Which iMac 27 to buy?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Tackk1978, Dec 31, 2016.

  1. Tackk1978 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2016
    #1
    I'm looking to get the iMac retina 27 inch. I don't know which hard drive to get. Should I get 1TB Fusion, 2TB Fusion, 3TBFusion or 256GB of flash?

    I want a FAST computer, I don't want to have to wait when using the web or editing photos in light room. I don't edit lots of photo's but when I do I don't want to wait.

    I use my computer for surfing the web, editing photos every now and then. I also use Microsoft word and excel allot.

    I have always purchased cheap $500-$600 computers and they all last a couple months then get slower and slower.

    What are your suggestions?
     
  2. varian55zx macrumors 6502a

    varian55zx

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    San Francisco
    #2
    pure flash. end of discussion
     
  3. kschendel macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2014
    #3
    If speed is more important than money, pure SSD (flash), no question.

    Don't skimp on memory either. 8 Gb will probably be just fine for the time being, but if you can get 16 gb for a price you can afford, do it, it will help future-proof your machine against future bloatware.
     
  4. chscag macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2008
    Location:
    Fort Worth, Texas
    #4
    Stay away from fusion drives and go with a pure SSD. I would opt for 512GB. You can always add memory to a 27" iMac yourself for a lot less than Apple charges. Also keep in mind that the iMac line is overdue for a refresh. You might want to wait.
     
  5. joefrank64k macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2008
    #5
    If you go Fusion, get the 2 or 3TB. The 1TB only has a 24gb SSD. The 2/3TB have 128GB.

    And get your RAM from OWC or some other vendor. Apple charges an obscene $600 for 32GB. OWC charges $249.99 and will give you $20 for the 8 GB that you take out.

    https://eshop.macsales.com/shop/memory/iMac/Retina-5K2015/DDR3L

    I just (this week) got a 27", 3.3 i5, M395 2TB Fusion iMac . It's FAST. Love it, glad I didn't wait for the who-knows-when it's-coming upgrade. Got it from B&H on sale and to save tax. BTW, buy your AppleCare through the Apple Ed Store to save $30 over B&H pricing.

    Good luck with your decision and shopping!!
     
  6. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

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    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #6
    You have your answer then - get the SSD.

    While the Fusion drive is a great setup, it provides near SSD speeds and in some instance you only see spinning hard drive performance. I recommend as others do that you get the SSD.
     
  7. Tackk1978 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Dec 31, 2016
    #7
    Is there any negatives of having pure flash over a fusion drive?
     
  8. Fishrrman macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #8
    OP asked:
    "I don't know which hard drive to get. Should I get 1TB Fusion, 2TB Fusion, 3TBFusion or 256GB of flash?"

    DO NOT get the 1tb fusion -- the SSD portion is only 24gb.

    DO consider the 2tb fusion -- comes with a 128gb SSD portion and a 2tb 7200rpm HDD portion.

    DO consider the 256gb SSD -- but realize the 2tb fusion drive (above) gives you NINE TIMES the storage capacity, and nearly all the speed for the SAME PRICE.
     
  9. MacGizmo macrumors 6502a

    MacGizmo

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    Apr 27, 2003
    Location:
    Arizona
    #9
    Well, it does cost more.
     
  10. michwags19 macrumors newbie

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    Jul 20, 2011
    #10
    i had this exact question and after reading this thread and other articles i now have another thought in my head about a future purchase....

    what i have now...early 2011 13" macbook pro 320 gb (out of storage so i have begun using external HD)
    what i do with current MBP....web surfing, email, general document creation/editing, and very minimal photo editing

    thinking about purchasing new 15" MBP but when looking at pricing i started to wonder if i should just get an iMac (love them but don't really have proper room for it and we really like using a laptop at home on the couch and whatnot) and refresh my current MBP.

    thoughts/suggestions? current MBP is starting to irritate me with slowness due to storage issues.
     
  11. kschendel macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2014
    #11
    Cost, mostly, and to a lesser degree, storage size. For a while, it was impossible to buy an SSD as large as spinning disks, but SSD's can now match all but the largest hard drives. You'll pay considerably more for the SSD though.

    A third possible negative is write endurance. An SSD has a limited amount of writing that it can absorb before it dies, and for early (small-ish) SSD's under very heavy write load this was a potential issue. Modern SSD's have a write endurance that is at least 150x the SSD size, if not more, and it's likely to take years to hit the limit with anything other than an artificial continuous write load.
     
  12. mpe, Jan 2, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2017

    mpe macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2010
    #12
    For Lightroom workload the pure SSD won't give you any benefits compared to Fusion. Speed will be pretty much the same (I personally tested this very thoroughly by myself and use 512GB SSD and 2TB fusion macs every day).

    With Fusion, ACR cache, previews and catalog is pretty much guaranteed to stay on the SSD and speed of loading of RAW files doesn't really matter as the decode speed (CPU) will always be the bottleneck when importing/browsing. There is zero difference.

    More likely you'll end up regretting if you only get the tiny 256GB storage. Even memory cards in my camera are bigger than that!

    If you can afford the 1TB SSD, go for it. It is the best option (unless you already have catalog size close to 1TB). If you can't buy the 3TB Fusion.

