iMac MNDY2PO 1tb HDD slow/not slow?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Gintoki-kun, Apr 23, 2018.

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  1. Gintoki-kun macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2012
    #1
    Hi

    I would like some opinions on this please.

    A friend of mine does pro photography editing.

    2 years ago ai upgraded his 2012 MBP with an SSD and 8gb Ram, but as you can imagine it's starting to show his age.

    He has been saving to buy an iMac.
    He found this really good deal for an iMac MNDY2PO
    Specs:
    i5 3GHz
    8Gb Rain
    1TB HDD
    AMD Radeon Pro 555 2GB


    I told him to go for an SSD for the obvious reasons but he says he has to bet on the short term for now, on the iMac.

    He asked me if he would feel a difference, positive, regarding this iMac vs his MBP. I said possibly, but the HDD is putting me off. Given it is a 5400rpm

    What are your thoughts on this?

    Thanks
     
  2. redheeler macrumors 604

    redheeler

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2014
    #2
    Expect a 2017 iMac with only a 5400 RPM HDD to feel slower, not faster, compared to a 2012 MBP with an SSD. It's absurd that Apple still sells Macs with a 5400 RPM HDD and no SSD, given how much newer MacOS versions really need an SSD for decent performance.
    --- Post Merged, Apr 23, 2018 ---
    Your friend could get an external USB-C or Thunderbolt SSD to attach to the iMac, move the OS and commonly-used apps onto the SSD, and that should result in the performance anyone would expect from a new Mac.
     
  3. Gintoki-kun thread starter macrumors member

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    Sep 7, 2012
    #3
    Thanks @redheeler , unfortunately that's what I thought as well. A 7200rpm wouldn't leave me much in doubt.
    He really can't afford, now, a version with a SSD which is a shame. And it just feels so bad to buy an iMac that good (the 7th intel kaby lake is a beast) with a 5400pm HDD
     
  4. kschendel macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2014
    #4
    The slower rotation speed affects latency and transfer rate more than seek time, and seek time is generally the real killer in the HDD vs SSD comparison. I agree that it's quite likely that the HDD iMac will feel slower than what he's using now. Depending on how much storage space he needs, a fusion drive might be an acceptable compromise on cost vs storage/speed.
     
  5. bluespider macrumors 6502

    bluespider

    Joined:
    May 12, 2009
    Location:
    Space Coast FL
    #5
    I just bought a 27" iMac this weekend, while I love it.. it is going to take some getting used to as it does seem so much slower than my MacBook Pro. I like the 1 Tb for space and storage, but just hadn't didn't realize how MUCH faster the ssd makes everything and having gotten so used to that, going back to a physical drive was a bit of a shock.

    My only question now is, I plan on using the iMac for photo editing as I'm an amateur photographer... I'll probably start out with Adobe Elements and now just trying to decide if I should upgrade the default 8 gb ram to 16... I'll continue to play my games on my MBP though; however, Civ look beautiful on the 5k monitor :)
     
  6. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2013
    #6
    Just use an external ssd and boot from that it will be a much more pleasant machine to use.
    --- Post Merged, Apr 23, 2018 ---
    It will be a massive difference i’m Sure he will hate it.
     
  7. bluespider, Apr 23, 2018
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2018

    bluespider macrumors 6502

    bluespider

    Joined:
    May 12, 2009
    Location:
    Space Coast FL
    #7
    Gonna give that a shot... saw a 512 GB SSD on sale a BestBuy for $140. Just bought it and will try that... are there instructions out there on setting up the main OS on that and just using the built in drive as storage?

    I just have to say WOW... So I bought 512GB external SSD, and just set that up as my primary drive on my new iMac and the speed increase is incredible... I'm sold! My internal drive will be pure storage from here on out :)

    Thanks for the tip!
     
  8. Gintoki-kun thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2012
    #8
    My friend has the option for this one as well iMac 21.5'' I5 MMQA2.

    It's not 4K and consequently the graphics card isn't as good.

    specs

    i5 dual-core 2.3GHz Kaby Lake
    8Gb RAM
    256GB SSD
    Graphics Intel Iris

    I told him this would be the best option.

    Would you say the same? Thanks
     
  9. kschendel macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2014
    #9
    If he's doing photo editing I should think he would want the retina screen, with either a fusion drive or (better) SD storage. If necessary I'd suggest waiting and saving a bit more, or looking into buying used / refurbished. For generic office work the non-retina screen is perfectly usable, but I mean that as faint praise.
     
  10. Gintoki-kun thread starter macrumors member

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    Sep 7, 2012
    #10
    That is what I told him, but his 2012 MBP is overheating a lot etc etc

    So his choices are one of those two... :/
     
  11. kschendel macrumors 65816

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    Dec 9, 2014
    #11
    I'd take the cover off the MBP and blow the dust out. That might buy some time, as neither choice is really ideal.
     
  12. nambuccaheadsau macrumors 68000

    nambuccaheadsau

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2007
    Location:
    Nambucca Heads Australia
    #12
    Any rotational drive is going to be slow, 5400 or 7200rpm, as that technology cannot hold a candle to SSDS or Blade Drives. Even the old 10,000rpm Raptors were not much quicker.

    More free space will make an SSD somewhat faster so at least a 512GB SSD.
     
  13. Gintoki-kun thread starter macrumors member

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    Sep 7, 2012
    #13
    Thanks @kschendel and @nambuccaheadsau ...

