What to buy?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by hoyajack, Nov 11, 2016.

  1. hoyajack macrumors newbie


    Feb 6, 2014
    Looking for an All-in-One (iMac) for work, trying to decide between a few refurbished (by Apple) models. What affects performance more: Quad i5 Cores or Dual i7Cores. How much speed does a Fusion drive add over a regular hard drive? This one looks good but it is from 2013:Refurbished 27-inch iMac 3.2GHz quad-core Intel Core i5
    Originally released September 2013 27-inch (diagonal) LED-backlit display with IPS technology; 2560-by-1440 resolution16GB memory 1TB Fusion drive NVIDIA GeForce GT 755M graphics processor with 1GB of GDDR5 memory
    Built-in FaceTime HD camera:
    or this one:
    Refurbished 15.4-inch MacBook Pro 2.5GHz Quad-core Intel i7 with Retina Display
    Originally released May 2015 15.4-inch (diagonal) Retina display; 2880-by-1800 resolution at 220 pixels per inch
    16GB of 1600MHz DDR3L onboard memory 512GB PCIe-based flash storage 720p FaceTime HD Camera
    Intel Iris Pro Graphics and AMD Radeon R9 M370X

    Or do I blow the budget and get this new one?
    27-inch iMac with Retina 5K display 3.2GHz Processor
    1TB Storage 3.2GHz quad-core Intel Core i5 processor Turbo Boost up to 3.6GHz 8GB (two 4GB) memory, configurable up to 32GB 1TB hard drive1 AMD Radeon R9 M380 with 2GB video memory Retina 5K 5120-by-2880 P3 display. Appreciate any help.

  2. ApfelKuchen macrumors 68030

    Aug 28, 2012
    Between the coasts
    The kind of work always matters. Only certain users will benefit from having an i7. Outside of certain kinds of heavy computation (most commonly video/animation/graphics), there's little benefit to having an i7 over an i5. What apps do you normally use?

    The Fusion drive will give every user a very significant boost in performance over a conventional hard drive, throughout the day. In most cases it delivers about 80-90% of the performance of an SSD, at a much lower cost for the amount of storage provided. The computer and OS will boot and wake from sleep much faster, commonly-used apps and data files launch far faster, and once infrequently-accessed files are launched/opened (at HDD speeds), they will subsequently run at SSD speeds.

    The machines you've selected are all quite different. There's no comparison between working at a 27" display and a 15.4-inch display. Unless portability was a concern, I'd go with one of the 27" iMacs.

    I happen to have the 27" Late 2013 iMac with a 3TB Fusion drive - essentially the same machine you describe. It's the best computer I've ever owned. I also have a 21.5" Late 2013 iMac with 512GB SSD, and other than the display size, it's very hard to tell the difference between the two, performance-wise.

    Would I take the 27" Retina 5K display over the display in my iMac? Sure, better is better. However, that 27" Retina unit apparently has a conventional HDD. For my needs, I'd choose the overall system performance of the Fusion drive over the improved graphics of the Retina display (though if it had Fusion, I'd go for the Retina in a heartbeat).

    As to the MacBook Pro... I don't need the i7 processor, I don't need portability, I far prefer a larger display, and I do need more than 512GB of internal storage. As an all-SSD machine with an i7, it will deliver the best performance of the three, but for my usage (mostly writing and photo editing), it's more than I need - kind of like driving a Ferrari no faster than 55 mph. However, for your situation it could be perfect - I just don't know what your situation happens to be.
  3. Tomorrow macrumors 604


    Mar 2, 2008
    Always a day away
    You say you're "looking for an all-in-one (iMac)," but you're comparing an iMac with a MBP. Do you want an iMac, or a MBP, or does it matter?

    I agree with ApfelKuchen, you'll get much more of a noticeable performance boost by spending your money on a Fusion drive or outright large SSD than by spending it on an i7.

    In any event, without knowing what kind of work you do it's hard to say whether any of these upgrades like the screen resolution/size, video adapter, etc. are worthwhile for you. But the Fusion drive would be a VERY useful upgrade for ANY user.
  4. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009
    DO NOT buy ANY Mac, new or refurbished, UNLESS it has either:
    1. an internal SSD, or
    2. a fusion drive.

    This is regardless of what CPU it has or what GPU it has.

    If you fail to heed the above advice, you'll be back here asking, "how do I make this thing faster ???"
  5. hoyajack thread starter macrumors newbie


    Feb 6, 2014
    Sorry, was away for a while. Going for a iMac w/ an SSD. thanks for the help!

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