New Retina 5K iMac advice needed

Discussion in 'iMac' started by NZiMac, May 10, 2015.

  1. NZiMac macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2015
    #1
    I am going to order my new 5k retina iMac. I have always had a PC until now. Have a Win7 laptop but prefer a desktop and my present Windows XP one was custom built 12 years go, just had a new hard drive and screen since then so served me very well!
    I have an iPad and iPhone and decided next desktop will be an iMac. Then the new Retina 5K screen came out and I was blown away by it and that's the one I want.
    Am an older person, I do the usual bit of everything including secretary of a society and photo editing. So do you think the base i5 model should do me okay with the 512k SSD option? I will upgrade the memory myself later if necessary.
    The thing is I just don't want to regret not getting a higher spec model in the future as I keep my computers for a good while. Will the lower spec make much difference to how it will perform in the future? Thanks for any advice.
     
  2. Martin29 macrumors 6502

    Martin29

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2010
    Location:
    Quimper, France
    #2
    For the general use you describe, the iMac won't even break a sweat, either now or for the foreseeable future.

    Many here would say you were overdoing it by going for the 5K, but I agree entirely with you, it's a pleasure to work with a machine which has a beautiful screen. Go for it and enjoy using it for many years to come.
     
  3. colodane macrumors 6502a

    colodane

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2012
    Location:
    Colorado
    #3
    Yes, from what you have said I think the i5 will be fine for you. The 512 GB SSD is an excellent choice - exactly the upgrade I would have chosen. I personally would not purchase the upgraded CPU or GPU in the current offerings.

    I think your only remaining decision is one of timing the purchase. If you really want/need the machine now go ahead and order. If you are flexible enough to wait until late fall there will no doubt be upgrades to both the 27 inch and 21.5 inch iMacs that may appeal to you more.

    Either way, enjoy your purchase. You will be a very happy camper after a 12 year old PC ;>)

    By the way, also consider the TrackPad and AppleCare on the Retina.
     
  4. Liffey macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2010
    #4
    Sounds like base model will be fine for you. Honestly you may not even need to upgrade the RAM.
     
  5. loekf macrumors 6502a

    loekf

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2015
    Location:
    Nijmegen, The Netherlands
    #5
    Totally agree. I also switched from a Windows PC to a 5K iMac this week. However, I upgraded the RAM.

    The base model is fast, no need for a faster i5 or i7. I spent a lot of time on decent alternatives for Windows apps, but it worked out just fine. The base model has a 1TB Fusion drive (incl. 128 GB SSD). After installing lots of stuff I have about 100 GB data + OSX on this drive. I want to store data (Photos and MP3s) on an external Thunderbolt drive to ensure I have max. performance out of the Fusion drive.

    The screen is amazing. You will never look back. This things boots very fast (10 secs) from power-on.

    Have to add that I didn't bother to migrate my Firefox and Thunderbird profiles/settings to OSX built-in Mail and Safari. I have >10 years of Thunderbird history (call me old-fashioned), so I'm using the OSX version of Thunderbird instead. Fortunately that one also supports notifications.
     
  6. AlexJoda, May 10, 2015
    Last edited: May 10, 2015

    AlexJoda macrumors regular

    AlexJoda

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2015
    #6
    I use a little different strategy for my 5K iMac. Because you can't upgrade some important parts later on and because I also use my iMacs for a long time I choose to upgrade the CPU to i7 but left the GPU with the M290X base version. I don't do many GPU intensive things and don't need the fan noise of the overheated throtteled M295X and save the money instead

    On the storage part I choose the 256 GB SSD option, which gives much better write performance than the fusion drive but it costs the same. To compensate the lesser capacity I added a small Thunderbolt case (don't use USB3, it's horribly slow...) for two mSATA SSDs and put a Samsung 550 Evo mSATA 512 GB inside. This costs about the same than the Apple 512 GB upgrade but give me 768 GB storage and the option to add another SSD later on if necessary.

    For the RAM I choose to replace the 8 GB Apple RAM with four 1866 MHz 8 GB DIMMs.
     
  7. Cape Dave macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2012
    Location:
    Northeast
    #7
    The best thing you could do is get all SSD. Fusion drive is old tech. Buh Bye spinners!

    I got the 512GB to make sure it had enough space for the future.

    The screen is like the best kept secret in tech. BEAUTIFUL. STUNNING. AMAZING.

