Questions for someone considering an iMac

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Amnesiac1, Oct 11, 2010.

  1. Amnesiac1 macrumors 6502

    Oct 11, 2010
    Here are the specs I'm looking at:

    - 2.93GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i7
    - 8GB 1333MHz DDR3 SDRAM - 2x4GB
    - 256GB Solid State Drive

    Now, here are my questions:

    1. Is there a big difference between the 4x2GB over the 2x4GB? What about the 16GB?
    2. Is it wise to get a Solid State Drive? I heard that their performance diminishes as time goes on whereas an ATA drive does not have this problem. Is this true? Is the ATA 1TB better? Or is the optimal solution to get both the 1TB and Solid State Drive?
    3. Now, the main 'problem' that I want to correct in transitioning from my 2GB, 2.4 GHz MacBook Pro to this iMac is SPEED, EFFICIENCY and SPACE.

    So, to elaborate on question 3:
    SPEED and EFFICIENCY: I don't want to wait several minutes to have my computer boot up. I don't want to wait a lengthy period of time to open up Safari, Word, etc. I want these to open up at the click of a button because I don't think that's an outrageous convenience to expect nowadays. I don't get that kind of performance with my current MacBook Pro. I have a tendency to have a lot of documents and Safari tabs open and even THAT slows down my MacBook Pro... so, will the configuration listed above give me the lightening fast performance I want? Or do I need the 16 GB?

    SPACE: I store a lot of files on my computer, archive a lot of documents and media. I think this is part of the reason my MBP runs so slowly at times... I want to be able to store a lot on my MBP without running into any slowdown. I don't want to have to worry about storage and the accumulation of stored data and how it will affect my performance. I want to be able to store a lot and still depend on the fact that when I open up Safari and have a ton of tabs, not only will Safari open up IMMEDIATELY, but the computer will continue to perform PERFECTLY even as my documents and tabs continues to grow. Will the configuration listed above allow for this? Or do I need a 1 TB HD in addition to the Solid State drive?

    4. Can I use a Mac Book Pro screen as an external monitor for my iMac? Can I connect an MBP to an iMac in such a way that allows for the dragging and dropping of files across screens and computers? Anything like that?

  2. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    You're still going to have a waiting period for opening applications. It won't be as long as with your MBP, but it'll still be there.
  3. Amnesiac1 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Oct 11, 2010
    Damn. I thought part of the appeal/hype with SSDs was that it eliminated such tedium.
  4. stridemat Moderator


    Staff Member

    Apr 2, 2008
    It is greatly reduced. Applications generally open in one bounce.
  5. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
    1. Speed wise, no. 2x4GB leaves two slots open for future upgraded. However, I would just get it with 2x2GB and then buy more RAM from aftermarket, it's cheaper. You could get 2x4GB for example to make it 12GB.

    2. You said you want it to boot up fast and that apps open immediately, so for these things, you need an SSD as normal HD is too slow. Don't worry about the performance degradation, most people are exaggerating. It'll be fine. I would get the 1TB HD though, otherwise you will need to use external HDs for storing data.

    4. What MBP do you have? If it has Mini DisplayPort, then you can easily use the iMac's screen as external via Target Display Mode but to use the MBP's display, you need ScreenRecycler. To drag and drop files, you can just enable file sharing from System Preferences so you can easily access the files in your MBP from your iMac and vice versa. DropBox would also work.
  6. Spike88 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 25, 2010
    Since the iMac is a desktop and tends to remain in one location, perhaps getting a Backup UPS (WAVE signal model) and leaving your system turned on 7/24 would be best? Thus, not worrying about "boot time" (because its always on) and the Backup UPS delivers cleaner electrical power as well. Thus, less risk of surge overloads and damaged internals from sudden NO electrical power (compared to being connected directy to wall outlet).

    If "file space" is concern, I'd probably order with a 2 TB internal HD and connect an external 2TB or 4TB with RAID and use Time Machine. Thus, allowing direct access to data files (from internal drive) and allowing Backup of this critical data (off its FW800 connected external HD.

    As some folks mentioned already, increasing its physical memory (for multiple application usage) is great upgrade. Thus, more memory dramatically reduces page ins / page outs to its internal HD - which eliminate Thrashing. Thrashing (due to not enough needed direct memory) boggs down any system. I'd rather max out RAM before getting an SDD drive.

  7. Amnesiac1 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Oct 11, 2010
    And here I was thinking 2x2 GB was going to be enough...

    Thanks for the replies, guys. I appreciate it. If there is any other advice anyone could pass onto me, I'd be quite grateful.
  8. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
    You don't need to shut down your Mac. Just sleep it.

    I typically reboot when software update require it. Mac does not have MS Windows speed degradation.

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