Author Topic: 1T HDD or 512 SSD?  (Read 5179 times)

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Offline daniel1948

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Re: 1T HDD or 512 SSD?
« Reply #15 on: November 20, 2015, 08:40:31 AM »
I'm still unclear on the benefits, for my uses, of maxing the RAM and the processor. Yes, I can get an i7 for an additional $200, and I can upgrade from 8GB to 16GB for another $200. But I don't do anything that's processor intensive, and I don't have a lot of applications open at one time. As for resale value, I expect to have the computer until it's pretty much obsolete, either because it dies, or because, like the present one, it's so old that donating it makes more sense than trying to sell it.

As for the storage, yes, I could get the 256 GB and use my external 250 GB HDD for additional storage, or I could save $166 compared to the 500 GB by getting the 256 GB plus a Corsair 256 USB flash drive. But somehow, having the full memory internal seems more reliable. A NAS seems pointless for me because I don't access my computer's storage from my tablet or my iPod, and it seems like one more thing to go wrong. On the very rare occasions when I need to get files from one device to the other there are other ways to do it. Air Drop or Simple Transfer or a USB cable.

I use the iMac for email, writing letters, web browsing, chat boards, journaling, shopping, planning travel, playing cards or chess (though most often I do those on the tablet), and for keeping, organizing, and viewing pictures. I have some spreadsheets and a calendar in text document format that I use for planning travel so I can see at a glance tentative and booked travel dates and how much time I have between trips. Right now the applications I have open are iTunes (I was browsing the app store), Preview, Free Cell (card game), NeoOffice, Chrome, Mail, and a third-party photo app. Occasionally I open Google Earth, and rarely I open Safari, for a web site that Chrome will not render. And often I open Calculator. I know there are processes that run in the background.

I just don't think I need 16 GB or the i7 processor.

My main motivation for upgrading is the flaky web browser behavior I mentioned in another thread. And to a lesser degree for compatibility with the tablet and iPod.
Daniel
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Offline Fast Eddie B

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Re: 1T HDD or 512 SSD?
« Reply #16 on: November 20, 2015, 09:34:11 AM »

I just don't think I need 16 GB or the i7 processor.

My main motivation for upgrading is the flaky web browser behavior I mentioned in another thread. And to a lesser degree for compatibility with the tablet and iPod.

You sound like you'd be fine with a basic configuration.

My Mac Mini topped out at about $1,400 (fastest processor and 16 gb) plus the Magic Trackpad 2.



The Mini is the small silver box on the left.

Already had the two monitors and a perfectly fine ancient Apple wired keyboard.

My rationale us that if it lasts 7 years, like my last one did, that's just $200/yr for something that gets a LOT of use.

Offline The Latinist

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Re: 1T HDD or 512 SSD?
« Reply #17 on: November 20, 2015, 09:49:02 AM »
I don't think you need to max out processor or RAM. Indeed, unless someone's gaming or doing a lot of video editing I think an i5 is perfectly adequate and will last for years.  If I were in your situation buying an iMac I'd stick with the i5 and 8GB.  The SSD, however, I'd definitely get.
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Offline Skulker

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Re: 1T HDD or 512 SSD?
« Reply #18 on: November 20, 2015, 10:02:45 AM »
I don't think you need to max out processor or RAM. Indeed, unless someone's gaming or doing a lot of video editing I think an i5 is perfectly adequate and will last for years.  If I were in your situation buying an iMac I'd stick with the i5 and 8GB.  The SSD, however, I'd definitely get.
This^. Doesn't sound you're putting much of a load on the system and if storage becomes an issue you can add the external drive later.
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Offline daniel1948

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Re: 1T HDD or 512 SSD?
« Reply #19 on: November 20, 2015, 10:10:12 AM »
I don't think you need to max out processor or RAM. Indeed, unless someone's gaming or doing a lot of video editing I think an i5 is perfectly adequate and will last for years.  If I were in your situation buying an iMac I'd stick with the i5 and 8GB.  The SSD, however, I'd definitely get.

So the last dilemma is whether to stick with the 256 GB SSD and use cloud drive or an external drive if I need more, or to splurge on the 500 GB SSD.
Daniel
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"Anyone who has ever looked into the glazed eyes of a soldier dying on the battlefield will think long and hard before starting a war."
-- Otto von Bismarck

Offline Skulker

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Re: 1T HDD or 512 SSD?
« Reply #20 on: November 20, 2015, 10:18:29 AM »
I don't think you need to max out processor or RAM. Indeed, unless someone's gaming or doing a lot of video editing I think an i5 is perfectly adequate and will last for years.  If I were in your situation buying an iMac I'd stick with the i5 and 8GB.  The SSD, however, I'd definitely get.

