My iMac Retina Configuration Purchase and Why

Discussion in 'iMac' started by edjrwinnt, Dec 12, 2014.

  1. edjrwinnt macrumors member

    Mar 8, 2008
    North Ridgeville, Ohio
    I've decided on a BASE retina iMac WITH the i7 processor upgrade option with Apple Care. After long debate with myself, I passed on the following options with their respective reasons:

    256-512 SSD Drive over 1 TB Fusion Drive - I only store applications and a single Windoze 7 VM on my boot drive, given that I have several servers on my network for data. Right now I have 20 gigs of hard drive space left on my late 2009 iMac 128 Gig SSD, which means in the future I will probably fill up the 128 Gig SSD portion of the Fusion drive on the new iMac Retina. However, I will take this trade-off given that most of my most used apps will still be on the 128 Gig SSD drive, so my performance will not be affected as much if some of my lesser used stuff is loaded off of the mechanical hard drive.

    Plus, I think it's in the best interest for the long term to have 2 hard drives internally in case one of them dies because I wanna use both Thunderbolt ports for external LCD's. I also use the USB ports for many other devices that are NOT hard drives (4th LCD, UPS, flash drive, SD reader, scanner, USB hub, USB keyboard switch). After doing a SSD iMac upgrade on my late 2009, I have absolutely no interest of opening up a retina iMac down the road to add or replace a defective hard drive. I am assuming that if one hard drive dies then I will be able to use the other in a non-Fusion configuration.​

    M925X over M920X Video Card - The most hardcore video editing I will do is in Photoshop for some lower-end web design but nothing else really hardcore. I think the M290X will suffice, and I firmly believe the stutters with Mission Control and some applications is strictly a OSX issue and not the M920X video card.

    Plus, I don't want to deal with heat issues from the M925X. If my iMac 2009 had not been taken apart for warranty issues (logic board, video card and hard drive replacement) and my own internal upgrade to blow the dust out, I believe it would have died by now from overheating.​

    i5 over i7 processor - This is my only upgrade beyond the base config and to me it's a no brainer for $200 more (I can get the Education Discount). I bought a late 2009 iMac base in December of 2009 and my only regret was not going with a faster processor. I believe back then though the processor upgrade was much more expensive than $200. ​

    These are my opinions on why I am pulling the trigger on this configuration. This configuration suits me best given my limited graphics needs, and I am on a five year plan as this being my main computer at home. Please feel free to pick it apart to try and change my mind. :cool:
  2. fathergll macrumors 65816

    Sep 3, 2014
    Personally I would have retina with 3tb fusion drive in a heartbeat if it wasnt for the cheap deals on the 1tb Base models out there.

    Why do you think you need the i7?

    I do agree on the M920X. I would be paranoid on heat issues with the M925X
  3. robgendreau macrumors 68040

    Jul 13, 2008
    See this for example:

    They have the 295+4.0, so not exactly on point.

    And the multicore Geekbench score for the i5 is 12221; for the i7 it's 16451. So definitely faster, but the single core scores are closer at 3846 and 4329 respectively, but still pretty significant. Whether that matters with your work, dunno.

    And similarly with the 295 heat issue. YMMV. If I was a "serious" gamer I wouldn't buy a Mac anyway, or I'd still have my overclocked water cooled hackintosh :D . Otherwise it's a non-issue. I'm doing the same sorts of stuff on my 295 riMac that I did on my 2011 iMac, and that older machine got WAY hotter, although it's still working like a champ.
  4. edjrwinnt thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 8, 2008
    North Ridgeville, Ohio
    I like to run virtual machines and the hyperthreading feature of the i7 is useful with virtual machines. Plus the faster speed would extend the life of it a little bit beyond an i5.

    I thought my iMac i5 late 2009 that I got in December of 2009 would be almost obsolete by now but it still works great. Besides adding more ram and putting in a SSD drive, all that I had to do was downgrade from Yosemite back to Mavericks to still get the responsiveness that I expect.

    In my opinion you can't go wrong with the base model if you don't need the extra video power, especially at the discounted price.

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