Help me choose between iMac and Lenovo A730

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by akhill, Apr 26, 2014.

  1. akhill macrumors newbie

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    Apr 26, 2014
    #1
    Hello guys..

    Off late i have been trying to buy one of the iMac or A730 from lenovo. I am a stock market trader who needs a really fast system and aesthatically pleasing because i would be looking at monitor for almost 12 hours a day. The lenovo A730 with the touch screen actually blew my mind until i noticed that it runs a hard disk at 5400 rpm, which would substantially slow the performance of my system. I am an user of macbook from 2008 to 2011 and later moved on to windows system because my work mostly involves running programs that werent available for Mac OS X.

    Would you suggest me to go for iMac and buy a program like parallels or Fusion to run the windows applications or do some tweaking to the A730 and get along with the windows system ? Personally i prefer using the iMac, but i have got some doubts if parallels will run windows programs with the same speed and efficiency they run on windows systems? Is parallels trustworthy ? I dont really want to use bootcamp, because if i am running a windows OS for 12 hours a day, i would better buy a windows system. So, Can i really trust parallels to run the programs without any lag or crashing ?

    Is it A730 or iMac ? Do help me.
     
  2. bigeasy_uk macrumors 6502

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    #2
    As long as you have plenty of ram the iMac with fusion or parallels will do the job nicely.

    I'm personally not a fan of touchscreen on full systems and while it might be great for windows 8's UI, your stock trading software probably won't be optimised for touch.
     
  3. Apple fanboy macrumors P6

    Apple fanboy

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    #3
    Touch screen means your going to spend the day cleaning your screen if you want it to look aesthetically pleasing.
    Also for 12 hours a day your arms, neck and back won't like you very much as I don't thing touch screens are very good for you.
    Go iMac. Run parallels. All good.
     
  4. akhill thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #4

    yeah.. though i think touch is great, but on a desktop we wont be using it regularly because the touch will be an arm's length and not all the softwares and precisely my work softwares are not optimized for touch. I just had a doubt about parallels running seamlessly and as u said, if parallels can run seamlessly(i am planning to upgrade the 27 inch iMac to 16 gb ram anyway). thanks.
     
  5. phrehdd macrumors 68040

    phrehdd

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    #5
    Touch screens are not all they are cracked up to be on large screens. Would you want a mouse that you have to drag across the entire length equivalent to your monitor? I have worked with many touch devices and in the end when the novelty wears off it is more a nuisance to be avoided in most cases. The exception are smaller hand devices.

    I wont tell you to get an iMac but I myself would not be Lenovo based on one fact - it is a 100 percent non-American company that has used ploys such as flooding the market. My comment is based on my own measure.

    You will need to decide what works best for you. If you opt for iMac, you can do either virtual (Parallels) or dual boot to supported Window OS versions.
     
  6. James Craner macrumors 68000

    James Craner

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    #6
    I have a rMBP and I use it at work with Parallels. It is connected to an external monitor. That monitor is running Windows 8 full screen and the laptop is running OS X. Compared to the PC I was using previously Parallels is quicker (mainly because the rMBP has a SSD).

    I am running it this way because like you, I need to use a number of Windows only apps at work. I use a Mac because a lot of my productivity workflow is based on a number of Mac apps.

    These days virtual PC apps give you most of the speed of running Windows natively on your Mac, but there is still an overhead. If you are running office apps then I would estimate you will get 80-90% of the speed compared to running them natively. Anything that needs 3d acceleration (mainly games) you will notice a significant difference.

    Also be aware that running a virtual PC will share your memory on the graphics card and RAM between Windows and Mac. So if you are using anything that needs a lot of RAM this is a consideration.

    It is not clear if you need to run Mac OS at the same time you are running Windows. You may be better off using Bootcamp (Apple's solution to allow you to run Windows directly off a Mac) and booting directly into Windows. It depends if you like iMac because of the look of the hardware, or if you want to run OS X as well.

