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jeddouglas

macrumors regular
Original poster
Dec 13, 2012
220
41
Inverness, UK
Looking to replace my mid 2011 iMac 21". Originally had 4GB RAM and 1TB HDD but added 8BG of additional RAM and a 512MB SATA SSD thanks to lots of great advice on this forum. Currently I am using the HDD mainly for an old photo library and iTunes library (360GB) and the SSD for the operating system, current photo library, documents etc (400GB). I am currently considering the following as a replacement all with 16GB RAM and 1TB SSD (Prices in brackets after education discount):

24" iMac M1 8 core CPU, 8 core GPU (£1,844)
14" MacBook Pro M1 Pro 8 core CPU, 14 core GPU (£1,898)
13" MacBook Air M2 8 core CPU, 8 core GPU (£1,709)
Mac Mini M1 8 core CPU, 8 core GPU (£1,168)

Budget is circa. £2,000. I know questions might be asked about replacing a desktop with the laptop options, but thinking I might like the portability and have an existing 27" monitor that I could use for desktop tasks. The Mac would be mainly used for web browsing, emails, light productivity and the odd photos slideshow and/or light video editing.

If I went for the Mac Mini, I would be looking to spend £300 to £400 on a 4K Monitor as I don't believe I could use my existing iMac in target display mode from what I have read on here before.

Looking for recommendations / advice on the above options please.

Also, one last question. I would look to remove the SSD from my original iMac and get an external enclosure for it with a thunderbolt connection (if possible) that I could connect to the new Mac, so looking for a recommendation for such an enclosure please.
 

Nguyen Duc Hieu

macrumors 68000
Jul 5, 2020
1,972
574
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Looking to replace my mid 2011 iMac 21". Originally had 4GB RAM and 1TB HDD but added 8BG of additional RAM and a 512MB SATA SSD thanks to lots of great advice on this forum. Currently I am using the HDD mainly for an old photo library and iTunes library (360GB) and the SSD for the operating system, current photo library, documents etc (400GB). I am currently considering the following as a replacement all with 16GB RAM and 1TB SSD (Prices in brackets after education discount):

24" iMac M1 8 core CPU, 8 core GPU (£1,844)
14" MacBook Pro M1 Pro 8 core CPU, 14 core GPU (£1,898)
13" MacBook Air M2 8 core CPU, 8 core GPU (£1,709)
Mac Mini M1 8 core CPU, 8 core GPU (£1,168)

Budget is circa. £2,000. I know questions might be asked about replacing a desktop with the laptop options, but thinking I might like the portability and have an existing 27" monitor that I could use for desktop tasks. The Mac would be mainly used for web browsing, emails, light productivity and the odd photos slideshow and/or light video editing.

If I went for the Mac Mini, I would be looking to spend £300 to £400 on a 4K Monitor as I don't believe I could use my existing iMac in target display mode from what I have read on here before.

Looking for recommendations / advice on the above options please.

Also, one last question. I would look to remove the SSD from my original iMac and get an external enclosure for it with a thunderbolt connection (if possible) that I could connect to the new Mac, so looking for a recommendation for such an enclosure please.

1. I would suggest the Macbook Pro. It's branded "Pro" for a good reason, not just for scamming users.
2. No thunderbolt box available for SATA SSD. Just get a cheap USB 3.0 box.
 

Warped9

macrumors 6502a
Oct 27, 2018
720
855
Brockville, Ontario.
I am still using my mid 2011 iMac 2.5. Over the years I have upgraded it with an i7 2600S, Samsung Evo 500GB SSD and 32GB RAM. It is currently working better than when it was new.

That said I, too, want to upgrade, but I'm going to wait for the iMac 24 with M3 sometime next year. I'm hoping it will have a 24 or 32GB RAM option along with 512GB or 1TB SSD. I like the AIO form and I don't really care for laptops.
 

wilberforce

macrumors 68020
Aug 15, 2020
2,308
2,387
SF Bay Area
All of the first three are great choices, mainly comes down to personal preferences and what feels best to you. The pros and cons of each are either self-evident or pretty clear from various reviews.

I'm not a big fan of the Mini, I prefer either a laptop or the iMac with its integrated screen, etc. The Mini makes more sense for those that want to use it with specific monitor(s) and peripherals and don't want a laptop and the cost thereof.
If you want the Mini, then suggest wait and see what drops in October.
 
Last edited:

Fishrrman

macrumors Penryn
Feb 20, 2009
24,971
10,108
Base model Mac Studio. Plenty of RAM, plenty of power "right out of the box".
You said you already have a 27" display, right?
 
