Mac opinion/help

Acraftman

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I am wondering if this might be a good deal for me, I had posted before that my desktop was removed in a burglary of our home and I just went with a laptop ,99% of what I do with a computer is play chess and watch utube videos and process my photo's in LR. I wanted something that will be able to do that for hopefully five years. This is a 2015 my wife thinks I should get a new one but for the limited stuff I do this seems like it would fit the bill. He is asking $1500 USD.Any thoughts or input would be appreciated. I have seen newer models but less storage ram etc.
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I don't know about the price, but the computer sounds well spec'd with a fast cpu, 24Gb of RAM, and 2 Tb drive. If they took good care of it, it should last for quite a while. I had a 2012 iMac that would still be running if I didn't try to upgrade it myself and mess up the video cable. My 2013 iMac is running very well and so is a 2011 MacBook Air. The 27" 5K display is awesome. They generally last a long time. Sounds pretty good to me.

Another place to look is the refurbished list on Apple's website. You can usually get pretty good deals, although right now they don't have any iMacs except for iMac Pros.
 
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That was top-of-the line. Should last 5 years physically, but I am less sure about latest OS as that would be a 10-year duration. That would be the caveat.
Apple says it would be compatible with Big Sur.

Chances are, your Mac can run macOS Big Sur
The following models are supported:
  • MacBook (2015 or later)
  • MacBook Air (2013 or later)
  • MacBook Pro (Late 2013 or later)
  • Mac mini (2014 or later)
  • iMac (2014 or later)
  • iMac Pro (2017 or later)
  • Mac Pro (2013 or later)
To see which model you have, click the Apple icon in your menu bar and choose About This Mac.
Learn more about which models are compatible
 
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I'm not a Mac nor an iPhone user but I've noticed that Apple products have an unusually long useful lifetime compared to other tech products. I used a 2014 Mac Mini and iPhone 5s briefly this year, neither were snappy but both were usable and got current software updates despite being over 5 years old - in tech, that's ages!

On the other hand, as a tech enthusiast I can tell you that you should not be impressed by 2TB of spinning drives. 2TB Hard disk drives are literally 50 bucks these days, 60 if it has to be a low profile (2.5" drive) one. That would need to be upgraded to solid state soon, netting serious benefits in photo organization/handling speed. Luckily SSD prices have come down massively. I don't know how hard it would be to upgrade an all-in-one computer like this one.

Also as a tech enthusiast, I normally wouldn't advise to spend 1,5k for a PC that does chess, Youtube, and Lightroom, but you Mac users are a special bunch, and if it runs for 5-10 more years, more power to you. Also that design and 5K IPS display are really strong selling points :)
 

SpecFoto

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Lucky this is the Late 2015 model which has the Retina screen and a Fusion drive that has, most likely, a 128GB SSD blade with the 2TB HDD, but it has Thunderbolt 2, and not 3 which is more compatabile with the newest USB-C devices. The Mid 2015 did not have a Retina display or a fusion drive, hence no SSD and you want to avoid the mid-2015 for this reason. The SSD makes the Mac a lot more responsive for startup and opening apps. But the HDD makes the iMac a lot noiser, run hotter and you can't believe the dust that accumulates inside. The iMac pulls air from thin slots at the bottom of the screen and out the back vent, but of course dust settles on the top of the vents and can clog them up pretty bad. My friends 2012 27" iMac come to find had about 1" of dust in the bottom and ran so hot it fried the HDD prematurely. Since you want to keep this iMac I would eventually replace the 2TB drive with a 2TB or larger SSD, I did this with 2 different 27" iMacs, it is not that a hard to do.

But as an alternative here is link to a new 2020 27" iMac with 6 core I5 processor, 8GB of memory (can be expanded very easily), a 4GB graphics card, a 256GB SSD blade and 4 USB 3 and 2 TB3/USB-C slots. It's only $1649 and for sure will run faster, quieter and cooler than the 2015 model and you get a 1 year warranty (more if you buy AppleCare). This is a perfect iMac for what you listed you want to do with it. If you have large users files for about a $100 you can get a 4 or 5 TB My Passport WD portable drive that runs pretty quick thru the USB ports and you don't have to worry about the heat and noise. I use these for my iMac, actually 2 sets of 2, set up as a 10TB RAID and 10TB BU RAID where my 7 TB of users files are stored.

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1581592-REG/apple_mxwt2ll_a_27_imac_with_retina.html
 
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Darmok N Jalad

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Price isn't really too bad considering it is a high-spec model and has lots of RAM. I might lean toward something newer, though, but that's just me. One other consideration is that I believe the i7 versions of the the iMac tended to make more fan noise. Might not be a deal breaker, but the lesser model iMacs are near silent.
 

Acraftman

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I'm not a Mac nor an iPhone user but I've noticed that Apple products have an unusually long useful lifetime compared to other tech products. I used a 2014 Mac Mini and iPhone 5s briefly this year, neither were snappy but both were usable and got current software updates despite being over 5 years old - in tech, that's ages!

