Moving from PC to MAC - need advice

Discussion in 'iMac' started by icing2014, Aug 7, 2014.

  1. icing2014 macrumors newbie

    Aug 7, 2014
    Hello all,

    I've decided to migrate from PC to MAC and looking for an advice on the new iMac. Genius Bar was not much of help, pretty much they agreed with what I've said and shook their heads :) so, i figured I'll give this forum a shot with hopes of getting real feedback from actual users.

    I have been doing web design and illustration for the past few years. I use Adobe Creative Cloud regularly and need a machine that will last for quite sometime and be quick about opening applications like Dreamweaver, Illustrator, etc. I will be doing some video editing as well, using Final Cut Pro, however, these videos mainly be for personal / family videos.

    Currently I'm looking at getting: iMac 21.5", Intel i7 3.1ghz, 16GB Ram, with 1tb Fusion Drive. Obviously this is maxing out the machine since it is challenging to upgrade down the road.

    I would like to know, if I should downgrade the system a bit? I don't know much about the processors or the memory performance on a MAC. Since I'm moving from PC to MAC, whatever i got used to in terms of hardware on PC could be different on MAC - in regards to performance.

    I am getting the Fusion drive no matter what, however, will going down on the memory to 8GB and going with Intel i5 2.9ghz processor will slow the system down considerably?

    Also, in regards to the graphics card. Is the on board Intel Iris graphics card sufficient to type of work that i will be doing or will i see much difference with upgrading it to NVIDIA? I will not be gaming!

    Thank you for any input and apologize that my question was bit long.
  2. Rud3Bwoy Suspended


    Oct 9, 2011
    if that's what you're using it for and want it to last a while i suggest sticking to the i7 8gb of ram is just fine tho be sure you want 8 gb now cause can't upgrade later

    and if you want a even faster mac get the ssd drive just saying.
  3. rottnjohn macrumors newbie


    May 22, 2011
    silly valley
    I get 2099 for that config at the Apple Store, but
    it sounds like that is pushing your budget.

    So you need to upgrade! Add a Fusion drive to the base 27",
    you save $100 and can upgrade the memory for just a little
    more than money you save when the time comes.

    Probably not the help you wanted but I didn't nod my head.
  4. mad3inch1na macrumors 6502a

    Oct 21, 2013
    Hi Icing,

    At the price range you are looking at, you can find a much more powerful 27" iMac for the same price. Obviously if you don't have the desk space then get a 21", but if you can make it work, a 27" will be so much better. This one here is about $100 more, and it is more powerful in every aspect by at least 30%. The display is gorgeous, and the RAM is user upgradeable. Like I said before, unless you need a 21", the 27" is the way to go.

    The available models change basically every day, so if this one doesn't work for you there are always different ones coming around.

  5. Neodym macrumors 68000


    Jul 5, 2002
    As you're doing quite graphic-intensive work, I'd stick to 16GB in a 21.5" (not upgradeable later). The Iris Pro graphics is probably sufficient (but as it uses up to 1-1.5 GB main memory, it's even more important to go with 16GB). However, Apple may generally work towards offloading more heavy lifting to GPU's in the future (the new MacPro has only one CPU, but two GPU's as standard!). Your guess is as good as mine whether that is relevant in the forseeable future or not.

    i5 vs. i7 - I'd take the i7 (take a look e.g. at this thread).

    Side question - are you aware of the Apple refurb store? Could save you quite some money and may allow you to go for the 27" as recommended above. Advantages over the 21.5:
    • Faster CPU's (3.5GHz i7 vs. 3.1GHz i7 on the 21.5").
    • Significantly bigger screen real estate - good for programs with lots of windows (palettes, tools, timeline, preview etc.). That is - if you don't plan to use a 2nd monitor.
    • Controversely discussed: some people consider the 27" screen superior for graphics work.
    • You can upgrade the Ram yourself as you see fit. Higher max. Ram and lower prices (from 3rd party vendors).
    • Bigger internal storage possible (up to 3TB Fusion drive vs. 1TB on the 21.5").
    • Bigger housing, so in theory better cooling under sustained load.

    For a (basic) comparison see e.g. here.

    As you insist on Fusion Drive (FD), make sure to have a proper backup solution at hand. As FD consists of 2 interwoven hard drives, failure probability is doubled. With OSX, it's sufficient to have the integrated "Time Machine" activated and a big external harddrive available - some would argue that on-site backups are not sufficient, though.
  6. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Apr 23, 2011
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    I have the exact iMac as yours, except that I have a 256GB SSD. So mine's 3.1/16/256/750M.

    I went for the SSD for the sake of pure speed and reliability. All my media files are stored externally.

    After Effects heavily uses the GPU, so the NVIDIA would be a plus.
  7. khedden macrumors member

    Jun 18, 2014
    Charleston, SC
    What do you mean by "quite a while"?

    8 GB will probably be comfortable for 2-3 years. After that, you may start to feel the pain. That is my typical experience. Every iMac I have ever owned or my family has ever owned has had its memory upgraded around the 2-4 year mark. This is because applications and the OS are always expanding and improving, becoming more memory intensive.

    The Mac you've specced out above is $2099. Going with the fusion (or SSD) is very wise. I would recommend sticking with 16 GB RAM since the 21.5" model is not user upgradable. I don't think you really need the processor upgrade save money there if you need to.

    My recommendation (and what I did myself) was to bump up to the 27" model since you can easily upgrade the memory later if you like. If you don't go with the processor upgrade, then your price actually be lower ($1999) and you get a much bigger screen and better GPU.

    For an even better soluton, check out their refurb site. You can get lots of upgrades there for even less cash. Apple's refurbs have a very good reputation here.

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