Purchase of new iMac 21.5". Thoughts/Help??

airomero83

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Feb 21, 2012
29
0
Looking to get rid of my mid-2010 MBP and purchase an iMac. Main purpose of desktop will be as an iTunes server to access movies/tv shows from both of my Apple TVs. Occasional use will include web browsing and email and potentially light photo/video editing in future so I don't think I need something extremely powerful for now. Currently music/video library is about 600GB but will be growing in the future.

My only worry right now is how to best handle storage options. I'm looking at potentially getting a 3TB external HD to store iTunes library and pairing it up with an Airport Time Capsule for back-up purposes. This a good set-up? Any recommendations on a great external HD?

What do you guys think of the current config?

iMac 21.5"
3.1GHz Quad-core Intel Core i7, Turbo Boost up to 3.9GHz
8GB 1600MHz DDR3 SDRAM - 2X4GB
256GB Flash Storage
NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M 1GB GDDR5

Thanks for the help as this will be my first iMac purchase! :)
 

yjchua95

macrumors 604
Apr 23, 2011
6,725
230
GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
Looking to get rid of my mid-2010 MBP and purchase an iMac. Main purpose of desktop will be as an iTunes server to access movies/tv shows from both of my Apple TVs. Occasional use will include web browsing and email and potentially light photo/video editing in future so I don't think I need something extremely powerful for now. Currently music/video library is about 600GB but will be growing in the future.

My only worry right now is how to best handle storage options. I'm looking at potentially getting a 3TB external HD to store iTunes library and pairing it up with an Airport Time Capsule for back-up purposes. This a good set-up? Any recommendations on a great external HD?

What do you guys think of the current config?

iMac 21.5"
3.1GHz Quad-core Intel Core i7, Turbo Boost up to 3.9GHz
8GB 1600MHz DDR3 SDRAM - 2X4GB
256GB Flash Storage
NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M 1GB GDDR5

Thanks for the help as this will be my first iMac purchase! :)
Good call in not getting the Fusion. Since it's still got a mechanical portion, it's just as likely to fail as a HDD because a Fusion can't operate off just the SSD sector only.

And besides, you get full blazing speed with an SSD.

The 8GB of RAM...not sure about this though. I fitted my 21.5" with 16GB because it's almost impossible to open up the iMac and add RAM.
 

jmgregory1

macrumors 68000
Unless people live in a vastly different world than I do, where every mechanical hdd is failing faster than the snow of the recent storm fell, the Fusion Drive is a great compromise of cost per GB and speed.

And Apple CAN open up the iMac and replace/repair the hdd if it fails. It's no different than the OP storing his iTunes files on an external hdd or using Time Capsule for storing backups - both of which have the same chance of failure (slim).

I'm all for making the move to fully solid state storage, for all the obvious reasons, but at this point, the cost per GB is drastically higher and the FD uses both the ssd and hdd portions to their best. You get massive storage AND fast ssd speed. I've been using my early '13 iMac with FD and have had zero issues - it's fast, faster in fact than my '11 mba which is all ssd (not surprising given processor speed and extra ram).

The only time I wouldn't recommend FD is for those running Windows / VM's, but for the OP's use-case, a FD (at the same price as the ssd) would be a good option.
 

AppleFan360

macrumors 68020
Jan 26, 2008
2,186
674
Good call in not getting the Fusion. Since it's still got a mechanical portion, it's just as likely to fail as a HDD because a Fusion can't operate off just the SSD sector only.
I'm really getting tired of people spreading this sort of false information. SSD drives are just as likely to fail as mechanical drives. Remember, SSD's only have a finite number of read/write cycles. Mechanical drives can last for years just like SSD's.

To the OP, getting the pure SSD in your situation would probably be fine but if you want more bang for the buck on space and still get SSD like speeds, the 1TB Fusion option for the model iMac you are getting is something to consider.
 

Apple fanboy

macrumors Nehalem
Feb 21, 2012
32,740
22,591
Behind the Lens, UK
Good call in not getting the Fusion. Since it's still got a mechanical portion, it's just as likely to fail as a HDD because a Fusion can't operate off just the SSD sector only.False. Because the traditional part of the Fusion drive doesn't spin up as often, because the most used applications are on the SSD part, it should last much longer than traditional hard drives.

And besides, you get full blazing speed with an SSD. True, but not cheap and size could be a problem.

