iMac Mechanical drive fast enough?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by striker33, Aug 18, 2011.

  1. striker33 macrumors 65816


    Aug 6, 2010
    Got my new iMac 27" a couple days back.

    Did a couple of speed tests and found that the mechanical drive read/write speed is roughly 115MB/sec, and the SSD is around 185MB/sec read. After having certain apps on both hard drives and launching them from both fresh boots and normal usage, there seems to be little difference in load times or in real world use.

    It's all the more noticeable after coming from a mercury extreme pro OWC drive of course, but from the stock apple drives, I'm questioning wether or not returning it and just bumping to a 2TB drive and saving a few hundred £££ due to so little performance gains.

    Obviously the downsides are the the time it takes to spin up after the Mac has been asleep, but even with an SSD present the OS still has to wait for the mechanical drive to spin up, so its negligable.
  2. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    I can't determine any subjective real-word difference between the HDD on the iMac and the SSD on my MBP. The only time when it is noticeable is when I have to run lots of software in parallel which accesses the disk.
  3. lamboman macrumors 6502

    Aug 13, 2011
    Mac OS X is a fast booting OS, and even with my mechanical drive, most applications launch literally immediately. In non-technical terms, before the icon has hit the ground again, nearly all my apps have completely loaded. For more taxing apps, you'll find it takes a bit longer.

    What do you use your system for, what kind of work?

    If you can't tell the difference, save your money.
  4. striker33 thread starter macrumors 65816


    Aug 6, 2010
    I use it for the main Adobe apps, flash, AE, etc. Some light video editing and a lot of video encoding.

    Obviously I'll only notice it from launching apps and reading app data, but there is a huge gap in performance between the stock Apple SSD and the OWC drive I had. Safari was instant on the OWC drive, now it takes one full bounch. Vuze, Photoshop, etc etc were all instant as well, but its noticeably slower with the Apple drive.
  5. VulchR macrumors 68020


    Jun 8, 2009
    I notice a smal but detectable difference between my 2011 27" iMac's HDD and SSD, but then again I often work with very large files (100's of MB). I know Mac OS X is supposed to prevent fragmentation, but in my last computer (a Mac Pro), the HDD seemed to slow down with use as it become full of a mixture of very large and very small files. Thus I winder if things would slow down a bit on the HDD as it fills up.
  6. Imserious macrumors member


    Aug 15, 2011
    Apple SSD's are shocking by comparison with the aftermarket standard. I suggest if at all capable for you to get an aftermarket one. I'm telling you the difference that 500mb read/write makes compared to the apple drives measly amount is significant. I use sleep alot but when I do power on it's in 14.7 sec and I could open auto cad and photoshop simultaneously with no lag to speak of, INSTANT. ;)

    Edit: just thought I should mention I have the newest 27" iMac.

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