New iMac Purchase: Upgrade the HDD through Apple?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by nirvanaman, Nov 28, 2007.

  1. nirvanaman macrumors newbie

    Nov 28, 2007
    Hi. I have been browsing this site for years as I have prepared my slow transition over to the Mac world. Been an IBM (now called PC) proponent all my life, building most of my own machines and upgrading the ones I didn't myself. However, at this stage in my life, my needs (PC in the living room) call for a classier solution with less clutter. I have decided on the 24" iMac. My now 8 year old PC is dying a painful death and though she served me well, needs to be put to rest. I heavily multitask, but primarily multiple instances or tabs of web browsers. It is not uncommon for me to have 20 browser windows open in addition to winamp playing (I very much dislike iTunes for Windows) in the background, maybe the occasional streaming video. I'll also have a photo editor open and several instant messaging applications. I do play around with music, photos and video a bit, but I am far from a graphic designer. I will be upgrading the RAM on my own afterwards and not paying the apple surcharge. I am now faced with a few decisions:

    1) 2.4 or 2.8

    With my usage, will I really see value with the 2.8 upgrade? I am not sure if I will be tasking the processor very much. I am on a PIII 550 right now so anything would be a significant improvement.

    2) Stock 320 gig HDD or upgrade to the 500 or 750? I currently have a 250 gig network drive and I plan on using this as well as potentially networking other drives. I do not want to attach an external directly to the iMac as I am trying to reduce clutter, not increase it. However, Apple's HDD costs are pretty pricey for the size increase. How will the performance of a HDD over the network be in comparison to the internal drive? Is it worth the expensive upgrade?

    3) Printer. I am considering the Canon MP610. Any thoughts on this? My HP died long ago and I would like a good all-in-one with good text and photo capabilities. I will be networking this as well. Since it doesn't have built in networking, I would plug it in to my router or network drive so again I can hide it out of site.

    Appreciate any and all insight you may have to offer!
  2. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    May 19, 2002
    You'd probably get a better return for you money by ordering the 24" iMac 2.4 and bumping the HD to 500GB and if you really want the 2.8, bumping the CPU to 2.8GHz and ordering a 3rd party memory upgrade to 4GB for $150.

    Basically for $500 apple is charging $250 for the CPU, $150 for the 2GB Ram, and $100 for the HD.

    So for the same price you can get the same machine with 4GB memory rather than Apple's stock 2.8 machine with 2GB.


    Don't need the CPU upgrade, but do the drive now, since it'll be a pain later. And likely a $50 service charge to install it. Making the bump to 500GB not too big a cornholing.
  3. midorix macrumors member

    Nov 23, 2007
    There are no wrong answers.
    I just ordered my Imac on Black Friday so my comments are not actual user experience.

    However, I went through the same decision making process and came to the following conclusion.

    1) 2.4 vs 2.8 - I don't upgrade my computer very frequently (my PC is Pentium III with 256MB of about slooow death). With this in mind, I've just decided to go with 2.8 since I won't purchase another computer for another 8+ years. Do I need 2.8? Probably not but I don't mind spending extra $250 for this. My coworker went with 2.4 as it is best bang for the buck. He also upgrades his computer every 5 years so that made sense to him.

    2) 320GB vs 500GB vs 750GB - I chose 750GB. Only reason going to 750GB is I have HD camcorder and wanted to store these home videos (some will be transferred to DVD). The $/GB is about the same from going to 320 to 500 and 500 to 750. 750 to 1TB was prohibitive so I took that option out.

    3) Canon MP610 - I ended up ordering this printer based on reviews and the fact it's scanner + printer + LCD + media card reader (No Fax which I didn't need).

    So that's how my decision was made. Will see how it works out when I get my Imac within a week or so.
  4. pilotError macrumors 68020


    Apr 12, 2006
    Long Island
    Check the various sites for Deals on Built To Order (BTO) Macs. These are Macs that were ordered upgraded from Apple, they weren't cracked open and upgraded.

    There are places on the net that sell upgraded Macs cheaper than Apple and you may end up saving the Tax on it.

    There are a bunch of places, but I've purchased from both Amazon and these guys:
  5. nirvanaman thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 28, 2007
    I actually have a friend in Cupertino so will be able to get a discount through them. Any other thoughts on the processor or HDD?
  6. Coca-Cola macrumors 6502

    Dec 10, 2002
    HDD upgrade quality?

    My parents ordered a 20" inch imac with a bumped up Hard drive. The 320 GB. Will the build quality be good. If this machine has any problems, they will probably go back to a P.C..
  7. nirvanaman thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 28, 2007
    Looking to order today. Any other advice?

  8. MacinDoc macrumors 68020


    Mar 22, 2004
    The Great White North
    For Apple desktops, the overall build quality is much better than average for the industry, with Consumer Reports magazine showing that all other manufacturers' desktops require repairs at least 50% more often than Macs. The same cannot be said for laptops, where there is little difference between manufacturers in build quality (although Apple is trailing in this area for the first time, likely due to the massive recall of Apple laptops with Sony batteries).

    With respect to the HDD, whether there is a problem with it has nothing to do with whether it is in a Mac or a PC. Macs and Windows machine makers all use the same suppliers for their HDDs, so neither a Mac nor a PC is any more or less likely to have HDD failure. So, your parents should't expect that the HDD would be more reliable just because it is in a Mac, but by the same reasoning, if the HDD were to fail, this would not be a good reason to go back to a PC.

    If it were me, I would upgrade the HDD, because you can't upgrade the internal HDD yourself without voiding the warranty.
  9. GregE macrumors 6502

    Nov 28, 2007
    I just ordered my first iMac and I went with the 24" 2.8MHz version. I figured I might as well go for the biggest available now.

    I decided the 500GB hard drive would be big enough for me as an internal drive. I'm seriously thinking about getting the Drobo for an EHD to use for added storage for my photos, videos, music, and for Time Machine. It is easy to increase in size and is always protected like a RAID array.

    I went with the Canon MP610 after reading reviews and user comments. We used to have a scanner on our XP PC but when I upgraded to Vista I couldn't use it anymore. I like the idea of the multifunction printer and this one got good reviews. It also has individual ink tanks and I like that idea. I would have looked at Epson but they aren't in the rebate. Here is a PC Magazine review I found.


    I'm excited to be going Mac!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Share This Page