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Will I regret not getting the i9 (2019 iMac)?

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I'm currently in decision paralysis. First of all, I know the people who are about being on the cutting-edge will tell me not to buy an iMac now, but I'm not worried about being a generation behind. Not saying I might not end up waiting for other reasons anyway, but it's not a huge concern for me.

I'm currently using:
  • Late-2012 iMac 27"
  • 2.9GHz 4-core 3rd-generation Intel Core i5 processor
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M with 512MB memory
  • 16 GB 1600 MHz DDR3 memory (upgraded myself)
  • 1TB SSD (upgraded myself)
The iMac that I was considering purchasing would be:
  • 5K 2019 iMac 27"
  • 3.7GHz 6-core 9th-generation Intel Core i5 processor
  • Radeon Pro 580X with 8GB of GDDR5 memory
  • 8GB 2666MHz DDR4 memory (+32GB that I will upgrade myself)
  • 512GB SSD
Yes, it is leaps and bounds beyond my current iMac as is, but my main indecision is whether to spend the extra $400 to upgrade to the 3.6GHz 8-core 9th-generation Intel Core i9 processor.

The main apps I use simultaneously are currently Chrome, MS Office (esp. PowerPoint), GIMP, iMovie, and GarageBand. I notice in PowerPoint especially that things get very laggy if I have a YouTube video playing in Chrome. I will very likely also start using Final Cut Pro (in lieu of iMovie) to start editing 4k footage.

So given that info, do you think that the i5 would be more than adequate to handle the simultaneous running apps listed above (in combination with 40GB memory) with little or no lag, given the other specs, or would the i9 make a significant enough difference to be worth the $400?

I tend to keep my Macs a minimum of 5 years, so the other aspect of the question is would the i5 be "future-proofed" enough for at least that amount of times, or would the i9 not show its age as quickly.

Thanks ahead of time for any input!
 

pigoo3

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I would not be so much concerned about the generation of the CPU (i9 in this case)...but more about the number of CPU cores. The i5 system mentioned has 6 cores...the i9 system mentioned has 8 cores. The performance difference is more about the number of cores...not as much i5 vs. i9 CPU.

The 8 core setup has significantly more performance than the 6 core setup (Geekbench 3 CPU score of roughly 22,000 versus 34,000)...that over a 50% increase in performance (due in part to more cores & probably somewhat to the i9 CPU).

HTH,

- Nick
 
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I would not be so much concerned about the generation of the CPU (i9 in this case)...but more about the number of CPU cores. The i5 system mentioned has 6 cores...the i9 system mentioned has 8 cores. The performance difference is more about the number of cores...not as much i5 vs. i9 CPU.

The 8 core setup has significantly more performance than the 6 core setup (Geekbench 3 CPU score of roughly 22,000 versus 34,000)...that over a 50% increase in performance (due in part to more cores & probably somewhat to the i9 CPU).

HTH,

- Nick
Well, given that the 8 cores are exclusive to the i9 among the iMac options, that was an assumption in my question. So given my specific situation, it sounds like you'd recommend the i9 as you believe it would have a noticeable impact on my workflow. Thanks for the input.
 

Raz0rEdge

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Honestly, your workflow would be perfectly serviced with a 4-core processor, the 6-core is better and the 8-core is overkill.

I recently upgraded from a 2009 quad-core iMac to a 2018 6-core Mac Mini. I specifically upgraded to the 6-core based on my workflow. I upgraded the memory to 32GB after the purchase and I went with the 512GB SSD.

My workflow is primarily for development, so I have Chrome, Firefox and Safari running at all times along with Docker with 13 containers running currently. I also have IntelliJ (a development IDE) running a Java webapp within Tomcat. I also have a VM with Windows 10 running through VMWare Fusion that has it's own development environment (Visual Studio and related stuff) running at the same time.

So I need the memory to be able to run all of these things at the same time without running into memory constraints and the bulk of my apps are CPU intensive (compiling, running applications) so the 6-core CPU greatly helps.

So if you have the money, then by all means upgrade and you will well served with that machine for many years to come, but not upgrading will not in any way harm your workflow.
 
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Honestly, your workflow would be perfectly serviced with a 4-core processor, the 6-core is better and the 8-core is overkill.

I recently upgraded from a 2009 quad-core iMac to a 2018 6-core Mac Mini. I specifically upgraded to the 6-core based on my workflow. I upgraded the memory to 32GB after the purchase and I went with the 512GB SSD.

My workflow is primarily for development, so I have Chrome, Firefox and Safari running at all times along with Docker with 13 containers running currently. I also have IntelliJ (a development IDE) running a Java webapp within Tomcat. I also have a VM with Windows 10 running through VMWare Fusion that has it's own development environment (Visual Studio and related stuff) running at the same time.

So I need the memory to be able to run all of these things at the same time without running into memory constraints and the bulk of my apps are CPU intensive (compiling, running applications) so the 6-core CPU greatly helps.

So if you have the money, then by all means upgrade and you will well served with that machine for many years to come, but not upgrading will not in any way harm your workflow.
Yeah, the $400 is not going to make or break me; I just always start second-guessing myself when spending $$$$. I'll probably end up going with the i9 given the fact that I will be keeping this computer for a while (most likely 5-10 years) and my workflow may very well intensify during that time.

