Min requirements 16gb RAM, 256gb SSD, i5

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by mduh, Jul 15, 2017.

  1. mduh macrumors newbie

    Jul 15, 2017
    Hello everyone,

    I'm new here and in general in world of Apple products, so I need a little bit of help choosing the right solution for my needs.

    I'm doing web development, currently on 15" Asus laptop running Ubuntu, with i5 6th gen, 12gb of RAM 256gb SSD and 512gb hdd, with two additional external monitors.

    I won't be carrying computer every day, I'm starting to work from home, so portability is not top priority (I don't mind carrying even 21.5 iMac when I have to).

    Dual core i5 is doing OK for now, but it could be slightly faster, so I'm leaning to little bit better CPU.

    12GB of RAM is absolute minimum for all software I use.

    I can't go below 256gb of storage and SSD is a must.

    Having a display is not required since I have monitors waiting for me when I come to the office (that's why Mac Mini is in the game).

    I'm between MBP 2015 (15", i7, 16gb RAM, 256gb ssd), iMac (21.5", quad core i5, 512gb ssd, upgrade from 8 to 16gb of RAM), and some older Mac Mini with expandable RAM. Goal is of course to pick best buy configuration. I would like to buy new device, but it's not a must.

  2. velocityg4 macrumors 601


    Dec 19, 2004
    If you don't need portability. I would go with the iMac. You have more screen real estate. If you need something portable occasionally keep using your current laptop for that.

    For about $2,199 you could have a 27" iMac, i5 3.4Ghz, 512GB SSD, 24GB RAM (add 16GB yourself). Essentially, you'd be paying $200 for a 27" 5K screen vs 21" 4K screen, 24GB RAM vs 16GB RAM and Radeon Pro 570 vs Radeon Pro 560. That is a big list of upgrades for only $200. Compared to $1,999 for the 3.4Ghz i5, 21" imac with 16GB RAM and 512GB SSD.

    That 27" iMac only runs $100 more than the Macbook Pro you mentioned.
  3. mduh thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 15, 2017
    Thanks for the answer. I wanted to wait for more answers, but maybe it's better to clarify some things right away.

    Portability is not top priority, but it is desirable. I can imagine carrying 21.5" iMac from time to time, but 27" is a brick. And I will return laptop I have now. :)

    The main goal is not to spend money if I don't have to. All those extras are pretty much overkill for my needs. I'm not doing design or video rendering, so I won't have much benefit from dedicated graphic card, or 5k 27" display
  4. ZapNZs macrumors 68020


    Jan 23, 2017
    What resolution are the two displays you use? (and do you see yourself going to higher resolution dual displays in the future?)

    Is a dual core Kaby Lake i5 a consideration given its considerable gains over Skylake, or are you strongly preferential to a quad core?

    If you went for a Mac Mini, would it be one of the quad core models? (I've noticed recently that these fetch a high premium on the used market compared with quad core NUCs)
  5. mduh thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 15, 2017
    They are in 1920x1080. One is set up vertically (for coding), and resolution on that won't change . Everything else is open. I was also considering

    Regarding CPU, I think it is, now I have 2.3GHz. It does struggle sometimes, that's why I said it could be faster, but it does the job.

    Yes, I was thinking of quad core.

    I would also add reliability as top priority.
  6. theluggage macrumors 68040

    Jul 29, 2011
    ...the 5k display is pretty nice for coding, too - lots of real estate :) Bear in mind that those 1920x1080 displays may look OK now, but after you've used the retina display in either the 21.5" iMac or the MacBook Pro for a while, they're going to look rubbish. If you're going the iMac route then I suspect that it will end up replacing one of your external displays.

    I think you need to decide once and for all whether you need a laptop or a desktop. If you get a 21.5" iMac, are you really going to want to shuttle it to work and back more than once in a blue moon? In which case the 27" offers better bangs per buck*. If you're going to need to take your machine to work even, say, once a week, then I'd go for the MacBook Pro.

    You can probably rule out the Mac Mini - even the "new" ones are a 2014 design with 4th Gen dual core processors (no quad option) and might not even be an upgrade over your current laptop. The 2012 quad core minis were lovely little machines - five years ago (3rd generation chips)! I suspect the people paying high prices desperately need them to replace existing minis. It is a real pity that Apple haven't kept these up to date - a newer Mini might have been perfect for you.

    * amongst other things, the 27" has easily - and officially - upgradeable RAM so you can get the 8GB model, see if that does the job (I suspect OS X is more memory-efficient than Windows) and if not, add an extra 16GB of third-party RAM (giving you 24GB) for less than Apple charges for an extra 8GB.
  7. mduh thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 15, 2017
    I have exchanged few messages with local Apple dealer, they had error in spec description on website, so instead SSD, 21" iMac that I looked has regular HDD, and for RAM upgrade from 8gb to 16gb they have asked about $270. :) Which is insane.

    I know I can add RAM myself on 27", but I would still have to pay them for SSD as it's not user upgrade-able (to avoid losing guarantee), and here prices are even higher than on official Apple website (just for example, iMac 27", base model US:$1799, DE:$2420, RS: $2720).

    Maybe it's hard to understand why I'm comparing so different machines. Here we have dealers, but non of them work like in civilized world. Even within warranty period, is something goes wrong with your Apple product, you can wait up to 45 days for it to be repaired (sometimes even longer). That means I can go to vacation if that happens, because I can't work... The problem is, I don't have that much vacation. :D And of course I won't get payed. :) That's why I said reliability is also top priority, beside that one I'm trying to save some money. Regarding portability, any of them will be ok. But if I have to give $3000 for some Mac with decent specs, than my Asus will do the job, and I'll forget about all hassle with Linux and drivers, and incompatible software...
  8. redpandadev macrumors regular

    Jun 3, 2014
    Let's eliminate - the Mac Mini should be out. The spec is bottom of the line for all Macs - namely the CPU, which you specifically mention wanting a better one than what you have.

    What you're left with is a 21.5" iMac vs a 15" MBP. There won't be much difference in performance between these machines when both have an SSD and both have 16gb RAM. The iMac is likely the cheaper option (didn't see you mention price), but the MBP is definitely the more portable option.

    My vote: the MBP, unless it is cost prohibitive, then the iMac.

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