Should I get the iMac Pro?

pandadoggy13

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 11, 2017
9
2
Here's my serious question: I have a 21.5 inch non-retina iMac from December 2013 500 GB SSD and 8GB RAM. It is currently dying due to old age, constantly lagging and glitching, and struggling and freezing with basic web browsing. I am due for a major upgrade, and have repeatedly done factory resets, full reinstalls, etc to no avail.

I use about 300 GB of storage, and do not play video games, or do any video or photo editing or graphics design. I am a heavy surfer, I often have 20+ web browsing tabs open, I have gigabit internet, use Netflix, download lots of stuff from BitTorrent, watch tons of YouTube and generally run Chrome/Safari/MS Office at the same time.

I believe that the 8GB of ram I have is inadequate, and often run out of memory and have severe memory pressure. I am considering getting a souped up iMac 27 inch, but the price for the setup I'm looking for (at least 16GB of memory and 500 GB SSD) easily gets jacked up to 3 grand including tax.

I have the ability to get the iMac PRO when it comes out for $4,200 total.

Should I just wait and get the iMac Pro, or save myself the $1400? I realize the 1 TB SSD and 32 GB of ram is overkill for my needs, but if the price is so close is it worth it for me to get?

I do not plan to buy another computer for at least four more years after this.

Chris
 

ResoluteBulldog

macrumors newbie
Jun 15, 2014
6
0
No.

You $4,200 is $800 plus tax less than the projected cost of the iMac Pro. The difference in price is probably closer to $2,400 between the options you are considering and the machine is way more than you describe you need.
 

pandadoggy13

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 11, 2017
9
2
Resolute, somebody is going to help me out with $800 thats why I said I could "get it for 4200". I know the projected cost is 5 grand + tax.

I did want to ask you though: My understanding is that 8GB of RAM is a baseline experience for a high end PC/Mac laptop, let alone desktop these days. Should I play it safe at get 16GB in anticipation of keeping the machine until 2021 or go even higher to 32GB?

My understanding of RAM is that you get diminishing returns for everyday usage, but I wonder if 3 years from now I'm going to be kicking myself wishing I got the extra ram.
 

Tacos4everyone

macrumors newbie
Apr 28, 2017
10
3
Resolute, somebody is going to help me out with $800 thats why I said I could "get it for 4200". I know the projected cost is 5 grand + tax.

I did want to ask you though: My understanding is that 8GB of RAM is a baseline experience for a high end PC/Mac laptop, let alone desktop these days. Should I play it safe at get 16GB in anticipation of keeping the machine until 2021 or go even higher to 32GB?

My understanding of RAM is that you get diminishing returns for everyday usage, but I wonder if 3 years from now I'm going to be kicking myself wishing I got the extra ram.
16gb should be enough for the time being.

Honestly though, with the type of usage you do (heavy web surfer), I'd get a windows pc. Way cheaper and way more power (and it'll last you longer since you can upgrade most of the parts yourself)
 

ixxx69

macrumors 65816
Jul 31, 2009
1,119
634
United States
Here's my serious question: I have a 21.5 inch non-retina iMac from December 2013 500 GB SSD and 8GB RAM. It is currently dying due to old age, constantly lagging and glitching, and struggling and freezing with basic web browsing. I am due for a major upgrade, and have repeatedly done factory resets, full reinstalls, etc to no avail.

I use about 300 GB of storage, and do not play video games, or do any video or photo editing or graphics design. I am a heavy surfer, I often have 20+ web browsing tabs open, I have gigabit internet, use Netflix, download lots of stuff from BitTorrent, watch tons of YouTube and generally run Chrome/Safari/MS Office at the same time.

I believe that the 8GB of ram I have is inadequate, and often run out of memory and have severe memory pressure. I am considering getting a souped up iMac 27 inch, but the price for the setup I'm looking for (at least 16GB of memory and 500 GB SSD) easily gets jacked up to 3 grand including tax.

I have the ability to get the iMac PRO when it comes out for $4,200 total.

Should I just wait and get the iMac Pro, or save myself the $1400? I realize the 1 TB SSD and 32 GB of ram is overkill for my needs, but if the price is so close is it worth it for me to get?

I do not plan to buy another computer for at least four more years after this.

