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Old Nov 9, 2012, 02:59 PM   #1
MrMister111
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Is this worth it re: new iMacs

Looking at getting the new iMac. The 21.5" one. I would love to spend more than I am, but its already expensive at nearly a 1000, I will use the HE discount also.

So I think everyone will straight away say "yes its worth it" but please have a think.

The base 21.5" will be 937, I fancy the look of the Fusion drive, but its only amiable with the top end 21.5" (no other reason apart from money from Apple, no reason not to offer on base 21.5"). So the top end 21.5" will be 1099, then basing on Mac Mini fusion pricing, another 180 for the fusion drive. So the total between the base, and the top end with fusion is 343, now thats a lot of money, total of 1279, thats big bucks for a computer..

Is this worth it? I was hoping to keep below 1000 and would with a base unit, but the fusion looks good, but as the better CPU and graphics are mute for me, basically the fusion upgrade cost 343!!
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Old Nov 9, 2012, 03:52 PM   #2
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I wouldn't do this myself, but if you're comfortable taking a part your own computer, your can install your own SSD and make it a Fusion drive.

If not... remember Macs hold their resale value extremely well. You'll need to make a little more initial investment to get what you want but you should get a lot of it back a few years down the road when it's time to upgrade.
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Old Nov 9, 2012, 04:29 PM   #3
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I definitely won't be taking it apart! With the UK HE discount you get 3 year applecare hardware warranty anyway.

Also I'll be keeping it at least 5 years. My current iMac is 5 years and still fine tbh. I'm hoping to get at least 300 for it when I sell it.

But the extra 343 is a little off putting just for the fusion drive, although reading reviews etc it looks like really speeds system up, can't believe Apple put a 5400 HDD in iMac....
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Old Nov 9, 2012, 05:45 PM   #4
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I definitely won't be taking it apart! With the UK HE discount you get 3 year applecare hardware warranty anyway.

Also I'll be keeping it at least 5 years. My current iMac is 5 years and still fine tbh. I'm hoping to get at least 300 for it when I sell it.

But the extra 343 is a little off putting just for the fusion drive, although reading reviews etc it looks like really speeds system up, can't believe Apple put a 5400 HDD in iMac....
The 5400 rpm drive is not the catastrophe that everyone is making it out to be. Just because the drive runs at 5400 does not mean it's a dog - modern drives have much better areal density than older ones, so a 5400 can often be faster than an older 7200 speed drive, and crucially 5400 drives run cooler, quieter and consume less power (admittedly that last one is less relevant to iMac users).

Until we actually get some performance figures, writing it off as "zomg I can't believe it, what were Apple thinking?!" is premature.
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Old Nov 9, 2012, 07:48 PM   #5
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The 5400 rpm drive is not the catastrophe that everyone is making it out to be. Just because the drive runs at 5400 does not mean it's a dog - modern drives have much better areal density than older ones, so a 5400 can often be faster than an older 7200 speed drive, and crucially 5400 drives run cooler, quieter and consume less power (admittedly that last one is less relevant to iMac users).

Until we actually get some performance figures, writing it off as "zomg I can't believe it, what were Apple thinking?!" is premature.
This is a very rational argument and I agree. People jump to conclusions way too fast on these forums.

I think the 5400RPM drive will be fine for everyone not a power user. Power users will obviously opt for a Fusion drive anyway.
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Old Nov 9, 2012, 09:17 PM   #6
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The 5400 rpm drive is not the catastrophe that everyone is making it out to be. Just because the drive runs at 5400 does not mean it's a dog - modern drives have much better areal density than older ones, so a 5400 can often be faster than an older 7200 speed drive, and crucially 5400 drives run cooler, quieter and consume less power (admittedly that last one is less relevant to iMac users).

Until we actually get some performance figures, writing it off as "zomg I can't believe it, what were Apple thinking?!" is premature.
A drive burned out in my 2009 mac mini, replaced it with a 5400rpm scorpio blue. The blackmagic disk test was clocking as high 100. The 7200rpm in my 2009 i7 iMac tests only 107 or so. So most people are simply ignorant of the technology.
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Old Nov 9, 2012, 09:23 PM   #7
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I wouldn't do this myself, but if you're comfortable taking a part your own computer, your can install your own SSD and make it a Fusion drive.
I would not recommend this until I saw it done successfully, several times, on the yet to released iMacs.
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Old Nov 9, 2012, 11:19 PM   #8
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It's really difficutl currently to calculate anything properly as the BTO prices are still not announced (common Apple, just put them online finally).

I am planning on getting the new iMac too, though I will be going for the top range 27"/ i7/ 8GB RAM (will upgrade myseld later to 32GB)/ 2GB graphics card/ and the Fusion Drive as well.

With the Fusion Drive I am not sure about the price difference between the 1TB & 3TB version, if it is not too much between the two I might go for the 3TB.

I have saved long time to get this iMac and my finance manager (wife) approved already, though she doesn't yet how much the upgrades will be (me neither).


