New iMac Purchse Advice

Discussion in 'iMac' started by mrjackal, Nov 16, 2015.

  1. mrjackal macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2012
    #1
    Good morning,

    I'm a long time lurker on the boards, but rarely post. I've been waiting to get a new iMac for about a year now. I have a 2007 iMac and iOS has finally surpassed the computer's capabilities. It runs incredibly slow now. She's been a heck of a machine, but it is time to move on.

    I am looking at getting the 27 inch iMac with the 3 TB HD. I do very little gaming (the last computer game I was really "in to" was Civ II). I mostly use my computer as my whole-home entertainment server. Digital movies, TV shows, music, etc. I also do a fair amount with photos, internet surfing and document creation for work.

    While I consider myself up to date with technology, I've never been terribly knowledgable "under the hood." Given that I don't play a lot of games, is there any reason for me to get the mid-level model 27-inch riMac with the AMD Radeon R9 M390? I am looking at the base model 27 riMac with the R9 M380 and I will upgrade to the 3 TB HD.

    Any advice/suggestions are appreciated. I like the 27 inch because I can upgrade the RAM myself down the road and I can get a larger built in HD. I've got about 1.5 TB of movies and music on an external HD now and would like to store all that on one machine.

    Thank you.
     
  2. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2013
    #2
    The 3Tb is a fusion drive so that gives you the much needed SSD (or flash storage) component so yeah buy whichever you like. Your use case could be adequetely performed by any modern computer so spec wise it doesn't matter, unless you think you'll change your mind on gaming or want to edit 4K video in the future in which case the mid level one with better graphics is probably worth it.
     
  3. mrjackal thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2012
    #3
    Thanks for taking the time to reply. If I may, I'd like to ask a follow up. I've been wondering for sometime now- and I suppose I could simply Google this- but what is a fusion drive compared to a normal hard drive? Am I wrong in thinking that I can simply copy over the 1.5 TB of digital video and music I have on an external HD to the new computer with the 3TB drive? I'm afraid I'm missing something. I know Apple wants us to move our digital collections to the Cloud, but I'm not really sold on iCloud at this point. Thanks again.
     
  4. Sirmausalot macrumors 6502a

    Sirmausalot

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2007
    #4
    The advantage of the fusion drive is that it automatically moves your most recently accessed files to the flash part of the drive. It manages all this in the background giving you great performance (though not as good as a straight SSD) without you having to worry about what is where and moving files around. It seems like the right thing for your needs. I think the 390 isn't too much more than the 380 -- so that might be worth the upgrade 'just in case' But you should be fine with 8GB of RAM for a while. Is there any reason you can't keep the music and video on the external HD? For simply playing music and video, you don't really need it on the internal drive. The internal drive is better for the operating system, programs, and files you manipulate (photos, etc). You won't notice any significant improvements putting music or videos on the internal drive.
     
  5. mrjackal thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2012
    #5
    The only reason I want to move the files from the external HD to the new machine is cleanliness. I'd also like to free up a USB port. I'll have the external HD still as a back up to my back up (I use the time capsule/time machine to back up my machine). I just prefer the sleek look of not having many additional boxes on my desk if it can be avoided. Since I'm buying my first computer in 8 years, I figure I might as well go for the gusto and get the big drive.
     
  6. desmond2046 macrumors regular

    desmond2046

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2015
    Location:
    Columbus, OH, United States
    #6
    3TB Fusion Drive is a good choice for you. My 2TB Fusion Drive is very fast. I also don't like putting media files on an external HD.

    If you use Adobe software (Lightroom, Photoshop, etc.) or some other ones that support GPU acceleration, you may benefit a little bit from upgrading to R9 M390.
     
  7. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2013
    #7
    No it performs just like any other hard drive just a lot faster due to the addition of 128GB SSD to store all your OSX apps and most used files on.
     
  8. mrjackal thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2012
    #8
    Thanks for the reply. I think I am going to pull the trigger this week, so that is why I am doing some final homework on the purchase. I am going to upgrade the HD to 3TB, but leave the RAM alone for awhile.
     
  9. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2013
    #9
    The 27 inch iMac has 4 RAM slots user accessable so you can easily add up to 64GB of RAM into the 4 slots in many configurations.
     
  10. makrom macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2015
    #10
    Taking it with the M390 instead would be $100 extra for this configuration. The M390 is about twice as fast as the M380, which you'll notice for photo and video editing as well. But if you don't care about the GPU, that's the way to go.
     
  11. mrjackal thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Aug 5, 2012
    #11
    Thanks. And I've noticed it is cheaper to add RAM after market than to have Apple do it at time of purchase. Plus, I'm not sure I'll need 32 GB right out of the gate, so paying the extra $600 is a bit foolish.
     
  12. mrjackal thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Aug 5, 2012
    #12
    Thank you. I don't really do any video editing at all on my computer. If I ever did, it would probably be a one-off "just for fun" type of project. I've had my current iMac since 2007 and I've never felt like the machine was inadequate for my needs. It is only recently, with El Capitain, that the machine has slowed considerably and I think it is time to upgrade. 8 years is a long time for one desktop. I got my money worth.
     
  13. talmy macrumors 601

    talmy

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
    Location:
    Oregon
    #13
    Based on all you have said (and my experience with numerous iMacs and other Macs from base models to top-of-the-line) the base 27" iMac with the 3TB Fusion drive as the only option seems just right. In the unlikely event you need more RAM you can add that yourself. You will be fine with the base processor and graphics card.

    Only gotcha I see is "a fair amount with photos". If you are into RAW (instead of JPEG) with a high resolution camera and are processing hundreds of images in one sitting, you would appreciate going for the mid-range (at least) with the i7 processor. None of this is needed for an entertainment server (I use a base 2009 mini for that!), surfing, or document creation.
     
  14. mrjackal thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Aug 5, 2012
    #14
    Thanks. I looked at the mini, but would need a bigger HD than is offered on that machine. A friend has a mini and absolutely lvoes it. When I said "fair amount with photos" I meant simply the taking and storing of photos. Organizing into albums, etc. I don't really edit them at all. I supposed my "fair amount" and a professional photographer's "fair amount" are much different!

    Thanks to all for the advice and for answering my questions. I am going with the base model 27 inch iMac and will upgrade to the 3TB HD. I'll make the purcahse this week. Can't wait! After 8 years with the saem desktop, this new one will be light years ahead of what I am used to.
     
  15. makrom macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2015
    #15
    You could use an external HDD with the mini though.
    Do you want 5k or not? If yes, an iMac is the most feasible option. If not, it's a waste of money from my point of view.
    Personally, I love 5k and it's one of the biggest improvements I had for a long time, but there are people who don't seem to care much.
     
  16. mrjackal thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Aug 5, 2012
    #16
    Yes, I want the 5K and I don't want to have to use an external HD anymore. I'd like everything selfcontained in one machine. I know I'm buying a bit more computer than I need, but I've had my current one for 8 years, so I am sort of "future proofing" a bit as well.
     
  17. makrom macrumors regular

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    Nov 4, 2015
    #17
    Yeah in that caes you are pretty much set on the iMac. The only alternative (ignoring hackintosh or non OS X machine) would be a Mac Pro, but that doesn't sound like a good choice for you.
     
  18. mrjackal thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Aug 5, 2012
    #18
    Yes, I think the Mac Pro would be way too much machine. Base at $3K, and I'd have to buy an HD display. Much more than I want/need. Sounds like the base 27 inch riMac will be more than enough for what I need.
     

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