Which got me to thinking – if I was blessed with an anonymous donation for the SSKTN studio, what would I upgrade the mid-2008 iMac I use for recording podcasts and producing video to, and how much would it cost?
Current Dream Power-horse Mac
- 27″ Display
- 3.4GHz Quad-core Intel Core i7, Turbo Boost up to 3.9GHz
- 16GB 1600MHz DDR3 SDRAM – 2X8GB
- 1TB Fusion Drive
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680MX 2GB GDDR5
- Apple Magic Mouse + Magic Trackpad
Going from the stock 8GB DDR SDRAM to 16GB for $200 would be an upgrade I probably wouldn’t do if it was my own money – but since we’re playing fantasyland here, why not? Going to 32GB though is excessive.
The $250 upgrade to Apple’s new Fusion drive would be a mixture of wanting the performance that an SSD gives you plus curiosity about new tech. An extra $150 would give me a 3TB version which might be good – except that more storage means you just have more to backup. I kind of like having limits – like the 256GB SSD on my MacBook Air – that force me to decide what to keep and what to toss rather than just being a digital packrat.
I’d upgrade the video card to the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680MX 2GB GDDR5 for $150 but only if it wasn’t my money. I don’t need it really but it would come in handy for those occasional Motion edit sessions or random game that I get 5 minutes to play.
So far we’re at $2,799 + tax for that configuration.
I’d probably grab the $69 upgrade to the Magic Mouse/Trackpad combo just to have a Trackpad around and throw on the $199 AppleCare. It might be a cash grab for Apple but I can’t afford to be fixing an iMac over the next 3 years so it’s worth the insurance for me.
So the grand total would be $3,067.00 + tax.
It says a lot about how far the iMac has come and how far the Mac Pro has fallen behind that I wouldn’t really even consider a Mac Pro for this kind of setup anymore. If you’d asked me 3 years ago there’s no question I’d have jumped straight to the Mac Pro config page if I was looking to upgrade my home studio hardware.
Alright anonymous donor. Time to step forward.