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jeddouglas

macrumors regular
Original poster
Dec 13, 2012
220
41
Inverness, UK
Base model Mac Studio. Plenty of RAM, plenty of power "right out of the box".
You said you already have a 27" display, right?
I did briefly consider the Mac Studio, but don't think I need the 32GB of RAM and it is a fairly large unit compared with the Mac mini. The 27" monitor I have is 2560 x 1440 resolution, which would be acceptable if using as a second screen for one of the MacBook options, but not as the only screen for a desktop so I would be looking to spend £300 to £400 for a 4K monitor. This would bring the Mac Studio option (with 1TB SSD) to about £2,300, therefore over budget.
 

jeddouglas

macrumors regular
Original poster
Dec 13, 2012
220
41
Inverness, UK
1. I would suggest the Macbook Pro. It's branded "Pro" for a good reason, not just for scamming users.
2. No thunderbolt box available for SATA SSD. Just get a cheap USB 3.0 box.
Got to admit, I am very tempted with the MacBook Pro. Thank you for pointing out that TB not available for SATA SSD, looks like I can pick up something on Amazon for around £20. Will the SSD be slower when used externally (via USB 3.0) with my new Mac than it currently is internally with my old iMac? Was thinking I would use it for mainly for my old photo library.
 

Nguyen Duc Hieu

macrumors 68000
Jul 5, 2020
1,972
574
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Got to admit, I am very tempted with the MacBook Pro. Thank you for pointing out that TB not available for SATA SSD, looks like I can pick up something on Amazon for around £20. Will the SSD be slower when used externally (via USB 3.0) with my new Mac than it currently is internally with my old iMac? Was thinking I would use it for mainly for my old photo library.

USB 3.0 and SATA have the similar theoretical speed 5Gbps vs 6Gpbs. Human perception of SSD speed by the app loading is affected mostly by 4k random reading/writing.
I don't think you would be able to tell the difference between USB 3.0 and SATA in real life situations. (Benchmarking applications will show different figures, though).
 
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jeddouglas

macrumors regular
Original poster
Dec 13, 2012
220
41
Inverness, UK
Okay, so think I have settled on a new iMac. Was going to go for the 1TB SSD but now wondering whether I can save a bit of cash and go for the 256GB SSD and get say a new 1TB external SSD. The difference in the UK (with education discount) from 256GB to 1TB is £360. Looks like I can get an external 1TB thunderbolt 3 SSD in UK for about £200, so a saving of about £160. However, I could also get a 1TB USB 3.2 SSD for about £100, so a saving of £260. Was thinking OS would go on internal SSD and then large photo libraries and music on external SSD. Would I notice big difference in speed between external thunderbolt SSD vs USB 3.2 external SSD vs internal storage?

Also, currently have a Magic Mouse with existing iMac but considering Magic Trackpad For new one. Looking for advice on this please.
 

Warped9

macrumors 6502a
Oct 27, 2018
720
855
Brockville, Ontario.
If you already have a Magic Mouse then the trackpad is an option. The only thing is your current Magic Mouse won’t be colour coordinated with your new iMac unless you’re getting a silver iMac.

I am planning to get a new iMac as well eventually, but I will likely pop for at least 512GB storage if not 1TB. An external 1 or 2TB drive sounds like a good compromise and, yes, definitely cheaper.
 

jeddouglas

macrumors regular
Original poster
Dec 13, 2012
220
41
Inverness, UK
If you already have a Magic Mouse then the trackpad is an option. The only thing is your current Magic Mouse won’t be colour coordinated with your new iMac unless you’re getting a silver iMac.

I am planning to get a new iMac as well eventually, but I will likely pop for at least 512GB storage if not 1TB. An external 1 or 2TB drive sounds like a good compromise and, yes, definitely cheaper.
Sorry, should have made it clearer, wasn’t thinking of keeping my current Magic Mouse as likely to sell with my current iMac. So looking for advice on whether to get new iMac with new Magic Mouse or trackpad.
 

Warped9

macrumors 6502a
Oct 27, 2018
720
855
Brockville, Ontario.
I’d stick with a Magic Mouse, but then I’m not fond of trackpads given it’s similar to whats on a laptop. There is much finer control with a mouse, in my opinion.
 

jeddouglas

macrumors regular
Original poster
Dec 13, 2012
220
41
Inverness, UK
Can anyone help with this part of my question above please.

“Would I notice big difference in speed between external thunderbolt SSD vs USB 3.2 external SSD vs internal storage?”
 

