Which 2019 27" iMac for me?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Nik73, Jun 21, 2019.

  1. Nik73, Jun 21, 2019
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2019

    Nik73 macrumors regular

    Joined:
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    #1
    Hello all,

    Sorry for another one of these kind of threads. I've been thinking of upgrading my 2011 27" iMac for a while now and some stores in the UK have some good deals on the 2019 models at the minute, one where you can get around £330 off any of the 27" models. Not interested in the 21.5" models due to screen real estate.
    Of course, buying from resellers means no customization options, so I'm after some advice please.

    I've always bought the top of the range model of any Mac, mainly for the longevity and because I liked to do a bit of gaming now and again. However, I've got a dedicated gaming PC for that side of things now and would only be using the iMac for general home use (browsing, email, few photos/videos, etc) as well as some music recording/mixing. Even then, that would only be Garage Band and my Axe Fx 3, certainly nothing professional. I do quite a lot of switching between apps like Garage Band, Axe Edit, etc.
    My biggest storage requirement is for music and recordings, but that's still only around 250GB I would say. I'm not big on photos/videos, so no big storage needed there and like I say, no games.

    With the offers, I can get the three 27" 2019 models for £1419, £1650 and £1920. I think the base model would do me in terms of performance, but my biggest concern is the 1Tb Fusion drive and it's teeny SSD section. I think the 1Tb would probably be enough in terms of space.
    So I either pay the extra £500 to get the top model (with the 2Tb Fusion drive) or get an external SSD (£100 for 500GB). It doesn't bother me having an external drive, and I'm thinking that's probably the way to go, but would appreciate everyones thoughts/opinions.

    A few other random thoughts
    - Is there much difference in terms of longevity between the three models?
    - Are there any disadvantages with external SSDs apart from the speed?
    - For my needs, do I need any more than the 570x as a GPU?
    - Any savings would be good to go towards a new set of studio monitors.

    Thanks very much in advance for any help.
     
  2. Fishrrman macrumors P6

    Fishrrman

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #2
    A suggestion:
    (since you can only buy "stock configurations" to get these prices)

    Get the "base" iMac (1tb fusion drive, yes, I know it's "the slower one")
    BUT...
    Then get an EXTERNAL Samsung X5 SSD (not the t5, but X5).

    It's thunderbolt3 and VERY fast, it costs more (get the smaller size to save money), but will not "hold back" the iMac in any way.

    The money you save by buying the 1tb fusion configuration will go much of the way to pay for the performance of the X5...
     
  3. Nik73 thread starter macrumors regular

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    May 26, 2006
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    UK
    #3
    Thanks fishrr. Good call, didn’t know about the super fast thunderbolt 3 drives. So if I did that and used the x5 as the boot drive, is there any disadvantages to doing that way? From what I’ve read, the x5 is almost as quick as an internal SSD.
    I’m just wondering if it’s worth spending the extra £300 (taking the £200 for the x5 into account) to get the better cpu, gpu and storage of the 2tb fusion. Thanks again.
     
  4. mikehalloran macrumors 65816

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    The Sillie Con Valley
    #4
    To gain the speed advantage of the T5, you will want to boot from it and use the internal FD as storage only. Done right, it will be the same as if you purchased the SSD model.

    For music creation, read/write to disk is a big deal and there will be a big difference.

    There will also be a difference between the i5 and i9 but, if you aren't doing it for a living, the speed difference won't be a big issue.
     
  5. Fishrrman macrumors P6

    Fishrrman

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #5
    I can only report based upon what I've read in others' posts, but I'd reckon that the X5 will equal or surpass the speed of an internal 2tb fusion drive.

    I could be wrong.
     
  6. Abazigal macrumors G4

    Abazigal

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2011
    Location:
    Singapore
    #6
    I say go with the entry level 5k imac. You can always get more ram to upgrade on your own, and rely on external storage for your extra files.
     
  7. adamcarvell macrumors regular

    adamcarvell

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    Dec 15, 2013
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    warwickshire england
  8. Nik73 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 26, 2006
    Location:
    UK
    #8
    Thanks guys, I’m probably going to go for the base 27” with an x5 as the boot and main drive, saving about £300.
    The only thing that’s stopping hit the buy button is the nagging feeling that I should go for the better processor and gpu, for longevity’s sake and that “just in case” scenario. It doesn’t help that I’m so indecisive either, I must have changed my mind literally a hundred times!!
     
  9. adamcarvell macrumors regular

    adamcarvell

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    Dec 15, 2013
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    #9
    Lol I’m doing the same the deal ends the 27 th at very. Com where are you looking to buy one from?.
     
  10. ukp macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2007
    #10
    I bought the 27" base model from Very and added an external Samsung X5 SSD Drive. I can say I'm very happy with that arrangement, as the SSD speed is almost identical to an external SSD.

    The problem I found is if you decide to go for the next model up 'cos it's only a few hundred more, it's only a few hundred more to the next one, and so on. Before you know it, you've bought the top of the range one lol
     
  11. Fried Chicken macrumors 6502a

    Fried Chicken

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2011
    #11
    Get one you want, open it up, and put your own flash drive in there.

