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MAJ6288

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 25, 2017
14
17
Hi all,

I’m a regular reader of this forum, but this is my first post, so be gentle.

This week my shiny new iMac will be delivered. I ordered the following machine:

27-inch iMac with Retina 5K display
With the following configuration:
3.8GHz quad-core 7th-generation Intel Core i5 processor, Turbo Boost up to 4.2GHz
8GB 2400MHz DDR4
2TB Fusion Drive
Radeon Pro 580 with 8GB video memory

I know the SSD vs Fusion has previously been discussed elsewhere, but I’m wondering what kind of performance I can expect from a 2TB Fusion Drive. The reason I didn’t upgrade to the SSD is simply the cost, but I’m now freaking out because I may have made a bad decision.

Thanks....
 

deeddawg

macrumors G5
Jun 14, 2010
12,260
6,412
US
I predict you'll get opinions on both sides. (A) You'll be fine with the 2TB Fusion drive, and (B) you should have gone with the 1TB SSD.

My suggestion is go back to your requirements (what you intend to do with the system) and review the thought processes which brought you to the conclusion this config is the best tradeoff of price vs. performance for your specific needs. See if you missed anything.

In the end, *YOU* are the person using the computer, and it's your money you're spending. None of us out here are either funding the system or planning to use it. :)

(my only question/comment would be to ask whether the was purchased as a refurb, and if not why not? https://www.apple.com/shop/product/...uad-core-Intel-Core-i5-with-Retina-5K-display )
 
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tn-xyz

macrumors regular
Sep 13, 2017
175
211
the 2017 imac is simply fast – fusion drive or not.
you can upgrade later if you wish to do so and the costs of TB SSDs have gone down.

don't worry, really.
 
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CaptRB

macrumors 6502a
Oct 11, 2016
940
1,015
LA, California
I had the exact machine you have (except i7) but had to return it due to bad memory slots. Apple gave me the free upgrade to a 512 SSD.

My friends also use these machines for film editing and run the 2 and 3 TB FD drives as well as the 1TB SSD.

In actual usage it's pretty hard to tell the difference and they're cutting pretty high end stuff. With the 128GB SSD portion, the FD drive is smoking fast.

But with all of that in mind, did also learn that the i7 is a serious, yet fairly inexpensive upgrade that should not be missed. I'm working in film folk out here in Hollywood and these people know their Macs. My son's i5 is noticeably slower working with photos vs. the i7. And I've also noted that an i7 with FD is noticeably faster than an i5 with SSD. Do not underestimate the advantages of the i7 processor.

You can always upgrade the drive later, but the brains of the system are either i5 or i7...go i7 if you plan video/photo stuff.


R.
 
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rotlex

macrumors 6502a
May 1, 2003
690
500
PA
Just received my new iMac week ago. I went with the 512 SSD and the i7. I've tried both, SSD vs Fusion that a friend has, and honestly, you probably won't notice much of a difference for day to day operations. The biggest reason I went SSD was I've had so many spinning drives go bad on me over the years I just wanted less moving parts in my new machine.
 

rotlex

macrumors 6502a
May 1, 2003
690
500
PA
Go i7.

You're buying hardcore longevity and performance with the faster processor.


R.

This too. Always buy the fastest processor available. When your already spending this much, what a few hundred extra to know how have the best available? I did that back in 2007 with the 2.8Ghz iMac. It lasted me 10 years, lol.
 
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alien3dx

macrumors 68020
Feb 12, 2017
2,188
525
Hi all,

I’m a regular reader of this forum, but this is my first post, so be gentle.

This week my shiny new iMac will be delivered. I ordered the following machine:

27-inch iMac with Retina 5K display
With the following configuration:
3.8GHz quad-core 7th-generation Intel Core i5 processor, Turbo Boost up to 4.2GHz
8GB 2400MHz DDR4
2TB Fusion Drive
Radeon Pro 580 with 8GB video memory

I know the SSD vs Fusion has previously been discussed elsewhere, but I’m wondering what kind of performance I can expect from a 2TB Fusion Drive. The reason I didn’t upgrade to the SSD is simply the cost, but I’m now freaking out because I may have made a bad decision.

