Looking at buying an iMac 27" i7

Discussion in 'iMac' started by MakX, Dec 3, 2010.

  1. MakX, Dec 3, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2010

    MakX macrumors member

    May 27, 2009
    - 2TB Serial ATA
    - 256GB SSD
    - 2.9GHz i7 quad core

    - 16GB RAM upgrade from OWC

    This is my first time looking at an SSD - I've heard that there are a limited number of read/write cycles. Is this really an issue, and if so, what is the life expectancy, per se, of the drive

    The SSD will store the OS, 'Pro' applications, CS5 suite etc. The 2TB will be for casual junk (ie. assignments, probably music/movies etc). So apps should boot fast since they're on the SSD.

    Also, does the DisplayPort support audio with HDMI like the new MBPs do?

    Anything I'm missing or might need to consider? I understand 16GB is a bit overkill but I want to somewhat 'futureproof' it.

    Any thoughts appreciated! Cheers :)
  2. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
    In theory, SSDs have limited amount of write cycles (but unlimited amount of reads) but don't worry about that. Unless you're constantly overwriting the SSD (hundreds of GBs everyday), it's not an issue for you. They are meant to last and the current SSDs that Apple use aren't that bad so there shouldn't be degradation either.
  3. MythicFrost macrumors 68040


    Mar 11, 2009
    I looked at this comparison of the SSD used in the 27" iMac and it isn't great -- not worth the price imo.
  4. MakX thread starter macrumors member

    May 27, 2009
    I don't really want to tamper with the storage myself. RAM is really as far as I want to go with it.

    I assume that Apple will instinctively install OS X on the SSD drive, if I were to purchase both that and the 2TB SATA?
  5. MythicFrost macrumors 68040


    Mar 11, 2009
    Yeah, I know how you feel -- apparently it's very difficult to install an SSD if you don't order one with it.

    And it would very likely be installed on the SSD.
  6. Jaffaman27 macrumors member

    Jul 7, 2010
    Tampere, Finland
    It wasn't that hard... just have a friend to help... makes things a lot easier...
    So the friend can hold the logic board when u try to attach the needed cable.

    Other than that...fairly easy...
    I did it with my brand new 27" i7 iMac and it was worth it...
    But still..if u dont mind the extra price apple charges for their SSD go for it.
    Even if it's not too hard, it's stressful as hell... :D
  7. MythicFrost macrumors 68040


    Mar 11, 2009
    Ah, good to know.

    But yes, stress... complete and utter terror, etc., I've experienced this before with my Mac Pro =D
  8. George Knighton macrumors 65816

    George Knighton

    Oct 13, 2010
    If I were you I would stay away from the evidently very attractively priced 4x4 GB NuRAM from OWC.

    There are threads all over the place, including threads in the Apple Support forums where people have the spontaneous shutdown problem with OWC NuRAM in particular. It seems to be more of a problem with 16 GB NuRAM than a problem with the mainboard or firmware mishandling 16 GB of RAM.

    When I started having the spontaneous shutdown problem, I searched and found the threads all over the support forums, and asked them for an RMA.

    They were very helpful and credited me for the RAM immediately, and I was only out the shipping back to them.

    Their price for 12 GB of Samsung was good, so just replaced the NuRAM with Samsung and have not had any problems since then. It has been long enough that I am sure that the RAM was the problem, and it has been long enough that I know I will not get the shutdown problem with 12 GB of Samsung.

    The reason I went with 12 GB instead of 16 GB was because there is still some extant anecdotal testimony that several kinds of 16 GB kits cause the shutdown problem, and I didn't want to go through the irritation of another RMA.

    Since I did this, the needle is swinging more and more in the direction of it being a problem unique to NuRAM 4x4 GB as sold for the current generation iMac.
  9. SiliBear macrumors member

    Dec 3, 2007
    This is the exact same computer I already own...with one exception, I went with 8gigs of ram (straight from Apple as I purchased through their website) rather than your 16gigs. Greatest machine I've ever owned by a long shot. Lightning fast with everything I throw at it. No beach balls even with running multiple apps running in OSX and with apps running in Win7 under VMWare at the same time.

