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A1418 / EMC 3069 / 2017 / 3.0 GHz quad-core i5, 3.4 GHz quad-core i5 or 3.6 GHz quad-core i7 Processor. Released June 8, 2017.

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SSD + RAM + CPU + 4k to 1080p Question

Hi, People.

Here is my question. I just recently got a 2017 iMac 21.5” 4k with the standard 1tb HDD, i5 3.0Ghz, and 8gb of ram. It has the Radeon 555 Chip for graphics. Here is the kicker.

I want to get it all done at once, but my total is nearing $750… I have a new 500gb Samsung SSD, and 32gb DDR4 ram already standing by purchased but am wanting to do a i7 7770 (highest I can go?) upgrade at the same time as I just recently discovered it’s serviceable. Is it all worth it? Will all this really do what I’m needing it to do? Or is it just a ton of money and not much of an upgrade. SSD of course, ram sure, but CPU?

I also want to drive 2 external 1080p monitors for a total of 3, but will that get funky with the 4k resolution on the center?

Thanks guys, I know this is all over the place, but just want to know if it’s all worth it before I tear the sucker apart and dump another $350 on a CPU.

I do video editing, and multiple window workflows.

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Your systems series: iMac18,2


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If you are doing video editing you really want a larger and faster SSD than what you are getting.

I would strongly recommend getting a 1 TB and ideally you should get a PCIe/NVMe blade drive as its like Warp 10 over your Warp 3 SATA drive.

Now the rub!

Not all of the 21.5” models offer the needed hookup for the blade SSD. The system needs to be either a dedicated blade SSD drive already or be a Fusion Drive’d system. If this system was only a SATA based then you’ll not have the second drive interface.

Here’s more on the SATA & blade SSD interface differences The Ultimate Guide to Apple’s Proprietary SSDs

Ideally, you want to have a dual drive’d setup, Having the Blade SSD as your boot drive (MacOS) as well as your Apps. The rest of the SSD will be left empty! The reason for this is your OS & apps needs space for Virtual RAM, Paging and scratch space (which your video editing apps will need). The more speed and free space will improve your experience and the size of your work you can have open. If you go with the SATA drive you’ll need a good high speed external drive to hold your work. Which you can start off small, but you’ll quickly want a RAID’ed storage solution.

OK, lets move on to your CPU question…

Here’s a good performance breakdown between the threes systems within your series I created from EveryMac which is a great resource!

Block Image

So if we just look just at the Geekbench 4 data:

Geekbench 4 SC  4505 4682 5287

Geekbench 4 MC  13017 13570 18020

We can see the I7-7700 CPU is a big improvement in Multi-Thread performance. So Yes its worth it for supporting heavy processing loads like video editing and pushing three monitors.

Now the bad news!

Your GPU is only a Radeon Pro 555, unlike the shipped i7 model which has either a Radeon Pro 555/560. The Radeon Pro 560 is a better GPU and many video editors I have helped who wanted a smaller setup went with the better GPU. You might encounter issues if you are pushing output to your external displays. You might encounter tearing or jumpiness in the play back

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Man, this was incredible and helpful. Thanks for all the time you spent writing this!


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