2012 21.5 iMac. How bad is the HDD for real?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by gdourado, Dec 29, 2012.

  1. macrumors 6502


    Apr 22, 2010

    So I have been reading some reviews of the 2012 21.5 iMac.
    All the reviews say the screen is really good, the CPU has enough power and the build quality and design is great.
    I know the base model does not have the best and fastest GPU and CPU out there, but I don't think they compromise the product.

    What puts me off from reading the reviews is the hdd.
    The 21.5 comes with a 5400 rpm drive as opposed to the 7200 rpm drive on the 27 model.

    Also, the fact that the 2012 iMac is even more difficult to open and swap the hdd makes me wonder.

    The reviews I read say the performance of the hard drive is the weakest link on the iMac and that it hurts the user experience.

    What I am wondering is how bad the hdd really is in a real world usage scenario.
    For general web browsing, iWork, iPhoto, iTunes media library management, does the hdd really hurts the performance that much for the general user to notice?

    I mean general user, because if you are a designer or photographer or video editor, you will probably be picking a high end 27 inch model anyway...

    So, your thoughts and experience on this?

  2. macrumors member

    Mar 19, 2009
    just pick the fusion option, u wont feel any different (for the 5400rpm)
  3. macrumors 68000


    Jul 19, 2002
    On my 2012 2.9ghz i5 iMac I'm getting BlackMagic scores of right around 100MB/s Read and Write. On the 1TB 2011 2.8ghz i7 iMac I was getting scores around 130MB/s Read and Write.

    As far as real world I don't really notice much of a difference probably because both seem slow at many things to me vs. my other macs (some much slower CPU's) that have SSD drives.

    I'm really disappointed that Apple doesn't offer JUST a SSD option. To get a decent performing drive you need to go with a model with a Fusion drive which starts at $1749. Some people don't need a ton of storage and just want a fast and/or quiet drive option.
  4. macrumors G3

    Apple fanboy

    Feb 21, 2012
    Hill Valley, California
    This. Or get a thunderbolt external. Personally I went for the 1TB Fusion drive.
  5. macrumors regular

    Oct 14, 2007
    It quite slow. Equal to my 2007 iMac with 7200rpm in terms of general responsiveness
    Quite disappointing. I really really suggest you visit the Apple Store to play with it
  6. macrumors regular

    Dec 22, 2012
    I agree

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