Would you buy an iMac now?

zama36

macrumors member
Original poster
Mar 21, 2007
85
5
So it seems my 2013 MacBook Pro is starting its slow path to oblivion. About once a week I'm getting kernel panics for the GPU and other items I haven't figured out yet. If you bump the HDMI cable and both the connection to the external monitor and USB hard drive drops like the connectors to the motherboard are breaking or something. Not to mention the constant fighting with keeping enough space free on the 250GB SSD.

So I'm tempted to get a higher end iMac through an EPP plan at work for $158 less than list.
  • 27" 5K iMac
  • 4.2GHz quad-core 7th-generation Intel Core i7 processor, Turbo Boost up to 4.5GHz
  • 8GB 2400MHz DDR4
  • 2TB Fusion Drive
  • Radeon Pro 580 with 8GB video memory
  • Magic Trackpad 2 (Already have a Magic Mouse for my MacBook Pro, so why get another,)
  • Magic Keyboard with Numeric Keypad - US English (I do enough Excel stuff to make the Numeric Keypad worthwhile.)
Part of the reason for high end specs is to future proof it. I can max out the RAM later. I am using the iMac for photo processing and Garageband (which can't even install everything on my MacBook Pro.)

Was hoping for a refresh in the latest announcement but obviously no luck.

If not an iMac would you go for a Mac mini? Given the specs I'm leaning on the no side.

What's your thoughts/opinions?
 

mikehalloran

macrumors 68000
Oct 14, 2018
1,712
435
The Sillie Con Valley
Part of the reason for high end specs is to future proof it. I can max out the RAM later. I am using the iMac for photo processing and Garageband (which can't even install everything on my MacBook Pro.)
I agree. Ditch the Fusion drive.

For photo processing, you'll increase the RAM sooner than later.
 

zama36

macrumors member
Original poster
Mar 21, 2007
85
5
I agree. Ditch the Fusion drive.

For photo processing, you'll increase the RAM sooner than later.
So when you say ditch the fusion drive you are arguing for SSDs, right?

I can't see spending another $1400 for a 2TB SSD since it would need to be installed by Apple considering the design of the iMac. The 2TB Fusion drive has a 128GB SSD for the OS and highly accessed files. Seems like the best of both worlds.

I can upgrade the RAM in the 27" on the other hand. $600 vs Apple's $1400 price tag.

I'm just on the fence because of the fact the iMac hasn't been upgraded in almost a year and a half.
 
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mikehalloran

macrumors 68000
Oct 14, 2018
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435
The Sillie Con Valley
Lots and lots and lots of threads on your issues.

You have needs that will be better served than by the low end iMac you've picked for yourself.

No sense starting a thread to see how many will chime in with, "Yea, man, you're right!" when your posted requirements and the desire to "future-proof" your machine indicate otherwise.

If you were surfing the web, watching YouTube and chatting on FaceBook, I'd agree with you.
[doublepost=1541658083][/doublepost]
Was hoping for a refresh in the latest announcement but obviously no luck.
Since Apple never hinted at the possibility, no surprises there.
 

zama36

macrumors member
Original poster
Mar 21, 2007
85
5
Lots and lots and lots of threads on your issues.

You have needs that will be better served than by the low end iMac you've picked for yourself.
Are you calling a 27" 4.2 GHz iMac low end cause of not going with a 2TB SSD drive?
 
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MaxMike

macrumors 6502
Dec 6, 2009
487
34
I've been having the same argument in my head for the past week. I was planning on the mid-level spec with the Core i7, 575 GPU, and 256GB SSD until I realized the 580 is quite a bit more powerful (probably complete overkill for my needs since I was using a 2011 MBP up until it died recently and my drone footage/photo editing has been on my 2016 13" tbMBP). Went to price it out and it's roughly $200 more since there's no 256GB SSD option for the high end and the cheapest SSD is 512GB. However, if I went for the 2TB Fusion Drive, then the price evens out. I just got a 1TB 970 EVO and an enclosure (sadly not TB3, but it is still USB 3.1 10Gb for about $300) to keep my bulk files on and it's plenty fast with BlackMagic reporting almost 1GB/s. The 128GB SSD of the 2TB FD would be plenty for my OS/App needs, but as stated it's still another thing to generate heat and is probably what has the shortest MTBF in the whole computer (I'm especially against Seagate drives and I'm sure I'd get one if I went FD). I'll keep my internal arguing going on until Black Friday the latest.
 
Last edited:

ginhb

macrumors member
Sep 8, 2018
67
16
Your usage makes you want a 2TB internal drive? I just recently bought a 2017 iMac from Apple, chose the 512GB internal SSD, then went to a large electronics store and purchased a 1TB external SSD and a 512GB external SSD. It gives me two external drives for backups, OS clones (bootable) and additional storage which doesn't need to be on the main internal drive all the time. There's plenty of that. Older photos, videos, etc.

I use the internal drive mostly for the OS, applications and some data that I want fast access to constantly. Usually it's the newest data, not the older data.