Thanks....
Depend on your usage. I suggest upgrading RAM to 16 GB first.. since i see all photographer /video editing here and i developer apps also struggle with 8 GB RAM. But not so so much..
 

Poncho

macrumors 6502
Jun 15, 2007
470
184
Holland
My 2008 iMac finally blew its logic board after hardly being switched off and being in constant use for eight years. I couldn't afford a delay as I work from home so had to pick up a Mac in the nearest Apple Store that day. If I had been able to wait a week I would have got a BTO with the i7 but bought the exact same Mac as you have. It's like lightning. Really pleased I have the i5. It's silent too.

Wait till SSD prices come right down and then have the fusion configuration replaced by all-SSD if it bothers you that much. But I bet you'll have forgotten all about it by this weekend.
 

deeddawg

macrumors G5
Jun 14, 2010
12,260
6,412
US
the 2017 imac is simply fast – fusion drive or not.
you can upgrade later if you wish to do so and the costs of TB SSDs have gone down.

So you can actually put a third party nVME (or whatever) blade SSD in the 2017 iMac? I thought that wasn't possible, and you could only put in the slower SATA SSDs?
 

MAJ6288

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 25, 2017
14
17
This too. Always buy the fastest processor available. When your already spending this much, what a few hundred extra to know how have the best available? I did that back in 2007 with the 2.8Ghz iMac. It lasted me 10 years, lol.

I'm pleasantly surprised that people are recommending the i7........I only ever seem to read negative comments about fan noise with i7 spec machines.
 
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deeddawg

macrumors G5
Jun 14, 2010
12,260
6,412
US
Depend on your usage. I suggest upgrading RAM to 16 GB first.. since i see all photographer /video editing here and i developer apps also struggle with 8 GB RAM. But not so so much..
Yes, though as that's user-upgradeable it's going to be cheaper to add 16GB after purchase and end up with 24GB total vs. buying the 8->16GB upgrade from Apple.
 

MAJ6288

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 25, 2017
14
17
I predict you'll get opinions on both sides. (A) You'll be fine with the 2TB Fusion drive, and (B) you should have gone with the 1TB SSD.

My suggestion is go back to your requirements (what you intend to do with the system) and review the thought processes which brought you to the conclusion this config is the best tradeoff of price vs. performance for your specific needs. See if you missed anything.

In the end, *YOU* are the person using the computer, and it's your money you're spending. None of us out here are either funding the system or planning to use it. :)

(my only question/comment would be to ask whether the was purchased as a refurb, and if not why not? https://www.apple.com/shop/product/...uad-core-Intel-Core-i5-with-Retina-5K-display )

Well the comments so far have been pretty balanced. To be honest, the machine is overkill for my needs in the first place. I'm a mature part time student (juggling work, an engineering degree and a family), so get student discount. I paid £2052 including tax, so not far off the price of the refurb unit you linked.

I plan to use it for the usual word processing of assignments, a bit of gaming and maybe in the future, some SolidWorks. I've had my mind made up on an AIO for some time, but have struggled to decide what to go for. In the end, for the spec, the iMac isn't bad value when compared to similar specification Windows based machines.

I wanted the 580 GPU so that I have a fair chance of VR without the need for an external GPU. I guess we'll see how that pans out, but Apple have you over a barrel because you can't get the 580 in lower spec configurations.

I think the best plan is to see how it goes with what I've ordered and if I'm not happy, return it for an upgrade.....the Wife will kill me!!!
 

kschendel

macrumors 65816
Dec 9, 2014
1,286
559
I don't agree that one should always get the fastest CPU. Faster usually means hotter, which isn't a good thing.