    No regrets! Quite the opposite.
     
  8. loekf macrumors 6502a

    loekf

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2015
    Location:
    Nijmegen, The Netherlands
    #8
    Didn't work for me, so I'm using 8 TB in RAID0 on one of the TB ports now. Quite happy with the performance. IMHO USB 3.0 is not too bad in terms of performance. I have 1 TB music, 1 TB of video and 200 GB of photos, so external is the only route.

    Does 1866 MHz really work ? I mean, do you really see faster performance and is it 100% stable ? I have four 1600 MHz 8 GB sticks (Crucial aka Micron).
     
  9. Pieterr macrumors regular

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    Mar 22, 2015
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    #9
  10. AlexJoda macrumors regular

    AlexJoda

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2015
    #10
    USB 3 might be not so bad if you use HDs, but for SSDs it is slow. I tested a very fast Samsung 843T 480 GB enterprise SSD on it and it give me about 120 MB/s read and write speed with Backmagic on a Fantec Sneaker docking station, which might be OK compared to HDs bit it's only about 1/7 of the internal SSD performance. Maybe this has something to do that this docking station has no UASP, but I am not sure about that...

    For the RAM I use Hyper-X 1866 Dimms (hx318ls10ibk2/16) which are running fine without any problems. They are not more expansive than good 1600 RAMs and are really faster....

    The RAM
     
  11. loekf macrumors 6502a

    loekf

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2015
    Location:
    Nijmegen, The Netherlands
    #11
    USB 3.0 with its 5 Gbps should max out at 200-300 MB/s read speed I would say. So 120 MB/s is slow. You take a large hit if there's no UASP support (was 20% for USB 2.0).
     
  12. NZiMac thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2015
    #12
    Thanks very much for your helpful friendly replies, it looks like the i5 will be okay. I have bought a couple of books to refer to, one is Switching to the Mac Yosemite Edition, by David Pogue. The other is OSX Yosemite for Dummies by Mark L Chambers. Have thought about an external drive for storage of music and photo libraries and backups, the Thunderbolt drives are still very expensive so probably go for a USB3 maybe WD My Book Studio?
     
  13. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2011
    Location:
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    #13
    Should be around 400+ MB/s.

    USB 3.0, with the 8b/10b encoding taken into account, should give a theoretical 500 MB/s. Throw in a bit more overhead and you should expect around 450MB/s or so with UASP.

    My Transcend 960GB JetDrive SSD clocks in at around 420MB/s read and write over USB.
     
  14. loekf macrumors 6502a

    loekf

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2015
    Location:
    Nijmegen, The Netherlands
    #14
    That's actually pretty good. On Toms Hardware there's a comparison between USB 2.0 and 3.0 wrt external drives. AFAIK, they never got higher than 300 MB/s there. They also tested UASP.
     
  15. AlexJoda macrumors regular

    AlexJoda

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2015
    #15
    If this external drive is a HD and you don't need to boot from it you can go for an USB3 drive. If this is a single drive you should also think about a backup solution.

    An alternative might be to choose a NAS instead of a single USB drive. A NAS has redundant disks and can act as a backup for other drives too. You can put it anywhere in the net, so it don't disturb you sitting on the desktop an making noise like an external drive.
     
  16. fathergll macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2014
    #16


    I agree it's old tech but I have a fusion drive in my retina iMac and honestly the computer is very fast. I'm comparing this with an SSD from my Macair and in day to day usage the difference isn't that noticeable.
     
  17. ilyasdesign37 macrumors member

    ilyasdesign37

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2014
    #17
    the new Retina 5K iMac is crap the graphics card ain't great than GTX780

    Apple don't fully test their products these days they just send them out to make max profit

    not value for money

    get

    Apple iMac 27 3.5GHz i7 GTX780M 1TB PCIe Flash

    very fast and powerful for graphics and gaming, i just brought one

    Retina 5K has a lot issues with LED light and heating issues

    and now apple bringing out 8K end of year lol:p
     
  18. WilliamG macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2008
    Location:
    Seattle
    #18
    There are so many things wrong/made up with that post that I don't even know where to start...
     
  19. michaelz macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2010
    Location:
    LA
    #19
    DELL's 5K monitor cost $2000 and graphic supports 5K resolution easily cost more then $500. 5K iMac is the cheapest 5K computer on the market at this moment.
     

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