"Free" iMac not to my Preferred Specifications. Options?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by rayward, Sep 29, 2010.

  1. rayward macrumors 68000

    Mar 13, 2007
    Houston, TX
    I've been thinking about upgrading my iMac. I do very little on it (the usual email / internet activity of a home computer), but I do rip and encode a lot of high-def content for viewing on my Apple TVs. A faster iMac would be a major boon in that regard as a typical BD encode takes 4-8 hours.

    My media library is over 1TB and growing. Right now it's all stored on a 2TB NAS, but is not backed up. That's a situation with which I am very uncomfortable. I have a 1TB Time Capsule (over two years old and still going strong), but that's not going to help in backing up my media library. My plan was to get an i7 with the SSD / 2TB HDD combo. I'd then use the iMac's HDD to store my media and the NAS as the Time Machine backup drive. This would reduce access times and network traffic as, currently, the same media file hits the network twice to get from the NAS to the iMac and then from the iMac to the ATV. Syncing the ATVs is like gridlock.

    But...I can get a "standard" i7 (1 TB HDD only) on credit card points. Essentially free.

    So, what I am asking is for comments / suggestions as to whether it's possible to achieve something like my original configuration described above, but with the 1TB HDD on an iMac at its hub. For example:

    - Is it feasible to upgrade the iMac to a 2TB HDD? (The SSD not being a vital component).

    - Should I simply get another 2TB (or larger) NAS as the backup drive, and just swap out the iMac? (This speeds up encoding, but doesn't solve the network traffic issue).

    Any ideas would be welcomed.

  2. JTR7 macrumors member

    Mar 10, 2010
    How is your network hooked up? IE wireless, Gig-E, FastEthernet? If you can change a leg or two of the path to Gig-E that would certainly help with the gridlock.


    That link will give detailed teardown instructions so you can upgrade the hard-drive in the iMac if you'd like.

    If I were you, I'd get the iMac, do what I could to increase network bandwidth, and I like the idea of using the NAS as your Time Machine backup drive.
  3. richpjr macrumors 68030


    May 9, 2006
    Why not get a 2 TB firewire 800 drive, connect it to your iMac and stream from there and use your current NAS drive to backup the movies?
  4. rayward thread starter macrumors 68000

    Mar 13, 2007
    Houston, TX
    Thanks all. I think I like this idea the best as (a) I'm wary of cracking open my iMac; and (b) if my library is backed up, I'm less concerned about it being on a drive attached directly to my iMac (I felt safer with the two being physically separated).

    It's not quite as elegant as my original plan, but it is about $3k cheaper!!
  5. Spike88 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 25, 2010
    I like this idea as well. If doing this step, perhaps getting a localled attached FW800 4 GB RAID drive (re: 2 x 2) might be better. With RAID 0 or RAID 1 (depending how you configure the drives), one has another layer of data backup / recovery. For example: http://www.wdc.com/en/products/products.asp?driveid=621

    Good luck....
  6. rayward thread starter macrumors 68000

    Mar 13, 2007
    Houston, TX
    New iMac being delivered on Wednesday, after which I planned to add a local Firewire drive for media storage and (finally) get my media backed up. Current NAS became "non-responsive" yesterday and now shows 1.9TB out of 2TB available. FML.

    Hoping that the data's still there and can be recovered, or I've got some 'codin' to do. At least that will be quicker on the new iMac.

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