New iMac: Suggestions?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Spadoinkles, May 5, 2011.

  1. Spadoinkles macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 5, 2011
    Location:
    Florida
    #1
    Hey guys -
    been around the MacRumors world for more than a while now but I've finally got myself an account...
    I've been living with my first Mac for a while now.. since January 2007 to be precise. With my growing interest (and work portfolio) in photography, videography and film however, my GMA950 graphics is becoming less than inadequate to process anything much more than a 12meg jpeg image. How'd I survive that torture you may ask, but unlike some I see out there I do cherish my equipment and deploy wise economics *cough* to extract lots of productivity out of humble equipment. Which brings me to the fact that like my current Mac, I intend to keep it for a good amount of time.

    I've been eyeing this new Sandy Bridge - following it for months and actually got together a group of friends where we all sat down together to try predict everything the new iMac came - predictions from SSDs, new displays and a whole range of rejuvenated i3s came by but I'll just claim credit of being closest. I'm now eyeing the 27" i7, the only letdowns being the lack of SSD at non-lunatic pricing (would probably prove useful though I could thunderbolt it at a later stage) and the Mobile Graphics - quite the reason why I've been contemplating hackintoshing too. I've also read about Ivy Bridge and how the new SSD caching may come in place - would that be worth the wait?

    Though my mac is telling me it's time to make a move, I'm in no desperate hurry to switch - I don't need a new Mac today or tomorrow but certainly in the coming weeks or months. If it's a three month wait for something massive, heck I'll kick back for a bit. If it's 6 months to the next revolution of Bluetooth module placement however.. I'd rather not waste the time and deprive myself of the iMac. Any suggestions?

    I typically work with between two and three monitors, intense Adobe Creative Suite, Final Cut Pro, Logic, Protools, with some Windows applications I intend to bootcamp (and hopefully parallels for lighter tasks). On top of that would be my recreational use mainly comprising of light tasks, mountain loads of word processing and the casual stress relieving game or two.

    Any suggestions would be welcome - I do intend in running this whitebook to the grave (when it finally dies) and replacing it with whatever breed of MacBook Air available at that time... and please don't say fully-fledged Mac Pro - I'd like to have a positive bank account balance at the end of the day!

    Thanks :)
     
  2. SideStepSociety macrumors 6502

    SideStepSociety

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2011
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    #2
    The chips in the 2011 Mac actually feature SSD caching, however, I think it still requires some software input from Apple for it to work.

    I can put this briefly, buy now, you won't regret it. There *likely* won't be an update within 6 months, but none of us ever know what Apple will do.

    P.S. I guarantee the mobile graphics won't disappoint you. ESPECIALLY if you get the 2GB card.
     
  3. Spadoinkles thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 5, 2011
    Location:
    Florida
    #3
    Hey SideStepSociety
    I know you're probably right about Apple not refreshing the iMac for a good 6-9 months. I'm not exactly sure how useful an SSD is, apart from the fact a friend of mine who recently shoved one in his hackintosh reduced his boot time by two thirds, if that's all he brags about I'm simply not interested :p

    As for the 2gig 6970... my graphic designer friends and tech geeks alike both say the 1 and 2 gig cards are just as quick - the 2gig just has more vram to process (aka multitask) and power multiple monitors. I understand that 1gig is enough for a good three monitors and that's all my desk (and room) will ever have capacity for. Unless I'm convinced otherwise - it's another $170.

    I'd probably keep the stock 4gig kit and add on another 2 4GB sticks myself for a total of 12 - that's still less than half the price of apple's 8gig upgrade. Looking at a 2-3TB HDD to add on to knowing a couple hours of a photoshoot is a good 50gigs (before selection & compression) and the video I shoot is roughly 12 gigs per hour... I'll fill it all up in no time :D

    P.S. Should I kill the SSD for now and wait till thunderbolt ones arrive?
     
  4. SideStepSociety macrumors 6502

    SideStepSociety

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2011
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    #4
    Pardon the late reply, for some reason I must've forgot to subscribe to this thread.

    Annyhow, if you can get the SSD & HDD combo, I'd suggest going for that as you get the best of both worlds. SSD will improve overall system speed, as HDD's are the current bottlenecks in these machines. Apps will run/load quicker, boot time will be shortened, as well as various other things. SSD's are one of the main reasons why MBA's are so swift. Not to mention with the additional HDD you've still got space for all your stuffs.

    Definitely a solid idea with the RAM. When I bought my 2011 MBP, I kept the stock 4GB and upgraded to 8GB for nearly 1/3 of the cost of the Apple BTO option.
     
  5. Spadoinkles thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 5, 2011
    Location:
    Florida
    #5
    Hey man, no worries. Take your time :p
    Read somewhere that it might make sense Thunderbolting - and as far as my work is concerned, SSDing doesn't seem to affect much more than booting and app opening time, which unlike many cash strapped big guys out there... not what I'm after.

    Problem right now is I'm contemplating moving overseas for tertiary within a year or two, and getting a desktop right now is just impractical as it's impossible to carry a 14kilo iMac on a plane (even with my $600 business class tickets into Asia & beyond) which is why, on second thoughts, I had a macbook pro in mind.

    I'm really keen on the iMac though, given it's a more drastic update than mbp (which is due next year AFAIK). SSD + HDD is really tempting right now, but pretty sad as I can get them for a good NZ$1000 cheaper in asia and america but not here.

    Keen for more suggestions right now though. In the meantime my half-ancient Whitebook is still running (crawling) :p
     
  6. TheUndertow macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2011
    #6
    I don't know...other than the SSD caching tech (which only applies to a smaller number opting for SSDs), I feel the iMac and MBP refreshes were almost TOO similar.

    New CPUs
    New GPUs
    Thunderbolt

    Neither made an evolutionary change IMO.

    While I do think a new MBP is coming (AND you can be sure a new iMac...whether refresh or revolution), it sounds like you could use the portability, whether now or if you can wait for a while.
     
  7. Spadoinkles thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 5, 2011
    Location:
    Florida
    #7


    Pretty much aye. Kinda narrowed it down to the macbook pro actually to keep my options open for overseas study within the next year or two.. now deciding options for the mbp --> http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?p=12690489#post12690489 :)
     
  8. Steamrunner macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2008
    #8
    An SSD will also help with your photo and video work. If you're working with RAW files, they'll load faster with an SSD. For video, if you set your scratch disk to be the SSD you'll also see an improvement there. That last tip came from the Final Cut Pro expert at my local Apple Store - I've always thought that your scratch disc shouldn't be the OS/app location, but apparently that doesn't matter with SSDs as they're more than fast enough to handle both and still see an improvement.

    I'm not saying you should get the SSD right now, just that it could be more use to you than you realise.
     
  9. Spadoinkles thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 5, 2011
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    Florida
    #9
    Hmm. Pretty fixed on the 128 because it's cheaper than anything outside... I know Apple SSDs arent great compared to OCZ and Intel but hey.. :/
     

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