New iMac 2019 - what size of SSD?

Discussion in 'PC/Mac Builders, Mods, Peripherals - New' started by Levon, Mar 28, 2019.

  1. Levon

    Levon Member

    Nov 27, 2014
    Hi Folks,

    Just about to purchase my first ever Apple Mac. Will be going for the new iMac i9 8Gb RAM (and then purchasing extra from 3rd party) model. I will also be buying external Thunderbolt 3 enclosure and external SSDs for my sample libs and audio files. Given this, do you think going for the 512Gb internal SSD iMac option will be sufficient or should i be looking to go with the 1TB SSD (even although I'm using external storage)?

  2. Dewdman42

    Dewdman42 Senior Member

    Oct 28, 2016
    I always find that many audio and other software programs tend to install their stuff under the boot drive somewhere. Sometimes it’s easy to locate samples and other large amounts of data to other drives, sometimes it’s kind of a pita and I have preferred to just leave that stuff located on the boot drive where the installer put it, rather then funny shenanigans to have it on a data drive. For this reason I find it more convenient to have a full 1tb for my boot drive. My sample drives add up to 4tb more and anytime I have an easy choice i put big stuff there.

    Just depends on how you want to set things up. 512 is way more then adequate for OS X and a lot of software but 1tb will just remove any concerns in case you install some products that want to insist on installing large amounts of data on the boot drive
    gsilbers likes this.
  3. agarner32

    agarner32 Active Member

    Nov 7, 2015
    I got a 512 Gb SSD on my last iMac and regretted it. It fill up faster than I anticipated. For most it’s probably fine, but just spend the extra so you will have plenty of room. I’m about to order the same computer with a 2 TB SSD.
    Daniel Stenning likes this.
  4. Wolfie2112

    Wolfie2112 Senior Member

    I have the 512 on my MacBook Pro. As long as you store your bigger files on an external, it's totally sufficient. Apple charges an arm and a leg for a 1TB.
  5. OP

    Levon Member

    Nov 27, 2014
    Thanks for everyone's feedback. 1TB would be a nice to have but not sure I can justify the Apple price for a 1TB SSD so I'm thinking 512Gb may win.
  6. agarner32

    agarner32 Active Member

    Nov 7, 2015
    I wouldn’t let the high price dictate what size hard drive to buy. Just get the size you need. If you only need a 512 GB drive then it’s fine. That’s my 2 cents.
  7. JT

    JT Senior Member

    Feb 20, 2011
    It depends on how long you plan to keep this machine. If you're planning on keeping it for hopefully a long time, then IMO you'll regret not getting something larger than 512. I've got a 4 year old Mac with a 1TB drive, it's2/3rds full right now
  8. agarner32

    agarner32 Active Member

    Nov 7, 2015
    I totally agree and that is a great point. My current iMac (2013) has a 512 and I really regretted it, but it's 6 years old. I just bought the 2019 iMac and got the 1 TB because I'll most likely keep it for at least 5 years.
  9. fastlanephil

    fastlanephil Member

    Dec 25, 2015
    I think a 1TB or larger boot drive is pretty much the standard for a serious hobbiest or Pro DAW computer in 2019.
  10. Wolfie2112

    Wolfie2112 Senior Member

    What on earth are you guys storing on your OS drive that eats up so much space? If it's your DAW machine, all of your project files and sample libraries should not be on there in the first place. IMO, a 1TB is overkill and a total rip off. They want an extra $500 to go from 512 to 1TB.
  11. Daniel Stenning

    Daniel Stenning New Member

    Apr 1, 2019
    Let me just add something I learned the other day when considering a new iMac:

    As I understand it and had it explained to me by an authorised Apple service centre tech: The SSD drives that are installed by Apple when you order a new iMac today - are installed on-board as extremely fast SSD with M2 nvme connector/interface technology.
    This kind of SSD and interface connection is way faster than that achievable if one decides to get the Apple service centre to add an SSD drive - 1TB or more - to an iMac that came with Fusion drive.
    Conversely the SSD that gets installed in that (cheaper) scenario of adding the SSD drive AFTERWARDS... is of the 2/5 inch type that is a MUCH SLOWER CONNECTOR-AND THROUGHPUT-TYPE direct hard-disk replacement - and leaves the existing SSD on the motherboard in place.

    This is in fact one of the major and less-known reasons and justifications for paying a higher price up-front for the most Terabytes one can afford - when ordering an iMac - instead of thinking one can just start with the Fusion hybrid hard-drive option and then pay for an SSD to be fitted ( or fitted oneself if brave! ) by an Apple service centre.

    If absolute best drive access speeds is a consideration - bite the bullet and pay for Apple to fit the fastest SSDS on the motherboard themselves when you order and buy the mac from Apple
  12. babylonwaves

    babylonwaves Senior Member

    May 9, 2015
    I have 256GB in my MacPro 2013. Didn't run into a bottleneck in the last 4 years. The rest is external Thunderbolt SSD storage which is fast enough for streaming samples.
    Wolfie2112 likes this.
  13. ridgero

    ridgero Member

    Apr 17, 2018
    It thought the same a while ago.

    In real life you will not notice a difference, try it yourself on a regular PC.

    There are many of those benchmark videos.
  14. synthnut1

    synthnut1 Active Member

    Jul 18, 2015
    I would be more careful when loading the computer from the start.....OS and applications only on the boot drive...I saw the 1/2 tb to 1 tb upcharge and quickly realized the opportunist mentality at play going on....Take a look at your actual applications and you will be surprised how many can fit on a lot less than 1 tb...Your money,your call.....$100 upcharge is bad enough going from fusion to 1/2 tb SSD.......Jim

    Remember, you’ve got a $529 tab for 64 gigs of memory......$1,000 if you go all out to 128. !!
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2019

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