Is 256GB SSD enough for the Retina iMac?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by seasurfer, Oct 25, 2014.

  1. seasurfer macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2007
    #1
    I maxed everything for the retina iMac except the hard drive and the RAM.

    My order is already processed by Apple and is on its way to my house.

    But I start to fear that my decision to only order 256GB SSD will be problematic in the future.

    The reason why I decided to go with the 256GB SSD is because I have a late 2013 Retina MBP with 500GB SSD, I realized that I never used more than 60GB, so I start to ask myself why do I need a bigger volume in my new retina iMac. And if I need one, I can buy an external HD and hook it up using USB 3.0 or the thunderbolt.

    Please tell me if there will be any unforeseen circumstances that I will need more than 256GB of HD to make the retina iMac functions at its best?
     
  2. azure247 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2008
    #2
    256 is enough

    u can always buy an external ssd too

    but for me, i use bootcamp. i need 512 min. since im making a partition
     
  3. curtoise macrumors 6502a

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    Apr 19, 2010
    #3
    I order the same as you even if I have 512gb on my rMBP but usin only 100gb

    I did it because Apple will charge me extra $270 to get $512 but I've got a Crucial mx100. 512gb at Amazon with a usb3 enclosure with 360/r/w. For $200, now I'll have $768gb ssd and still save $70.
     
  4. redheeler macrumors 603

    redheeler

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    Oct 17, 2014
    #4
    256 GB should be enough, but I would recommend getting an external hard drive to use for extra storage. Obviously it won't be as speedy as the SSD though, these things are FAST.
     
  5. marillion747 macrumors newbie

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    Sep 10, 2014
    Location:
    Blackburn, England
    #5
    I got a 256gb ssd in my 2013 iMac, I then added 500gb external western digital drive, for around £50.

    I've still got over 100gb spare on the ssd, I'm glad I didn't get the overpriced 512 ssd.
     
  6. tom vilsack macrumors 68000

    tom vilsack

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    #6
    I could be wrong,but somewhere I read the 500g ssd is slightly faster then the 256g ssd....
     
  7. omnisphere macrumors member

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    Mar 22, 2011
    #7
    No it is true that bigger SSD:s is a little bit faster, I don`t know why but I have read that in many test reports.

    :eek:
     
  8. curtoise macrumors 6502a

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    Apr 19, 2010
    #8
    Do not believe the faster-slower ssd statements, with any ssd your iMac will fly.
     
  9. colodane macrumors 6502a

    colodane

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    Nov 11, 2012
    Location:
    Colorado
    #9
    You should be fine with the 256 GB SSD.

    I have the same on my 2011 iMac and after 3 years only have 85 GB of content. Many users would need more, but knowledge of your own usage habits is key and you seem to be on top of that.

    I'll be replacing my iMac in the next year or so and will no doubt get another 256 SDD plus an external drive for Time Machine.
     
  10. KenAFSPC macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2012
    #10
    If performance matters to you, get the 500GB model. A rough approximation of the different options:

    1TB - 100% performance
    500GB - 97% performance
    256GB - 65% performance

    The 256GB SSD is an older/cheaper Sandisk design whereas the 500GB and 1TB models are newer/faster Samsung designs. The Samsung design offers better throughput, better latency, and slightly lower CPU consumption.
     
  11. thedeske macrumors 6502a

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  12. bwsteg macrumors 6502

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    Queens NY
    #12

    I have the 256gb. As far as speed goes, is there a noticeable difference in getting the Samsung 512gb? In the sense of quicker startups, etc?
     
  13. macmee Suspended

    macmee

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    Dec 13, 2008
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    Canada
    #13
    700mbps vs 1000mbps or something, but you'll not notice generally.
     
  14. KenAFSPC macrumors 6502a

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    Sep 12, 2012
    #14
    If you don't spend most of your day in Final Cut Pro or a similar I/O intensive application, I wouldn't worry about it. But yes, startups would be slightly faster and performance would be better with intense multitasking, due to the superior latency and IOPS on the Samsung drive.

    I only mentioned it because some people want the fastest possible machine. If you want the fastest possible machine, then you opt for the 4GHz CPU, upgraded graphics, and at least the 500GB SSD.
     
