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(Ars Technica)   Now you can add 'Hard Drive' to the list of things you can't upgrade in a new iMac   (arstechnica.com) divider line 195
    More: Fail, iMacs, iFixit, metal spinning, SATA, secondary markets, Apple SSD, connectedness, library  
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6065 clicks; posted to Geek » on 04 Dec 2012 at 2:26 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-12-04 01:35:27 PM
Does anyone buy an all-in-one computer because they expect it to be upgradeable? I will never, ever understand why anyone gives a shiat about the fact that products obviously designed around a certain form-factor aren't user-serviceable.

I really don't understand why anybody cares about this, or why anybody pretends to be surprised.
 
2012-12-04 01:44:17 PM
You buy a Mac so you don't have to worry about the insides.

I think most computer problems stem from stupidity of do it yourself people.
 
2012-12-04 01:50:26 PM

t3knomanser: Does anyone buy an all-in-one computer because they expect it to be upgradeable? I will never, ever understand why anyone gives a shiat about the fact that products obviously designed around a certain form-factor aren't user-serviceable.

I really don't understand why anybody cares about this, or why anybody pretends to be surprised.


sure, but, even with an all in one, it is nice to be able to replaced failed memory or hard-drive.
and you have to admit, using glue to seal the case is a bit lame
 
2012-12-04 02:01:18 PM

namatad: using glue to seal the case is a bit lame


Depends on the constraints. For that form factor, you don't really have a lot of other options.
 
2012-12-04 02:08:06 PM

Darth_Lukecash: You buy a Mac so you don't have to worry about the insides.



Because hard drives and memory never fail?
 
I understand that the whole Mac model is "set it and forget it"... which is great for 90% of computer users.  But, still, you need to be able to replace (not upgrade) hard drives and memory.
 
2012-12-04 02:16:45 PM

downstairs: Because hard drives and memory never fail?


The issue is: what's the MTBF. For memory, it's already pretty high. And with SSDs, you're getting into that neighborhood.

The only time I've ever had a RAM stick fail was when I gave it a good static shocking. It's been a long time since I've had a HDD failure of any stripe. Just going on raw probabilities: the chances of these parts failing when the product is outside of warranty and isn't due for replacement in some fashion is pretty slim.

Some of us buy a tower and keep it for decades, gradually upgrading parts like Theseus's ship. Most of us change over computers entirely every 2-5 years. I keep myself on a 3-ish year upgrade cycle. The MTBF for most parts is much larger than that.
 
2012-12-04 02:31:32 PM

t3knomanser: downstairs: Because hard drives and memory never fail?

The issue is: what's the MTBF. For memory, it's already pretty high. And with SSDs, you're getting into that neighborhood.

The only time I've ever had a RAM stick fail was when I gave it a good static shocking. It's been a long time since I've had a HDD failure of any stripe. Just going on raw probabilities: the chances of these parts failing when the product is outside of warranty and isn't due for replacement in some fashion is pretty slim.

Some of us buy a tower and keep it for decades, gradually upgrading parts like Theseus's ship. Most of us change over computers entirely every 2-5 years. I keep myself on a 3-ish year upgrade cycle. The MTBF for most parts is much larger than that.


So you've never experienced a HDD failure in all those years?
 
2012-12-04 02:31:58 PM

t3knomanser: namatad: using glue to seal the case is a bit lame

Depends on the constraints. For that form factor, you don't really have a lot of other options.


I was thinking about that ...
they could have used magnet latches a bit in from the edge. so you need a special magnetic key to turn the invisible internal screw ...

of course, this would go horribly wrong if the screw got stuck
 
2012-12-04 02:32:09 PM
I use computers for 3-4 years then replace them. There's no point in upgrading since new processors and other stuff constantly turn up.
 
2012-12-04 02:33:30 PM

t3knomanser: Does anyone buy an all-in-one computer because they expect it to be upgradeable? I will never, ever understand why anyone gives a shiat about the fact that products obviously designed around a certain form-factor aren't user-serviceable.

I really don't understand why anybody cares about this, or why anybody pretends to be surprised.


Only Fark Independents(tm) stuck in the 80s.
 
2012-12-04 02:33:35 PM

t3knomanser: downstairs: Because hard drives and memory never fail?

The issue is: what's the MTBF. For memory, it's already pretty high. And with SSDs, you're getting into that neighborhood.

The only time I've ever had a RAM stick fail was when I gave it a good static shocking. It's been a long time since I've had a HDD failure of any stripe. Just going on raw probabilities: the chances of these parts failing when the product is outside of warranty and isn't due for replacement in some fashion is pretty slim.

Some of us buy a tower and keep it for decades, gradually upgrading parts like Theseus's ship. Most of us change over computers entirely every 2-5 years. I keep myself on a 3-ish year upgrade cycle. The MTBF for most parts is much larger than that.


THE FUNNIEST part about that whole statistics thing: some parts fail before the mean and some parts fail after the mean. For every person who has never had a problem, there is a person who has had a problem.
 
2012-12-04 02:33:56 PM

L.D. Ablo: I use computers for 3-4 years then replace them. There's no point in upgrading since new processors and other stuff constantly turn up.


thanks for that Mr Landfill.
 
