Replacement iMac Question

Biro

Super Moderator
Aug 7, 2011
Jersey Shore
Steve
i've been using a mid-2011 21.5-inch iMac for my photo and video processing. I don't do any of that work on my iPad Pro (and certainly not my iPhone) because I like having the screen real estate to see what I'm doing and the horespower to get it done effeciently.

Fortunately, I opted to purchase my iMac with an i7 chip. Otherwise, it has 8gb of RAM and a 1TB HDD. Frankly, the set up has remained a surprisingly reliable and effective one despite its age.

But now, two things: I'm noticing that it's beginning to slow down a bit in terms of rendering and the hardware will no longer support the latest Mac OS (or vice versa, more accurately).

I've been thinking about a replacement for a while but to spec-out a new iMac that way I want (27-inch, i7 chip, 32gb of RAM and some kind of SSD) will run me $3K U.S. at least. So I'm willing to make some compromises.

Here's my main question: Can I get away with an i5 chip without too much pain? Will a brand-new, state-of-the-art i5 processor do better than an i7 from 2011? It might seem like an obvious answer but perhaps not.

My question comes with the knowledge that Apple may update the iMac this year. I wouldn't be purchasing before the end of the year. Comments, suggestions and advice are welcome.
 

Matero

All-Pro
Jan 28, 2014
Helsinki, Finland
Hi,
some thoughts from Mac enthusiast. Memory is cheap, but do you really need 32Gb? Using SSD disk is the one most affecting change compared to you present setup for speed. Processor comparison between i5 and i7 are close to theoretical. I believe you would be just fine with i5.

I would opt an iMac:
  • 16 GB memory - can be updated easily afterwards, also
  • 512 GB SSD - or could you do your editing even with 256 GB and use other type of storage for long term storage (or iCloud)
  • i5 processor if you really don't need multitasking, e.g. video conversions on background and editing stills (heavily) on foreground
One way to save some bucks is to look for pre-owned, if you have that kind of reliable source nearby. I've not bought new Mac for some time now. Those aren't (mostly) cheap plastic as some other brands, they last longer.

Hopefully this was some help for you :)

Good luck and remember when you finally buy new computer, don't look back. They are old when carried over the doorstep :D
 

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