Decision Time - Share Your Thoughts

Discussion in 'iMac' started by alksion, Nov 3, 2013.

  1. alksion macrumors 68000

    alksion

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2010
    Location:
    Los Angeles County
    #1
    I own a 2009 27" iMac that luckily just had its hard drive so kindly replaced by Apple out of warranty.

    I'm choosing to sell this iMac because this is now the fourth drive being replaced. It's in great condition and it still has all the original packaging. I'm hoping to get around $800 for it.

    Once it sells, I'm going to being needing a new Mac. This where all of you come into play. I'm not sure which direction to go.

    I really never considered the rMBP before, but it's such a beautiful laptop and I love that it's mobile. The biggest draw back for me is that I'll be getting a less powerful machine, smaller screen and something that can't really be used to game on.

    With the iMac, it's ideal for video editing and gaming, which are extremely important for me. The biggest drawback is obviously that it isn't mobile.

    I'm leaning towards the iMac now, but who knows?
     
  2. MikeChicago macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2013
    #2
    I was in a similar situation trying to decide if I should buy another MBP or go for the iMac instead. I need mobility occasionally but mostly work from my office and really like having a big screen and more powerful hardware. The Solution?

    iMac + iPad + cloud storage. This set up works really well for me. I travel with the iPad and can access all my files, show presentations, and sent emails. Back at the office, I have a nice desktop set up with a big screen for improved productivity.

    Hope this helps.
     
  3. Tanax macrumors 6502a

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    Location:
    Stockholm, Sweden
    #3
    If video and gaming are "extremely" important to you, there's no denying that the iMac is a more powerful machine. Why do you need the portability? Work on the road? If you always work on the road, the iMac would be pretty pointless.
     
  4. malvicus macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2013
    #4
    Would an iPad + iMac combo address all your needs? What do you need to do away from home on a mobile device?
     
  5. Bear macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2002
    Location:
    Sol III - Terra
    #5
    The iMac. And save towards an iPad, a MBA or a rMBP if you decide you want something mobile as well. And that depends on what your mobile needs are.
     
  6. QCassidy352 macrumors G3

    QCassidy352

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2003
    Location:
    Bay Area
    #6
    I have twice now tried to replace an imac with a laptop - in 2010 I got a 13" air to replace my 2008 imac 20", but I could not get used to the smaller screen, less power, and fans/heat. So I sold it a few months later (for a big loss :-( ) and got a 21" 2011 imac. It's been the best computer I've ever owned.

    But, I'm moving, so I wanted to downsize and got a 13" rMBP a few days ago. So far, I am having the same feelings I did the last time I tried this. I think the laptop is going back, and I'll find a way to fit the imac in my new place.

    Sounds like your thinking is like mine, and if so, you'll miss the imac, and soon.
     
  7. alksion thread starter macrumors 68000

    alksion

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2010
    Location:
    Los Angeles County
    #7
    Thanks for the replies. Mobility really is not imperative, but it's just a convenience.

    I think most of you are hitting the nail on the head. Adding an iPad definitely makes things more expansive, but solves my biggest problem.

    I have the money, but always love saving a buck when possible. I may just buy the iMac and ask the folks for an iPad for Christmas. My iPhone 5 should hold me over until then!

    Now 256GB or 512GB SSD? I leaning towards the 512 as of now. The 780m is no brainer for my games.
     
  8. Bear macrumors G3

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    Jul 23, 2002
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    #8
    512GB - you don't want to have to micromanage what you have on the desk. And games are getting larger all the time.
     
  9. alksion thread starter macrumors 68000

    alksion

    Joined:
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    #9
    Yes, I agree, especially since I'll have a Windows partition eating into my overall storage capacity. I really wish I could get the 1TB SSD. While I can afford it, it just seems like foolish decision based on the current cost Apple is charging.

    Here's a question. I will certainly be getting the 512GB SSD, but what about future upgrades? Let's say I want to add an HDD later on along side the SSD, is there a SATA port available? I would figure so.
     
  10. Confusius macrumors regular

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    Mar 24, 2012
    Location:
    New York
    #10
    That's what the thunderbolt ports are for.
     
  11. alksion thread starter macrumors 68000

    alksion

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    #11
    That wasn't really my question. I'm fully aware of that. It's nice to have the least amount of externals as possible.
     