    Stay away from 1TB fusion though.
     
  13. varian55zx macrumors 6502a

    varian55zx

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    May 10, 2012
    Location:
    San Francisco
    #13
    No, only upside. Pure flash is superior

    The fusion drive is slow and sub-optimal (better to organize files yourself on separate drives).
     
  14. Ecommerce Kid macrumors newbie

    Ecommerce Kid

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2016
    #14
    I bought one about a month ago. My top tip is to figure out the config you want and then wait for it to pop up as a refurb. I got exactly what I wanted. I highly recommend the 1TB SSD. Yeah I splurged on it but I want to use this machine for at least 5 years. Also, I did not want an unreliable mechanical drive that could brick the machine.

    If you need more room in the future you can always get an external drive. There was value for me in upgrading the GPU to the 395 but not the 395x. I would not go any lower than the 390. Remember, it is driving a 27" 5K screen. I went with the i7 but for $250 is was hard to turn down that much power but the nicer i5 is a great chip as well.
     
  15. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

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    Boston
    #15
    I found that it provides near SSD speeds, yes some of the less active files, or large data-sets will reside on the spinning drive, but I'm very impressed with the consistent performance of Fusion
     
  16. rbart, Jan 3, 2017
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 4, 2017

    rbart macrumors regular

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    France
    #16
  17. jerm13 macrumors member

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    May 4, 2016
    #17
    I am also considering a new iMac, most likely the 27" with 512 SSD. I know we should get new iMac announcements around March, but am wondering if Apple will continue to allow for ram upgrades in the 27" line. Does anyone think they won't?
     
  18. rbart macrumors regular

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    France
  19. Firebrand macrumors regular

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    Sep 13, 2016
    #19
    We often oversee the fact that the purchase is already much better than one’s current Mac.
    i5 is good too; sometimes e.g. extra RAM may be a better investment.
     
  20. varian55zx, Jan 3, 2017
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 4, 2017

    varian55zx macrumors 6502a

    varian55zx

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    May 10, 2012
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    #20
    No, rbart, I've just owned both.

    Not only do I find organizing the files yourself to be more effective, but pure SSD is also much faster. Why don't you get that? Why?
     
  21. rbart, Jan 3, 2017
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 4, 2017

    rbart macrumors regular

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    France
    #21
    FD is not slow, it's fast but slower than pure SSD. Everyone knows that, but you continue to tell it's slow, not eficient, because you think you can better otpimize it than the OS.
     
  22. varian55zx, Jan 4, 2017
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 4, 2017

    varian55zx macrumors 6502a

    varian55zx

    Joined:
    May 10, 2012
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    #22
    true. Undoubtedly better than a solo HDD.

    Yep I can, especially if I'm doing a mass data import I don't have to wait for all of those unused media files to sit on the SSD for no reason. It's great :)

    My two drive setup (one external, and one internal) is working perfectly and I have no desire to fuse personally. I'm far too organized for that. :p
     
  23. rbart, Jan 4, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2017

    rbart macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2013
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    France
    #23
    Who is exagerating ?
    --- Post Merged, Jan 4, 2017 ---
    I am pretty sure you spend more time organizing your files on your slow external drive splitting betwenn SSD and HDD, move back to SSD, then back to HDD, than letting the OS do it ...
    To win 2 seconds running a program, how many time do you waste when loading files on the slow external drive ?
     
  24. varian55zx macrumors 6502a

    varian55zx

    Joined:
    May 10, 2012
    Location:
    San Francisco
    #24
    This argument doesn't make any sense.

    I am the owner of a great media library.

    If I get a new, say, movie file. 3 gb file or so, HD movie. I know I don't want any of that on the SSD. Who knows when I will actually watch it, and when I do, I don't benefit from having it on the SSD. It would just be a waste of space.

    If I had a fusion drive I would drag it to the fusion drive, and it's anyone's guess which drive those 3gb of data will move to. It will probably stay on the SSD for a long time (fusion is slow to move files off the SSD), and part of it may never move off the SSD, ever.

    Possibly the most concerning part is there is no way to determine what is on the SSD and what is on the HDD. Nothing. zero. You can never know what is where. Why? Because fusion is designed for Grandmas and elementary students who don't desire any level of customization with their machines.

    Of course with my setup I can just drag the whole file to the HDD and be done with it.

    If you are unable to understand what I have mentioned in this post I am done with you. I'm finished. The advantages of having a split drive are just so obvious, and if you still don't understand them by now, I just don't know what to say
     
  25. kschendel macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2014
    #25
    Well, one can only hope, but you've said that before and here we are.

    I've said my piece on the Fusion drive here and elsewhere, and I won't repeat myself at length. it's a cache, a good one, and a cost effective one at this point in time. Pure SSD is better but costs more, a LOT more for suitable values of "lot". If one wants maximum speed, get pure SSD. If don't have the cash, but do have the time and inclination to pididdle around with what goes where, get a split SSD / hard disk. If you just want a decent compromise, think you might need more space than you can afford pure SSD for, just want it to work, and don't actually CARE what goes where, get Fusion. And if you want the very most space for the very least money, a hard disk is still the answer, at least today.
     

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