2 TB hard drive vs. 1 TB & SSD

Discussion in 'iMac' started by cyclones301, Jun 1, 2011.

  1. cyclones301 macrumors newbie

    May 31, 2011
    So I'm in the process of pricing out a new iMac now that they have just been refreshed. My family current has 3 Macs (old white iMac, 13" Macbook, and a Mac Mini) that we have probably unwisely spread the 3 years of pictures and movies. I'd like to consolidate all our pictures, videos, and iTunes library to one computer. Which brings me to the dilemma on what to put in a new iMac.

    I'd like to get one with lots of storage, so I don't have to worry about running out of space in the next year or two with all the pictures and video we have been taking of our kids. Is it worth getting the 1 TB hard drive & SSD that Apple sells or should I just get the 2 TB hard drive? It's about $400 bucks to include an SSD. Is it worth it?

    I'll probably play video games on the iMac and maybe try my hand at some video editing, etc. But I'm not going to be using it for any really professional.

    Thanks for the advice.
  2. Spike88, Jun 1, 2011
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2011

    Spike88 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 25, 2010
    Based on HDD vs SDD "time access" comparisons on U-Tube, I see the SSD remove 1/3 to 1/2 time delays for disk i/o tasks. For example, loading a large program takes 10 seconds but with SSD, that same program loads in 5 to 7 seconds. Great if one is into intense gaming and one needs super fast disk access. Thus, only you can decide if waiting 30% longer for huge programs to load is ok (compared to SSD high purchase price). I do know that SSD prices are coming down fast. Perhaps NO SSD this year but in 1-2 years, 500 GB SSD or even 750 GB SSD will be available - at affordable prices? re: Nice Christmas or birthday present from someone....

    For U-Tube clip, surf: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pJMGAdpCLVg

    2 TB internal drive is good. My iMac has internal 1 TB drive and its only 30% full. Since it's a PITA to install larger internal HDDs inside the iMac, getting larger 2 TB drive at initial buy is a good thing. Especially if you plan to keep your iMac for many years.

    As a suggestion, get NO internal SSD during its initial purchase (since gaming or fast disk IOs isn't your top priority). As minimum, get the larger internal 2 TB drive. From dollars saved from NO SSD, re-route the saved dollars on external 2 TB SSD via FW800 instead. Thus, having external backup using included Time Machine feature. If family pictures / movies are pricesless, spending dollars on external HDD is well worth it.

    Hope this helps in your research....
  3. Badger^2 macrumors 68000


    Oct 29, 2009
    You could easily just add a 3TB USB 2 drive to any iMac -- they run about $120 -- and store all of your photos, movies and music on it.

    Im not sure what part of the world you are in -- but a 27" 3.1 i5 is $1865 (no tax to many states) from macconnection. Add that 3TB external (for a total of 4 gigs!!?!) for under $2000.

    thats a lot of savings over ordering the same 27" from Apple ($1999 + tax) and then another $150 for a 2TB internal. So near $2300 for the same thing with only 2TB of space.

    You didnt mention what size -- but 21" savings are the same

  4. Stan Mikulenka macrumors 6502

    Nov 20, 2009
    Calgary, Canada
    Hi Spike,
    "re-route the saved dollars on external 2 TB SSD via FW800 instead"
    And how do you expect to pay for that SSD?
    Here are prices for 1TB SSDs from newegg:

    Attached Files:

  5. bpeeps macrumors 68020


    May 6, 2011
  6. Cyberskier macrumors newbie

    May 9, 2011
    For what it's worth, I will never buy another computer that doesn't have an SSD, after using my Air. Knowing the difference it makes is the only thing that makes waiting for my iMac tolerable.
  7. Spike88 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 25, 2010
    Instead of paying for Apple Store 256MB SSD (which sells for $400ish in my region), spend this saved money on an external 1 TB - FW800 (for backup drive) instead. Or, buy an external 2TB or 3TB. Don't think I mentioned 1TB "SSD".

  8. nyukfui macrumors member

    May 10, 2011
    My advise is:
    Don't put all eggs in one basket

    Chances of a HDD to get failure is common. 1TB or 2TB are actually same for me. I rather backup the photo, video and important files in network NAS or external USB / firewire HDD, while just keep the working files in desktop for faster processing.

    So I would opt for SSD + 1TB. If you are using the latest iMac, Intel's latest Smart Response Technology is actually pretty cool. It helps you for ssd caching and hence improve the performance of your 1TB HDD.
  9. johnfkitchen macrumors regular

    Sep 7, 2010
    If you are looking for high performance, go for the SSD.

    And you should also go for the 2TB drive, even if you don't need the capacity, since accesses will be faster on the 2TB drive than the 1TB drive giving you faster accesses to data on both drives.
  10. Panch0 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 23, 2010
    Once you've had an SSD, there is really no going back.

    If I were buying an iMac today, I would definitely order the SSD preinstalled, even though Apple's prices are high. I would probably also get the 1TB HDD built in, but that's less important. For bulk storage, like pictures and media, an external Firewire 800 (or Thunderbolt when then become available) drive is easy to connect and performs fine, especially a RAID enclosure.

