Considering an IMAC
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Old 03-05-2017   #1
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Default Considering an IMAC

We currently have two macs. One is the desktop pro vintage 2008 I think and the other a macbook pro laptop vintage early 2013. Both work great but due to age the desktop OS it no longer supports some of the newer apps and can not be upgraded any further. Example I could not run Turbo Tax. We've decided since we have had such go luck with this product to get a new IMAC. Looking at Apples site there are some options that I don't fully understand and thats where I'm hoping someone here can set me straight, or at least help me form some informed questions to ask a sales person.
There are fusion drives or flash storage. What would you choose and why? I'm also unclear as to which processor makes the most sense, I5 or I7. Our uses are not taxing to any system. Some photography programs like PS and Light Room and some third party apps. Web surfing and the grandkids generally like to watch movies or play games. Email and the general stuff most of us generally use. I do know I would have a minimum of 16 gig of ram. Any thoughts would be appreciated. I'll likely go with the 21.5 as the 27 would be to big for our computer station. Also curious about the mouse, keyboard and track pad options. Thanks in advance. BTW I did a search but did not find the answers.

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Old 03-05-2017   #2
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Default Re: Considering an IMAC

I've always had MACs with the exception of the PC I have out in the shop to operate the CNC. I have 2 iMACs the older one has an i3 processor and is my daily driver. Mostly because it runs all the programs I use for my sign business. If I upgrade the OS my programs will be obsolete. I have the newest version of the sign program I use, which is old. They dropped the MAC version and only offer a PC version now. So, my options are to switch sign programs (I'm 64 and hope this will last until I retire) or switch to PC.
My other iMAC has an i7 processor. That's the one I use for personal use, like photo processing, etc. My philosophy has always been, buy the fastest processor & the most ram you can afford. Because, as fast as it may be when you take it out of the box, programs will catch up and pass it's capabilities soon, very soon. I would put processing speed, RAM & memory above hard drive space, if a corner has to be cut. You can always buy external drives later to make up that shortcoming. If you're working with photos, external drives are going to be needed regardless.
I have a MAC Book Pro to run the large format printer. There is no MAC software for that, so I have the laptop set dual platform. I run it on the MAC side when we're on vacation and on the PC side to run the printer software the rest of the year.
I'm toying with switching to PC for the problems mentioned above, but the jury is still out on that decision.

Just have to buy what best suits you're needs, and build it to last as long as a computer can. Computers can live a long time, however they seem to be forced into retirement at a young age.

BTW: FWIW. iMACs are sealed units so the DIYer can't take it apart and make upgrades later. What you buy is what you get for the duration.
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Old 03-05-2017   #3
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Default Re: Considering an IMAC

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Originally Posted by pro70z28 View Post
I've always had MACs with the exception of the PC I have out in the shop to operate the CNC. I have 2 iMACs the older one has an i3 processor and is my daily driver. Mostly because it runs all the programs I use for my sign business. If I upgrade the OS my programs will be obsolete. I have the newest version of the sign program I use, which is old. They dropped the MAC version and only offer a PC version now. So, my options are to switch sign programs (I'm 64 and hope this will last until I retire) or switch to PC.
My other iMAC has an i7 processor. That's the one I use for personal use, like photo processing, etc. My philosophy has always been, buy the fastest processor & the most ram you can afford. Because, as fast as it may be when you take it out of the box, programs will catch up and pass it's capabilities soon, very soon. I would put processing speed, RAM & memory above hard drive space, if a corner has to be cut. You can always buy external drives later to make up that shortcoming. If you're working with photos, external drives are going to be needed regardless.
I have a MAC Book Pro to run the large format printer. There is no MAC software for that, so I have the laptop set dual platform. I run it on the MAC side when we're on vacation and on the PC side to run the printer software the rest of the year.
I'm toying with switching to PC for the problems mentioned above, but the jury is still out on that decision.

Just have to buy what best suits you're needs, and build it to last as long as a computer can. Computers can live a long time, however they seem to be forced into retirement at a young age.

