My iMac 5K experience, and how I don't understand half the people here.

Discussion in 'iMac' started by aevan, Feb 8, 2015.

  1. aevan macrumors 68000

    aevan

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2015
    Location:
    Serbia
    #1
    I’ve been visiting this forum for a while, but the frequency of my visits increased ever since I got my 5K iMac. I like to read about other people’s experiences and learn. So I thought :)
    The level of negativity towards the 5K iMac is astounding. Now, don’t get me wrong - it is everyone’s right to have their opinion, but the things I read here made me question my perception of reality.

    My iMac is the base model. Without getting into too much detail, I didn’t have much choice when it comes to configuring it. Where I live there are no Apple Stores, only authorised service providers and dealers and the price of Mac computers is way more than in some other countries. The base model, for example, costs around 3200 US dollars here. You can imagine how much the upgrades cost.

    Anyway, I’m not complaining. I managed to find a good price (which is the ‘regular’ price for most countries) for a base iMac 5K and I got it. I am an illustrator and game designer, and for me - the ability to see near-print quality images, and to see all the detail in an illustration without having to zoom too much is a game-changer. It really is. If this thing could only run Photoshop and nothing else, for me, it would still be a good investment. I am really happy with it. I also work in Zbrush which runs really well, and I use a few other apps like Sketchbook Pro and Mischief as well, which also run good.

    Now, I would be lying if I said everything was perfect. Yosemite does lag when there are a lot of windows open. Evernote scrolls notes with large images with a certain level of jerkiness, etc. But these are minor things, really. The system is fast and responsive, and the screen is not only beautiful - for me it is much more usable than my old 2011 iMac. What surprised me, though, is how much I could game on this thing. I don’t game much but since I have bootcamp to run some PC-only software and I had a few games lying around, I decided to try them out and was blown away. I ran Dragon Age Inquisition and Call of Duty Advanced Warfare in 2560x1440 on high settings (not ultra) and consistently got a very, very smooth performance. Then I bought Tomb Raider (it was on sale on Steam this weekend so I got it just to try things out) and benchmarked it at 2560x1440 on high setting and got 60fps average! I can only imagine what M295X can do, but the M290X is a solid gaming GPU even at 1440p.

    My only issue is, in fact, with Yosemite itself. Things seem to run better on Windows 8 (not to mention Win 8 has zero UI lag) but I’ll leave that discussion for a different topic.

    So I start reading the iMac section of the forum, looking to read other people’s experiences. I just love doing that during breaks, sharing the positive energy about the product I love and all that. Surely, other people’s experiences must be as good as mine! I was expecting to read how great the screen is for photo work and illustration and video and how professional illustrators, animators, photographers are enjoying the benefits of the system.

    Instead, I see things like: “I bought the maxed out version for surfing and email, but I also wanted to play Crysis on it and it got too hot so I’m returning it”. (Err.... What?) I also read things like “I got an i7 one to browse the web, write documents and listen to music but I’m returning it because the fan is too loud when I encode movies”. (Ehm.... Lol?) Or “Fusion Drive sucks, it is loud and slow and you should get a 1Tb SSD”. (Fusion Drive sucks? Seriously? And you’re using it to write email, and the Fusion Drive is somehow ruining that experience?? What would happen if you decided to run two browsers at once, would that mean that only external SSDs in RAID 0 would do? And I’m guessing you need a 12-core Xeon for that as well.)

    Now, don’t get me wrong - you have every right to buy the computer for whatever you want and use it however you like, and you have the right to return it if you don’t like it. But - if you wanted to write documents or play games - why on Earth did you get the 5K one? If you wanted to game and complain about the heat - why did you get an iMac with a laptop gpu? Did anyone get the iMac with the Retina 5K Display it because they, you know, appreciate the Retina 5K Display? And have ways to put it to good use?

    I just don’t get it. My base iMac 5K has a beautiful, amazing screen that helps me work. It can also play modern games really well, it is silent, it looks badass, and I’m loving it. Sure, there are faster computers out there, but they don’t have the 5K display. I hope this reasoning helps someone.
     
  2. iDento macrumors regular

    iDento

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2011
    Location:
    iCloud Servers
    #2
    The guys in this forum talks as if you need a Mac Pro to run Safari & Mail :rolleyes:

    In the next weeks I will buy an iMac 21', the one that costs 1,399$ for 1,499$ with a 1TB HDD, I will get a Thunderbolt SDD eventually, but that's all I can do since the RAM is soldered.

