Purchasing iMac for School

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Gualwer, Apr 11, 2016.

  1. Gualwer macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2015
    #1
    Hey everyone,

    So I'm planning on going back to school this fall. I'm gonna start my IT Bachelor's degree. Most of my classes will be taken online and a few times at Campus. right now I have a really old windows desktop computer (which I don't use at all) and also a 2013 Macbook air with only 128GB which is enough for me now, but I'm sure I'll be needing more storage once I start school. Since I know I'll be using my computer a lot I thought about selling my Macbook air and getting a Macbook Pro, but after going to the Apple store and looking at the new iMacs I just fell in love with them, Plus most of them come already with 1TB storage which is awesome. So I thought about keeping my macbook air for light use and when traveling and then get an iMac for when Im taking classes, I was also told that if I had a Mac computer I would also need to install Windows because of the software and classes I will be taking so I thought an iMac would be a good for me since I'm sure my macbook air won't be able to handle much of this. I have a couple questions though.

    Is it easy to upgrade RAM memory in iMacs? The reason I'm asking this is because if Im gonna invest on an iMac, I wanna be able to keep it for a long time so Im debating between getting the one that comes with 16GB RAM or just getting the 8gb RAM and upgrade it later on. Apple charges extra $200 for 16GB RAM. Is that $200 worth it? or could I upgrade it later on for maybe less money?

    The one I'm looking at getting is the 2.1 iMac with 4k display 3.1GHz quad-core Intel Core i5, Turbo Boost up to 3.6GHz 1TB Serial ATA Drive @ 5400 rpm for $1499

    Any advice is appreciate it! Thanks.
     
  2. Omni Geno, Apr 11, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2016

    Omni Geno macrumors regular

    Omni Geno

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2005
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA, USA
    #2
    [edited for clarity]

    Hi Gualwer,

    Congrats on your upcoming purchase! Unfortunately, the latest 21-inch iMacs do not have user-upgradeable RAM. The 27-inch ones do, however. Please see this article: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201191. If you're getting the 21-inch model, I'd recommend springing for the model that comes with 16GB standard (assuming you have the cash for it - yay starving students!), because otherwise you'll have to take it to an Apple Store or other Authorized Service Provider to do the job, if you wanted to upgrade later. As an aside, if it were user-upgradeable, I would have recommended going to Other World Computing (www.macsales.com) to get your ram for a more affordable price.

    Take care, and good luck with your schooling!
     
  3. Gualwer thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2015
    #3

    Thank you so much for the info. I was actually checking out the 27" and its very tempting. Even more now that I know I can upgrade the ram memory myself later on. Also, Do you think a Fusion Drive would be much better over ATA drive? I know trying to future proof technology is hard since technology advances so quickly, but I want something that will last me a while.
     
  4. Omni Geno macrumors regular

    Omni Geno

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2005
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA, USA
    #4
    Hi Gualwer,

    Yeah, those 27-inch iMacs are gorgeous, aren't they? I don't have any personal experience w/ the fusion drives, but I do know they leverage a combination of the standard platter hard drive and SSD technology. I have SSDs in both my computers, one of which is a 2013 Macbook Pro, and I will not go back to spinning platter hard drives, ever. Anything that'll improve storage read speeds is a very welcome feature, in my opinion.
     
  5. austintg macrumors member

    austintg

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2015
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    #5
    Seriously don't buy anything that does not have an SSD, not Fusion because once you put enough stuff on it it will be close to an original HDD. If you get an iMac, have them put an SSD in unless you buy a used iMac. I can upgrade them to an SSD in about 40 mins, if that.
     
  6. Gualwer thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2015
    #6

    Thanks for the info. I was actually thinking about purchasing a refurbished iMac from Apple and I noticed they don't let you change anything. I checked the pricing for a brand new one with SSD and its just a bit out of my budget. So I guess I'll have to go with Fusion drive and then upgrade the RAM to 16GB later on.
     
  7. T'hain Esh Kelch macrumors 601

    T'hain Esh Kelch

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2001
    Location:
    Denmark
    #7
    Get the 2TB Fusion drive. The money is practically wasted with the 1TB drive since the included SSD is so tiny.
     

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