iMac configuration advice needed

Discussion in 'iMac' started by PokerGuy, Sep 15, 2010.

  1. PokerGuy macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2010
    Location:
    London
    #1
    Hi there - New to the forum and been reading through all the threads discussing the new iMac line but have a few questions regarding configuration options:

    Few points about my likely usage:

    -I run a small web-site business, owning and operating about 20+ sites, mostly poker/gambling related. I do all my own site design/editing where possible, and would like to begin getting more involved in video/flash editing on this new computer.

    -I play poker professionally and although I understand most poker programs do not use much in the way of resources, I do have as many as 20+ games going at once regularly.

    -I often have multiple browsers open at the same time.

    -I run some large databases from time to time.

    -I have very little patience and like everything to happen as fast as possible.

    -I have decided to get the best model I possibly can, as I spend upwards of 100hrs a week on the computer, and it is my only real business expense, so it is clearly not an area to be frugal.

    So with that being said, I have already decided I am definitely getting the 27" 2.93GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i7. The only decisions to be made are which options to add. Right now I am leaning towards going the whole hog and getting the 2TB Serial ATA Drive + 256GB Solid State Drive as from what I have seen around the internet this seems to have a massive impact on speed, especially in starting up applications, and would presumably result in me having no lag at all when multitasking.

    I would also like to upgrade the ram - maybe to 8GB, but if I go with 8GB should I get the 2x4GB or the 4x2GB - is there a notable difference in performance? From what I have read it seems that keeping the other bays free in case I want to add more in future is the main reason to go with the 2x4GB option - is this the case?

    So with the SSD+2TB and 8GB of ram, would that be a good match? Or should I be considering going all out and getting the 16GB ram too?

    I am fine with spending the money if it will be worth it, but I sometimes have a habit of getting carried away in situations like this and buying lots of options I dont really need. If that is the case maybe someone can talk me in off the ledge? LOL

    Any advice would be much appreciated.

    Thanks in advance,

    PokerGuy


    P.S For the last few months while waiting for the new iMacs to come out I have been using a PC - yes I know..... My old Mac just wasnt cutting it any more (Old powerbook) and I needed an interim computer to get me through.
     
  2. sunnychotai macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2010
    #2
    Hi PokerGuy. In reply.

    I have a 2.93 i7 27" - great machine. Got bacic spec... why?

    1. RAM can be ordered from crucial.com a lot cheaper and it is a doddle to upgrade

    2. Having 2TB inside is risky. You are better off getting an external NAS drive or something to backup / have extra. The last thing you want is 2TB loss! A good case to have 2TB is for video editing (HD quality) as this needs a lot of swap space - I have 1TB inside and a 1TB buffalo linkstation NAS drive. Works nicely.

    3. The SSD is great for boot time. Expensive. I am not sure how fast it is. My iMac boots up to login in about 10 secs. Login in 1 second. Not the fastest, but I am not sure how much faster the SSD will make it.

    4. RAM combination - makes no difference to performance. The higher capacity chips you buy, the more expensive. I have 4GB and it is perfect. Will order the extra soon - but no need yet (prices may come down too)!

    Hope that helps.
     
  3. PokerGuy thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2010
    Location:
    London
    #3
    Wow thanks for the reply - thats really given me a lot to think about.

    The RAM thing I am always confused about, and your answer helps me a lot. I am always so wary of doing any installation myself but I just watched a video and it does look easy, and it is my understanding that it doesn't affect the warranty now either?

    I hadnt considered your point about having the 2TB inside - I use a lot of external hard drives now and was just thinking how nice it would be to have the bulk of my files on that one 2TB drive inside, especially as it would be separate from the SSD, assuming I go that route. As long as I back up the 2TB to an external HD regularly though is there a reason not to have more space inside?

    I have looked all over for a direct comparison between the start up times and other speed factors on a unit with SSD and one without, but cant find anything really detailed. The one thing I read in a few places was that if you don't get the SSD then you only get the one drive space inside instead of 2, and that's another reason I was leaning that way to future proof somewhat.

    I didnt realize that there was no performance difference between 2 sticks or 4 sticks or RAM if it came out to the same total. I guess the only reason for going bigger sticks is to get more into the limited slots then?

    Maybe I should go for the SSD and try to save a bit on the RAM by putting it in myself?

    Anyone else got any thoughts?
     
  4. PokerGuy thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2010
    Location:
    London
    #4
    I forgot to mention before - I will also be running an external monitor (24" Dell) off of this iMac - I assume this has no bearing on anything though as should be standard?

    Also does anyone know if there is a way to connect directly to my TV using HDMI input?
     
  5. Hermes Monster macrumors 65816

    Hermes Monster

    Joined:
    May 4, 2010
    Location:
    UK
    #5
    I'm no expert, haven't even got my iMac yet (next week hopefully), but thought I'd chip in..

