4GB [2x2GB] and 1TB + SSD = best approach?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Amnesiac1, Oct 12, 2010.

  1. Amnesiac1 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2010
    #1
    Hello again. I posted a thread yesterday regarding my decision to purchase an iMac.

    Here are my revised specs:
    - 2.93GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i7
    - 4GB 1333MHz DDR3 SDRAM - 2x2GB
    - 1TB Serial ATA Drive + 256GB Solid State Drive

    What I want out of this system:
    Speed, efficiency and space. I don't want to wait forever to open up Safari, Word, etc. I want to multitask to the max with no slow-down, etc.

    Will this set-up allow me to do this? Even with only 4GB? One person in yesterday's thread recommended I go for broke on the RAM as opposed to the SSD, but I thought this proposed set up is best because if I think I need more RAM LATER ON, I can always add it in... And, really, 4GB could do the trick, no?

    Concerns:
    - The yellow tinge.
    - Degradation of the SSD.
    - Quality of the built-in speakers on the iMac.
     
  2. alust2013 macrumors 601

    alust2013

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2010
    Location:
    On the fence
    #2
    That would be a pretty good setup, although if you're just doing web surfing and word processing, you'll have no need for the i7. In that case, your money would be better spent on an upgrade to 8GB RAM (that is if you will have many things open at once, and I mean a lot). In either case, I would save the extra cash and get an i3 model if you're not doing anything heavy.

    On a side note, don't buy the RAM from apple, it's expensive that way. I'd get it from newegg instead.
     
  3. Amnesiac1 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Oct 11, 2010
    #3
    Well, I wouldn't mind playing a game or two on it every now and then. Wouldn't purchasing i7 only further guarantee me some efficient, fast, no slowdown whatsoever multitasking?
     
  4. alust2013 macrumors 601

    alust2013

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    #4
    not really, RAM is really the limiting factor there, CPU has very little to do with it.
     
  5. WilliamG macrumors 604

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    Seattle
    #5
    Absolutely no reason not to spend a little extra on Amazon for a second set of 2x2GB DDR3 sticks to max out the four slots in your iMac.
     
  6. jazzer15 macrumors 6502

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    Oct 8, 2010
    #6
    I find this thread interesting. Coming from a PC, I always hear people say buy the most (fastest) computer you can afford because that CPU power may be helpful in the future. Some Mac folks seem somewhat less concerned about that. I agree that if someone is using a computer only for the web and word processing an i7 is clearly not needed. But what if he decides that he wants to dabble in photo editing down the road, or maybe he will want to convert some movies for a new iPod. Assuming budget would allow, wouldn't it make sense to buy up slightly?

    I'm just curious to hear some thoughts on this and maybe it will help the original poster also.
     
  7. fhall1 macrumors 68040

    fhall1

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    Dec 18, 2007
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  8. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

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    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #8
    Buy RAM from 3rd party, 2x2GB of DDR3 is only like 80 bucks. That shouldn't break your budget. Adding SSD is much harder than adding RAM. Don't worry about the degradation, it's overhyped.
     
  9. Goldfinger macrumors 6502

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    Jan 7, 2006
    Location:
    Belgium
    #9
    I'm going to get the same config. i7/4GB/1TB+SSD. I'll add 2x4 GB later on to get to 12GB. I'm not paying Apple for RAM, way too expensive.

    The yellow tinge also REALLY concerns me. I'm a photographer so I can't afford having that yellow tinge issue. Also most resellers aren't that flexible in returning stuff over here, so I'd really like to have a perfect one from the start, unfortunately we all have to play the Apple lottery.
    I've even considerd a Mac Pro but it's just way too expensive for what it offers and I'd need an expensive monitor as well. The iMac's LCD is very good, if you get a good one.
     
  10. Amnesiac1 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Oct 11, 2010
    #10
    You mean the SSD alone? No 1TB addition?
     
  11. fhall1 macrumors 68040

    fhall1

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    #11
    If you have the cash....add the 1 TB as a data drive (make it a 2 TB if you have a lot of extra cash)
     
  12. Amnesiac1 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Oct 11, 2010
    #12
    Okay, but this implies that there is nothing wrong with the set-up I originally posted.

