Need advice on upgrading to a new iMac

Discussion in 'iMac' started by driphone, Mar 15, 2017.

  1. driphone macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2008
    #1
    Hi everyone, I currently have a late 2012 27" iMac, i5 2.9 GHz with 8 GB of RAM. My main question: Is there a major performance difference between Fusion Drive and SSD? My usage is routine computing, running Win 7 on Parallels while also using the Mac interface, and viewing radiographs (X-ray images) for medical purposes (so the new Retina display will be a plus). I am also considering moving up to an i7 with 16 GB RAM if the performance gain will be decent. I am in no rush so is this a good time to buy a new iMac or should I wait for a refresh?

    Thank you all in advance for your input.
    Sam
     
  2. hurtmemore macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2017
    #2
    For most people a fusion drive will perform the same as an SSD - the computer will optimize your recent/most used files and applications to be on the SSD side of the drive. A pure SSD does have some performance benefits with pro/creative applications that write a ton of data/temp files, but based on what you're saying, routine computing, xrays, etc - the fusion drive should perform about identical 99% of the time, but with the additional storage capacity. After the 128gb SSD fills up, it will start storing older files on the HDD side, and bring them back as needed.

    Note that the 1TB fusion iMac has very limited SSD storage, something like 24gb - I'd recommend getting the 2TB which has 128gb on the SSD.

    There have been rumors of a refresh for a while - it may happen within the next few weeks - Apple is expected to have an event late march or early April. If they don't announce it then, it will likely be several more months minimum. So not the best time to buy, something will come probably sooner than later.

    Last thing to note - about 16gb ram - Apple charges crazy prices. On the 27" iMac you can upgrade ram yourself through a port in the back, it's plug and play. Check out OWC or Amazon for 3rd party ram, you can order the same stuff much much cheaper. If they announce a new iMac in a few weeks the exact ram specs could change so be aware of that.
     
  3. nambuccaheadsau macrumors 6502a

    nambuccaheadsau

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2007
    Location:
    Nambucca Heads Australia
    #3
    For what you want I would consider a 1TB Flash Storage. PCI-E is the future and for mine, I think the new models will not be available until towards the end of the year when iMacs have traditionally been released. We all expected a new model November last, but it was deferred to this month.

    No news and March is rapidly disappearing. I am an i7 user and am very happy with my machine.
     
  4. apppen1 macrumors regular

    apppen1

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2016
    #4
    I have a late 2013 with an i5 and 1TB fusion and a late 2015 with an i7 and ssd and there is no difference in speed.
     
  5. driphone thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2008
    #5
    I appreciate your thorough and helpful detailed response. So it seems the 2TB Fusion Drive config should be adequate for our use. I think I'll wait a while to see if they release a refresh.

    Thank you!
    Sam
    --- Post Merged, Mar 15, 2017 ---
    #3
    For what you want I would consider a 1TB Flash Storage. PCI-E is the future and for mine, I think the new models will not be available until towards the end of the year when iMacs have traditionally been released. We all expected a new model November last, but it was deferred to this month.

    No news and March is rapidly disappearing. I am an i7 user and am very happy with my machine.

    #4
    I have a late 2013 with an i5 and 1TB fusion and a late 2015 with an i7 and ssd and there is no difference in speed.


    Thank you both for the helpful info.

    Sam
     
  6. sfwalter macrumors 68000

    sfwalter

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    Location:
    Dallas Texas
    #6
    Good luck on the wait for a new iMac. That's what I'm doing as well. I have a 2015 iMac (latest shipping model) in my shopping cart and have been tempted to push the buy button. Need to remember "good things come to those who wait"
     
  7. nambuccaheadsau macrumors 6502a

    nambuccaheadsau

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2007
    Location:
    Nambucca Heads Australia
    #7
    Or maybe 'He who hesitates is lost?"

    I have given up waiting for new models. When I need one I buy one regardless. Flash Storage is faster than an SSD.
     
  8. driphone thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2008
    #8

    I thought they were the same thing!?

    Sam
     
  9. sfwalter macrumors 68000

    sfwalter

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    Location:
    Dallas Texas
    #9
    I think there's just a small difference. Normally when folks say SSD they are thinking of a flash storage that's in inside a hard drive like enclosure. It's typically connected to the computer via a standard sata connection.

    Flash storage are chips not inside an enclosure directly connected to the motherboard usually with a faster pci-e connection.

    Flash storage is considered to be faster because it's usually connected via the pci-e bus compared to standard sata connection which are used for hard drives.
     
  10. Floris macrumors 68020

    Floris

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2007
    Location:
    Netherlands
    #10
    I do this almost every day, and then I cry myself to sleep for not buying it, and for waiting yet again.
    I am gutted at how poor the hardware updates were last year when it came to PRO stuff, and how terrible the wait is now is making me regret caring this much for quality and performance stuff.

    If it wasn't for windows being gdamn windows, I would have given up 6 months ago and just go for a proper windows box. I just can't justify it.. but that's a discussion for another terrible day where i almost bought a 2 year old hardware no t3./usbc box from them.
     
  11. driphone thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2008
    #11
    Got it! Thanks for the clarification.

    Sam
     
  12. nambuccaheadsau macrumors 6502a

    nambuccaheadsau

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2007
    Location:
    Nambucca Heads Australia
    #12
    I was referring to pure Flash Storage, which is a blade installed in the PCI-E slots.


     

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