Using a Mini SD card as a scratch disk? Plus an i7 iMac HD and keyboard question

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by euphuistical, Dec 15, 2009.

  1. euphuistical macrumors member

    Nov 6, 2009
    I am getting an i7 iMac in the near future (ordered yesterday, won't arrive til Jan. 3rd :( ) And I am getting it stock with just the 4gigs of ram, and don't plan on upgrading anytime soon, but I probably will at some point when prices come down. Anyway, I use photoshop some (not a power user or anything but I use it for some stuff) and I was wondering if you could use a mini sd card as a scratch disk, and if you can, is it a good idea? Thoughts/opinions/comments.

    On to my HD question: should I pay apple to upgrade my HD to the 2TB drive? I think I will definitely fill up the 1TB so I'd like the extra space, but would prefer to buy the drive from ifixit or owc or something to save some cash, but the thought of having to remove the huge glass screen with suction cups and disconnecion the LCD seems a little daunting so I was wondering if I should just save myself the hassle and get the upgrade done by mac (it'd be $225 instead of $250 because I get the student discount) Of course I'd lose out on the 1TB HD that I could later stick in to an external HD enclosure, so its a pretty big hit in terms of cash.

    From watching the teardown on ifixit changing he HD looks like it could be a little tricky, but I'd like some input from you guys. I am pretty tech savy (former PC user so I've replaced a lot of components like ram, video cards, HDs, ec cetera) but getting past the wall of glass is daunting, but I may just be hyping it up, so I wanted some input.

    Third and finally, I got the wired keyboard because I wanted a # pad but I just found out my old Logitech G13 has mac drivers so I was thinking of switching to the wireless one just so I could have a wireless mouse + keyboard for when I want to watch a movie or something from further away, though ideally I think I'd prefer a keyboard with a built in track pad or track ball, but I don't really want to fork out the cash for it now. So is there any advantage of the wired numeric apple keyboard compared to the Logitech one? I can still control media, I have a remote, and it can do expose and screens and all that good stuff. But as always I wanted to make sure I wasn't over looking anything.

    So to sum up:
    Mini SD as a scratch disk - yay or nay?
    Upgrading the HD through apple - yay or nay?
    Switching to the apple wireless keyboard - yay or nay?

    Thanks a ton guys, and I can't way to get my i7!
  2. knewsom macrumors 6502a

    Jun 9, 2005
    Don't do it - it'll be slow, slow slow. ...And more importantly... WHY...?????

    This is a bag of worms. I'd say yea, because the HD connecters in the new iMacs have a weird special connector to send heat info to the mobo... throw in a regular SATA drive and you may have trouble plugging that back in - you'll have to short the connector to keep the fans from spinning out of control (see the SSD upgrade thread), and there's some debate as to whether or not this could negatively affect your warranty. If you need the space, get the bigger HD. If you need it but not necessarily internally, then buy an external instead - cheaper.

    Eh, it's a nice keyboard, but I still use my wired Apple keyboard. I just like the number pad, and it's nice to be able to do things at boot like zap PRAM and select what volume to boot from.

    Good luck, hope you dont get a yellow tinge.
  3. powerbook911 macrumors 68040


    Mar 15, 2005
    What a shame it's harder to change hard drive in a desktop, iMac, than all the mobile notebooks now.
  4. peskaa macrumors 68020


    Mar 13, 2008
    London, UK
    I'd say yes to the 2TB HDD - I did on my order. Yes, you could replace it yourself, but cracking open a brand new machine to do so along with the new temperature sensor they seem to have and it's borderline worth it.
  5. euphuistical thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 6, 2009
    Honestly I don't know much at all about the back end of photoshop, I've just heard talk of scratch drives, was wondering if I'd get any benefit out of one, and if so would the mini sd slot be good for it. I use the slot to upload pics, but its not something I use all the time so I thought maybe it could be a good idea. Basically I just didn't know anything about scratch discs, and after looking at some speeds you're right, they are way slower than RAM.

    Hmm, was afraid of that, was really hoping for "oh it will be a piece of cake" haha. Hmm, this will be a toughie. I should be able to get the scratch together for the upgrade, because I know I am going to burn through it with games and media, and while external HDDs are pretty good I'd like to keep most of my data on my internal so I don't have to wait 5 minutes to transfer a movie to watch, or have to wait god knows how long if I had to use it for iMovie or something.

    I am a total packrat when it comes to media and while I'll certainly be using some external HDDs (my new MyBook Studio 1.5TB drive was defective upon delivery, transfers at a blazing 1meg a minute, if I am lucky. Still not something I am toally sold on, but I have time to think and raise the money since the damn machine doesn't ship til the 29! Argh that irks me so much. I want it now so bad haha.

    I already have a wired keyboard with a number pad that has apple drivers and a lot of handy function and macro keys. I am assuming I can do all that with that keyboard, right? If so I think I am just gonna get it replaced with the wireless so I have a wired and a bluetooth one. Seems like the best option, eh?

  6. knewsom macrumors 6502a

    Jun 9, 2005
    Pretty much any wired keyboard will do just fine. Having one wired and one wireless is a nice combo.

    As for media and hard drive space, FW800 is more than fast enough to watch pretty much anything you'll accumulate... Heck, even USB 2.0 should be quick enough to stream HD off of, but if you want a decent external, you should try and pick one up that has FW800. I got a DROBO, and am quite pleased with it.

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