Which is the "best buy"/best value?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Noeb, Aug 10, 2014.

  1. Noeb macrumors newbie

    Aug 8, 2014

    I need a new mac for RAW editing. I'm mainly considering the following alternatives:

    1) Wait for a Mac Mini upgrade (which may or may not take too long!), buy a high-end Mini, upgrade with SSD and RAM by myself. Buy a Eizo ColorEdge or a 27" Dell UltraSharp

    2) The same, but buy a used Mini (latest generation). Same upgrades. Not very many of these around here in Norway, though.

    3) Buy a used iMac 27", latest generation, with Fusion Drive. Put at least 16 GB RAM into it

    4) Buy an older 27" iMac - but how old?? Put at least 16 GB RAM in it. If not Fusion Drive, I will buy external SSD's or some kind of RAID setup and connect via Thunderbolt or USB 3.0. I will boot from the external disks.

    I'm leaning towards 3) or 4), mainly because the Mini upgrade may take many months, and because the few new Minis on the aftermarket is often ridiculously priced.

    So my main question is really - how do I get the most of my money? I will use Aperture (or maybe LR in the future) for RAW editing, and I really want supersmooth editing with no lag. An SDD will be part of my setup, in one way or another. How old is too old when it comes to used iMacs? Is it better to buy an "old" one, because they are easier to upgrade by myself? Are the (used) latest generation really worth the price? Will I be better off with a Mini?

    Thanks in advance!
  2. robgendreau macrumors 68040

    Jul 13, 2008
    One thing to consider is the monitor. If you are seriously into color then a good monitor and the ability to calibrate it would seem to be key. iMacs have good monitors, but you can probably do a bit better with the newer monitors that are coming on the market. And in that case the mini might be the way to go. It's also more easily upgraded than the iMac, at least internally.

    Otherwise, it's all a question of price, and whether for some reason you have to buy now.
  3. thetechfixer macrumors 6502


    Apr 21, 2010
  4. blanka macrumors 68000

    Jul 30, 2012
    Mini 2.3/2.6 quad, especially with 2x SSD in raid 0, is super fast. You need the quad i7 BTO imacs to have an faster iMac. All the quad i5's are outperformed and already more expensive. If you can get a 2.3 in a good deal, they are often 100€ cheaper, then go for it. The new mini if it comes within a year will only be marginally faster, just because the first generation of Broadwell will be quad i7 max. A 6/8 core broadwell would offer true benefit, don't expect those before the end of 2015.

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