i7 or 1TB+256GB SSD?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by juankazz, May 23, 2011.

  1. juankazz macrumors newbie

    May 23, 2011
    Hello, this week I bought my first Mac

    I am a photojournalist and I will use it exclusively for my work, although occasionally video amount to more or less professional issues (HD videos with Canon 5D and 7D).

    I have clear I want a Imac and in particular the high of 27 model. "
    So, I have the following question:

    Given that the Ram, Crucial buy it at a later date ...
    And 1GB Graphics "guess" that go well for video.

    Expand What? i7 3.4 or 1TB + 256GB SSD?
    None of the 2 things I'm going to be able to expand in the future (the processor can not, and I will not ever open the Mac but is to expand the Ram).

    I'm almost decided by the SSD, but I would like to know your opinion.

    Is it worth over i5 3.1 to i7 3.4 for 200 € more? 3.1 With the i5 I left?

    Regards, and thanks in advance.
  2. Steamrunner macrumors member

    Aug 9, 2008
    Not strictly true - since the new iMacs have Thunderbolt ports, you can add an SSD later, in an external Thunderbolt-connected enclosure, and use that as the boot disc.

    So really, the only thing you can't upgrade would be CPU - so I'd go for the i7 now and add an external SSD in the future. It's also the cheaper option.
  3. timtom33 macrumors member

    Mar 30, 2011
    SSD via thunderbolt may even be faster as 1) You get to decide what SSD to use (some SSDs are faster than the Apple offering) and 2) Thunderbolt has 10gb bandwidth (SATA III is 6gb).
  4. NutsNGum macrumors 68030


    Jul 30, 2010
    Glasgow, Scotland
    To my knowledge, Apple haven't confirmed that they will allow booting from the Thunderbolt port.
  5. dfine1966 macrumors 6502

    Apr 9, 2011
    In theory Thunderbolt external enclosures could possibly be used as a boot disc. But from what I am hearing Apple still might lock down that part of Thunderbolt. It is not certain if it will be open to be used a a boot device. Everyone is just speculating. You have to decide what is more important to you. If you could afford both it would be easy. It is always nice to get the better processor, but having the SSD internally is also nice to have, especially if you want faster bootups and programs launching faster. You will see a bigger difference, in my opinion, having the SSD over the processor. You can take a chance that Apple would unlock Thunderbolt to allow externals as a boot device, but we still don't know, do we?
  6. Steamrunner macrumors member

    Aug 9, 2008
    Whilst Apple haven't yet confirmed Thunderbolt-booting one way or the other, Apple are invested heavily in Thunderbolt/Lightpeak. It would be ridiculous if Apple were to prevent Thunderbolt booting whilst allowing USB/FireWire booting. Now, granted, that's usually reason enough for Apple to do something, but if they're using Thunderbolt as a selling point then it would make no sense to effectively cripple it (compared to USB and FireWire). So I'm confident that Thunderbolt booting will be possible.

    However, until it's confirmed, you've basically got one component which definitely cannot be upgraded, and one which possibly can be. Add that to the OP's use of the machine - photo and video - and again, you're looking at the CPU being the better upgrade. The SSD will make loading of Photoshop, Premiere or whatever nice and fast, but rendering images or video and so on will benefit more from a better CPU. There will be a superficial appearance of speed due to the SSD but when it comes to grunt work, the CPU is where you'll see the difference. I would also suspect that the OP will be storing photo and video files on the 1Tb drive, which means that there won't be the same speed advantage that the SSD would give when loading/saving.

    So apologies for forgetting that TB booting hasn't yet been confirmed, but I'd still say the CPU is the better upgrade for this particular user.
  7. dfine1966 macrumors 6502

    Apr 9, 2011
    Sorry, I forgot about the photo stuff. For that, a better processor is more important than the SSD. It is ashame you couldn't afford both. Get the processor and hopefully later on Thunderbolt we allow external enclosures to be a boot device.
  8. omyard macrumors regular

    Jul 26, 2010
    I'd go with the SSD + 1TB HDD combo over the i7. The benchmarks I saw for the i5 and i7 were pretty close for the most part. So I think if you're looking for an increase in speed you're likely to get that via the SSD.
  9. Howitstarts macrumors newbie

    May 21, 2011
    I just had to make the same decision and went with the i7. I figured I could use a 3rd party SSD upgrade service later if I really wanted/needed one. Also there is a longer wait time for the SSD upgrade, and my inner child wants his new shiny toy now!

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