SSD or i7?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by tigersoul, Oct 12, 2011.

  1. tigersoul macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2011
    #1
    I'm considering my purchase of my new iMac and I am torn between upgrades. 27 inch is a no brainer, but then it gets hard. I don't care about graphics because I do not play games, but I want SSD and I want the upgraded i7 @ 3,4ghz. Obiously I'd like to have both but it ends up way higher than I am willing to pay for a new computer. So which of SSD and the i7 at 3,4ghz is really the best buy? The SSD option uses the 2,7ghz i5 system with SSD added, the i7 option is the most expensive with the i7 option added.

    I'm doing hd video editing, native avchd, this is where the i7 option would shine. I am also a photographer that HATE the constant wait for photoshop to open on any computer (darn bloatware! hah) this is where the SSD would shine, and it would shine in every general moment I assume in general computing.

    Any advice on how to think here? I'm getting memory too but that I'm taking care of myself, thinking of 16gb but may settle for 8 to save some money.
     
  2. tigersoul thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Sep 20, 2011
    #3
    Nice and short ;) I am leaning towards this myself, I am pretty sure an i5 @ 2,7ghz can cope in native avdhd editing and that is really the only area where I'd look for the i7 as security.
     
  3. Dresevski macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 6, 2011
    Location:
    Minnesnowda
    #4
    SSD will give you the added feel of speed all the time, where the i7 is almost overkill at this point
     
  4. tigersoul thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Sep 20, 2011
    #5
    It's overkill price-wise if nothing else since I don't need the better graphics either.
     
  5. APtalent macrumors regular

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    Jun 5, 2010
    #6
    The GPU plays an important role in video editing and graphic designing. CS5 leverages the GPU over the CPU to accelerate several functions. I would recommend you to go for the i7 and purchase a the SSD from a third-party website.

    A well reputable site is, OWC. If you do some extensive research on Apple's SSDs, you'll see that their speeds are quite low in comparison to other vendors of much higher quality.
     
  6. tigersoul thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Sep 20, 2011
    #7
    I am aware of this but as I don't use photoshop in any heavy manner I figured it would mean little, I don't know if it plays a role in say FCP(X) aswell? Haven't gotten that far yet.

    I am buying this in Sweden and as far as I know there are no ways of getting SSD into that machine post purchase not trashing the warrenty.
     
  7. APtalent, Oct 12, 2011
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2011

    APtalent macrumors regular

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    Jun 5, 2010
    #8
    Yes, it play an elemental role in FCP X. If you're getting AppleCare then you're better off getting the SSD pre-installed. However if you're looking for a product of much higher quality, you would have to void the warranty. In any case, the i5 should suffice your needs. You do know that the i7 doesn't run a 3.4 GHz? It's theoretically the maximum throughput of the processor, a speed which will most likely not be achieved.
     
  8. tigersoul thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Sep 20, 2011
    #9
    I woudn't mine breaking the warrenty if I had a proffesional service available in Sweden to install the disk, but there is no such thing as far as I know and from what I've watched lifting that glass and getting behind the LCD is nothing that I'd feel confident doing on a brand new computer ;)

    I am aware that their SDD's of choice aren't the best but it's still a heck of a lot faster than HDD.
     
  9. Skiniftz, Oct 12, 2011
    Last edited: May 26, 2016
  10. tigersoul thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Sep 20, 2011
    #11
    Not really, since I'd never dare opening an iMac myself and there are no suitable services in Sweden to add it later. That is sort of part of the key question here sorry for not being clear about that fact.
     
  11. QuarterSwede macrumors G3

    QuarterSwede

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    Oct 1, 2005
    Location:
    Colorado Springs, CO
    #12
    If you can only pick one then go SSD. The i5 is a lot faster than most think. The upgrade to i7 wouldn't be as noticeable as going from HDD to SSD.
     
  12. tigersoul thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Sep 20, 2011
    #13
    I'm happy as long as the i5 edits avchd natively in fcpx so yes that is probably the wisest option. I just learned of a Swedish company that DOES install SDD's of any model, investigating prices right now.
     
  13. thrasherx macrumors newbie

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    Oct 12, 2011
    #14
    Do what I did and get the 3.4GHz i7 refurbed, then add an aftermarket SSD. FYI, I just found out that Fry's Electronics will install the drive for $45, which is a steal. They're Apple Authorized.
     