2012-12-04 02:34:55 PM
Remember when everyone complained during the 80s and 90s about how you couldn't work on your own car any more?
 
2012-12-04 02:35:59 PM
Isn't that one of the benefits of buying a mac? That you don't have to know anything about computers other than how to use the interface?
 
2012-12-04 02:39:02 PM

Darth_Lukecash: You buy a Mac so you don't have to worry about the insides.

I think most computer OPERATING problems stem from stupidity of do it yourself people.


Hardware DIY people (myself included) are generally the types of folks people go to to solve their problems. With hardware, idiots recognize that they have no idea what the guts do and leave it alone, unlike software. Deleting any specific file (jdbgmgr.exe anyone?) takes no special knowledge and therefore is easily done and leads to more issues (quantity and quality) as opposed to swapping out a drive or stick of ram.

/Win 7-64 Pro, 6 core AMD 1090T OC'd to 3.37GHz, 16 Gig Ram, on a 1TB RAID 0 Array
//Suck it Apple
 
2012-12-04 02:40:43 PM

Darth_Lukecash: I think most computer problems stem from stupidity of do it yourself people.


no
 
2012-12-04 02:41:15 PM
I think the matter of contention is that Apple will charge you an arm and a leg to get a unit with a huge hard drive and tons of RAM, when, really, the user could've made those same upgrades to a lower (but otherwise identical) unit for pennies on the dollar. 

Its a scam.... They are forcing the consumer to buy the more expensive unit.
 
2012-12-04 02:42:05 PM
I think we get so used to talking with other tinkering, technie types that we grossly overestimate the amount of the population that really cares. I personally love to upgrade here and there, and would not want an iMac if I couldn't, but it's not 10% of the population that's upgrading their computers. I'll bet it's more like 0.1%. Seriously.

As for repairs... well... all-in-one devices with an awesome design just aren't going to be easily serviceable. How often does RAM break down anyway? I've found that power supplies/motherboards/video cards are more often the failure point.
 
2012-12-04 02:43:35 PM

namatad: THE FUNNIEST part about that whole statistics thing: some parts fail before the mean and some parts fail after the mean. For every person who has never had a problem, there is a person who has had a problem.


i0.kym-cdn.com

Farking standard distribution around the mean, how does it work?
 
2012-12-04 02:48:45 PM
www.macrobusiness.com.au
 
2012-12-04 02:48:59 PM
fark it, just get an Alienware.
 
2012-12-04 02:53:14 PM
Um, most iMacs have been very unfriendly to upgrades, with the exception of the original g5 iMac.
 
2012-12-04 02:53:18 PM
I didn't know there was a list. I thought it was just "everything." Also called "buying a mac."
 
2012-12-04 02:53:39 PM

Pincy: Isn't that one of the benefits of buying a mac? That you don't have to know anything about computers other than how to use the interface?


Yeah. In an odd way, not being able to do anything with it justifies the premium pricing.

If you aren't that type of consumer it will never make sense.
 
2012-12-04 02:57:05 PM

FinFangFark: t3knomanser: downstairs: Because hard drives and memory never fail?

The issue is: what's the MTBF. For memory, it's already pretty high. And with SSDs, you're getting into that neighborhood.

The only time I've ever had a RAM stick fail was when I gave it a good static shocking. It's been a long time since I've had a HDD failure of any stripe. Just going on raw probabilities: the chances of these parts failing when the product is outside of warranty and isn't due for replacement in some fashion is pretty slim.

Some of us buy a tower and keep it for decades, gradually upgrading parts like Theseus's ship. Most of us change over computers entirely every 2-5 years. I keep myself on a 3-ish year upgrade cycle. The MTBF for most parts is much larger than that.

So you've never experienced a HDD failure in all those years?


I've owned computers since 1987 (always had a PC but I've owned a few Apples over that time as well). I have had exactly one hard drive ever fail on me.
 
2012-12-04 03:00:30 PM

HotWingConspiracy: Pincy: Isn't that one of the benefits of buying a mac? That you don't have to know anything about computers other than how to use the interface?

Yeah. In an odd way, not being able to do anything with it justifies the premium pricing.

If you aren't that type of consumer it will never make sense.


That being said, I've had two of them, each for 7 years. I've swapped out memory in both. Replaced the hard drive in one of them. Having video card problem with the second one. Boggles the mind that they've made them even harder to fix, even if it's not something you'd do frequently (if at all).

They've generally both worked very well throughout the 7 years I've had them and they are still being used to this day.

Both have been replaced with PCs, one as recently as last week. I've had more issues with one of the PCs than I ever did with the Macs though -- including a hard drive failure. Just a bad run of luck though more than anything.
 
2012-12-04 03:00:51 PM
I've worked on a couple of non-mac all in ones. It was no problem at all to replace hard disks, upgrade memory, etc. Even the PS3 was no big deal, just a lot of screws.

The macbooks I can understand gluing and soldering to save that tiny bit of extra space and keep it looking perfect. For an AIO, it's obvious they're just farking you over.
 
2012-12-04 03:02:01 PM

T.rex: I think the matter of contention is that Apple will charge you an arm and a leg to get a unit with a huge hard drive and tons of RAM, when, really, the user could've made those same upgrades to a lower (but otherwise identical) unit for pennies on the dollar. 

