Will new iMacs come with SSDs standard?

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited January 2014


I anxiously await the release of the 2012 iMac and wonder if Apple will include an SSD (system files & apps) along with a HDD. I know they stand to make a lot more money having the SSD as an option, but with the direction they've taken with the MBA and iPad, I think it could be a powerful selling tool.


 


Maybe it's all just wishful thinking...

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 33
    winterwinter Posts: 1,238member


    I hope they do. Make 128 GB the minimum with options for 256 GB and 512 GB. If 1 TB is possible, make that an option as well.

  • Reply 2 of 33
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member


    Disclaimer: we can't possibly know.


     


    Having said that, of course not.

  • Reply 3 of 33
    mr. memr. me Posts: 3,219member


    You draw conclusions totally unsupported by evidence. There is simply no reason to assume that an iMac with standard SSD will provide a bigger return than standard HDD. Including both as standard equipment makes no sense at all. Doing so would mean that the iMac would have to be larger to accommodate the added SSD. An iMac with standard SSD implies a thinner form factor because SSDs are physically smaller than HDDs of equivalent capacity, use less power, and thus require less cooling, and are silent.


     


    There is no doubt that the days of spinning discs are limited. The determining factor is economics. When while their increased productivity due to their added speed and price premium become competitive with HDD. For many laptop users, that time has come already. Desktop users are still waiting. Whether they can stop waiting with the introduction of new iMacs is left to be seen.

  • Reply 4 of 33
    nedricknedrick Posts: 65member


    I guess I should have stated that I'd be willing to sacrifice the optical drive in order to make space for an SSD.


     


    But you're probably right when it comes to the almighty $. Apple may not want to "give away" the SSD when they can sell it as an add-on.


     


    I guess we'll know in the coming weeks...

  • Reply 5 of 33
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,641member
    Disclaimer: we can't possibly know.
    Of course we don't know but that doesn't mean there isn't a good chance it will happen.
    Having said that, of course not.

    I have just the opposite opinion. There is already room in the current machines for such a drive and considering a total design overall, space isn't an issue. The SSD doesn't need to be huge physically to actually be very beneficial to the average user. In fact every day small SSD drives in various form factors are debuting from various manufactures, size simply isn't an issue.

    The real question becomes why wouldn't Apple do this. A base machine, for users with modest requirements, wouldn't even need a magnetic bulk storage device. For the rest of us they can easily have an HDD option that serves the bulk storage needs of various user classes.
  • Reply 6 of 33
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,641member
    nedrick wrote: »
    I guess I should have stated that I'd be willing to sacrifice the optical drive in order to make space for an SSD.
    The space is already there!

    But you're probably right when it comes to the almighty $. Apple may not want to "give away" the SSD when they can sell it as an add-on.

    I guess we'll know in the coming weeks...

    Apple doesn't give away anything. I would fully expect them to configure the machine to have similar margins as today's machines. The price of the SSD isn't an issue as can be seen with the Mac Book AIRs.
  • Reply 7 of 33
    caldencalden Posts: 13member
    mr. me wrote: »
    You draw conclusions totally unsupported by evidence. There is simply no reason to assume that an iMac with standard SSD will provide a bigger return than standard HDD. Including both as standard equipment makes no sense at all. Doing so would mean that the iMac would have to be larger to accommodate the added SSD. An iMac with standard SSD implies a thinner form factor because SSDs are physically smaller than HDDs of equivalent capacity, use less power, and thus require less cooling, and are silent.

    There is no doubt that the days of spinning discs are limited. The determining factor is economics. When while their increased productivity due to their added speed and price premium become competitive with HDD. For many laptop users, that time has come already. Desktop users are still waiting. Whether they can stop waiting with the introduction of new iMacs is left to be seen.

    Whatever the outcome it's always stupid to choose an SSD option from Apple or extra memory for that matter due to their outrageous markup. I bought 2 256GB SSD drives that are 2 1/2 times the speed for 500CHF, Apple charges 750CHF for the pair and their much older and slower drives.
  • Reply 8 of 33
    kedakeda Posts: 722member


    Lion is made for SSDs, so I hope Apple moves aggressively in the direction of making them standard equipment.  Until I bought my MBA, I couldn't have imagined the difference that SSDs make in the overall speed and responsiveness of the Mac. 

  • Reply 9 of 33
    mr. memr. me Posts: 3,219member


    Whining about Apple's markup clouds the issue. Whether from Apple or some other company, SSDs are substantially more expensive that HDDs of similar capacity.

  • Reply 10 of 33
    relicrelic Posts: 4,735member
    mr. me wrote: »
    Whining about Apple's markup clouds the issue. Whether from Apple or some other company, SSDs are substantially more expensive that HDDs of similar capacity.


    Not really, I personally don't want Apple to upgrade to SSD as they'll inflate the price. I would much rather add it later as it allows me to choose a much better drive then some abscure OEM vesion. I replaced my Macbook Airs drive for a faster and larger one.
  • Reply 11 of 33
    hmmhmm Posts: 3,405member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Nedrick View Post


    I guess I should have stated that I'd be willing to sacrifice the optical drive in order to make space for an SSD.


