Refurb fully loaded 27" 2013 imac or base 5k? Help! :(

Discussion in 'iMac' started by slimpsy, May 26, 2015.

  1. slimpsy macrumors newbie

    slimpsy

    Joined:
    May 26, 2015
    Location:
    Ohio
    #1
    Hello all. . . I'm new here and semi-new to Macs in general and have been trying to make a decision for several days on what would best suit my needs now and in the future with this investment. Any and all help would be greatly appreciated!

    I have a budget of around $2,000 USD and have been eyeballing a base model 27" retina iMac and also the refurbished late 2013 non-retina 27" that comes pretty loaded with an i7, 3tb fusion and 780M 4GB GPU for about the same price as the base retina. I plan to upgrade the memory myself and already have multiple USB 3.0 external storage solutions.

    Now I am by no means a power user but I am a stay at home father and a photo/video guru who does a lot of editing in Photoshop and video encoding in premiere/after effects (mostly of my children/family/friends) and would like a machine that can keep up with these tasks today and for a few years to come. Right now I use a 2009 i7 920 desktop and it's just getting a little long in the tooth for me and I'd love to migrate to Mac with Final Cut Pro.

    I have seen and tried both side-by-side and from a visual perspective..the retina is certainly slightly nicer to look at and read text on, but it didn't blow my mind by any means compared to the non-retina.

    I guess I'm just wondering which would be more future-proof for what I want it for. . . is the i7 and faster GPU with outdated thunderbolt going to cause me buyers remorse later. . . or will the base retina become more outdated as it's refreshed and not realize it's full potential for a couple more years as more content is optimized/produced for it?

    HELP ME! :*(

    <3
     
  2. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2013
    #2
    I would go for the one with the fusion drive for that reason alone. A spinning HDD is just not much fun on macs with yosemite (or even mavericks for that matter). That 128GB of SSD in the fusion will make all the difference.

    i7 will give you hyperthreading useful on a fair few of your apps, and the 780M is a bit of a beast fro a mobile GPU.

    To be honest unless you really can't do without the 5K screen, or simply must be 4K ready then the 2013 is a better buy.

    Get the middle config Retina imac with a fusion or an SSD if 4K is a must in the next few years.
     
  3. imaccooper macrumors regular

    imaccooper

    Joined:
    May 29, 2014
    Location:
    North Carolina
    #3
    I agree completely. There will be two major performance differences in those machines. The Fusion will crush a standard HDD for general speed and the i7 will be very handy to have with Final Cut Pro and other professional apps.

    Like Samuelsan said above, unless the 5k is a complete deal breaker, the 2013 will be the better machine for the money and will easily last you another 5 years.
     
  4. slimpsy thread starter macrumors newbie

    slimpsy

    Joined:
    May 26, 2015
    Location:
    Ohio
    #4
    Thanks for the insight! 5K is definitely not a requirement for me, as I don't record anything in 4k+ or really consume a ton of media sitting at my computer screen (that's what my 65" TV is for, right?).

    I guess I was going to get the 5K with 1tb fusion if I got the 5k (forgot the released a non-fusion one recently), so it really would just boil down to the 780M gpu w/ 4GB of VRAM & the i7 with hyper threading or the 2GB 290x w/ i5.

    I'm probably going to order the late 2013 today. It just seems like a great deal for a very well equipped i7 imac with 780m and 3tb fusion drive which would provide me with the processing and graphic power I need as well as ample internal storage until 5k becomes more mainstream.

    Any other insight from people who have had a similar struggle, or perhaps who have even bought and returned the 5k retina. . . would love to hear more opinions!

    Thanks again. . . love this community! Long time lurker/reader :)
     
  5. fathergll macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2014
    #5
    780M gpu w/ 4GB of VRAM + i7 is the more powerful computer. If you don't care which display you have then get the more powerful computer. Personally I value the display a lot.
     
