- Overview of Apple iMac 5K ('Late 2015').
- Buying recommendations for power users.
- MPG will be reviewing the high-end iMac 5K soon.
- Discounts cited here end Nov 15 according to B&H.
B&H Photo has a bunch of late 2015 iMac 5K models in stock, including $150 off the 3.2 GHz / 8GB / 1TB HDD model = $1649. At that price, it’s like getting a gorgeous 5K display with a free computer included.
For high-end power users the above entry level model is not the right choice, see the discussion.
Do you really need “faster” stuff?
In so many uses, a “faster” CPU and GPU don’t result in any significant gains. So for most users using the iMac 5K as a mixed-use machine, these “low end” models offer most of the utility without a big bump up in price. Power users, pro photographers, etc will of course want bumped up high end models, such as discussed. The best high end deal is the $3499 4 GHz / 8GB / 1TB / M395X model along with OWC memory for iMac 5K added after purchase.
Obvious going with a faster CPU and faster GPU and all flash-drive model is ideal, but the price escalates rapidly all the way up to $4100 or so—and that is the point of this post; a very nice machine with more than ample performance for many users. For example, this iMac 5K with 32GB is $600 more! Which is not a good deal, since 32GB OWC memory is only $264 ($134 for 16GB which is ample for most users).
- The internal hard drive is good for a hard drive, which means not very responsive: use a relatively inexpensive USB3 SSD for the boot (startup) drive, 120GB SSD or 240GB SSD or 480GB SSD. Or consider the slightly more expensive 'Fusion' model.
- Add a capacious external hard drive or multiple hard drives via Thunderbolt for more storage and/or backup and/or Time Machine.
- The memory for iMac 5K can be upgraded later if needed. Note that OWC memory for iMac 5K offers a large savings over Apple pricing when going to 32GB or more and that OWC will even rebate-back something for memory being replaced.