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iMacs and/or SSDs
6 Mai 2011

Marco, the inventor/creator of Instapaper, struggles to decide between several options regarding a new Mac.

In 2008, and for a long time before that, three major factors severely inhibited the performance and long-term usefulness of laptops (and iMacs, since they used many laptop-class components): – Laptop hard drives were extremely slow relative to desktop drives, and most laptops can only hold one drive. – Laptop CPUs usually had significantly lower performance than desktop CPUs. – No laptop components, except RAM and the hard drive, can be upgraded after purchase. And RAM often maxed out too low for power users.
Some things have changed since then. For one thing, laptop CPUs are now awesome. But the biggest change, by far, is something that 2008-me never thought would be economical and practical: SSDs.
The hard drive — usually the biggest bottleneck in personal computers, and formerly the biggest performance gap between laptops and desktops — can now be replaced at sane prices with an SSD that’s hundreds of times faster. The SSD is the most important performance increase to happen to personal computing in a very long time. And, notably, desktops and laptops use the same SSDs.

Having a brand new iMac 21.5” and a two year old MBP, with a new Intel X-25 SSD, I totally agree with his thesis. Performance-wise my old MBP is soo much ahead of the iMac that it again has become my main working machine. Also, the glossy screen of the iMac was a good second reason to do so (what was the benefit of having those, again?).