250MB or 500GB

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by dalvin200, Mar 27, 2006.

  1. dalvin200 macrumors 68040

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    Mar 24, 2006
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    Nottingham, UK
    #1
    Hi,

    I'm soon going to be purchasing the 20" Intel iMac, with 2GB RAM and 256MB Graphics.. I'm not sure whether to go for the large HDD or the standard one.

    I'm only thinking for future use as digital media takes over (my itunes library is nearing 40GB and I do video editing and my photo collection is around 2GB), so would it make sense for the 500MB HDD?

    Thanks in advance
     
  2. jeremy.king macrumors 603

    jeremy.king

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    Jul 23, 2002
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    Fuquay Varina, NC
    #2
    Well - seems you got your megabytes and gigabytes all mixed up :)

    Anyways, buy what you can afford. Adding an external later on isn't a bad idea if you only get the 250GB...
     
  3. joshysquashy macrumors 6502a

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    May 13, 2005
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    UK
    #3
    250 is loads anyway, i bought my ibook in sept and got the largest hd - 80gb.
     
  4. edesignuk Moderator emeritus

    edesignuk

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    Location:
    London, England
    #4
    It's always worth considering how you will backup any data you have too. You don't want to be loosing all your photos and music in the event of a drive failure. Your money might be better spent now on an external 250GB drive to backup the internal 250GB to.
     
  5. topgunn macrumors 65816

    topgunn

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    Nov 5, 2004
    Location:
    Texas
    #5
    How much space are you using currently? I have a large photo library (4GB), mucho home movies (60GB) and a smallish iTunes library (10GB) and with everything else on my machine, I havent used up half of my 250GB drive.
     
  6. plinkoman macrumors 65816

    plinkoman

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    Location:
    New York
    #6
    if you have the money, i'd go for the biggest drive available. you might think 250 is plenty, but there seems to be this unwritten rule that no hard drive space can remain unused.

    i have .96TB between all my hard drives, and i still find ways to fill tons of it. :eek: :p
     
  7. student_trap macrumors 68000

    student_trap

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    Mar 14, 2005
    Location:
    'Ol Smokey, UK
    #7
    if you can afford the larger drive, get it. As plinkoman says, hard drive space is eventually filled no matter how large your drive is, and also, the beauty of the imac is that its an all in one computing solution, I think that having an external HD connected would look a little wrong.
     
  8. dalvin200 thread starter macrumors 68040

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    Mar 24, 2006
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    Nottingham, UK
    #8
    I currently am using about 60GB of 320GB (2x 120GB drives) on my current winblows PC.. altho I have just deleted about 30GG worth of movies (ripped DVD's and home movies)

    I do backup my iTunes libraray everu now and again.. I currently have about 10 DVD-R's full, and probably will add one more in a few days time. (i'm hoping to use these DVD's to transfer my Itunes collection over to the iMac too)

    On windows, the OS takes up a fair bit of space, but how much does OS X take up? I mean, how much "real" space do you have left on a 250GB machine?

    The only pain with adding external is that it does detract from the beauty of the iMac.. I guess there are no spare drive slots to add a drive inside like you can on a desktop then.. as everything else is pretty much crammed into it :)

    Does having a larger drive slow the system down in any way?

    Thanks
     
  9. Artful Dodger macrumors 68020

    Artful Dodger

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    #9
    Hi, on my new Intel iMac I have the 250GB HDD and the space that was left was 230GB after I did a custom install of OSX. I don't use GB or need any language other than english so that trimmed down the install space for me as well. Also I only installed Canon drivers and tossed the rest as this is a way to fine tune what you need/want on your HDD.
    So after that I hope that helped answer your Q about space on the drive ;)

    Also I'd do what edesignuk said about an external drive as it's not good to keep all your eggs in one spot if you know what I mean ;)
     
  10. dalvin200 thread starter macrumors 68040

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    #10
    and what if that [external] drive fails? :p

    which is why i backup on dvd (a lesser fail rate than hdd :p )
     
  11. OutThere macrumors 603

    OutThere

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2002
    Location:
    NYC
    #11
    Then you're internal drive should still be working, right? The probability of both failing at once is miniscule, unless, of course, your house burns down or floods or something like that.


    DVD's aren't really an option for big hard drive backups...for example:

    I have 15gb of music, 25gb of photos and each of my video projects often exceeds 100gb...with a total of 700gb of old video projects stored on hard drives. That would take quite a few DVDs now wouldn't it. :p
     
  12. FoxyKaye macrumors 68000

    FoxyKaye

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    #12
    Ditto on going for the largest HDD you can afford, especially if you're maxing out the system in other areas. I purchased the largest I could for my iMac last year (400GB) and have already filled more than half of it. Video, music, photos, etc. can really add up.

    However, if you're doing more than simply playing these things - if you plan to do video, graphics and sound manipulation and rendering, it might be worth it to go with the smaller drive and get an external HDD. The reason being that processing sound, images and video on the same HDD on which they're stored causes a lot of drive use, and can burn out a single HDD sooner when added to everyday use. A lot of folks set a rendering drive as an external (or additional internal) drive in the preferences of their applications to alleviate some of this burden on their boot drive.

    Any way you go, though, I'm sure you'll be happy...
     
  13. alexstein macrumors 6502a

    alexstein

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2004
    #13
    I would go for the biggest HDD you can afford right now and start saving for a nice sized External HDD.

    You thing that 250GB is alot but you can never have enough HDD space. It magically disappears.
     