    Have you considered buying a 2TB Time Capsule, to use as a back up and wireless hub? reviews are good and might just serve your needs.

    also, a small point regarding browsers/browsing, use either Chrome or Firefox 4 which use the systems GPU and will save you a few seconds waiting time - might not sound a lot but you'll notice the difference.

    I'm totally jealous of your potential purchases by the way :p
     
  6. PokerGuy thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2010
    Location:
    London
    #6
    Thanks Hermes - I wasn't even aware of the existence of the time capsule - they look great. Prob shouldnt be thanking you really, as I will probably have to have one now. Seems an ideal way to back up the 2TB HDD if I go the SSD+HDD route.

    Going to order tonight - just need to decide on the RAM options.

    Any other input by anyone much appreciated...
     
  7. Hayashi macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2008
    #7
    Honestly I would just order the basic 4g of ram and if you feel like you need more after, upgrade it yourself. The amount of money you save is ridiculous and it's such an easy thing to do. You can find videos of it on youtube. It's basically just pulling and pushing lol.
     
  8. MonkeyET macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2009
    Location:
    Coachella, CA
    #8
    I thought the new models allowed input through the minidisplay port. With an HDMI to minidisplay port adapter, this should be possible. If it allows outgoing and incoming signals, then it must adhere to HDCP compliance.

    According to Apple's site, the 27" supports the incoming signal! Anyone have a chance to try it out yet?
     
  9. Rideherhard macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2010
    #9
    I thought a lot of people were having problems with the time capsule? like not last long before they died?.
     
  10. PokerGuy thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2010
    Location:
    London
    #10
    well that's good news about the HDMI option - I found an adapter that looks perfect for that use.

    I will look at some feedback on the time capsules before buying - I have several G-tech external drives anyway for backs ups until then.

    I am planning to order later tonight or in the morning. Been going back and forth on the SSD option, but having read some of the reports from owners of these new iMacs I think I simply have to have the SSD or will have envy everlasting..

    So its the 2TB+SSD w/8GB RAM most likely.

    I did read a user review that said the HDD was really noisy but assume that maybe that was just a faulty drive? Anyone know anything about excess noise?
     
  11. sng08 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2010
    #11
    I was in a similar position as yourself sometime last week, whether to purchase a 27" iMac i7 with several options in mind, especially whether or not it’s worth getting the 256GB SSD + 2TB HDD.

    Well, in the end I decided to fork out, leaving a large empty hole in my wallet and ordered a 27" iMac with the SSD+HDD option. This way I could install operating systems (Windows / Mac OSX) and applications on the SSD thus giving faster booting time and store data on the HDD.

    I finally received my iMac yesterday (took about a week) and I must say the loading/boot speeds achieved by the SSD is incredible. Everything seems to work much quicker; however, I am jumping from a sluggish PC desktop & laptop to a Quad core machine! I don't regret spending the extra bob for the performance that I require.

    Regarding the RAM I kept the basic option of having 2 X 2GB (4GB RAM) and decided it would be cheaper to buy an extra 8GB separately (i.e from crucial) and install it myself rather than let Apple charge me an extortionate amount of money (I was spending enough as it is!!). I now have 12GB of memory installed and it is very easy to install yourself.

    I have also had no problems yet as mentioned within this forum (i.e screen/hardware problems) and the internal 2TB HDD doesn't make any noise whatsoever. My iMac is very quiet, efficient, and stunningly beautiful and I couldn't be happier. Good luck with your purchase!
     
  12. Hermes Monster macrumors 65816

    Hermes Monster

    Joined:
    May 4, 2010
    Location:
    UK
    #12
    I hate you guys :p * jealous much*
     
  13. PokerGuy thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2010
    Location:
    London
    #13
    Well I pulled the trigger...

    IMAC 27 /5750/SD
    2.93GHZ QUAD-CORE INTELCORE I7
    8GB 1333MHZ DDR3 SDRAM - 2X4GB
    2TB SERIAL ATA DRIVE+256GB SSD
    ATI RADEON HD 5750 1GB GDDR5
    8X DOUBLE-LAYER SUPERDRIVE
    APPLE MAGIC MOUSE-Z
    APPLE REMOTE-INT
    APPLE BATTERY CHARGER - GBR

    We estimate your order will be delivered to your shipping address on or before 24 Sep, 2010 - 27 Sep, 2010.

    Figured what the heck.... Now all I gotta do is wait.

    Thanks for all the advice and input.
     
  14. Hermes Monster macrumors 65816

    Hermes Monster

    Joined:
    May 4, 2010
    Location:
    UK
    #14
    Very nice, it's going to be a long week waiting for it to arrive!
     
  15. Define macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2010
    #15
    Great weekends.

    Yes i am so much excited for the coming weekend too and its nice to visit here often and share the long weekends by reading and posting in this forum.
     
  16. Define macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2010
    #16
    How does it do in Imac Series.

    Does the Imac needs also a software needed for web design like the ordinary PC had.
     
  17. PokerGuy thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2010
    Location:
    London
    #17
    Current Delivery Status Out for Delivery 23 Sep 2010


    :)
     

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