So the last dilemma is whether to stick with the 256 GB SSD and use cloud drive or an external drive if I need more, or to splurge on the 500 GB SSD.
Based on what you've said about your current capacity, the 256 GB SSD is cutting it a little close but it will depend on what you foresee as your future storage growth. If you need that storage to be high performance, then the 500GB SSD would be best but if you just want it for standard performance, long term storage or for backups, then the external HD would be best.
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Offline Belgarath

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Re: 1T HDD or 512 SSD?
« Reply #21 on: November 20, 2015, 10:34:03 AM »
If anything, max the memory and the processor. You can't add them later but you can add drives via USB and other connectors.


Just want to point out that this bit is wrong.  It's true on the iMac that you can't update the processor, but you CAN update the memory.  If you find that you need more RAM later, you can absolutely add it.
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Offline Belgarath

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Re: 1T HDD or 512 SSD?
« Reply #22 on: November 20, 2015, 10:35:33 AM »
If anything, max the memory and the processor. You can't add them later but you can add drives via USB and other connectors.


Just want to point out that this bit is wrong.  It's true on the iMac that you can't update the processor, but you CAN update the memory.  If you find that you need more RAM later, you can absolutely add it.

Sorry, my BAD.  The 2015 21.5 inch iMac does NOT have user upgradeable RAM, you need to have it done in an Apple Store.

https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201191

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Offline daniel1948

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Re: 1T HDD or 512 SSD?
« Reply #23 on: November 20, 2015, 12:47:52 PM »
Okay. I placed my order. iMac, 21.5-inch 4K display, i5 processor, 8 GB RAM, 256 GB SSD. I also got the AppleCare+, even though I don't normally buy extended warranties, because it includes extended free phone support.

I figure I have a LOT of stuff in my Documents folder that I almost never use, and all that can sit on the cloud, saving me space. And if I do need more storage on the machine, a 256 GB USB flash drive costs less than the extra 256 GB would cost installed.

If I had it shipped to the local Apple store it would take longer, so I'm having it shipped to my home. That means I'll be on my own for setting it up, but their phone support is very good. Supposed to ship in 1 to 3 days and arrive by the 27th.

Many thanks to everyone who posted here with information, ideas, and suggestions.

I'll have both machines side-by side while I sort out what files I want to keep and transfer them over. Then I'll offer the old computer to the local peace & justice group that I'm a member of. If they don't want it, I'll put it on eBay or Craig's List. And if that gets no takers, Apple will recycle old computers for free when you buy a new one from them.
Daniel
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"Anyone who has ever looked into the glazed eyes of a soldier dying on the battlefield will think long and hard before starting a war."
-- Otto von Bismarck

Offline Fast Eddie B

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Re: 1T HDD or 512 SSD?
« Reply #24 on: November 20, 2015, 01:16:05 PM »
Okay. I placed my order. iMac, 21.5-inch 4K display, i5 processor, 8 GB RAM, 256 GB SSD.

Congrats!

So many choices, it's easy to get paralyzed by indecision.

I found setting up my new Mac Mini was easier than I thought it would be. I made a SuoerDuper bootable backup of my MacBook Pro and used that to transfer files. Took me a while to find my Microsoft Office product code, but the move from iPhoto to Photos went well, as did moving my iTunes library over. Google will be your friend for locating where files are actually stored and what needs to be moved. My finances came up as soon as I installed DropBox. And Calendar and Contacts and Safari bookmarks synced automatically via my iCloud account.

Migration Assistant is also an option, but I chose to go the manual route.

Good luck - this will be fun if you let it!

Offline Belgarath

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Re: 1T HDD or 512 SSD?
« Reply #25 on: November 20, 2015, 01:54:28 PM »
Okay. I placed my order. iMac, 21.5-inch 4K display, i5 processor, 8 GB RAM, 256 GB SSD. I also got the AppleCare+, even though I don't normally buy extended warranties, because it includes extended free phone support.

I figure I have a LOT of stuff in my Documents folder that I almost never use, and all that can sit on the cloud, saving me space. And if I do need more storage on the machine, a 256 GB USB flash drive costs less than the extra 256 GB would cost installed.

