Steal of a Deal 27 iMac

Discussion in 'iMac' started by andrew8404, Jul 9, 2014.

  1. andrew8404 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2009
    Location:
    Loma Linda, Ca
    #1
    So I went to Best Buy last week to just browse around (first mistake) then started looking at the Apple Promotions. I've always wanted an iMac 27 but laptops have always been more useful to me. I'm currently using a mid 2013 12 Macbook Air as my daily driver which has been great but the storage and gaming could be way better. So everything has been backed up on my hard drive which is a pain. Anyways, I saw that they had the iMacs on sale and really liked the price of the upgraded 27 iMac with 2gb graphics card for 1789 but had to be ordered. At the last second I saw a card for an open box iMac 27 late 2013 1gb card for 1430. I was pretty impressed as that seemed like a solid deal but stated it had a scratch on it. So of course I had to check it out (second mistake) to see how it looked. The Apple guy pulled it out but we couldn't find a thing. Finally someone saw a light scratch on the apple logo on the back of the computer. The guy said we can give you an extra 10% off for the scratch which brought the price down to 1285. With that price I really couldn't refuse even though I really didn't need it. So far I'm in love even though the 8gb of ram is already at the limit paired with the 7200. I wish I could have gotten the 2gb card but beggars can't be choosers.
     
  2. tomwvr macrumors regular

    tomwvr

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2012
    Location:
    Frederick Maryland
    #2
    Put more RAM in it - that will help - real easy to do

    Tom
     
  3. Truefan31 macrumors 68040

    Truefan31

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2012
    #3
    Congrats. Good deal. Yeah ram upgrade should be pretty easy
     
  4. mad3inch1na macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2013
    #4
    The computer you got really was a good deal. I posted some advice and information below, so read it if you are interested. Just take it with a grain of salt, as everyone has different uses.

    For consumer uses, 8GB of RAM is more than enough. If you are running a server or compiling the human genome, then go all out and get 32GB of RAM, but otherwise you will be fine with as little as 2GB of RAM. If you look at your Activity Monitor, OSX will cache up all the RAM it can, even if it is not in use, so even if you see 6-7GB being used, you are probably only using 1-2GB. Your HDD is definitely going to be a bottleneck, and coming from a MBA you will definitely notice a difference.

    The HDD is very risky to replace, but you definitely need to do something about it if you want to see any performance boost. The simplest workaround is to get an external SSD and boot from the external drive. A thunderbolt enclosure will serve you best in the long run, but a USB 3.0 enclosure is cheaper. The only issue with this is that you cannot enable TRIM, so the drive will slow down after a year or two.

    If you upgrade your RAM to 16 or 32GB, you will see a 5% increase in speed at most, for consumer tasks at least. An SSD in an external drive will make a world of difference. You can pick up a 512GB SSD and a USB 3.0 enclosure for about $250, or you can get a 256GB SSD/enclosure for about $150.

    In terms of the graphics cards, the 1GB VRAM vs 2GB VRAM doesn't mean very much, at least in terms of performance. VRAM is still important, but it is maybe 20% of what determines the power. VRAM is just very fast RAM for the GPU. It doesn't say very much about the actual processing power. Check out 3D benchmarks for more accurate comparisons. This is just for future purchases, and the graphics card you have will be just fine.

    Enjoy your new computer! If you have any questions, other forum members and I would be happy to help. And I'm sure some other members are more knowledgable than I am.

    Best,
    Matt
     
  5. andrew8404 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2009
    Location:
    Loma Linda, Ca
    #5
    Awesome great info thanks Matt. I just ordered 16GB of ram and planned on putting it with the 8 already in there for 24. Does anyone know if it needs to be in a specific order?? The SSD will be up next for sure and the external is a good idea. Thanks!
     
