iMac 2013 update to have PCI-E SSD flash storage? PCIe

Discussion in 'iMac' started by musio, Jun 14, 2013.

?

will the next iMac update come with PCIe flash storage

  1. Yes

    53 vote(s)
    93.0%
  2. No

    4 vote(s)
    7.0%
  1. macrumors 68000

    musio

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2008
    #1
    Since Apple is going PCIe with the mac range, it looks good for a speed increase for our SSDs! This alone is worth the wait to upgrade. What are your thoughts? Think it will happen?
     
  2. macrumors 601

    sammich

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2006
    Location:
    Sarcasmville.
    #2
    Yes.

    It's a virtual certainty. No discussion.
     
  3. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2012
    Location:
    UK
    #3
    Yes to your question. But, whether it's a reason to wait or not depends on your personal circumstances and requirements.
     
  4. thread starter macrumors 68000

    musio

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2008
    #4
    It's quite an upgrade from the 2012 mac. Personally, i'm waiting :)
     
  5. macrumors 68000

    mentaluproar

    Joined:
    May 25, 2010
    Location:
    Ohio, USA
    #5
    I'll be waiting for that and GPU. Haswell doesn't seem that important for the iMac, but the stuff it brings with it should be nice.
     
  6. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2005
    #6
    I just bought an iMac yesterday :p

    Who knows. I suppose PCI-e is possible.
     
  7. macrumors 68000

    Ddyracer

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2009
    #7
    Think they will have faster reads/writes than the MBA?
     
  8. macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2002
    Location:
    Sol III - Terra
    #8
    I think it will happen. I suspect all Macs (except maybe the cMBP) will switch over to the PCIe SSD when they are updated. Apple gains economy of scale by not using 2 different types of SSDs.

    Probably the same speed.

    For me, the faster SSD and hopefully improved GPU are the important factors as well. And any increase in the processor performance is a plus as well. I wouldn't mind a bigger SSD portion to the fusion drive either.
     
  9. macrumors 68030

    forty2j

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2008
    Location:
    NJ
    #9
    Given the relative chaff (for desktops) Intel is putting out and the weaker 2013 mobile GPU market, standard Fusion drives using PCIe is about the only way they'll be able to claim a marked speed boost over last year's offering on everyday tasks. Yes/No is a little too black & white at this stage in the game.. I went Yes but I think it's like 60/40.
     
  10. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2007
    #10
    Well reduced power consumption will certainly help Apple's 'green' credentials and the associated lower heat dissipatioin will make the machines quieter (fans run less)

    Lower heat dissipation along with no moving drives is especially compelling in reducing noise signature from powered cooling!

    VERY exciting to consider a 800mb/sec+ PCI-E SSD (hopefully at 256gb) powering a fusion setup!
     
  11. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2003
    Location:
    Jamaica
    #11
    Not only PCI e

    But also Thunderbolt 2. I think that is probably what has delayed the update to the Retina Display. Depending on when these features are ready, the next iMac might end up being a late 2013 into 2014 release.
     
  12. macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2002
    Location:
    Sol III - Terra
    #12
    I'm not sure they will delay the iMac for Thunderbolt 2. I think they may want that exclusive to the new Mac Pro for a few months.
     
  13. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2011
    #13
    Pardon my ignorance, though what is the PCI-SSD? Is this just a faster connection for an internal SSD drive? How much of a speed gain does it result in vs. the current SSD technology?

    Thanks.
     
  14. mrmarts, Jun 15, 2013
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2013

    macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2009
    Location:
    Melbourne Australia
    #14
    i do not really care for PCI - E as the cost will be too high, if i intended to hang onto my machine for 5 years maybe but it would cheaper to go fusion and less loss of money when you come to sell. i cannot justify the cost, nor purchasing an iMac for just this or the ac wi fi standard. Sadly its going to be a quiet year for iMac, as the Mac Pro stole the show.

    it would be interesting if they update the thunderbolt ports and bump the nvidia gpu but this is very unlikely i think 2014 will be a better year to buy a new mac based on the discussions on this forum.
     
  15. macrumors 68030

    FreakinEurekan

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2011
    Location:
    Eureka Springs, Arkansas
    #15
    Most SSDs are connected via SATA interface, they just emulate a hard drive. With PCIe SSD, that interface layer is removed and the SSD "talks" directly with the system bus.

    On the 2013 MacBook Air with PCIe SSD, Apple claims "up to 45%" increase in storage speed over the 2012 MBA.

    ----------

    MBA price stayed the same, and SSD capacity doubled (2013 $999 with 128GB vs. 2012 $999 with 64GB)
     
  16. macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2002
    Location:
    Sol III - Terra
    #16
    If Apple does put PCI-E flash in the iMac as a lot of us think is going to happen, the SSD portion of the Fusion drive will be PCI-E and the fusion option won't cost more than it does now. Either it will cost less or the SSD portion of the fusion drive will be larger based on the SSD prices in the Air.
     
  17. macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2009
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #17
    PCIe attached flash is becoming the "new and standard" interface for both consumer and enterprise SSDs. Apple was the first to announce it in consumer products (from what I have seen)... but there will be much more coming... mostly in '14 products. It was really great to see Apple take this first step. Even in my role as an industry "driver" of this technology transition... Apple's announcement surprised me.