    It’s a desktop computer, not a magic box.
     
  12. adamcarvell macrumors regular

    adamcarvell

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    warwickshire england
    #12
    Are you booting from an external ssd or the fusion drive I’m curious
     
  13. ukp macrumors member

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    Feb 9, 2007
    #13
    I am booting from the X5 drive, the internal drive I use for time machine backups only.
     
  14. adamcarvell macrumors regular

    adamcarvell

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    #14
    Never booted from ext drive before unsure how to do it tbh. I have a 2012 Mac mini i7 256ssd 8gb ram atm but looking to upgrade to the iMac but still want the ssd option but apple charges a fortune.
     
  15. ukp macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2007
    #15
    I used Carbon Copy Cleaner and simply cloned the existing internal fusion drive to the newly erased X5 and when done, go to Preferences->Startup Disk and select the X5 as the boot drive. Reboot and it boots from the X5. Simple :)

    Apple do charge a lot for the SSD option. I bought the X5 512GB for £200 from Scan.
     
  16. adamcarvell macrumors regular

    adamcarvell

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    #16
    Are you impressed with the iMac And ssd
     
  17. ukp macrumors member

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    Feb 9, 2007
    #17
    Yes, 100% happy. Apps open instantly and everything is responsive. Whereas before the X5, there was a delay even opening Safari.
     
  18. adamcarvell macrumors regular

    adamcarvell

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    #18
    Ok thanks for that having been used to a ssd boot drive last five years I think a fusion would seem like a step backwards
     
  19. Benz63amg macrumors 68030

    Benz63amg

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    Oct 17, 2010
    #19
    I have the 2TB fusion drive in my 2019 top tier 27 inch iMac and performance has been superb, I use Logic X as well as photoshop, Don’t see any need to get external SSD at this point as everything runs very quickly. Apps launch instantly as well
     
  20. adamcarvell macrumors regular

    adamcarvell

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    #20
    I’ve only read about fusion in here have no experience of one my self I guess the easy option is buy one with a fusion to start if it’s slow go external ssd. The one from very.com is a good price with £300 atm making it an attractive option as against buying a new Mac mini and screen
     
  21. Benz63amg, Jun 25, 2019
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2019

    Benz63amg macrumors 68030

    Benz63amg

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2010
    #21
    Go with a 2TB Fusion drive instead of the 1Tb Fusion drive because the 2TB FD has a built in 128Gb SSD while the 1Tb FD has a 32Gb SSD which is very limited to say the least for MacOS to propery manage the storage file system for optimal performance and perform as intended. The 2TB FD Offers a substantially better overall performance for the reasons stated above

    I suggest you go with the top tier 27 inch model (2299$) and not the base 27 inch model with the 1TB FD because you get a superior gpu and a newer gen cpu for not much more money with the top tier configuration that makes it well worth the slightly higher cost.

    As far as RAM goes, upgrade it yourself once you get the computer. I ordered 2 x 16GB sticks from OWC for a total of 40GB ram.
     
  22. familychoice macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2015
    #22

    Are you sure these are the latest models? The prices are good, but the technical specs state 7th Gen processors. Unless I'm looking at the wrong page? https://www.very.co.uk/electricals/desktop-computers/imac/27in/e/b/101006,20423.end

    If there's a deal on the latest models I'd be interested as I'm close to buying now, but I want to go for the current model.

    Update: sorry - for some reason the search only brought up the three older models, just found all 6 results with the new deals.
     
  23. Nik73 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 26, 2006
    Location:
    UK
    #23
    £500 here is a bit more than slightly higher in my opinion. 33% of the base model. Even getting the x5, there still £300 to be saved if you don’t need the extra horsepower.
    Problem is, I still can’t decide which to get!!! Every time I settle on the base model, that seed of doubt gets sown!
     
  24. Fishrrman macrumors P6

    Fishrrman

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #24
    adam wrote in reply 14:
    "Never booted from ext drive before unsure how to do it tbh"

    Um...
    You go to the startup disk preference pane, enter your password, select the external SSD as the boot drive, close system preferences, and then...

    ... reboot.

    Insofar as CREATING an external boot drive is concerned...
    ... that, too, is "child's play" on a Mac.
    1. Get your SSD
    2. Use either CarbonCopyCloner or SuperDuper to clone the contents of your internal to the SSD (some adjustments may be required if the SSD can't hold everything, in that case, use CCC)
    3. Set the SSD to be the boot drive.
    4. Reboot.
     
  25. reggie23x macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2008
    #25
    I bought the 2019 27" imac base model last week, bought and boot from a samsung t5 1tb drive via usb c. I would cause kernel panics trying to run multiple apps (photoshop, lightroom, and etc) with only 8gb of ram. I added 32gb of ram and this is working like a champ. Once i did open what i'm used to doing on my 2015 15" mbp 512gb/16gb, it worked fine but interestingly enough, i'm now hovering around 24-38gb of ram in use. I do mostly photo editing and some video editing so i think I'm in good shape. Im curious what the longevity of this setup will be vs going for the i9 coupled with it's upgraded hw and the ssd/RAM i have.
     

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33 June 21, 2019