New iMac for my parents questions

Discussion in 'iMac' started by ks-man, Mar 23, 2016.

  1. ks-man macrumors 6502a

    Sep 25, 2007
    I'm looking at getting a new iMac for my parents who are in their late 60s. This will be replacing a 2008 20" iMac. They mainly use it for internet, photos, word processing, and managing their old school e-readers. I did a quick check and their current hard drive is 250gb and they are only using half of the space.

    A few questions I'm wondering. I could probably get them the entry level non-retina 1.6GHz Processor version with the 1TB 5400rpm hard drive and it would still seem like a crazy upgrade compared to what they are using. Still, I feel like that computer at $1,099 is an absurd ripoff and it is worth a little money to get a much better computer. I think 8gb of RAM will be plenty so my main decisions are coming down to retina vs. non-retina and 1TB regular, 1TB Fusion vs. 256gb flash.

    It is hard to decide if it is worth spending 1,699 for the retina with 256gb flash for them when I know anything new will feel great. Do you think they would appreciate the retina version or for older customers that don't really know any different do you think I should save the $200?

    With respect to the hard drive, other than booting up the computer would everything feel faster if I get the flash hard drive? I know that people hate the 1TB Fusion due to the small SSD but do people feel it is a big upgrade from the 5400rpm drive?

    Anybody who has any thoughts or experience in this area with advice, please let me know. Thanks.
  2. phrehdd macrumors 68040


    Oct 25, 2008
    The bump up to the next "model" with 1 tb fusion drive might be the sweet spot for your needs and budget at 1399.00.
    This is far better than the one you referenced in terms of processing, storage, video etc.

    21.5-inch iMac
    • 2.8GHz quad-core Intel Core i5 processor, Turbo Boost up to 3.3GHz
    • 8GB 1867MHz LPDDR3
    • 1TB Fusion Drive
    • Intel Iris Pro Graphics 6200
  3. ks-man thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Sep 25, 2007
    Thanks for sending this. It seems your recommendation is against the Retina Screen (due to cost) and upgrading to the 1TB Fusion rather than the 256 Flash Drive.

    I think I agree with the standard, non-retina version, however do you think that considering their low hard drive usage (current computer only 125gb) it would be worth the extra $100 to go from Fusion to Flash? I just don't see them coming close to using the full hard drive.

    I don't really know though if the speed improvement would be huge or marginal. From reading around here it sounds like most people feel you need to go to the 2TB Fusion to get the real speed benefits of a Fusion drive (which would cost more than Flash).

    Thanks for your thoughts.
  4. tyche macrumors 6502

    Jul 30, 2010
    They already use over 100gb so on the 1tb fusion, 75% of the data will be on the slow portion. I would get a 256gb SSD and end the speed issues. They are incredibly fast.

    Retina vs non is a toss. They probably would run in 1080p but it might be more crisp to look at. If you can go look at one in a store. I don't think the non retina would be bad though.
  5. Compgeek macrumors regular

    Mar 19, 2013
    I have the Retina 5k and love it, I'd say for your parents get them the 1TB Fusion with non-Retina display, they may use more storage space with a newer machine
  6. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    Definitely get the SSD over the 1TB Fusion drive. I think overall the performance of the iMac will suffer more with the 1TB drive.
  7. Fishrrman macrumors P6


    Feb 20, 2009
    How's your parents' eyesight doing?
    Are they beginning to have problems seeing "small" text?

    If so, you might consider an alternative route:
    Instead of an iMac, get them a Mac Mini with a "mid-resolution" 27" display.

    The mid-rez 27" displays have a native resolution of 1920x1080, with a pixel size of about .031mm.

    To a younger person, or someone with yet-sharp vision, a display of this resolution might appear "grainy".
    But to someone with "older eyes" (like myself), it's GREAT.
    In my case, the "clarity" of small text is of no help. I need it to be LARGER. Thus, having a "retina" display really doesn't change things much for the better.
    With a display (with larger pixels), I can run it at "native resolution" and do fine.

    These displays aren't expensive, you can find them for around $200-275.

    A "top-of-the-line" Mini (with 8gb of RAM and a 1tb fusion drive) can be found in the $900 range. These are speedy little machines, -if- you get either a fusion drive or a straight SSD. DO NOT buy one with only a platter-based HDD.

    Just something to consider...
  8. phrehdd macrumors 68040


    Oct 25, 2008
    If it were me, I would go with the 256 SSD and be prepared down the line to "add" an external drive for simple storage externally. This may also be an SSD in a small enclosure either USB3 or Thunderbolt. So you are aware, an external single SSD doesn't run any faster with Thunderbolt than in the better USB3 enclosures. Again, it is a matter of budget at this point.

Share This Page