Which iMac is right for me?

EQuiNoX936

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jun 14, 2019
3
0
Hello everyone,

I am having trouble to know which new iMac and configuration is best for me.

I am a finance student and I often use a lot of statistic and finance programs on my computer. I use my computer a lot, and, as I have no TV, I like to watch all my movies in 4k on my computer. Apart from that, I do not play games, and do not do any video editing.

I also hate when the computer freezes, as everyone does.

I would like to have a 27 inches display, from the newest iMac collection, but I don’t know which one is best for me. I plan on keeping this mac for a few years at least, but I don’t know if the i9+vega combination is really useful in my case, as I don’t play and don’t edit videos or photos.

Thanks a lot!
 

casperes1996

macrumors 68040
Jan 26, 2014
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Horsens, Denmark
You don't need the Vega - cut that if you don't "want" it. And by that I mean, based on your described use-cases, it likely won't really benefit you at all, and the only real reason I can see for getting it, is knowing it's there...

The i9 also seems like overkill for you, but I'd have to know more about the statistical and financial tools you're using. Since you're a student I'd say it's likely waaaay more power than you need. Plus, financial applications at least tend to be mostly single-threaded which means the i9 will add little compared to the cheaper i7.

I'll let you know as much as that I'm a computer science student, and I often do heavy computations, including statistics for that matter (we have statistics, linear algebra, etc. too - not all our courses are computer courses, we need maths too). I work with CAS tools, I compile software, run databases, play video games and edit video as a hobby. I do this on a Haswell i7 4790K, R9 M295X iMac. Substantially less powerful than the i7s in the newer iMacs, and substantially less powerful than the Radeon Pro 580. - And it all runs smoothly enough for my needs. - I'd like more power, sure. But you could give me a top spec Mac Pro and I'd still like more power. This serves the needs well.

Regarding computer freezing during regular operation, your biggest hinderance there would be a spinning disk drive. Take money away from CPU/GPU upgrades, and chug that money at faster storage. 2TB Fusion at least, since the 1TB Fusion has less SSD. If you don't need terabytes of storage, go full SSD. That'll help you avoid freezing much more than a faster CPU or GPU.
Freezes are very rarely that you can't compute fast enough, and more often that you're waiting on data-movements.

Also make sure you have enough memory to avoid freezes. On the 27" it is extremely easy to upgrade this yourself, and can be done cheaper than an upgrade through Apple, so you don't need to worry about it at time of purchase. but afterwards, keep an eye on memory pressure and if it gets orange or red, more memory will make things run smoother.

Hope that helps, shoot me a reply if you'd like something elaborated, or further detail your use cases for more detailed feedback.
 
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mikehalloran

macrumors 68000
Oct 14, 2018
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The Sillie Con Valley
Also make sure you have enough memory to avoid freezes. On the 27" it is extremely easy to upgrade this yourself,
This is far more common than people think. Memory leaks (browsers, web sites, apps, plugins etc.) are a fact of life. The minimum for any user should be enough to keep from freezing if you reboot daily.

Although some of my apps work faster with more RAM, the minimum for me was 32GB—I could count on freezing at some point beyond 30 hours if I didn’t reboot. Now that I have 128GB onboard, I can push it to 5 days but it will freeze on day 6. I still reboot every few days.

I have tools to test this and know what is causing this behavior. Doesn’t matter, I must log onto these web sites, run certain apps and use certain plugins.

On my iMac Pro, rebooting and logging into around 150 web sites (on 3 monitors) takes around 45 seconds. Really, it’s no big deal. On my old i7, it took just under 2 minutes. Before I replaced the mechanical hard drive with an SSD, it took 20 minutes.
 

casperes1996

macrumors 68040
Jan 26, 2014
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Horsens, Denmark
This is far more common than people think. Memory leaks (browsers, web sites, apps, plugins etc.) are a fact of life. The minimum for any user should be enough to keep from freezing if you reboot daily.

Although some of my apps work faster with more RAM, the minimum for me was 32GB—I could count on freezing at some point beyond 30 hours if I didn’t reboot. Now that I have 128GB onboard, I can push it to 5 days but it will freeze on day 6. I still reboot every few days.

I have tools to test this and know what is causing this behavior. Doesn’t matter, I must log onto these web sites, run certain apps and use certain plugins.

On my iMac Pro, rebooting and logging into around 150 web sites (on 3 monitors) takes around 45 seconds. Really, it’s no big deal. On my old i7, it took just under 2 minutes. Before I replaced the mechanical hard drive with an SSD, it took 20 minutes.
... Or you could just kill the relevant processes instead of a full reboot, but sure - rebooting is simpler if you can't identify a PID or it's a dependency cycle.

To the OP, don't get scared off by this user talking about this much memory. This user also runs an iMac Pro, and seems to have way higher usage requirements than you. Start off easy, keep an eye on the pressure and upgrade if it becomes red regularly and annoyingly - minding the leaks mentioned by mikehalloran.
 

casperes1996

macrumors 68040
Jan 26, 2014
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That’s funny. Everything is easy to the person who doesn’t have to deal with it.

