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Doug b 04-03-2011 03:01 AM

Disappointed with the limited custom hardware configurations for iMacs
 
Maybe a bit annoyed too, while I'm at it. While my Current MacBook Pro is still actually doing fairly well running Lightroom, Aperture and Photoshop CS5, I've decided that it's time to get a new computer soon. I could of course swap MacBook Pro's with my wife, but I don't think it would make much of a difference. Mine is the 08' C2D aluminum (I really do love it) with a 2.4ghz processor and 4 gigs of RAM. Her's is newer by a year and only has 2 gigs. Upgrading would be easy.. but then, I could just put 6 gigs in mine and be fine too.

I really want a beefier system, and would LOVE an Mac Pro, but I really can't afford the one I want at the moment. A top of the line iMac seems very fitting, but I can't really help but think that 27" might be too big. But here's what I want:

I want an iMac with the option to leave out the Super Drive, thereby reducing the price by at least $75, which would be used to purchase an SSD. 24 inch screen would be awesome, but that likely won't happen. I'd like a quad core processor as well as the ability to install up to 16 gigs of RAM, but in the non 27" models... hence my wanting the 24" back on the line.

I just kind of resent that you have to buy into the 27" in order to get the quad core i7. There's really no reason to not include those options in the lower models. It's less a matter of price point, and more a matter of paying for exactly what you want IMO.

I'm definitely getting an iMac when the new models come out, but would love to have more options to play with. Am I alone here ?

Doug

MacDude121 04-03-2011 03:17 AM

I agree, I'm not sure why Apple makes you get that gigantic screen just to get the i7. Maybe they'll fix this issue when they release the new iMacs. (whenever that may be) But are you sure you need THAT beefy of a computer? Like you said your MBP runs Lightroom, Aperture and Photoshop CS5 fairly well.

IWT 04-03-2011 08:04 AM

Hi Doug

I'm with MacDude on your need for so much RAM capability.

I too run Aperture 3 and have a 100 GB Library. I do some modest video editing and run the OsiriX Work Station.

All of this runs fine on my 21.5, 3.33 GHz, Core 2 Duo with 8 GB RAM.

Sure, I also have the 27 core i7 iMac with SSD; but that's because, like many folks, I crave speed and I like "toys". Nothing wrong with that, but I don't NEED the extra bits & bobs. I want it. That's different.

Your current requirements are met with a modest processor and 4 GB RAM. So why not forsake the large Monitor real estate and go for the top-of-range 21.5 iMac.

Better still, if you are prepared to be patient, wait till mid summer and see what the new 21.5 offers. SSD & i7 maybe??

Ian

trademark 04-03-2011 09:19 AM

There's plenty of reason not to include quad cores in the lower end models, an that's cooling constraints. You're talking about adding an additional 30-40tdp on lower 21.5 inch iMacs, which might be too much for their cooling systems. The iMacs already run on the hotter side as it is.

Wait for the sandybridge update to the iMacs that's going to happen in a month or two, and you will most likely see quad core options for lower end iMacs.

As for the optical drive thing, you can replace it for your own aftermarket SSD.

You CAN install 16gb of ram in the 21.5 inch models. You can in fact install up to 32gb of ram on the iMacs.

Doug b 04-03-2011 07:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by IWT (Post 1213189)
Hi Doug

I'm with MacDude on your need for so much RAM capability.

I too run Aperture 3 and have a 100 GB Library. I do some modest video editing and run the OsiriX Work Station.

All of this runs fine on my 21.5, 3.33 GHz, Core 2 Duo with 8 GB RAM.

Sure, I also have the 27 core i7 iMac with SSD; but that's because, like many folks, I crave speed and I like "toys". Nothing wrong with that, but I don't NEED the extra bits & bobs. I want it. That's different.

Your current requirements are met with a modest processor and 4 GB RAM. So why not forsake the large Monitor real estate and go for the top-of-range 21.5 iMac.

Better still, if you are prepared to be patient, wait till mid summer and see what the new 21.5 offers. SSD & i7 maybe??

Ian

Oh, I'm certainly waiting on the next lineup, that's for certain. While it's true that Aperture or LR are ok-ish on their own with memory for the most part.. 4 gigs really isn't enough. OS X's memory management could use a bit of an look over AFAIC. I understand how it works, but it doesn't always work perfectly. Specifically, in how it handles inactive memory. I know why it holds on to memory, but it also does so for far too long, which causes memory to be cached to the HDD, as well as lots of page ins/outs. This makes other apps act sluggishly, even if they receive said inactive RAM. But that's an whole other rant...

I often have Photoshop open at the same time as LR or Aperture, and this is a necessity, not just because I want to. This is also very memory intensive. Lightroom really loves memory, and behaves much better with more of it, so 8 gigs would be the least I'd put in at this point with a new machine. And yeah.. I do also "want" it. It would be nice to have lots of reserve.

Quote:

Originally Posted by trademark (Post 1213216)
There's plenty of reason not to include quad cores in the lower end models, an that's cooling constraints. You're talking about adding an additional 30-40tdp on lower 21.5 inch iMacs, which might be too much for their cooling systems. The iMacs already run on the hotter side as it is.

Wait for the sandybridge update to the iMacs that's going to happen in a month or two, and you will most likely see quad core options for lower end iMacs.

I had thought about cooling as a reason, but it just didn't register to me that the smaller frame would make that much more of a difference. I don't buy that, personally speaking.