  6. slimpsy thread starter macrumors newbie

    slimpsy

    Joined:
    May 26, 2015
    Location:
    Ohio
    #6
    Thanks! I am about to pull the trigger on this refurb i7. All my sources and input are telling me it's the best buy for my budget and future proofing my needs. . . I also like that in the future I can use the imac in target display mode for a separate mac device which the retina cannot do.

    The only reason I am hesitant is because it's a large investment for older tech, but essentially does that even matter in the last several generations of iMac? They all seem rather comparable in the real world since the sandy bridge intel release builds.

    Thanks again. . . I really value all the input I have received ! :)
     
  7. ixxx69 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2009
    Location:
    United States
    #7
    I wouldn't try to dissuade you from the route you're leaning toward, but just based on the little bit you've shared, I would question whether you really understand the components that are going to offer the best performance for your usage (e.g. you mention wanting a powerful GPU, but I don't see how that would be helpful based on the usage you mentioned; how much RAM do you think you need?, etc.).
     
  8. slimpsy thread starter macrumors newbie

    slimpsy

    Joined:
    May 26, 2015
    Location:
    Ohio
    #8
    Yeah, the more powerful GPU was more for the light gaming I do and wanting more VRAM for things like AA and such in those games.

    All in all I went with the Best Buy 8 hour deal for the Retina. After several days of researching, reading full reviews, seeing benchmark charts, seeing both side by side. It just feels right. I got the one with the fusion drive, i5 3.5, 290X 2GB. . . I'm sure I will be happy with it and I'm happy I got a great deal on it!

    Thanks again for all the input. . . I am still re-learning Macs (last I used was a G4) but from everything I have read so far, I can't wait to go at it full force!
     
  9. EnesM macrumors 6502

    EnesM

    Joined:
    May 7, 2015
    #9
    I guess my post will make no difference as you seem to have bought what you want already.

    I will share my piece of advice anyway, for others contemplating the 5K purchase.

    First, buying anything from Apple 10 days before the WWDC is always questionable, you never know what they could reveal during the keynote.

    I also want the iMac 5K, but I am almost certain that there will be a new one by October, and you know how it is with 1st gen retinas, the displays are usually a bit laggy, like the iPad 3, 1st rMBP 15", etc.

    Second, heat and fan issues on 5K are definitely there (on maxed out model), which I am certain will be resolved with Intel's Skylake and a new GPU either from nVidia or AMD. There are 5K owners here who deny there are fan noise issues, but it IS the 'hottest' iMac ever made, even Apple says so. I don't know, it depends on the taste I guess, one of the reasons I moved to Macs in general is (low to none) fan noise, they are really silent machines and it's such a pleasure to work on them. iMac 5K seems to be an exception though...

    I have a strong urge to buy it now, but I know that being patient for another few months will pay off greatly. In your case, I mean, you've waited for 10 years right? You could wait another 4 months or so I guess (not to mention that you probably intend to use it for a number of years).
     
  10. slimpsy thread starter macrumors newbie

    slimpsy

    Joined:
    May 26, 2015
    Location:
    Ohio
    #10
    I agree it is very stressful buying the current 5k with an iminent update, but I was able to get it for $1767 shipped after discounts/rewards. Incredible deal for a machine released at 2499. I simply could not pass it up! Lets hope they announce something wild at WWDC within my return period! Lol.
     
  11. EnesM macrumors 6502

    EnesM

    Joined:
    May 7, 2015
    #11
    Honestly, I wouldn't pass it up either, it's a great deal. Even in October when a new one is released, I think you can sell it for the same price. Besides, there is no way they can release it in June, as no new components will be ready (CPU/GPU), but they will be by September, making October expectations realistic. Now if I could deep-freeze myself till that day...

    I'm jealous now... :((
     
  12. ZipZap macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2007
    #12
    I have no doubt there will be a new and improved machine in the fall. The recent price break is proof of that. I bet, however, the the new version will come with higher prices.

    The recent Best Buy 8 hour deal and 10% movers coupon allowed folks to get the base m290x model Out The Door for approx 1900 plus another 5% in reward dollars… and the M290 model for $200 less than that. Makes a purchase pretty compelling.
     

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