    I think it will be fine for the next 3 years, I will use it for Pixelmator, iDraw, iWork, Plex Server, iMovie and soon Photos :)

    If you want to play games, just get a console.
     
  3. AlifTheUnseen macrumors member

    AlifTheUnseen

    Joined:
    May 17, 2014
    #3
    Thanks for your post and I am happy that the RiMac is a huge step forward for you and I really wish you to enjoy it and use it to do great stuff. Don't get dragged down by the posts here (mine included) that do not rejoice about the RiMac.

    Truth is that there is not ONE truth, most people judge their stuff in comparison to what they use it for, hence the different opinions wrt the RiMac…

    Some people (me included) think that the RiMac does not stand out as a brilliant example of Apple engineer's genius. IMHO, they put components that produce too much heat into a case that is not able to deal with it --> the result is that the fans spin up and thus noise is an issue, as well as gpu throttling.

    You surely have seen Fenn's thread where a discussion is going on about whether this is actually a general issue or whether it just occurs to 'some' machines, due to production issues. I observe this from some distance. Apple had a brilliant design for the Mac Pro with a triangular thermal core, but the RiMac sadly didn't repeat that. Having a 2010 iMac (that I'd like to replace with a current model), I cannot understand why ridiculously thin edges, that I don't see 95% of the time, are more important than silent operation.

    Sadly, Apple's current lineup of desktop computers is just disappointing. Apple doesn't need to care about the Mac, its focus is on iPhone, iPad and iTunes store! Yosemite is also showing this lack of dedication. They buy Beats instead of setting up a serious testing team?
     
  4. redheeler macrumors 603

    redheeler

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2014
    #4
    You'll tend to see a lot of complaints on here. That being said there are still plenty of positive posts, if you know where to look.

    As for my experience, it's clearly the best computer I've ever used and being SSD-only it is very fast. The display is not prefect but given the amount of pixels it has there's hardly anything that comes close.

    If you plan to do lots of graphic design work I would wait for the 4K retina version. Like the OP mentioned, retina makes a huge difference.
     
  5. driftless macrumors demi-god

    driftless

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2011
    Location:
    Chicago-area
    #5
    I think that the 5K iMac is fantastic. Sadly, like when the nMP came out, most of the people dissing the 5K iMac do not own one nor have they spent any real time with one. The are just cherry picking other folk's speculative comments off of the internet and talking out of their arse.
     
  6. aevan thread starter macrumors 68000

    aevan

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2015
    Location:
    Serbia
    #6

    RAM is soldered but for Pixelmator, iWork and even Photoshop, 8Gb will be quite enough. I got mine with 8gigs and ordered 8 more, but before I installed them I worked with just 8 for a couple of days. Photoshop runs great and I had no real slowdowns. If you move the system to a Thunderbolt SSD, you really won't have major issues with RAM for a couple of years.

    Good luck with your new computer!
     
  7. driftless macrumors demi-god

    driftless

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2011
    Location:
    Chicago-area
    #7
    Yes, the 5K iMac is made for graphic design, photography, Adobe CC.
     
  8. aevan, Feb 8, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2015

    aevan thread starter macrumors 68000

    aevan

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2015
    Location:
    Serbia
    #8
    Thanks for the well wishes :)

    As for Apple's current lineup - we all have our wishlists. But the truth is - Apple designs these things with profit in mind and I'm sure they weighed the pros and cons of every design and decided: "this is the computer we can sell best". Some people buy the iMac for the screen, others for design and general look and feel. And combined, all those sales make the iMac profitable and Apple can afford to put such a screen on it or get good deals from component makers.

    In other words: I'm sure the ideal computer you have in mind is technically possible, but is perhaps financially not viable.

    Also - this may sound weird - but I'm not sure that the thinness of the newer iMacs did much in the way of heat. When you look at the placement of the components and the fan, the cooling actually seems better to me than on the previous models (I'm no engineer, though). I actually think they just got to a point where they realized they can simply shave off a few bits without loosing anything. I doubt they came up with the new design and then tried to compromise until they could squeeze a computer inside. It doesn't work that way.

    And even if they didn't change the design, I'm not sure they could have put a desktop gpu in the pre-2012 iMacs either. And to be honest, the whole heat/throttle issues are connected to AMDs gpu design, not Apple. Why didn't they go with Nvidia, you ask? Well - again, possibly financial reasons (while it may cost you the same amount of money to buy an Nvidia equivalent, who knows what kind of deals they get for such large quantities). Also, I read somewhere that supposedly, AMD was more willing to open up their designs and modify a few things, especially in regards to DP. Again, I'm not technical, but I'm sure there is a good reason for some choices.

