New Computer

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.

iMac 5K That’s a very big box.

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.

  1. 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]
  2. The Fusion Drive is the combination of a 128GB SSD and a 2TB HDD. [return]
  3. It looks like this iMac unofficially supports up to 64GB of RAM. [return]