Warped9

macrumors 6502a
Oct 27, 2018
720
855
Brockville, Ontario.
I would think internal storage should be faster than external.storage even with thunderbolt and external SSD. But I don’t think it would be a huge or inconvenient difference.
 

Nguyen Duc Hieu

macrumors 68000
Jul 5, 2020
1,972
574
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Got to admit, I am very tempted with the MacBook Pro. Thank you for pointing out that TB not available for SATA SSD, looks like I can pick up something on Amazon for around £20. Will the SSD be slower when used externally (via USB 3.0) with my new Mac than it currently is internally with my old iMac? Was thinking I would use it for mainly for my old photo library.

SP623_imac-21inch-en.jpg


Fastest: Thunderbolt box (10Gbps or roughly 1GBps, if you can get the proper TB box ( 02 SATA SSD in RAID 0 configuration, or a TB box with nVME SSD)
Medium: Internal SATA SSD (SATA 3 at 6Gpbs or 500MBps)
Slowest: USB 2.0 port is quite slow (480Mbps, or 60MBps), although an SSD SATA inside a USB 3.0 box will be faster than the internal HDD.
Mediocre and should be avoided (for OS + application): Internal HDD.
 
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jeddouglas

macrumors regular
Original poster
Dec 13, 2012
220
41
Inverness, UK
View attachment 2056402

Fastest: Thunderbolt box (10Gbps or roughly 1GBps, if you can get the proper TB box ( 02 SATA SSD in RAID 0 configuration, or a TB box with nVME SSD)
Medium: Internal SATA SSD (SATA 3 at 6Gpbs or 500MBps)
Slowest: USB 2.0 port is quite slow (480Mbps, or 60MBps), although an SSD SATA inside a USB 3.0 box will be faster than the internal HDD.
Mediocre and should be avoided (for OS + application): Internal HDD.
Thanks for your help with this. I am now trying to compare paying the additional price for 1TB of SSD (extra £360 in UK to go from 256GB to 1TB) storage on a new M1 iMac 24” versus external storage (TB3 or 4) versus external storage USB 3.0. Seems to be a lot of confusing info regarding speeds as have to factor in the SSD TB enclosure and the NVMe SSD itself. Any recommendations would be welcome please.
 

Nguyen Duc Hieu

macrumors 68000
Jul 5, 2020
1,972
574
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Thanks for your help with this. I am now trying to compare paying the additional price for 1TB of SSD (extra £360 in UK to go from 256GB to 1TB) storage on a new M1 iMac 24” versus external storage (TB3 or 4) versus external storage USB 3.0. Seems to be a lot of confusing info regarding speeds as have to factor in the SSD TB enclosure and the NVMe SSD itself. Any recommendations would be welcome please.

For iMac M1, I would recommend
1 Thunderbolt 3 or 4 box (roughly 100$)
1 nVME PCIe gen3 SSD (1TB is 80$ ~ 100USD)

Or you can try the ready-made option (a little bulky but offers extra ports/functions)
 
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jeddouglas

macrumors regular
Original poster
Dec 13, 2012
220
41
Inverness, UK
Considering this Thunderbolt 3 enclosure:

https://smile.amazon.co.uk/Certifie...losure&qid=1663188785&sprefix=,aps,135&sr=8-9

Coupled with this SSD:

https://smile.amazon.co.uk/WD_BLUE-...+pcie+gen3+ssd+1tb,aps,118&sr=8-18-spons&th=1

So £250 for 2TB of SSD external storage at Thunderbolt 3 speeds. So if I went for the M1 Mac 24” 8 Core CPU / 8 Core GPU, 16GB RAM, 256GB SSD (with education pricing), the price is £1,484. Therefore total price is £1,734 for 2.256 TB of SSD storage.

Alternatively, I could go for the same iMac with 1TB internal SSD which is £1,844. I could salvage the 512MB SATA SSD from my existing iMac and put in a USB-C enclosure (approx £10). Therefore total price is £1,854 for 1.512 TB of SSD storage.

On the face of it it looks like the first option is better value, but just not sure about only having the 256GB of internal SSD storage. Was thinking I would still use it as the boot drive with OS, Apps etc on it, and have large photo libraries, music library, docs on the external drive. Is 256GB enough under this scenario?
 

wilberforce

macrumors 68020
Aug 15, 2020
2,308
2,387
SF Bay Area
Sorry, should have made it clearer, wasn’t thinking of keeping my current Magic Mouse as likely to sell with my current iMac. So looking for advice on whether to get new iMac with new Magic Mouse or trackpad.
The Apple magic trackpad is the best trackpad in the world, no other one comes close, it is excellent. Even better than the trackpads in the Apple laptops.
The Apple Magic Mouse is a mediocre mouse.
However, some people just don’t like trackpads. IMO it takes a bit of time to get used to it, but once you do it is so much better, with all the extra trackpad gestures too.
 

jeddouglas

macrumors regular
Original poster
Dec 13, 2012
220
41
Inverness, UK
Now that I have ordered my new 24" iMac M1 8 core CPU, 8 core GPU, 16GB RAM and 1TB SSD, I am looking for advice on how to set it up please (due to arrive in about 1 week).

