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

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by maricircus, Sep 30, 2015.

  1. maricircus macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2007
    #1
    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!
     
  2. orph macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2005
    Location:
    UK
    #2
    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.
     
  3. firedept macrumors 603

    firedept

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2011
    Location:
    Somewhere!
    #3
    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.
     
  4. maricircus thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2007
    #4
    Good advice, cheers
     
  5. T'hain Esh Kelch macrumors 601

    T'hain Esh Kelch

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2001
    Location:
    Denmark
    #5
    Due to the HDD and only 8 GB RAM, no, not for audio work.
     
  6. maricircus thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2007
    #6
    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
     
  7. T'hain Esh Kelch macrumors 601

    T'hain Esh Kelch

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2001
    Location:
    Denmark
    #7
    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.
     
  8. orph macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2005
    Location:
    UK
    #8
    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?
     
  9. maricircus thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2007
    #9
    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.
     
  10. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2013
    #10
    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.
     
  11. keysofanxiety macrumors 604

    keysofanxiety

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2011
    #11
    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.
     
  12. MrBig0 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2015
    #12
    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.
     
  13. maricircus thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2007
    #13
    Sounds good. My only question: the apple online store doesn't include an SSD upgrade, correct ? So I'd have to install it myself.
     
  14. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2013
    #14
    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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