The 8GB of RAM...not sure about this though. I fitted my 21.5" with 16GB because it's almost impossible to open up the iMac and add RAM.Did exactly the same thing to future proof my iMac.
I'd recommend anybody to go for the Fusion drive as its an amazing bit of tech for the price. Had mine since launch with no issues whatsoever. Keep it on 24/7 as well.
 

rkaufmann87

macrumors 68000
Dec 17, 2009
1,760
38
Folsom, CA
Looking to get rid of my mid-2010 MBP and purchase an iMac. Main purpose of desktop will be as an iTunes server to access movies/tv shows from both of my Apple TVs. Occasional use will include web browsing and email and potentially light photo/video editing in future so I don't think I need something extremely powerful for now. Currently music/video library is about 600GB but will be growing in the future.

My only worry right now is how to best handle storage options. I'm looking at potentially getting a 3TB external HD to store iTunes library and pairing it up with an Airport Time Capsule for back-up purposes. This a good set-up? Any recommendations on a great external HD?

What do you guys think of the current config?

iMac 21.5"
3.1GHz Quad-core Intel Core i7, Turbo Boost up to 3.9GHz
8GB 1600MHz DDR3 SDRAM - 2X4GB
256GB Flash Storage
NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M 1GB GDDR5

Thanks for the help as this will be my first iMac purchase! :)
Frankly an iMac is overkill for your application. I use mine for the same thing but you could easily do this on a Mac Mini for hundreds of $ less. Just save your iTunes library on an EHD and that will work just fine. No need to spend the money you are considering.
 

talmy

macrumors 601
Oct 26, 2009
4,703
266
Oregon
Looking to get rid of my mid-2010 MBP and purchase an iMac. Main purpose of desktop will be as an iTunes server to access movies/tv shows from both of my Apple TVs. Occasional use will include web browsing and email and potentially light photo/video editing in future so I don't think I need something extremely powerful for now. Currently music/video library is about 600GB but will be growing in the future.
Keep your MBP, which will do web browsing, email and photo/video editing just fine. Get a base Mac mini (any will do) to handle the server. Having a full computer (with keyboard and display) is a waste for this.

I've got a 4 year old mini server with 10TB of disks that handles this and more. The current base model is more powerful and you can attach as many multi-TB drives as you need in the future. Power consumption will be much less than the iMac.
 

airomero83

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Feb 21, 2012
29
0
Sorry for late response but thanks to all for all the opinions. I'm considering moving to Fusion drive and 16GB of RAM now.

I may have understated my potential use for iMac as I do need something with more power as iPhoto currently chokes and takes forever when importing stuff. If I were to get Mac Mini (which I did consider) then I would have to purchase a separate monitor as well. In this case, a TB Display lol gotta keep it Apple. I think w/ the addition of 16GB of RAM, I future proof my purchase of an iMac.

Thanks for your help.
 

Ak907Freerider

macrumors 6502
Apr 19, 2012
281
0
Why not just get a apple time capsule and use that for all your media? That's what I do cause it has to stream anyways to the Apple TV. You get either 2 or 3tb. Plus back up your laptop. It works flawless. I have a 27 loaded iMac and that's how my iTunes is set up. Just direct your iTunes to the router time capsule.
 

talmy

macrumors 601
Oct 26, 2009
4,703
266
Oregon
The "problem" with using an iMac as a server is you will want to have the server running all the time and an iMac consumes much more power than a mini, Time Capsule, or a NAS.

I'd be more concerned with why iPhoto is choking importing your pictures. How many are you trying to import at a time and how big is your library. I've got a 4 year old iMac, about 20,000 images and use Aperture and import time doesn't get in the way.
 

airomero83

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Feb 21, 2012
29
0
Well it won't be on necessarily "all the time." Most of the content I view is on the Apple TV anyways. iMac will be used to airplay shows/movies found from "other sites." :) And will be woken up via Apple TV.

I do have a question on RAM however. I see Apple has refurbished Late 2013 iMacs and exactly the specs I wanted except for RAM which is at 8GB. Is 16GB really that necessary? I'm looking at a difference of $400 w/ Apple Protection Plan for both. ($1608 w/ 8GB vs $2068 w/ 16GB).
 

talmy

macrumors 601
Oct 26, 2009
4,703
266
Oregon
8GB is more than enough. My server Mac has 8GB and uses 5 with all services running (including a Windows virtual machine).
 

accountforit

macrumors 6502a
Jan 22, 2014
676
0
Well it won't be on necessarily "all the time." Most of the content I view is on the Apple TV anyways. iMac will be used to airplay shows/movies found from "other sites." :) And will be woken up via Apple TV.