    The OS and all program software is on the SSD, I use the 2TB for my iTunes library which is comfortably large.

    Apps no longer "boot" on the SSC iMac...they simply pop open on your screen as if they were already resident in memory. It's that fast.

    I have no idea on the display port question though as I haven't had any reason to use it.
  10. janitor1999 macrumors regular

    Sep 9, 2008
    Am also thinking of a similar set up, do people think the ssd is worth the extra cost.
  11. MakX thread starter macrumors member

    May 27, 2009
    Thanks for that!


    I plan on buying the 'OWC' branded 4x4 GB -- I can see the NuRAM listed further down. Would I be wise to get the OWC?
  12. iDutchman macrumors 6502a

    May 9, 2010
    Amsterdam, NL
    All I can say is that my 12GB OWC NuRAM is working just fine
  13. Ubuntu macrumors 68000


    Jul 3, 2005
    Aye, the 12GB seems to be fine; I've only seen threads regarding 4x4 (16GB) configurations of this RAM causing havoc.
  14. MakX thread starter macrumors member

    May 27, 2009
    So its only 'NuRAM' that is bad in 4x4 - OWC would be fine?
  15. josh1231 macrumors regular

    Feb 24, 2010
    The SSD's would be great, but until IMac's get USB 3.0 or ESATA, I personally wouldn't get one. They're too small so you would have to buy an external hard drive, and even a firewire 800 drive is much slower than the internal hard drive. I'm not saying you shouldn't get one, this is just why I personally wouldn't.
  16. MakX thread starter macrumors member

    May 27, 2009
    The 2TB SATA will compensate for the space. Can't wait for the ~July refresh, need for Uni which starts in Jan. But yeah cheers for the opinion.. I think it's the best way to go about it, though.

    My Macbook had an unpleasant encounter with a glass of lemonade and is no longer functional.
  17. Macginger macrumors member


    Jul 20, 2010
    Wiltshire, United Kingdom
    If you have the finances to cover the extra cost of SSD, then yes go for it, but if you're still unsure try and visit your local Apple store and ask to see one in action, there's nothing like trying before you buy.
    Plus it will make it a lot easier in life if you ever want to upgrade it as all the connections will be in place.
    Good luck with your decision ;)
  18. josh1231 macrumors regular

    Feb 24, 2010
    Missed the 2 TB in your post, plus I didn't even know you could get a 2TB & SSD, but I do now. Learn something every day.

    With that in mind, my previous advice was completely wrong, assuming you have the funds. It will be a sweet machine.

    Still looking forward to USB 3.0 though.
  19. SpitUK macrumors 6502


    Mar 5, 2010
    East Yorkshire, UK
  20. BornAgainMac macrumors 603


    Feb 4, 2004
    Florida Resident
    This is the exact configuration I would have purchased if I was getting the iMac today. I like the fact that I can share the monitor using the input Mini DisplayPort with my Macbook Air. It should be future proof for many years.
  21. josh1231 macrumors regular

    Feb 24, 2010
    Sorry to get off topic, but I have always wondered why people look at buying a computer with regards to "future proof".

    I have found that Mac's hold their value well enough that you can sell your old and buy a new one every year, for not much more than it would cost you to keep the old one for 5 years.

    With this in mind, I'm wondering why people care if its "future proof".
  22. George Knighton macrumors 65816

    George Knighton

    Oct 13, 2010
    LOL... It's pretty hopeless, isn't it? :)
  23. MakX thread starter macrumors member

    May 27, 2009
    So, just rung up TNT and found out they lost my order.

    Disappointment is an understatement.
  24. MSM Hobbes macrumors 6502

    Aug 25, 2006
    NE Hoosierana
    So maybe that the future s/w and apps that a person may desire / need can run fast or properly or at all on the h/w that they purchased? For example, I "can't" run Aperture 3 on my 3 yo 24" iMac. :(

    :eek: Not good,,, not good at all!

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