    About 2-3 years ago, the SATA-IO industry association chose to not NOT extend SATA beyond SATA-3 (6gb/s). This decision was made because for HDDs... nothing faster than SATA-3 was (or likely ever would be) required because of the mechanical limitations in spinning media. At the same time... it was obvious that SATA-3 was insufficient for the future of Non-Volatile Memory (NVM)... (ex: NAND flash) which is the basis for SSDs. The choice was made to stop development of the SATA physical interface... and instead focus on the transition to PCIe. This is similar in concept to the transition from PATA to SATA several years ago. The organization also worked hard to preserve a smooth and consistent transition to PCIe.

    The next interesting development will be around the protocol layer for driving NVM. Current SATA drives (both HDDs and SSDs) use the Advanced Host Controller Interface (AHCI) which has been around for many years. Most new PCIe SSDs will be moving away from AHCI and over to NVMexpress (NVMe) which will be much more efficient than AHCI. Most SSDs companies have NVMe SSDs in development and have been demonstrating them in prototype form. While most current PCIe SSDs still use AHCI... NVMe SSDs will bring the performance of SSDs up yet another level.

    I am not sure if Apple's new PCIe SSDs are using AHCI or NVMe in their protocol layer.

    For enterprise servers (which currently often use SAS drives instead of SATA drives)... the SCSI Trade Association is also busy working on a new protocol layer for PCIe SSDs... called SCSIexpress. Like NVMe, SCSIexpress will also be much more performant than AHCI... but really optimized for enterprise datacenter applications... much like the SAS drives of today.

    This is all just the tip of the iceberg of the affects that NVM will have on computing. This is one of the most fascinating changing areas of computer architecture... and will change computing significantly going forward.

    /Jim
     
  18. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2009
    Location:
    Melbourne Australia
    #18
    Well that changes everything, i would love to have a ssd in my next iMac but the cost is the main objective, so it would be nice if the fusion drive gets updated to PCI - E.
     
  19. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2012
    Location:
    DC
    #19
    I am curious, how long do you intend to hang on to your mac? I consider 5 years on the low side for a mac and am just now looking at replacing my '07. In reality I could hold out another couple of years but my household budget has me making a computer purchase this year.

    While companies tend to replace their PCs every 2 or 3 years whatever mac I have at home almost never dies (also keeping them for many years after I replace them and they never have died on me). I usually want to upgrade long before something would break (and if it did I would just take it in for repairs). Aside from battery failures once a decade on my Centris I have only had one internal hard drive ever have problems and it was under applecare.

    I long ago learned they were built to last and that was why the high cost. Which is why I try to guess what specs I would want a few years from now rather than my computer needs today.
     
  20. mrmarts, Jun 17, 2013
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2013

    macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2009
    Location:
    Melbourne Australia
    #20
    I understand your argument I have read on these forums some people changing their desktop in less than 2 years. I usually hang onto a machine about 4 years, I recently sold my 09 for the better graphics, ports, storage plus fusion speed, better wi fi etc..

    My philosophy is that I cannot justify spending money on updating a machine when in reality it's already outdated when you take it out of the box the first day. I prefer to hang on to it about 3 to 4 years sell it and use that money to get a new one. Rather than keeping it along time and canning it. As I simply would not have the heart to let a machine go waste.

    Besides I got 1,300 for my 09 imac which seemed a responsible price at the time. I am in no hurry to buy a desktop ATM as I am using a mid 2012 MacBook retina.

    In fact I sold my desktop on the 28th of may and can go till the end of the year or even next year without one.
     
  21. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2012
    Location:
    DC
    #21
    Oh, my old machines do not go to waste. Usually I either use the previous one in another room or at least keep it boxed up as a spare machine. Worst case is I could give it away eventually but I doubt many people would be interested in a 10 year old computer by then (which would have a worth of maybe a hundred dollars at most).
     
  22. macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2002
    Location:
    Sol III - Terra
    #22
    If my iMac fails out of warranty, I would look at replacing it if the repair cost is too high in my opinion. I do buy AppleCare and my current iMac has had repairs done twice. Either the logic board of the display failing (for example) out of warranty would be enough to cause me to replace it as each would be over $500 to replace.

    The other reason to replace my iMac would be if it could no longer meet my needs. I expect this to happen within a year or 2 and the main reason would be that the graphics card in my current iMac can't handle what I want it to.
     
  23. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2009
    Location:
    Melbourne Australia
    #23
    Another 2 years and there will be a retina iMac which will be a good enough reason to change.
     
  24. macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2002
    Location:
    Sol III - Terra
    #24
    All they have to do is increase the resolution of the 27" display to about 2816 x 1584 and it would become a Retina display by definition. And actually for what I use my computer for, I don't care about Retina. Also, if I am ever just watching a movie on my computer, I usually push my chair back away from the iMac and at that distance the iMac display is considered Retina.
     
  25. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2012
    Location:
    DC
    #25
    Actually, I would consider a retina screen a reason NOT to buy an iMac! Applications that are not designed for retina would suddenly have small UI elements. Oh sure, it would be great for apple-written programs but they are not the only company making software.

    With mac minis and mac pros you can add a non-retina screen but you would not have that choice if the iMac line goes all-retina because the screen is so integral to the system. Hopefully if the iMac ever gets retina it will be like the macbook pros and you can still opt for a normal screen.

    Maybe magnifying glasses will be a future BTO option? :)
     

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