Chris
For your usage, you don't need anything more powerful than what you have now. If that 500 GB is definitely an SSD and not a HDD, then there's something wrong with your iMac or some application or your setup or something. That should still be a very fast computer for your type of usage. Even if you're used to working with the fastest computers, then yeah, you might notice it's just a beat or two slower, but it still shouldn't be "glitching and struggling and freezing".

And while I would definitely recommend 16GB of RAM just for future usage flexibility, 8GB of RAM really should be fine for your stated usage. 32GB would be a waste, but more RAM never hurts. (if you feel like it, post a screenshot of the memory usage tab in Activity Monitor... what kind of memory pressure are you seeing?)

And that's not to say you shouldn't get a new iMac - I like to trade in every 3 years or so. But you don't need an iMac Pro for web browsing.
 

CWallace

macrumors 604
Aug 17, 2007
6,560
2,456
Seattle, WA
I have the ability to get the iMac PRO when it comes out for $4,200 total.
You are vastly better off with a 27" 3.4GHz i5, 8GB RAM and 2TB Fusion Drive for $1999. Then buy another 8GB third-party for ~$100 and install it yourself (RAM is user-upgradeable on this model).
 

MacStu09

macrumors regular
Aug 27, 2009
194
116
Honestly, your current computer is already far more than you need, power-wise. However, RAM is your problem. Even a 2011 iMac would be plenty fast at everything you need it to do, with enough ram. It's an absolute joke for any computer over $300 to only include 8gb of ram, and with how cheap ram is, it's also absurd what Apple charges for the upgrades. 16gb will do you a world of good, especially if you like to run 20+ chrome tabs. My recommendations? Pay someone to upgrade the ram in your current iMac or just drop $300-600 on a used iMac that already has 16-32gb of ram already in it.

Buying an iMac Pro would literally just be wasting money for the sake of having an "iMac Pro."
 

h9826790

macrumors G5
Apr 3, 2014
12,777
5,587
Hong Kong
Same thought as the others, I really can't see why you need the iMac Pro.

I assume you have the 512GB stock flash storage, that's should be fast enough. 300 user out of 512 is also a decent ratio.

If the hang, freeze, crash only happen when under stress, that may be due to lack of memory (8GB for just browsing isn't that bad actually). However, of those problem can happen anytime. I doubt if you have a faulty SSD / RAM.

Your iMac can upgrade to 16GB RAM, that will be the easiest fix for the high memory pressure. However, the slot is not user accessible, you have to open up the iMac.

Just curious, which OS are you running? Did you try downgrade / upgrade? Is that help? If yes, then it's not hardware, but software issue. Browser use lots of GPU acceleration, which means easily affected by poor GPU driver (which is OS version specific). Since Chrome works on any OS, just pick the one that work best on your iMac.
 
Last edited:

ApfelKuchen

macrumors 68040
Aug 28, 2012
3,142
1,803
Between the coasts
Why don't you find out whether RAM is really your problem?

Restart the Mac, open Activity Monitor (Applications > Utilities), select Memory, and check the Memory Pressure graph as you go about your normal usage. If Memory Pressure tends to stay steadily in the green, with just an occasional bump up into yellow, then you're doing fine on RAM.

If Memory Pressure quickly goes into the yellow and stays there, something's wrong somewhere. 8GB is normally more than enough for routine browsing. Look at how much memory is being used by the top 5 items in the list above the Memory Pressure graph, and switch over into the CPU section to see if there are processes consistently using high %CPU (say, 50% or more). These will usually point to the problem - you may want to screen shot CPU and Memory and share them here.

(I should mention that I have the late 2013 27" iMac - in my case it has Fusion and 16GB RAM, and works great - I don't expect to replace it for several years. Considering I have dozens of browser tabs open, along with, typically, about a dozen major apps, I'll wager I'm working my iMac at least a bit harder than you are. Performance-wise, your SSD should beat my Fusion drive, my 16GB RAM beats your 8GB. However, I'm not prepared to state that my 16GB is what makes the difference - there are several other possible explanations.)
 
Last edited:

cbrand493

macrumors 6502
May 19, 2015
335
223
Perth, Australia
Your issues are definitely caused by something in your system, look at my system, I boot it off a 500GB Samsung SSD in a thunderbolt enclosure, and it flies along with no struggles at all. True your ram could be limiting you, but I highly doubt that you're using 8GB of ram just browsing the internet. I had 8GB of ram in my iMac and what was really slowing it down was the internal HDD being a slow pile of crap (thanks Apple). I upgraded the ram to 24GB (odd I know but I added a 2x 8GB Corsair kit to it) only because I used Solidworks on a bootcamp partition (also running on a 240GB Samsung SSD in the thunderbay enclosure).

