Purchasing iMac advice

Discussion in 'iMac' started by gsusser, Aug 6, 2017.

  1. gsusser macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2012
    Location:
    jersey city
    #1
    Sorry for what may be dumb questions but I am not very technical. I also have not kept up to date with technology.

    I want to replace my 2011 iMac with a new one. While I want to keep the cost as reasonable as possible, I am not constrained by a budget.

    1. I presently have over 1TB of music which I prefer to keep on the internal drive. I guess that means I need a 2TB drive and I want SSD. I know it's a major expense. I've run into problems in the past having my music on an external.

    2. I have an extensive video collection, about 10TB and growing. Am I okay keeping these on a standard external drive? Am I okay with my present setup - I have four 4TB WD SATA/64MB cache drives purchased in 2014.

    3. Will I have to download or purchase new programs to replace many of my present programs? If not, are they easily transferrable? On a related note, is the migration assistant all I need to transfer my files and settings?

    4. Am I better off buying a minimal amount of memory when I buy the iMac and upgrading from a third party?

    5. What else do I need to take into consideration and options to consider?

    Many thanks.
     
  2. G.McGilli macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2015
    #2
    I'll let others give you the answers you need, but it would also help if you list what version of OSX you are running.

    2011 Macs can use the current version (10.12) - so if you have been upgrading every year then no need to upgrade any programs as you know they will all work. If your OSX is much older, then others can hopefully help with that.
     
  3. HiFiGuy528 macrumors 68000

    HiFiGuy528

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2008
    #3
    you don't need Apple's super fast SSD to store music. It would be a waste... The SSD is best for moving large files around. I am an audiophile with nearly 2TB of WAV files and use Roon music player. Get more CPU and RAM instead of SSD storage. I just bought 2017 27" iMac with 3.8GHz i5, 8GB RAM (added 8GB myself =16GB), 580 8GB GPU, and 2TB of Fusion Drive. I love it and no regrets.
     
  4. gsusser thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2012
    Location:
    jersey city
    #4
    Thanks for the responses.
    I have OS 10.12... it's a relief to know my programs will work.
     
  5. paulryp macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2016
    #5
    just for the record 2011 iMac is a very capable machine if you put an SSD in it. Not for gaming but for everyday use a SSD in that will make a huge difference and buy you a few more years of use. I would recommend the 512 optical bay upgrade. Just saying maybe you DONT need a new iMac ;)
     
  6. SaSaSushi macrumors 68040

    SaSaSushi

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2007
    Location:
    Takamatsu, Japan
    #6
    What sort of problems, exactly? Unless you're using Thunderbolt on the 2011 iMac your problems are likely related to the fact that it only has USB 2.0.

    The 2017 iMac has four USB3 ports, of course, as well as two USB-C (USB 3.1 Gen 2 and Thunderbolt 3), any of which will run an external HDD as fast as an internal.

    My advice is to avoid all iMacs with internal spinning drives nowadays. Pure SSD is the way to go and the single most important upgrade you can make.

    Spinning drives are noisy, power hungry, prone to failure and, as mentioned, will run just as fast and reliably externally attached and it's best to keep them there.
     
  7. Lioness~ macrumors 6502

    Lioness~

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2017
    Location:
    Gothenburg, Sweden
    #7
    There's rumors of new 2018 design, take that into your considerations: https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/imac-redesign-for-2018.2049419/

    1. Do you need 2TB SSD? If you need all your music on your computer, why not consider a larger Fusion drive. As larger they are the bigger the SSD part they have.

    2. Depends on how much backup you want to have on your videos. How important are they?
    Why not consider a NAS or other HD setup as RAID1 or 5 for future secure storage.

    4. You should definitely NOT buy all your memory when you buy your computer. You buy memory much cheaper and put that in yourself after purchase.
     
  8. looking4anotebo macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2007
    #8

    how much of the 3tb fusion is ssd? Is it 256gb now??
     
  9. kschendel macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2014
    #9
    I generally agree with Lioness~; you might be a good Fusion drive candidate. While I usually recommend pure SSD, it's not cost effective in the larger sizes (unless you really need the speed, and you don't), and you'd be better off putting the money into your video storage. It sounds like you don't have any backup, or at least no immediate drive failure protection. I suggest you plan for added storage with mirroring or raid-5.

    Also, unless you're gaming or doing other CPU intensive work, I don't think I'd bother uprating the CPU. Stick with a baseline i5 which will run cool and quiet. Yes, add 3rd party memory after purchase, it's simple on the 27 inchers.
     
  10. Lioness~ macrumors 6502

    Lioness~

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    Apr 26, 2017
    Location:
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    #10
    Not sure about 3TB, google it for certain. But I would assume 256GB.
    128GB for 2TB I've heard & the 1TB only 32GB
     
  11. Fishrrman macrumors G5

    Fishrrman

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #11
    "I presently have over 1TB of music which I prefer to keep on the internal drive. I guess that means I need a 2TB drive and I want SSD. I know it's a major expense. I've run into problems in the past having my music on an external."

    If you've got money to literally throw away, buy a 2tb internal SSD.
    There is no penalty in performance by playing music from an external drive, particularly via USB3.. NONE.
    Save the $$$, get a 2-4tb platter-based external drive, and move your music library to that.

    I know you won't consider this, but it's worth saying anyway.
     
  12. SaSaSushi macrumors 68040

    SaSaSushi

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    Aug 8, 2007
    Location:
    Takamatsu, Japan
    #12
    Both 2TB and 3TB Fusion Drives have 128GB SSD components.
     
  13. Lioness~ macrumors 6502

    Lioness~

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2017
    Location:
    Gothenburg, Sweden
    #13
    I've had my music library on external HD for a long time with absolutely no problem.

    Thanks, good to know. So no ssd gain for larger 3TB.
    Will probably buy new iMac next year myself.
     
  14. SaSaSushi macrumors 68040

    SaSaSushi

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2007
    Location:
    Takamatsu, Japan
    #14
    I agree completely and just to clarify my comments above, I was not advising the OP to buy a 2TB SSD. The 512GB SSD should be more than enough for running the OS with plenty to spare then use external drives for all music, photo storage and backup.

    I agree the 2TB SSD is not worth it.
     
  15. willmtaylor macrumors G3

    willmtaylor

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2009
    Location:
    A Natural State
    #15
    Though the internals of a 6-year-old machine are a growing liability.
     
  16. gsusser thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2012
    Location:
    jersey city
    #16
    Thanks for all the responses.

    I wasn't fully decided about a hard drive (among other things), hence my questions. If I went the route of SSD and stored my music on an external drive, what is recommended in the way of an external drive set up? As mentioned, I have 16tb of external drives in a 4-bay bus. I'd like to be able to utilize that. I'm running out of space as it is with my video collection.

    I stopped in an Apple store yesterday to look at the iMac (wow!) and asked about transferring my programs and files. I was told the best way is to restore from a backup. Any opinions? Does that also restore my settings?
     

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