Which iMac 27" 5K is suitable for me?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by mralexandercom, Oct 17, 2018.

?

Which Processor to get?

  1. 3.8GHz quad-core 7th-generation Intel Core i5 processor, Turbo Boost up to 4.2GHz

    44.4%
  2. 4.2GHz quad-core 7th-generation Intel Core i7 processor, Turbo Boost up to 4.5GHz

    55.6%
  1. mralexandercom, Oct 17, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2018

    mralexandercom macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2018
    #1
    Hello,

    I have been looking over and over at buying a brand new 27" iMac 5K and I would like to know which configuration would be more suitable for my needs. The price difference is around $500.

    My usage, i am a web developer and a "basic" overall user, browser, email, etc.

    - I run a number of softwares simultaneously
    -- Adobe Photoshop,
    -- Adobe Illustrator
    -- Microsoft Excel
    -- Microsoft Word
    -- Mail
    -- Trello
    -- Safari
    -- Spotify
    -- FileZilla for
    -- Code Editor (Adobe Dreamweaver or similar)
    -- a number of VMs as a server.

    I also do light video editing for fairly short clips of up to 10-20 minutes, with Adobe Premier or Final Cut Pro

    Questions:

    Should I get:
    01.01. "3.8GHz quad-core 7th-generation Intel Core i5 processor, Turbo Boost up to 4.2GHz"
    or
    01.02. "4.2GHz quad-core 7th-generation Intel Core i7 processor, Turbo Boost up to 4.5GHz"?

    02.01. "Radeon Pro 575 with 4GB video memory"
    or
    02.02 "Radeon Pro 580 with 8GB video memory

    Would I notice a difference?

    I will also get the base 8GB RAM and will add 32GB on my own, cheaper. I will also get the 512GB SSD, more than enough for me.

    03. Should I get the base iMac Pro model?

    Thoughts?

    Thank you very much for your help.

    Mr Alexander
     
  2. bbnck macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2009
    #2
    You don't need the iMac Pro from the workflow you've described. The 4.2 GHz Intel Core i7 processor may certainly help to shorten export times with video editing and has the benefit of Hyper-Threading, but the 3.8 GHz Intel Core i5 will serve you well based on the information you've provided.
     
  3. mralexandercom thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2018
    #3
    Thanks for your help. The video editing is very light and not the primary focus.

    Would I notice a difference for the web development / day-to-day usage between i5 and i7?
     
  4. bbnck, Oct 17, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2018

    bbnck macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2009
    #4
    No, not with general use or web development, even with resource-hungry Java-based IDEs like PhpStorm (which is what I use). In terms of GPU recommendations, someone else ought to advise you on that but I would say the Radeon Pro 580 seems a bit overkill for your particular requirements.
     
  5. mikehalloran macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2018
    Location:
    The Sillie Con Valley
    #5
    Get the i7. With any kind of audio or AV work, it can make a big difference—surprised me when I found that out.

    Otherwise, it doesn't appear to me that you need an iMac Pro. Likewise, the 580 is nice but I wouldn't say you need it.

    Avoid the fusion.

    Get an SSD large enough to contain your system, apps and current work files. APFS Snapshots can restore your entire system to an earlier state in a few minutes if you really screw something up like, say, download an upgrade that destroys your current work. You can restore everything to how it was before you installed the update—but only on your boot drive. A Time Machine restore can also do this, of course but that takes hours. If you're going too small on your boot drive and plan to work on active files sitting on an external, get a bigger blade so that you don't have to.


    Use an external for offloading completed projects if you need more space.
     
  6. mralexandercom thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2018
    #6
    Thats was my next question, would it be ok to get the fusion?

    I found some people selling almost brand new iMacs for almost half price, most of them with the fusion drive.

    Thoughts?
     
  7. mralexandercom thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2018
    #7
    What do you think about the following screen glass crack? He is selling it for $1,400 CAD:

    - i5 3.4ghz
    - 1TB fusion
    - Radeon pro 570 4GB
    - 8GB RAM ( i will add another 32GB )

    [​IMG]
     
  8. danielwsmithee macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2005
    #8
    Either one would work fine for your workflow. I’d go for the i7 since you are running VMs. From my experience hyper threading helps when running VMs.
     
