Willing to spend $1500 on a new computer. Is the late 2014 quad-core iMac worth it?

maricircus

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Aug 11, 2007
7
0
Hey Macrumors. I'm in the market for a new Apple computer (haven't upgraded in 5 years). I was browsing the online store today and the 2.7GHz quad-core Intel Core i5 iMac caught my interest.

2.7GHz Quad-core Intel Core i5 Turbo Boost up to 3.2GHz
8GB 1600MHz DDR3 SDRAM - 2X4GB
1TB Serial ATA Drive @ 5400 rpm Intel Iris Pro Graphics

Couple questions:
Is the computer ideal for making music? (Using programs such as Logic X + Pro Tools). Should I upgrade the harddrive to a SSD? (I heard its a pain in the ass...) Will it be worth it to upgrade the ram to 16gb instead of upgrading the HD?

Thanks a lot!
 

orph

macrumors 68000
Dec 12, 2005
1,884
391
UK
if your doing music why not get a mac min?

im in the uk so not shore of the american pricing but you can get a new imac with a 2.9GHZ i5
http://www.apple.com/shop/buy-mac/imac which is faster id guess with a real GPU instead of a Intel Iris Pro.

but still I'm not shore if you need more than an mac min.
 

firedept

macrumors 603
Jul 8, 2011
5,745
636
Somewhere!
It will work, but the HDD will be the biggest slow down. Even a Fusion Drive would make it considerably faster. The RAM upgrade may help you down the road, but not as much as a FD or SSD. Just something for you to consider. And it certainly is not as easy as it use to be to replace the HDD in an iMac.
 

maricircus

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Aug 11, 2007
7
0
It will work, but the HDD will be the biggest slow down. Even a Fusion Drive would make it considerably faster. The RAM upgrade may help you down the road, but not as much as a FD or SSD. Just something for you to consider. And it certainly is not as easy as it use to be to replace the HDD in an iMac.
Good advice, cheers
 

maricircus

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Aug 11, 2007
7
0
Due to the HDD and only 8 GB RAM, no, not for audio work.
what would you recommend instead?

how about the $1500 iMac model:

2.9GHz Processor
1 TB Storage

  • 2.9GHz quad-core Intel Core i5
  • Turbo Boost up to 3.6GHz
  • 8GB (two 4GB) memory
  • 1TB hard drive1
  • NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M with 1GB video memory
 

T'hain Esh Kelch

macrumors 603
Aug 5, 2001
5,167
4,716
Denmark
what would you recommend instead?

how about the $1500 iMac model:

2.9GHz Processor
1 TB Storage

  • 2.9GHz quad-core Intel Core i5
  • Turbo Boost up to 3.6GHz
  • 8GB (two 4GB) memory
  • 1TB hard drive1
  • NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M with 1GB video memory
That machine has the exact same problem as I just recommended against. I advice you to save up some money and buy a proper machine, or get a used machine and upgrade it yourself.
 

orph

macrumors 68000
Dec 12, 2005
1,884
391
UK
is an external SSD via thunderbolt/USB 3 to hold all the work files the solotuion?

might be a better question to ask if you are a heavy user and what you need to run the software.
if it's just as a hobby and your not doing complex work you may not need the highest end unit.

is it just IO speed and RAM that you think might be a problem?
 

maricircus

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Aug 11, 2007
7
0
is an external SSD via thunderbolt/USB 3 to hold all the work files the solotuion?

might be a better question to ask if you are a heavy user and what you need to run the software.
if it's just as a hobby and your not doing complex work you may not need the highest end unit.

is it just IO speed and RAM that you think might be a problem?
Running heavy-duty sound libraries is my biggest concern (omnisphere, kontakt orchestral libraries, etc). My current 2010 MBP does okay, but certainly not great. Once I upload 5 or 7 different tracks using some of those sounds, however, playback becomes very difficult. Plus the computer is just straight up old... crashes frequently, has a hard time running movie files, etc.

But to my original point: I want to have the least amount of freezing and skipping as possible when playing back my music.
 

Samuelsan2001

macrumors 604
Oct 24, 2013
7,694
2,121
Running heavy-duty sound libraries is my biggest concern (omnisphere, kontakt orchestral libraries, etc). My current 2010 MBP does okay, but certainly not great. Once I upload 5 or 7 different tracks using some of those sounds, however, playback becomes very difficult. Plus the computer is just straight up old... crashes frequently, has a hard time running movie files, etc.

But to my original point: I want to have the least amount of freezing and skipping as possible when playing back my music.
As the others say your best upgrade is always an SSD or fusion drive of some sort, 8GB of Ram will be ok for medium level work but 16Gb would be better if you use a lot of tracks and plugins, you don't tell us how much RAM you have now or what sort of RAM pressure you have so that is very difficult to guess.

Have you looked at the refurb store that can get you some bargains and some configurations that would be BTO normally. There are none on there at the moment but you should be able to find one with a fusion drive if you keep checking over the next few weeks it should come in about $1450.
 

keysofanxiety

macrumors G3
Nov 23, 2011
9,536
25,262
Running heavy-duty sound libraries is my biggest concern (omnisphere, kontakt orchestral libraries, etc). My current 2010 MBP does okay, but certainly not great. Once I upload 5 or 7 different tracks using some of those sounds, however, playback becomes very difficult. Plus the computer is just straight up old... crashes frequently, has a hard time running movie files, etc.

But to my original point: I want to have the least amount of freezing and skipping as possible when playing back my music.
As others have said, max the RAM and throw in an SSD. You'd be able to do that for ~$300 easy, depending on the size of the SSD of course.

Just from your description of the issues and the age of your machine, it's likely the hard-drive's in the stages of failure anyway, simply from wear-and-tear on the platters and needles. An SSD would be a godsend.
 

MrBig0

macrumors newbie
Oct 2, 2015
1
0
I absolutely do not recommend having a fusion drive in a computer where audio/video work will be performed. The OS will manage files back and forth onto the SSD portion and the required buffer won't be predictable. Maybe there are people who haven't had this sort of trouble, but any time I've seen it done, it causes all sorts of problems with a DAW.
 

maricircus

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Aug 11, 2007
7
0
As others have said, max the RAM and throw in an SSD. You'd be able to do that for ~$300 easy, depending on the size of the SSD of course.

Just from your description of the issues and the age of your machine, it's likely the hard-drive's in the stages of failure anyway, simply from wear-and-tear on the platters and needles. An SSD would be a godsend.
As the others say your best upgrade is always an SSD or fusion drive of some sort, 8GB of Ram will be ok for medium level work but 16Gb would be better if you use a lot of tracks and plugins, you don't tell us how much RAM you have now or what sort of RAM pressure you have so that is very difficult to guess.

Have you looked at the refurb store that can get you some bargains and some configurations that would be BTO normally. There are none on there at the moment but you should be able to find one with a fusion drive if you keep checking over the next few weeks it should come in about $1450.
Sounds good. My only question: the apple online store doesn't include an SSD upgrade, correct ? So I'd have to install it myself.
 

Samuelsan2001

macrumors 604
Oct 24, 2013
7,694
2,121
They do on the apple store in the UK and in the US can't speak for anywhere else but on buy to order you can have up 1TB fusion or 512GB SSD on all the 21.5 inch machines.
 
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