  15. 556fmjoe macrumors 65816

    556fmjoe

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    Apr 19, 2014
    #15
    Unless you are transferring very large amounts of data, there will be absolutely no difference whatsoever.
     
  16. KenAFSPC, Oct 26, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2014

    KenAFSPC macrumors 6502a

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    Sep 12, 2012
    #16
    The difference is not just in the peak read/write throughput, which is what most people quote around here (550-600 vs 1000Mbps, etc.). There's also the difference in latency and IOPS.
     
  17. 556fmjoe macrumors 65816

    556fmjoe

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    Apr 19, 2014
    #17
    It still is so fast that it won't be noticeable in normal usage though.
     
  18. bwsteg macrumors 6502

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    Sep 25, 2012
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    Queens NY
    #18

    Thanks for the explanation. What I did notice is that startups were quicker with my 128gb Samsung ssd on my pc than the 256gb on the new iMac. I opted for the upgraded processor and gpu but now I'm second guessing whether I should've gone with the 512gb ssd
     
  19. KenAFSPC macrumors 6502a

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    Sep 12, 2012
    #19
    I agree, for the most part. But the same could probably be said for the 4GHZ CPU and the upgraded graphics.
     
  20. curtoise macrumors 6502a

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    Apr 19, 2010
    #20
    100% correct
     
  21. 5iMacs, Oct 26, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2014

    5iMacs macrumors regular

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    Oct 25, 2014
    #21
    This is the main point. It's not the large file transfer speed that makes an SSD so amazing versus an HD, after all, spinning drives now go up to 200MB/s as well. It's the 10-50x speedups in handling all of the small reads and writes.

    I've had the 256GB Toshiba in my rMBP for more than 2 years, which is probably the lowest rated one that Apple has installed in the last 2 years, and it's great.

    I have the Samsung 256GB in my 5k iMac (yes, APPLE SSD SM0256F), and it's great.

    I have also found that it's pretty easy to fit in to 256GB, keeping my large media elsewhere, but that totally depends on your situation.
     
  22. bwsteg macrumors 6502

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    Sep 25, 2012
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    Queens NY
    #22


    Wait so the 256 on the 5k iMac is Samsung? I read that it was an old Sandisk SSD. If so, I may just stay with the 256gb.
     
  23. westrock2000 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2013
    #23
    Latency is generally a non-issue, only in extreme applications of multiple users (like a big server) will you reach Queue Depths high enough to make a difference. Even Anand has said that for the normal user getting higher that 2-4 sustained unique requests to the drive at one time is hard.

    Whether the data is on Chip 1 address 6000 or chip 14 address 200, it doesn't matter to the controller, it's all the same distance. On a platter driver you have to physically move from one place to another and that takes time.

    Even looking at the IOPS, you're talking about normal SSD's doing 35-50MB/s (megabyte) when accessing 4KB (Kilobyte) files. This is the absolute slowest your drive will ever perform. So at 40MB/s your talking about 10,000 4KB files being accessed every 1 second. There are very very few cases where that is used for the average user. One of them being virus scanning, which most Mac users do not do.

    So in a absolute sense, what you say is totally true, but for average users with Hard disc drives being at 30% on some imaginary performance scale, average SSD's being somewhere around 87% and premium SSD's being around 90% there is almost no noticeable increase between the two SSD's. But from platter to SSD it is phenomenal.

    It's almost like a "commoner" going into a car dealership and asking whats the difference between the sports car that has a top end of 190MPH or the sports car that has a top end of 240MPH? For commuting to work, it has absolutely zero effect.

    On another note, if you can use Apple's Fusion Drive, I highly recommend it. It is one of the best storage technologies I have seen in several years. I really wish Windows and Linux would implement it as liberally as OS X does. Intel has a similar version, but is limited to 64GB on the SSD.
     
  24. 5iMacs macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2014
    #24
    It was for me, but that's just one sample.

    The point of my post was that you really shouldn't stress over it though. :D
     
  25. SteelBlueTJ, Oct 26, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2014

    SteelBlueTJ macrumors 6502

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    Apr 2, 2012
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    USA
    #25
    I have 256 GB SSD in my 2013 iMac and it is more than enough. I only have about 35 GB of it used up, which is just the OS and apps. I use an external for all my files and a second external for time machine. Never any issues and very happy with my decision.
     

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