  12. aznboi91 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2012
    #12

    I was in a similar position as you were a week ago... I though to myself.. in 3-4 years my macbook pro is going to obsolete... the only thing that will work in hopefully great condition is the monitor.... So ... is a 15in laptop 3-4 years down the road with a need to replace the battery a good investment... OR a 27 in iMac where I can probably purchase another iMac or macbook pro and use the existing 27in iMac as an external monitor better?

    The decision is really if you want to be mobile or not though... If mobile... get macbook pro... if no need to be mobile... get a iMac + treat yourself to an 11" macbook air or iPad air to be mobile...

    To be honest ... I think being mobile is kinda overrated... Your data should be the one that's portable and movable... not your machine... but this is just my philosophy....

    :)

    P.S. I went with the beautiful 27" ... its arriving this week !!!
     
  13. alksion thread starter macrumors 68000

    alksion

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2010
    Location:
    Los Angeles County
    #13
    Thanks for your input! I'll probably get an iPad for Christmas.

    I ordered my iMac today! It comes next week, I'm so stoked!
     
  14. yjchua95 macrumors 604

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    #14
    Can I safely assume that you'll then be torn between the iPad Air or Mini with retina? Both have the exact same specs, besides the screen size and pixel density :D
     
  15. Tanax macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2011
    Location:
    Stockholm, Sweden
    #15
    Unfortunately it's the correct answer you got, though.
    Thunderbolt expansion is the way to go to increase storage and while there is an empty SATA-port in your iMac, opening up your iMac really isn't recommended ..
     
  16. alksion thread starter macrumors 68000

    alksion

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2010
    Location:
    Los Angeles County
    #16
    Yes, I am greatly torn between the two. I am leaning toward the iPad mini with Retina right now.

    I can wait though, I still have my new iMac being shipped to me right now.

    My question was whether there was an extra SATA port available. I understand the risks of opening it up under warranty. There are many Apple authorized dealers / repair centers here in SoCal that can do a superb job if necessary.
     
  17. alksion thread starter macrumors 68000

    alksion

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2010
    Location:
    Los Angeles County
    #17
    This is what I am thinking as far as data management and backing up goes. Tell me what you think.

    - 512GB Internal SSD (Currently Installed)
    > I will work on current video projects off this drive and then archive when I'm finished.
    > Windows Partition with games installed
    > iTunes Library

    - 1TB CalDigit AV USB3 External (Currently Own)
    > 750GB OSX Partition - Time Machine or Bootable Clone - Can't Decide
    > 250GB Windows Partition - Windows Backup or Bootable Clone - Can't Decide

    - 2TB RAID 1 Cal Digit T2
    > Archive video projects and personal files that are accessed often

    - Eventually setting up a crash plan + for off site safe keeping
     
  18. Yebubbleman macrumors 68030

    Yebubbleman

    Joined:
    May 20, 2010
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #18
    A couple things:

    1. Many people are finding that where a sole laptop sufficed before, a Mac desktop of some sort and an iPad are even better. I'm not going to say that this is, by any means, the superior route for you to take, but it is worth consideration.


    2. Were we having this discussion a year or even six months ago, I'd probably recommend a 15" non-retina MacBook Pro without hesitation as, at the time, it was, in my opinion, the best Mac on the market. Now that Apple no longer makes them, and now that, even if you could find one new, they aren't using the latest Intel parts like their retina successors, I can't make that recommendation as easily. Nevertheless if that interests you, check Apple's refurbished Mac section as they'll still sell those machines there.


    3. Speaking of refurbished Macs, aside from the newest iMacs and MacBook Pros (which aren't yet in the refurb section), it's a fantastic bargain.


    4. If you are considering a retina MacBook Pro:

    a. Don't do the two lower-end models of 13" MacBook Pro as you're locked into either a small SSD or an even smaller SSD and that's not cool.

    b. If you are considering a low-end 15" retina MacBook Pro and you want to up the RAM to 16GB (which you should) and the SSD to 512GB (which you probably should unless you store all of your things on external drives), you're $100 shy of the high-end model, which has a discrete graphics processor with discrete VRAM, and at a $100 difference, there's no point in not just going with the high-end model.

    c. It's worth checking to see which apps you want to use, whether or not they are optimized for the retina display and how usable they are if they aren't yet. People tend to underscore this with the rMBP. But if you are a Mac gamer and your game isn't yet updated to run on retina, it may not even be playable. Portal 1 is a great example of this; or at least it was nine months ago (Valve may have updated it since then). If you are a Blizzard gamer, WoW, StarCraft II, and Diablo III are all optimized for retina and look fantastic.

