Which iMac to buy?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by braves12, Feb 28, 2017.

  1. braves12 macrumors newbie


    Feb 28, 2017
    Im looking to buy a used iMac. The first one is a 27" mid 2011 2.7ghz i5 with 16gb of ram and a AMD RadeonHD 6770M 512 mb and the other one is a late 2013 2.7ghz i5 8gb of ram and an intel iris pro 1536 mb graphics card. I want to be able to edit family movies 5-10 minutes long with Final Cut Pro x. That will be the most labor intensive work I will do with it. Which one will work better? Thank you in advance.
  2. Fishrrman macrumors P6


    Feb 20, 2009
    My opinion only, but...
    ... newer is generally better.

    Very important feature you get with the 2013 you DON'T get with the 2011:
  3. hurtmemore macrumors member

    Jan 9, 2017
    This is kinda a tough choice to be honest.

    I think these are the graphics cards you're talking about - http://gpu.userbenchmark.com/Compar...-115-GHz-vs-AMD-Radeon--HD-6770M/m8009vsm7746

    From what I can see, the Intel Iris Pro is 40-50% faster.

    2013 CPU has an edge too, I believe these are the right models (ignore the photo and price on the one) - http://cpuboss.com/cpus/Intel-Core-i5-4570R-vs-Intel-Core-i5-2500S

    CPU matters more than GPU with editing video. GPU is helpful for visual effect rendering, animations, titles, etc.

    16GB of ram is nice to have in general, but 8 should be ok for simple editing.

    I assume the 2013 is the 21"?

    So the upsides of the 2013 are:
    USB3, better CPU, better GPU, newer model.

    Downsides to 2013:
    (smaller screen?), less ram, non upgradable ram if it's the 21" model, usb2, older model.

    As the other guy said - sometimes newer is better. It means your computer will be supported longer with OSX updates - and probably extend it's life for you a year or two.

    Personally, I think I'd go the 2013.
  4. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Oct 24, 2013
    I agree with the other posters here the newer one will be better and last longer that simple really.
  5. padams35 macrumors regular

    Nov 10, 2016
    I'd say it comes down to storage. The 2011s shipped with 7200rpm HDDs by default but the 21.5" 2013 defaulted to a 5400rpm HDD.

    Go with the 2013 if you are ok with booting from a USB-3 external volume or if the '13 has an upgraded drive option.
    Go with the 2011 if you have a strong preference for booting from the internal drive and the '13 has the 1TB HDD.
  6. nambuccaheadsau macrumors 68000


    Oct 19, 2007
    Nambucca Heads Australia
    Go with the 2013 because of USB3. Being platter drives, both are pretty slow. To overcome this slow poke laptop drive, suggest doing what I did when I had that model. Hook up a Thunderbolt external hard drive such as a Silicon power 240GB which was large enough for my needs, make it the boot drive in System Preferences, and use the internal as the backup drive.

    There is then no need to crack open the iMac, just use a rack that mounts on the iMac leg from Twelve South Dock.

    One slight problem is Software Updates always go to the internal first, but a reboot then loads them to the Silicon power. Now this drive is my external backup so there is a use when you later change machines again.

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5 February 28, 2017