IMac 27" what priority for upgrades ?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by not2secure4u, Nov 21, 2011.

  1. not2secure4u macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2011
    #1
    I am going to buy the top imac model. I will be mainly using it for gaming (with windows) and composing music.

    Where should my priority be if I had more money to invest (not counting RAM since I can buy that after I have bought my imac) ?

    Is it like

    1. Applecare
    2. 2gb graphics card
    3. i7
    4. ?
     
  2. not2secure4u thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Nov 21, 2011
    #3
    lol yea but the 256gb ssd for 500+ isnt really in my budget :(
     
  3. osx11 macrumors 6502a

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    Jan 16, 2011
    #4
    If I were you, I would get the lower-end 27 inch and upgrade to a SSD. A spinning hard drive is going to be the bottleneck in your high end iMac.
    The SSD is so worth it.
     
  4. not2secure4u, Nov 21, 2011
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2011

    not2secure4u thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Nov 21, 2011
  5. leman macrumors 604

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    Oct 14, 2008
    #6

    1. You can buy it later
    2. Is a waste of money (you don't need it)
    3. You don't really need it (but it could save you a few seconds)

    So if you absolutely *want* to invest, get the better CPU. Or not. Doesn't matter much. But you should get aftermarket RAM :)
     
  6. not2secure4u thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Nov 21, 2011
    #7
    1. How much time do you have ? Is it worth it ?

    So you would also probably go for an SSD ? I guess it isnt really easy to get an aftermarket SSD installed ?

    Aftermarket RAM is definately on my first to buy list.
     
  7. leman macrumors 604

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    Oct 14, 2008
    #8
    1. You can get AppleCare during the first year (so you basically have a year) :) And of course its worth it, having a warranty is golden. I never want to own a computer without a warranty.

    The SSD would improve your overall experience, yes, and its aftermarket installation is very difficult and dangerous. So its also a good investment candidate.
     
  8. iSayuSay macrumors 68030

    iSayuSay

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2011
    #9
    Buying your own SSD (64/128GB) & tools (cable, mounting etc) to keep the cost down .. and then have an AASP personnel to help you put it on your iMac can also be a cheaper option instead of buying direct from Apple.

    With some labor fees, of course.
     
  9. not2secure4u thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Nov 21, 2011
    #10
    ^so you can just walk in an apple store with the tools and ask them to put it in for a fee ?

    Would an external SSD via thunderbolt be possible and get similar results ?
     
  10. leman macrumors 604

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    Oct 14, 2008
    #11
    And if they are willing to do this, of course ;)

    ----------

    In theory, yes (there are some reports of people using SSDs via Firewire and they seem to have a good experience). However, given that the availability of Thunderbolt is still a question, I am not sure whether you want to rely on it (I did, and I kind of regret it now :( )
     
  11. not2secure4u thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #12
    Explain please ? :)
     
  12. thekev macrumors 604

    thekev

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    Aug 5, 2010
    #13
    Firewire is quite slow. I guess you'd still get the faster seek time, but a modern HDD can fully saturate a firewire connection.
     
  13. iSayuSay macrumors 68030

    iSayuSay

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    Feb 6, 2011
    #14
    ^so you can just walk in an apple store with the tools and ask them to put it in for a fee ?

    Not all AASP would do it, so you can ask around your local AASP first. Sometimes they can even provide tools and SSD, you just have to pay the whole fees. Who don't love a little side jobs, heh? :D But for sure Apple wouldn't guarantee your SSD, only your own iMac.

    Would an external SSD via thunderbolt be possible and get similar results ?

    Of course, but Lacie LittleBigDisk SSD 240GB (2x120GB) cost around $850 .. so for today it's better off with Apple 256GB SSD and be done with whooping $600 (no RAID though).
     
  14. leman macrumors 604

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    Oct 14, 2008
    #15
    Well, I didn't get an SSD, because I thought I can get an external Thunderbolt enclosure and put my own SSD in. Now, five month later, there are still no reasonable TB products on the market.

    ----------

    Yes, but transfer speed is not as important as latency for that "fast ssd feel". And Firewire is enough for that. But of course, the Firewire solution is rather suboptimal.
     
