First-time iMac buyer - questions (Windows/bootcamp/SSD)

Discussion in 'iMac' started by senocs, Feb 17, 2014.

  1. senocs macrumors newbie

    Feb 17, 2014
    hello everyone,

    I'm intending to be a first-time buyer of the iMac and I have several questions that I need help with (despite searching online some of them remain unanswered). To begin, first let me share with you my typical computer usage currently and also what I hope to achieve with my use of the iMac.

    My typical computer usage currently (taken as a percentage of my total average computer usage, out of 100%) :

    Internet Browsing 75% - extremely heavy usage; I use (a) Google Chrome mostly (b) with some Firefox
    Spreadsheets 10% - fairly light usage; I use MS Excel
    Media Download/Playback 5% - light usage; I use (a) uTorrent (b) VLC video player
    Email 5% - very light usage; I use MS Outlook
    Word Processing 3% - very light usage; I use (a) Adobe Acrobat (b) MS Word
    Image Editing 2% - very light usage, minor image editing and touch-up; I use various software (NO Adobe Photoshop)

    What I hope to achieve with my iMac :

    • I intend to run Windows 8 (i.e. boot straight to Windows)
    • I intend to use predominantly Windows (I know what some of you might say next but, I have contemplated this issue for a long time and I have my personal reasons)
    • I intend to run Windows on 'native' basis rather than 'virtually' i.e. run Bootcamp
    • I intend to install Windows and all applications on a SSD (either purely SSD or Fusion)
    • Usage of a SSD in some form ("pure" or hybrid) is a MUST
    • I am willing to invest fairly reasonably in hardware spec - basically at least Core i5 or even Core i7, 16gb RAM, 2gb video

    My questions are :
    1. Can Windows 8 be installed on the SSD portion of a Apple fusion drive ? I'm hearing many different versions, some say it's possible but the Fusion drive needs to be 'disabled'. Some say it's not possible at all
    2. Can all my other programs/applications be installed on the SSD of a Apple fusion drive ? I would like my applications to run on the SSD portion and NOT on the SATA HDD portion ...
    3. On my current PC right now, I have 1 HDD partitioned into 2 partions - 1 partion for programs and 1 partion for data. I then have another external HDD which I use for a mirror (backup) for my data partition. In other words, there are 3 'buckets', 1 for programs, 1 for data, 1 for backup of the data. I was really hoping to achieve the same with my iMac, but only 1 hard drive can be installed and I need to choose whether I want (a) SSD (b) regular hard drive (c) fusion. What other options do I have ? If I want to use the pure SSD option, must I then buy 2 external HDDs ?

    Thanks in advance. Sorry for my long winded post up there ...
  2. rbart macrumors regular


    Nov 3, 2013
    1 and 2 : No, Windows (through bootcamp) can't be installed on the SSD part of the Fusion drive.
    The SSD part of the Fusion drive is only usable from OSX
    You must have the "full SSD" setup to install Windows and its applications on SSD

    BUT, you can break the Fusion drive and use separately SSD and HD ...

    3 : I am not sure you can use partitions in Bootcamp ...

    Sincerely, I can't understand you buy an iMac to use it mainly on Windows ...
    All the tasks you have can be performed on OSX with the same software ...
    If you want to run windows, buy a PC, it's cheaper, faster and built for.
  3. phrehdd macrumors 68040


    Oct 25, 2008
    The above is good advice. If you are insistent on getting the iMac, get the SSD. Consider your RAM options carefully. Win 8 does well with lots of RAM.

    I use a Mac Mini 2.6 with 16 gigs of RAM, 512 SSD internal. I run Win 7 via virtual for specific applications and all is well. The majority of what you seem to want to do can easily be ran with Mac apps and the few that cannot meet your standards/needs should run well in virtual. Btw, if you run in virtual, you can put the virtual Windows "file" on the SSD drive of a deconstructed Fusion drive or simply run on a Fusion drive.
  4. MacGizmo macrumors 65816


    Apr 27, 2003
    This just seems crazy to me. I'm sure you have your reason for wanting to spend 4 times the amount of money on an iMac, only to set it up to not have any sign of Mac OS in day-to-day use—I just can't imagine what it would be.

    Good luck, regardless. The pure SSD is going to be your best option—no matter what or how you use the Mac. The Fusion Drive is Apple's lame attempt at a "marketing feature."
  5. rbart macrumors regular


    Nov 3, 2013
    Fusion drive is excellent and works very well, but only on OSX.
    It's not "just marketing"

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