Yet Another Request for 2019 iMac Advice

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Biro, Apr 4, 2019.

  1. Biro, Apr 4, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2019

    Biro macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2012
    #1
    i normally don't post these questions but I haven't purchased a desktop in eight years. Besides my iPad Pro and iPhone 7-Plus (both two years old), I've been running a 21.5-inch mid-2011 iMac since new. 2.8ghz quad core i7, 8gb of RAM and a 1TB HDD. It still runs okay and does all I ask of it but it takes longer to boot up these days. No doubt the hard drive is getting tired.

    The truth is all I use my iMac for these days is raw and jpg photo editing (Capture One and even the Photos app rather than the Adobe suite), video editing (home videos: 4K - not raw - and most about 10 to 15 minutes long and never more than 30 minutes) and formal letters (the iPad keyboards risk too many mistakes for important stuff). I also store my iTunes library on it.

    Now, with all this said, I would love a maxed-out 27-inch iMac like everyone else - for future proofing if nothing else. But price is a factor. One piece of information that would be highly useful is determining if the i5 9600 with the standard Radeon PRO 580X GPU would be enough - not just for today but for several years down the road. That set up with a 1TB SSD will still be under $3000 U.S.- $2799 to be exact. I can bring the RAM to 40GB for $200 later. Still just under $3000 U.S.

    Another option would be a 21.5-inch iMac with i7 chip, 32GB of RAM (I have to let Apple put it in for this unit), standard Radeon PRO 560X (4gb) and a 1TB SSD would bring me to the same final $2999 U.S. price.

    I really want to limit my total expenditure to $3K - and frankly I personally feel even that is a bit much. Yes, I could back off to a 500GB SSD and save some money but I feel anything less than 1TB in a modern computer is a bit thin.

    So, what say the best and brightest of Mac Rumors? Is the i5 9600 enough? Which of my two proposed options would be better? I realize either will be much faster than what I have now. Or should I just put an SSD in my 2011 machine and wait two years?

    Suggestions welcome.
     
  2. dimme macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2007
    Location:
    SF, CA
    #2
    I can't speak for you but I am waiting on my new 27" 2019 to replace my 2015 27". The screen is wonderful for photo editing.
     
  3. Abbas macrumors regular

    Abbas

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2008
    Location:
    Dubai
    #3
    I bought the 27-inch i5/580x/2TB FD from the Apple Store and the machine is fast and quiet. I use it for photo editing with pixelmator and 1080p video editing with FCPX. I was contemplating getting an i9/Vega/SSD but I thought I'd try this config and if I find it slow, return it back to the store for the high-end config. Very happy with its performance and keeping it.

    on
     
  4. Rockadile macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2012
    #4
    Are you fine editing on a 21.5in or trying to get a 27in?

    Do you edit or export photos more?
     
  5. sergiobaschi macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2012
    Location:
    Gothenburg, Sweden
    #5
    Take the 9600 & 580X, upgrade RAM later, settle with 500 GB SSD and add maybe a Samsung T5/X5 for more storage.

    I actually run my late 2012 iMac entirely from a T5.

    Avoid Fusion Drive at all cost.
     
  6. SkiHound2 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2018
    #6
    Can't really answer your first question. I've been leaning toward the i5 9600k / 589x w SSD but keep wondering if I should upgrade either or both the cpu/gpu. Benchmarks I've looked at would put the i5 in the 27" very close to the i7 in the 21.5%. The later might be a little faster with tasks that really exploit multi-threading. The i5 would probably be a little faster with tasks using fewer cores. The i9, OTOH, really does seem to provide a tangible boost vs the i5. Though I'm not sure how much of a real world benefit that would be for a lot of what I do. I do feel like the 21.5" is a poor value relative to the 27". The 27" monitor will be much nicer for almost all tasks; it's really a lovely screen. The Apple prices for ram in the 21.5" just drives the price up and relative value down dramatically, IMO. I've priced them. My take is that the lowest tier 21.5 shouldn't exist at all. I do think they have a place for someone who simply doesn't have space for the 27" or someone who has only basic needs and can get buy with an i3, 8gb, 1TB Fusion or 256GB SSD. Add ram and they just seem a very poor value.
     