     


    But you're probably right when it comes to the almighty $. Apple may not want to "give away" the SSD when they can sell it as an add-on.


     


    I guess we'll know in the coming weeks...



    They can already accept an HDD + SSD. The space is there, although that was already stated. 


    Quote:

    Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post





    Apple doesn't give away anything. I would fully expect them to configure the machine to have similar margins as today's machines. The price of the SSD isn't an issue as can be seen with the Mac Book AIRs.


    Yep... although some people do try to overly simplify pricing calculations.


    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Keda View Post


    Lion is made for SSDs, so I hope Apple moves aggressively in the direction of making them standard equipment.  Until I bought my MBA, I couldn't have imagined the difference that SSDs make in the overall speed and responsiveness of the Mac. 



    This is just crap. Lion is ram hungry. If you don't have enough ram, it leans harder on the drive, which then favors an ssd. There's no reason you need one or the other for your computer to run Lion properly.

  • Reply 12 of 33
    relicrelic Posts: 4,735member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by hmm View Post


    They can already accept an HDD + SSD. The space is there, although that was already stated. 


    Yep... although some people do try to overly simplify pricing calculations.


    This is just crap. Lion is ram hungry. If you don't have enough ram, it leans harder on the drive, which then favors an ssd. There's no reason you need one or the other for your computer to run Lion properly.



    I hope the new iMacs can handle more then 16GB of ram. On the subject, Apple is crazy, nuts, lost there friggen minds if they think anyone is going to spend 800 dollars for four 4GB modules for 16GB. Don't they know that even the most expensive ram only cost 40 bucks a piece, you can buy 4GB Kensingtons for only 25 bucks a piece now for a total of $100 dollars and their much better rams then Apple uses. 800 dollars for 16GB, what is this the 1990's I actually stopped breathing when I read that. http://store.apple.com/us/configure/MC814LL/A? Check out the 500 dollar price tag on the 256GB SSD, their like 250 bucks now and for faster drives, insane Apple, insane.

  • Reply 13 of 33
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,641member
    relic wrote: »
    Not really, I personally don't want Apple to upgrade to SSD as they'll inflate the price. I would much rather add it later as it allows me to choose a much better drive then some abscure OEM vesion. I replaced my Macbook Airs drive for a faster and larger one.
    The AIRs kinda discredit your statements. They demonstrate that Apple can produce very credible and cost effective hardware.

    As to add ons ALL of Apples custom order parts are expensive. It is the base macine where they are aggressive.
  • Reply 14 of 33
    hmmhmm Posts: 3,405member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Relic View Post


    I hope the new iMacs can handle more then 16GB of ram. On the subject, Apple is crazy, nuts, lost there friggen minds if they think anyone is going to spend 800 dollars for four 4GB modules for 16GB. Don't they know that even the most expensive ram only cost 40 bucks a piece, you can buy 4GB Kensingtons for only 25 bucks a piece now for a total of $100 dollars and their much better rams then Apple uses. 800 dollars for 16GB, what is this the 1990's I actually stopped breathing when I read that. http://store.apple.com/us/configure/MC814LL/A? Check out the 500 dollar price tag on the 256GB SSD, their like 250 bucks now and for faster drives, insane Apple, insane.



    A lot of companies do this with ram. Many of them offer consumer models with 8GB standard without further configuration options. When it comes to workstations or any of the more expensive lines, they charge a fortune for ram. This includes Dell, Lenovo, and HP. Many of them offer really cheap base configurations, but you pay quite a lot for upgrades. You'll find similar behavior with SSDs. The current imacs can take 32GB of ram. There's one thing I find stupid. Many people complain about a bloated OS and programs when ram upgrades are mentioned, yet SSDs are somehow a more favorable concept. Ram is extremely cheap when you buy it from a third party retailers. I typically look at Crucial and run memtest after it arrives. I don't know if Ivy Bridge will take 32 or 64GB. I haven't looked up the maximum supported for desktops. Ivy Bridge laptops can support up to 32GB.


     


    Anyway I'm getting off topic here. The point was that you can be annoyed all you like, but it's common practice. It won't be too big of an issue unless we lose the ability to upgrade ram and Apple sticks to a minimal base configuration. 

  • Reply 15 of 33
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,641member
    hmm wrote: »
    A lot of companies do this with ram. Many of them offer consumer models with 8GB standard without further configuration options. When it comes to workstations or any of the more expensive lines, they charge a fortune for ram. This includes Dell, Lenovo, and HP. Many of them offer really cheap base configurations, but you pay quite a lot for upgrades. You'll find similar behavior with SSDs. The current imacs can take 32GB of ram. There's one thing I find stupid. Many people complain about a bloated OS and programs when ram upgrades are mentioned, yet SSDs are somehow a more favorable concept. Ram is extremely cheap when you buy it from a third party retailers. I typically look at Crucial and run memtest after it arrives. I don't know if Ivy Bridge will take 32 or 64GB. I haven't looked up the maximum supported for desktops. Ivy Bridge laptops can support up to 32GB.