  6. mad3inch1na macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2013
    #6
    I don't believe that the RAM needs to be in any order. The RAM speed will cap out at the one that is slowest, so if you ordered faster RAM than the stock Apple RAM, it may be better to take that out completely and use the faster RAM. If you will use all 24GB then obviously use all of it.

    Matt
     
  7. rush031512, Jul 9, 2014
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2014

    rush031512 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2014
    #7
    Thank you mad3inch1na for the information.

    I am new to Mac have been using MBA Mid 2013 for last six months. I bought the iMac (ME088LL/A) (same config as the original poster) from best buy last week for 1465 including tax after student cpn and 10% movers cpn. I have not opened it yet. I was planning to seek help from apple repair shops (not certified) to install an SSD and upgrade ram on my own. One shop quoted 75 dollars to replace the hard drive if I get my own hard drive. I have been going through the forums here and looking at you tube videos (OWC showed how to change a regular HDD but they didnt do an SSD install). I called OWC tech support and they suggested I shouldnt chang the hard drive in the late 2013 iMac. I will be using it for mostly browsing, microsoft office, edit family photos and videos. Do you think I should return it and buy one from apple, thinking of getting one with 512 gb flash storage. I use USB 3 external drives to store my family videos and photos but can add faster drives as I move on. I plan to upgrade ram on my own with this one (CT2C8G3S160BM) from amazon.

    Cost comparision:

    27 inch iMac, 3.2GHz Quad-core Intel Core i5, Turbo Boost up to 3.6GHz, 8GB
    1600MHz DDR3 SDRAM - 2x4GB, 512GB Flash Storage---- $ 2283 with tax (student price)

    27 inch iMac, ME088LL/A ---- $ 1465 plus cost of ssd ($ 375 for SSD from OWC and $ 75 installation) = $ 1915

    Ill pay an extra 368 - 100 apple store gift card for later use = 268

    cost of 32 GB ram = $ 282.

    Can someone give me more suggestions. I'm unable to decide. Is it better getting an ssd and adding it on my own or just get iMac with 512 gb flash storage.
     
  8. Neodym macrumors 68000

    Neodym

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2002
    #8
    AFAIR you can activate TRIM on a Thunderbolt drive (by using 3rd party programs like e.g. Chameleon SSD optimizer), though not on a USB drive.

    However there are opinions that modern SSD's have sufficiently sophisticated garbage collection routines to run just fine even without TRIM enabled.
     
  9. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2011
    Location:
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    #9
    Better if you get an iMac with 512GB SSD from Apple directly, because nobody makes PCIe-blade SSDs other than from Apple themselves.
     
  10. Neodym macrumors 68000

    Neodym

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2002
    #10
    I wouldn't want any technician to work inside a 2013 iMac if I could avoid it - not certified ones even less so.

    Second that! Even more so, as you might run into problems with fan control (not sure whether Apple still requires certain sensors to be present on internally added hard drives / SSD's).

    How about getting this external Seagate Thunderbolt adapter for 90$ (plus Apple Thunderbolt cable for 30$) and adding a SATA SSD like the 512GB Crucial m550 for another 300$ and make this your new boot drive (can mount it e.g. on the back of the iMac stand to get it out of view)?!

    Combined total is still lower than your approach of having something installed internally, no-one has to tinker inside your new iMac and you can easily upgrade yourself further down the road.

    The theoretical speed disadvantage of a SATA-based SSD compared to the internal PCIe SSD in the iMac is negligible in 95% of normal use scenarios, i.e. you could measure it, but not really feel the difference.

    ----------

    It's only a matter of time. OWC and Transcend are already offering SSD replacements for older, SATA-based blade SSD's inside Retina MacBook Pro's and Air's where Apple also used a proprietary connector.
     
  11. SaSaSushi macrumors 68040

    SaSaSushi

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2007
    Location:
    Takamatsu, Japan
    #11
    See here. While the Inateck outperforms the Delock, I'm using the Delock because of the ability to enable TRIM commands. I have been booting off a 500Gb Samsung 840 EVO in the Delock enclosure for about 4 and a half months with no problems.