  9. mralexandercom thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2018
    #9
    Thanks for the help, if i get a great deal 2nd used i will go for i5, i only run a single VM.

    What do you think about the glass crack? it doesn't impact the screen.
     
  10. Fishrrman macrumors G5

    Fishrrman

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #10
    You don't want to buy a damaged iMac, even for a lower price.
    You're going to regret a purchase like that every day that you have to look at it.

    Having said that, I would avoid the 1tb fusion drive.

    You don't need an i7 iMac, either. Others have reported they are noisy (fan runs too loudly under load).

    My suggestions:
    Get a "midrange" 3.5ghz model from the Apple Refurbished online store. Or buy new.
    Get either a 256gb or a 512gb SSD. DON'T buy a 1tb SSD -- too much $$$ for what you get in return.
    DO NOT buy ANYTHING with a "fusion drive".
    Get the base 8gb of RAM. You probably won't need more. If at some point you find that you do, add it yourself.
     
  11. danielwsmithee macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2005
    #11
    I wouldn't buy a damaged iMac. That is just me personally. I know it would bother me too much. My PC is critical to what I do and spend enough time on it that I can easily justify getting exactly what I want.
     
  12. Kurri macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2009
    #12
    mralexandercom, what is making you not want to wait for the new version? My iMac is dead so I just am using my ipad pro right now waiting...and waiting
     
  13. mralexandercom thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2018
    #13
    Is there a big difference between 3.4ghz and 3.5ghz for my needs?
     
  14. vojislavsh macrumors member

    vojislavsh

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2018
    Location:
    Podgorica, Montenegro
    #14
    Not in processor but radeon 575 is much more powerfull.I personally use base 5K model and I'm not a pro user. I'm very happy with my machine.
     
  15. Digital Skunk macrumors 604

    Digital Skunk

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2006
    Location:
    In my imagination
    #15
    My rule of thumb when it comes to computers with no definite upgrade path is to get the fastest that you can afford. If you can get the 4.2GHz grab it! You won't notice a speed difference now but you will down the line, years to come.

    Also, there IS a huge difference in processing power in regards to video between the i5 and the i7. Even if it's only a light work, try your best to get the i7.

    Another rule of thumb, never ... EVER buy used AND damaged machines from anyone, EVER unless you're doing so to part it out or it's a machine you plan on kicking around.

    The person may be trustworthy, but the machine .... not so much.

    p.s. I want to reiterate the first point. If you can, get the i7. Get it in any flavor. You won't regret that 3, 4, 5, years down the line. Save up and spend the extra cash on it. RAM is upgradeable, and in some respects so is your HDD (you can boot from an SSD connected through Thunderbolt), and some iMac models can use GPU expansion, but you won't be able to turn your i5 into an i7.
     
  16. mralexandercom thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2018
    #16
    Thanks for your insights, i have decided to purchase a brand new iMac.

    The October event has been announced today, so hopefully the 2018 models will be released!

    I noticed a whole bunch of 2017 iMacs appearing in the refurbished section today.

    What are the thoughts on buying refurbished?

    Would it be ok for example to purchase a 1TB FusionDrive and then connect an external SSD via thunderbolt and use that as a primary drive? or better invest right away and buy SSD internally and also connect externally?
     
  17. Fishrrman macrumors G5

    Fishrrman

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #17
    mral wrote above:
    "The October event has been announced today, so hopefully the 2018 models will be released!"

    I'm not expecting to see new iMacs on October 30.
    Who knows -- it might happen -- but still, not expecting to see new iMacs until 2nd quarter 2019.
    Perhaps I'm wrong. We'll find out on October 30th, right?

    So, if you're going to buy a new iMac RIGHT NOW, you're going to buy a 2017 design.
    But wait -- that's not "bad", because the 2017 iMacs are dandy machines.
    I recently set one up for a friend and was very impressed.

    But a warning:
    DO NOT buy an iMac -- ANY iMac -- unless it has a "straight SSD" inside.
    If you ignore this advice, you may end up an "unhappy customer".
     
  18. mralexandercom thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2018
    #18
    awesome, thanks for the advice.

    i will get the 4.2ghz i7 with 512SSD, 8GB base and add 32GB ram for total of 40GB and Radeon Pro 580 with 8GB memory.

