Is SSD worth it on iMac i7?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by macbuzztv, Jun 11, 2011.

  1. macbuzztv macrumors newbie

    Mar 29, 2009

    would really love to hear from owners of the iMac with SSD drive -
    what kind of performance gains are there? what kind of percentages,
    do you feel its worth the extra money. having a super hard time tryign to find out if getting the SSD drive would make significant differences to my work and workflow?

    Anyone with any hands on experience with SSD wtih the iMac?

  2. johnfkitchen macrumors regular

    Sep 7, 2010
    Tell us about your work and workflow. Then you'll get feedback relevant to you.
  3. clyde2801 macrumors 601


    Mar 6, 2008
    In the land of no hills and red dirt.
    Well, macworld did recently proclaim it the fastest mac ever made. Only one that came close was the 6 core mac pro, it beat the imac on some tests that used programs which used all 12 of the pro's processing cores.
  4. Michael D. macrumors member

    May 6, 2011
    Helsinki, Finland
    Here's the link for the article mentioned.

    OP, take a look at the scores for individual apps. SSD's help with disk intensive tasks. If you mainly use CPU heavy apps, you might not need it.

    An SSD makes things a lot more snappier. The random read/write speeds are phenomenal, so it does make the whole experience smoother.
  5. clyde2801 macrumors 601


    Mar 6, 2008
    In the land of no hills and red dirt.
    So....Safari actually WILL seem snappier?
  6. Xenc macrumors 65816


    May 8, 2010
    London, England
    Yes! No more waiting around for the computer to do stuff!

  7. Domino8282 macrumors 6502a


    Apr 22, 2010
    Southeast USA
    IMO, most anyone around here who would try to convince you that it doesn't make any difference are the people who chose not to buy one for themselves (couldn't afford, were impatient to wait on shipping, etc.). It affects boot time and application startup times *significantly* so you will see benefits on a daily basis no matter what your "workflow" is.

    I'm waiting on mine to arrive, but search "2011 iMac SSD" on YouTube and you'll see all the evidence you need of how smoking fast an SSD will make many tasks. There's an especially useful video where a photographer demonstrates load times on Aperture and Photoshop, along with giving the time required to do the same tasks w/o an SSD.

    In case you didn't know, there's been a 4-6 week shipping delay on the 27" w/SSD, but in the past few days that has dropped to 1-2 week (even shorter for 21.5"). :)
  8. iSayuSay macrumors 68040


    Feb 6, 2011
    I didn't order iMac with SSD. I didn't want to plunge another $600 "just" for 256 Gb SSD. I've seen it perform extremely well. Even in a slow processor like Core 2 Duo MBA, the difference is night and day between HDD and SSD.

    If you can or willing to afford it, well it's a luxury you won't regret. As for me personally, I'll get myself 120 Gb SSD which priced quite reasonably. Dang, Apple should just include variety of SSD option (128, 256 or even 512Gb!!) like they do on MacBook Pro. More people would go with SSD option that way. $600 for 256Gb SSD as the ONLY option is painful.

    While iMac is considered to be more professional than MacBook Pro, why Apple didn't include complete SSD BTO as in MBP?
  9. omvs macrumors 6502

    May 15, 2011
    I use an SSD only for bootcamp - makes windows boot & postboot activities for me comparable to OSX on a normal hard drive.

    For OSX alone, it probably depends on your usage - I'm not doing disk-heavy enough activities to notice the benefit post-boot -- applications seem to start up pretty fast. The real advantage you'd get is if you have an application that does tons of disk seeks -- that's where an SSD will clobber a hard drive, and why the windows startup times improve so much.
  10. philipma1957, Jun 12, 2011
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2011

    philipma1957 macrumors 603


    Apr 13, 2010
    Howell, New Jersey
    I have an iMac without an ssd. I have a macPro and a Macmini with ssd's. If you have not ordered an iMac as of today I suggest waiting to see if the Lacie Raid T-bolt will work as a boot drive..

    I found these shots on flicker.

    link to the yet to be released unit

    If these pan out they will be faster then any internal ssd. If they crash you can use a clone to start up again. Sonnet has one in the future. see link

    these could be your portable boot drives. have an iMac at home and at work with the internal not having a bootable hdd just boot with these.

    I have to say this is far more flexible then an internal ssd. I know some will like the form factor of no external pieces. One more thing if you buy a new iMac and want an internal ssd there is at least a 2 to3 week wait. So waiting for these externals may be a good option.

    Attached Files:

  11. Cyberskier macrumors newbie

    May 9, 2011
    I was willing to wait for the SSD version of the i7 iMac. After using my Air, it would be very hard for me to go back to a non-SSD computer. Even with the Air's lower spec processor, the machine really feels snappy in even day to day use.
  12. T-Bone macrumors newbie

    Nov 6, 2003
    Now that the BTS special has started, I'm going to buy a new 27" iMac. Going for the 3.4ghz. Big decision right now is whether to go with the SSD + 1tb or just the 1tb, at a difference of $540.

    Here's what I use regularly:

    Air Video Server
    Plex Server
    Various games here and there

    I also have some VHS -> digital transfer projects, so I'll be using iMovie and iDVD a bit.