The problem with the Fusion drive is that you won't know whether it's fast or slow for YOU, until YOU use it. FD performance is very sensitive to workloads, file sizes, etc and it's quite difficult to say anything definitive. Your plan to try it out, is the right one.
 
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gian8989

macrumors 6502
Oct 23, 2015
274
78
I'm pleasantly surprised that people are recommending the i7........I only ever seem to read negative comments about fan noise with i7 spec machines.
As an i7 owner the iMac is silent but if you push the CPU the fan is noisy. Since i don't use it as a working machine it doesn't bother me the few times i really use the CPU but it would be a problem if it was like this all day.
 

rotlex

macrumors 6502a
May 1, 2003
690
500
PA
I'm pleasantly surprised that people are recommending the i7........I only ever seem to read negative comments about fan noise with i7 spec machines.

Honestly, although I have only had my new machine a few weeks, I don't notice the fans at all. Compared to my 10 year old 24" iMac, this thing is as quiet as the proverbial church mouse. I push it fairly hard too on a regular basis.
 

CaptRB

macrumors 6502a
Oct 11, 2016
940
1,015
LA, California
I'm pleasantly surprised that people are recommending the i7........I only ever seem to read negative comments about fan noise with i7 spec machines.



Fan noise? I'm working with two of these new i7 machines. I've heard the fan a couple of times. Maybe these folks don't have air conditioning?

I can get the fans going by running a lot of apps, but it doesn't happen easily and hardly a big deal when it does.

The i5 is a silly choice when the i7 is so inexpensive. The CPU is a priority, involved with ALL operations, while the type of drive only plays a role on certain applications. Missing out on the i7 is a bad move. The i7 will buy you the most power and longevity.


R.
 

Khaleal

macrumors regular
Aug 24, 2013
186
80
2TB fusion drive configuration includes a 128GB SSD, and it's pretty fast. Damn, I have the 1TB FD iMac 27 2013 and it's very fast (also has 128GB SSD), I can't tell the difference from my all-SSD iMac.
The only issue with FD though is lack of APFS support.
 
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CaptRB

macrumors 6502a
Oct 11, 2016
940
1,015
LA, California
2TB fusion drive configuration includes a 128GB SSD, and it's pretty fast. Damn, I have the 1TB FD iMac 27 2013 and it's very fast (also has 128GB SSD), I can't tell the difference from my all-SSD iMac.
The only issue with FD though is lack of APFS support.




I bought my son the 27" 5K i5 with the fusion drive and it's a great machine, plenty fast. He's 13 and this is a good student machine. The 2TB FD drive is fast and roomy. For most people it's a great choice. But if you are concerned with speed for any real reason, get the i7.

If you use apps that are drive intensive and have limited RAM, the SSD makes a bigger difference.


R.
 

tn-xyz

macrumors regular
Sep 13, 2017
175
211
So you can actually put a third party nVME (or whatever) blade SSD in the 2017 iMac? I thought that wasn't possible, and you could only put in the slower SATA SSDs?
OWC sells PCIe SSDs for the 2012 model and macbook pros.
i don't know about the current compatibility, but down the line there will be third party options, i'm sure.
having said that, you can still upgrade the SATA III slot with a normal SSD.
 

AFEPPL

macrumors 68030
Sep 30, 2014
2,644
1,571
England
Hi all,

I’m a regular reader of this forum, but this is my first post, so be gentle.

This week my shiny new iMac will be delivered. I ordered the following machine:

27-inch iMac with Retina 5K display
With the following configuration:
3.8GHz quad-core 7th-generation Intel Core i5 processor, Turbo Boost up to 4.2GHz
8GB 2400MHz DDR4
2TB Fusion Drive
Radeon Pro 580 with 8GB video memory

I know the SSD vs Fusion has previously been discussed elsewhere, but I’m wondering what kind of performance I can expect from a 2TB Fusion Drive. The reason I didn’t upgrade to the SSD is simply the cost, but I’m now freaking out because I may have made a bad decision.