  7. B.A.T macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2009
    Location:
    Idaho
    #7
    What if you got the 512 GB SSD instead of the 1TB? You would save $400 if it gives you enough room. Once your warranty expires you can replace the SSD with a larger one on your own for far less money than buying from Apple.
     
  8. Biro thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2012
    #8
    I've thought about that. But I understand replacing the drive in newer iMacs is a much bigger deal than it used to be.
     
  9. Fishrrman macrumors P6

    Fishrrman

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #9
    OP wrote:
    "is determining if the i5 9600 with the standard Radeon PRO 580X GPU would be enough - not just for today but for several years down the road."

    For your use case, I'll bet it will do fine -- not only when new, but "into the years ahead".

    However -- do you really feel the need to pay Apple's high price for 1tb of SSD storage?
    My prediction is that you could do fine with 512gb, and if you "need more", just add external USB3 storage, either SSD or HDD.

    You can get MORE in the way of fast external storage for LESS $$$ than you can by paying Apple for it. MUCH "more".

    You are correct about the RAM -- buy 8gb now, add more later when you determine what your needs are.
     
  10. Biro thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2012
    #10
    I edit more than I export.
     
  11. Rockadile macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2012
    #11
    I would do i5/Vega. You'll need as much GPU as you can get editing RAW and rendering the changes on a 5k display. I've seen older iMac owners complain about Capture One speed.

    You would lose out to the i9 with preview generation and export. Shouldn't matter to you unless you are a high volume shooter (events, sports, etc) churning over a thousand photos constantly. Go make yourself tea ;)

    Using Photoshop tools and filters between the 27" i5 and i9 is negligible.

    The dilemma is going 1TB SSD puts it over $3k, even with the 21.5" 6-core i5/Vega/32GB setup.
    In your shoes, I would have to go 512GB SSD and add external SSD.
     
  12. Benz63amg macrumors 68030

    Benz63amg

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2010
    #12
    Why avoid them at all costs? what is so bad about them? Are they ATLEAST better than a standard hard drive such as the ones that were used in iMacs back in 2011? (i own a mid 2011 27 inch iMac that has a standard 1tb hard drive)
     
  13. B.A.T macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2009
    Location:
    Idaho
    #13
    The 1 TB fusion drive comes with a whopping 24 GB of space. A rip off. I had a 3 TB fusion drive in my 2013 iMac and when I upgraded to Mojave it crapped out. I'm not the only one this happened to. I put a SSD drive in and I'll never go back.
     
  14. Benz63amg macrumors 68030

    Benz63amg

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2010
    #14
    I’d probably opt for the 2tb fusion drive that comes with 128gb SSD built in instead , I just can’t justify paying more money for less storage space and quite frankly I don’t think 512gb would be enough for me, my music library alone is about 100gb, add photos etc and I’ll run out of space real quick so I need 1tb at least
     
  15. sergiobaschi macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2012
    Location:
    Gothenburg, Sweden
    #15
    Then get a cheap external disk for your storage needs, and use the blazing fast SSD for macOS and applications.

    Your music library doesn’t need to have SSD transfer speeds. (And if you do, you can get a Samsung T5 1 TB for maybe 300 USD, with speeds at 400-500 MB/s.)
     
  16. CheesePuff macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2008
    Location:
    Southwest Florida, USA
    #16
    I would highly recommend you go for the 512 GB Flash storage for $100 more. If you do run out of space, you can get a 1 TB external SSD via USB-C for ~$120 (550 MB/sec read/write) or ~$240 for a Thunderbolt 3 external (1200-2400 MB/sec read/write).
     

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15 April 4, 2019