iMac vs Macbook Air

Discussion in 'iMac' started by cdp029, Apr 28, 2017.

  1. cdp029 macrumors newbie


    Jan 31, 2016
    Bloemfontein, South Africa
    Hi there,

    I have been using a Macbook Air for about 2 years now and I'm extremely happy with it's performance - especially the super snappiness - which I presume is mostly due to the fact that it has a SSD. I've also grown to love OS.

    Recently I have been considering getting an iMac but when I saw that it had a normal hard drive instead of a SSD I got a bit worried. And it seems like the Fusion drives have only a small amount of SSD space and the rest is normal hard drive.

    I'm wondering whether I won't just end up with a "Windows experience" when buying an iMac since it will run slow, freeze for a while before loading stuff, take long to boot up, take a while to load thumbnails etc - like with Windows.

    Maybe I'm just spoiled now with the Macbook's SSD.

    Can anyone please comment on this? Is the iMac slow / does it become slow like Windows?


  2. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Oct 24, 2013
    It doesn't slow down with time like windows but an HDD will give you far slower boot up and app access times simple as that.

    Which iMac are you looking at?? They can all be configured with an SSD instead and the 2TB & 3TB fusion options provide 128gb of SSD and run almost as fast as the SSD options in many use cases.
  3. Lankyman macrumors 68000

    May 14, 2011
    My comment would be that if you were experiencing a slow Windows experience then you obviously don't know your way around Windows. If that is the case then certainly stick with a Mac.
  4. cdp029 thread starter macrumors newbie


    Jan 31, 2016
    Bloemfontein, South Africa
    "They can all be configured with an SSD instead" ... do you mean one can pre-order them with an SSD?
    I don't really know which one to buy - want to use it for admin stuff at the office, nothing serious like photo or music production.
  5. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009
    First decide which size you want: 21" or 27".
    (I always recommend the 27")

    Then decide whether you want a fusion drive or a "straight" SSD.
    DON'T buy an iMac with only a platter-based HDD in it -- it will be too slow!

    A fusion drive is actually TWO physical drives:
    - an SSD portion
    - a platter-based hard drive
    The OS "melds together" the two drives, so that they "appear as one" on the desktop. This offers considerably more speed than would only an HDD.

    IF you get an iMac with fusion, I'd recommend that you get AT LEAST the 2tb version. The 1tb fusion iMacs have but a tiny SSD portion (24gb in the 27" model, not sure what configuration the 21" comes in). The 2tb version has a 128gb SSD, what I'd consider to be "the minimum".
  6. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Oct 24, 2013
    Yes you can pro-order them with standard HDD, fusion drives, or full SSD configurations on the apple online store.
  7. GalileoSeven macrumors member

    Jan 3, 2015
    I agree with those who've recommended against the 21". I use a MacBook Air myself and recently bought a 27" 5K iMac. Yeah, it's got a normal HD inside, but this iMac replaced a 6yr old (mid 2011) Mac Mini - so for me, going from a 5400RPM Drive to a 7200RPM Drive was a big boost. Sure, startup times are a bit longer compared to machines with fusion or solid state drives, but for me, it works.

    (I use a comparable PC at work, with a 3.2 'Ivy Bridge' CPU (i5-3470) and 8GB of RAM. In the 3yrs since they got it for me, I've never had a problem and found the general responsiveness perfectly acceptable. Comparing Mac vs PC isn't exactly equivalent, but given that I use many of the same programs, I figured a newer iMac would be at least on par, so that's why I pulled the trigger. YMMV though)
  8. nambuccaheadsau macrumors 65816


    Oct 19, 2007
    Nambucca Heads Australia
    If you do not need the mobility of the MBA go with a 27" iMac, preferably with 1TB of Flash Storage and a 2GB gfx card. And even the 7200rpm drive is like treacle after you have been used to an SSD. A 2/3TB Fusion drive has 128GB of Flash Storage.

    That can be large enough for some so it will depends what you intend using it with. Using it at the office I would go with the Flash.

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