I ordered the 2010 iMac 27" 2.93GHz quad-core, and it’s one fast CPU. But boy does it feel sluggish when the hard drive gets involved.
So to “eat my own dog food” (filet mignon), it went off to OWC for the MPG Pro One upgrade treatment. When it comes back, this puppy will run as fast as an MPG Pro Workstation on most everything. I’ll have it back mid next week, since OWC won’t get it until Monday, and the 8-hour burn-in process takes, well, 8 hours!
I ordered 16GB— the max. That’s enough for most everything, and it it’s not all used, the system can use it for caching applications and files.
400 GB RAID-0 stripe internal boot volume
I ordered dual 200GB solid state drives as a RAID-0 stripe (dual 100GB or 400GB or also an option). The dual 200GB SSDs yield a 400GB double-speed system drive (quintuple speed compared to a hard drive), which also makes any kind of Photoshop scratch, Lightroom previews, etc ultra-fast.
The downside is removing the optical (DVD) drive. But that’s no big deal because I have an OWC quad-interfaces optical drive that I can connect with eSATA, Firewire 800 or USB, on the rare occasions that I need one.
The eSATA port means that I can connect a fast external eSATA device, like the OWX QX2 (eg a 6TB RAID-5 or 8TB RAID-0 stripe). At speeds around 3 times faster that of Firewire 800, it makes the iMac much more useful. (It’s just terrible that Apple refuses to provide eSATA ports built-in).
Of course, the iMac’s Firewire 800 port is still there, so the usual Firewire peripherals can be connected.