But to answer your question, no you do not need an iMac Pro unless you want to be a snob and walk around telling everyone you spent $5000 on a computer worth $3000.
 

h9826790

macrumors G5
Apr 3, 2014
12,777
5,587
Hong Kong
Why don't you find out whether RAM is really your problem?

Restart the Mac, open Activity Monitor (Applications > Utilities), select Memory, and check the Memory Pressure graph as you go about your normal usage. If Memory Pressure tends to stay steadily in the green, with just an occasional bump up into yellow, then you're doing fine on RAM.

If Memory Pressure quickly goes into the yellow and stays there, something's wrong somewhere. 8GB is normally more than enough for routine browsing. Look at how much memory is being used by the top 5 items in the list above the Memory Pressure graph, and switch over into the CPU section to see if there are processes consistently using high %CPU (say, 50% or more). These will usually point to the problem - you may want to screen shot CPU and Memory and share them here.
OP didn't mention that he has severe memory pressure. I assume that means red.

And since he did a few clean installation. I also assume the high memory pressure is not from spyware etc, but really because of his usage.

However, all these are just my assumption. I agree that he should careful find out why the memory pressure is so high. And why have all sorts of problem.

In fact, the work "glitching" catch my attention a bit. Lack of resource usually won't lead to glitch, this make me believe some hardware is failing.
 

pertusis1

macrumors 6502
Jul 25, 2010
392
88
Texas
OP didn't mention that he has severe memory pressure. I assume that means red.

And since he did a few clean installation. I also assume the high memory pressure is not from spyware etc, but really because of his usage.

However, all these are just my assumption. I agree that he should careful find out why the memory pressure is so high. And why have all sorts of problem.

In fact, the work "glitching" catch my attention a bit. Lack of resource usually won't lead to glitch, this make me believe some hardware is failing.
I think we've all jumped to a few conclusions here, but I agree that it sounds like he has some failing hardware component. That's not going to be all that easy to sort out on a >3 yr old iMac. Having a bunch of windows open on the internet shouldn't put all that much pressure on 8 GB of RAM.

OP, if you're at all interested in trouble-shooting your current setup, let us know.
 

orph

macrumors 68000
Dec 12, 2005
1,852
380
UK
what version of osx, whats the memory pressure look like in activity monitor?

might also be a software problem.
iv seen a user have a problem, re install osx the re install a app that is giving the problem.

might be worth trying a different web browser or even just turning off all plugins/extensions on your web browser(chrome is fast but eats ram fast).
(iv had large slowdowns from plugins/extensions on my web browser some relay seem to slow things down once you get a lot of tabs)

just looked on http://www.everymac.com/systems/apple/imac/imac-aluminum-tapered-edge-faq/how-to-upgrade-imac-ram-aluminum-2012.html
looks like ram is can be expanded to 16GB if you want, if it's to complex for you check the local apple shop for the upgrade price.

it may not be bad hardware, i get slowdowns just from random things like plugins or flash videos (h264 is a lot faster for me) or some run away app etc.
 

cbrand493

macrumors 6502
May 19, 2015
335
223
Perth, Australia
OP didn't mention that he has severe memory pressure. I assume that means red.

And since he did a few clean installation. I also assume the high memory pressure is not from spyware etc, but really because of his usage.

However, all these are just my assumption. I agree that he should careful find out why the memory pressure is so high. And why have all sorts of problem.

In fact, the work "glitching" catch my attention a bit. Lack of resource usually won't lead to glitch, this make me believe some hardware is failing.
While this is true, if he did a clean install then installed the exact same software each time he did so, he won't solve the issue if it's software based.
 

CapnDavey

macrumors 6502
Apr 11, 2015
345
87
brand new Mac's aren't cost effective wait until its been out for awhile and the price drops just my 2 cents
 

Ph.D.

macrumors 6502a
Jul 8, 2014
510
417
Like everyone else, my opinion is that a base 27" 2017 imac (3.4GHz I5) is perfect for your needs.

Apple's prices for memory are crazy. Add in 16 or 32 GB of ram from Crucial, etc., for a total of 24 or 40GB (24 should be fine, really) and you will be all set. The memory just plugs in a slot behind a small lid in the back of the machine, and so that's easy to do.