    If you can afford to get the iMac with the 512GB (PCIe) SSD, I would recommend doing so.

    Garbage collection is not a replacement for TRIM.

    ----------

    Or if you're running VMs or just like to be able to freely open as many apps, and browser tabs as your heart desires, then go for more RAM.

    As is often said in here, while people often complain about having too little RAM, you never hear complaints about having too much. ;)
     
  12. mad3inch1na macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2013
    #12
    Yeah, that is what I was saying. Sorry if that was unclear. I was saying Thunderbolt is your best option, but USB 3.0 is cheaper at the cost of losing TRIM.
     
  13. mad3inch1na macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2013
    #13
    Well yeah, when people have too much money I really hope they aren't complaining. And just because people complain about having too little RAM doesn't mean that they are right. There are two types of people that think they have too little RAM: Consumers who don't know how computers work, and professionals who actually need more RAM.

    You can have 100 browser tabs open on 8GB and still be fine. I can't imagine someone browsing the web wishing they had 32GB of RAM. VMs are a great example, I just thought two examples were enough to get the point across.
     
  14. jehartley macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2012
    #14
    What does this mean? I don't see why you think this. Could you explain?
     
  15. andrew8404 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2009
    Location:
    Loma Linda, Ca
    #15
    I have so many photos that when I'm trying to scroll threw or delete said pictures it's freezes up and beach balls. Activity Monitor shows using close to 8GB every time.
     
  16. SaSaSushi, Jul 10, 2014
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2014

    SaSaSushi macrumors 68040

    SaSaSushi

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2007
    Location:
    Takamatsu, Japan
    #16
    I am a consumer. I had too little RAM with 16GB so I upgraded to 32GB. As for too much money, I only wish I had that problem.

    Your condescension aside, I'm a consumer who knows quite well how computers work and I needed, and bought, 32GB of RAM.

    I run one Linux VM full time, to which I allot just 1GB for memory and very occasionally run a Windows 8.1 VM which is alloted 4GB. Aside from that I just run a LOT of apps. I don't want to worry about what I have open. When I was at 16GB, the memory pressure would often get quite high, and the system slowed down, writing to swap memory.

    Thankfully, I no longer have this problem with 32GB and I am very glad I made the purchase.

    I'm not saying every user needs 32GB of RAM. I'm sharing my own experiences (without hurling lame personal attacks) and not presuming that my own situation is the correct one for everyone.

    For those actually looking for advice on this issue, open up Activity Monitor and click on the Memory tab. If the Memory Pressure is rising out of the green level or you see a large number designated to Swap Used: you could do with more RAM.

    If it is in the green and the swap is small or zero then you are OK with the amount of RAM you have installed.

    If you're buying a new iMac then the decision is a bit harder. I think 8GB is a good choice for most users to start with. I went with 16GB because I wanted the 2 x 8GB sticks of stock Apple RAM so that I could just add another 2 x 8GB of third party RAM for the max 32GB and not have any RAM to replace or sell. Also with RAM prices as high as they were then (and now), it wasn't that much more for the Apple 16GB then the third party.

    Finally, for those buying the 21.5" iMac I absolutely recommend going for the max 16GB since it is not (easily) user-replaceable. You need to practically disassemble the entire logic board to get at the RAM slots. You wouldn't even want to attempt this on a Mac under warranty.
     
  17. SaSaSushi macrumors 68040

    SaSaSushi

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2007
    Location:
    Takamatsu, Japan
    #17
    See above: you need more RAM. :)

    This set would fill in the remaining two slots on your 27" and bring you to 16GB.

    I'm using the 2 x 8GB set of the very same RAM for the past 4 months in combo with 16GB of stock Apple RAM for 32GB and it is running flawlessly.

    You could very easily add the 2 x 8GB set for a total of 24GB as well. I suspect 16GB total may resolve your issues though.

