Apr 4, 2017
After the death of my 2008 Macbook Pro about two months ago, I need a replacement computer. Even though I’m certain that it’s the absolute worst time to buy a new Mac, because most have launched many months (some years) ago and are due for an update very soon, but I am unable to postpone the purchase anymore.
So, laptop or desktop? I can’t remember the last time I needed to take my computer outside the office, and because I’m not a big fan of the newer Macbook Pros, I decided it would be a desktop, either a Mac mini or an iMac (4K or 5K). The latest Mac mini are not that great - old and slow CPUs and not user-upgradable, and the 4K suffers the same upgradability problems 1. So eliminating all others, and choice fell on an iMac 5K.
The criticism I’ve heard of the iMac 5K are mainly the noise/heat and the image retention problems of the 5K panel. Turns out the noise/heat problems are more pronounced on the i7 CPUs, so I chose the slower i5 CPU, low noise and heat is very important to me. The potential image retention problem was a bit more concerning, but the apparently the LCD panel lottery was good to me.
So, In the end I got an iMac 5K with a 3.2GHz i5 and a 2TB Fusion Drive 2. I upgraded the RAM by adding 16GB of third-party RAM to the original 8GB, for a total of 24GB 3. I got the Magic Trackpad too, since I already have a Magic Mouse.
- The iMac 4K has the CPU and RAM soldered to the motherboard. The iMac 5K has a door to access RAM modules and the CPU is mounted on a standard socket, even if it’s a pain to get inside, it’s theoretically possible to upgrade the CPU in the future. [return]
- The Fusion Drive is the combination of a 128GB SSD and a 2TB HDD. [return]
- It looks like this iMac unofficially supports up to 64GB of RAM. [return]