Thinking of replacing my macbook pro with an iMac, ok to store in the cold?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by nickc25, Jan 2, 2012.

  1. nickc25 macrumors newbie

    May 2, 2011
    I have a Early 2011 (first thunderbolt) MacBook Pro 15 Inch 2GHz i7.

    The Spec of it is the £999 model:

    Refurbished iMac 21.5-inch 2.5GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i5
    Originally released May 2011
    21.5-inch LED-backlit glossy widescreen display
    4GB memory
    500GB hard drive
    8x SuperDrive (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW)
    AMD Radeon HD 6750M graphics with 512MB memory

    Built-in FaceTime HD camera

    The Macbook Pro is higher spec in terms of CPU but that is a mobile CPU, does this not make any difference these days? For example in the past a processor with similar spec on laptops would have been worse performance wise than a desktop.

    I do a lot of photoshop and dreamweaver work with the odd video encoding, would this iMac be ok?

    Also is it possible to remove the main HDD in an iMac and replace it with a SSD drive and then add a 2nd hard drive like you can in the macbook pro?

    The reason I am thinking of changing is because I work from home, last year I had to move my office from the 3rd bedroom to a purpose built summerhouse type building (but with less windows) in the garden. I am finding that I am just staying indoors which in turn means I do not get as much work done because the kids distract me or my wife wants me to do something etc.

    Another issue is the overnight temperature. I know some nights I work late until about 11pm or so, the heat in the room when I am working is about 70 degrees (F) which is fine. But during the winter, it will get cold. It is warm for the winter at the moment but no doubt we will have times when it goes down to freezing and snow etc. Would this mean that I would not be able to keep it in there overnight? I doubt it would freeze inside the room, but unsure. I always have a timer on so that the heater comes on at about 8am and then it is a decent temperature by the time I get in there to work. But I am worried if it does freeze, then when the room is heating up it might cause some of the internal components to have water / melted ice on them?

    I currently have a 32 inch LED TV in there which has been fine, although it has not had any freezing weather to cope with as yet as I only moved my office into there last April.

    So that is my long two questions, sorry!

    Thanks for any help. I know the 2nd part is an unusual one and I doubt many people will know. I do know that more and more people are building shed type buildings to use as an office though. Only problem with mine is it does not have any insulation other than newspaper. I did not think I would need it as it gets pretty hot in there in the summer and in the winter, it is warmer in there than the actual house at times!

  2. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    Sandy Bridge mobile CPUs perform very well and you won't see that much difference between the processing power of your MBP and the iMac... the iMac's CPU will probably be somewhat faster in computing-intensive applications (we are talking 5-8% here). The iMac also has a better GPU.

    Upgrading the HDD is possible, but very complicated (involves almost full disassembly of the iMac).

    Now, to your workspace environmental conditions - I clearly advice against it. Rapid temperature changes are death to electrical equipment. Just storing a computer in a cold(ish) room for prolonged time periods should be ok - Apple gives the storage temperature range as -20° to 47° C; but the computer should be properly acclimatized (stored in a warmer place for some time) before turning it on. If you continue such an ordeal for a prolonged period of time, the iMac is almost guaranteed to take some damage. The HDD will probably die first, or the thing could just short-circuit because of condensation. My advice: place your computer in a properly heated room where the temperature never sinks between 12-13 °C.
  3. MWPULSE macrumors 6502a


    Dec 27, 2008
    Seconded to leman, check the tech specs page for the iMac, If you keep the heat on in the room it should be fine. You can store the mac in pretty darned cold temps, for sure, but operating is a bit more complex. Its sommat that only you can really do anything to adjust, or determine issues (as with most issues to do with temperature n fans are) We on the forum, apples site etc. can only give vague advice, recommended actions etc.

    Hope that helps

  4. nickc25 thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 2, 2011

    I have a heater in the "room" but the minimum temperature on it is 18 Degrees Celsius which is too hot in terms of leaving it on all the time as it would cost a fortune.

