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macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 6, 2014
Hi everyone,

You may remember me from the mbp vs rmbp thread. I went with the retina, and it was the best decision made ever. Now, ever since I got it, my roommate has become interested in getting a new computer as well, and since you guys were so helpful in my decision making process, I thought I'd come to you again with a new scenario.

I'm trying to help my roomie decide on a mac

He's thinking of getting the cheap 1k imac with a 1tb fusion drive.

His concerns:

  • Maximum of 8gb RAM - will he ever need 16gb? (in which case, is this even possible with this computer)
  • Processor speed
  • His normal computer use:
  • Writing essays (Office)
  • Reading/writing mail
  • Using teamviewer to help his mom sometimes
  • Skype
  • web browsing (dictionaries, research, video tutorials on youtube) 5a. several browser windows open
  • music library w/ itunes, combined with his ipod classic.
  • opening fotos his mother sends him

  • no gaming whatsoever
  • no photo or video editing
  • no programming
  • barely any social media (only specific forums and newspapers)
  • portability for him is not important. He doesn't take his computer anywhere, and for him, portability means grabbing the computer, putting it in a box, and moving it to a new place when he moves to a new place (if he ever does).

So, basically, he'll be sitting there writing papers, listening to music on his big headphones, skyping with his family, etc.

Will he EVER need 16gb of RAM or will the maximum 8 be enough?

For his uses, will the processor be enough?

The reason he's thinking of the imac instead of a laptop (air, retina) or the mini, is because he doesn't have a monitor, keyboard, hates cables, and would like to have a desktop instead to, as he says, associate computer with work, and confine that to his desk. He also likes the format.

He also likes the imac format and how everything is just cramped in one place. He doesn't consider the 27" version because 1) he doesn't need the space, and 2) he doesn't like to, quote, "move his head around a large screen, looking for stuff".

Personal question of mine, out of curiosity, how does the fusion drive compare to an ssd?

Thanks for any advice you can offer us.


macrumors 68020
Nov 20, 2009
Can't help you too much, but I just wanna say that in my experience, the bottleneck in the iMac is by far the HD. 5400rpm is the only pet peeve I have with that machine ( But of course, if he has never used an SSD he won't know the difference (and unfortunately the upgrade is not cheap).

Lucky rMBP and MBA users who gets it by default..


macrumors 6502
May 29, 2014
North Carolina
He will be quite happy with the base model with the fusion drive and i would definitely recommend it. Nothing you describe will even flirt with the capabilities of what you will get with the base model.

As for your question about the fusion drives, the fusion is simply a combination of a standard HDD and the SSD. The reason it is available is because SSD's are higher in price for the amount of space they offer as compared to the standard HDD. Apple (and many other companies) have combined the best of both to give you the fusion. In basic terms, it gives you the speed of the SSD with the size and relative cost of the HDD (again very basic terms).


macrumors 6502a
Dec 24, 2011
I am editing high resolution video on a 2010 iMac with 8GB or ram and regular hard drive. Your roomate will be way too fine.


Nov 3, 2011
I would say the machine your roommate is considering is perfect considering what he will be using it for.

8GB will be fine for those tasks long into the future. RAM cannot be changed in the 21.5" model if I remember correctly.
Fusion Drive will perfect.


macrumors demi-god
Apr 27, 2011
8 gb will be plenty for his needs. He will get near SSD performance with the fusion drive. He is the customer that model is designed for.
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