Is a 1TB SSD worth the $900 upcharge?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by CAWjr, Mar 31, 2016.

  1. CAWjr macrumors 6502

    CAWjr

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    Jan 19, 2010
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    #1
    I'm looking at getting a new 27" iMac (MK472LL) & while configuring it on Apple's site, I see that going from the default 1TB fusion drive to the 1TB SSD is an extra $900. That increases the price of the machine from $2,000 to $2,900. Basically a third of the price is on the hard drive alone. Compare that to going to a 512 GB drive for a $400 upcharge.

    File & document storage is not an issue. I have a Drobo with about 6 TB of storage space that I will be connecting to the machine, but that Drobo is a pseudo RAID device with spinners in it, so that defeats the purpose of having an on board SSD if I am running anything off that drive. Hence the reason I want to go with the bigger 1TB drive so I can use the Drobo as a true storage device & not a supplemental active drive.

    My question really is this. Is the 1TB drive worth the cost or will I be fine sticking with the $400 512 GB SSD? Keep in mind that I have zero desire or intention of ever opening this machine up to upgrade the drive at a later date which is why I want to try & future proof it as much as possible at the point of purchase.
     
  2. monokakata, Mar 31, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2016

    monokakata macrumors 68000

    monokakata

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    #2
    I'll be the first with "only you can answer your question," even though that's not helpful.

    I faced the same decision with my late 2015 iMac when I moved from a cMP. I decided to go TB and got a TB enclosure for my main disks. So that part was easy, and analogous to your use of your Drobo.

    I went with the 1 TB SSD, and here's why. I felt as though I didn't want to be cleaning up my SSD every week or so, which I figured would happen as it filled. I had a 512 rMBP, and although I didn't use it as my main machine, I was always thinking about how much I could put on it, how much I'd have to offload, and so on. So I was aware of a potential problem there.

    It seemed to me that having a 1 TB SSD would let me go many weeks without worrying about what to move, and that's been the case. It's been important to me not to have that kind of overhead. It might be unimportant to you.

    So I think you should ask yourself how often you're likely to be adding big chunks of data, and what you're at ease with doing when that happens. If moving data from the iMac to your Drobo (or something else) is an insignificant task to you, then you don't need that 1 TB. But if you want to be worrying about it far less, then it might be.
     
  3. CAWjr thread starter macrumors 6502

    CAWjr

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    Atlanta, GA
    #3
    Yeah, I kind of assumed that was the answer I was going to get. I plan to use this machine for pretty basic tasks. Internet, MS Office, Music, Photos, and video editing. I'm not talking about making feature length films or anything, so the largest file sizes would definitely be in the <10GB range. My only fear is getting to a point where I am having to work with files that have to stay on the external drive because there is no room for them on the SSD.

    I get what you are saying about the smaller HD being more to maintain from a file management and cleanup perspective, and I would say that I am more of a casual user so time is not as important as it might be for someone using this as their primary everyday machine that they make their living on.

    From a cost perspective, the $900 is not an issue. It's really more of a cost/benefit question for the upcharge. You did a really good job of helping me see that a bit more clearly.
     
  4. Cape Dave macrumors 65816

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    Northeast
    #4
    Nope. Get the 512GB and an external. Save a few hundred dollars!
     
  5. briloronmacrumo macrumors 6502

    briloronmacrumo

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    Jan 25, 2008
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    USA
    #5
    If cost isn't an issue get the 1 TB SSD. Maybe your usage will change in 2 years ( e.g. you decide to get heavy into photography and editing ) and you might regret not having the 1TB SSD. Of course, even a 1TB SSD might feel constrained in some scenarios but you won't have regrets since the maximum size was purchased.
     
  6. matreya macrumors 65816

    matreya

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    Nov 14, 2009
    #6
    If you think you can use the 1TB SSD go for it, but also consider buying AppleCare to protect the investment. It's better to have 3 years' coverage than 12 months..
     
  7. stuartak macrumors member

    stuartak

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    Feb 21, 2016
    #7
    I find this discussion most amusing ,a 500GB Samsung SSD costs $149 so $500 is a total rip off , so guess what $900 is , you only need an SSD for high speed transfers , unless you are rendering large video files for a living you do not need the additional speed , the new IMACs have thunderbolt ports which work at 6GB per sec , so you can run an external NAS array as big as you like and keep increasing its size , why put all of your drives inside the case its not sensible. In two years time a TB in the cloud will probable be $ a month , with total backup you dont need to worry about , save your money buy the machine that will do what you want now , most hardware is at least a generation ahead of the software available and the gap is widening , the majority of users do not use anything like the capability of the machines power .
     
  8. iceman42, Apr 1, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2016

    iceman42 macrumors regular

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    Nov 12, 2012
    #8
    its one of the things that i like about a mac pro that you can and any size hard drive after you buy it.you don't have to pay apples high upgrade prices when you configure ur mac pro
     
  9. Sirmausalot macrumors 6502a

    Sirmausalot

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    Sep 1, 2007
    #9
    I got my 500GB NVRAM equipped iMac mack in November and I have 122GB free. I'll have to do some space management soon. The 500 is fine as long as you have external storage to do management, the 1TB saves you that hassle for a bit longer....
     