Thank you both for your input!
 
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You mention Final Cut Pro and 4K video editing. If that is your direction get the i9. I have a friend who works remotely for a TV program and she just got upgraded to a MBP maxed out with the i9 - 32GB - 4TB SSD PLUS a 27” 5K monitor. She was using a 2014 iMac maxed out with an i7. Her new setup blows it out of the water. She is a graphics designer and also does a lot of After Effects work.

I do 4K video but use an older MP and mainly my PC which has a 16-core Ryzen processor with Adobe CC.

The i5 would be great for what you listed up to when you said 4K and Final Cut Pro. The i5 will do the job but how long do you want to wait to export projects? If you can I would definitely get the i9.

Lisa
 
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You mention Final Cut Pro and 4K video editing. If that is your direction get the i9. I have a friend who works remotely for a TV program and she just got upgraded to a MBP maxed out with the i9 - 32GB - 4TB SSD PLUS a 27” 5K monitor. She was using a 2014 iMac maxed out with an i7. Her new setup blows it out of the water. She is a graphics designer and also does a lot of After Effects work.

I do 4K video but use an older MP and mainly my PC which has a 16-core Ryzen processor with Adobe CC.

The i5 would be great for what you listed up to when you said 4K and Final Cut Pro. The i5 will do the job but how long do you want to wait to export projects? If you can I would definitely get the i9.

Lisa
Thanks, Lisa. Between your advice and others', the choice seems pretty clear now.
 

pigoo3

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Gonna be a seriously nice upgrade regardless of the model chosen/purchased!:)

- Nick
 
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Gonna be a seriously nice upgrade regardless of the model chosen/purchased!:)

- Nick
That's one of the advantages of not upgrading all the time, lol! I see you follow the same philosophy :)
 

pigoo3

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That's one of the advantages of not upgrading all the time, lol! I see you follow the same philosophy :)
Yes sir...I don't upgrade very often...but getting the to point I should probably upgrade soon. When I do...I typically purchase something about 2 years old.

Right now I would really like one of the new 16" MacBook Pro's...but not sure I can wait 2 years! I may have to break my long running paradigm. lol

- Nick
 
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Well, I finally pulled the trigger on the i9 and I figured while I'm spending this much I might as well go with the Vega 48 upgrade as well. I definitely added AppleCare! I've never spent this much on a computer in my life, but I think I've made the right decision. I just have to think about the cost spread over its many years of use, lol! And I'm keeping my current iMac to use any 32-bit apps I may need and as a backup system.

Now the painful 3-4 weeks until shipment part.
 

pigoo3

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Well, I finally pulled the trigger on the i9 and I figured while I'm spending this much I might as well go with the Vega 48 upgrade as well.
Wow...I'm surprised you went with the graphics upgrade. But like you said...if you get 8+ years out of this iMac (similar to your current iMac)...amortized over 8 years or more...the annual cost is not too bad.:)

- Nick
 
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Wow...I'm surprised you went with the graphics upgrade. But like you said...if you get 8+ years out of this iMac (similar to your current iMac)...amortized over 8 years or more...the annual cost is not too bad.:)

- Nick
One reviewer showed where a certain type of 4k footage stuttered horribly in FCPX timeline playback with the 580X, but was perfectly smooth with the Vega 48. That's what really pushed me over the edge on that option.
youtu.be/SkIFJQ6vYRk?t=343
 

pigoo3

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One reviewer showed where a certain type of 4k footage stuttered horribly in FCPX timeline playback with the 580X, but was perfectly smooth with the Vega 48. That's what really pushed me over the edge on that option.
I watched the video...wow that is pretty awful...something like that shouldn't happen. Considering this is a 2019 iMac (not released recently)...I'm surprised Apple hasn't addressed this with some sort of fix. It's a shame you had to spend more cash for that reason. But I guess for longevity possibilities...getting the best graphics possible for this iMac can't hurt in the longrun!

I do know one thing for sure...10 years from now when you're ready to upgrade & sell this FULLY upgraded 2019 27" iMac...I want to be first in line to buy it!!!:):)

- Nick
 
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I watched the video...wow that is pretty awful...something like that shouldn't happen. Considering this is a 2019 iMac (not released recently)...I'm surprised Apple hasn't addressed this with some sort of fix. It's a shame you had to spend more cash for that reason. But I guess for longevity possibilities...getting the best graphics possible for this iMac can't hurt in the longrun!

I do know one thing for sure...10 years from now when you're ready to upgrade & sell this FULLY upgraded 2019 27" iMac...I want to be first in line to buy it!!!:):)

- Nick
Well, the video is a year old, so maybe they have fixed it or mitigated it, but like you said, it can't hurt. I'll keep you in mind for future sale, but I may end up doing like I am with my current iMac and keep this one as a backup system (and then recycle the then-ancient 2012 one) ;)
 

pigoo3

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...but I may end up doing like I am with my current iMac and keep this one as a backup system (and then recycle the then-ancient 2012 one) ;)
Yeah...when we hit 2030...your 2012 iMac will be pretty ancient! Lol

- Nick
 

chscag

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Yeah...when we hit 2030...your 2012 iMac will be pretty ancient! Lol
And so will I. :rofl
 
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