I currently have mid 2011 iMac 21" with 12GB RAM, 1TB HDD and a 512MB SATA SSD on High Sierra. Currently I am using the HDD mainly for an old photo library and iTunes library (373GB) and the SSD for the operating system, current photo library, documents etc (440GB). So in total I am using about 813GB across the two internal drives. I also have a Seagate 500GB External HDD that I had used for backing up, but is no longer big enough.

First question, how should I go about setting up my new iMac and transferring over my existing files. It looks like I could use migration assistant over wifi (without a time machine backup), but not sure how this will deal with the fact that I have 2 internal disks on my old iMac, but only 1 disk on new iMac. For example, will it keep the 2 Photo libraries separate?

Second question, my external HDD does not have enough space for a full Time Machine backup. Could I partition the internal HDD and do a Time Machine backup from the SSD to new partition, then back up the internal HDD separately to the external HDD? If so, how do I do this on Time Machine. Also, if successful, would anyone recommend setting up my new iMac from these backups, rather than over wifi?

Finally, after new iMac has been set up, I was thinking about removing the SATA III SSD from the old iMac and getting a relatively cheap (£20) enclosure for it to use as additional external storage. However, I am planning on selling my old iMac so would I be better just leaving SATA III SSD in the old iMac and buying a new one (PCIe NVME) plus enclosure to use as the external storage. I also intend getting perhaps a 2TB external HDD for future backups.
 

Nguyen Duc Hieu

macrumors 68000
Jul 5, 2020
1,972
574
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Now that I have ordered my new 24" iMac M1 8 core CPU, 8 core GPU, 16GB RAM and 1TB SSD, I am looking for advice on how to set it up please (due to arrive in about 1 week).

I currently have mid 2011 iMac 21" with 12GB RAM, 1TB HDD and a 512MB SATA SSD on High Sierra. Currently I am using the HDD mainly for an old photo library and iTunes library (373GB) and the SSD for the operating system, current photo library, documents etc (440GB). So in total I am using about 813GB across the two internal drives. I also have a Seagate 500GB External HDD that I had used for backing up, but is no longer big enough.

First question, how should I go about setting up my new iMac and transferring over my existing files. It looks like I could use migration assistant over wifi (without a time machine backup), but not sure how this will deal with the fact that I have 2 internal disks on my old iMac, but only 1 disk on new iMac. For example, will it keep the 2 Photo libraries separate?

Second question, my external HDD does not have enough space for a full Time Machine backup. Could I partition the internal HDD and do a Time Machine backup from the SSD to new partition, then back up the internal HDD separately to the external HDD? If so, how do I do this on Time Machine. Also, if successful, would anyone recommend setting up my new iMac from these backups, rather than over wifi?

Finally, after new iMac has been set up, I was thinking about removing the SATA III SSD from the old iMac and getting a relatively cheap (£20) enclosure for it to use as additional external storage. However, I am planning on selling my old iMac so would I be better just leaving SATA III SSD in the old iMac and buying a new one (PCIe NVME) plus enclosure to use as the external storage. I also intend getting perhaps a 2TB external HDD for future backups.

My suggestion is that you should:
Buy an HDD as big as you can afford. 16TB perhaps. (350~400USD)
Buy a decent USB 3.0 box for that 16TB HDD. (~50$)
Connect the new HDD to your new iMac M1.
Now copy everything from the old iMac to the new 16TB HDD.

Then dispose/sell all other unused devices.
 

jeddouglas

macrumors regular
Original poster
Dec 13, 2012
220
41
Inverness, UK
My suggestion is that you should:
Buy an HDD as big as you can afford. 16TB perhaps. (350~400USD)
Buy a decent USB 3.0 box for that 16TB HDD. (~50$)
Connect the new HDD to your new iMac M1.
Now copy everything from the old iMac to the new 16TB HDD.

Then dispose/sell all other unused devices.
Thanks for the advice, but that is a lot of money to spend when I have just forked out almost £2,000 on a new iMac. Was thinking of just picking up a 2TB external HDD for around £60 and using that as a backup drive.
 
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