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Your what to buy list


Jodie
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Hi Brian,

 

Do you still have your what to buy list? I've had a quick look but can't see it.
My old reliable (backup) 2008 iMac just took it's last breath and I found your what to buy list really helpful when I upgraded to my current work horse.

Thanks!
 

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I really need to create a new one. In fact, I'm thinking about creating a new section that has various threads in Ask Brian on WTB.

For now, SKIP THE 21.5" iMacs. They can not be upgraded after the fact (well easily,) and don't have the best / fastest components under the hood. 

I would start at the $1799 27" iMac or get the $1999 iMac and upgrade things. Brian's iMac that he will buy in 2018 will be around $3200 or so.

Apple wants you to go-big-or-go-home.

 

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It was so helpful for me... someone that doesn't know the technicalities and didn't want to get talked into stuff I didn't need in store ;)

My current (working) iMac is now going to become our invoicing/office machine with some editing, so I'm going to be getting a new one for main editing because they need to be one at home & off site at the studio.
So what I have at the moment is:

27" Late 2013
Processor  3.5 GHz Intel Core i7
Memory  32 GB 1600 MHz DDR3
Graphics  NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780M 4096 MB

3TB SATA Disk

1600 MHz DDR3 memory module  with 32gb installed (I installed the extra as per your old what to buy list)

This one has actually has a bit of a problem with crashing occasionally and I did wonder if it was caused by the memory, simply because it was the only thing I did myself ha!

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It could be the extra RAM. You could try re-seating all of the RAM chips or put the Crucial Sticks in the first two slots (where the Apple RAM is) and then put the Apple RAM in the slots that the Crucial sticks are. Most of the crashes, especially with Adobe stem from Apple video drivers and Adobe software not playing well together. It could also be a hard drive issue or a motherboard issue. Also, how full is the internal HD? Does it crash when external HDs are attached? How full are the EHDs? 

As far as the tech specs, your current iMac is fine. Seriously. A new Mac isn't going to give you a jaw-dropping performance boost, though it might seem a little faster. Before taking the plunge, I'd swap the RAM around or just install the Crucial Sticks and see if it still crashes. If it does, put in the Apple RAM. If it still crashes, I would take it in to a Genius Bar and have them run a diagnostic. If it's the motherboard, and it's out of warranty, then we can talk new iMac. I just would hate for you to throw away money if you don't need to.
 

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In case you are wondering, if I were to buy a iMac, this is what I would purchase:

 

Screen Shot 2017-02-14 at 9.10.22 PM.png

 

Start with the most expensive 27" iMac and upgrade just about everything. As you can see, it's not much different from your configuration. 16GB RAM, 3TB HD, 4GB Video, etc.

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Awesome, thank you!

I do still need a second as I'm working in two locations.

 

Thats really helpful, thank you!

Edit:   oh interesting, the Fusion drive you used to not recommend right?   not that I even know what the difference is but that was one thing I *think* i recalled from last time haha!

Edited by Jodie
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Hi Brian!

I'm back to looking for a new Desktop... well getting a price so I can budget for it as my 2013 machine is starting to get a little glitchy.
It looks as though things have changed a little in the upgrade options so I was wondering what you recommend today?

Thanks!

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First Question: Budget?

I still do not recommend a 21.5" iMac. So at this point, we will configure a 27" model. Start with the $2299 model and tweak things:

Here is the iMac that I recently purchased:


58130539_ScreenShot2018-11-12at10_58_36PM.thumb.png.bb60b610c7384b44a79ffc34b6915ee0.png

I plan on having this computer for the next 7-8 years. Oh, having the keyboard with the built in number-pad is AWESOME.  Spend the extra $30. Plus AppleCare and Tax, you are looking at $3600-ish. I had mine sent to a local Apple Store and I picked it up. (Actually, I had them walk me to my car with my purchase.)

I also purchased this Crucial RAM kit from B&H to take the RAM from 8GB to 40GB. It's cheaper if you buy the kit from B&H than from Crucial's Website. Well, the last time I checked. I also bought this G-Drive Thunderbolt 3 12TB EHD. Actually, I purchased the RAM and HD together a few months before the iMac, so I could pay it off. Then I bought the iMac.

My iMac from a powered-off state to me logging in with my password takes about 15 seconds. This sucker is fast. Oh, in case you are wondering, if you aren't a serious video editor, then you don't need a iMac Pro. In fact, Photoshop won't take advantage of a iMac Pro's features and will actually run slower than if you ran it on a tricked out iMac.

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If budget is an issue, a stock $1799 iMac is fine. I'd still get a 16GB RAM upgrade kit. Big difference between 8GB of RAM and 40GB. (You keep the existing two 4GB Sticks and add the two Crucial 8GB Sticks to the empty slots.)

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Awesome thanks!
I'm not sure I could go back to a 21" but I did dismiss the pro when I looked at the price ha!

It looks like the 4.2GHz isn't available here (in Australia) only upgradable from 3.8 to 4.2... I wonder if a new machine is coming here soon?
The SSD, is that more reliable than the fusion drive? and is the G-Drive where you keep all your files? I have 3tb now and by keeping on top of my archiving I can keep it at about 50% so going down scares me!

Getting the RAM and HD first is a good idea... and I can wait for some improvement in the Aussie dollar!

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26 minutes ago, Jodie said:

It looks like the 4.2GHz isn't available here (in Australia) only upgradable from 3.8 to 4.2... I wonder if a new machine is coming here soon?
The SSD, is that more reliable than the fusion drive? and is the G-Drive where you keep all your files? I have 3tb now and by keeping on top of my archiving I can keep it at about 50% so going down scares me!

Getting the RAM and HD first is a good idea... and I can wait for some improvement in the Aussie dollar!

No new iMac models. Apple just released laptop updates and a new Mac Mini. I'm sorry, I forgot you were from Australia. I was quoting US prices. Yes, they do have a 4.2 GHz model in OZ. Start with the A$3449 model and configure things. With the same specs as my iMac, we are @ A$4759.00 plus AppleCare and Taxes. It's only money, right?


219588890_ScreenShot2018-11-13at12_02_14AM.thumb.png.ab007dbed28b80ded9bb9b567a057c3e.png


Yep, I keep all my images on my 12TB G-Drive. I don't save any images on my internal HD. Just programs and my iTunes Library. So 1TB for me is fine. As far as a Fusion Drive, I'm staying away from them. The main reason is you do not have the ability to decide where your data resides on. Will it be on the small SSD Drive, or the larger Traditional HD? Only the Operating System knows. In the even of a catastrophic crash, recovering from a Fusion Drive is much more difficult for the data recovery places, than if you sent them in a SSD drive OR Traditional HD. I know in the past I was concerned about SSD Drives and them wearing out. While this is true, technology has greatly improved over the last 10 or so years and I've taken the leap of faith and bought one. Since Apple doesn't sell full traditional HDs any longer, your choices are limited once again. I'd rather have a little more capacity than pure speed so I chose a 1TB SSD Drive. I couldn't stomach the cost of a 2TB SSD drive.

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