Looking at a Used 2012 iMac... Options?

drgrafix

macrumors regular
Original poster
Feb 9, 2008
153
1
New England
I found a somewhat local iMac 27" for sale, price is decent, and I don't quite understand the Fusion Drive stuff. Haven't seen this unit yet, but the specs are a little confusing:

macOS Mojave
Version 10.14.1

iMac (27-inch, late 2012
Processor 2.9GHz Intel Core i5
Memory 8GB 1600 MHz DDR3
Startup Disk Macintosh SSD
Graphics NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M 512MB

The seller notes it has a 1TB Fusion drive, so I'm assuming its some kind of combo with a smaller SSD that just has the OS installed? How small did those drives go in 2012? If I wanted to upgrade the SSD to a 500 Gig or 1TB, is it possible?

His information says: It has a hybrid SSD and rotational sata drive. The first 128gb are allocated to flash memory and the rest is standard HD thats why I'm unsure about the actual size of the SSD and whether its internally upgradeable.
 

CoastalOR

macrumors 68020
Jan 19, 2015
2,486
907
Oregon, USA
I found a somewhat local iMac 27" for sale, price is decent, and I don't quite understand the Fusion Drive stuff. Haven't seen this unit yet, but the specs are a little confusing:

macOS Mojave
Version 10.14.1

iMac (27-inch, late 2012
Processor 2.9GHz Intel Core i5
Memory 8GB 1600 MHz DDR3
Startup Disk Macintosh SSD
Graphics NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M 512MB

The seller notes it has a 1TB Fusion drive, so I'm assuming its some kind of combo with a smaller SSD that just has the OS installed? How small did those drives go in 2012? If I wanted to upgrade the SSD to a 500 Gig or 1TB, is it possible?

His information says: It has a hybrid SSD and rotational sata drive. The first 128gb are allocated to flash memory and the rest is standard HD thats why I'm unsure about the actual size of the SSD and whether its internally upgradeable.
Information about the 2012 iMac:
https://everymac.com/systems/apple/imac/specs/imac-core-i5-2.9-27-inch-aluminum-late-2012-specs.html

Information about what is a Fusion drive:
https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT202574
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fusion_Drive

The 1TB fusion drive (actually 1.1 TB) for the 2012 iMac has a 128 GB flash drive (like a SSD) and a 1 TB HDD (spinner) that is combined with software (fusion) to appear and operate as 1 drive. The software automatically places the most frequently accessed files on the 128 GB flash drive.

EDIT: The 128 GB flash drive blade is proprietary and a SATA SSD will not fit. It is possible to replace the 1 TB Spinner with a SATA SSD.
 
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drgrafix

macrumors regular
Original poster
Feb 9, 2008
153
1
New England
Information about the 2012 iMac:
https://everymac.com/systems/apple/imac/specs/imac-core-i5-2.9-27-inch-aluminum-late-2012-specs.html

Information about what is a Fusion drive:
https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT202574
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fusion_Drive

The 1TB fusion drive (actually 1.1 TB) for the 2012 iMac has a 128 GB flash drive (like a SSD) and a 1 TB HDD (spinner) that is combined with software (fusion) to appear and operate as 1 drive. The software automatically places the most frequently accessed files on the 128 GB flash drive.

EDIT: The 128 GB flash drive blade is proprietary and a SATA SSD will not fit. It is possible to replace the 1 TB Spinner with a SATA SSD.
Performance wise... is the described 1TB Fusion drive something that will hurt performance when compared to a regular SATA drive? I do a lot of Photoshop CS4 work, my current iMac is getting a little long in the tooth, its a 24" Mid-2007, 2.8 GHz Intel Core Duo, 6 GB RAM, 500 GB HDD, about 150 GB free, I'm running El Capitan 10.11.6 and I'm seeing the spinning ball more and more as I open and work on stuff. My video card is the ATI Radeon HD 2600 Pro 256MB. Do programs like MS Office and Adobe Suite automatically install on the SSD part of the drive or on the SATA and then switch when you use them?

The 1.1TB capacity is more than enough drive for me as I always store most of my graphics work on an external drive. I kinda wish it had a better video card, but the one in it is probably far superior to my circa-2007 video right?
 

drgrafix

macrumors regular
Original poster
Feb 9, 2008
153
1
New England
Update: Decided to pass on the local used machine, bought another refurbished one from Apple. Went with the 27" iMac, 256GB SSD, 8GB memory but ordered 32 GB Crucial Kit from Amazon. I'm assuming 256GB SSD is enough for the OS and Adobe CS 4, maybe Final Cut? I've got at least 5TB of external hardware.

I've got my old iMac looking like there's 350 GB used... is there a way to know how much of that is Applications, Pictures, etc.? I want to purge the old machine's HDD, reinstall a fresh OS X build, but I'd like to know exactly what I'm deleting. My Adobe CS4 I have the discs so I'm not worried about that... its the other stuff.

New machine gets delivered Tuesday, I don't think I want to transfer all the data when I don't know exactly what it is. I may move all my font files to a USB HDD and reinstall on the new machine. Email... I'm a comcast user so I guess I'm not losing anything because its mostly on Comcast's server plus its showing up on my iPad and iPhone. What I'd like to do is review all emails with image files and maybe put them on a HDD.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Mike