    He was going to the story yesterday but haven't heard from him yet o_O
    Lets see what he was able to do.
    Also, in Portugal there is no refurbished... Not even one Apple Store. I live in UK now and I couldn't imagine myself buying my apple products anywhere apart from an AStore
     
  14. Gintoki-kun thread starter macrumors member

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    Sep 7, 2012
    #14
    On the note of iMacs with HDDS etc
    Should a late 21.5" iMac 4gb RAM i5 be super slow with a High Sierra?

    I mean dead slow...
     
  15. kschendel macrumors 65816

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    Dec 9, 2014
    #15
    4 Gb and a hard drive? I'd expect app loading to be slow. As long as not too many things are running at once, in-app performance ought to be usable, maybe not the greatest. As I recall, El Capitan on a 4 Gb iMac with HDD was quite the dog, 8 Gb helped a good bit. I have no reason to think that HS would be better, and probably worse. That was an early 2009 though.
     
  16. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

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    Oct 24, 2013
    #16
    Well it’s a dual core 15w ultrabook chip and a small amount of ram with an hdd and a modern OS optimised for ssd’s i’d Imagine it’s pretty slow with more than a couple of things runnng at once.
     
  17. Fishrrman macrumors P6

    Fishrrman

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #17
    OP asked:
    "I told him this would be the best option.
    Would you say the same?"


    YES.
    The SSD drive "makes all the difference in the world".

    It's as simple as that.
     
  18. Gintoki-kun thread starter macrumors member

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    Sep 7, 2012
    #18
    My friend was wise enough to wait and now the main Apple retailer in Portugal did a 15% on some iMacs and he got this one for a bargain
    Apple iMac 4K 21,5'' i5-3,4GHz | 8GB | Fusion 1TB | Radeon Pro 560
     
  19. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

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    Oct 24, 2013
    #19
    It will be better but the 1TB fusion in that model only had 24gb of ssd, as long as he is a casual user it will be fine but he may well hit the limits of the speed boost, still it’s better than the hdd version.
     
  20. kschendel macrumors 65816

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    Dec 9, 2014
    #20
    I think it's 32 Gb front-side SSD now. Agree that it's not the perfect config but it should be much better than all-HDD. Good outcome I think. (And, if your friend becomes seriously irritated with the HDD, he can always open it up and install an SSD himself, when the time is right. It's not simple but it's doable.)

    PS I still think he should open up his MBP and blow out all dust etc. with luck he'll end up with two very nice computers.
     
  21. bbnck macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2009
    #21
    If the 4K iMac is a 2017 model with a 1 TB Fusion Drive, it will have a 32 GB SSD. It is the 2015 iMacs with 1 TB Fusion Drives that have the smaller 24 GB SSD.
     
  22. nambuccaheadsau macrumors 68000

    nambuccaheadsau

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2007
    Location:
    Nambucca Heads Australia
    #22
    Tragedy. Fusion and SSHD's are a poor quality solution.

    He is not gonna be happy with that slow machine. Maybe he will be interested in running an SSD via USB3 externally which is the simplest way out of his predicament.
     
  23. gavroche macrumors 65816

    gavroche

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2007
    Location:
    Left Coast
    #23
    I'm sporting a mid 2010 iMac 27".... i5... 2.8gh...
    Performance sucks royally. Doing pretty much anything is pretty slow. But can't justify spending money on a newer machine. But i'm about to pull the trigger on a 512GB SSD.... as they are now around $125.... and throw it in the optical bay.... i'm hoping/assuming that doing this would result in a pretty noticeable performance boost....?
    RAM is a less sure thing. It's got 8GB (four slots). I can only double that to 16GB. I'm not sure that spending $75-100 is worth that. What's your opinion....?
     
  24. redheeler macrumors 604

    redheeler

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2014
    #24
    As the owner of an iMac with similar specs to yours that was also feeling a bit sluggish, upgrading it with an SSD a couple years ago indeed made a huge difference. I opted to replace the original HDD completely rather than adding an SSD in the optical drive bay (replacing the HDD requires the purchase of an external temperature sensor), but either way your iMac should feel like new provided you move the OS, apps, and commonly-used files onto the SSD (wouldn't be a bad idea to use the HDD for backup, keeping in mind that it is much more likely to fail than the SSD).

    I agree the RAM is less of a concern. Open up Activity Monitor and click the Memory tab, if the graph on the bottom is yellow or red you might benefit from adding more RAM, but 8 GB is still enough for most tasks. For reference, your iMac can go all the way up to 32 GB (4 x 8 GB) without issues, despite Apple's claim of a 16 GB max.
     
  25. gavroche macrumors 65816

    gavroche

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2007
    Location:
    Left Coast
    #25
    Glad to hear it made a difference of you. I'm going to place an order tonight. I'm learning towards one of these two:

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B073SBZ8YH/ref=ox_sc_act_title_1?smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER&psc=1

    http://www.crucial.com/usa/en/ct500mx500ssd1

    I've always heard good things about Crucial... at least in terms of RAM, not sure what their reputation for SSD is. Price is pretty close together... and specs seem pretty similar. If you know of a better option, please let me know!
    Thanks for the heads up on the amount of RAM it can take.... as you mentioned, i'm not there yet on thinking i need it, but maybe some day. For now i think i'll do the SSD and then reevaluate later if i think i need it.
     

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