New iMac, which one.

Discussion in 'iMac' started by marjen, Jan 5, 2016.

  1. marjen macrumors member

    Jul 24, 2002
    So I have a late 2012 iMac. 21" 2.7 i5 with 16 gig of RAM. The thing has become dirt slow. I am sure some of it has to do with the hard drive as its a 1 gig drive that is about 95% full. I just got an external HD and I am moving files to that which should clear up over 1/2 the hd. I will see if that helps.

    I do a lot of web development (html, css coding). I develop websites as a consultant. So I also use a few graphics and other development tools. I also do a lot of iMovie editing. I am thinking about getting a new iMac. Would the most important feature be a fusion drive? I was thinking of cheapest 27" with 2gig fusion. Or 21" with 2 gig fusion. Would that combo bring me a better speed increase than going for a higher processor? Trying to keep cost down as these things are way expensive. But when i spend more time sitting watching a spinning color wheel than coding its costing me time and money.
  2. garirry macrumors 68000


    Apr 27, 2013
    Canada is my city
    The hard drive in 21.5" models like yours (since the 2012 model) is absolutely horrible, being at 5400RPM and having speeds of about 50 MB/s. If you get a new Mac, I would suggest the lowest 27" iMac but with a 2TB Fusion drive (which even the hard drive part will be faster than yours), which also gives you a 5K display. While an SSD would be faster than a fusion drive, considering you have used 95% out of 1TB, I think that's not a great solution. I would avoid the 21.5" models currently.
  3. redheeler macrumors 604


    Oct 17, 2014
    I'd go for the 27", simply because you can see more code at once and better optimize your sites for larger screen sizes. Definitely go with the 2 TB Fusion drive as a minimum.
  4. santaliqueur macrumors 6502a

    Aug 7, 2007
    If speed is your concern, any SSD will remove potential bottlenecks over the Fusion Drive. The FD has a smaller SSD combined with a slower HDD, and OS X manages the files so that the most frequently used files are kept on the SSD, making it faster than a traditional HDD.
  5. torquer macrumors regular

    Oct 16, 2014
    Just echoing what everyone else says. If you have the space and the money, go for the 27. Regardless of what you get, get a fusion drive at minimum or a pure SSD if you don't need tons of space.
  6. Butchie-T macrumors regular

    Oct 29, 2014
    Regardless of what you may end up with, looks as though you are going to have to consider external storage in your decision making. If you are already choking a 1 TB drive now, it is probably only a matter of time before you start choking a 2TB drive as well. Maybe look at an internal SSD (maybe 500 GB) and external SSD or HD combination in whatever you end up with. Then you can use you main drive for your work and then store your finished product or in-work product on the external drive.
    Whatever you choose, enjoy!
  7. MadDane, Jan 5, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2016

    MadDane macrumors 6502a

    Apr 5, 2015
    If cost is your main concern, how about upgrading your existing iMac with an SSD? It is fairly simple on the pre-2012 models, and you would see some serious performance increase. I have upgraded a similar 21.5" iMac as yours with an SSD and it made a huge impact.

    Edit: I was too quick there. I see you have the late 2012 model. However, you can still do as I suggested it is just a bit more difficult compared to earlier models.
  8. Zwhaler macrumors 604


    Jun 10, 2006
    If it is costing you time and money, you might want to save money by buying an SSD instead of a new Mac. I'm warning you though it is not an easy upgrade, but will save you quite a few dollars if you pull it off.
  9. marjen thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 24, 2002
    Thanks guys. I did not know adding an ssd was an option to my computer. What kind of ssd would I need? Also not sure I want to take that on. While I Have fixed many computers over the years the iMacs are a pain to work with.
  10. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Oct 24, 2013
    Also you can add a bootable external SSD if you like, see guide below...
  11. AlexisV macrumors 68000


    Mar 12, 2007
    Manchester, UK
    The Retina screens on the new iMac is worth the upgrade alone.
  12. marjen thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 24, 2002
    I really dont have the 2k to buy a whole new setup. But if I can get a thunderbolt external 256gb ssd drive and use that as my boot disk that would probably speeds things up a lot. I also just got a 4gb external my book which i am sure i faster than the internal drive.

    Honestly most of the space id being eaten up by the iMovie file, its over 400gb! Not sure how iMovie stores data but that is nuts. I do have a lot of footage on there so i am going to move that to an external drive as well. The rest of my stuff does not take up much space so 256gb external boot drive plus all my dev files would not take up much and would probably feel like i got a new computer.
  13. kit42 macrumors newbie

    Jan 7, 2016
    is the "early 2016" iMac out yet? if not is there any point in waiting? there shouldn't be much improvement other than software, right?
  14. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    I like the 27" 5k iMac with the 2TB Fusion drive, that gives you a lot of bang for your buck, running the latest intel chipsets along with a dGPU.
  15. MadDane macrumors 6502a

    Apr 5, 2015
    There most likely will never be an 'Early 2016'. Most likely the next one will be a 'late 2016' or maybe even 'early 2017' depending on when the next chips from Intel are ready.
  16. marjen thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 24, 2002
    Just a quick update. I moved about 550 gb of data to an external drive and things are moving along a LOT better now. I think I am going to look into an external thunderbolt 256gb drive to use as a startup disk. I think i can avoid a new computer for now. thanks for the advise.

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