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Old Dec 2, 2012, 09:36 PM   #1
UMD
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Another "Which iMac" Question...

but perhaps this one is a little different. Just looking for a little advice here. I was settled on getting a Mac Mini as of a few weeks ago, but the integrated graphics in the new Mini have pretty much driven me away. The next logical choice is an iMac. The thing is, I don't need a monitor as I already have a Dell U2711 which I would like to keep as my primary monitor as it is shared with a windows machine as well. I am basically going to the use the iMac as my main computer and the most compute heavy thing I do is photo editing in Aperture. I work almost exclusively with RAW files > 14MP. So the iMac would simply be used to drive the U2711 and its own display would basically act as a second monitor. I don't intend on gaming on the mac as my windows box already has a GTX680 and is sufficient in that regard.

I see two choices:

I could pick up a refurb 2011 iMac 27' with a 6970M for just under $2k or go with a 2012 iMac 21" with the i7, fusion drive, and 16GB of RAM for a few hundred more. I'd swap in a SSD into the refurb 2011 so that would be an added expense as well while I'd just get the fusion drive for the 2012 iMac. The 2012 27" is a bit too much and I can't justify the 27" monitor as I already have a pretty nice one as it is.

Any thoughts? Thanks!
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Old Dec 3, 2012, 09:47 AM   #2
Chupa Chupa
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Go with the 2012. It has all the modern inputs & also will be easier to sell in a year or two when USB 2 and FW will truly be dinosaurs.

I just got my 21" (stock) yesterday and am doing similar as you. I have a 23" Apple monitor that is my main and the iMac is the secondary monitor. However, I use ext USB 3 drives for everything, not the internal. I don't want to be a Fusion guinea pig, and 5400 laptop drive is just, well, a bag of hurt.
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Old Dec 3, 2012, 09:53 AM   #3
CaptMike
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chupa Chupa View Post
Go with the 2012. It has all the modern inputs & also will be easier to sell in a year or two when USB 2 and FW will truly be dinosaurs.

I just got my 21" (stock) yesterday and am doing similar as you. I have a 23" Apple monitor that is my main and the iMac is the secondary monitor. However, I use ext USB 3 drives for everything, not the internal. I don't want to be a Fusion guinea pig, and 5400 laptop drive is just, well, a bag of hurt.
Pondering the same thought process in the slowness of the 5400 (on the TOL 21.5 w/i7)

But what I want to know is how much faster (blackmagic or other) the fusion drive with it would be
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d0M6pv9qAH4
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Old Dec 3, 2012, 09:53 AM   #4
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if u only want to use it as a second monitor get the 2012 21" i7 with fusion drive and 16 gb
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Old Dec 3, 2012, 09:55 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chupa Chupa View Post
Go with the 2012. It has all the modern inputs & also will be easier to sell in a year or two when USB 2 and FW will truly be dinosaurs.

I just got my 21" (stock) yesterday and am doing similar as you. I have a 23" Apple monitor that is my main and the iMac is the secondary monitor. However, I use ext USB 3 drives for everything, not the internal. I don't want to be a Fusion guinea pig, and 5400 laptop drive is just, well, a bag of hurt.
Do you have OSX on an external?
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Old Dec 3, 2012, 10:20 AM   #6
UMD
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thanks guys...

I think I'm set on getting the loaded 21" iMac... just out of curiosity, is there a big difference in speed between a thunderbolt connected SSD and the internal SSD? Theoretically, the external drive should be just as fast provided that the drive controller is not the bottleneck. Has anyone benchmarked the two setups?
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Old Dec 3, 2012, 10:29 AM   #7
zhandri
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Originally Posted by UMD View Post
thanks guys...

I think I'm set on getting the loaded 21" iMac... just out of curiosity, is there a big difference in speed between a thunderbolt connected SSD and the internal SSD? Theoretically, the external drive should be just as fast provided that the drive controller is not the bottleneck. Has anyone benchmarked the two setups?
i don't have any numbers to prove it but theoretically there shouldn't be a big difference between the 2
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Old Dec 3, 2012, 11:21 AM   #8
Chupa Chupa
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptMike View Post
Pondering the same thought process in the slowness of the 5400 (on the TOL 21.5 w/i7)

But what I want to know is how much faster (blackmagic or other) the fusion drive with it would be
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d0M6pv9qAH4
It will be faster IF you don't have a lot of large files, but I imagine, and one reason why I'm taking a wait & see on Fusion, is that eventually your drive will have more than 128MB worth of files and have to copy stuff back and forth. Seems there will be a bottleneck, but I guess we'll have to see what users report back.

Quote:
Originally Posted by teerexx52 View Post
Do you have OSX on an external?
Yes. Regular 3.5" Seagate Barracuda 2TB in USB 3.0 enclosure. One of the reasons for going this way is if/when the HD fails I can swap out immediately and go on with my business vs having to take the machine in for repair... and wait.
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Old Dec 4, 2012, 01:29 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chupa Chupa View Post
It will be faster IF you don't have a lot of large files, but I imagine, and one reason why I'm taking a wait & see on Fusion, is that eventually your drive will have more than 128MB worth of files and have to copy stuff back and forth. Seems there will be a bottleneck, but I guess we'll have to see what users report back.
I will have large files as I will be photo editing in RAW
Otherwise, I understand what your concern in regards the "bottleneck" issue
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