  10. trifid, Apr 1, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2016

    trifid macrumors 65816

    trifid

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    #10
    To me $900 for 1TB is plain theft, here's what I'd do: pay $100 extra for 256GB SSD, and use that just for OSX and apps, then buy a 1TB drive and put it on a thunderbolt external enclosure and use that for your user folders.

    A 1TB Samsung SSD 2.5" drive is currently on sale for $260
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/SAMSUNG-850...206446?hash=item58d5a0c9ae:g:bdoAAOSw~uhUmskj

    Use the extra saved money to upgrade the CPU to 4.0ghz quad-core i7 which is only $300.

    Before someone jumps in, sure, the external SSD would not reach 900MB read/write or so that an internal SSD would, but the external Samsung would be around 500MB read/write via thunderbolt should still be excellent and not far from the 900MB for practical normal real life use cases.

    Plus, you'd still have your OS and apps on the

    For comparison purposes, Apple seems to think 5400rpm is decent enough to make it default on the iMac 4K, and that's only 40-80MB r/w.

    One last thing: the 5k screen could use as much help as possible from a better gpu, so I'd get the high-end model $2300 which comes with the better GPU.
     
  11. Fried Chicken macrumors 6502

    Fried Chicken

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    Jun 11, 2011
    #11
    That $260 SATA SSD is nowhere near as fast as the PCIe SSD apple puts into their iMacs which get 1200 MB/s performance. In fact it's currently on Amazon for $968.

    I would go for it, especially money being no object. You'll have all your files available *instantly*.

    I would recommend upgrading the graphics card to the fastest one available. The 5k screen needs all the help it can get.


    If money is an issue, I would stick with the 512GB, but still upgrade the graphics card. Then down the road as things get faster and cheaper, rip open your iMac and upgrade the storage and CPU. Don't buy Apple RAM, do it yourself.
     
  12. trifid macrumors 65816

    trifid

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    May 10, 2011
    #12
    Samsung's 850 SSD is still extremely fast though, my point is if you had to choose between cpu and gpu upgrades vs internal 1tb vs external, the cpu/gpu would be better. Keep in mind in my suggestion the iMac would still have 256gb of internal ssd at 1200mb for OS and apps.
     
  13. Cape Dave macrumors 65816

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    #13
    Be careful, because sometimes the 256GB internal is not as fast as the 512GB internal. Beware.
     
  14. maflynn, Apr 6, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2016

    maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

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    #14
    Count me in the camp that thinks a 1TB SSD if too expensive.

    How slow, I'm assuming the speed difference in real work usage is so tiny, none of us will really notice.
     
  15. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 603

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    Oct 24, 2013
    #15
    Yeah Maflynn has it right sequential read write speeds rarely make too much difference it's the random I/O that makes ssd's so responsive and they are much the same on all modern drives.
     
  16. h9826790, Apr 6, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2016

    h9826790 macrumors 604

    h9826790

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    #16
    IMO, no, it's over price (by comparing it to SM951 / 950 Pro).

    A much cheaper 850Evo may able to achieve 90% what the PCIe SSD can do on day to day operation for a normal home user.

    For $900, I will prefer to have 3x1T 850 Evo external storage, and keep the fusion drive which is good enough for fast boot etc. I can also RAID that 3T SSD in order to achieve ~1500MB/s read write if I really need that high sequential speed (e.g. For media editing).
     
  17. Fishrrman macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #17
    I, too, think that a $900 upcharge for a 1tb SSD is not "worth paying for".

    Of course, there are some folks to whom $900 doesn't mean much.

    If the OP is one of those folks, then he might as well do it.

    Otherwise, save the money!
     
  18. CWallace macrumors 603

    CWallace

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    Aug 17, 2007
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #18
    I went from a 256Gb SSD on my 2012 iMac to a 512GB SSD on my 2014 5K and now bought the 2015 model with the 1TB.

    In general, 512GB was plenty and I also have a Drobo (16GB 5D) for media storage. However, I wanted to expand my BootCamp partition to 100GB to load more games and that constrained me a bit on the 512GB model with all my other apps and data so I figure the 1TB model will give me years of overhead.
     
  19. Fried Chicken macrumors 6502

    Fried Chicken

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    Jun 11, 2011
    #19
    You would need an external enclosure to do so, or would require you to rip your iMac open.

    Even then you could only put 2 SSDs in RAID 0 as there is only one SATA port and one M.2 PCI port.

    A RAID 0 configuration would not work for Windows under Boot Camp.
     
  20. h9826790 macrumors 604

    h9826790

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    Apr 3, 2014
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    #20
    Any USB 3.0 SSD can do the job. Of course it will cost a bit more than SATA SSD, but no expensive enclosure required. The extra cost still little if compare to that expensive 1T SSD which you cannot use on another machine (unless you open up your lovely iMac). And you can RAID all SSD together via USB. You can try it yourself. Just RAID 3x USB stick together, it will work.

    Anyway, everyone has different value and needs, that's just my way to do it (if I am in that situation). And that's why I said the 850Evo can do 90% of the job but not 100%. If you need large volume high sequential speed storage in bootcamp. The 1T SSD sure is the easiest way to achieve that.
     

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