Thoughts on upgrading a mid-2011 27" iMac

Discussion in 'iMac' started by frjonah, Dec 25, 2012.

  1. frjonah, Dec 25, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2012

    frjonah macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2009
    Location:
    Almost Heaven... WV
    #1
    I recently picked up a 27" refurb. iMac (Core i5) from the Apple Store and, though I love it, I haven't pushed it to the limit yet (holidays and whatnot). I do a lot of fairly intensive image editing (gigapixel stitching, high resolution scanning, large format printing, etc... I routinely work with image files over 2gb). I've upped the RAM to 12gb with some sticks I had laying around, and now I'm debating several additional options...

    Option 1
    1. Add a 120gb OWC Mercury Extreme Pro as a boot drive
    2. Add a 120gb OWC Mercury Extreme Pro as a permanent Photoshop Scratch Drive
    3. Retain existing HDD for data, along with external drives for overflow.
    4. Eventually max out the ram (OWC)

    Option 2
    1. Upgrade the Processor to the Core i7 (2600k from Newegg... $319 plus major upgrade pain)
    2. Add a 120gb OWC Mercury Extreme Pro as a boot drive
    3. Add a 120gb OWC Mercury Extreme Pro as a permanent Photoshop Scratch Drive
    4. Retain existing HDD for data, along with external drives for overflow.
    5. Eventually max out the ram (OWC)

    My instinct is that the CPU upgrade is really not worth the cost/effort, especially if the transition to SSD for boot/scratch would result in most of what I need in terms of pep.

    Any advice from others who have thought this through? Is the improvement in CPU likely to be noticeable vs. the i5?

    For the record, I like doing this sort-of mod work to my Macs... it's sort-of a hobby, though I don't like doing costly mods where the benefit will barely be noticeable :)

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. biggd macrumors 6502

    biggd

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2008
    Location:
    Calgary
    #2
    SSD will be cheapest upgrade, with the most notable change in speed.




    If you roll $400 for a processor, you should just sell your Mac, take that $400 and buy a new Mac. Write it off as a "business expense"
    Treat yourself
     
  3. frjonah thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2009
    Location:
    Almost Heaven... WV
    #3
    Thanks for the response. I suppose the most logical approach would then be to add the ssds and determine from there if I need more... I'll get started right away :)
     
  4. forty2j macrumors 68030

    forty2j

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2008
    Location:
    NJ
    #4
    Remember if you are so inclined, after you add an SSD you could run some command lines to get it to be a Fusion drive. You may be able to achieve 90% of the "pep" you want by adding only 1 SSD and without needing to micromanage your files. (You will, however, need to do a fresh OS X install and restore your stuff from backup.)
     

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