Its a scam.... They are forcing the consumer to buy the more expensive unit.


They're not forcing them to do anything.

Macs are, by and large, computers for people too stupid to know anything about what goes on inside them in the first place. They think the extra price just means it is a luxury model.

People that actually know about computers shouldn't care about this since they would never buy a Mac to begin with.
 
2012-12-04 03:03:46 PM

stonelotus: FinFangFark: t3knomanser: downstairs: Because hard drives and memory never fail?

The issue is: what's the MTBF. For memory, it's already pretty high. And with SSDs, you're getting into that neighborhood.

The only time I've ever had a RAM stick fail was when I gave it a good static shocking. It's been a long time since I've had a HDD failure of any stripe. Just going on raw probabilities: the chances of these parts failing when the product is outside of warranty and isn't due for replacement in some fashion is pretty slim.

Some of us buy a tower and keep it for decades, gradually upgrading parts like Theseus's ship. Most of us change over computers entirely every 2-5 years. I keep myself on a 3-ish year upgrade cycle. The MTBF for most parts is much larger than that.

So you've never experienced a HDD failure in all those years?

I've owned computers since 1987 (always had a PC but I've owned a few Apples over that time as well). I have had exactly one hard drive ever fail on me.


Your skin must emit magic rays. I've had HDDs fail after 3 years (in an external enclosure) and 8 years (I blame Windows ME), and I just had to replace the system board on my work laptop (a Dell XPS, designed to be their "Fark you, Apple" laptop) after just 6 months (!!!).

Of course, my home PC backs up to the ancient 160GB (5400RPM) drive I pulled out of my old PC 2 years ago. That disk is apparently unkillable.

// quick question I couldn't answer yesterday, speaking of storage-
// can I RAID two or more partitions, either on the same drive or across several? Would they all have to be on the same kind of disk (as RAID does), or just partitions of the same size?
 
2012-12-04 03:05:45 PM
www.vuhelp.net

?
 
2012-12-04 03:07:00 PM

FinFangFark: So you've never experienced a HDD failure in all those years?


Nope. Last HDD failure on a machine I owned was... um... 1999? I might have had one circa 2001.

namatad: THE FUNNIEST part about that whole statistics thing: some parts fail before the mean and some parts fail after the mean. For every person who has never had a problem, there is a person who has had a problem.


I do understand how statistics works. It's called an "acceptable rate of failure". And let's be honest, MTBF is usually not a normal distribution. First, there are usually two peaks: the parts that fail very early, and the parts that fail near the MTBF. Parts that fail early are covered by some kind of warranty. Between that point and the MTBF, you have a low rate of failure, increasing up the curve as you hit the MTBF. If the MTBF is large enough relative to the expected lifetime, the number of failures in production will be very low.

T.rex: Its a scam.... They are forcing the consumer to buy the more expensive unit.


It's not quite a scam. Apple certainly doesn't mind the fact that they get you to upgrade through them, but y'know what? I'm willing to bet that even before they went this route, most people doing upgrades did it through Apple. Your average user isn't going to install a RAM chip themselves. They're not going to swap a HDD.

So, yeah- Apple definitely appreciates the extra profit on the high-margin parts they upgrade with, but this really is driven by their design constraints, not their profit margins. Apple solders the RAM to the mainboard in their new line of MacBooks because it's cheaper and slimmer than a socket. And the market has responded: people prefer buying slimmer laptops to upgradeable laptops.

Whether this will translate to the desktop is an open question, but I think the sorts of people that would contemplate a Mac desktop are also the sorts of people who would appreciate the form factor.

Myself, if I were getting a desktop, I'd go for the big honkin' full tower, because the only reason to prefer a desktop is ports and upgradeability. Otherwise, I can't see a reason why I'd want a desktop when I could have a laptop instead.
 
2012-12-04 03:09:27 PM
I bought a mac mini 3 years ago, so I can learn the mac OS. It slowly turned into my primary machine. I liked the BSD underpinnings.
I upgraded the ram using spatulas to open the case. I went back to winworld since I purchased a laptop. I still have the mac mini, and it is a good solid machine.
Mac or windows is like Chevy or Ford arguments. Both machines will do what you want, it is all in the styling.
 
2012-12-04 03:14:41 PM

Dr Dreidel:
// quick question I couldn't answer yesterday, speaking of storage-
// can I RAID two or more partitions, either on the same drive or across several? Would they all have to be on the same kind of disk (as RAID does), or just partitions of the same size?


[quizzical_dog.jpg]

Not sure if serious.
 
2012-12-04 03:15:51 PM

namatad: and you have to admit, using glue to seal the case is a bit lame


how else will keep the haxxors from stoelen your Megahurtz's?
 
2012-12-04 03:19:45 PM
People here suffer from the "not the target audience" disease. The 21" iMac isn't for people who are looking to be able to do their own repairs or upgrade. It's an all in one computer for people who don't want to deal with all that. If someone wants an iMac but wants to repair/upgrade themselves, the 27" iMac is available.
 
2012-12-04 03:20:49 PM

Darth_Lukecash: You buy a Mac so you don't have to worry about the insides.