    I will wait for few weeks to see if new iMacs are announced, if not, then will buy one.

    What are the thoughts on refurbished iMacs? Its not a big difference but saves few bucks.
     
  19. Fishrrman macrumors G5

    Fishrrman

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #19
    RE:
    "i will get the 4.2ghz i7 with 512SSD, 8GB base and add 32GB ram for total of 40GB and Radeon Pro 580 with 8GB memory."

    MORE advice:
    Be aware that there have been many complaints about the i7 iMacs, that the fan is too noisy and that it runs too often. I don't have one -- but I read that numerous times here at macrumors.

    Unless you absolutely have-to-have the i7 (I'm thinking lots of 4k video processing), you might consider the "midrange" model with the 7600 i5 CPU instead. Much quieter, so I understand.

    Also, don't bother with 40gb of RAM unless you KNOW that you need it and know WHY you'll need it. Otherwise it may be money "down the drain".

    My opinions only.
     
  20. mralexandercom thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2018
    #20
    I am getting mixed comments, some say get the i7 and some say that i5 is enough. I am currently using a 2013 mac book pro with an i7, it does get loud at times, it is 2.7ghz. It works great but i notice the loud noise, it surprised me initially.

    Regarding the RAM, it is a rather small investment to get the 32GB RAM, I like to "overkill" sometimes, to make my work station as smooth as possible.

    If the i5 is enough for me than i will get that otherwise the i7 is not that much of a difference, only around ~$250USD ($300 CAD).
     
  21. danielwsmithee macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2005
    #21
    The i7 vs i5 really comes down to preference. Would you rather have a processing job take 1 hour and be dead quite, or take 40 minutes and have the fans noticeably running during that time (and pay a little extra for the privilege)? My preference would be the i7 with the fan noise personally but that is just me. Fundamentally you can't get more processing power without more heat given the same chip design process. So getting extra horsepower generates more heat and requires the fans to run faster.

    I certainly feel like you get better performance for the $ with an i7 and 24GB of RAM, then an i5 with 40GB of RAM. So if you are looking to save a few dollars add 16GB instead of 32GB of RAM after purchase.
     
  22. mralexandercom thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2018
    #22
    I don’t really have many processing jobs, I am a web developer for the most part, and the extra noise and beat haven’t been bothering me on my MacBook Pro 2013 which has been excellent thus far with only 16GB of ram.

    I will likely get the i7 for the added performance, which I may not notice immediately but perhaps when I do some light video editing.
     
  23. Digital Skunk, Oct 19, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2018

    Digital Skunk macrumors 604

    Digital Skunk

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2006
    Location:
    In my imagination
    #23
    Don't worry about any issues with thermal cooling and fans on an i7 iMac. I had an i7 iMac and never had any issues with noise or it getting "too hot".

    Refurbished models are actually excellent from the Apple Store. They are almost always Custom Ordered machines that users returned, or just simple returns from the retails stores. They're sent back for certification and put on the refurbed market, and rarely, there may be a spec bump that's not listed on the website.

    e.g. Years ago, we ordered a 13" MacBook Pro with a 250GB HDD and it came with a 320GB HDD.

    The idea behind grabbing an i7 over the i5 is longevity. So if you see yourself using the machine for the next 5 years with an i5 then go for it. Also, if you're not going to be taxing the machine NOW, then it won't get as hot as others suggest.

    Then, when it's a year or two later, and you pick up more video editing or want to edit with 4k footage then that i7 which you can not upgrade or replace will come in handy.
     
  24. mralexandercom thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2018
    #24
    is the 27" too big? is 21.5" enough?

    I am wondering which size to get, i have both sizes at home, not sure which one to get for a work station that I will be using quit a lot.
     
  25. ginhb macrumors member

    ginhb

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2018
    #25
    Only you can answer that based on your own needs and space available on your desk. I considered the 21.5" at first only because that's closer to the size I was used to (23"). I ended up with the 27" and couldn't be happier. Great for working on photos. That extra size helps when using multiple windows and apps too. I do have enough space on my desk and I'm extremely glad I decided on the 27". Wouldn't want to go back now.
     

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