Quote:

As for the optical drive thing, you can replace it for your own aftermarket SSD.
I know, but that wasn't my point. Having the option to negate the Superdrive should technically bring the price down a little bit, which would go towards purchasing an aftermarket SSD.


Quote:

You CAN install 16gb of ram in the 21.5 inch models. You can in fact install up to 32gb of ram on the iMacs.
I think that's technically impossible for the time being. The iMacs only have 4 slots, and as far as I know, there's no such thing as an single 8 gig memory module. Furthermore, if someone is purchasing an iMac online, Apple only states 8 gigs as the maximum amount supported in the configuration table. Only when you select the 27" does it give you the option for 16 gigs.

Of course I know that the stated maximum support is likely different... but that's not the point either. Heck, I wish you could get one without memory all together, given how much they rip you off with their memory prices...

Doug

trademark 04-03-2011 10:09 PM

Apple's infamous for giving false information about their products that are limited to their actual capacities. Older iMacs were listed as 4gb ram max, when you could put 6gb in them. When the lynnfield iMacs first came out, apple only listed them as being able to take up to 1066mhz ram, while you could put 1333mhz in them. The 5750 and 5670 gpus in the iMacs are actually mobility 5730 and mobility 5850, etc.

32.0GB (8GB x 4) PC3-10600 DDR3 1333MHz S... (1333DDR3S32S) at OWC

Theoretically the 21.5inch form factor doesn't matter for heat, as you could crank up the fans to higher rpms (say 2k or 3krpm for each the cpu or gpu) and support the added heat, but apple loves to keep their fans at very low rpm to keep their grippy consumers happy about audible sound.

However the size has everything to do with it. Apple knew it'd be hard to get high end quad cores in an iMac unless they made it larger. Looking at the sheer size of the heatsinks apple used when given the larger chassis size is clear evidence of it.

Anyways since sandybridge will introduce 65tdp quad core desktop cpus like the current 65tdp clarkdals in the 21.5 inch iMacs, there should be no reason not to have them in the next iMac revision.

Quote:

Of course I know that the stated maximum support is likely different... but that's not the point either.
Why doesn't it matter? You were wondering why 8gb was the displayed ram limit for 21.5 inch iMacs-- unless you like buying severely overpriced ram "options" the apple store offers you.

Doug b 04-03-2011 11:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by trademark (Post 1213649)
Apple's infamous for giving false information about their products that are limited to their actual capacities. Older iMacs were listed as 4gb ram max, when you could put 6gb in them. When the lynnfield iMacs first came out, apple only listed them as being able to take up to 1066mhz ram, while you could put 1333mhz in them. The 5750 and 5670 gpus in the iMacs are actually mobility 5730 and mobility 5850, etc.

32.0GB (8GB x 4) PC3-10600 DDR3 1333MHz S... (1333DDR3S32S) at OWC

Theoretically the 21.5inch form factor doesn't matter for heat, as you could crank up the fans to higher rpms (say 2k or 3krpm for each the cpu or gpu) and support the added heat, but apple loves to keep their fans at very low rpm to keep their grippy consumers happy about audible sound.

However the size has everything to do with it. Apple knew it'd be hard to get high end quad cores in an iMac unless they made it larger. Looking at the sheer size of the heatsinks apple used when given the larger chassis size is clear evidence of it.

Anyways since sandybridge will introduce 65tdp quad core desktop cpus like the current 65tdp clarkdals in the 21.5 inch iMacs, there should be no reason not to have them in the next iMac revision.


Why doesn't it matter? You were wondering why 8gb was the displayed ram limit for 21.5 inch iMacs-- unless you like buying severely overpriced ram "options" the apple store offers you.

Haha... I stand totally corrected on the existence of single 8 gig modules! But um ... lol, you know I'm not spending more on RAM than the actual computer haha. Seriously, I had a good belly laugh there. Good point about the heat sink size too.

The only other factor involved in terms of RAM support I suppose might be whether or not it's supported in the bios, perhaps? Not sure about that though. And no, of course I'd not purchase the RAM from Apple... guess I was kind of grasping at straws with that last bit using common consumers as an example, which obviously has zero to do with people like us who purchase aftermarket hardware.

Has OWC confirmed that 16 gigs will work in any of the 21" iMacs? I'll take a look.

Doug

baggss 04-03-2011 11:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Doug b (Post 1213584)
The iMacs only have 4 slots, and as far as I know, there's no such thing as an single 8 gig memory module.

Memory up to 32GB for Apple iMac 2010 Models - 21.5" and 27" 2.8HGz to 3.3GHz DDR3 True PC3-10600 at OtherWorldComputing.com

32Gb Max, 4 x 8Gb.....but only for the 27 inch i5/i7 and the price is well....pricey....

Ah, he beat me to it!

trademark 04-03-2011 11:37 PM

Yeah I'd totally rather get the most powerful windows box for that type of money. Very impractical! Always an option for the insanely wealthy who want ePeen though.

Doug b 04-03-2011 11:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by baggss (Post 1213681)
Memory up to 32GB for Apple iMac 2010 Models - 21.5" and 27" 2.8HGz to 3.3GHz DDR3 True PC3-10600 at OtherWorldComputing.com

32Gb Max, 4 x 8Gb.....but only for the 27 inch i5/i7 and the price is well....pricey....

Ah, he beat me to it!

Thanks for the link though. I like the idea of 16 gigs.

Quote:

Originally Posted by trademark (Post 1213687)
Yeah I'd totally rather get the most powerful windows box for that type of money. Very impractical! Always an option for the insanely wealthy who want ePeen though.

ePeen! Nicely played sir.

Doug


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