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How to Select and Configure an iMac
See How To Choose a Mac for overall tips and ideas on selecting and buying a Mac.
Prior to late 2012, the iMac was a good choice for professionals or more intensive work, but the late 2012 27-inch iMac changes that because it includes USB3 and Thunderbolt ports which allow much superior expansion possibilities over the prior model.
The iMac still retains some serviceability issues compared to a Mac Pro:
- Difficulty to replace an internal hard drive (upgrade or failure);
- 32GB memory limit.
- Built-in screen is not ideal for photographic print matching.
- No PCIe slots, but can use external OWC Helios PCIe enclosure.
One issue for professionals is serviceability: failure of an internal drive (turnaround time to fix). This can be worked around by keeping good backups, and keeping most data on external drives.
What to get and what to skip
In general, Apple charges a premium for memory and drives.
For those with performance needs, get the fastest CPU, because it is not upgradeable.
As of late 2012, going straight to 32GB memory makes sense, due to the low cost in relation to the system cost.
Because the hard drive is difficult to uprade, getting the largest internal hard drive makes sense. Alternately, an internal SSD or Fusion drive is a good “base” to be supplemented with external overflow storage and backup drives.
Up to 128GB for 2019 iMac 5K!
Up to 64GB for 2015/2017 iMac 5K
Save nearly 50% over Apple pricing
1.3 GHz i5, 8GB, 512GB SSD
Apple Refurbished, Factory Sealed, Apple 1 Year Limited Warranty
$719 SAVE $430 = 37.0% Apple 12.9" iPad Pro (Mid 2017, 512GB, Wi-Fi Only, Gold) in Electronics: iPads and Tablets
$5699 SAVE $600 = 9.0% Apple 15.4" MacBook Pro with Touch Bar (Mid 2018, Space Gray) in Computers: Apple Macs
$2500 SAVE $300 = 10.0% Apple 15.4" MacBook Pro with Touch Bar (Mid 2018, Space Gray) in Computers: Apple Macs
$60 SAVE $90 = 60.0% Lorex FXC13V 4MP Outdoor Wi-Fi Bullet Camera with Night Vision &… in All Other Categories
$29 SAVE $60 = 67.0% Tiffen 6-Filter Neutral Density and ND/Polarizer Kit for DJI Mav… in Video: Drones
$1000 SAVE $500 = 33.0% Westone W80 Eight-Driver True-Fit Earphones with ALO Audio and M… in Electronics: Audio