What should I buy?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by jonasseesbeyond, Jun 8, 2017.

  1. jonasseesbeyond macrumors newbie

    Jun 8, 2017
    I need to purchase a new computer. I went into the apple store today and attempted to talk with a salesperson about computers, smh, too bad I wasn't buying a watch or a phone, maybe someone would have been able to answer my questions. I'm concerned about making a mistake and not getting enough memory, high enough resolution, fast enough processor, etc.

    I create and sell educational materials. Other than regular everyday stuff like safari, mail and calendar, I use Affinity Designer and Affinity Photo for my design work and a couple desktop publisher apps. I'm not getting an iPad because I need to manage tons of files. For the past 15 years, I've used laptops but I need a bigger screen.

    Would the low end 21.5'' iMac be too slow? Is a fusion drive worth it? Would it be better to just get a SSD and use an external hard drive or two since I need at least 1TB, probably need 2TB? If I start making educational videos, what should I buy for basic video editing?

    Thank you for helping me.
  2. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Oct 24, 2013
    Your use case is not very demanding any apple computer will do what you want, as you seem to have some mobile needs I would buy a 13 inch MBP and external monitor for when you need a bigger screen with a little USB C hub for your external drives etc to connect when at your desk.

    Best of both worlds really.
  3. Fishrrman macrumors P6


    Feb 20, 2009
    If file management is required, you DON'T want an iOS device. Not much (any?) of a user-controllable file system.

    Regarding iMacs, IF you can afford it, DEFINITELY get the 27" iMac instead of the 21".
    You will NEVER regret spending the extra $$ for it, once you have it up-and-running, particularly since you're doing design and photo processing. Nothing beats that extra screen real estate!

    Also regarding the iMac, DO NOT buy the model with the 1tb fusion drive. The fusion drive has two components, 1. a very small SSD (24gb), and 2. a 1tb platter-based hard drive.
    BUT -- the 24gb SSD portion is really too small to be useful.

    THE BETTER BUY would be either a 256gb or 512gb SSD. They are VERY fast.

    I realize with the project work you mentioned above that 256gb doesn't sound like much.
    I agree.
    For the extra storage, you could buy an EXTERNAL SSD drive, for an additional 512gb or even 1tb of fast storage.
    A USB3 drive would be fine, just plug it in and use it.
    The new iMacs have two thunderbolt/USB-c ports as well. For even faster performance, you could get an external USB3.1 gen.2 drive.

    There's really little involved insofar as "managing" a second external drive along with the internal. Easy-peasy. Don't be intimidated by it.
  4. fig macrumors 6502a


    Jun 13, 2012
    Austin, TX
    Yup, for what you're doing the 21.5" (or a laptop and external display) would be just fine.

    If you can afford the SSD that's the ideal way to go, but a much cheaper solution is going with the smaller SSD (256 or 512) then connecting to an external drive for your bigger media files.

    For editing Final Cut Pro or Premiere are the two primary pro choices, though you can get by just fine with iMovie for a while. There's also some free editors out there like Davinci Resolve.
  5. jonasseesbeyond thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 8, 2017
    Thank you for explaining the fusion drive. I'm use an external drive to "backup" my computer, do people typically backup what's on external drive with another external drive? Or are external drives trustworthy? I live in the middle of nowhere so "the cloud" isn't really an option for everyday use because of sketchy internet, is it typical to use cloud storage for backups?
    --- Post Merged, Jun 9, 2017 ---
    Thank you for your help. I've used iMovie primarily because I was just making videos for my classroom but soon I'll be selling videos and I think Final Cut Pro is probably worth the money and time spent learning it.
  6. Fishrrman macrumors P6


    Feb 20, 2009
    OP asked:
    "do people typically backup what's on external drive with another external drive? Or are external drives trustworthy?"

    Of course folks use external drives for backups -- I use several, stored in different places. Use CarbonCopyCloner, and your backups will also be BOOTABLE. Great software, one of the best Mac apps of them all.

    I've been booting and running my late-2012 Mini from an SSD sitting in a USB3/SATA dock for going on FIVE YEARS now. It runs as smoothly and as solidly as it did on day #1.

    But as I said above:
    Get as large of an INTERNAL SSD as fits your budget.
    You DON'T have to pay Apple $700 extra for a 1gb SSD.
    Get the smaller ones -- either 256gb or 512gb (depending on how much you wish to pay).
    Then -- get an external USB3 (or USB3.1 gen2) SSD for additional storage.

    You'll need to back BOTH the internal AND the external primary drives up to backup drives. But again, easy enough to do.

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