Which iMac?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by madmatt, Nov 16, 2013.

  1. madmatt macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2009
    #1
    I'm a photographer looking at a new Imac. In my budget I am looking at the 27 inch Imacs. Would I be better off with a:confused: $1799 base model with 512 g ssd, or the $1999 model with the I7 and 1 TB fusion drive. This would be for stills, not video or gaming. Lightroom and other photo editing programs. And thinking also of a couple years down the road for future proofing. I am also considering a I7 Mac Mini and an NEC monitor. I'm a little concerned about the 16 gig ram limit and the fact that there may be an update. I have until the end of January to decide. Thanks for any ideas/info!

    Matt
     
  2. yjchua95 macrumors 604

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    #2
    You're going to need the extra threads and processing power of the i7 to process RAW files. I'm freelance 'grapher myself, and I've come to appreciate the 8 threads of the i7 (compared to only 4 in the i5), and also a pure SSD setup.

    Fusion Drive....I don't advocate it.
    1. Read/writes are slower than pure SSD. 510/350 MB/s compared to 650/750MB/s, read/write of Fusion and SSD respectively.
    2. If the rotational part of the drive fails, the entire Fusion Drive goes down with it, even if the SSD sector is still working. You lose everything.

    You should go for the high end iMac with i7, but without the graphics upgrade. 2GB of GTX775M is enough for your needs.
     
  3. madmatt thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2009
    #3
    Thanks for the reply!

    Maybe I should spend the extra $500 for the 512 gb ssd drive. Oh well, it's only money...........:eek:

    Matt
     
  4. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

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    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #4
    Do you need to the 512GB storage. It is a premium for such an upgrade. For my needs I can live within the 256gb.
     
  5. iamgalactic macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2010
    #5
    you're money would be better spent on good external storage. 512gb is not a lot of space.

    tbh, for your use you'll find the fusion drive speeds more than adequate.

    i have the late 2012 with 1tb fusion and things open up snappily. i'm a heavy photoshop, indesign, after effects user amongst other things (pro, not hobbyist). fusion is great - some folks are just a bit anal about pure SSD even when someone doesn't necessarily need it. plus, the fusion on 2013 model is a good bit faster than my 2012.

    can you afford it and plenty of fast (RAID) external storage? then it's a good choice.

    ----------

    the iMac will take 32GB of RAM - remember to DIY with the 27" and not from Apple
     
  6. Nismo73 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2013
    #6
    Are you past the 128gb size of the ssd in the fusion drive and putting files on the hard drive yet? Wondering if you notice any slowdown as it writes and reads to the HD part as opposed to working with files directly off the ssd part of the fusion? I'm guessing not much of a slowdown.
     
  7. madmatt thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2009
    #7
    Yeah, I am a little concerned with a 512gb limit, which is one reason, along with money, I am considering the 1tb fusion. I know to do the RAM myself. When I mentioned the 16gb RAM limit I was referring to the I7 mac mini option. That's why I'm going to wait a couple months, to see if they do a mini refresh, and what that might entail. I've got a 4 bay RAID 5 setup, so I'm good there. What kind of color management do you use on the Imac?

    Matt
     
  8. iamgalactic macrumors regular

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    Apr 21, 2010
    #8
    well passed it and haven't noticed any change in performance.

    fusion is smart - it keeps most used parts of files on SSD and moves least used bits off. so system stuff stays on SSD, as will apps you use a lot.

    ----------

    Just using ColorSync - I don't do all that much print work these days
     
  9. richard13 macrumors 6502a

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    Aug 1, 2008
    Location:
    Mill Creek, WA
    #9
    Unless you know you'll have more data than will fit on the 512GB SSD I wouldn't worry about it. You can always add more storage externally. On the other hand, if you want to keep things self-contained and feel better about the 1TB Fusion drive, go for it. The Fusion drive is plenty fast (not as fast as pure SSD but fast enough). Just be aware that if you are sensitive to noise getting any HD will add a bit to your computer.

    The other thing I would definitely do is as soon as you get your iMac, check the entire screen for color uniformity using different backgrounds not just the dark wallpaper that Apple uses by default. This is to ensure it's acceptable for the photography work you do.
     
  10. yjchua95 macrumors 604

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    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    #10
    I don't advocate the Fusion, for its reliability. If one part of the Fusion drive goes bust (the rotational part first, obviously), your entire drive is dead. You can't just operate off the SSD part of the Fusion.

    Bottom line, if either one part (SSD or rotational) part of Fusion fails, everything's gone.
     
  11. SaSaSushi macrumors 68040

    SaSaSushi

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    Aug 8, 2007
    Location:
    Takamatsu, Japan
    #11
    When a standard HDD fails, you generally lose everything as well. This is why I always purchase AppleCare for 3 years from purchase of no-questions-asked replacement for mechanical failures.

    More importantly, I back up my data via a daily clone image to external HDD, Time Machine to a separate HDD and a full system backup online to CrashPlan.

    I recommend the Fusion drive highly.
     
  12. yjchua95 macrumors 604

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    #12
    Okay, but still, you still face the hassle of sending the iMac into an AASP to replace the drive, regardless of whether it's free or not.

    SSD for a hassle-free experience.
     
  13. Tanax macrumors 6502a

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    Jun 15, 2011
    Location:
    Stockholm, Sweden
    #13
    Hard drives are less reliable and breaks down faster.
    Keep in mind that hard drives also degrade in speed much faster than SSDs. A 2 year old hard drive will be very slow - meaning your Fusion Drive, when it needs to access data from the hard drive, will be even slower.

    SSD with 256 (or 512 if you can afford it) because really, most of us only need 256GB of storage for applications. For photos and media files? Get an external drive. It's easier to expand, cheaper to expand, better portability if you need to take your photos into the field, etc.
     
  14. SaSaSushi macrumors 68040

    SaSaSushi

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2007
    Location:
    Takamatsu, Japan
    #14
    This is true, although here in Japan it is a fairly painless process with door-to-door pickup and return in about 3-4 days total.

    I believe it's all about individual needs. If the buyer can afford a pure SSD option and its storage capacity is sufficient for their needs, I'd also recommend one over a Fusion drive. For me, personally, 256GB of SSD just wasn't enough digital real estate so I went with the 1TB Fusion Drive at the same price.

    If budget allows and 256GB is enough for your needs, then by all means go with the SSD. If you're like me, however, the Fusion Drive is a fine option.

    In the future, as solid state drive prices hopefully continue to drop, you've also got the option of adding an external SSD via Thunderbolt.
     
  15. yjchua95 macrumors 604

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    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    #15
    Not everywhere is as efficient and good as Japan.

    The reason I love Japan is because everyone's so nice and polite, and the country's so clean. I've visited the country several times and always love it, mainly for vacation and photography assignments.

    Japan's definitely one of the top places for me to retire in (especially in Otaru, Hokkaido).
     
  16. SaSaSushi macrumors 68040

    SaSaSushi

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    Takamatsu, Japan
    #16
    No place is perfect, of course, but I absolutely agree with this statement. I'm American, but have been living in Japan for the past 20 years. The near non-existence of gun (and other) crime and excellent affordable health care are two other reasons on my own list.

    Actually, reading some of the things in these forums that I do, I don't know that I'd be nearly as satisfied with AppleCare if I was still living in the states.

    It's just so easy to deal with them here. You call for service and since Apple Japan has a contract with a big courier service they come right to the door with a specially designed shipping container. All you do is hand it over. No packing and you never even have to leave the house. :)
     

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