Purchasing Advice on new iMac for Wife

biggles

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She currently uses an iMac from late 2011 and we just upgraded the MacOS to High Sierra. She is a kindergarten teacher and uses it quite a bit for work related projects.

I am looking at the mid-level model for $1299 with 4K display and hard drive upgrade.
https://www.apple.com/shop/buy-mac/imac/21.5-inch-3.0ghz-1tb#

We did upgrade her old iMac with a Crucial mx100 512 gb SSD. So it would be best to get an SSD on the new system, or perhaps the fusion drive. Fusion sounds like a hybrid hard drive. Any advice on Fusion vs regular SSD?

A possible reason to upgrade is that the old iMac is not compatible with Mojave, the latest MacOS version. I like keeping up with OS software due to security gains. That said, in the past Macs have not been targeted by malware very often.

Anyway, I don't keep on Apple products much, so any feedback would be appreciated. Given how long the old iMac has held up it seems like a good time to replace it with a newer model.
 
Personally, at 21.5” I wouldn’t bother with a 4K screen. I wouldn’t even consider that resolution until maybe 27”.

I believe the Fusion drives are indeed hybrid drives, and I have not heard good things about them. I believe the HDD portion of those drives is only 5400 RPM which is too slow. I’d go with a large SSD as you can no longer upgrade drives in iMacs after they’re built.
 
skip the fusion(hybrid), get assd and only go to 10.13.6 until they sort the nvidia stuff out(front page yesterday)
 
NVidia issues won’t affect you at all. Don’t worry about that.

Fusion drive is decent, but honestly on an iMac you can add external storage easily enough and for lower cost. Just get the largest SSD that fits in your budget.

RAM would be your single best investment there though. At least in terms of how long the unit will be useful.

Also don’t worry about resolution/screen size. Too many PC people come in and haven’t seen OS X scaling - which is head and shoulders above anything else. I wouldn’t advise paying a lot extra, but the difference is noticeable and beneficial even on a 22”, and I don’t know that you get a lot of choice in resolution any longer.
 
Also don’t worry about resolution/screen size. Too many PC people come in and haven’t seen OS X scaling - which is head and shoulders above anything else. I wouldn’t advise paying a lot extra, but the difference is noticeable and beneficial even on a 22”, and I don’t know that you get a lot of choice in resolution any longer.
Yes, I don’t know a thing about OS X scaling even though I own/have owned a MacBook Air, MacBook Pro and an iMac. :rolleyes:

Scaling has nothing to do with my point that the PPI with 4K on a 21.5” screen will not be very beneficial from 1080p at normal viewing distance on an iMac. It’s a waste of money that can be better spent upgrading RAM or the SSD. That is if the only difference between the panels is resolution and not contrast, viewing angles, and color accuracy. But to each their own.
 
https://buyersguide.macrumors.com/#Mac
According to this site an iMac purchase is currently not recommended. Is this a reasonable opinion? Maybe wait until 2019 and the new iMac product release? The good news is that wife's iMac, while old, is still running fine and the ssd we put into it really helped with speed. So we could definitely wait a while if that is advisable.

Another question, is it possible and practical to buy an iMac with a traditional hard drive and then clone the system drive to an external ssd? Then run the iMac from the external ssd for speed advantage. The thing is that I noticed the internal ssd upgrade option on a new iMac is way, way more expensive than it should be. So one could buy an aftermarket ssd for lots cheaper and go the external route, assuming this is possible and practical.
 
https://buyersguide.macrumors.com/#Mac
According to this site an iMac purchase is currently not recommended. Is this a reasonable opinion? Maybe wait until 2019 and the new iMac product release? The good news is that wife's iMac, while old, is still running fine and the ssd we put into it really helped with speed. So we could definitely wait a while if that is advisable.

Another question, is it possible and practical to buy an iMac with a traditional hard drive and then clone the system drive to an external ssd? Then run the iMac from the external ssd for speed advantage. The thing is that I noticed the internal ssd upgrade option on a new iMac is way, way more expensive than it should be. So one could buy an aftermarket ssd for lots cheaper and go the external route, assuming this is possible and practical.

Yes, I'd personally wait. It's been over 500 days since the iMac was updated and it's long in the tooth for an upgrade. It's likely the next iMac will have a 6 or 8 core processor and that will be a massive update over the quad currently in it (even the new Mac Mini performs better at multi-core in comparison to the current iMac, although the current iMac does excellently at single-threaded applications and has a much faster GPU).
Anyway, with any hope, a new iMac will come in early 2019. June at the latest, but I'd expect something sooner.

I'd also ignore people discussing 4k PPI on 20" as well. However, personally and in generally I think the 27" 5k iMac is a better deal. Especially if you are a power user in any way (as the larger screen size comes with a significant series of spec bumps). Most notably in graphics, but also in processor speeds as well as max ram.
 
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