I do recommend a solid state drive over the fusion (e.g. 512 GB). You can always add an external USB-3 or Thunderbolt drive if you need more space.

The total price of this sort of mac would be half the cost of an iMac Pro. Minus your $800, and it's under $2000. An iMac Pro would be completely overkill, plus you would have to wait...
 

Chicane-UK

macrumors 6502
Apr 26, 2008
430
965
Here's my serious question: I have a 21.5 inch non-retina iMac from December 2013 500 GB SSD and 8GB RAM. It is currently dying due to old age, constantly lagging and glitching, and struggling and freezing with basic web browsing. I am due for a major upgrade, and have repeatedly done factory resets, full reinstalls, etc to no avail.

I use about 300 GB of storage, and do not play video games, or do any video or photo editing or graphics design. I am a heavy surfer, I often have 20+ web browsing tabs open, I have gigabit internet, use Netflix, download lots of stuff from BitTorrent, watch tons of YouTube and generally run Chrome/Safari/MS Office at the same time.

I believe that the 8GB of ram I have is inadequate, and often run out of memory and have severe memory pressure. I am considering getting a souped up iMac 27 inch, but the price for the setup I'm looking for (at least 16GB of memory and 500 GB SSD) easily gets jacked up to 3 grand including tax.

I have the ability to get the iMac PRO when it comes out for $4,200 total.

Should I just wait and get the iMac Pro, or save myself the $1400? I realize the 1 TB SSD and 32 GB of ram is overkill for my needs, but if the price is so close is it worth it for me to get?

I do not plan to buy another computer for at least four more years after this.

Chris
Complete waste of money and total overkill. You don't need Xeon processors for watching Netflix.

A regular iMac would be more than up to your workload.
 
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MacStu09

macrumors regular
Aug 27, 2009
194
116
I think we've all jumped to a few conclusions here, but I agree that it sounds like he has some failing hardware component. That's not going to be all that easy to sort out on a >3 yr old iMac. Having a bunch of windows open on the internet shouldn't put all that much pressure on 8 GB of RAM.

OP, if you're at all interested in trouble-shooting your current setup, let us know.
Chrome tabs on Mac OS without a doubt will utilize all 8gb of ram. I frequently use 12gb+ on my MBP just with Chrome and Office open. Before upgrading, I had 8gb of ram, and it would constantly freeze, lag, etc. just like the OP.
 

h9826790

macrumors G5
Apr 3, 2014
12,777
5,587
Hong Kong
For all those that asked, check out my memory pressure for basic surfing + outlook.
1) It's normal that early beta OS consume / waste lots of resources (e.g. RAM).

2) you have to click the memory tab on the activity monitor windows (like my sample below), otherwise, the info is quite meaningless. we need to know which software using the most memory, but not the apps in alphabetical order.
42+5+compressed de-ID.jpg
 

h9826790

macrumors G5
Apr 3, 2014
12,777
5,587
Hong Kong
Check it out! It appears that a single website eats up 500mb of memory!??!
If that's your normal use, and you love to keep all the pages open. Then yes, your Mac utilise all memory, and I believe you better add a bit more to avoid swap. The cost of upgrading to 16GB is low. If that doesn't workout, you can get a new Mac or whatever you believe is the solution. The cost of that 16GB RAM is virtually nothing (and you can sell it / return it).

Anyway, in your case, the very first thing I will try is actually downgrade back to Mavericks (or Mountain Lion if your iMac shipped with that). And see if the same usage cause you any trouble.

Since you are at 10.13 beta, all slowness, lag, freeze, glitch, crash..... is expected. I won't say it's perfectly normal, but nothing wrong either.
 
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orph

macrumors 68000
Dec 12, 2005
1,852
380
UK
yes sorry if i was not clear but buying more ram and upgrading your currant imac is the best option, in the link it says that imac is upgrade ok & if you dont want to DIY it see what apple charges to upgrade.

try using a different web browser if you can chrome uses a lot of ram, each tab is spun out as a new proses to keep things fast at the cost of eating ram.
try safari or firefox for a bit (safari may be the best option it's relay optimized for apple hardware, firefox is good i use it and it only uses around 4gb of ram with 9 windows open and maybe 50-90+ tabs open for me) .

and relay as an upgrade option a mac min with 16GBram is a valid option for what you do.

also your on a beta OS so there relay will be bugs.

(the imac pro is not needed for what you do as you wont be using the GPU or need the CPU's high core count)