Mistake? Upgrading Base iMac 27"

Discussion in 'iMac' started by sammyman, Sep 23, 2016.

  1. sammyman macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2005
    #1
    My wife is a pro photographer. Currently, I'm waiting for the new iMacs. I just stumbled across a brand new 2015 iMac 27" NIB on Craigslist and snagged it for $1200.

    I originally was expecting to buy a top end iMac 4.0ghz, or wait a month for the next top end iMac. However, with the new iMacs just around the corner, I didn't want to spend $3k, so this cheap 27" seemed like a good temporary computer.

    Now I'm wondering if it will be good enough for lightroom and photoshop?

    It's super slow, so I bought 32gb of RAM. I also have an Apple SSD 1tb drive I'll be installing next week.

    With these upgrades, will we be happy with it's performance with lightroom and photoshop?
     
  2. keysofanxiety macrumors 604

    keysofanxiety

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2011
    #2
    The HDD is almost always the bottleneck in a computer. Installing an SSD will make a world of difference.

    So yes, once you've got the SSD & RAM fitted, it'll be an absolute workhorse.
     
  3. sammyman thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2005
    #3
    Phew! This feels like the slowest computer I've ever used. But I'm used to a lot of RAM on most of my machines. And SSD's.

    Can't believe Apple sells these slow 5400rpm drives in iMacs in 2016!

    Was thinking of leaving the slow drive in there (or putting in a 2tb) and using it as a time machine backup. That would work, right?
     
  4. varian55zx macrumors 6502a

    varian55zx

    Joined:
    May 10, 2012
    Location:
    San Francisco
    #4
    It's a 7200 rpm drive in the 27 inch, but I agree with you, Apple is disgracing themselves on a monumental level by putting that junk in their machines (no offense to you, you're aware and have already mentioned you're going to upgrade it to alleviate the problem).

    It is becoming hard to take Apple seriously as a company recently, it is that bad.
     
  5. Fishrrman macrumors G4

    Fishrrman

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #5
    OP wrote:
    "It's super slow, so I bought 32gb of RAM. I also have an Apple SSD 1tb drive I'll be installing next week."

    Do you really, REALLY want to risk the warranty by opening up a -new- iMac to install the SSD?

    Better to get a USB3 enclosure, put the SSD into that, and boot and run that way for a while.

    It will run nearly as fast, and you'll STILL have the 1tb HDD inside, as well, for a total of 2gb of storage space...
     
  6. sammyman thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2005
    #6
    I've done worse! But it is worth the risk to me. We were planning on paying around $3k. So this felt pretty cheap to us.

    However, it is a good idea to hook up the Apple SSD in an external case just to make sure it is fast enough for us as a computer overall before I commit and pull it apart.
     
  7. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #7
    I agree, the risk of damage is just too high. We see threads here, from time to time, about someone opening up their iMac and damaging a cable, or a pin on the logic board. If the OP is used to such delicate work and has done similar type work before, more power to him, but when Apple seals the computer with glue and double sided tape, I think the message is loud and clear - do not open it up.

    That's what I did, but also another option is to find an authorized apple dealer and have them install the drive. That way the warranty will be intact
     
  8. sammyman thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2005
    #8
    I think I've opened 3 iMacs without incident. Learned from the first one to never touch the inside of the glass unless you want to look at a fingerprint forever. I've opened lots of MacBooks.

    Apple is making it harder and harder to make modifications, but that just makes me want to do it more.

    I'll look into an authorized apple dealer repair, but I imagine the cost would be exorbitant.
     
  9. Macmamamac macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2015
    #9
    Only change the hard drive yourself after the warranty/Applecare has ended.

    The old iMacs were easy to get into because the screens were attached with magnets, but the new ones are taped on. So unless you know exactly what you are doing it's going to get extremely messy very fast.
     
  10. tubeexperience macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2016
    #10
    Nonsense. The double-sided tape makes the upgrade more tedious, but otherwise the upgrade isn't harder.

    Also, changing the hard drive doesn't void the warranty.

    Assuming you did the upgrade properly and didn't break anything, you didn't void the warranty.

    I have opened the new Slim iMac and it's definitely not hard: just tedious.
     
