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jaybar

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Dec 11, 2008
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Have a late 2013 27 inch iMac with spinning drive. 16GB of RAM. 1TB Drive. Looking to get a new iMac. Our major complaint is MS word. Very slow. Other apps are slow but not as slow.

Tasks:

Word processing (both simple and complex documents)
Internet browsing
streaming Apple Music via airplay
Email
Viewing Photos
Scanning documents
VPN to work
Spreadsheets
Internet based apps

Our documents and Desktop is stored in iCloud.

We use both TM and CCC to backup to external SSD drives.

After almost 5 years with our currrnt iMac, we only have 95GB of data on the 1TB Drive.

We have about 400 photos so far. We subscribe to Apple Music. We have iPhones and iPads.

An iMac that is both quiet and speedy is a priority.

I use both Pages and MS word (office 2016 MAC)

What Drive option is best?
Fusion?
SSD ?

We will get a machine with 16GB of RAM

We might have the eventual need to run Widows 10 either as a VM or Bootcamp. Only for logging into my office Machine.

What Drive options and machines should I consider? New? Refurb? Historically we have help machines for 4-5 years.

Thanks

Jay
 

Matz

macrumors 65816
Apr 25, 2015
1,135
1,658
Rural Southern Virginia
I can’t comment on the fusion, as I’ve never used one. But the difference an internal SSD made when added to my mid-2010 iMac was impressive.
 

Clix Pix

macrumors Core
This sentence provides a good clue as to the direction in which you should seriously consider going:

"After almost 5 years with our currrnt iMac, we only have 95GB of data on the 1TB Drive. "

IMHO you would be very happy with a 512 GB SSD -- it would be quiet and very speedy. No need to complicate matters with a fusion drive, and if at some point you needed extra capacity in terms of storage, you mention you already are using external SSD for backup purposes now, so clearly you are familiar with them. It would be simple enough to buy an additional external SSD to use as a supplementary drive for stashing files you might want quick access to but not want to keep on the internal SSD. I have a MBP with 512 GB SSD and 16 GB RAM; I keep the internal SSD at about half-full capacity, and stash items that I don't need all the time on an external SSD, which works well for me. Photos....documents.....the kind of things that are not something upon which I'm currently working are perfectly fine set aside on the external drive, while also being easy enough to quickly retrieve or look at again by plugging in the external SSD. This works well for both at home and while on the road and traveling. I refer to this as my "supplementary drive," as opposed to actual backup or archival drives.
 
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jaybar

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Dec 11, 2008
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Thanks for all the replies. Does anyone know if there is anywhere in NYC that gives an in-store trade-in? Packing it up and shipping it to Apple’s agent, is difficult for me at this time. Should I consider new or refurb?

Thanks

Jay
 
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Guy Clark

Suspended
Nov 28, 2013
1,036
1,008
London United Kingdom.
Chances are the internal 1TB Hard Drive that was shipped with the iMac was 5400rpm. The same happened to me with my late 2015 21.5" 4k iMac.

I swapped out the 5400rpm Hard Drive for a Seagate Hybrid Drive and performance improved dramatically. Hybrid Drives offer superior performance over a standard Hard Drive whilst offering capacity at a much lower cost to SSD
https://www.seagate.com/gb/en/solutions/solid-state-hybrid/

Also well worth considering is the high performance Western Digital Black which is available up to 6TB
https://www.wdc.com/products/internal-storage/wd-black-desktop.html

https://www.ifixit.com/Guide/iMac+Intel+27-Inch+EMC+2639+Hard+Drive+Replacement/19643
[doublepost=1531095881][/doublepost]
No brainer.

SSD for sure!
There are other high performance, less expensive options.
 

Juicy Box

macrumors 604
Sep 23, 2014
7,541
8,876
The 1TB Fusion Drive of today's Macs us not as good as the 1TB Fusion Drive of your old iMac.

Today's 1TB Fusion Drive has only 32GB of a SSD, the 2013 iMac's 1TB Fusion Drive had 128GB of SSD.

I would just go with a smaller SSD bto option.
 

mj_

macrumors 68000
May 18, 2017
1,618
1,281
Austin, TX
I dare to predict that for those light tasks you won't really notice the difference between an SSD and a Fusion Drive. Your workload is light enough to keep all of the files most commonly used on the SSD portion of the Fusion Drive. If you go for the 2TB or 3TB Fusion Drive you'll even be able to store all of your files on the 128GB blade SSD.

That said I agree with @tubeexperience. The iMac 2013 is still a very capable machine and not much slower than the current 2017 iMac. If you don't dare to do the work yourself (it is quite honestly not as easy as some people make it out to be) there are pros that will take care of it for you. It'll be much cheaper than a new iMac and just as fast.
 
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jaybar

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Dec 11, 2008
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It would cost between $400 and $500 to have it done in NYC.

While I can install the next OS on my current machine, I would not be surprised if it will not allow me to install the subsequent OS (the one after Mojave).

Also, if there was a problem, the machine is out of warrantee and not eligible for Apple phone support. I would only get a 90 day warantee on the drive upgrade installation. I am cautious about the longer term cost effectiveness of that approach.
 

tubeexperience

macrumors 68040
Feb 17, 2016
3,192
3,897
It would cost between $400 and $500 to have it done in NYC.