If I had it shipped to the local Apple store it would take longer, so I'm having it shipped to my home. That means I'll be on my own for setting it up, but their phone support is very good. Supposed to ship in 1 to 3 days and arrive by the 27th.

Many thanks to everyone who posted here with information, ideas, and suggestions.

I'll have both machines side-by side while I sort out what files I want to keep and transfer them over. Then I'll offer the old computer to the local peace & justice group that I'm a member of. If they don't want it, I'll put it on eBay or Craig's List. And if that gets no takers, Apple will recycle old computers for free when you buy a new one from them.

Sounds good.  I'd be looking for a USB3 or a Thunderbolt external drive on the cheap.  I see several that are pretty good price.

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Offline daniel1948

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Re: 1T HDD or 512 SSD?
« Reply #26 on: November 20, 2015, 03:47:59 PM »
... So many choices, it's easy to get paralyzed by indecision. ...

That's a good way to phrase it!

Sounds good.  I'd be looking for a USB3 or a Thunderbolt external drive on the cheap.  I see several that are pretty good price.

USB 3 or Thunderbolt I think are good ideas. Buying on the cheap I think is generally not a great idea. You don't always get what you pay for, but you very seldom get what you don't pay for. Anyway, I think that if I do need more storage, a USB Flash drive will likely be my choice. I've got a terabyte of space on Dropbox. I use Dropbox to show my travel pictures to friends, and I used up my free allotment. So I've got more space than I'll probably ever need, and can store seldom-used or archived files there.

My biggest difficulty is just going to be going through ten years' worth of old files to decide what's worth keeping and what needs to be deleted.
Daniel
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"Anyone who has ever looked into the glazed eyes of a soldier dying on the battlefield will think long and hard before starting a war."
-- Otto von Bismarck

Offline daniel1948

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Re: 1T HDD or 512 SSD?
« Reply #27 on: November 20, 2015, 04:01:42 PM »
P.S. I just learned that Dropbox will not function as a cloud drive. Guess I'll have to use iCloud or Google Drive. I might switch my photo sharing to one service that can also be my cloud drive, if the time comes that I need a cloud drive.
Daniel
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"Anyone who has ever looked into the glazed eyes of a soldier dying on the battlefield will think long and hard before starting a war."
-- Otto von Bismarck

Offline brilligtove

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Re: 1T HDD or 512 SSD?
« Reply #28 on: November 20, 2015, 04:06:38 PM »
Enjoy your new machine!

My recommendation was based on having the capacity to do the thing you don't know about today. Maybe you get a gift of a 3D printer (like I just did) and discover that the perfectly adequate - even slightly overpowered - device from 2 years ago is going to struggle, despite having maxed the RAM and having a screaming SSD. That older mid-range processor, well, it's showing it's older mid-range age. I'm glad you can upgrade RAM at the store if you need to, though - I had no idea.

As for the keep/delete conundrum, why bother? Just slap the drive from the old machine into an external USB/Thunderbolt case, and drag-and-drop all your files from the old drive to a new external HDD. Then do a zero format on the old drive (to force it to touch every bit so it has a clue if it's got bad ones) and use it as your time machine. With storage capacity going up so fast and with so little expense, it's rarely worth it to do a cull - unless you have a compelling reason to never ever be able to idly find that thing again one day because it should e excised from the world forever. ;)

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Offline brilligtove

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Re: 1T HDD or 512 SSD?
« Reply #29 on: November 20, 2015, 04:10:30 PM »
P.S. I just learned that Dropbox will not function as a cloud drive. Guess I'll have to use iCloud or Google Drive. I might switch my photo sharing to one service that can also be my cloud drive, if the time comes that I need a cloud drive.

I gave up on DropBox because it's too expensive. I'm using OneDrive with 1TB of space with my Office 365 subscription (it was worth it for the business uses I'm putting my various devices to, and having office on iOS, Android, OSX, and Windows is damn convenient). I have also assigned my Google Drive app on my desktop to be the same folder as OneDrive. This means everything is stored in two separate clouds at all times - at least, as long as my Mac is online. One or the other would be sufficient for most people, I expect, and the free Google Drive / Google Pictures has basically unlimited good-resolution picture storage.
evidence trumps experience | performance over perfection | responsibility – authority = scapegoat | emotions motivate; data doesn't

 

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