  11. Fishrrman macrumors G4

    Fishrrman

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #11
    tube wrote:
    "Assuming you did the upgrade properly and didn't break anything, you didn't void the warranty."

    I've seen you post this again and again.

    Maybe that's so where YOU live (outside the USA, I presume), but here, I sense it might very well lead to an instance where Apple might decline the repair, claiming that there were no "user-serviceable" parts inside the iMac.

    So I will reiterate:
    One opens up a new iMac at one's own risk.
    If you break something, it MAY cost a good deal of $$$ to get it fixed...
     
  12. tubeexperience, Sep 26, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2016

    tubeexperience macrumors 68030

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    Feb 17, 2016
    #12
    I live in the USA.

    Warranty tie-in sales provisions are illegal.

    You can read about it here
     
  13. mildocjr macrumors 65816

    #13
    Apple seems to be the only one doing SSDs throughout their entire lineup. Yes they put in HDD in the lower models, but SSDs aren't exactly cheap.

    To the OP:
    If you are having performance issues while editing, open up Activity Monitor and see which tab you are spiking in. If it's just a dual-core i5, you may always see these performance issues. Typically when you open a project, the entire project, or as much as can be, is loaded into your RAM. This happens at the speed of your hard drive. Once the project is loaded you are only using the CPU, GPU, and RAM, outside of saves, imports and exports. If you are having performance issues with edits, you may always performance issues as the bottleneck becomes your CPU.
     
  14. tubeexperience macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2016
    #14
    You can now get a 480GB SSD for ~$100.
     
  15. mildocjr macrumors 65816

    #15
    Yes but unfortunately the cost per GB scale seems to be exponential in comparison with the HHD cost per GB scale. As a professional she will want the extra drive space.
     
  16. bent christian Suspended

    bent christian

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2015
    #16
    Apple has deemed the drives and soldered-in RAM as parts not serviceable by the end-user. If you replace these and Apple knows about it, they will probably void your warranty.
     
  17. Taz Mangus macrumors 68040

    Taz Mangus

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2011
    #17
    https://www.apple.com/legal/warranty/products/embedded-mac-warranty-us.html (Apple could exercise part g to void the waranty). I would hook up an external SSD HD as the boot drive until the waranty expires.
     
  18. danielwsmithee macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2005
    #18
    Yes you could use it for a Time Machine, or you could create a fusion drive with it. A Fusion drive with a 1TB SSD would work nicely.

    If it were me, I'd just get an OWC Thunderbay 4 mini. Put four consumer SSDs (480GB to 750GB SSDs are relatively cheep) stripe them and boot from that. That way you don't have to muck with opening an iMac that is still under warranty, and you can just keep the external storage for your next machine.
     
  19. tubeexperience macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2016
    #19
    Replacing the memory or the hard drive does not void the warranty. (Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act)

    The FTC has stated specifically “The Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act makes it illegal for companies to void your warranty or deny coverage under the warranty simply because you used an aftermarket part.”

    In order for Apple to void your warranty, Apple has to be able to demonstrate that the aftermarket parts or improper installation of such parts caused the product to malfunction.
     
  20. Taz Mangus macrumors 68040

    Taz Mangus

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    Mar 10, 2011
    #20
    Apple clearly defined on their website the terms and conditions. Good luck with that.
     
  21. tubeexperience macrumors 68030

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    Feb 17, 2016
    #21
    We had previously sent in one of our iMac for warrantied repair.

    Apple did performed the repair, but also replaced our upgraded 256GB SSD with a standard 1TB hard drive.
     
  22. Taz Mangus macrumors 68040

    Taz Mangus

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2011
    #22
    Yep, it also clearly states that in the warranty terms and conditions. Good luck with your upgrade.
     
  23. tubeexperience macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2016
    #23
    If we need another iMac repaired, we can pull the SSD prior to sending it in for repair.
     
  24. bent christian Suspended

    bent christian

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2015
    #24
    I don't think the tape on the newer iMacs is a user-serviceable part, either. You can remove the screen, but I think if Apple took the time to notice, you would be denied here as well.
     
  25. tubeexperience macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2016
    #25
    The adhesive strips have to be replaced every time the screen has been removed and reinstalled.

    You can get them for ~$10.

    Obviously, if you use the old adhesive strips and the screen fell off the computer and broke, Apple can deny your warranty.
     

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