    It is all a question of your personal choice, but if you want speed then specify a SSD drive ( or at least one of the new Fusion drives that are a half way house), and if you want to go down the virtual PC route, get lots of RAM.
     
  7. akhill thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Apr 26, 2014
    #7
    Thank you.. I was a little concerned about parallels and how fast it will handle the windows apps.

    Also, can someone please elaborate me on SSD ? and how it is going to speed up my processes. on the apple site, if I buy the 27 inch mac, will that include any SSD ? If I want to buy SSD separately, how much is it going to cost ?
     
  8. James Craner, Apr 27, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2014

    James Craner macrumors 68000

    James Craner

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    #8
    SSD is a Solid State Disk (a bit like a memory card), it is a newer technology than traditional spinning hard disks. The advantage is read and write speeds are significantly faster than conventional disks. However they are significantly more expensive than traditional hard disks. The iMac as standard ships with a conventional hard disk, but if you order online you spec a SSD disk instead.

    The advantage of the faster read and write rates are that programs and files will load a lot more quickly than a spinning hard drive.

    Apple also offer a 'Fusion' hard disk which combines a SSD with a conventional hard disk. It uses the SSD portion to store frequently accessed programs and data on the SSD portion, to make the loading quicker. A Fusion drive SSD partition is relatively small compared to buying a proper SSD, hence it only is large enough to store frequently accessed files.

    Also to answer your other question, the iMac is not designed to have the hard disk upgraded. It is possible but will void your warranty and and is a pretty difficult job to do.

    A Fusion drive may be a a good option for you as although I don't have one, appears to work fine according to Parallels. A Fusion drive will need to specified when ordering the iMac as they are not a standard option. Some Apple Stores do offer a top spec model with a fusion drive though.
     
  9. akhill thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Apr 26, 2014
    #9
    If I order a fusion drive, will I get a separate component and I have to attach it to iMac at my home ? or will it be fitted right before the delivery ? please pardon me for novice questions.. I am really a zero in tech aspects. Cost doesn't matter to me as of now. All I need is speed. SO, suggest me the best configuration to get the fastest iMac possible.

    and what is turbo speed (am I right about terminology) ? I heard that standard iMac is 3.4 GHz processor and with turbo speed, I can get 3.9 GHz ? Is that something I have to tell them while I order ?
     
  10. James Craner, Apr 27, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2014

    James Craner macrumors 68000

    James Craner

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    #10
    A fusion Drive is built into the iMac and just replaces the regular hard drive.

    Screenshot below is the configuration for the fastest iMac currently available. I have specified SSD rather than Fusion as it will be faster than the Fusion drive. You may want a higher capacity drive, but it won't make the Mac any faster.

    Turbo Boost will increase the speed that the processor works on a temporary basis when it is under load, however it will throttle back on turbo when the extra boost is either not needed or when the processor gets too hot.

    A few comments :

    You need to first choose the fastest stock iMac on Apples on line store 27 Inch 3.4Ghz

    The choose the following options

    Choose the better i7 processor rather than the i5

    I suggest you go for 16GB of Ram, You may see a very marginal speed increase if you go for 32GB, but I would not bother. The extra ram is for people running memory hungry apps like video editing. Some may argue that you splitting memory if you run a virtual machine (Parallels), but to be honest you should be fine with 8GB / 8GB.

    I have chosen the 256GB SSD, however I would recommend the 512GB option if cost is not a problem, it will not make the machine faster, but will give you more storage.

    Choose the GTX 780M graphics card as this is the fastest available for the iMac.

    Configure_-_Apple_Store__UK_.jpg
     
  11. bigeasy_uk macrumors 6502

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    #11
    If all that matters is speed then spec the 1TB SSD along with 32gb ram :)
    You can go the whole hog and upgrade the cpu to an i7 which will be a bit quicker. You can even upgrade the graphics card to a GTX780m, which is faster for 3d stuff. You might not need it, but if cost doesn't matter then why not!

