Upgrade from 24" iMac to 27"iMac or Mac Pro?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by MattSepeta, Jun 14, 2011.

  1. MattSepeta, Jun 14, 2011
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2011

    MattSepeta macrumors 65816

    MattSepeta

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    #1
    Currently running a 24" iMac 6GB RAM SSD boot/apps drive with Aperture library / project files on a FW800 external.

    My goal is to maximize Aperture 3 performance, which is sluggish to say the least on my current rig with the huge RAW files.

    Things I require:

    -SSD boot / apps drive capability. I would optimally liek to lift my existing SSD out of my imac and put it in whichever machine I end up with. I really don't want to have to reinstall everything, I already made a fresh install on this SSD when I installed it a few months ago.

    -Fast aperture library / project files drive. I feel FW800 may be limiting me, so I would like to either put them on an internal 2TB drive to be backed up by an external time machine


    The new iMacs with the 256 SSD and 2TB internal HDD sounds great, but I can not afford that and have no desire for "thunderbolt" vaporware

    The Mac Pros are top notch of course, but I feel I do not need the raw processing power they offer for my Aperture 3 editing. They are also a bit more than I can afford once all is said and done.

    Can I easily add a SSD to a 2011 iMac (pre-thunderbolt revision) AND have a large 2TB internal HDD? IIRC, you can accomplish this by removing the disc drive somehow?


    Also, how would I go about swapping my SSD for the existing boot drive in the iMac? Is it as simple as: Remove drive, plug my drive in, turn on, and BAM there is my old computer booting up?

    Thanks
     
  2. NutsNGum macrumors 68030

    NutsNGum

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    #2
    Wait for the Ivy Bridge iMacs to come out with USB 3 in that case. If you feel FireWire 800 is too slow and that Thunderbolt is vaporware but you can't afford a Mac Pro, I don't really see much of an alternative.

    Thunderbolt will be fantastic when there are devices available to make use of the connection.
     
  3. MattSepeta thread starter macrumors 65816

    MattSepeta

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    #3
    I can't wait around. I am expensing the upgrade as a first-year business write off so I want to get it done.

    I also dont want to wait around for apple to do or not do something.

    I feel that the SATA internal HD will be plenty fast compared to an external FW800. Is this wrong thinking? Another big reason I want my project files inside the computer is so carbonite will back them up. AFAIK carbonite will not backup external drives....
     
  4. MattSepeta thread starter macrumors 65816

    MattSepeta

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    #4
    Hmmmm

    On another forum someone suggested I swap out my optical drive from my current 24" imac and replace it with a 2TB caviar black from my aperture 3 libraries and project files...

    I love this idea. Very cheap, and I feel it would be the best bang-for-the-buck upgrade at the moment.

    Is it possible?
     
  5. NutsNGum macrumors 68030

    NutsNGum

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    #5
    I'm afraid I know nothing about Carbonite so I can't answer your question there, however internal SATA HDDs will be far quicker than FW800 externals. Thunderbolt however is faster than both - it has a potential 10Gbps transfer rate. SATA 2.0 is only 3Gbps I believe.

    Worth considering, at the very least.
     
  6. rWally macrumors regular

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    #6
    How much are you looking to spend? There are refurbished 27" iMacs with SSDs in the apple online store for $1850.
     
  7. MattSepeta thread starter macrumors 65816

    MattSepeta

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    #7
    I have a hard time buying a product based on a hole which I am yet to be able to plug a single thing into. As nice as Thunderbolt sounds, I have little to no desire in using it. In 3 years in sure I'll be singing a different tune once SSD space is more affordable.
     
  8. MattSepeta thread starter macrumors 65816

    MattSepeta

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    #8
    Do they have the 2TB internal drive as well? If so, $1850 is fair, plus I am a big fan of buying refurb :)
     
  9. rWally macrumors regular

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    #9
    No HDD unfortunately. Would an external firewire800 drive be an option for you?
     