45 seconds in the morning to reboot is much faster.
Sorry, I can see how that part about identifying a PID could come off as condescending, but that really wasn't the intent. I meant as in if it's technically unfeasible to identify the PID. Reason I brought up the method wasn't to do a snobby piss-take or brag about technical knowhow or something like that. It was more that in some scenarios keeping a system up is crucial so a soft process restart rather than a full system reboot is necessary.

And for the average Joe who doesn't maintain a web server or similar, a lot of times it's enough to just reopen the apps too - But yes, a 45 seconds restart is typically the faster approach, and I wasn't discouraging that approach - on the contrary.
But I do actually personally typically keep systems up for around a month at a time, so I'd add that whether or not reboots or process kills are necessary also depends on what processes you run. - You mentioned having a lot of web stuff going; I barely ever use websites really. There are maybe 5 I ever go to really so I avoid a lot of random JS and such - Anyways, now it's just a bit of a mad ramble so I'll quit it here. Cheerio!
 

casperes1996

macrumors 68040
Jan 26, 2014
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Horsens, Denmark
Not yet on any iMac but it's expected to be enabled in the new TV app out by October.

There's no technical limitation — 4K streaming works fine in Windows over Bootcamp. But not the iMac—yet.
Sorry, may well have thought of the TV app. I believe it’s said to work on 2017- models - the cutoff seemingly arbitrary.
 

mikehalloran

macrumors 68000
Oct 14, 2018
1,600
390
The Sillie Con Valley
There's a big meaningless debate in another thread where they're arguing over whether the iMac Pro will support 4k streaming or not and what about the 2017 and the 2015 etc.

It's all based on the Catalina announcement that stated hardware introduced in 2018 will but says nothing about earlier hardware not. People are making it up as they go along on both sides of the non-argument. We'll know in September. Since we know it works over Bootcamp in the 2017 and iMP, the 2017 and iMac Pro were still shipping in 2018... I have this feeling.

In any case, not an issue for the 2019 since the Catalina announcement covers that.
 

ma-oo-lilly

macrumors newbie
Mar 30, 2019
3
0
This is far more common than people think. Memory leaks (browsers, web sites, apps, plugins etc.) are a fact of life. The minimum for any user should be enough to keep from freezing if you reboot daily.

Although some of my apps work faster with more RAM, the minimum for me was 32GB—I could count on freezing at some point beyond 30 hours if I didn’t reboot. Now that I have 128GB onboard, I can push it to 5 days but it will freeze on day 6. I still reboot every few days.

I have tools to test this and know what is causing this behavior. Doesn’t matter, I must log onto these web sites, run certain apps and use certain plugins.

On my iMac Pro, rebooting and logging into around 150 web sites (on 3 monitors) takes around 45 seconds. Really, it’s no big deal. On my old i7, it took just under 2 minutes. Before I replaced the mechanical hard drive with an SSD, it took 20 minutes.
Hi,
how do you restore 150 closed web sites after rebooting? Do you use an safari-extension for that?

If I restore many closed tabs in safari after rebooting safari is often not opening exactly the closed identical tabs. Instead after rebooting safari often reopens older closed tabs which were not actual for me. Perhabs you have an advice.

Thanks in advance for your help
Kind regards
Nadine

Please be patient with me - english is not my native language.
 

casperes1996

macrumors 68040
Jan 26, 2014
3,950
1,899
Horsens, Denmark
If I restore many closed tabs in safari after rebooting safari is often not opening exactly the closed identical tabs. Instead after rebooting safari often reopens older closed tabs which were not actual for me. Perhabs you have an advice.
What exactly do you mean? Do you use the Reopen Last Closed in the menu bar?

I would personally use the built-in resume function. You know, where when you cmd+q an app it opens the same windows and tabs when you reopen it, and that checkbox on reboots that allows you to have windows reopened on launch.
 

ma-oo-lilly

macrumors newbie
Mar 30, 2019
3
0
Because of professional reasons I work with a lot of open safari windows and tabs.
When safari hangs (beachball) I am forced to close it (cmd+alt+esc).
After rebooting I start safari again and use from the menu bar "Alle Fenster der letzten Sitzung erneut öffnen" (google translation: "Reopen all windows of the last session").
But the problem is, this is is not always openeing the very last used session of safari.
So often a lot of tabs are lost after reboot.
I tried some safari-extensions like "Sessions" and "SessionRestore" but the results are not reliable.
 

Fishrrman

macrumors P6
Feb 20, 2009
17,160
5,520
OP:

My recommendation is the 5k 27", get an i5 CPU, get a 512gb SSD (larger is too much money) and 8gb of RAM (easy to upgrade yourself on iMac 27").

You said you're a student, but you didn't specify a price range.
If you can't afford the above specs in a new 2019 iMac, you might consider a 2017 Apple-refurbished unit instead.
Should save a nice amount of $$$.
 

petvas

macrumors 601
Jul 20, 2006
4,416
507
Mannheim, Germany
I have a 2019 27" i5 iMac with 16GB of RAM and 512GB SSD and I love it. While I do not need any financial software to run on my computer, the iMac is more than capable for most tasks you plan to throw at it. The i9 is an overkill. Don't get a Fusion drive, get an SSD. In 2019 it is really a shame that Apple still sells computers with spinning disks.