    Turbo is how fast the cpu goes at full pelt. It's default max speed is 3.4ghz, but if it's within its thermal limits it will overclock itself up to 3.9ghz when needed.

    All upgrades are done by Apple, you don't have to do a thing (other than pay for it!). Just take it out of the box, plug it in and grin while it boots in seconds.
     
  12. James Craner macrumors 68000

    James Craner

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    #12
    just to be clear having a 1TB SSD will not make the machine any faster, just give you more storage space. I don't really recommend it though as the price of the 1TB makes my eyes water. Once you get beyond 512GB then I would add more external storage space via a Thunderbolt drive. I know you said money is no object but...

    Bigeasy is correct that adding more memory will make the machine a little faster, but looking at your use case, I don't think you will need it, and the very small increase in speed (I don't think you would actually notice the difference) is not worth the additional cost.
     
  13. akhill thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Apr 26, 2014
    #13
    thanks again, the screenshot is extremely helpful. What if I go to 1TB fusion drive and take off the SSD option on the whole.. means if I go to 1TB fusion drive, will it compensate the necessity for an SSD with a regular 7200 rpm hard drive ? or a fusion drive with 256 GB SSD does better ?

    let me tell you that I have to run 3 or 4 programs on parallels, which need to utilize my internet connection(30 MBPS) and also respond within seconds when I open the stock charts or place an order... so will a 1TB fusion drive suffice or go for a regular 7200 rpm HDD and a 256 or 512 SSD or a fusion drive along with SSD ?

    ----------

    on the graphics front, I will be getting another monitor connected to my iMac and I run bunch of charts live which I assume perform based on graphics card. So, I will go with the GTX780M only.
     
  14. James Craner macrumors 68000

    James Craner

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    #14
    To be honest as you data is coming from the internet, rather than the hard disk, I don't think you will see any difference between fusion drive and SSD, as the main bottleneck will be the speed or latency of your internet connection.

    If you are running dual screens that I would go for the 780M.
     
  15. akhill thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Apr 26, 2014
    #15
    ok. so I am deciding upon

    3.5 Ghz quad core i7, turbo boost upto 3.9 GHz

    16 GB RAM (2 x 8 GB)

    1 TB fusion drive (256 GB SSD, will think upon this)

    GTX780m 4 GB GDDR5.

    This should help me run 3 or 4 crucial windows programs on parallels seamlessly without a lag... right ?
     
  16. James Craner, Apr 27, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2014

    James Craner macrumors 68000

    James Craner

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    #16
    By the way have you seen the new LG 34UM95 ?

    Worlds first 34 inch ultra wide Monitor.

    link http://www.lg.com/uk/monitors/lg-34UM95

    Meant to be better than the new 4K displays and ideal for a stock broker. Not sure if the iMac can run it though - may need a Mac Pro. EDIT re-watched the video below and he indicated that most modern graphics card can run the display, so iMac should be ok.

    Saw a online review here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KnrxNfxRK_4
     
  17. bigeasy_uk macrumors 6502

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    #17
    Actually larger SSD's are faster than smaller ones (as long as you compare the same model in different sizes) this is because the bigger ones have more chips that can be written to/read from at any one time. Admittedly not a huge difference, but he asked for the fastest ;).

    I don't think the 1TB drive is worth the extra, I'd got for the 512gb and get an external drive for mass storage. I wouldn't go for the fusion drive, not after having used proper SSD's.
     
  18. akhill thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #18
    iMac with a Mac pro ? please throw some light on that too.. :D
     
  19. James Craner macrumors 68000

    James Craner

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    #19
    You are correct that large drives with more channels may give better performance, but there are other factors. Particularly when you start looking at larger drives > 512GB, the greater memory density may cause a decline in performance due to the manufacturing constraints (as you are at the bleeding edge of capacity, performance may decline.) In any case the difference is pretty marginal.
     
