27" 2019 iMac, replacing 2011 15" MBP

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by mantler, Apr 19, 2019.


CTO 256GB SSD or save the money and keep the 1TB fusion HD

  1. Spend the extra €120 on the much smaller but faster SSD

    5 vote(s)
  2. Get the factory 1TB Fusion HD and save the money for an external SSD or future internal upgrade

    0 vote(s)
  3. Get the 512GB SSD and don't bother with Applecare+

    4 vote(s)
  1. mantler macrumors newbie


    Dec 4, 2017
    Well, my poor 15" MBP (Early 2011) finally stopped working. Black screen, no chime. For the last year it had been running quite flawlessly with the discrete GPU disabled via the EFI fix, but now after several days of troubleshooting, trying to reset SMC and pulling components, I can only assume that the logic board has finally crapped out.

    Just want to bounce my ideas around and get a bit of a sanity check before I make the leap to a new machine.

    I bought this MBP when I was living in the US, right before I moved to Spain. Mostly I wanted it for general use and internet, possibly video editing and light gaming, etc. Before that I had a 27" iMac that I loved, but for obvious reasons I had to sell it and get something that I could take with me abroad. Since then I've settled down here for the long term in Spain, and I've taken the MBP with me back to the US a few times on my trips back. It's been nice to have sometimes, but the last couple trips I decided the extra weight wasn't worth it and that I'm happy enough with my latest model iPhone for most things.

    I'm thinking about getting a new 2019 iMac, the low end 27", since that's about all I can afford and I don't really like any of Apple's laptop offerings (they're expensive over here in Europe, not to mention they just don't seem that great of a value compared with what I bought 8 years ago!) My MBP rarely goes anywhere other than from my living room table to the kitchen table, so I could live with my next computer having a more permanent spot in the house. My MBP had a decent 10GB of RAM and I upgraded it to a 1TB hybrid drive a few years ago, which made it seem like a whole new machine after a few years with the regular 500GB stock drive. I didn't do an SSD because they were too expensive at the time for the capacity that I needed. At this point the 1TB hybrid drive is a little over half full. I've had some slowdowns from time to time but honestly I've been incredibly happy with the performance of my 2011 machine so many years later, it's been pulling its weight pretty well despite having to use only the integrated graphics chip.

    I've read through these forums a bit about SSD vs. Fusion drives but I'm still not convinced that the small SSDs are worthwhile. If I CTO from the 1TB fusion drive to the 256GB SSD, am I gambling on the side of too little capacity? I have the 1TB hybrid from my laptop that I can put in an external case, and a few 1-2TB external drives (not SSD) that I could offload photos, music etc. to, and a large enough Time Capsule drive for backups. I would love to get the 512GB SSD CTO option, but honestly I'd rather spend that money on the AppleCare+ (I have two juvenile cats and envision nightmare scenarios of them knocking it over the day after I get it!)

    I think that's pretty much it. Any thoughts/recommendations would be appreciated!
  2. mroy16 macrumors regular

    May 28, 2017
    I would recommend the SSD and AppleCare. As you said, you can use an external enclosure to keep your current laptop's drive, and it's really easy to just leave external storage connected to a desktop at all times. You can certainly get by without the SSD, but it's such a nice quality of life improvement.
  3. kakinc macrumors member

    Jun 16, 2018
    For todays Mac, SSD is almost a must have. The performance difference is too great to be ignored.

    I would recommend using an USB-C external Drive for the extra capacity.
    (Just in case you decide to get a MacBook in the future.)
    (Consider my seagate external HDD just died out of the blue, I would also recommend switching to external SSD whenever possible.)

    I say just pick the lowest configuration iMac, and change only the storage to whatever SSD you can afford.
  4. mantler thread starter macrumors newbie


    Dec 4, 2017
    Thanks amigos. It looks like SSD is the way to go! I have a couple large USB 2 external drives and a 2.5" external USB 3 drive that I think would keep me covered, plus my time capsule backup. So even if any one drive failed, I would have redundancy on some other drive.
    I may go back to portable someday if I really need the mobility, but only if Apple starts making them attractively priced/featured again.
    I'm still on the fence about whether I should get the Applecare+ or a bigger drive. In the US it makes a lot of sense because you get the extra two years of hardware coverage, here two years are required by law to be standard with new electronics, so I'd really only get the extra year of coverage. Then again, as I said... I have 2 rambunctious cats.
  5. PlayUltimate macrumors regular


    Jul 29, 2016
    Boulder, CO
    I own a 2017 27" iMac. Paid for the 256SSD. Use externals for the big file categories (iTunes, Photos). Everything seems to work fine. On the 27", you can self-install RAM so do not by it from Apple. Apple care is a tough call since it would only give you one extra year. With you having two rambunctious cats, I personally think it might be worth it due to the accidental damage coverage (ie. non warranty.)
  6. ignatius345, Apr 22, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2019

    ignatius345 macrumors 68020

    Aug 20, 2015
    Be aware that the 1TB Fusion Drives have a very very sad 32 GB flash portion. If you do want to go Fusion, at least the get the 2TB version which has a 128 GB SSD and can hold more of your actively-used files over on the SSD. Here are the details from Apple's site:

    Screen Shot 2019-04-23 at 2.16.14 AM.png
  7. mantler thread starter macrumors newbie


    Dec 4, 2017
    Yeah, at this point the 256 SSD makes sense since it’s a desktop and I have plenty of available external storage for my lesser-used files. I never CTO RAM if it’s user-upgradable, Apple usually charges exorbitantly and I can hold out until RAM prices drop a bit. And at some point if I do want to upgrade the internal SSD (when the warranty ends) I don’t think I’ll feel too daunted, I was an Apple tech for some years and it wouldn’t be my first rodeo. :D

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6 April 19, 2019