  10. alust2013 macrumors 601

    alust2013

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    #10
    That is not possible, unfortunately. The superdrive is only 9.5mm tall, so the best you could do is a 750GB scorpio black laptop drive.
     
  11. MattSepeta thread starter macrumors 65816

    MattSepeta

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    #11
    Not really... I am already running off a SSD with my projects on a FW800 external. That is my biggest bottleneck I think. I would love to get them connected through SATA some how, hence wanting another internal drive.

    With how expensive the 27" w/ both internal drives is, I may as well bite the bullet and get a mac pro.
     
  12. rWally macrumors regular

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    #12
    Mac Pro is going to be just as much as a 27" with both internal drives though isn't it? And you'd still need a monitor.
     
  13. MattSepeta thread starter macrumors 65816

    MattSepeta

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    #13
    Right, but if I go the Mac Pro route, it will only cost me a fraction of what it would to drastically upgrade as it would the iMac, hence my current situation :(
     
  14. rWally macrumors regular

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    #14
    Valid point. You can always add storage to the mac pro easily whereas you can't on an iMac. Will probably be better for you down the line.
     
  15. alust2013 macrumors 601

    alust2013

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    #15
    Yeah, it kinda bites, but you might just have to go for it. If you plan to use it for a long time, the Pro is probably your better bet anyhow. Check the refurb section on the apple online store, you get pretty decent prices on Pros there.
     
  16. Badger^2 macrumors 68000

    Badger^2

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    #16
    heres a decent test of Aperture done at barefeats

    http://barefeats.com/wst10c4.html

    saving to SSD through Aperture doesnt speed it up, nor does a large video card -- it seems to be all CPU dependent

    Those stats imply that an iMac Core i7 with at least 8GB of RAM will perform Aperture and Lightroom operations very close to that of a Mac Pro.

    so FW800 may not be your bottleneck.

    A pre-thunderbolt iMac is a "2010 iMac". all 2011 iMacs have TB ports.

    you could consider having OWC add a eSATA port to an iMac, then pair it with a RAID 5 for speed an redundancy.

    http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/turnkey/iMac_2010_27

    have You have seen the test on the newest loaded i7 iMac -- faster than a 3.33 MP (at least in benchmarks)

    http://www.macworld.com/article/160469/2011/06/ultimateimac2011.html
     
  17. MattSepeta thread starter macrumors 65816

    MattSepeta

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    #17
    Interesting read, thanks a ton!
     
  18. johnfkitchen macrumors regular

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    #18
    Matt, note that the comment about SSD vs HDD applied only to exporting images, and not to other, possibly more frequently performed functions, such as reviewing, flagging, keywording and rating. These I believe to be more dependent on I/O speed than processing.
     
  19. MattSepeta thread starter macrumors 65816

    MattSepeta

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    #19
    Fair point. The other operations are more problematic for me. I normally start huge exports and then go eat or work in photoshop or surf the web.

    What REALLY gets me is how long it takes to display the changes when making adjustments, particularly lifting and stamping adjustments. I cant sit for 30 seconds a pop waiting for the previews to depict the changes to see if I need to make any more fine adjustments!
     
  20. jgonzo macrumors member

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    Apr 26, 2009
    #20
    I replaced my 2009 24" 3.06 8gb ATI 4850 with the new 27" i7 top of the line. Aperture performance is night and day. I am using RAW files as well. Couldn't be happier.
     
  21. MattSepeta thread starter macrumors 65816

    MattSepeta

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    #21

    I think I have it figured out. Actually put my iMac up on Craigslist a few minutes ago!

    Getting the Refurbished iMac 27-inch 2.93GHz Intel Quad-Core i7 processor from Apple.

    Replacing the 1TB drive with a 2TB Caviar black

    Adding 2 4GB RAM sticks giving me 12GB total

    Adding SSD for boot drive and Apps using this walkthrough

    Pumped!!!
     

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