  14. APtalent macrumors regular

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    Jun 5, 2010
    #15
    Please take into consideration where the OP is from. He's in Sweden; Fry's Electronics is an American-based consumer electronics store.

    OP, I wouldn't recommend getting a refurbed iMac, there have been several testimonies on this site itself about faulty batches buyers get. Look more into the installation prices, it'll pay off in the end. Also, make sure the SSD support trimming.
     
  15. thrasherx macrumors newbie

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    Oct 12, 2011
    #16
    Sorry, I missed that. My refurb is like new. No issues whatsoever. Finding the right SSD can be tricky. They're all faster than mechanical disks, but finding the ideal one is difficult. I'm personally leaning towards the Crucial m4, myself.

    Most SSDs, especially the SATAIII models absolutely destroy the Apple SSDs and do it at half the price. The installation is the only obstacle.
     
  16. rotorblade69 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2006
    Location:
    North West Georgia
    #17
    Get both only separately.

    Buy the i7. Then after a year, when the warranty is up, get somebody local to you to install the SSD. IF you think you need it.
    The problem is upgrading on initial purchase that which would be very hard or almost impossible later.
    Upgrading an i5 to an i7? Yeah going to be very difficult maybe impossible. But buying a SSD and installing it your self or Paying someone to is not that difficult.
    By then the SSD capacities will be bigger and cheaper. Heck by then the Ol Swedish gumption may have got you and you say **** it im Foing.


    Stay thirsty my Friend.


     
  17. derbothaus macrumors 601

    derbothaus

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2010
    #18
    The i7 hyperthreading is a big deal to longevity in video. I'd get i7 first as it is faster than any Mac Pro with single threaded tasks as well.
    SSD's will continure to drop in price and you'll get faster ones as Apples are slow by comparison.

    Geekbench:
    3.1GHz i5: 8400
    3.4GHz i7: 11700

    3.2GHz Quad Xeon Mac Pro: 10030
     
  18. tigersoul thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Sep 20, 2011
    #19
    - This was a fresh point of view on the task at had. You are right, installing an i7 may be hard, even impossible while installing an SSD is certainly not impossible, just hard.

    I found a swedish company that does install SSD's it comes at a pretty heafty price though so I am investigating my options here. This sure wasn't an easy pick but I rather think it through and do it right the first time around.

    I've also read now that i7 is a big deal to video and video I do alot, so this wasn't easy at all.
     
  19. tears2040 macrumors 6502

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    Aug 27, 2010
    #20
    Gpu does not play an important role in video editing, as most editing programs rely only on processing power which is why the best/fastest cpu is king.
     
  20. tigersoul thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Sep 20, 2011
    #21
    I heard that FCPX indeed uses the gpu for alot of things, but this was not references in any way so I have no idea if it is true or not and what kind of gpu level is required.
     
  21. AcesHigh87 macrumors 6502a

    AcesHigh87

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2009
    Location:
    New Brunswick, Canada
    #22
    Like you I’m doing video editing on my iMac and although I didn’t care about the Screen size as much (budget didn’t fit) the i7 was a no brainer for me. As people have said, it can’t be upgraded later while the SSD can be. As well a lot of programs will run better with an i7, they will simply load faster with an SSD. Even without it my programs still load crazy fast.

    Go i7 and get the SSD later.
     
  22. tigersoul thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Sep 20, 2011
    #23
    I've been infront of an i7-with-no-ssd machine and while it usually is pretty fast there was plenty of moments when disk activity related delays were quite annouying and made the machine feel "old and tired". I'm talking about apps like the adobe series.
     
  23. derbothaus macrumors 601

    derbothaus

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2010
    #24
    With launching apps and general use yes, the SSD makes the most difference. Sounds like you are superficially testing them only for HD speed but all iMacs usually ship with the same HDD so they will all feel relatively the same when launching Photoshop. And how many times does someone launch PS in a day anyway? Do a transcode from .mov to H264 on a fairly large file and the difference will become apparent. 4 vs. 8 threads. If you are doing Video work outside of iMovie get the fastest you can afford always and you start with the CPU. btw. Adobe is old and tired not the hardware:)
     
  24. thrasherx macrumors newbie

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    Oct 12, 2011
    #25
    Just get the i7. You know you want to :)

    As others have mentioned, you can't upgrade the processor. Installing your own SSD can be done in 20-60 minutes for $20 plus the cost of the SSD. The video transcoding alone merits the i7.
     

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