need new iMac advice

Discussion in 'iMac' started by geokra, Jul 30, 2014.

  1. geokra macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2013
    #1
    Greetings all,

    My wife and I are returning from a stint abroad, where the LCD on our 2009 iMac has stopped working. We will buy a new 27" iMac upon our return and I need a bit of buying advice.

    We don't do anything too intense, computationally speaking. However, I expect that we'll begin spending more and more time with iPhoto and Aperture as we have been taking lots of pictures lately and my wife is very keen on editing photos. We have found with our current iMac that running iPhoto and Aperture is very slow (lots of time staring at the beach ball), perhaps as the individual files we're working with are ~30MB each and there can be many hundreds in each album... but I digress. We want something that can handle these things easily and without hiccups. Other uses are mainly for web browsing, music, and spreadsheets. We are in a position that money is not much of an issue, although we certainly aren't going to max out on all of the specs just because we can afford to.

    I'd appreciate comments about CPU and graphics specs, but I'm more interested more in opinions about RAM and HDDs.

    About RAM: How much do we really need? In the past (with other Macs) I have simply upgraded the RAM on my own when I buy the computer, rather than buying the RAM built in from Apple. Is this still a good way to save a few hundred bucks?

    About the hard drive, this is a bit more of an unknown. We want 2 or 3 TB of storage in some form. I am very intrigued by solid state drives and fusion drives. Apparently the performance is just amazing, but I am a little concerned about the reliability 2, 3, 4 years down the road. Perhaps this is not much of an issue with a fusion drive, as I assume the worst case scenario (if the SSD fails) would be that you are stuck with a fully functional conventional HDD with a few missing GB. I know there are lots of options (standard HDD, fusion, or external). Opinions? If it's of any relevance, I do think we'll end up getting a MacBook Air soon, when my wife finally says 'enough!' to her old Dell laptop.

    And advice is very appreciated!

    Thanks,

    Geoff
     
  2. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2011
    Location:
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    #2
    The 2.7GHz 21.5" iMac should do you fine, but as you mentioned yourself, a Fusion Drive or an SSD would give a massive performance boost over the slow 5400rpm HDD.

    Unless you do heavy Photoshop, 8GB of RAM would be fine.
     
  3. geokra thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2013
    #3
    Thanks for the tip. Our old iMac is a 24", so I've already decided to go for the 27" because I don't want to go backwards on the display size. That's one thing I'm happy to pay for!
     
  4. puke macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2007
    Location:
    Sweden
    #4
    I'd recommend the i7-processor, atleast 8GB of RAM and I believe the 2GB vid-card is enough, though i'd opt for the 4GB.
     

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