support)?

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