iMac i7 Web Design machine upgrades...

Discussion in 'iMac' started by SunnyHours, Dec 6, 2010.

  1. SunnyHours macrumors newbie

    Dec 6, 2010
    Montreal, Quebec, Canada
    Hi Everyone!
    It's my first post here but I've been roaming around for a long time. I am an ambitious Web Designer who contrary as what you might think is looking to go back to Pharmacology. I have my degree in Web Design, but it is not my real passion so I'll be doing a bit of freelancing to pay for my upcoming studies...
    However I own a Macbook Pro on which I do my work but it is pretty slow, and the battery as gone to crap (<10mins battery life) so it'll become my university laptop. I am now looking at a desktop Apple computer for my design work. Budget is pretty tight, but I have learn from my mistake of buying the lowest end Macbook Pro over 5 years ago and I'd be willing to pay the extra and spring for the i7 processor as well as getting a SSD drive with it and 8 or 16GB RAM, but apple tends to overprice the hell out of those upgrades.
    Let's just recap what I need:
    -a Macbook Pro 15.4" replacement battery
    -iMac RAM 8GB or 16GB
    -SSD bootup drive (not sure if I'd need something special to hook it up as I want another hard drive along with it and I don't think the iMac supports 2 drives...)

    Thank you for your help guys :D
  2. iMacrumors macrumors member

    Dec 6, 2010
    If I am getting a iMac, I would too love adding an SSD and upgrading the RAM. Idk if I trust myself crackin the thing open to do the upgrades.

    Your right though Apple is hella expensive for those upgrades.

    If your adding an SSD, might as well add a 2TB HDD :D

    I have one question though: If one does upgrades by themselves, is AppleCare voided?
  3. lucaspkm macrumors member

    Apr 16, 2010
    imac 27" supports 2 HDD 1 for working 1 for storage if lets say you are a study you can get a fair amount of deal with student price with apple and for the ram wise you might want to DIY is easy to fix the ram by yourself and for the battery you can get it on apple store as well.
  4. lucaspkm macrumors member

    Apr 16, 2010
    they will not cover any problem that your HDD brings up or occur and you have to ask an AASP to do so or you could get the CTO units.
  5. HobeSoundDarryl macrumors 604


    Feb 8, 2004
    Hobe Sound, FL (20 miles north of Palm Beach)
    The replacement battery should completely solve that 10 minutes problem, leaving you with a very good machine for general college needs. Replacement batteries are not that expensive. You might want to consider off brand options from OWC.

    For web design work 8GB should be plenty of ram. 16GB should be overkill, unless your web design efforts involve the need to run a lot of software and/or do a lot of multitasking. I'd save the extra 8GB, use "Activity Monitor" in the utilities folder after I get the iMac, and let watching how much RAM is used by what you do drive the decision to potentially add more RAM. It's easy- and just about always cheaper- to add later.

    The SSD option is expensive without much gain for your stated needs. If you are really going to use this as a web development system, is it worth it that the machine boots up a few times faster than booting up off of a hard drive? Do you need to open applications often enough that the speed at which they are loaded into memory actually matters to your productivity enough to justify the added cost?

    I own a 2010 iMac 27" with the SSD & the 2TB drive. I could easily argue about the greatness and "wow" speeds of the SSD option. However, I mostly bought it because I had the money to burn. Your situation is different than mine. I also do some web development, and I would say that having the SSD is virtually irrelevant to that kind of work and/or the productivity related to it.

    I have 12GB RAM (Apple's 4GB stock plus OWC 8GB). I rarely exceed 8GB ram and I do a fair amount of multitasking and open a fair amount of more hefty applications.

    That said, unless something about your web development requires a lot of ram or it makes a meaningful productivity impact to gain the boot and application loading speed of an SSD, I'd encourage you to do your "future proofing" in other ways.

    For example, given the price of a 1TB vs. 2TB drive, the 2TB drive should be a no brainer. Storage is universally valuable and applicable.

    That battery for the old Macbook will give you a mobile computer for class that should cover classic college student needs.

    Beyond that, you might want to think external backup drive (for TimeMachine) to keep you from losing your work in a crash.

    I'd rethink anything more given your situation. It's often a good idea to buy for the future rather than aim for cheapest now, but your future appears relatively static for at least a couple of years. You might want to save on the functional overkill for now (and go down the middle), then buy (the MAX overkill options) for the long-term after you graduate. Bigger, better, faster SSDs might be stock by then, as may additional ram you may or may not need now.

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