    It seems like the general consensus I've heard from everyone that has an SSD start disk is, if you can afford one, get it. If there was an option for a 128gb SSD at like $250, I probably wouldn't hesitate. $540 is a nice chunk of change, though.
  13. Bear macrumors G3

    Jul 23, 2002
    Sol III - Terra
    Based on your list, the SSD would help. Also remember to budget form memory from somewhere.

    Specifically where I see you getting the most benefit is swapfile space on the SSD and having scratch space for the programs (like photoshop) that use it on the SSD. And depending on how often you start programs, that of course will be sped up.

    Oh and instead of thinking about the $540 as a single chunk, think about it in terms of how long you plan on keeping the system or price per year of ownership.
  14. avonord macrumors regular

    Mar 8, 2007
    If money is an issue, I would get the SSD with an i5. Still faster than than the i7 with HDD for everyday tasks.
  15. T-Bone macrumors newbie

    Nov 6, 2003
    One downside I've read from some of the anti-SSD people is that there is a write endurance issue with SSDs. Does anyone know any data off-hand regarding this? I'm googling it now but would love to hear any first-hand accounts.
  16. T-Bone macrumors newbie

    Nov 6, 2003
    Totally agree with this and I try to look at it that way. I use my computer more than any other electronic equipment that I own, and when I bought my PowerMac G5 eight years ago, I went with the top of the line model with all the upgrades, which back then was pricey at like $3200 (w/ education discount), but not as expensive as the top Mac Pro is today. Also got the 23" display for $1800, so around $5000 total, which was a ton of money for me at the time. But if you break that down year by year, or even day by day, it's not so bad. If Apple hadn't switched to Intel, I wouldn't even be looking for a new computer now, as my G5 is still pretty zippy, but there's just too much software out there these days that's Intel only.
  17. MacBoobsPro macrumors 603


    Jan 10, 2006
    I have one and it is amazingly fast I love it!

    Majority of apps open in less than a second. Photoshop only takes 2 seconds!

    The speed of copying files is ridiculous. Small files its just instant.

    I transcoded an 8GB MKV 1080p into a 720p MP4 in under an hour, while watching another movie in iTunes and fiddling in Photoshop! That says it all. While the transcoding is not directly linked to the SSD I'm sure it helps.
  18. Objector macrumors member

    May 16, 2011
    I just sold my "old" gaming PC to order an iMac, but I didn't include my SSD in the sale. So I still have my Crucial C300 64gb lying around and I hope to use that in a Thunderbolt enclosure in the future.

    An SSD is really worth it, if you run tasks that benefit from it. Photoshop and music-recording software load super fast with it.
  19. islandman macrumors 6502

    Sep 13, 2006
    Let me say this: I don't want another "computer" without SSD again. You literally click an icon to launch an app (even a big app like Photoshop) and it just pops up. No more waiting when you want to do a task. You want to do something, you click, and there it is. I feel it is worth every penny. I went with a Vertex 3 in my iMac (in addition to the 2GB installed by Apple) and I am beyond happy so far.
  20. Mashuri macrumors member

    May 9, 2011
    Oh, hell yeah. Once you go SSD, there is no going back! Even Win 7 in Parallels does most things faster than my 3 GHz Q6600 PC w/ 7200 RPM HD.
  21. olindacat macrumors member


    Apr 15, 2011
    Glad to see you're still a happy camper islandman ;)
  22. zurichuk, Jun 18, 2011
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2011

    zurichuk macrumors regular

    Feb 23, 2011
    Basically this, I have a perfectly good MacBook Pro which I have been using for some months with absolutely no complaints. Bought the 21'' iMac with SSD and now, after just a week, when I sit down to relax with the MBP, it seems soooo slow now. Going back to without SSDs would much harder than taking them up in the first place.

    My Windows experience index for a Parallels Win 7 instance is higher than my dedicated desktop and gaming laptop (ok both are 2 years old but still). It installed 10 Windows updates and was ready after reboot in approx 1 minute.
  23. Pintail macrumors member

    Apr 20, 2011
    Just got my 27" i7 with SSD. I was a PC user up until now.

    Let me tell you that photoshop on this baby is insane!! Loads up in a blink, renders in microseconds! There are NO pauses while you are working! Filter previews are instant.

    I haven't done video encoding yet, but I am impressed with the SSD. I am sure you will be too. As for the write issues, I read somewhere that life is not going to be an issue for regular users (90 years).

    You won't regret it. I believe it is the new standard.
  24. iRobby macrumors 6502a


    Mar 22, 2011
    Fort Myers, FL USA
    reading this thread IS NOT HELPING!! I had come to the conclusion to forget the SSD and use the $600 toward an iPad with the iMac.
  25. jetlife2 macrumors regular


    Apr 18, 2004
    Cincinnati, Oh
    Other options

    Dont forget that the SSD has been available for a year on the 27 i7. So you can find used systems on ebay for a fraction of new. For example I just bought a 27" 2.93 quad i7, 256 SSD, 2TB HD, 8G RAM for $2035, it is six months old! Configure that at the Apple store and you are over $3100...sure you do not have the 3.4, Sandy Bridge or Tbolt. But you have something that will smoke 99% of other shipped systems.

    Also Apple refurbs of the 2.93 quad i7 with and without SSD are available; also you can pick up a quad i7 without SSD and install one yourself (read carefully and you decide on this one), or OWC can do it...

    So you can get yourself a smoking quad i7+SSD setup in many other ways, for a lot less money.


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