On the other hand, as a tech enthusiast I can tell you that you should not be impressed by 2TB of spinning drives. 2TB Hard disk drives are literally 50 bucks these days, 60 if it has to be a low profile (2.5" drive) one. That would need to be upgraded to solid state soon, netting serious benefits in photo organization/handling speed. Luckily SSD prices have come down massively. I don't know how hard it would be to upgrade an all-in-one computer like this one.

Also as a tech enthusiast, I normally wouldn't advise to spend 1,5k for a PC that does chess, Youtube, and Lightroom, but you Mac users are a special bunch, and if it runs for 5-10 more years, more power to you. Also that design and 5K IPS display are really strong selling points :)
Thanks for the input I literally have never used a pc started out with a mac which we still have from 94. I am still listening to music off my 08. Hopefully I may be able to negotiate a break on the price.
 

Acraftman

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Lucky this is the Late 2015 model which has the Retina screen and a Fusion drive that has, most likely, a 128GB SSD blade with the 2TB HDD, but it has Thunderbolt 2, and not 3 which is more compatabile with the newest USB-C devices. The Mid 2015 did not have a Retina display or a fusion drive, hence no SSD and you want to avoid the mid-2015 for this reason. The SSD makes the Mac a lot more responsive for startup and opening apps. But the HDD makes the iMac a lot noiser, run hotter and you can't believe the dust that accumulates inside. The iMac pulls air from thin slots at the bottom of the screen and out the back vent, but of course dust settles on the top of the vents and can clog them up pretty bad. My friends 2012 27" iMac come to find had about 1" of dust in the bottom and ran so hot it fried the HDD prematurely. Since you want to keep this iMac I would eventually replace the 2TB drive with a 2TB or larger SSD, I did this with 2 different 27" iMacs, it is not that a hard to do.

But as an alternative here is link to a new 2020 27" iMac with 6 core I5 processor, 8GB of memory (can be expanded very easily), a 4GB graphics card, a 256GB SSD blade and 4 USB 3 and 2 TB3/USB-C slots. It's only $1649 and for sure will run faster, quieter and cooler than the 2015 model and you get a 1 year warranty (more if you buy AppleCare). This is a perfect iMac for what you listed you want to do with it. If you have large users files for about a $100 you can get a 4 or 5 TB My Passport WD portable drive that runs pretty quick thru the USB ports and you don't have to worry about the heat and noise. I use these for my iMac, actually 2 sets of 2, set up as a 10TB RAID and 10TB BU RAID where my 7 TB of users files are stored.

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1581592-REG/apple_mxwt2ll_a_27_imac_with_retina.html
Wow thanks so that has 8gb of memory so I would have to upgrade right away? I have a little over 1/2 a tera byte on my backup hard drive and I kinda wanted to get away from external hard drives as my current lap top is only 120 GB.
 

SpecFoto

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Wow thanks so that has 8gb of memory so I would have to upgrade right away? I have a little over 1/2 a tera byte on my backup hard drive and I kinda wanted to get away from external hard drives as my current lap top is only 120 GB.
8GB can get you started and see how it goes, it may be just fine for you. With the iMac it is a 2 minute operation to open the memory slot and slide in 2 additional memory sticks.

We all would love to have 1TB or more for an internal SSD, but the problem is cost, in this case $450 to $2,099. That is the sale price difference for adding 1TB, plus you get a 3.3 GHz vs. 3.1 GHz processor, which will not really make any difference. You can go with the 512GB SSD for $1,899, and that is what I have in my iMac. With 256GB SSD you can fit the entire OS, it takes about 50GB, plus any programs on the SSD, like in my case the LR/PS suite. The backup drive is for data storage only, but the actual working of the program will be on the SSD. So it will run fast. My Lightroom cache files on are on my SSD and they are almost 275GB, yet I still have about 170GB free on my 512GB SD.

To save some cost apply for the B&H Payboo card. It is for saving sales tax only, which B&H pays to your state, and only takes a couple of minutes to apply. In my case it save me 9% on my camera and computer gear, which can really add, up or almost pay for a 256 to 512GB upgrade 😀 The only thing is you have to payoff the balance within 30 days or else the interest rate is high.
 

wjiang

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I'm not a Mac user, except where I have to for work, but maybe it's worth holding off a wee bit while Apple go about shifting completely away from x86 to their own ARM ISA CPUs. Their initial M1 CPUs have just come out, and they blow the old x86 Macs out of the water in most workloads. I can see the day in a couple of years time where your favourite software may not get any updates for x86 MacOS anymore.
 

threeOh

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Wow thanks so that has 8gb of memory so I would have to upgrade right away? I have a little over 1/2 a tera byte on my backup hard drive and I kinda wanted to get away from external hard drives as my current lap top is only 120 GB.
Lightroom, contrary to some views, is not RAM intensive. Don’t rush to upgrade RAM. 8 gb might be adequate for your needs. Unless the RAM is soldered. Then 16 gb.

SSD's (like hdd's) run optimally with plenty of empty space. I never fill to more than 50%. Externals make a lot of sense. Especially if you eventually spring for ssd externals.
 

algold

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TBH this iMac is nice, but a bit of an overkill for your needs.
Just last week I replaced a 1TB HDD of my late 2015 Mac mini (i5, 8GB RAM) with a 1 TB SSD and it runs the latest LR and other photo editing progs like a new comp.
 