  20. akhill thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #20
    I've seen the video for 34 inch monitor, but that looks like a bit too much for me. I will buy another 27 inch monitor to go with my iMac and I guess that should suit my work better and if I think that I will need a bigger one, then I may get the 34 inch one may be six months down the line, but for now, an iMac with another 27 inch monitor will do good to me.
     
  21. James Craner macrumors 68000

    James Craner

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    #21
    Well you do have another option is to buy a Mac Pro that has two workstation class graphics cards in it, to support multiple monitors. Looks Fantastic, almost silent in use, very expensive and possibly overkill for what you need. Clearly if you get a Mac Pro you will not be buying an iMac!

    The Mac Pro is aimed at professional use for the media creation industry, e.g. video editors. But may be an option for a Stock Broker wanting to run lots of displays! The Mac Pro only uses SSD drives.

    ----------

    Fair enough - I suggest you ignore the Mac Pro post above then :)
     
  22. James Craner macrumors 68000

    James Craner

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    #22
    Well your main bottleneck is internet latency, to be honest the only thing that will help with that is getting the fastest internet connection you can with a reliable router.

    The Ram, Processor and Graphics upgrade will make Parallels as responsive as you cam, particularly over two screens. If money is a concern I would possibly reduce the processor spec and go with a 512 SSD (Not much cost difference compared to 1TB Fusion drive), as in your case I don't think processor speed difference will be that visible, unless one of your apps is doing a lot of number crunching.

    What are the 4 apps that you need to run in Windows - I presume they are specialist stock brooking apps - do they do much calculating or are they just aggregating stock market data over the internet ?
     
  23. akhill thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #23
    thanks a lot for taking me through this james. Once I get the system in first week of may perhaps, I will get back with another bunch of questions.. :) ..

    ----------

    not really much calculating. only one program is about calculation and generating signals, while others need fast data transfers over the internet and also between those 3 programs.

    Yeah I will get the best available router and a good internet connection. any suggestions on routers ? Currently I am using a belkin one for my regular connection at home. But I am planning on a dedicated internet connection and router for my trading purpose, so I will have to buy a new router along with the new connection. As of now, I zeroed upon a 30MBPS connection and can get 50Mbps too by the time I have my whole setup in place, but what router would you suggest ? Or is it ok if I directly connect the Ethernet cable to iMac, bypassing the router ?

    you meant to say "Go with regular hard drive and 512 GB SSD ?" I can also go with a 1TB fusion and 512 GB SSD if needed. I just want to ensure that parallels doesn't lag my program(command exchanges between 3 programs specified above)because if they crash for a minute or so during a critical trade, I may have to face a loss of 3 or 4 grand... so I am a bit worried about the lag.
     
  24. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604

    thejadedmonkey

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    #24
    I use a touchscreen monitor at work, and I find that people who diss a touchscreen generally have never used one before. Touch is not meant to be a primary input as a mouse or keyboard is, but rather touch is a secondary input, much like voice or OCR. If you consider it that way, it's a fantastic experience. Combined with the fact that the Lenovo can tilt as it does, I'm sure it would be a great secondary input method.


    This isn't entirely accurate. the iMac also only has a 5400rpm HDD unless you get an upgraded version, such as one with an SSD or Fusion drive. Also, Mavericks seems to be dog slow on anything without an SSD, so in all honesty, I would not get a mac unless it has an SSD (Whereas Windows will still work find on an HDD)

    The A730 base has a 5400rpm HDD, but the high end model has a 1tb HDD + 8gbSSDH, which is (almost) the same as a fusion drive.
     
  25. akhill thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #25
    The problem is windows crashes my programs a lot. Currently I am running windows 8 with a quad core processor and 16 gigs ram, 7200 rpm HDD, still my programs crash bunch of times a day. At the same time, a friend of mine is using a MacBook pro and using fusion to run the same programs and though he sees a bit of lag, the programs doesn't really crash as they do in my desktop. Note that the MacBook pro (ofcourse with SSD), a laptop is running the programs better than my desktop. That was the reason for me to look at an iMac. And not to hide, I really wanted to get an iMac from so long too :)
     

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