Is the Base iMac All You Need?

The iMac is a highly popular choice for lots of creatives, but runs the range from a little over a thousand dollars to well past $10,000, with options at every price point in between. How much power do you really need? This excellent video review takes a look at the base model iMac 5K model and the kind of performance you can expect from it in practice. 

Coming to you from 9 to 5 Mac, this great video review takes a look at the base model of the 2020 iMac 5K. The iMac is a great choice for lots of creatives, especially since it comes with an excellent display, which is even better this year with the inclusion of True Tone. The base model also includes a gigabit Ethernet port, UHS-II SD card reader, four USB-A ports, two Thunderbolt 3 ports, a 3.5mm headphone jack, 8 GB of 2,666 MHz DDR4 RAM, 256 GB of flash storage, and a 3.1GHz 6-core 10-generation Intel Core i5 CPU with Turbo Boost to 4.5 GHz and Hyperthreading. While you may decide to opt for more storage, one thing I would definitely suggest doing yourself is upgrading the RAM. It is a very easy process and will save you a lot of money over ordering more RAM pre-installed. Check out the video above to see what you can expect from the base model. 

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6 Comments

Alex Yakimov's picture

yes indeed. at least for LR.

Michael Krueger's picture

Thanks to AMD and Ryzen Intel was actually forced to incease core count to remain competitive after 7 generations with the same core counts. These new I5s are faster than the I7 was 3 years ago, faster than almost any mobile processor released to date.

I'd recommend going to 16Gb RAM but otherwise this is plenty of editing power for the masses. Sure there is faster hardware out there but it's not necessary for most.

Stuart Carver's picture

My 2015 MacBook Pro with a piss poor 8gb of RAM is still ‘doing a job’ with C1 and Affinity.. and if I drop the refresh rate in Serato it still runs that no issues so any Mac built in the last 2yrs will be capable of suiting 99% of photographers needs.

Tony Clark's picture

My Refurbished Mid’15 MBP i7 and 16GB RAM is still performing great with CaptureOne and Photoshop. Considering the current state of affairs I will use it as long as possible.

Stuart Carver's picture

I was set to upgrade to the 16” model a month ago then the tenants moved out of my rental home and the money has had to go into that, I’m hoping to sell it ASAP so I can continue with the upgrade. For the time being though the model I have will do it’s job:) I have a 2010 model that still works too, and would probably make do if needed but the screen is rubbish compared to the retina one.

Tom Reichner's picture

I'm getting to the point where I could really use an upgrade. My 2014 27" 5K iMac with 3TB drive is chock full, and in order to download any more images, I have to delete old images to make room.

Unfortunately, external storage does NOT work for the way I use my iMac, and I need all of my images right there on the main drive.

Glad to see the new iMacs come with a 10TB option. Will definitely be upgrading to that once I have the money .... which, unfortunately, could be a year or three. Have to hobble along until then.