iMac with HDD

Discussion in 'iMac' started by neonjohn, Jun 27, 2014.

  1. neonjohn macrumors newbie

    Jun 24, 2014
    I'm thinking of getting an iMac to supplement my new MBA13. Anyway, at Best Buy I can get a mid range 21.5'' for a total of $1,113 (1199.99 base - 150 coupon + tax). The problem I have is, this model has an HDD with moving parts. In comparison, getting the same mid-range 21.5'' from Apple with a 256GB SSD, with education pricing, would be a whopping $1,514. So, $400 bucks for an SSD.

    I'd only be using the iMac for pretty average uses, MS Office-y stuff for school, surfing, listening to music, streaming video, email, etc. I really don't want to go back to a spinny HDD after not using one for years, and it feels pretty archaic. I'm left with a bit of feeling weird in my stomach. I'd imagine the performance on the HDD isn't all that bad though. I hope it's at least silent.
  2. SandboxGeneral Moderator emeritus


    Sep 8, 2010
    If all you really do with the computer is what you listed, you can live with the HDD just fine. While the SSD is very nice and quick, it really only comes into play when launching apps and booting up. If you can afford the extra $400, go for it. But if it's too much of a burden, you can still comfortably get by with the HDD.
  3. jg321 macrumors 6502

    Aug 29, 2012
    I personally wouldn't want a computer with an HDD as the boot drive. I got the 21.5" iMac with 256GB SSD. As I have an RMBP with the same, in hindsight I should have got the Fusion drive and maybe split it, as 256GB is maybe a little tight for a "desktop".

    Externals just too messy for me, and complicate backups, IMO.
  4. Weaselboy Moderator


    Staff Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    Just an idea... but have you thought about just using your MBA with an external monitor? I use the same 13" MBA with an external monitor and KB/mouse as my only computer and it works out well.

    Might be less expensive for you overall.
  5. neonjohn thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 24, 2014
    Yes, I've thought of using an external monitor but I think I would rather have two separate computers especially since my MBA will be on the move and exposed a lot and I'll be depending on it a lot. Also, and this might seem spoiled, but I'd like to not have to mess with taking out my MBA from my bag and hooking it up to a monitor, etc. Also, there isn't really room on my desk to place the MBA & the monitor without awkwardness. I'd like to just come home and pop my bag down and get on my desktop at my desk.

    Plus, the iMac would look really nice on my wood & aluminum desk. :)

    But yes, I'm still considering just doing the monitor.

    If I do finally decide to get an iMac, I probably will just get the HDD version because of price. I already spent 1600 on the MBA between 8GB RAM & 512GB SSD. Still feel a tad sketchy about the idea of HDD though.
  6. Steve121178 macrumors 601


    Apr 13, 2010
    Bedfordshire, UK
    It'll work just fine.

    I would recommend just putting it to sleep instead of booting it up fresh each day, that way you will always get an almost "instant on" and not have to wait upto a minute to boot up.
  7. MartinAppleGuy macrumors 68020


    Sep 27, 2013


    I own a 21.5" iMac (Late 2013,2014) with a 1Tb HDD. It is completely silent (well, unless you are exporting heavily and your face is flush against the screen, but at normal distance, it can be discerned). Performance wise, I boot up in 35 seconds, wake from sleep instantly, and apps open instantly anyway once I have opened then before (when you open an app, parts of the app bet cached in RAM so that the next time you open the app it will open instantly). I am extremely happy with mine :)
  8. jg321 macrumors 6502

    Aug 29, 2012
    Agreed. I had this issue, which is why I purchased the iMac.

    Indeed. I think a Mini + a monitor will have considerably less "appeal".

    I really really wouldn't get the HDD version. It's gonna feel slow compared to your MBA. Fusion drive really is the best option IMO. At least something with an SSD for the OS.

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