    I will look into other heaters which may be able to keep the room at least 10 degrees. At the moment this is what I do:

    I have it on a timer so when i wake up and go into the room, the room temperature is about 20 degrees celsius or around 70(F). Then I take my macbook in from the house to go out to work. Then at night when I leave, I take the macbook out, the only things left in there are the TV and the Printer and some paperwork. It is very securely locked but as with any building, if someone wants to get in, they will find a way, but they would have to get through my house first - so I would feel fine leaving an iMac there.

    So what you are saying Spec wise, is that it would be similar in terms of my current macbook pro (which is fine)?

    I know in the winter the outside temperatures will get into the -10 Celsius type weather at some points, but that is the extreme of our weather and we usually get to -5 at worst around here, last year was a bad year. But I did not measure the inside temperature, I am sure it will be cold, not sure if it would be freezing as it is all closed up at night - Ill have to check on that but currently we are having a mild winter and overnight temperatures are about 7(C).

    Are iMacs heavy? Another solution is to just bring it into the house every night when I finish work like I do with my Macbook, but with the iMac, I cant sit on the couch or bed and work!! At the moment this is what is bad for me, I get asked to help with the kids when I am meant to be working so I come in the house and try to work at the same time, which is proving impossible. I wish I did not have to work at home but can't afford an office rental type thing!

    Thanks for the replies :)
  5. Big-TDI-Guy macrumors 68030


    Jan 11, 2007
    Providing the temp change does not produce condensing humidity - you should be OK.

    One work-around, is to have the computer power on 30 minutes to an hour before the heat kicks in. (using the auto-power on feature) Do not allow it to spin-down the drives or sleep the display - you actually want to generate heat. With the room cold, the computer will be warmer - then when the heat does kick in (assuming you don't have a 100,000 BTU heat source) the computer will remain several degrees warmer - preventing moisture from condensing on the internals.

    Otherwise, wait until the room reaches temp, and allow the computer to sit idle for an hour or so, before turning it on.
  6. nickc25 thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 2, 2011
    ok Thanks

    So what I can gather is that the £999 iMac is similar in terms of power as my £1500 Macbook Pro? I Think I'll sell my MBP and buy an iMac, then in future use a macbook air if I need to work away or whatever, I also have an iPad I could use in theory, a lot of the things I do are in wordpress and vbulletin which have their own admin panels anyway so an iPad would do fine.
  7. TheKingOfHearts macrumors newbie

    Jan 4, 2012
    Hi Nick,

    This post is totally unrelated to your computer related query, but since you're from the UK have you looked into a shared office? I got one from Regus at £150 p/m with internet and it meant I didn't have to worry about home office, kids etc, and could use them for phone, broadband, receptionist and post with a professional address?

    Sorry - I'm not trying to flog you anything! Just a suggestion that worked out for me and might help you out.


  8. nickc25 thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 2, 2011
    Sorry for the delay in replying.

    I have not looked into an office because my circumstances mean I would never be able to do it. I am disabled and also my wife works full time (nurse) so I have to juggle looking after the kids and working. When I get in a lot of pain, I have to go and lie down, but I can still work because I just take my macbook with me. If I had an office, I would probably never be there!

    Its a good idea though, I would have done that if I was able to. I have been fine working from home for 8 years now but we had a 2nd child last year and my office got turned into her bedroom, we can't afford to move house to a bigger one. So the only option was me to move it to the summer house, which is not a shed, but kind of like one, but with more windows. I have a heater in here with a timer on it, so it comes on an hour before I start work and its 20 Degrees (68F) in here by the time I start which is warm enough. I also have a phone in here and 30MB broadband (not using WIFI) and a 32 inch LED TV to keep me entertained while I am working, which also doubles as an extra screen which is handy, especially with Lion.

    I had a think about it, I would love to get an iMac but I would have to sell my macbook to get one, so it would be pointless. I was thinking maybe get an iMac and then a macbook air but not too sure yet. My main concern is leaving it here, although we have probably only had 3 nights in the whole of winter where the temperature has got to freezing, it is pretty mild. In the "office", the temperature is usually about 8 degrees C above the outside temperature. I tested this a few times, even when it was 0C outside, it was 7.5C inside, so I think it would have to be really cold for it to freeze inside?

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