Darmok N Jalad

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Good point, how is the situation for powerPC based Macs these days?
They are long unsupported, but there is still a community out there that keeps using them. There are even developers that make up-to-date versions of browsers to run on PPC Macs. By no means would I recommend this, but the Mac community definitely keeps things alive.

I do agree on waiting on the ARMacs, too, but that's a little harder when you are without a machine. Even now, you could get a MBP or MBA or Mini with the M1. They can drive external displays just fine, and I think they would be more than powerful enough--maybe even more so than the iMac you are looking at. There is a lot of process improvements since the 2015 iMac.
 
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SpecFoto

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I do agree on waiting on the ARMacs, too, but that's a little harder when you are without a machine. Even now, you could get a MBP or MBA or Mini with the M1. They can drive external displays just fine, and I think they would be more than powerful enough--maybe even more so than the iMac you are looking at. There is a lot of process improvements since the 2015 iMac.
The new Mac Silicone units using the M1 chip are very nice; the processor, neural engine, memory chips, graphics card and I/O controller are all on 1 chip. This makes them extremely fast, much faster than motherboards with separate components. And the users are finding out that 8GB of memory goes a lot farther than before, and may be enough for a lot of users. But still, I would order 16GB of memory, as you cannot upgrade anything on these units.

Going with say the 8 core CPU/GPU MacMini with the 512GB SSD and 16GB of memory is $1,099 at Apple (or B&H again to save paying tax). It comes with 2 TB3/USB-C ports, 2 USB3 ports and a HDM1-2.0 monitor port, so you can easily run 2 monitors if you like. To this you need a keyboard, mouse and 27" monitor. So for about the same as the new 27" iMac I linked earlier (assuming $500 for a keyboard, mouse and 27" LG, ViewSonic, Acer or Dell monitor) you can have the latest state of the art Mac. And it WILL be faster than the 27" iMac, as the M1 chips are already way beyond what the i7 Intel chips in the previous MacBook Pros and iMacs can test by a factor of 2 to 3 for most tests. Plus it is future proof for a longer amount of time. Definitely something to consider.
 

Darmok N Jalad

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The new Mac Silicone units using the M1 chip are very nice; the processor, neural engine, memory chips, graphics card and I/O controller are all on 1 chip. This makes them extremely fast, much faster than motherboards with separate components. And the users are finding out that 8GB of memory goes a lot farther than before, and may be enough for a lot of users. But still, I would order 16GB of memory, as you cannot upgrade anything on these units.

Going with say the 8 core CPU/GPU MacMini with the 512GB SSD and 16GB of memory is $1,099 at Apple (or B&H again to save paying tax). It comes with 2 TB3/USB-C ports, 2 USB3 ports and a HDM1-2.0 monitor port, so you can easily run 2 monitors if buy like. To this you need a keyboard, mouse and 27" monitor. So for about the same as the new 27" iMac I linked earlier (assuming $500 for a keyboard, mouse and 27" LG, ViewSonic, Acer or Dell monitor) you can have the latest state of the art Mac. And it WILL be faster than the 27" iMac I linked earlier, as the M1 chips are already way beyond what the i7 Intel chips in the previous MacBook Pros and iMacs can test by a factor of 2 to 3 for most tests. Plus it is future proof for a longer amount of time. Definitely something to consider.
I have a 2020 Intel Air, and I'm doing my best to wait it out on these M1 Macs. The vast improvement in battery life is temptation alone, then throw in better performance, fanless operation, and the ability to run iOS apps (this would actually be helpful for my job), and it's getting harder to say no. At the very least, I'm waiting to hear about any significant issues that users have had with the platform, but so far, I haven't heard anything concerning.
 

SpecFoto

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Nothing wrong with your 2020 Intel Air, it will last for a long time. Just like nothing wrong with your 20MP sensor EM5 MKIII. If JIP was to release a new EM5 MkIV next year with a 24MP sensor would you turn in yours and buy new? I wouldn't. But your reasons seem meaningful, especially running the apps from IOS. I would put in a reacquisition at work to ask for an upgrade and have them pay for it. :whistling:

I am thinking of trading in my 2012 13" MBP for of of the new Airs, just don't like the idea of having only 2 USB-C slots, as 1 is needed for power and the other for hooking up to my data. Really a PITA Apple, why not 3 ports at least. Most likely will hold off for the next release with hopefully more ports
 

Darmok N Jalad

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Yeah, when I bought the Air, I assumed Apple wouldn’t blow away the old model so thoroughly. I figured we’d see small gains in each area, but instead, it offers significant gains in many places, and even the display went P3. I also assumed emulated apps would be dog-slow, but even that doesn’t seem to be an issue. I kept telling people that Apple likely had a very good transition plan and that they wouldn’t make the move lightly. I just didn’t expect them to pull it off this well. I’m used to skipping multiple generations, but this is the first time I’m really thinking about it.
 

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