I also went with 16GB of ram for working with lots of photos and 4k video. I'd recommend 16GB (it does make a nice difference) either upgrading it yourself to save money or pay for it up front. You'll probably be glad you did.

Any future expansion for this computer will likely be just additional external storage as the data gradually grows. Videos start taking up a lot of space. There's plenty of storage for now though.
 
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EugW

macrumors G3
Jun 18, 2017
8,151
5,513
1. I would not get an iMac right now but if you must, you must.

2. Do you really need the i7? Cuz it runs really hot. With any heavy load more than 30 seconds, the fan gets annoying loud. I returned my 2017 i7 specifically for this reason. Is that going to be a problem for GarageBand?

3. The current 6-core i5 chips in the Mac mini run roughly as fast as the i7 iMac, but at somewhat less power. Future iMacs should have an option for a similar i5. Note though the 6-core i5 in a Mac mini could be loud too. Not sure. Ideal is the 6-core i5 in an iMac chassis.

4. I’m not a fan of Fusion drives either but if you get one, the minimum size should be 2 TB, since as you said they come with 128 GB SSD. The 1 TB models are gimped with 32 GB SSD. However, as mentioned, one alternative to the 2 TB Fusion drive is to consider is the CHEAPER 256 GB SSD or else the slightly more expensive 512 GB SSD and then supplement with external storage.

5. If you get an iMac, what are going to do for a laptop?
 

tromboneaholic

Suspended
Jun 9, 2004
3,706
3,024
Clearwater, FL
I would get one if it had an NVIDIA GPU.

I'm still holding onto my iMac (27-inch, Late 2013) because it was the last one with NVIDIA (NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780M 4096 MB).
 

BigBoy2018

Suspended
Oct 23, 2018
964
1,819
So when you say ditch the fusion drive you are arguing for SSDs, right?

I can't see spending another $1400 for a 2TB SSD since it would need to be installed by Apple considering the design of the iMac. The 2TB Fusion drive has a 128GB SSD for the OS and highly accessed files. Seems like the best of both worlds.

I can upgrade the RAM in the 27" on the other hand. $600 vs Apple's $1400 price tag.

I'm just on the fence because of the fact the iMac hasn't been upgraded in almost a year and a half.
You can get a 2tb crucial or comparable sata ssd for $350 or so. Check out the installation guide on ifixit. Not that hard. I’ve done it on two different iMacs
[doublepost=1541693197][/doublepost]
Are you calling a 27" 4.2 GHz iMac low end cause of not going with a 2TB SSD drive?
Yea, not sure what the heck that dude is smoking. The iMac you’ve selected is not just a ‘web surfing’ machine lol
 

Fishrrman

macrumors Core
Feb 20, 2009
19,123
6,563
Yes, I would buy a 2017 iMac right now, if I -needed one-.
They remain dandy Macs, as nice an iMac as ever has been made.

However, I would like to offer suggestions:

Unless you plan to do lots of 4k video work, you might AVOID the i7 version. There are numerous reports that the i7 iMacs are noisier, due to the fan running more often under load. I don't have one, I'm only passing along what I've read from others.

Having said that, I'd suggest the "midrange" 3.5ghz i5 model -- it has the 7600 CPU instead of the 7500 CPU that the base model comes with.

I would skip the fusion drive.
Instead, get a "straight SSD" inside.
This is "the way of the future", and I predict that you will NEVER regret this once you own it.
I wouldn't buy the 1tb SSD -- Apple still wants too much for them.
I'd suggest the 512gb SSD, then add more storage via external USB3 if you require it.

I recall reading just a day or two ago that GarageBand now lets the user keep its "libraries" on an external drive, saving space on the internal.

Same with photo libraries. If they're very large, keep them on an external drive, and don't "clog up" the internal SSD to its limits.

The idea is to keep the SSD "lean, clean, mean" so it will always perform at its best.

Brand-new iMacs?
I don't expect to see them until 2nd quarter of 2019.
I could be wrong.

So... the computer age-old saying applies:
If you NEED it now, BUY it now....

But... get one [now] with "an eye on the future".
That's why I recommend the SSD.
 

BigBoy2018

Suspended
Oct 23, 2018
964
1,819
I'm smoking the experience of having corporate and education clients who make their livings with their Macs. I don't have much interaction with hobbyists anymore.
Still not following. The only mac right now that any faster than the 4.2ghz iMac is the $5000 iMac pro. So you're saying anyone who doesn't have an iMac pro is a 'hobbyist'?

I actually think you're just putting us on at this point. You're just trying to get a rise out of use arent' you (silly boy) :rolleyes:
 
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mikehalloran

macrumors 68000
Oct 14, 2018
1,712
435
The Sillie Con Valley
I think that you have a reading comprehension problem and that to explain myself further is a waste of my time and yours but I'll give it one more shot.

Match the iMac to the job. That's all I was trying to say. I don't think the OP is doing this.

