1. iMore Question's Avatar
    Im looking at a new iMac 27" with 5k retina display and am trying to decide what config to get now and what to wait for. My basic thinking is buy now what I cant upgrade in the future. And down the track, as and when i feel needed, which could be 6 months or even 2 years, upgrade the other bits.

    Basically i have deciphered the following but would appreciate confirmation:

    Memory - I can easily upgrade this myself so will go for the standard 8GB now. It would be better very soon to buy some more separately and can easily swap this out myself.

    Storage - I know the saying "buy the best you can afford now" with this one is recommended however am of the understanding that this is something that can be swapped out later down the track when I have a spare couple of hundred pounds!! - I am aware that someone very experienced with this is however a must when doing this.

    Processor - this is the one I am confused with! I can either go for the;
    1599 model with 3.3GHz Processor or
    1849 model with 3.5GHz Quad-core Intel Core i5, Turbo Boost up to 3.9GHz or
    2049 model with 4.0GHz Quad-core Intel Core i7, Turbo Boost up to 4.4GHz
    Can I go for the cheaper option now and as per storage (if the above is correct) upgrade this at a later date?

    Graphics Card - this isnt a big one for me but I assume I can swap these out also in the future as per storage.

    Any clarification on the above would be greatly appreciated!!!!
    10-12-2015 01:43 PM
  2. andrwstw's Avatar
    Something to think about regarding RAM: When I got my iMac, I went with 16gb ram. The iMac is upgradeable to 32gb (4 slots/8gb each). If you go with only 8gb, Apple will give you two 4gb modules, so if you want to upgrade to 32gb later, you'll have to get four new 8gb modules. If you go with 16gb ram, Apple gives you two 8gb modules, so if you upgrade later, you only need to get two more 8gb modules. That may be ok with you, but getting 16gb ram now may save you some money if you upgrade later, compared to 8gb now.
    Ness_ola likes this.
    10-12-2015 03:11 PM
  3. Algus's Avatar
    The new iMacs are largely not user servicable unless you command an extremely high level of technical expertise.

    RAM: It is the easiest thing to replace. Get the basic option and put your own in if you feel good about it. Buying RAM from a third party vendor like OWC is much cheaper than buying from Apple

    Storage: A tough replacement. Get an SSD but IMO if you need massive local storage, use external devices. Thunderbolt arrays, etc. are expensive but provide amazing performance.

    CPU: Quad-Core i5s are good CPUs but IMO if you are to go quad-core because you need the performance you are smart to get the i7 and have all the features the Core CPUs offer. The CPU is not really something you can replace on your own.
    Last edited by pr1nce; 10-17-2015 at 03:01 PM.
    10-12-2015 11:13 PM
  4. Ness_ola's Avatar
    Algus - thanks for your response.

    With my 2008 MacBook I basically changed everything noted above about a year ago which was great but I did get help form someone with this. Doing this has meant I am able to get a few more years out of it and thus am wanting to look at options and the same thing with the iMac. Thus right now its best I also get the best screen I can get as this is something I wouldn’t be able to upgrade in the future.

    I wouldn't intend to replace the Storage or CPU myself as can appreciate the screen needs to come off to do this but in the future (once the warranty has expired as well) would like to know if I have the option to take this to a qualified place (somewhere like an Apple service provider) to be able to change this over. Always good to have as many upgradable options for the future. Just wanted to make sure that it’s not all welded in and it would end up costing me more to upgrade this vs buying a new one.
    10-13-2015 08:22 AM
  5. Skatophilia's Avatar
    I'd say get what you can afford, which for me isn't much *sniff*
    10-13-2015 10:35 PM
  6. portgordon's Avatar
    A few sites are reporting that although  themselves offer a max configuration of 32GB RAM (with a huge 480 price uplift!!!),that each slot is actually capable of accepting a 16GB chip - with four available slots that's actually 64GB max!

    I'm of the same mind as the OP, in that I will start with the base 8GB RAM, although good point well made by Andrwstw about the configuration. Followed by upgrading later via 3rd party RAM at a drastically reduced price to . Although at the moment I don't see too many manufacturers offering the slightly faster 1867MHz memory (OWC do, but not in the larger chips yet) - I'm sure they will be more available in time.

    So my plan is to max out the 27" 5k iMac with the exception of the memory (to upgrade later) on the basis that I don't upgrade the Mac very often so want as good a spec as possible at purchase, and also that it will improve resale when the time does come.

    27inch Retina 5k iMac
    4GHz i7 CPU
    8GB RAM
    3TB Fusion
    AMD Radeon R9 M395X (4GB)
    Magic Mouse 2 + Magic Trackpad 2

    Which will be an upgrade from my 21.5" (running dual monitors) Late 2009 iMac with Core 2 Duo CPU, DIY upgraded to 8GB RAM and a custom Fusion drive (256gb Samsung Evo + 4TB 7,200RPM).

    The fusion drive made a huge difference to my current mac, springing new life into it, however with the introduction of 4K video from the 6S Plus, it just cant handle it at all. The Fusion configuration from Apple will actually be a bit of a downgrade in terms of capacity, but I'm telling myself that there's a chance that my custom build wasnt actually operating at full capacity so. The  build will be better (who knows!)

    Looking forward to it a lot though!!
    10-17-2015 03:33 AM
  7. klctlc's Avatar
    Just about ready to pull the trigger on the IMAC 27 inch.

    I have been looking for a full breakdown on the hard drive. I believe I read somewhere ( in comments) that if I buy the SSD on the 27inch it can be upgraded? but the fusion cannot be upgraded?

    Has anybody heard similar?

    If this is true, I would buy the smaller SSD drive, then hook up an external for awhile until the SSD came down a little in price. I am already pretty sure I want the 8GB RAM for the reasons out lined by the OP. Going with highest processor possible and same with graphics.

    Any help on Hard drive options would be appreciated.
    10-17-2015 02:02 PM
  8. portgordon's Avatar
    Just about ready to pull the trigger on the IMAC 27 inch.

    I have been looking for a full breakdown on the hard drive. I believe I read somewhere ( in comments) that if I buy the SSD on the 27inch it can be upgraded? but the fusion cannot be upgraded?

    Has anybody heard similar?

    If this is true, I would buy the smaller SSD drive, then hook up an external for awhile until the SSD came down a little in price. I am already pretty sure I want the 8GB RAM for the reasons out lined by the OP. Going with highest processor possible and same with graphics.

    Any help on Hard drive options would be appreciated.
    OWC have a pretty decent teardown of the 27" which suggests the SSD is replaceable.

    Im new here so cant post links yet but a google for OWC 27" teardown should bring it right to you
    10-17-2015 02:34 PM
  9. portgordon's Avatar
    OWC have a pretty good teardown of the 27" imac. I'm new here so cant post links yet, but a google of "OWC late 2015 retina 5k imac" should bring it right to you.

    It seems to indicate that the SSD Is replaceable.
    10-17-2015 02:37 PM
  10. portgordon's Avatar
    I should probably caveat that by adding that it may be upgradeable, but it's not as straight forward as the memory, which is user accessible. The SSDs are not, and with the screens no longer being magnetically held in place it looks like a more more intricate process - so would definitely depend on your level of confidence and expertise!
    10-17-2015 02:49 PM
  11. klctlc's Avatar
    Thank you. I did see that was hoping from confirmation from second source. But I hope it is correct.
    10-17-2015 05:10 PM

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