BTW: FWIW. iMACs are sealed units so the DIYer can't take it apart and make upgrades later. What you buy is what you get for the duration.
Thanks for the response. What you say makes sense but I'm still not sure what the difference is between a fusion drive and the flash drive. I suspect the flash is a SSD but thats only a guess. Magic mouse vs. trackpad is still fuzzy. Maybe I should google some of this but I prefer getting information from first hand users rather than google searches. Thanks again.

BTW from my perspective if I can get this many years out of a computer and still be satisfied with performance the cost is nominal in my mind. In the long run cost for use is much less than any PC I ever had. Never could get one to last more than a couple years even building with top line parts. Dealing with the other issues like malware etc, really got old. I know MACS can be also but it isn't very often I hear of someone with problems. Hopefully that hasn't changed.
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Old 03-05-2017   #4
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Default Re: Considering an IMAC

I have researched the Fusion drives and trackpad so have a good understanding there. Still open to any suggestions or recommendations. Still on the fence about the 21.5 or the 27" monitor. The 27 is a little big for our current work station but That could be changed if the value is worth it to go with the bigger monitor.
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Old 03-05-2017   #5
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Once you sit down and use it you will appreciate the real estate the 27" will give you to work on. As for the hybrid drive. Mine has the 3tb hybrid and I love it. The computer will learn what you use the most and move those apps etc to the SSD portion of the hybrid drive.

I have both a magic mouse and a magic trackpad II. The mouse gathers dust.
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Old 03-06-2017   #6
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Once you sit down and use it you will appreciate the real estate the 27" will give you to work on. As for the hybrid drive. Mine has the 3tb hybrid and I love it. The computer will learn what you use the most and move those apps etc to the SSD portion of the hybrid drive.

I have both a magic mouse and a magic trackpad II. The mouse gathers dust.
Thanks for the tips. I'll likely go with the 2tb drive and get a couple of stand alone drives for back up. Even at 2tb I doubt I'd use that up. Will go to the apple store and play with both the 21.5 and 27 as well as the track pad. I'm amazed that the mac pro has lasted as long as it has. Never would I have thought I'd need to replace a computer based on the OS no longer supporting apps.
I guess one plus for the 27" IMAC is the 5K.
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Old 03-06-2017   #7
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Originally Posted by Dave R. View Post
Thanks for the tips. I'll likely go with the 2tb drive and get a couple of stand alone drives for back up. Even at 2tb I doubt I'd use that up. Will go to the apple store and play with both the 21.5 and 27 as well as the track pad. I'm amazed that the mac pro has lasted as long as it has. Never would I have thought I'd need to replace a computer based on the OS no longer supporting apps.
I guess one plus for the 27" IMAC is the 5K.
My niece is using her dads old MBP at college as it will no longer handle the scientific programs he needs. It is a pre-intel model and does everything needed for her college education.

One other suggestion, if you can afford it top it out with RAM and Processor. You will appreciate doing so a few years from now.
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Old 03-07-2017   #8
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Default Re: Considering an IMAC

Some of the new iMacs can not be opened. So however it's configured when you buy it, is the way it will stay forever. You can't open it to change parts or add memory. I think the 27" you can change out the memory still, but I'm not completely sure. Make sure you know which one you're getting, and if you can change the memeory out on your own later or not.
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Old 03-07-2017   #9
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Some of the new iMacs can not be opened. So however it's configured when you buy it, is the way it will stay forever. You can't open it to change parts or add memory. I think the 27" you can change out the memory still, but I'm not completely sure. Make sure you know which one you're getting, and if you can change the memeory out on your own later or not.
In looking at the Apple web site I can special order either and pick it up at the local store. Processor, ram, drives and trackpad are optional. The 27 K5 can handle up to 32 gigs of ram. Thats tons for what I do but agree better over done than under. These machines last so long no doubt the extra will pay off in the end. Thanks for the response.
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Old 03-07-2017   #10
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I guess i do have one more question. Does anyone know when the next updated machines will be introduced? I'd hate to buy right now and have the next greatest edition come out.


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