For the time being I am going to get the 13" MBA with 128Gb SSD and 8GB RAM and the iMac will come only sometime around summer next year. I want to wait for any possible problems to be fixed over the first few months when the new iMac is out, software updates and possible problems with the Fusion Drive technology.

Hope you can get a good deal on your iMac, but I think you should try to get some more money together and get the upgraded iMac with Fusion Drive, the speed tests show really good results!
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Old Nov 10, 2012, 05:07 AM   #9
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I would like to see benchmarks with and without the Fusion drive, but it will be a while before that happens on new iMacs. I suspect the pre orders will be big (I'm in UK), and so want to purchase straight away.

All I can go off now is the Mac Mini benchmarks, with/without fusion as these will give indication? They seem to be what Apple says as well.

But then for what I do, general surfing, computer use, iLife, iTunes, office etc, is ti really worth it?
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Old Nov 10, 2012, 05:19 AM   #10
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A drive burned out in my 2009 mac mini, replaced it with a 5400rpm scorpio blue. The blackmagic disk test was clocking as high 100. The 7200rpm in my 2009 i7 iMac tests only 107 or so. So most people are simply ignorant of the technology.
Thats why you compare to current generation technology. You are just talking about leveraging gains in technology to run in place, foregoing any meaningful improvements. It also assumes that those 7200rpm drives were fast enough. If this was the case. ssds would not be this popular.
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Old Nov 10, 2012, 07:50 AM   #11
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So if I'm going to do the above... how about this to throw in the mix

If I want the fusion on a 21.5" then with HE 1279
27" base, no fusion 1318...

now what would I do?
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Old Nov 10, 2012, 07:56 AM   #12
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Your satisfaction seems to focus around this fusion drive. Maybe you won't be completely happy unless you get it. Maybe wait a couple months, save up a bit more and shell out for it. Thank about the performance you want a few years down the road.

I'm also loathe to fork out for the fusion drive, but I'm definitely going to do it. SSDs (and this fusion drive) do make a significant difference is a lot of actions many of us moderate to heavy users perform regularly.
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Old Nov 10, 2012, 09:32 AM   #13
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Thats why you compare to current generation technology. You are just talking about leveraging gains in technology to run in place, foregoing any meaningful improvements. It also assumes that those 7200rpm drives were fast enough. If this was the case. ssds would not be this popular.
No, i'm talking about direct comparison between 5400 and 7200rm drives. Like i said most don't even understand the technology of mechanical drives. The 7200 rpm drive in my iMac is a new one replaced under applecare. And its prformance is about the same as the original drive.

The point is mechanical drives of today aren't much different than 3years ago. Their performance is based more on the size/performance of the memory cache on the drive than the rpm. In its current form, mechanical drives have peaked.

That IS why SSDs are gaining popularity, it requires a different technology than mechanical drives to break the speed barriers to provide improvement on a significant scale.

Hence the concerns over 5400 vs 7200 in the base iMac is pretty moot. You're talking fractions of performane difference. Whereas SSD provides whole factors of improvement. If folks want to piss and moan about something meaningful, its that apple could have distinguished their machines by making fusion part of the base architecture.
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Old Nov 10, 2012, 09:41 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by MrMister111 View Post
So if I'm going to do the above... how about this to throw in the mix

If I want the fusion on a 21.5" then with HE 1279
27" base, no fusion 1318...

now what would I do?
Be thankful you can get a discount. For most of us, we have to pay 160+ more than you!
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Old Nov 10, 2012, 10:09 AM   #15
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So if I'm going to do the above... how about this to throw in the mix

If I want the fusion on a 21.5" then with HE 1279
27" base, no fusion 1318...

now what would I do?
I had the same dilemma. I'm going for the 27" base, no fusion 1318.
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Old Nov 10, 2012, 10:37 AM   #16
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No, i'm talking about direct comparison between 5400 and 7200rm drives. Like i said most don't even understand the technology of mechanical drives. The 7200 rpm drive in my iMac is a new one replaced under applecare. And its prformance is about the same as the original drive.

The point is mechanical drives of today aren't much different than 3years ago. Their performance is based more on the size/performance of the memory cache on the drive than the rpm. In its current form, mechanical drives have peaked.

That IS why SSDs are gaining popularity, it requires a different technology than mechanical drives to break the speed barriers to provide improvement on a significant scale.

Hence the concerns over 5400 vs 7200 in the base iMac is pretty moot. You're talking fractions of performane difference. Whereas SSD provides whole factors of improvement. If folks want to piss and moan about something meaningful, its that apple could have distinguished their machines by making fusion part of the base architecture.
It's not quite as simple as you're suggesting. There are different parameters to performance, and random reads/writes can mean a lot in terms of responsiveness. If you're comparing similar sizes, the 7200 drives would be faster, especially on small random reads/writes, and those are a big factor in overall system responsiveness. I agree with you on the fusion drive. I would've liked to see that as a baseline option rather than cto. One thing is I don't know how much the new display process added to manufacturing costs. Other displays using similar panels to those used in the imac have dropped off in price to a degree across all display manufacturers (even NEC and Eizo), so I would guess that Apple's costs dropped somewhat there. I just don't know how much the lamination process added to their costs. It could have eclipsed other offsets. I expect this will become a baseline option, but right now it's somewhat expensive for a cto option. If they felt it would be possible to go to 100% ssds across their line next year, this probably wouldn't have made it to market.