I think most computer problems stem from stupidity of do it yourself people.



Hey, just because youre paralyzed by fear everytime you open the side of a computer dosent mean other people dont know what they are doing,


/built all my own computers.
//still have an old intell P2 that runs, it beat the odds.
 
2012-12-04 03:21:25 PM

Dr Dreidel: // quick question I couldn't answer yesterday, speaking of storage-
// can I RAID two or more partitions, either on the same drive or across several? Would they all have to be on the same kind of disk (as RAID does), or just partitions of the same size?


you can use different sizes
raid 5 will only use part of the larger drive
 
2012-12-04 03:24:42 PM

t3knomanser: Does anyone buy an all-in-one computer because they expect it to be upgradeable? I will never, ever understand why anyone gives a shiat about the fact that products obviously designed around a certain form-factor aren't user-serviceable.

I really don't understand why anybody cares about this, or why anybody pretends to be surprised.


THIS.

Also, most laptops are also difficult to upgrade, Apple or not. Nobody who would upgrade later is likely to buy a machine like this.
 
2012-12-04 03:25:41 PM

t3knomanser: I really don't understand why anybody cares about this, or why anybody pretends to be surprised.


The article clearly states there are iMac fans who have already been doing drive upgrades with this very line of products for years, so they might be surprised and they might care about this new design parameter.

Also, I'm pretty sure the dullards who are buying these just because they're absurdly simple aren't reading Ars teardown articles, so it really only is aimed at those tinkerers in the first place who would want to know this.

So... yea... not really sure what your point is.
 
2012-12-04 03:27:17 PM

StrangeQ: People that actually know about computers shouldn't care about this since they would never buy a Mac to begin with.


In my experience, "knowing about computers" comprises a vast range of knowledge. Many people who I think know more than I do are Mac users. They're nice to use, and powerful once you get into the UNIX part. They also look nice, which if you're in front of it for 12 hours a day, several of which are spent in public, you appreciate.
 
2012-12-04 03:31:06 PM

Surool: t3knomanser: Does anyone buy an all-in-one computer because they expect it to be upgradeable? I will never, ever understand why anyone gives a shiat about the fact that products obviously designed around a certain form-factor aren't user-serviceable.

I really don't understand why anybody cares about this, or why anybody pretends to be surprised.

THIS.

Also, most laptops are also difficult to upgrade, Apple or not. Nobody who would upgrade later is likely to buy a machine like this.


The thing is that the combination of RAM and SSD upgrades can allow basic users to squeeze a few more years of use out of their machines rather than buy new. So it's nice to be able to do because it lets you keep current on patches and OS versions and not have your machine slow to a crawl due to planned obsolescence.

Sure, not everyone is going to do this, but some of us like the option of dropping another 2-300 on an upgrade rather than $1500 on a new machine.
 
2012-12-04 03:34:27 PM

t3knomanser: Does anyone buy an all-in-one computer because they expect it to be upgradeable? I will never, ever understand why anyone gives a shiat about the fact that products obviously designed around a certain form-factor aren't user-serviceable.

I really don't understand why anybody cares about this, or why anybody pretends to be surprised.


Well, little things like RAM and hard drives are nice to be able to upgrade. RAM would be a bigger thing for me. I can always add an external HD.
Well, supposed your hard drive fails after two years. Would you spend over a thousand dollars on a new rig or just spend a couple hundred on a replacement drive and reload it? There is no hand-me-down with this machine it seems. Unfortunate. But oh well, we shall see.
 
2012-12-04 03:35:45 PM

the_vicious_fez: Surool: t3knomanser: Does anyone buy an all-in-one computer because they expect it to be upgradeable? I will never, ever understand why anyone gives a shiat about the fact that products obviously designed around a certain form-factor aren't user-serviceable.

I really don't understand why anybody cares about this, or why anybody pretends to be surprised.

THIS.

Also, most laptops are also difficult to upgrade, Apple or not. Nobody who would upgrade later is likely to buy a machine like this.

The thing is that the combination of RAM and SSD upgrades can allow basic users to squeeze a few more years of use out of their machines rather than buy new. So it's nice to be able to do because it lets you keep current on patches and OS versions and not have your machine slow to a crawl due to planned obsolescence.

Sure, not everyone is going to do this, but some of us like the option of dropping another 2-300 on an upgrade rather than $1500 on a new machine.


The people who would do that wouldn't but a machine like this anyway. They'd build their own Windows box and upgrade parts as needed.
 
2012-12-04 03:38:00 PM

myspamhere: I bought a mac mini 3 years ago, so I can learn the mac OS. It slowly turned into my primary machine. I liked the BSD underpinnings.
I upgraded the ram using spatulas to open the case. I went back to winworld since I purchased a laptop. I still have the mac mini, and it is a good solid machine.
Mac or windows is like Chevy or Ford arguments. Both machines will do what you want, it is all in the styling.


I am totally going to use the Ford/Chevy argument! Good one.
 
2012-12-04 03:38:07 PM

StrangeQ: People that actually know about computers shouldn't care about this since they would never buy a Mac to begin with.


When Linux approaches the user experience of a mac, we'll talk. When it's as nice to use, when it's as seamless, when I can use it without wanting to put a boot through my motherboard once a day, then you can shiat-talk those of us who know our way around computers and still use Macs.