    If you are suggesting that I get 8 GB and an SSD + 1TB.... then 4GB + SSD and 1TB (with the possibility of upgrading the ram via less expensive means) is surely a good approach. The point is, I don`t HAVE to start out with extremely expensive Apple RAM, but rather start out with the SSD and 1TB, and then proceed to upgrade the RAM if necessary.

    Does anyone see a flaw in my logic?
     
  13. lali macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2007
    #13
    Amnesiac1,

    You're looking at a great setup. Have you tried an iMac/27 at an Apple store to see if you like the performance, stock?

    I personally convert tons of videos using handbrake with my iMac/24 (have kids, need to protect the dvds from the kids) so I am using all the cpu power that I have, all the time. Your typical usage appears to be lightweight in comparison, but at the same time you still need much faster (i.e. optimal) disk access than I.

    Take all the files that you want to access on an ongoing basis (let's call it "optimal access"). Can you fit all those files on an SSD while keeping approx 40GB for OS& Apps ?

    Or will you have to have optimal access to files from another drive? You are in the right direction by going internal (ssd+hd) if that is the case. Max interface is FW800 if you want to go external. (Macbook pro 17" has a faster interface expresscard for e-sata which is faster). Read here: http://macperformanceguide.com/Reviews-eSATA-MBPCore_i7-Conclusions.html

    I am uncertain that Apple's SSD are equally as fast as the top ones on the market. Would recommend you do some research only since you have an acute need for performance in disk access.

    And, in closing, in the category of "Way too much information for someone shopping" http://macperformanceguide.com/index_topics.html.

    No affiliation or relation whatsoever with any company in tech. Just someone using my iMac on a daily basis for the past 3 years. And my disclaimer is that I know nothing ! Just trying to help. Best of luck

    François
     
  14. reticulate macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2010
    #14
    Sounds like you've hit on a good configuration, definitely the best option if you're happy with the financial outlay.
     
  15. fhall1 macrumors 68040

    fhall1

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    #15
    Agreed....don't purchase the extra RAM from Apple.
     
  16. mjsmke macrumors 6502a

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    Mar 2, 2010
    Location:
    UK
    #16
    +1. Ram is a quick and easy upgrade. So just do it when you can afford it.

    I had my Mac a few months before upgrading the RAM to what i needed. I want to upgrade to a SSD too when i can afford that but the RAM was my priority for what i do.
     
  17. Amnesiac1 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Oct 11, 2010
    #17
    Thanks for the replies, everyone.

    If anyone else has any advice for me, please let me know. I would greatly appreciate it. Even if it is simply to further confirm that I making the right decision.
     
  18. Paulywauly macrumors 6502a

    Paulywauly

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    Sep 26, 2009
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    Durham, UK
    #18
    The configuration your going for is simply mouth-watering :D

    although as already said before don't get the extra RAM from Apple, its the only part of the machine you can easily upgrade later on your own without taking the machine apart.

    buying it yourself is also ALOT cheaper, for example, you can max out your iMac with 16GB of RAM if you do it yourself for roughly the same price Apple would charge to "up" your machine from the standard 2x2GB dimms to 2x4GB dimms
     
  19. Amnesiac1 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Oct 11, 2010
    #19
    I'm now going to wait until approximately the middle of next year to make this purchase. I wonder what kinds of advantages this will yield regarding the kinds of technical specifications and software options that will available then...
     
  20. JayX macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2007
    #21
    My 27" i7 is on it's way currently, I just went for all the stock options (bar the i7 upgrade) and will be doing the upgrades over time. At Xmas, I'll swap out the 1TB internal HDD for a 160gb SSD+2TB HDD, stick the old drive in an external mount and use it for Time Machine. Then a few months later, I'll pick up a 2x4GB set and take it up to 12GB RAM. Saves money doing it via 3rd party and gives me a little more flexibility over what I can have.
     
  21. SpitUK macrumors 6502

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    Mar 5, 2010
    #22
    Thats what I have done and my god the machine rocks!!!
     
  22. George Knighton macrumors 6502a

    George Knighton

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    Oct 13, 2010
    #23
    Buy a refurb! :)

    There's a better than even chance it is a refurb because it was returned for either the monitor whine issue or the yellow tinge issue!

    Mine is refurb. No whine, no tint problem.
     

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