Higher end model or SSD

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Casey05, Apr 27, 2019.

  1. Casey05 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2011
    #1
    Looking at getting new iMac and curious which would be better option - higher base model (3.7 ghz processor 2 TB drive) vs the lowest base model (3.0 ghz, upgrade to 512 gb SSD)

    Just been reading reviews and such, I don’t know too much about hardware so just wondering which would give the best performance for the $

    I’ll be primarily using it for work - charting on EMR (medical charting) , working in excel, ppt, etc

    Thanks in advance
     
  2. Bohemien macrumors regular

    Bohemien

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2019
    Location:
    Germany
    #2
    Get the SSD and upgrade the RAM yourself to at least 16GB. This’ll have a greater impact than upgrading the CPU/GPU.
     
  3. throAU macrumors 603

    throAU

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    Perth, Western Australia
  4. Casey05 thread starter macrumors member

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    Jul 15, 2011
    #4
    Is the difference of a SSD really that substantial?
     
  5. Fishrrman macrumors P6

    Fishrrman

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    Feb 20, 2009
    #5
    OP asked:
    "Is the difference of a SSD really that substantial?"

    YES.

    (there's really nothing more to add)
     
  6. bruinsrme macrumors 603

    bruinsrme

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2008
    #6
    I was surprised Apple didn’t make the ssd standard with the last refresh.
    It’s a noticeable difference and worth it.
     
  7. Casey05 thread starter macrumors member

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    Jul 15, 2011
    #7
    Doesn’t the 2TB drive come with a 128gb SSD ?
     
  8. bruinsrme macrumors 603

    bruinsrme

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    Oct 26, 2008
    #8
    The hybrid drives, fusion, in my experience do not deliver the same performance as a ssd.
     
  9. AppleFan360 macrumors 68020

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    Jan 26, 2008
    #9
    No question. Get SSD. Not fusion or any other "standard" hard drive. Having an SSD should be standard in all computers.
     
  10. AlaskaMoose macrumors 68000

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    Apr 26, 2008
    Location:
    Alaska
    #10
    An SSD is a great idea, but I ordered the 3.1GHZ iMac with a 2TB Fusion drive since the minimum SSD size I would consider is a 1TB one, and Apple wants too much for it. Once the warranty is over I can replace the hard drive with a 1 or 2TB SSD, and keep on using it until it dies. I am still using a 2011 iMac that has a 1TB SSD for photo editing, and it's a lot faster than my new 2019 iMac on start-ups, or just opening and saving large TIFF photos.
     
  11. xgman macrumors 601

    xgman

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2007
    #11
    Those fusion drives should be outlawed. And no computer over $500 should have a spinner these days. capacity will be the trick though. As long as you have enough basic space on the drive you can hang a usb3 ssd later off the back for storage.
     
  12. macduke macrumors G4

    macduke

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    Central U.S.
  13. NoBoMac macrumors 68020

    NoBoMac

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2014
    #13
    Will echo others: get the SSD, as will get more bang for buck from that vs CPU upgrade (don't think you will be taxing the 3GHz processor).

    Can always get a big external drive and offload files to that, for archive purposes.
     
  14. goldbuffalo macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2017
    #14
    And once you decide to go with 512 GB SSD go for the top tier 27” , it’s only $300 more than the bottom tier and $100 more than the mid tier.
     
  15. throAU, May 3, 2019
    Last edited: May 3, 2019

    throAU macrumors 603

    throAU

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    #15
    To give you some idea of the magnitude of the difference... via maths...

    Hard drives are limited by the number of operations they can do per second due to the physical movement of the drive head and the spinning of the platters. They suck at multitasking and worst case a SATA drive (depending if it is 5400 or 7200 rpm) can do 125-150 fully random (i.e., different apps pulling data from different parts of the disk at the same time) IO operations per second. This is because the read head and the disc need to physically take time to move to the correct place on the disk. If all the requests are say 4k blocks (not uncommon) that's a worst-case max of 600KB/sec (150 operations of 4k in size per sec).

    Even a slow SSD from several years ago can do say 8000 IO operations per second (because there are no moving parts). Assuming the same 4k blocks, thats 32MB/sec (8000 operations of 4k size per sec).