  14. Artful Dodger macrumors 68020

    Artful Dodger

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    #14
    Well, if the external fails you have the internal one. If you only have let's say the 500GB HDD and that fails :eek: So both, 250GB int. and 250GB ext. would be a way to lessen the chance of total loss. The dvd method is fine just don't get it scratched or lose it. Not to mention I've had some dvds that end up bad, even with good media than my HDD saying error burn failed and all those good things that go along with burning to dvd.

    Now the way I backup is: my 250GB HDD, along with 2 DVD copies of stuff, one copy stays at the bank (incase my home burns down) and on an iBook as well.

    But the OP was questioning getting the 500GB or 250GB HDD and another 250GB HDD. For his case 2x250 would be better than 1x500 :)
     
  15. eRondeau macrumors 6502a

    eRondeau

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    Canada's South Coast
    #15
    Size = Options...

    I'm on the verge of buying the same system as you are, and I've been thinking about this too. I'll probably go 500GB, because Size = Options. For example my iTunes library is currently 25GB, virtually all ripped at 128k AAC from CD's I own. But I would love to re-rip them at 256k AAC (50GB) or even ALE (100GB) for archiving purposes. My iBook has about 25GB of other stuff besides music on it, so add it to the now-100GB ALE iTunes library and we're at 125GB. Now, I like the idea of the iMac remote control, so of course I'd want to rip my entire Seinfeld and Star Wars DVD collection onto the drive, so there goes another 100GB pretty fast, and now all of a sudden the 250GB drive is 90% full. Heaven forbid I want to buy some Garageband JamPacks... no room left! So you get the point; a fundamental rule of computers is that content will always expand to fit the available storage space. It was true with 170K floppies twenty years ago and it will be true with 100TB drives twenty years from now. So the rule of thumb, always get the most storage space you can afford. You'll still run out of room, just not as quickly.
     
  16. MRU macrumors demi-god

    MRU

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    Ireland
    #16
    I decided the €300 was not worth the difference between 250-500.

    I can buy 2 external 250gb firewire HD's for the same €300. 1 you could keep a permanent backup of your main system drive, the other for audio or video editing captures....
     
  17. Caitlyn macrumors 6502a

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    Jun 30, 2005
    #17
    Well, a rule of thumb I share is that if you are a media junkie (lots of music and photos) get the largest HD available. But I mean, sometimes you can't follow that because BTO options can be expensive. If you can afford 500GB get it. The machine will only be that much better. But if you can't 250GB will set you up for quite some time until you get buy an external HD. :)
     
  18. runninmac macrumors 65816

    runninmac

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    Jan 20, 2005
    Location:
    Rockford MI
    #18
    Oh I could agree more, go for the 500 if you can, i know I will be when I get an iMac around the fall. Its seems with HDD's you always think oh I have lots of space ill download that, then 6 months later you find yourself needed more space.
     
  19. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

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    Location:
    Andover, MA
    #19
    Note that for the US$300 Apple charges for the upgrade to 500GB, you could buy a networked Lacie 300GB disk and have $30 left over, or spend an extra $169 (over the upgrade cost) and have a 500GB networked drive. I say this only because, if the aesthetics of the iMac lead you to want to keep its clean simple lines, a networked drive can be stuck anywhere on your network.

    Obviously, a networked drive is slower than one attached directly, and it's more expensive per GB, but I was just throwing it out as an option.

    As others have said, 500GB is great only if you can back up or otherwise replicate those 500GB. If not? It's just more to lose. As someone who has had hard drives fail unexpectedly, I'd prefer to keep photos, etc., backed up to more than one place.
     
  20. topicolo macrumors 68000

    topicolo

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    Jun 4, 2002
    Location:
    Ottawa, ON
    #20
    I have to disagree with all the advice telling you to buy the largest you can afford and it's only for one reason: falling prices. If you can afford 1TB of storage but it takes you 2 years to fill it, wouldn't it be cheaper to buy 250 or 500gb right now and another 500gb when you need a year down the road when it's considerably cheaper?

    I say you should just get as much as you can AFFORD and just keep adding more drives later as you needs warrant
     
  21. dalvin200 thread starter macrumors 68040

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    Mar 24, 2006
    Location:
    Nottingham, UK
    #21
    thanks for all the advice people.

    does the external drive (not networked) make the:

    1) system slower
    2) reliable when connected (ie, system doesn't lose it's "connection" to the drive

    I guess it should run seamlessly.. just like having a separate drive in the actual machine.

    And what type of external drive is better? FW or USB? or doesn't it matter?

    Thanks
     
  22. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

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    Mar 16, 2004
    Location:
    Andover, MA
    #22
    It makes the system very slightly slower on those occasions that it needs to spin up the second drive (no different than with a second internal drive on other desktops).

    The connection is utterly reliable (never had one drop off). It runs exactly like having a second drive in a machine except the transfer speeds are a bit slower (not too bad, though).

    Firewire is better than USB 2.0 for sustained copying, but USB 2.0 is acceptable.

    If you can afford a 500GB drive and a 500GB external (or even a 250GB external - enough to back up anything "valuable"), great. Otherwise, I'd buy an external and save some $$ over the 500GB upgrade.
     
  23. dalvin200 thread starter macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2006
    Location:
    Nottingham, UK
    #23
    ahh right..

    i guess i'll be going for the 250GB drive then, and think about an external whenever it comes to needing it.. as I backup important things to DVD anyway

    for the price - an extra £220 (=$380), it seems a bit steep for just an extra 250GB.. and like someone said earlier, prices are always falling, so in a years time, I could pick up a smaller (less footprint) drive for much less ;)

    Thanks
     
  24. eXan macrumors 601

    eXan

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    Jan 10, 2005
    Location:
    Russia
    #24
    Personally I would take the 250 and 250 ext.

    But in your case I think single 500 GB is very nice. Forget about drive failure stories and enjoy your iMac!
     

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