I do have a question on RAM however. I see Apple has refurbished Late 2013 iMacs and exactly the specs I wanted except for RAM which is at 8GB. Is 16GB really that necessary? I'm looking at a difference of $400 w/ Apple Protection Plan for both. ($1608 w/ 8GB vs $2068 w/ 16GB).

You can upgrade later by tearing the unit apart if needed. Save your $460.
 

MartinAppleGuy

macrumors 68020
Sep 27, 2013
2,243
888
8GB is more than enough. My server Mac has 8GB and uses 5 with all services running (including a Windows virtual machine).
OSX Macericks only uses 2.8Gb before doing any sort of application caching (which gets clears if an application needs more ram anyway). Plus with RAM compression, 12Gb of data can theoretically be within the 8Gb module (to 2X4 to be correct ;) ). 8Gb is more than enough.
 

Altis

macrumors 68030
Sep 10, 2013
2,987
4,421
Keep your MBP, which will do web browsing, email and photo/video editing just fine. Get a base Mac mini (any will do) to handle the server. Having a full computer (with keyboard and display) is a waste for this.

I've got a 4 year old mini server with 10TB of disks that handles this and more. The current base model is more powerful and you can attach as many multi-TB drives as you need in the future. Power consumption will be much less than the iMac.
Would the OP even need a Mac Mini? I don't see why the MBP couldn't handle this, for no additional cost beyond the external drive (s).

Or just, time capsule.
 

talmy

macrumors 601
Oct 26, 2009
4,703
266
Oregon
Would the OP even need a Mac Mini? I don't see why the MBP couldn't handle this, for no additional cost beyond the external drive (s).

Or just, time capsule.
Will a TC serve to ATVs? He wanted to sell his MBP and get an iMac. I suggested keeping the MBP and using a Mac mini, saving money. I wouldn't recommend the MBP acting as a dual purpose computer and server. Actually I don't recommend combining the two functions and a MBP isn't exactly the ideal server design (neither is an iMac). A Mac mini sits nicely on a bookshelf and doesn't require desk space.
 

Altis

macrumors 68030
Sep 10, 2013
2,987
4,421
Will a TC serve to ATVs? He wanted to sell his MBP and get an iMac. I suggested keeping the MBP and using a Mac mini, saving money. I wouldn't recommend the MBP acting as a dual purpose computer and server. Actually I don't recommend combining the two functions and a MBP isn't exactly the ideal server design (neither is an iMac). A Mac mini sits nicely on a bookshelf and doesn't require desk space.
Image
I thought it could be used if it was on the network.

I do agree that a Mac Mini would be better suited than a MBP or iMac... but it could very well be the least costly solution. Was just trying to toss it in there as an option.
 

accountforit

macrumors 6502a
Jan 22, 2014
676
0
If I'm an idiot, then you must be illiterate.

This isn't a 2011 iMac.

http://www.ifixit.com/Teardown/iMac+Intel+21.5-Inch+EMC+2638+Teardown/17829

Read the verdict at the bottom of the page.

----------



Go get the popcorn out while I return fire :)
First of all, I didn't call you an idiot. Only paranoid idiots are going to complain over removing a tape seal and reapplying new tape upon reassembly. Maybe paranoid idiots feel paying $480 for the difference in RAM is worth it over doing the work yourself for $100.

Who said anything about a 2011 model?

Just because it's not a one screw disassembly doesn't mean it's "next to impossible". Are the guys at the Genius Bar superheroes; the guys that actually fix these iMacs? Do they have some special superpower?

It sounds like it's above your head. You can take the idiot moniker if you'd like.
 

yjchua95

macrumors 604
Apr 23, 2011
6,725
230
GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
First of all, I didn't call you an idiot. Only paranoid idiots are going to complain over removing a tape seal and reapplying new tape upon reassembly. Maybe paranoid idiots feel paying $480 for the difference in RAM is worth it over doing the work yourself for $100.

Who said anything about a 2011 model?

Just because it's not a one screw disassembly doesn't mean it's "next to impossible". Are the guys at the Genius Bar superheroes; the guys that actually fix these iMacs? Do they have some special superpower?

It sounds like it's above your head. You can take the idiot moniker if you'd like.
In that case, then most people are idiots in your opinion.

Are you sure it's just a tape seal?

You forgot all about the screen. Look at step 5 of the iFixit teardown: http://www.ifixit.com/Teardown/iMac+Intel+21.5-Inch+EMC+2544+Teardown/11936