  15. tnewson macrumors member

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    Nov 15, 2011
    Location:
    London
    #16
    Buy it aftermarket and use an optical drive caddy. No point buying a SATA 3 SSD thought as the slimline SATA port you'd be using (which runs the optical drive) only supports 3 Gigabit.

    If you buy a 64gb SSD just to install OSX and Windows you should be fine. Cant see it costing more than £100.

    Also the 2011 iMac is able to support faster RAM. So if your going to upgrade theres no point buying 1333mhz.


    I fitted an SSD to my iMac and it boots up in around 20 seconds and turns off quicker than a wife with a headache.
     
  16. Abazigal macrumors 604

    Abazigal

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    Jul 18, 2011
    Location:
    Singapore
    #17
    Is an SSD really worth it for an imac? I did some reading up, and it seems that its main draw is not so much the faster read speed (which is welcome nonetheless), but the fact that it has no moving parts (invaluable in a portable device like a laptop which is going to get knocked around a lot).

    Considering that your imac is going to be sitting still on your table for most part, that's a large chunk of the SSD's key benefit nullified right there. Are consumers so speed-sensitive that they notice how their imacs are loading programs a second lower here and there? :confused:
     
  17. theSeb macrumors 604

    theSeb

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    Location:
    Poole, England
    #18
    It's like asking whether a car than can do 0-60 mph in 3 seconds is worth it in comparison to a car than can accelerate to 60 mph in 8 seconds.

    Well that depends. If you only drive around at 40 mph all day and are stuck in the traffic then the faster car may not be "worth" it. If you like going track days then the faster car may be "worth" it to you. Or you may just like a fast car for xxxxs and giggles.

    What I am saying is that it all comes down to your requirements, needs and wants. I like my computer to run fast. The differences between the different SSDs are hardly noticeable in normal day-to-day use. The differences between SSDs and mechanical HDDs are noticeable, even in day-to-day use. Whether those differences are worth it is up to you.
     
  18. leman macrumors 604

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    Oct 14, 2008
    #19
    The main benefit of an SSD is its low latency (or low access time). A mechanical HDD has to mechanically navigate (by moving the head) to the part of the disk with the data prior to accessing it. The SSD does not have to do this. In practice, it means that you don't have to wait when many different files are being accessed at the same time. For instance, a few applications accessing the disk will slow down the HDD, resulting in waiting pauses (when starting two large software packets at the same time). With an SSD, you won't notice anything. An SSD makes your computing experience much nicer because the computer reacts faster. Strictly speaking, you won't see much real performance benefit with an SSD - for most programs out there, CPU/RAM is the bottleneck. But your computer will feel much faster.
     
  19. tnewson macrumors member

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    Nov 15, 2011
    Location:
    London
    #20
    **** yeah its worth it! The Solid State part is more of a bonus if your using it in a laptop but also means that its less likely to fail as there are no mechanic parts to be compromised as HDD's have to meet indescribable tolerances to work.
     
  20. not2secure4u thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Nov 21, 2011
    #21
    Yea I can imagine it fast and all, but expensive lol :D
     
  21. Beanoir macrumors 6502a

    Beanoir

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    #22
    Exactly as this says.
     
  22. not2secure4u thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Nov 21, 2011
    #23
    I agree with that but, isnt the lower graphics card a no go if I were to game on my machine ?
     
  23. iSayuSay macrumors 68030

    iSayuSay

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2011
    #24
    Despite of everyone else said about SSD .. it really depends on your needs

    SSD doesn't make your iMac run higher FPS with video convert, games and all. If at all, SSD helps improve overall load time

    So, an SSD will help you get:
    • Faster load/boot time
    • Faster access to files
    • Faster read/write

    However it doesn't help you for:
    • Games performance
    • Video editing/converting/encoding
    • Multitasking

    So yes .. which one is more important to you, I know it's expensive, I don't use SSD on my iMac myself, but I had Macbook Air just long enough to make me appreciate SSD on a computer.

    But if I had to choose one, I'd choose GPU/CPU upgrade instead since that's more important to me.

    Don't let other's opinion affect you too much. Remember that, SSD won't help you improve FPS as much as GPU will, so .. pick your venom carefully.

    Good luck
     
  24. W123 macrumors newbie

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    Nov 20, 2011
    #25
    1: SSD
    2: GPU
    3: RAM
    4: i7

    If you can't afford an SSD, just build a PC.
     

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