I use Ubuntu for 8 hours per day. Trust me, we're not there yet.

No matter what combination of hardware and OS you end up with, there are times when your machine will make you furious. With Macs, I find those times to be when I look at my credit card statement after buying a new machine, when I discover that they no longer include OS install media out of the box, and that's about it. With everything else, it's constant.
 
2012-12-04 03:40:04 PM

rooftop235: Well, supposed your hard drive fails after two years. Would you spend over a thousand dollars on a new rig or just spend a couple hundred on a replacement drive and reload it?


Personally? While this particular model makes it a pain to repair, it's not "unrepairable". I'd just friggin' fix it.

See, this stuff? This stuff doesn't bother me. When you see a case with that kind of form factor, you're an idiot if you think it's going to be upgradeable. Now, in my old MBP, they used custom screws to hold the battery in place. That was shiat and fail and death. That pissed me off completely.
 
2012-12-04 03:40:52 PM

Surool: the_vicious_fez: Surool: t3knomanser: Does anyone buy an all-in-one computer because they expect it to be upgradeable? I will never, ever understand why anyone gives a shiat about the fact that products obviously designed around a certain form-factor aren't user-serviceable.

I really don't understand why anybody cares about this, or why anybody pretends to be surprised.

THIS.

Also, most laptops are also difficult to upgrade, Apple or not. Nobody who would upgrade later is likely to buy a machine like this.

The thing is that the combination of RAM and SSD upgrades can allow basic users to squeeze a few more years of use out of their machines rather than buy new. So it's nice to be able to do because it lets you keep current on patches and OS versions and not have your machine slow to a crawl due to planned obsolescence.

Sure, not everyone is going to do this, but some of us like the option of dropping another 2-300 on an upgrade rather than $1500 on a new machine.

The people who would do that wouldn't but a machine like this anyway. They'd build their own Windows box and upgrade parts as needed.


You don't live in my family. My dad just ripped his MBP apart for a RAM upgrade (he's a retired journalist, before you come in with the "must be an engineer" comments) and now he's contemplating swapping in an SSD. All I'm doing is helping him spec. I take your point for the general population, and he's certainly not buying an iMac, but my point is there is a very legitimate use case for upgradeability even in Macs, and there are plenty of Mac users to take advantage of it even if it's not anything like a majority of them.
 
2012-12-04 03:41:12 PM

demaL-demaL-yeH: Dr Dreidel:
// quick question I couldn't answer yesterday, speaking of storage-
// can I RAID two or more partitions, either on the same drive or across several? Would they all have to be on the same kind of disk (as RAID does), or just partitions of the same size?

[quizzical_dog.jpg]

Not sure if serious.


I can see why RAIDing partitions of the same drive is weird, but I can imagine a scenario where you might want to (mitigate against bad sectors, so you stripe 3 partitions of the same physical drive - if space isn't an issue, and you don't want to buy a new drive, you're fine with turning a 1TB drive into a "3x 300GB disk" array).

Anyway, the whole thing was me attempting to outsmart myself and have a good way to store my music collection without worrying that the master fails and the backups never ran (which has already happened to me. ALWAYS VERIFY THAT YOUR BACKUPS RUN and that they're usable, kids).
 
2012-12-04 03:46:07 PM

Dr Dreidel: demaL-demaL-yeH: Dr Dreidel:
// quick question I couldn't answer yesterday, speaking of storage-
// can I RAID two or more partitions, either on the same drive or across several? Would they all have to be on the same kind of disk (as RAID does), or just partitions of the same size?

[quizzical_dog.jpg]

Not sure if serious.

I can see why RAIDing partitions of the same drive is weird, but I can imagine a scenario where you might want to (mitigate against bad sectors, so you stripe 3 partitions of the same physical drive - if space isn't an issue, and you don't want to buy a new drive, you're fine with turning a 1TB drive into a "3x 300GB disk" array).

Anyway, the whole thing was me attempting to outsmart myself and have a good way to store my music collection without worrying that the master fails and the backups never ran (which has already happened to me. ALWAYS VERIFY THAT YOUR BACKUPS RUN and that they're usable, kids).


1. Actually look up the definition of the acronym RAID
2. Primary partitions on the same drive would defeat the purpose (RAID 0 - no increase in speed as it is limited to the same r/w heads, i/o channel, etc... RAID 1-# - no increase in drive safety due to redundancy as it is all on the same drive. JBOD - no increase in drive size as it is the same drive.)
3. For your purpose, go for RAID 1 or RAID 5 depending on your appetite for new drive purchases goes.
 
2012-12-04 03:46:21 PM

the_vicious_fez: You don't live in my family. My dad just ripped his MBP apart for a RAM upgrade (he's a retired journalist, before you come in with the "must be an engineer" comments) and now he's contemplating swapping in an SSD. All I'm doing is helping him spec. I take your point for the general population, and he's certainly not buying an iMac, but my point is there is a very legitimate use case for upgradeability even in Macs, and there are plenty of Mac users to take advantage of it even if it's not anything like a majority of them.


