Upgrade from 2009 to 2011 Imac?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by rambosamboo, May 6, 2011.

  1. rambosamboo macrumors newbie

    Sep 12, 2010
    Hi everyone,

    Due to the fact that Lion is coming soon, I was wondering if I should upgrade my late 2009 Imac, (27", 2.8GhZ Core i7, 8GB RAM, 1TB hard drive) to the new 2011 model. I was looking at the 27" Core i7 with the 256GB SSD + 1TB option. Just got a Vertex 3 in my MBP and since my Imac feels "slow"...
    Is it worth upgrading for Lion itself? Will Lion significantly benefit from the SSD?

    How much speed increase (in percent) can I expect from Sandy Bridge compared to my "old" quad Core i7? Mainly I use the Imac as a central computer for my media (Itunes, Videos, Aperture), encoding videos (MakeMKV, Handbrake), Office 2011, surfing the net etc. I was also hoping to do some gaming with the upgraded graphics using bootcamp...

    Another thought that came into my mind was selling the 2009 Imac before Lion comes out, hoping to get good value for the computer. Any thoughts on this? How much value can I expect for my current model?

    Many thanks in advance,
  2. OasisNYK macrumors 6502

    Nov 29, 2004
    I have the same computer you do - it is a fantastic machine. I really don't think it is worth upgrading at this point. If something truly revolutionary came out then I would say jump on it, but this is pretty minor in the overall scheme of things. A computer like this could probably last a casual user 10 years or more if you take care of it. I guess it all depends on if you really need the extra horse power but Lion should run fine on this, assuming they don't create a resource hogging OS that really needs the extra power.

    It would have been nice to have an easy way to upgrade to an SSD in the late 2009's and maybe upgrade the video card, but the computer is hardly slow (unless you have an SSD on another computer and are now spoiled by speed).

    I would just stick it out unless the resale value makes the swap negligible.
  3. flymac, May 6, 2011
    Last edited: May 6, 2011

    flymac macrumors newbie

    May 6, 2011
    +1 for the 2009 iMac 27 i7.

    I love this computer, and I completely agree with OasisNYK, it's got some years in it yet.

    Given the fact that the form factor of this new model is exactly the same, and the only improvements being spec bumps (albeit relatively small ones), there just isn't any point for me.

    I do a lot of 3D rendering in Cinema 4D, using V-Ray at times. It's absolutely blindingly fast. It also crunches After Effects projects for breakfast.

    I'm not a heavy gamer, but even when I do (Assassins Creed II, BioShock), the visuals at 2560 are simply stunning, I don't really know what more I'd expect to see that's missing from the experience.

    I don't think I need a better graphics card right now, games look amazing and my work flow is plenty fast enough.

    I think there's a LOT to be said for packing it out with ram. I'm at 6gb right now and have been hovering on purchasing another 4 for a few days, i'm gonna go for it and intend to hit 16gb by the end of summer. It makes a massive difference.

    The other BIG issue that we're experiencing is HDD access times. I really want an SSD, options being either replace the stock HDD and put a big fat Firewire 800 external on a backpack behind the iMac for fast local storage, OR (and this being somewhat controversial) - rip out the not so super superdrive and stick an SSD in its place using perhaps the OWC data doubler. I just don't use the CD drive much at all, I have a second display butted up against that side of the iMac and it hasn't moved to access the cd slot since I put it there.

    In summary, i think there's enough to be done in terms of RAM and SSDs to give the 2009 modal a serious amount of gusto if you like pushing large amounts of data and media around and want the wow factor of opening all of CS5 in a matter of seconds!

    When they move to a major redesign of the model, that's when my ears will perk up and will get inline, as has always been the case.

    27" 2.8Ghz i7 iMac, 6GB RAM, 1TB HD | G4 450Mhz Cube :) | Airport Extreme | ATV2 x2
  4. r0k macrumors 68040


    Mar 3, 2008
    What you are saying in this thread is the reason I'm thinking my next Mac might be an iMac. I have a 2008 Penryn Macbook that geekbenches at 3050 right now and I'm thinking that when I do upgrade, I will get an iMac. They seem to start with higher specs and last longer than the lower end Macbook and Macbook Pros. Of course this year is an exception in that the slowest MBP is faster than last year's fastest MBP. While this year's 13 in Macbook is a good investment, I still think an iMac is a better long term investment.

    If you decide to upgrade, make sure it is for something you really need like Thunderbolt. If there isn't something you "must have", I would hold out and see what next year's iMac upgrades bring to the table.
  5. IngerMan macrumors 65816


    Feb 21, 2011
    I have a iMac 20" 7,1 from early 2008. It still runs as good as the day I took it out of the box. Sure the newer ones will process video much quicker but I do not see doing an upgrade for at least 3 more years. :apple:
  6. talmy macrumors 601


    Oct 26, 2009
    I, too, have the 27" 2.8GHz i7 iMac. It's plenty fast and the new ones really wouldn't be noticeably faster except for video processing times. The design is the same except for the ability to attach two monitors and non-existent Thunderbolt devices. My iMac also runs Lion just fine.

    With 1.5 years of Applecare left and plenty of performance I expect to hold out at least another 1.5 years and probably 2, which will certainly be a fresh, new design.

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