Quote:
Originally Posted by forty2j View Post
I wouldn't do this myself, but if you're comfortable taking a part your own computer, your can install your own SSD and make it a Fusion drive.

If not... remember Macs hold their resale value extremely well. You'll need to make a little more initial investment to get what you want but you should get a lot of it back a few years down the road when it's time to upgrade.
It varies. I've pointed it out before, but Apple has become somewhat more aggressive in refurbished pricing than they were in past years. That along with performance gains on low end machines tends to kill residual value on a lot of the higher priced machines. Betting on residual value also ignores the potential for long term issues with the machine which could significantly offset its desirability. I personally suggest people forget about resale value and buy something they can afford that fits their needs. Otherwise the mental gymnastics take over for many people as they calculate potential losses if sold within a year, two years, etc.
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Last edited by thekev; Nov 10, 2012 at 10:43 AM.
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Old Nov 10, 2012, 11:04 AM   #17
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It's not quite as simple as you're suggesting. There are different parameters to performance, and random reads/writes can mean a lot in terms of responsiveness. If you're comparing similar sizes, the 7200 drives would be faster, especially on small random reads/writes, and those are a big factor in overall system responsiveness.
That's exactly what I mean wrt mechanical drives, a 2.5 inch/5400rpm can generate similar read/write performance as a 3.5 inch/7200rpm drive. Physical size of the platters, number of platters the data spans and the distance the drive head has to move between random sectors all play a factor in random read/write responsiveness.

Therefore, other than storage capacity options, there's little cause for concern that apple is using 2.5in/5400rpm drives from aperformance standpoint. A 5400 2.5in drive can produce similar overall performance as a 7200rpm 3.5in. Unless they simply chose really shiddee drives. Which i doubt.

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Old Nov 10, 2012, 11:30 AM   #18
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That's exactly what I mean wrt mechanical drives, a 2.5 inch/5400rpm can generate similar read/write performance as a 3.5 inch/7200rpm drive. Physical size of the platters, number of platters the data spans and the distance the drive head has to move between random sectors all play a factor in random read/write responsiveness.

Therefore, other than storage capacity options, there's little cause for concern that apple is using 2.5in/5400rpm drives from aperformance standpoint. A 5400 2.5in drive can produce similar overall performance as a 7200rpm 3.5in. Unless they simply chose rally *****tee drives. Which i doubt.
Perhaps I haven't kept a good enough eye on drives recently. I've noted a huge difference over a few years ago. I already knew all of what you stated there. I just haven't experienced equivalent performance between the two. The boot drive on the machine I'm typing on right now is a 512GB ssd. I moved to one a while ago as soon as that size was somewhat worth it.
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Old Nov 10, 2012, 12:46 PM   #19
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Looking at getting the new iMac. The 21.5" one. I would love to spend more than I am, but its already expensive at nearly a 1000, I will use the HE discount also.
Hate to break it to you but the base model will be 1,099, and 1,033.20 on a student discount.

Yes, they increased the price, no they didn't need to.

Unless I'm reading it wrong?

The old iMacs, which are still in store (Saw them last week), are something like 60 cheaper than they used to be, so about 940.
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Old Nov 11, 2012, 02:39 PM   #20
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Hate to break it to you but the base model will be 1,099, and 1,033.20 on a student discount.

Yes, they increased the price, no they didn't need to.

Unless I'm reading it wrong?

The old iMacs, which are still in store (Saw them last week), are something like 60 cheaper than they used to be, so about 940.
Not on a HE discount, theres a thread on here with all the prices.

base 21.5 is 967.20, high end 21.5 is 1099.20
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Old Nov 11, 2012, 02:56 PM   #21
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Not on a HE discount, theres a thread on here with all the prices.

base 21.5 is 967.20, high end 21.5 is 1099.20
The website disagrees, the lowest model being listed at 1,099



With the student discount it's 1,033.20



Where did you see those prices? I wish they were that low.
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Old Nov 11, 2012, 03:56 PM   #22
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Not on a HE discount, theres a thread on here with all the prices.

base 21.5 is 967.20, high end 21.5 is 1099.20
Never mind. I was clicking the further education button, I need to be on my campus to see the higher education.

My problem! Sorry!
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Old Nov 12, 2012, 03:44 AM   #23
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Yes as I say the prices I quote are for HE. If you Google you can find direct links to see the prices from anywhere btw
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Old Nov 12, 2012, 07:56 AM   #24
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Yes as I say the prices I quote are for HE. If you Google you can find direct links to see the prices from anywhere btw
I just checked on my campus.

Yeah, I was wrong, they are cheaper than I stated.

That's a huge relief!
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Old Nov 12, 2012, 07:59 AM   #25
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Google Apple Uni Discount to find a way to access your Universitys discount page without being at Campus, its what I do.
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