I bought an upgradable Mac that suits my purpose. If I wanted the all-in-one or portable solution, I know I would need to sacrifice upgradability. That's life.
 
2012-12-04 03:48:29 PM

Dr Dreidel: // can I RAID two or more partitions, either on the same drive or across several? Would they all have to be on the same kind of disk (as RAID does), or just partitions of the same size?


If your partitions are on the same drive, all you're going to do is slow things down with no benefit. RAID 0 you're slowing it down, RAID 1 and up you're wasting space, as redundancy means dick if all the data is on the same drive.

Any RAID level will make the volume equal on all partitions or disks present, based on the smallest in the group. Example: you have four drives with one partition each at 100GB, 160GB, 250GB, and a shiny 4TB drive. No matter what RAID level you use, the logical drive created will be based on four 100GB drives. (Leaving you with lots of wasted space.)
 
2012-12-04 03:48:44 PM
Obligatory Apple Fanboi retort: Why would you need to upgrade something that is already perfect?
 
2012-12-04 03:49:13 PM

the_vicious_fez: but my point is there is a very legitimate use case for upgradeability


But Apple makes mass market products. If slimmer form factors sell better than upgradeable form factors (and thus far, that has been the case), guess which one Apple is going to make?
 
2012-12-04 03:50:18 PM

PsyLord: Obligatory Apple Fanboi retort: Why would you need to upgrade something that is already perfect?


Above: Obligator unhinged iHater post. Nobody says that but you guys.
 
2012-12-04 03:51:13 PM

CygnusDarius: fark it, just get an Alienware.


Don't get me started. I spent months trying to solve a DPC latency issue on 2 FailienWare M17x's. Horrible machine, poor customer service. M11x was great though, rock solid and reliable. Too bad they discontinued that one... Now using a core i7 Macbook Air for most things. Building a cheap PC desktop for gaming.

Yeah. I bought Macs. And I've also built a dozen or so desktops, from the boring to sli'd water-cooled horrors. People who "pick a team" are farking retards who need to stop being poor and buy one of everything. And not everyone who buys a Mac is technologically impaired, just like not everyone who builds their own PC's is a neckbearded Aspie...
 
2012-12-04 03:51:33 PM
Oh noes! I can't open up my transmission and fix it very easily either! Why ?! WHAYYYYY!?

Seriously, if a harddrive dies, the problem isn't replacing it, it is recovering the data, the frigging hardware itself is nominal and i would just presume to bring it in to a tech shop and let them fuss with it, as does 99% of the world. If you have the time and patience to go knuckles deep into your computer, god bless ya, i don't have the time or the inclination.

/haven't opened a computer box since 1998 or so
//don't miss it
 
2012-12-04 03:51:43 PM
"So it is with John. I could preach the practical value and worth of motorcycle maintenance till I'm hoarse and it would make not a dent in him. After two sentences on the subject his eyes go completely glassy and he changes the conversation or just looks away. He doesn't want to hear about it ...
When he brought his motorcycle over I got my wrenches out but then noticed that no amount of tightening would stop the slippage, because the ends of the collars were pinched shut. "You're going to have to shim those out," I said.
"What's shim?"
"It's a thin, flat strip of metal. You just slip it around the handlebar under the collar there and it will open up the collar to where you can tighten it again. You use shims like that to make adjustments in all kinds of machines."
"Oh," he said. He was getting interested. "Good. Where do you buy them?"
"I've got some right here," I said gleefully, holding up a can of beer in my hand.He didn't understand for a moment. Then he said, "What, the can?"
"Sure," I said, "best shim stock in the world." I thought this was pretty clever myself. Save him a trip to God knows where to get shim stock. Save him time. Save him money.
But to my surprise he didn't see the cleverness of this at all. In fact he got noticeably haughty about the whole thing. Pretty soon he was dodging and filling with all kinds of excuses and, before I realized what his real attitude was, we had decided not to fix the handlebars after all.

As far as I know those handlebars are still loose. And I believe now that he was actually offended at the time. I had had the nerve to propose repair of his new eighteen-hundred dollar BMW, the pride of a half-century of German mechanical finesse, with a piece of old beer can! Ach, du lieber! Since then we have had very few conversations about motorcycle maintenance. None, now that I think of it."
ZATAOMM

John would buy a Mac.
 
2012-12-04 03:55:27 PM

t3knomanser: I really don't understand why anybody cares about this, or why anybody pretends to be surprised.


24.media.tumblr.com 

What 99% of Fark Mac threads amount to
 
2012-12-04 03:59:32 PM

t3knomanser: Does anyone buy an all-in-one computer because they expect it to be upgradeable? I will never, ever understand why anyone gives a shiat about the fact that products obviously designed around a certain form-factor aren't user-serviceable.

I really don't understand why anybody cares about this, or why anybody pretends to be surprised.


No shiat. My wife just got a new Macbook Air. She loves it. It's only drawback is that the on-board storage is tiny (256GB). My answer, hang 3TB off the network and let her use that. Everyone is happy, and I don't ever have to deal with the insides of a computer ever again.
 
2012-12-04 03:59:36 PM
This doesn't piss me off... it makes me sad. Every PC I've had since 2000 I've built, and they tend to last 5-6 years; I'm a year into my latest. Along that 6 years, I'll upgrade/add hard drives, replace/add RAM, and upgrade/add video card(s). The mobo/CPU is the only thing that survives the whole time.