While I can install the next OS on my current machine, I would not be surprised if it will not allow me to install the subsequent OS (the one after Mojave).

Also, if there was a problem, the machine is out of warrantee and not eligible for Apple phone support. I would only get a 90 day warantee on the drive upgrade installation. I am cautious about the longer term cost effectiveness of that approach.

It costs me $150 and <1hr.
 

jaybar

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Dec 11, 2008
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It is what it is. I don’t think between $400 and $500 is cost effective. Quote was for a 512GB plus labor and tax.

Let’s assume the quote is what it is. Would that expenditure be cost effective to gain another year for this machine!
 

tubeexperience

macrumors 68040
Feb 17, 2016
3,192
3,897
It is what it is. I don’t think between $400 and $500 is cost effective. Quote was for a 512GB plus labor and tax.

Let’s assume the quote is what it is. Would that expenditure be cost effective to gain another year for this machine!

You can do it yourself and it just takes 1 hr of your time.

I spent $150 and that includes the price of the 500 GB SSD and the upgrade kit

https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820156173

https://eshop.macsales.com/item/OWC/DIYIMACHDD12/

The upgrade doesn't require any experience.

All you need to do is watch the video and follow the instructions.

 
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jaybar

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Dec 11, 2008
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There is no way I can do it myself. I have disability issues that preclude that possibility. Trust me.

You woukd be more helpful if you commented on whether the cost as stated is a wise investment, given that it may not get me more than another year or next yesr’s OS May be precluded.
 

tubeexperience

macrumors 68040
Feb 17, 2016
3,192
3,897
There is no way I can do it myself. I have disability issues that preclude that possibility. Trust me.

You woukd be more helpful if you commented on whether the cost as stated is a wise investment, given that it may not get me more than another year or next yesr’s OS May be precluded.

Find out how much the labor costs.

It should be around $100.

You can buy the parts yourself.
 

Guy Clark

Suspended
Nov 28, 2013
1,036
1,008
London United Kingdom.
There is no way I can do it myself. I have disability issues that preclude that possibility. Trust me.

You woukd be more helpful if you commented on whether the cost as stated is a wise investment, given that it may not get me more than another year or next yesr’s OS May be precluded.
There is another non invasive option you could run macOS from an external Thunderbolt 2 Drive. For this a low capacity SSD would be ideal for macOS and applications whilst retaining the internal drive for storage
 
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mj_

macrumors 68000
May 18, 2017
1,618
1,281
Austin, TX
The cutoff for Mojave is 2012, your iMac is 2013. While nobody knows for sure what Apple is going to do it is highly unlikely that your Late 2013 iMac won't be supported by 10.15 and even 10.16 anymore. High Sierra Support goes back as far as 2009, and the only reason Mojave isn't officially supported on Macs older than 2012 is their lack of Metal support. That said older Mac Pros are supported if they are equipped with a Metal-compatible GPU. In other words: you should get at least 2-3 major software upgrade plus another 2 years of security patches afterwards, which would at least mean a total of 4.5-5.5 years of software updates from today.

Whether or not it is worth to spend $400-$500 on an iMac that is 5 years old and out of warranty boils down to your personal preference. It is much cheaper than buying a new one for 2k+ but there's always a risk associated with putting money into old computers. If you still cringe at the amount do what @Guy Clark suggested and simply use an external SSD for the time being. It'll give you between 80-90% of the performance an internal SSD would for a fraction of the cost.
 

Fishrrman

macrumors Penryn
Feb 20, 2009
28,738
12,851
OP:
"After almost 5 years with our currrnt iMac, we only have 95GB of data on the 1TB Drive."

As someone wrote above, "no brainer".

Get one with an SSD.
Even the 256gb is going to be "enough" for you.
You are never going to need that extra space -- the $$$ will have been wasted.
(256gb adds $100 to buy-in price; 512gb SSD adds $300 to buy-in price)

Take that extra $200 and buy the "mid-range" 3.5ghz 27" iMac.
A better CPU and better graphics than the entry-level model, for not that much more.

DO NOT waste your money by buying 16gb of RAM from Apple.
Try the iMac with 8gb first, it should do everything you posted above with extreme ease.
ONLY add more RAM yourself later on, if you determine you need it.
But I'm betting that you won't.
 
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jaybar

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Dec 11, 2008
2,032
615
Thanks

Question. If I choose a 256GB SSD, how much useable space do I get? I assume some is lost via formatting?

Jay
 

Clix Pix

macrumors Core
Something to consider is that the higher the capacity, for some reason the faster the SSD..... So you might want to go with a 512 GB SSD for that reason, as well as being sure that you also will always have sufficient storage/useable space and breathing space over the years you keep the new machine. And, yes, 8 GB RAM should be fine for a while, and then further down the road, since the 27" does have a RAM door for users to install additional RAM, when funds permit, that would be the time to increase the RAM.
 

jaybar

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Dec 11, 2008
2,032
615
Thanks

How much do I lose b/c of formatting regarding usable space?
 
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