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Allan Bell

Configure your own Imac

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If you were buying a new iMac 27" ( as I am thinking of doing) and you had the funds to buy it with the configuration you wanted, would you go along with my thinking?

 

Standard 3.4GHz Quad-core Intel Core i5, Turbo Boost up to 3.8GHz (I don't think I would need anything faster - I am not a gamer)

 

Standard 8GB 1600MHz DDR3 SDRAM - 2X4GB (should not need more RAM for processing still images, but may go to 16GB)

 

512GB Flash Storage (Only need enough to hold programs and a bit for the machine to use while working - all files being held on external drives, also no moving parts to wear out inside machine)

 

Standard NVIDIA GeForce GTX 775M 2GB GDDR5 graphics card (Don't think more than 2GB is required)

 

Apple USB SuperDrive (obvious requirement for loading software from disk/DVD etc or burning disks)

 

There would be other bits external to the machine and add-ons but they will be a very personal choice like all external drives/storage to be SSDs.

 

I am just wondering what you think of the setup for the basic machine.

 

Allan

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I have 16GB in my MacMini but I installed it myself which is much cheaper but I don't think you can do it with iMacs now.  I would still go for as much RAM as possible even for stills.

 

Pearl

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Allan, don't bother upgrading the memory (RAM) if you're buying directly from Apple. Quality memory is inexpensive these days and very easy to install in iMacs. I've owned several iMacs over the years and have always upgraded the memory myself with no issues. You'll save hundreds by doing it yourself.

 

Good luck,

 

Marc

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That's my iMac configuration. I have upgraded the ram to 32 GiGs because I had no choice. But I would go for 16 GiGs in two 8's and leave two slots. You can go more if necessary later. Ram is from Crucial.

 

The fact that you and I are not gamers doesn't really future proof anything Allan. :)

 

I bought a Super Drive.

 

Your setup should be good for photography but I would go to 16 gigs minimum. Ram is guaranteed for life from Crucial and is cheap. Some iMacs you can't add the ram yourself btw.

 

 

 


spacer.gif • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780M 4GB GDDR5 • 3.5GHz Quad-core Intel Core i7, Turbo Boost up to 3.9GHz • 8GB 1600MHz DDR3 SDRAM - 2X4GB • 1TB Fusion Drive • Apple Magic Mouse • BATTERY CHARGER 065-C1J9 NO APPLE BATTERY CHARGER • Apple Wireless Keyboard (British) & User's Guide (English) • Accessory Kit  
Edited by Gervais Montacute
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Pearl, you can still upgrade the memory yourself in the new generation of iMacs. The access panel is now on the back of the unit, above the power supply, instead of the old location on the bottom.

 

Marc

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Pearl, you can still upgrade the memory yourself in the new generation of iMacs. The access panel is now on the back of the unit, above the power supply, instead of the old location on the bottom.

 

Marc

Sorry I thought the latest iMacs were sealed.  Better to do it himself then.

 

Pearl

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Gervais, thank you for the correction. I've only ever considered the 27" models, wasn't aware the new 21.5" was sealed. Anyone thinking of getting an iMac should only consider the 27" model for this reason alone. Hopefully Apple will reconsider this blunder in later releases. Sadly they'll likely end of sealing the 27" model too.

 

Marc

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I am on my second iMac and considering my third. I do not play games but find that the maximum spec available is the most cost effective option and the least hassle. Photoshop and new cameras, I only shoot in RAW, benefit from high RAM and processing time.

 

dov

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Thank you everyone for your input and valuable thoughts. It is good to see that I am not too far off the mark.

 

Thank you for opening up about your own systems too.

 

Allan

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I'm in the same boat right now.

I'll go for an iMac 21.5 (had the 27" before), with i7 CPU, 16 GB RAM, and nVidia 750 (1GB).

 

I'm not 100% sure but I think I've read somewhere that the RAM modules are not user accessible anymore with the latest generation iMac models. Which means you shouldn't trust on being able to upgrade RAM on your own at a later time.

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the 21.5 is sealed, the 27 has a hatch for user installation. A couple of crucial 8 gb RAM modules will take you up to 24 for something like £75. Personally, I would go for the fusion drive with as much solid state as you care to splash out  on, and why not have an old fashioned HD inside? Unless it saves a LOT! surely one can never have too many drives, you'll find a way to use them!

 

I have the i7 processor on a 3.4, my wife has an i5 on a slightly less fast processor. I've worked on both and dont see a lot between them.

 

Of course, I have to have the faster machine. if only it could be BIGGER as well!

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I'm not arguing in favor of less RAM, but I've found that 8 gigs works fine for Post. I run Capture NX2, LR5 and CS5 on a now discontinued iMac 21" but feel no need to run them all at once. 

Edited by Ed Rooney

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Some of the routines in photoshop and other programs will use the faster video memory, if it is available. So you may want to add more than 2 GB video memory for the ultimate machine.

 

I do a lot of Canon 5D11 many layered still photoshop work quickly and without incident, with much less Mac than you are contemplating. I think your specs are on the overkill side.

 

Your propose Mac would be more geared to heavy hauling procedures like editing video, or rendering 3D stills.

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Thank you for the continued interesting discussion.

 

Allan

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Has anyone experience with the fusion drive? Is it faster than a regular hard drive? What is its life expectancy?

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I have never had any apple's laptop/pc butJust curious..! are they (apple's laptop/pc) better than any other windows pc/laptop ? i am asking this because i had dell laptop with very bad experience and now considering to apple's mac system..

But Allan i would also suggest that get at least 16GB ram if you don't like frequent changes/buys

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Guest GPK

..

Edited by GPK

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Has anyone experience with the fusion drive? Is it faster than a regular hard drive? What is its life expectancy?

I have a Fusion drive in my MacMini but I can't really say if it is faster than a normal drive because my whole computer is faster than I had previously.  I can't comment on life expectancy either as I've only had it for a year.  I may be tempting fate by saying this but I have been very pleased with it so far.  It all works very smoothly.

 

Pearl

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Not having any bother running LR5.2 on my 27" MAC and it's got the standard 8GB RAm in it. In fact it's quite the speedy beast. Makes anything else I've used look slow. 

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I'm running a  2012  27" iMac with 24gb RAM,  using CS6 and LR4,   I'ts  disappointingly  slow on D7100 & D600 (24mp) 16bit tiffs,  I think if it saw a Nikon D800 36mp 16bit file it would creak to a halt and smoke .  

 

In hindsight  I would have been better off getting a bespoke PC for about a third of the price, it would probably be faster and I'd bin it after two or three years and just renew.

 

Macs? expensive and overrated in my opinion.

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I have had my 27 inch iMac for a couple of weeks now and its just excellent. I got the i7 fast processor, the 3TB fusion drive with minimum RAM (I bought the extra 16GB for $190 instead of $600 from Apple. I don`t like Apple`s keyboard so I got a backlit Windows keyboard for $20 from eBay. It works perfectly and I can now see all the keys in the dark. Macs are more expensive but I don't know about over-rated. I'll let you all know in a few years time.


Cheers


Col


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