Was my first $3000 computer worth it?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Travisimo, Oct 27, 2015.

  1. Travisimo macrumors 6502a

    Dec 22, 2009
    I'm not gonna lie... this is going to be no more than my own personal justification thread for spending $3000 on a computer for personal home use. I don't run a business, I don't sell anything I do on my computer, and I've never spent this much money on a computer before (though it's not my first iMac).

    So is it worth it?


    Like iOS and Android, I dabble between OSX and Windows fairly often. I was primarily a Windows guy until getting my first iMac in 2009, which I loved until about 4 years later when it just felt slow and starting acting up. I sold the iMac and bought a custom PC gaming rig, which my son and I have used for the past two years. He games a lot more than me, but I use the PC for many other things and we are often fighting over it (not literally, but he's a teenager and wants his own computer now).

    Anyway, my wife actually gave me her blessing on getting a new iMac because she loves editing videos of our family vacations and what not. She has been struggling with a Mac Mini that's a few years old that has a 5400 RPM HDD in it. Beach balls galore!

    Given that we'll probably be using this computer for several years, I bit the bullet and ordered the 27" 5K iMac with everything maxed out (except for the SSD, which is 512 GB). The 2009 iMac we had before was a middling model and I think we spent less than $2000 for it at the time. This one topped out above $3000, but I'm really glad we upgraded everything. This computer is screaming fast!

    I feel the SSD makes all the difference in the world. Prior to the PC gaming rig (which has an SSD), everything else we've had used spinning HDD's. I can say without a doubt, I will NEVER get another computer with a spinning HDD as the main drive again. Never ever ever. I was going to go with the 256 GB SSD to save some money, but having the 512 GB gives me some peace of mind that I won't fill it up right away, begging for more SSD storage space. I'm still using my external 7200 RPM HDD's for photo and video storage, but having the OS, apps, and libraries (like my Lightroom catalog) on the SSD is a great boon.

    Honestly, the i7 and m395x are both probably overkill for us. Right now, we do most of our video editing in iMovie (on the Mac Mini), so nothing too intensive. But I'm starting to shoot in 4k on my iPhone 6s Plus now, so being able to smoothly edit 4k video will be terrific. And my wife will appreciate the speed increase immensely. I may do some light gaming, but I don't need to have the top of the line gaming rig anymore... my son will take over the gaming PC and eventually build his own anyway when it needs replaced.

    Yes, the screen is amazing, but I'm still trying to get used to the smaller interface elements. I'm using the "default" resolution setting, which I believe is the 2560x1440 HiDPI mode, and my eyes just aren't that great anymore. I don't want to scale it up because it loses some of its clarity, but I have had to adjust some of the app settings for font sizes, etc. But watching those 4k videos on this screen is amazing! And I'm really impressed with Apple's Photos app as well, though I'll stick with Lightroom for my main catalog.

    I'm impressed, but I guess I should be after paying $3000+ for a computer. I bought Applecare, so at least I can have peace of mind that I'll have a well-running computer for the next 3 years. And I expect to use the computer for 4-5 years, so spreading that cost over a few years doesn't seem too bad after all.
  2. MetalCores macrumors regular


    Apr 30, 2015
    Mosinee, WI
    Amazing machine you got there. I'm defiantly jealous. That will defiantly give u many years of great use and is ready for pretty much whatever you throw at it.
  3. dsc888 macrumors 6502

    Jun 25, 2010
    Boston, MA USA
    I have the exact same spec iMac as you and will be picking it up tomorrow. I also edit photos and video and will be adding an external drive soon....possibly a 1 or 2 TB SSD via USB or even Thunderbolt for video editing and storage. I despise spinning discs for their slow speeds, especially for 4K video editing, and noise. I don't want to deal with them now that I have a new powerful, yet silent system on the way.

    Honestly, I have a perfectly functioning early 2010 Mac Pro but it doesn't have the Retina display as I edit photos mostly and so my new new iMac will be a worthy upgrade as well. The old Mac Pro will be my son's computer and I know he will get many years of use with it. I put in a 1 TB SSD last year to get more life out of it.
  4. fathergll, Oct 28, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2015

    fathergll macrumors 65816

    Sep 3, 2014

    In all honesty you could have probably spent $700 less and you wouldn't have notice the difference in a blind user test between the 2 computers. Either way it's a powerful computer that will last a while ....specification wise at least.
  5. whodatrr macrumors 6502a


    Jan 12, 2004
    So worth it. Nowadays, we spend a huge chunk of our lives in front of those screens, so why not make the experience fun?

    You made a wise choice. I also went with an i7 with a 395x. I love screen real estate, and always have two big external displays attached to my iMac. Once you work that way, there's no going back. The i7 upgrade, while many pooh pooh it, is good in this config. you're not only getting hyper threading, you're getting a faster clock. regarding disk, i went with a3TB Fusion. But that's me, because I have a lot of date. But your 512SSD is a =screamer, and it's all good.

    3K is a bargain, considering the screen you got. Now go and create amazing family videos and pics!!! Have fun, knowing you've got about the most practical and best desktop in existence today.
  6. fathergll macrumors 65816

    Sep 3, 2014
    I misread that you spent over $3000 on the iMac. How much did you actually spend? Did you max out the RAM as well? Are we talking $3600?(not including the Apple Care)
  7. Travisimo thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Dec 22, 2009
    Upgraded the ram myself via Crucial 2x16gb chips for a total of 24gb. My total from Apple was $3400 with Applecare and tax, and the extra ram was $85. Next time I upgrade I'll use my son's education discount because he'll be in college and likely still living with us.
  8. fathergll macrumors 65816

    Sep 3, 2014

    Ok that makes more sense. When you said you maxed everything except for the SSD I was afraid you ended up maxing the ram with Apple and spending close to 4 grand after tax and apple care.
  9. alexxk macrumors 6502

    Jul 29, 2010
    Same as mine but mine will still take a while to arrive.

    Glad to know spending those 3000 bucks were worth it. I'm hoping to feel the same way. I'm sure I will :)
  10. G.McGilli macrumors regular

    Oct 19, 2015
    $3700 up here gets me i7 4.0 / 8gb RAM / 512ssd / m390 vid.

    Cost me almost $300 for 32gb RAM.

    I'm basically in for $4k on this computer and it's not even top of the line.

    SO - I liked reading the Ops post in this. I had to do a little self justification myself this time...

    UPDATE - I forgot to say - the cost of the computer - that is with an EPP employee purchase program - so I didn't even have to pay full price... still ouch.
  11. Travisimo thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Dec 22, 2009
    Yep, sorry I didn't mention in my original post that I didn't max out the ram and upgraded it myself. I did my research first. :) It took me less than 5 minutes to install the ram myself and it booted up without a hitch (and at 1867 MHz). I think 24gb of ram will be plenty for the life of my computer.

    I also went with the wired keyboard and new trackpad instead of the mouse. For the former, I just prefer having the extra numeric keys and bigger arrow keys, and I don't mind having a cord (though I'm probably going to need a USB 3 hub). For the latter, I wanted the newly upgraded trackpad with force touch (which is pretty nifty I might add). Is it true that the new trackpad doesn't actually physically "click" and that it's just a sound and haptic feedback? If so, that's amazing and it had my wife fooled when I had her try it.
  12. Cape Dave macrumors 68000

    Nov 16, 2012
    I scale mine and believe me, it is still the best screen ever BY FAR :) I hate small icons!

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