    4. The current 21.5" iMacs are, like the Mac mini, more laptop than desktop. With the Late 2012 models, the CPU was still that of a low-powered desktop; with these new Haswell models, the only thing that makes the 21.5" iMac not a laptop is the larger screen and the lack of a battery and integrated trackpad and keyboard. It's still great and honestly, given that Apple insists on making them so thin, it actually makes for a substantially more reliable machine than the 2009-2011 generation, but alas, it's a laptop in the skin of an iMac. Still though, perfectly capable machine. I'd do either an SSD or a Fusion Drive and pre-configuring it with 16GB of RAM out the gate is an absolute must as you cannot do that later.

    5. The 27" iMacs appear to be much improved from the 2009-2011 generation. If you wish to simply continue the 27" iMac subscription, that's not a horrible way to go. Going with a Fusion drive isn't as important on these models as it is on the 21.5" model, but if you like speed and capacity and you don't plan on doing any crazy formatting or dynamic re-partitioning to your drive, it's something you might want to consider. You don't need to beef up the RAM at the time of purchase on this one as, aside from the 13" non-retina MacBook Pro from 2012, it's one of the last Macs with user-accessible RAM and Apple will gouge you on the cost to upgrade. Better to buy a 32GB kit aftermarket.

    6. If you want to go the iMac route, it may be worth your while to wait until Mavericks comes pre-loaded rather than going through the minor hassle to either upgrade or wipe and reinstall; if you wait about a month longer, that'll probably be when that happens.


    Given these, I'd say either another 27" iMac is probably the best call for you. Let us know what you decide on! :)
     
  19. alksion thread starter macrumors 68000

    alksion

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    Sep 10, 2010
    Location:
    Los Angeles County
    #19
    Thanks for the reply! I actually ended up ordering my iMac yesterday. You think that my box will have a ML picture on it? Because if so, I will be greatly disappointed.

    Also, what do you think about my data management backup solution posted above?
     
  20. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2011
    Location:
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    #20
    Looks like a good plan.

    For the 1TB CalDigit, I suggest you make a bootable clone with SuperDuper or something like that. Time Machine keeps older versions of edited files, if I'm not mistaken, and that hogs up space. Now about the Windows partition on that. I don't think you can boot it up via USB 3.0 on a Mac, even if you do setup Boot Camp on the 750GB OS X partition, because Windows will detect that you're attempting to install on a USB drive and block it. If you were using a Thunderbolt drive, you can boot Windows from it externally because Thunderbolt is essentially PCIe and hence Windows will detect a Thunderbolt drive as an internal drive and let you install in it and boot from it.

    For the RAID, if it's a 4-drive setup, use RAID 10 as blocks are both mirrored and striped. Then you're good to go. But if it's a 2 drive setup, then use RAID 1. It's best to use an RAID setup with mirroring, just in case a drive goes bust.

    EDIT: About installing Windows on a USB external drive. I attempted it before, but it failed big time. Some others have reported mixed success, but most got to the BSOD upon startup like me.
     
  21. alksion thread starter macrumors 68000

    alksion

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    Sep 10, 2010
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    Los Angeles County
    #21
    I'm sorry, the 250GB partition of the external will be formatted in NTFS for windows backup. The actual windows os will be on the internal SSD.
     
  22. aznboi91 macrumors regular

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    Jul 27, 2012
    #22
    Why backup for windows? is there really a need?
     
  23. yjchua95 macrumors 604

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    #23
    Well if you're a hardcore gamer, you'll know how painful it is to lose game progress if a hard drive goes bust...
     
  24. alksion thread starter macrumors 68000

    alksion

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2010
    Location:
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    #24
    All of my game data. It would be nice to retain it if something goes wrong. I understand multiplayer is all cloud based for data, but it doesn't rule out wanting to keep my saved games in scenario.

    ----------

    Exactly my thoughts!
     
  25. aznboi91 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2012
    #25
    create a link to the folder of where your data is and have dropbox take care of the saving... lol
     

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