New Imac - SSD Option or Quad Core.

Discussion in 'iMac' started by telemark948, Jul 31, 2010.

  1. telemark948 macrumors member

    Jul 31, 2010
    I was in the process of deciding which Imac to buy when they brought out the new models this week. Now I'm really undecided about which config to choose.

    I can either buy the i7 Quad with 8GB ram and the 1TB HD


    i3 (maybe i5 )dual with 8GB ram with the 256GB SSD and 1TB HD.

    I can't afford the i7 with SSD.

    Always had windows before, so this is my first Imac :D

    I do use VMware a lot on my windows machine, running Linux distros. I will be doing the same plus for the odd app in Windows using fusion on the Imac.

    Currently have and older PC with Hyperthreading but not dual core with 4Gb ram, so anything will be a huge improvement.

    I would just to like to know from the forum some initial thoughts, plus what would you buy if you the same budget.

    Never had SSD before so I'm like a kid in a candy shop, I want I want :D


  2. powerhouse7 macrumors regular

    Oct 21, 2009
    Canberra, Australia
    Wow. Hard decision.
    In terms of lifespan, you'll probably find the quad core would put you in good sted. Quad cores are not that far off being standard I don't think (may be wrong) but SSD's are a while off yet. But the benefits of SSD's seem EPIC!
    Are you able to maybe not up the RAM and get the i5 with SSD. That way you've got quad cores plus SSD and you could upgrade RAM later on if you needed to?
    I guess it comes down to what you'll use your computer with. If you do lots of rendering or photoshop or editing then you'll probably be better off the the i7 and RAM upgrade. Otherwise, i'd go the SSD if you want to see a massive increase in 'performance'
  3. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
    No matter what you get, make sure you get at least 8GB of RAM, that will speed up VMs a lot. This is a hard question but because you aren't doing anything CPU intensive, I would get the dual with SSD as VMs will benefit from it (faster boot times etc)
  4. finiteyoda macrumors member

    Apr 10, 2007
    I'd go SSD. With VM's, the biggest thing is memory, then SSD, and CPU last. Memory is so important with a VM (because you never want it to swap out to disk, even SSD) I'd even consider 16 gigs.

    An i3 or i5 with SSD and 8 or 16 gigs of RAM should make a pretty nice setup for running VM's. The key with a setup for VM's is to make sure that the host and virtual OS'es have enough RAM that they never swap to disk. Even with SSD, swapping can make them quite sluggish.
  5. zedsdead macrumors 68040

    Jun 20, 2007
    If you are not doing anything that really needs a quad-core, such as video encoding, then I would go with the SSD. It will speed up you everyday activities.
  6. macpro2000 macrumors 6502a

    Apr 20, 2005
    I would go the SSD route+hard drive...for most people the processor is fast enough. The hard drive is what's slowing down people.
  7. telemark948 thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 31, 2010
    Thanks for the advice

    Just like to thank those took the time to respond and give the advice I asked for.
    I have now ordered my first Imac, managed to stretch as far as I could and got the quad I5 with HD and SSD. Just hope the wife doesn't see the final price :eek:

    have been reading a lot on these forums about the TRIM or lack of it on the MAC SSD, hopefully this problem will be fixed by Apple soon. First time I have come across TRIM, so an interested read especially

    I think if you manage your drive well, maybe putting all your documents, home folder etc on the HDD and keep the SSD for the apps etc then probably you will end up with a drive that still manages to be much faster than the fastest 3.5” hard drives, but slower than when you first got it.

    Thanks again


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