    I would be ordering the preinstalled SSD because I have no interest in ever cracking open an iMac to upgrade it myself. YMMV...
  11. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    I own a new 2011 iMac with 1TB HDD and a MBP with Vertex 2 SSD. I must say that the Clack Caviar HDD in my iMac "feels" almost as fast as the Vertex 2 for the tasks I do (mainly programming, statistical simulations and TeXing). The only thing I notice is that games load slightly slower, which does not inconvenience me a bit.

    The SSDs have two large benefits - very good random access times and high read/write speeds. The first one is useful if you use multiple applications which access lots of data simultaneously (for instance servers) and the second one is useful if you copy huge files all the time. I doubt that a normal user does either of that.

    So in the end, the HDD vs SSD debate comes down to the question of computer responsibility. I got the SSD for my MBP because I had the feeling that the computer wasn"t as responsive as I wished (applications taking long time to open etc.). The Vertex 2 solved all these problems. But I can"t say that it really improved my productivity. Now, the iMac - even with the HDD feels as snappy as my MBP has ever been, so I see no point of getting an SSD for it right now.

    Bottom-line: I do not believe that SSD is worth the price tag right now, except if you run software which benefits alot from it. I think photoshop (with large pictures) is a bit faster with a SSD. Professional video editing would be another candidate.
  12. nyukfui macrumors member

    May 10, 2011
    You need to add $150 to upgrade new imac from 1TB to 2TB. A 2TB USB drive cost about $110. So choose the 1TB and buy an external 2TB HDD will save you couple of tens dollars. End up with cheaper cost and more space 3TB vs 2TB :)
  13. TheUndertow macrumors 6502

    Feb 20, 2011
    I guess the decision is speed versus storage.

    IMO, storage can be added (when needed) easier than an SSD.

    While I love the idea of an SSD, I'm not sure it's as much of a "no brainer" on the iMac though as it's not a mobile device.

    Also I want to see if Apple is going SATA III with their iMac SSDs, or sticking SATA II as I believe has been reported or speculated.

    They are still charging a high premium for the SSD which is "fine" is they're putting the latest/greatest in there, which I'm not sure that they're doing.

    SSDs will be coming down in price significantly as well...it feels like the decision on the 2011 Mac SSDs could be one you regret from a value perspective in short order.
  14. Stan Mikulenka macrumors 6502

    Nov 20, 2009
    Calgary, Canada
    Hi Spike, again,
    you should've checked YOUR post before answering - it's the quote from that...
  15. Mr Rogers macrumors regular

    Oct 24, 2003
    Hong Kong
    Upgrade HDD and SSD later

    For what its worth, having looked at the options, I'd recommend sticking with the 1T HDD for now and upgrade to a 3T a little latter when prices have dropped a little further - obviously, your own HDD is not covered by Apple Warranty, same applies to SSD.

    Our Apple repair centre will upgrade HDD and SSD for less than US$25 - saves doing it yourself and maybe voiding warranty.

    If you know a cheap Apple Repair centre that does upgrades, utilise it, if not, it means doing it yourself - at least removing the LCD cover is easy - or paying Apple large sums for goods that will drop in price greatly before the year end.
  16. sn0wman72 macrumors member

    Apr 7, 2010
    I wonder about the apparent resistance to purchasing an iMac with an Apple installed SSD

    Apple charges $500 for a 256GB SSD

    To have OWC add a 240GB SSD is $709 plus shipping both ways

    The cheapest 256GB SSD at Newegg is $439 ($399 for 240GB).

    To me it seems that the best value is the Apple factory install SSD...yes you could save a bit installing one yourself. But the complexity seems pretty high to save $70.

    I guess the bigger question is do you want/need a SSD. I know I like the SSD (Apple original) in my MBP, I suppose it is faster but what I like most is that it is silent, and not a heat generator...those are the two reasons I would choose one for an iMac
  17. Icaras macrumors 603


    Mar 18, 2008
    California, United States
    Agreed. Just pay for it and be done with it I say. Compared to aftermarket 256GB SSDs, Apple's pricing also doesn't seem as absurd as one might think. Definitely not as ridiculous as their RAM pricing.
  18. thisisanacc macrumors newbie

    Jun 4, 2011
    Yes I do think that the SSD price is not that ridiculous.
    What about the RAMs? How much more Apple is charging than on the market for 8G RAMs?
  19. Icy1007 macrumors 65816


    Feb 26, 2011
    Cleveland, OH
    Wirelessly posted (iPhone 4: Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_3_3 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8J2 Safari/6533.18.5)

    SSDs are WAY too expensive ATM. I don't care how much faster they are compared to a normal HDD, its not worth it to spend 5x the price for 1/4 the space. When I can pick up a 1TB SSD for $100 instead of the $4000 it costs today, I will get an SSD.
  20. bniu macrumors 6502a

    Mar 21, 2010
    i actually went back to a HDD. For me, capacity is king and the pathetic storage of an SSD just doesn't cut it for me. Maybe I'll look at a Hybrid HDD in a year or so.

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