    Anyway I'm getting off topic here. The point was that you can be annoyed all you like, but it's common practice. It won't be too big of an issue unless we lose the ability to upgrade ram and Apple sticks to a minimal base configuration. 

    All Apple, HP, Dell & whomever are doing is encouraging people to engage third party suppliers. This to minimize the amount of custom building they have to support. Each of these companies would be better off never even offering these upgrades , but since individuals demand such support Apple feels obligated to charge them for it.
  • Reply 16 of 33
    hmmhmm Posts: 3,405member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post





    All Apple, HP, Dell & whomever are doing is encouraging people to engage third party suppliers. This to minimize the amount of custom building they have to support. Each of these companies would be better off never even offering these upgrades , but since individuals demand such support Apple feels obligated to charge them for it.


    I was already aware of that. It will only become an issue for me if we hit a point where all of their machines go the route of the macbook air. I'm not convinced this will happen anytime soon. I'm due for a new machine this year. I'll figure out my next purchase once we have new models out. It's close enough that there isn't a lot of motivation for me to deal with it right now, and I don't buy into the hype of what will/will not make it to the next generation of machines.

  • Reply 17 of 33
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,128member


    I think consumers are ready for tiered storage.  


     


    Truthfully you don't even need that much storage for the Boot and Apps.   Intel makes a 40GB SSD aimed at the Z68 motherboards that offer SSD caching.  There's little point in keeping an ODD 


    around if it's not Blu-ray and SSD offers keen benefits.  I'm constantly amazed at my MBA it's just such an overall good performer because the storage isn't slowing me down and comparing the Samsung 


    SSD in it now (250MBps) versus the Sammy 830 SSD (400+ MBps) the best is yet to come. 


     


    I see that 7mm HDD are coming to market in 320GB and 500GB configurations for these slim configurations.   I think the market is ready for a duopoly in storage.  

  • Reply 18 of 33
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member


    What about integrated storage?


     


    Drop an 8GB NAND chip on the logic board and have the OS on there. I've been saying this for years, and 8GB chips are certainly cheap enough to do this now. The Apple TV 3 has an 8GB chip in it, as did the 2, and the total cost for those is way below $100. Keep the backup partition on the spinning or SSD media for if something goes wrong with the running OS.


     


    Faster load times from sleep and cold boot and no space taken up by the OS on the storage media. Win-win.

  • Reply 19 of 33
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,188moderator
    What about integrated storage?

    Drop an 8GB NAND chip on the logic board and have the OS on there. I've been saying this for years, and 8GB chips are certainly cheap enough to do this now. The Apple TV 3 has an 8GB chip in it, as did the 2, and the total cost for those is way below $100. Keep the backup partition on the spinning or SSD media for if something goes wrong with the running OS.

    Faster load times from sleep and cold boot and no space taken up by the OS on the storage media. Win-win.

    A single NAND chip isn't very fast and 8GB doesn't give much room for wear-levelling. Storage benchmarks of the iOS NAND (will be the same as the ATV) show at best 48MB/s reads and 16MB/s writes:



    This works fine in iOS devices as you don't really do much writing (consumption = read, creation = write and no VM).

    It would be ok as a dedicated recovery partition but to get SSD speeds, they need to use lots of NAND chips in parallel. You can even see the mainstream SSDs increase performance for larger capacity drives:

    128GB M4 = 175MB/s write
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820148448

    256GB M4 = 260MB/s write
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820148443

    Samsung has a table on this page showing 64GB = 160MB/s write, 128GB = 320MB/s write, 256/512GB = 400MB/s write:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820147134

    Also bear in mind the Windows partition should really go on the boot drive too so I'd say no less than 64GB but again, splitting it evenly doesn't leave much room for wear-levelling. It's not a good idea to fill up the storage on any drive or you can really impact write speeds.

    Given that retail SSD is $1 per GB, the cost to Apple will be lower, maybe around 70-80c per GB. Their margins on the Mini will likely be $150-200 on a $600 machine. They could manage a 64GB and just lower their margins by $50 but they don't usually do that.

    The only thing they can realistically do is remove the hard drives from the machines and then charge the customer for them as BTO. So they'd ship 64-128GB Minis and then you choose the hard drive setup you want. I think it would work well for the Mini Server as you get the high IOPs from the SSD and you can have two HDDs in RAID1 for redundant storage. If one of your HDDs fails, the Mini keeps going.

    I think the Air will bump up the entry level to 128GB and 13" to 256GB. Any models above that, it's easy for them to use SSD boot drives. The great thing about SSD blades is that in the iMac, they can fit easily in the RAM slot area. This reduces wear on the hard drive and even in the event of a boot storage failure, a repair is as simple as taking the blade into a store. Ideally the main drive wouldn't be stuck in the middle of the machine but the SSD design would be much better.
  • Reply 20 of 33
    xgmanxgman Posts: 149member
    Or just mass produce enough SSD's to get the price in line with regular hard drives and we'll all be happy. I suppose that wouldn't set to well with western digital and seagate at the moment.
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