You sometimes give good advice such as this:
You can get a 2tb crucial or comparable sata ssd for $350 or so. Check out the installation guide on ifixit. Not that hard. I’ve done it on two different iMacs
It wasn't GarageBand, btw.
I am using the iMac for photo processing
Doing what, how? That could easily require an iMac Pro if it involves Photoshop. Photos runs better on an i7 than i5 unless just cropping photos from an iPhone.

You don't know. I don't either but I have experience in this.
 

BigBoy2018

Suspended
Oct 23, 2018
964
1,819
You don't know. I don't either but I have experience in this.
Let's not get into the 'I have more experience' pissing match. I work in a visual services department working on high end videos and we also have a graphics, photo and web team that work alongside us. We all use Macs for our various jobs. On top of that, I've owned Macs for about 33 years, using them both casually and in my profession (video production).
So don't lecture me about 'experience' young man :confused:
[doublepost=1541715575][/doublepost]
If you need it go with it and go for an SSD and not Fusion. Do not consider cracking your new iMac and voiding the warranty when problems arise.
True. But with that small risk comes great reward! I've cracked open the 'thin' iMacs twice with no problem. The older thicker iMacs were somewhat harder because there were four wires (rather than two in the new iMacs) that have to be disconnected. Also the older Macs had about 10 screws holding the screen in, and because of the powerful magnets that would pull at the tiny screws, getting those little suckers back in was quite a chore.

Bottom line, I've sucessfully opened up iMacs about 10 times in all without any ill effects.
 
Last edited:

BigBoy2018

Suspended
Oct 23, 2018
964
1,819
Yes there a lot of 'smart' guys here.
not sure what your trying to communicate. because you're afraid to open up your iMac no one else should?
[doublepost=1541726423][/doublepost]
OK. So you have almost as much experience as I do. Move on. Geeez...
Hey, I was just offering an equally 'experienced' counterpoint to what you seemed to be saying. So let's both move on ... :)
 

jschmitt

macrumors member
Jul 8, 2011
59
2
So it seems my 2013 MacBook Pro is starting its slow path to oblivion. About once a week I'm getting kernel panics for the GPU and other items I haven't figured out yet. If you bump the HDMI cable and both the connection to the external monitor and USB hard drive drops like the connectors to the motherboard are breaking or something. Not to mention the constant fighting with keeping enough space free on the 250GB SSD.

So I'm tempted to get a higher end iMac through an EPP plan at work for $158 less than list.
  • 27" 5K iMac
  • 4.2GHz quad-core 7th-generation Intel Core i7 processor, Turbo Boost up to 4.5GHz
  • 8GB 2400MHz DDR4
  • 2TB Fusion Drive
  • Radeon Pro 580 with 8GB video memory
  • Magic Trackpad 2 (Already have a Magic Mouse for my MacBook Pro, so why get another,)
  • Magic Keyboard with Numeric Keypad - US English (I do enough Excel stuff to make the Numeric Keypad worthwhile.)
Part of the reason for high end specs is to future proof it. I can max out the RAM later. I am using the iMac for photo processing and Garageband (which can't even install everything on my MacBook Pro.)

Was hoping for a refresh in the latest announcement but obviously no luck.

If not an iMac would you go for a Mac mini? Given the specs I'm leaning on the no side.

What's your thoughts/opinions?
I just pulled the trigger on a new 2017 iMac 27 inch; my previous iMac (2013) is starting to show issues (kernel panics, issues with PS) - I would have loved to have seen Apple announce a refresh a few weeks back but alas they didn't; I don't expect one now until Spring 2019; I spec'd mine out exactly as you did, but went 1TB SSD. I looked at the new MBP (video card was the killing point), looked at the new MacMini (video card was the killing point). I expect this thing to also get my a very SOLID 5 years of heavy usage. I pair my iMacs (current and future) with a 30 inch Dell display - so Im not too worried about a refreshed iMac with a bigger screen or one with smaller bezels.

I'm guessing we'll both be happy with the above build …..
 

cyberlism

macrumors newbie
Oct 22, 2018
9
1
I pair my iMacs (current and future) with a 30 inch Dell display - so Im not too worried about a refreshed iMac with a bigger screen or one with smaller bezels.

I'm guessing we'll both be happy with the above build …..
I'm about to pull the trigger too, may I ask what's the resolution of your 30-inch Dell display? Is it necessary to get one with 5k or will 4k do just fine with the iMac 27"?
 

stjohnswell

macrumors member
Apr 19, 2010
33
9
Like many, disappointed not to see a refresh but eventually decided to pull the trigger. Went for base 27" i5 3.4 CTO with 16GB/512SSD. Used student discount to save ~10%. Hope to get 5 years solid service as a family desktop bumping ram and adding external storage as req'd.

For those of you still holding-out, I hope your patience is rewarded with more than a spec bump and get a modified form factor (smaller bezels, better thermal mgt, faceid, who knows what else).
 

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