    That brings us to the whole 'all-in-one' problem - make a computer that has a separate case and you'll get a lot more space to put components in. But, as I said - not everyone wants that. And at the moment, the only way to run a 5K display is with a custom TCON in an all-in-one.

    So, TLDR: They had their reasons which may not be good enough for you, but I'm sure they didn't design it this way just because they care about iPhones and iPads more. That's not how the industry works - in my oppinion.

    Thanks for your thoughts and may you find that perfect PC you seek! :)
     
  9. robgendreau macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2008
    #9
    I had to laugh that someone who doesn't own the machine had to post here.

    I have to agree with the OP. This is a forum though, and people like to moan and groan. I do too. There are a ton of things I don't like about Macs and Apple and wish were better. Heat and performance on my riMac is WAY down the list; way down. It's probably my 15th, at least, that I use personally on a regular basis, and that doesn't count all the ones I've managed for employees or family members. I'd put the riMac in the top 5% of those.

    You've got a very mature base (the essential iMac architecture, form, processors, etc) with just the new display technology, which is brilliant. Literally without equal, even counting the most expensive off-the-shelf external monitors and computers (Mac Pro). Simply amazing, especially when every pundit was saying desktop innovation was dead. Kudos Apple, and I am no fanboy (I own Windows and Android devices and use those over some other Apple products).

    So yeah, ignore a lot of what you see here. Forums are filled with gadget freaks and people who seem incapable of choosing the right tool for the right job. And fanboys who instead of buying a non-Apple product will moan and complain that Apple isn't meeting their needs. Eg, build your own game machine if you want a water cooled performance behemoth, hackintosh or PC. It's cheaper too. And do you really care what OS a game uses?
     
  10. Michaelgtrusa macrumors 604

    Michaelgtrusa

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  11. petvas macrumors 601

    petvas

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2006
    Location:
    Mannheim, Germany
    #11
    I love my Retina iMac. The display is amazing and I have zero issues with the computer. This is the best Mac ever created.
     
  12. driftless macrumors demi-god

    driftless

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2011
    Location:
    Chicago-area
    #12
    That was a good video even though I don't use Windows nor game. I still think that the 5K iMac is a superb machine for Adobe CC, photography, etc. Apple has a history of a disappointing gamers.
     
  13. BigBoyBmw760li macrumors member

    BigBoyBmw760li

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    Oct 14, 2014
    Location:
    BOSTON
    #13
    Then I bought Tomb Raider (it was on sale on Steam this weekend so I got it just to try things out) and benchmarked it at 2560x1440 on high setting and got 60fps average! I can only imagine what M295X can do, but the M290X is a solid gaming GPU even at 1440p.


    Ahaha I also bought Tomb Raider off steam this weekend!:cool: This is my first imac and I purchased the 5k last week. I am a videographer and dabbling my hands into music production and I am really liking this! My last desktop was a hp touchsmart iq500 from 07 or 08' and this upgrade is outstanding. I don't understand why there is so much hate for the 5k. This computer was specifically was desginged for photographers/video editors and a-like. I have one question regarding tomb raider as I have the base model as well. Are the graphics better to it's ps3/ps4 version counterpart? Im not sure if you played the ps3 or ps4 version. But my question is do you think the graphics are better than a ps4?
     
  14. GXPvince macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 12, 2008
    #14
    Have you used Lightroom? If yes, are you fast with lightroom? Yes? If you use a mouse to control the functions in lightroom you are not fast. The 5k iMac (in 5k screen settings) is very sluggish.
     
  15. WilliamG macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2008
    Location:
    Seattle
    #15
    And email, web browsing! People should not go around thinking you need to be a power user 24/7 to appreciate 5K. I appreciate the dramatic difference just typing emails or casually browsing.
     
  16. aevan thread starter macrumors 68000

    aevan

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2015
    Location:
    Serbia
    #16
    Hi! Good question! :)

    The graphics on a PC/Mac are better than on a PS3. PS4/Xbox One version uses some better assets but lacks tessellation and has lower textures. Turn on tessellation and TressFX for Hair and play at PS4 resolution (1080p) and I'd say it looks even a bit better, at a nice 50fps average. So, better than PS3/Xbox 360, similar to PS4/Xbox One. Btw, PS4 uses a very similar GPU to the one in the base iMac (a modified Pitcairn chip of similar performance is in the PS4)

    Keep in mind that while the graphical hardware in PS4 is similar to base Retina iMac, it is more optimised so, for example, you can have a smooth experience in Assassin's Creed Unity on a PS4, while the iMac will barely reach 30fps at medium setting in 1080p.