This trend in the Mac architecture leads me to believe that owning one will never be an option, because I'll never have the upgrade options on the table. Goddamn shame.
 
2012-12-04 04:00:23 PM

FinFangFark: t3knomanser: downstairs: Because hard drives and memory never fail?

The issue is: what's the MTBF. For memory, it's already pretty high. And with SSDs, you're getting into that neighborhood.

The only time I've ever had a RAM stick fail was when I gave it a good static shocking. It's been a long time since I've had a HDD failure of any stripe. Just going on raw probabilities: the chances of these parts failing when the product is outside of warranty and isn't due for replacement in some fashion is pretty slim.

Some of us buy a tower and keep it for decades, gradually upgrading parts like Theseus's ship. Most of us change over computers entirely every 2-5 years. I keep myself on a 3-ish year upgrade cycle. The MTBF for most parts is much larger than that.

So you've never experienced a HDD failure in all those years?


i personally haven't, and my experience is not that uncommon. the only hard drive I have lost in like 10 years was an external, and it was because I plugged it into the wrong power supply.
 
2012-12-04 04:00:33 PM

lilbjorn: What 99% of Fark Mac threads amount to


That figure is a little low. Ever notice that the Samsung worker treatment stories don't even get greenlit on Fark?
 
2012-12-04 04:00:55 PM

barefoot in the head: "So it is with John. I could preach the practical value and worth of motorcycle maintenance till I'm hoarse and it would make not a dent in him. After two sentences on the subject his eyes go completely glassy and he changes the conversation or just looks away. He doesn't want to hear about it ...
When he brought his motorcycle over I got my wrenches out but then noticed that no amount of tightening would stop the slippage, because the ends of the collars were pinched shut. "You're going to have to shim those out," I said.
"What's shim?"
"It's a thin, flat strip of metal. You just slip it around the handlebar under the collar there and it will open up the collar to where you can tighten it again. You use shims like that to make adjustments in all kinds of machines."
"Oh," he said. He was getting interested. "Good. Where do you buy them?"
"I've got some right here," I said gleefully, holding up a can of beer in my hand.He didn't understand for a moment. Then he said, "What, the can?"
"Sure," I said, "best shim stock in the world." I thought this was pretty clever myself. Save him a trip to God knows where to get shim stock. Save him time. Save him money.
But to my surprise he didn't see the cleverness of this at all. In fact he got noticeably haughty about the whole thing. Pretty soon he was dodging and filling with all kinds of excuses and, before I realized what his real attitude was, we had decided not to fix the handlebars after all.

As far as I know those handlebars are still loose. And I believe now that he was actually offended at the time. I had had the nerve to propose repair of his new eighteen-hundred dollar BMW, the pride of a half-century of German mechanical finesse, with a piece of old beer can! Ach, du lieber! Since then we have had very few conversations about motorcycle maintenance. None, now that I think of it."
ZATAOMM

John would buy a Mac.


Now, i will go into the terminal and punch out some command lines if necessary, i will also run diagnostics and optimization routines on a computer, but i am not going to waste my time finding the proper harddrive and the proper settings or fark forbid replace a power supply or cooling fan somewhere in the guts of a computer...just like i will clean and polish my motorcycle, change a spark plug or my oil and maybe even change the fuel or oil filter once in a while, but if the cylinder heads lose compression or the head gaskets need replacing, i am not gonna do that myself. And if i am not in the mood, i ain't gonna do none of that other stuff either.
 
2012-12-04 04:08:16 PM

ThatGuyGreg: This doesn't piss me off... it makes me sad. Every PC I've had since 2000 I've built, and they tend to last 5-6 years; I'm a year into my latest. Along that 6 years, I'll upgrade/add hard drives, replace/add RAM, and upgrade/add video card(s). The mobo/CPU is the only thing that survives the whole time.

This trend in the Mac architecture leads me to believe that owning one will never be an option, because I'll never have the upgrade options on the table. Goddamn shame.


I have owned an iMac since 2005, never had to upgrade anything, still driving my home entertainment system (projector, surround sound, household wireless music and internet)...i didn't build it, i never opened it and am glad to have never wasted a single moment upgrading anything other than the software.

People want their computers to be toasters, or refridgeraters - that is, appliances. You want a hobby, and there is nothing wrong with that, but then, Apple isn't marketing to your type.
 
2012-12-04 04:10:24 PM

Im_Gumby: /Win 7-64 Pro, 6 core AMD 1090T OC'd to 3.37GHz, 16 Gig Ram, on a 1TB RAID 0 Array
//Suck it Apple


Please tell me you don't have your OS on that array. It'd be much better to boot a SSD for increased speed and stability.
 
2012-12-04 04:11:44 PM

Darth_Lukecash: You buy a Mac so you don't have to worry about the insides.

I think most computer problems stem from stupidity of do it yourself people.


You mean you LIKE spending $1500-2000 per machine once it's out of style?
 
2012-12-04 04:13:22 PM

Darth_Lukecash: You buy a Mac so you don't have to worry about the insides.



You also won't be able to get it serviced or repaired if something goes wrong.
 