    If you have a lot of stuff trying to read/write to disk at the same time (multitasking) the IO requests will tend towards "random-ish" in nature. If your read/write sizes are bigger then replace 4k with the size of the data blocks involved and multiply out the numbers... the SSD always wins... up to the limit of the SATA bus speed. And then you can get m.2 SSDs that surpass that limit.

    Best case, a hard drive may do 200 MB/sec or so, but the worst case performance as above just falls off a cliff. SSDs are MUCH better under non-ideal disk activity conditions as above. Like 50x the performance, worst case scenario for both.



    edit:
    I'm involved in procurement and administration of SAN storage, etc. at work so i've run the numbers for various solutions a fair bit. Anyone who has used an SSD machine will just know its "much faster" but the above demonstrates the why of it...

    Also shows that the difference between say 5400 rpm and 7200 rpm is just different variants of crap if you plug the numbers in for 125 vs. 150 IOPs in the calculations above. Even the fastest hard drives you can buy are still horrible vs. SSD in a worst case (heavy multitasking) scenario.
     
  16. cynics macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2012
    #16
    Different strokes for different folks. MacOS using Core Storage to leverage the most out of a fusion drives SSD. The average user will have good performance. Depending on your usage (ie <128gb of data) there will be virtually no performance difference.

    A faster CPU with a 2tb fusion might be better setup for your work load. We don't know without more information about how the iMac will be used.

    That said I recommend the 512gb SSD. If you ever need a lot of cheap storage you can always get external USB HDD later down the road. USB has performance that far exceeds HDD performance so there would be virtually no overhead. You could even use an external SSD for better external performance but it won't compare to the internal PCIe SSD that you initially get from Apple.

    Storage performance is the most noticeable bottleneck of any computer nearly everyone. CPU performance is highly dependent on the work load of the user to actually notice or "feel" a difference (ie transcoding hours of video).
     
  17. mikehalloran macrumors 65816

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    Oct 14, 2018
    Location:
    The Sillie Con Valley
    #17
    Nope. 32GB in the 2019 for all Fusion drives.
    The real answer: It depends on how you use it.

    There are about a thousand recent threads on this. You might want to read a few hundred of them.
    Reviews won't tell you anything about how these machines perform in the real world doing whatever you plan to do.

    Are SSD Macs better? Absolutely. For you? No one can answer that. Will you notice the difference? Once again, it depends.
     
  18. Benz63amg macrumors 68030

    Benz63amg

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2010
    #18
    Thats incorrect, the 2TB Fusion Drive in the 2019 27 Inch iMac has a 128 GB SSD.
     
  19. Zdigital2015 macrumors 65816

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    Jul 14, 2015
    Location:
    East Coast, United States
    #19
    Only the 1TB Fusion comes with a 32GB SSD. The 2TB and 3TB Fusion Drives come with a 128GB SSD.
     
  20. cynics macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2012
    #20
    https://www.apple.com/shop/buy-mac/...-processor-with-turbo-boost-up-to-4.6ghz-2tb#

    If you click on which storage is right for you...

    Screen Shot 2019-05-04 at 9.24.36 AM.png

    EDIT : Oops, I see other people already chimed in. It took a while for me to find a source (wikipedia isn't reliable and everymac.com could be wrong).
     
  21. mikehalloran macrumors 65816

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    Oct 14, 2018
    Location:
    The Sillie Con Valley
    #21
    I'll take your word for it. I was quoting another of the many threads where this same question was asked. I don't really care as I will never own a fusion drive nor recommend one. Ok, my dad would be unlikely to notice the difference but I still don't recommend them.

    The "room left over for your favorite files and apps..." assumes that everybody's needs are the same. Absolute nonsense.
     
  22. Brazilano macrumors member

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    Sep 16, 2016
  23. AlaskaMoose, May 5, 2019
    Last edited: May 5, 2019

    AlaskaMoose macrumors 68000

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    Apr 26, 2008
    Location:
    Alaska
    #23
    Not really. All depends on what you do with your computer. When it comes to the 2019 iMac, it makes no sense to me buying one with a tiny and very expensive SSD that will be crowded with apps and files in a short period of time. And yes, I understand that one can move files, photos, etc. to external hard drives and SSD's.
     

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22 April 27, 2019