    Installation couldn't be easier. Just pop the hatch on the back and pop in the new DIMMs. :)
     
  18. andrew8404 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2009
    Location:
    Loma Linda, Ca
    #18
    Yup, just got the 16GB today and added for a total of 24gb. Same ram speed and so far much smoother! Now if I could only add an SSD I'd be in heaven!
     
  19. SaSaSushi macrumors 68040

    SaSaSushi

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2007
    Location:
    Takamatsu, Japan
    #19
    Glad to hear it!

    Well your Thunderbolt ports aren't going anywhere so there's nothing stopping you from adding one in the future. :D
     
  20. rush031512 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2014
    #20
    I want to thank everyone who posted thier suggestions and opinions. I am returning this today and I'll order directly from Apple with a 512 gb PCIe storage. I'm new to mac OSX so it will take time for me to learn about all possible boot options.
     
  21. Truefan31 macrumors 68040

    Truefan31

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2012
    #21

    Well that's one way if getting a ssd lol. From my research with the PCI storage you'd be looking at speeds up to 700 mb. But it is pricey
     
  22. mad3inch1na macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2013
    #22
    I'm sorry if you took what I said as personal attacks. I was making general statements, and they were in no way directed at you. I think we may have different definitions of what a consumer is. My definition of a consumer is somebody who watches movies, does word processing, and browses the web.

    If you want to have 3 VM's open at the same time running consumer programs, then go ahead and knock yourself out. 16GB should still be enough for that, and in my personal opinion, an SSD would serve you much better than 32GB of RAM.

    When I made the generalization between consumers and professionals, it was a generalization. I was saying that people either know what they are doing and can make the right purchases, or people do not know what they are doing. I'm not saying that you fall in the second category. I was just saying that there are many people out there who don't realize that the spinning platter HDD causes a bottleneck.

    I overreacted, and I apologize for that. I was not attacking you personally, and when I used the word "people" I really meant people in general. I absolutely agree that RAM can be invaluable, and sometimes it can be the most important upgrade. For a consumer who is not using Photoshop and VM's on a daily basis, I think an SSD is a much better purchase. I personally believe that in most consumer scenarios, RAM is used to coverup the underlying problem of an outdated HDD. This is not always the case, but I think in most cases this is true.

    I just gave my 2010 MBA with 2GB of RAM to my grandmother a few months ago because her old computer died. It was still running strong, and I didn't have any issue watching movies, looking at my photos, browsing the web, or playing video games (Portal 2, League of Legends). I just got a 2014 MBA, and the only noticeable differences are the battery life and the backlit keyboard. If my old computer had an HDD, I would have probably thrown it away years ago. With an SSD, I was able to do all that stuff on the latest version of Mavericks.

    TL;DR: RAM can be invaluable, I wholeheartedly believe that. There is a point though where it is cheaper (and even faster!) to have RAM page onto the SSD than it is to avoid paging onto an HDD. I really don't know how you use more than 16GB of RAM without some sort of "professional" software running, but to each his own.

    Best, and apologies for being rude,
    Matt
     
  23. SaSaSushi macrumors 68040

    SaSaSushi

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2007
    Location:
    Takamatsu, Japan
    #23
    I appreciate this very much. I broke my longstanding rule of never replying to threads right after I roll out of bed when I am at my grumpiest and, so I'd like to say I'm sorry as well. It was a bit of an overreaction on my part. :eek:

    Fair enough. For my part, classifications of users aside I do agree with you that not all users need 32GB, and there are definitely users who don't need 16GB either.

    I agree that an SSD is more important on the list of upgrades in terms of noticeable improvements. That said, if you're maxing out your RAM it can hinder the performance of SSD-equipped and HDD-driven Macs equally.

    Thanks, Matt. You weren't rude. I jumped to the wrong conclusion misinterpreted your comments as an attack. I very much appreciate your explanation.

    Cheers. :)
     

Share This Page