Thanks....

Depends if the data you are looking for is cached or not... if not you will get HDD speeds it's that simple. Remember SSDs are good for random reads, so if your workflow involves sequential reads you won't see much difference.

I wouldn't go with the fusion drive under any circumstances and they do slow down over time/useage.
If its from apple, try it, if its not what "you" expected/need/want you can always return it.
 

deeddawg

macrumors G5
Jun 14, 2010
12,260
6,412
US
OWC sells PCIe SSDs for the 2012 model and macbook pros.
i don't know about the current compatibility, but down the line there will be third party options, i'm sure.
having said that, you can still upgrade the SATA III slot with a normal SSD.

Yeah, last I looked OWC had no solution for the 2017 blade SSDs. Difference in benchmarks between those and SATA SSDs is something like 4x to 5x, the different is pretty substantial. To what degree it means anything in real world usage depends on the use cases the machine is used for of course. My only point is that buyers should know that the pre-installed SSD is not the equivalent of an aftermarket upgrade at this time.
 
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MAJ6288

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 25, 2017
14
17
2TB fusion drive configuration includes a 128GB SSD, and it's pretty fast. Damn, I have the 1TB FD iMac 27 2013 and it's very fast (also has 128GB SSD), I can't tell the difference from my all-SSD iMac.
The only issue with FD though is lack of APFS support.

I’ve been reading about APFS support for the FD. It’s coming, but not yet.

Yeah, last I looked OWC had no solution for the 2017 blade SSDs. Difference in benchmarks between those and SATA SSDs is something like 4x to 5x, the different is pretty substantial. To what degree it means anything in real world usage depends on the use cases the machine is used for of course. My only point is that buyers should know that the pre-installed SSD is not the equivalent of an aftermarket upgrade at this time.

Yeah, I don’t think I’ll be upgrading it myself.....I’m more likely to sell it and upgrade the whole machine. SATA SSD’s have had there day now that external SSD’s are achieving ~500mbs.
 

jeffbax

macrumors member
Jul 17, 2004
52
8
No hardware will give the performance boost that an SSD will bring over a traditional magnetic drive. Fusion drives are probably a little better, but I doubt they really compare much. I would take an SSD over an i7 any day.
 
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CaptRB

macrumors 6502a
Oct 11, 2016
940
1,015
LA, California
No hardware will give the performance boost that an SSD will bring over a traditional magnetic drive. Fusion drives are probably a little better, but I doubt they really compare much. I would take an SSD over an i7 any day.



Sorry, but this just shows how little you know...follow the bouncing ball...

1) i7 is the top processor and substantially and VISIBLY faster on many apps.
2) i5 is slower than i7 and few will try to upgrade their CPU.
3) SSD is ONLY faster on apps that make significants use of the drive. With a proper amount of RAM, drive usage is minimal much of the time.
4) I just watched my friend do a SSD install on a new Mac and it's easy, assuming you know how. This is a very easy upgrade, so you're NOT STUCK with the drive.

IF the fusion drive slows you down, it can be corrected with a faster drive. But you're STUCK with the i5 processor. Upgrade the items NOW that you CAN'T upgrade later!

My son has the new i5, but it's clearly slower. The drive is not the issue because I've worked with the top level i5 with a 1 TB SSD and it was slower as well, even against the i7 with the 2TB FD.

This silliness about choosing the SSD over a faster processor is BAD INFO. I think people with remorse over choosing the i5 are the main storytellers on this issue. 200 or 300 bucks to get the i7 is a "crazy if you don't" upgrade, especially with folks here planning to get some longevity out of these machines.

Skipping the i7 is a mistake. You can always change the drives. I have the top level i7 machine with the SSD, but even I plan to swap it out for a better/faster version in a year or two.



R.
 
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