    Either way, not bad for an iMac :) And playing on the iMac screen, even at 1080p is just gorgeous.

    As I said already, the iMac 5K is a beautiful computer. I am enjoying it very much.


    Indeed! The text looks just stunning on this display. And browsing images on sites like Artstation is just amazing.
     
  17. driftless macrumors demi-god

    driftless

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    Sep 2, 2011
    Location:
    Chicago-area
    #17
    Not yet, I am stubbornly still using Aperture. But your comment goes to an Adobe software issue. There are other known 5K software issues with FCPX, Yosemite, etc. They will all be resolved soon. Adobe in particular is well positioned to take advantage of the 5K iMac structure.

    ----------

    Well said, William!
     
  18. redheeler macrumors 603

    redheeler

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2014
    #18
    Couldn't agree more, websites and text look great during casual use.
     
  19. BlakeBrattina macrumors 6502a

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    May 10, 2011
    Location:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    #19
    Everyone will have their opinion. I personally love mine as well. With the light photo editing, two GoPro movies that I have made, along with casual browsing, work and streaming the NHL, I am very happy.
     
  20. Rass macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2015
    Location:
    Brisvegas, Australia
    #20
    My first one was DOA, which was disappointing, but when the replacement arrived, I was really happy.

    The quality of the screen is second to none, and the only problem I've had since the DOA is finding good wallpapers for it :)
     
  21. skasol macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2007
    #21

    You should switch to Lightroom. Game changer
     
  22. aevan thread starter macrumors 68000

    aevan

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    Serbia
    #22
    As far as I know, actions in Develop are CPU based and both the i5 and i7 CPUs are having some trouble rendering what is basically a 14MP screen as smooth as a 3.5MP one. And these are among the fastest CPUs on a Mac, so, this is just the reality. When you think how Broadwell probably won't bring a large speed increase, and even Skylake will be "only" 15% faster, it brings us to this: either Adobe will find a way to render 4x pixels as fast (magic?) or we'll have to wait not one, but maybe two generations of Retina iMac for things to render in 4x as fast as they did in 1x resolution. With this in mind, I'm quite happy with the performance in Lightroom. Sure, it's not as smooth, but I am looking at my 12MP photos at 100% zoom, instead of 50%, and Lightroom still works quite fast. If you prefer speed to resolution, you can always run Lightroom in low res and have the same speed as before. Or you can wait for Cannonlake iMacs, somewhere in 2017 if there are no delays :))
     
  23. AppleFan360 macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2008
    #23
    Yeah, and I love the ones who spend one day with the 5K iMac then return them because of slowness or the so called "heat issue". How in the heck can you really get a feel for the 5K iMac in one day? Heck, on day doesn't even give the iMac a chance to properly index everything.
     
  24. rotlex macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 1, 2003
    Location:
    PA
    #24
    Don't ever dismay over the comments on these forums, lol. Seriously, as others have noted, to many here you need a Mac Pro maxed out to the tune of 10K just to run safari.

    I'm a semi-pro photographer and dabble in video just for family. My primary workstation is a late 2007 24" 2.8Ghz iMac with 4GB ram. I run Aperture, roughly 100k images, and most of the usual other stuff. Is it blazing fast? No. Is it useable? Absolutely. It's all in what you feel you need and want.

    With that said, I've been eyeing the 5k iMac quite a bit. However, I'm thinking now on waiting just a bit more. Well, maybe not another 8 years, hence the 2007 iMac, but just to see what Apple has in store for the next rev of the 5k. :D
     
  25. aevan thread starter macrumors 68000

    aevan

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2015
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    Serbia
    #25

    You are quite correct, of course a 2007 iMac can still be usable. I do kinda sorta get some of the people - when you pay a lot of money, you have some expectations, and UI lag is probably not what you expect from the most expensive iMac on offer. However, while I do *understand* these expectations, the *reactions* I do not understand. It's like buying a great, fast, beautiful (and expensive) car and finding out that the audio system inside is not quite what you would expect - and it's not replaceable. Sure, you can be disappointed with that aspect - but will you return the entire car (that is otherwise incredible), enraged - just because of the audio inside? It's like - "I didn't buy the car for driving, I bought it for listening to music".

    And that's where your comment fits perfectly: claims that occasional lag makes the computer unusable are just wrong. I don't care what you do, and what your job is, if moving sliders in Lightroom at a slightly lower speed than you expected prevents you from working, then you're either overreacting, or are downright incapable.

    So, thank you for your post, I agree completely.
     

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