Is there anything I'm missing if I buy this iMac?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by evilcat, Jun 10, 2010.

  1. evilcat macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2005
    #1
    Hi folks. As of this week, when I found out neither the iPad nor Safari 5 will work with my Quad G5 Tiger system, I decided it's time to break down and buy a new Mac. The Quad's lasted 4.5 years and earned about 10 times its value back in that time, so I'll be sad to see it go.

    I decided against a Mac Pro because (a) I don't do the amount of work on my home computer that I used to... by a long way, and (b) I want something less power-hungry that I can leave running 24/7.

    I'm not prepared to drop down to 2 cores after nearly 5 years of 4 cores, so I will be grabbing the basic, Apple Refurb Store 27" i7 with 4Gb RAM and a 1Tb disk.

    Here are my intentions:
    • Add a further 8Gb RAM to bring it up to 12Gb
    • Use the internal drive for data only, so I get the best speed for the files I actually work on
    • Boot from an OWC Mercury Pro Mini with a 120Gb SSD via FW800 and bus powered to reduce power consumption (disk speed appx the same as the internal using this method, but random read/writes much much faster)
    • Use another OWC Mini, this time with a 500Gb 7200RPM hard disk, and bus-powered via USB2.0 (slow, but will be used solely for iTunes. My iPod classic works fine as a hard disk in this respect and it only has a 4200RPM disk so I think I'll be fine)
    • Add a full-sized OWC Mercury Pro 2Tb 7200RPM FW800 (daisy-chained to the SSD) drive for backups

    Aside from that, I may keep my non-glossy 24" LG monitor and use it as a second display for secondary info and Parallels windows. I have a feeling I'll crack and buy a Wacom Intuos4 Medium too.

    I have 2 iPods, a printer and a TomTom to plug into USB, but also a 4-port hub so they stay mostly out of the way.

    Software-wise, it's CS5 Design Premium, Flash Builder 4 Standard, Parallels (with new copies of Vista Home Premium and 7 Home Premium for testing), Versions, Transmit 4, SKedit and some other bits and pieces.

    I have no intention of opening the case to install the SSD since that will be for booting purposes only. According to the specs I've seen, SSD in FW800 beats my two internal 250Gb drives in my Quad G5, and I have no problem with their speed. Equally, I'm aware a Mac Pro would let me use ESATA, but my data will be internal, so again, not too worried.

    So, can anyone see any glaring holes in my system that should be addressed?
    Am I going to be saddled with a cable spaghetti situation once everything's plugged in?
    What do I need to be aware of when I try to get everything off a G5 with Tiger to an Intel with Snow Leopard? (especially Email)
    Or have I done all my research and after a day's work will just be enjoying my new Mac?
     
  2. henrikrox macrumors 65816

    henrikrox

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2010
    #2
    I would never never never NEVER use a ssd as and external device. Thats like throwing your money out of the window. Just change the internal one with a ssd. And use firewire external drive for your music, photos videos, and keep programs and stuff on the internal ssd.

    I mean whats the point of getting and ssd just for the boot times? Its the loading of programs etc that really makes the difference.
     
  3. evilcat thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2005
    #3
    When I talk about keeping my data on the internal drive, I mean my work files -- web sites, huge Photoshop files, movies for editing, etc. They need the speed more than the system files. Once the OS and programs are started I won't be turning the Mac off for months at a time.

    As for using the SSD externally: I will not be breaking open a $2k iMac to install an SSD or any other drive. The SSD will hold the system, apps and minimal user data (like the Home folders). So why pay the extra for SSD at all? Low power consumption, so it can be bus-powered. Silence from the lack of moving parts. And the fact that it matches the internal HDD speed for most uses and exceeds them with random read/write due to no latency, even over FW800.

    Regardless of whether we see eye-to-eye, thanks for your opinion.
     
  4. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #4
    Don't put the SSD in external enclosure... Most SSDs hit over 250MB/s while FireWire tops out at 80MB/s so you would lose almost 200MB/s.
     
  5. ClassicII macrumors 6502

    ClassicII

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2009
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    #5
    I would probably upgrade to 10.5 on the quad and you would be good for Safari 5. This is only a temporay solution though as more and more things will be moving to intel only.

    Sounds like you will be in cable hell though, if that's cool with you then by all means.

    The 27" will be a very nice upgrade and I think you will be very happy with it. What I would do though is use the main drive for everything. I would then use a dual firewire external for mirrored time machine backup. Less cables and Raid Fault protection for your very important backup data.

    I also think 8gig is more than enough. If you are monitoring how much memory you are actually using and you get close to that then by all means upgrade.


    Good thing about your quad though is that it is still worth some $$$ on ebay. You could get upwards of 6-800$ that could go towards the 27".
     
  6. evilcat thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2005
    #6
    I did consider that, but the hard disks are 4+ years old and so they need to be replaced anyway, by which point I've dropped $600 on the G5 but still need an Intel PC/Mac for testing on...

    I'm hoping that two of the three drives being bus-powered will reduce cable clutter. The USB hub sits quite far away from the main machine. This is the one thing I think will let the system down.

    I debated using a dual drive enclosure to reduce cable clutter (although without RAID) as it would also work out cheaper. What I'm not sure about is the power consumption compared to two bus-powered, always-on drives and an additional mains-powered backup drive.

    Well, it's so cheap (like $250 for 2x4Gb) I figured 'why not?' :D

    That is a very good point and one that ultimately swayed me from upgrading the Quad and augmenting it with an additional machine.

    Thanks for your advice!
     
  7. nj-mac-user macrumors 6502

    nj-mac-user

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2009
    Location:
    New Jersey
    #7
    That seems too cheap... are you sure about that? You are looking at laptop ddr3 ram, correct? imacs use 204-pin sodimm.
     
  8. evilcat thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2005
    #8
    It's NuRAM, which OWC have just started stocking as their budget line: 8Gb for cheap!
     
  9. nj-mac-user macrumors 6502

    nj-mac-user

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2009
    Location:
    New Jersey
    #9
    Holy crap! If I would've known I would've never bought 2X2GB!!
     
  10. ClassicII macrumors 6502

    ClassicII

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2009
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    #10
    Wow!!!
     

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