2012-12-04 04:18:02 PM

Rwa2play: Darth_Lukecash: You buy a Mac so you don't have to worry about the insides.

I think most computer problems stem from stupidity of do it yourself people.

You mean you LIKE spending $1500-2000 per machine once it's out of style?


Don't you have some neon lights that will change color according to CPU load to solder to your motherboard? Or maybe a case mod?
 
2012-12-04 04:21:19 PM

asmodeus224: You want a hobby, and there is nothing wrong with that, but then, Apple isn't marketing to your type.


It's mainly to keep up with work needs, but yes, Apple doesn't want me as a customer anymore - they want my parents. That's fine, just disappointing.
 
2012-12-04 04:21:31 PM
I find it amusing that the first iMac (the old CRT one) both the RAM and the hard drive were right in the back behind a panel, stupid easy to upgrade either one. The hard drive was even in a little caddy to make it easier to remove.
 
2012-12-04 04:22:30 PM
Desktops aren't just good for ease of upgrades. They are also good because they are mostly cheaper than a laptop equivalent. The one proviso being that you have a monitor that lasts well of course, because I'm sure factoring in the monitor price does bring it more in line.

I'm looking at upgrading my desktop in the next year or so and I've considered just getting a laptop instead. The good is that unlike my desktop, I can also take it on holiday and anywhere else I please. The bad is that I can get a desktop with equivalent specs for what I'm after for less money. And I usually buy a PC that's about middle spec so that if it lasts me a good 6+ years it wont be an ancient relic that can't run the latest software by the end of it's life. It's more expensive to do that with a laptop.

Also have had 3 HDD failures over 8 years and 2 PC's so I prefer the option to be able to just swap out the HDD rather than have to send the whole thing in for a fix or even replace it all. Also, what about other things like keyboard or trackpad failures on a laptop? With a desktop, a keyboard or mouse failure is literally no more expensive than about $15. How much does it cost to get that fixed on a laptop?
 
2012-12-04 04:24:52 PM
t3knomanser: Depends on the constraints. For that form factor, you don't really have a lot of other options.

The previous iteration used magnets.

Machines from other manufacturers in this form factor sometimes have an access panel.
 
2012-12-04 04:25:50 PM

BraveNewCheneyWorld: Im_Gumby: /Win 7-64 Pro, 6 core AMD 1090T OC'd to 3.37GHz, 16 Gig Ram, on a 1TB RAID 0 Array
//Suck it Apple

Please tell me you don't have your OS on that array. It'd be much better to boot a SSD for increased speed and stability.


I do, but the array is completely backed up to a third drive weekly. Haven't experienced any stability issues since it was put together.

/I like to live dangerously
 
2012-12-04 04:27:22 PM

BraveNewCheneyWorld: Im_Gumby: /Win 7-64 Pro, 6 core AMD 1090T OC'd to 3.37GHz, 16 Gig Ram, on a 1TB RAID 0 Array
//Suck it Apple

Please tell me you don't have your OS on that array. It'd be much better to boot a SSD for increased speed and stability.


What about a raid0 of SSDs like I'm using...as my system drive *boogity booga booga*!

/meh, it takes like 2 minutes to install the OS again and then another 5 to push the last backup onto it
//if one of those ever failed
///they won't.
 
2012-12-04 04:29:19 PM

ThatGuyGreg: asmodeus224: You want a hobby, and there is nothing wrong with that, but then, Apple isn't marketing to your type.

It's mainly to keep up with work needs, but yes, Apple doesn't want me as a customer anymore - they want my parents. That's fine, just disappointing.


The MacPros are entirely upgradeable and customizable. They are expensive too, however. I agree the lower end Macs seem to be designed to limit upgradeability in order to force a power user into a more expensive MacPro or into using the Aopple Store upgrade (read: overpriced) path to moar powah.

switchtoamac.com
 
2012-12-04 04:31:12 PM

t3knomanser: Does anyone buy an all-in-one computer because they expect it to be upgradeable? I will never, ever understand why anyone gives a shiat about the fact that products obviously designed around a certain form-factor aren't user-serviceable.

I really don't understand why anybody cares about this, or why anybody pretends to be surprised.


I expect my much smaller laptop to be upgradable. And it is. 5 screws and a big panel pops off the bottom exposing a standard 2.5" SATA drive, standard DDR3 SO-DIMM modules, and a standard mini-PCIe communications (WiFi in this case) module. And this thing was built over 2 years ago. If a bargain builder like Acer could manage this 2 years ago, surely Apple could manage it today.

Stock photo with power adapter for approximate scale:

computershopper.com

It's obvious Apple has deliberately designed the new line of iMacs to force people to pay outrageous markups for upgrades of basic components. They're also doing everything the can to ensure that their computers can't be repaired when components fail. A bad hard drive, bad power supply, or bad fan shouldn't be the end of a computer.
 
2012-12-04 04:35:13 PM
You have to have been dropped on your head or something to think it's good that companies go out of their way to give you less choice.
 
2012-12-04 04:38:50 PM

asmodeus224: The MacPros are entirely upgradeable and customizable


And way, way behind. I wouldn't be surprised if they didn't last much longer.

And, like you said, pricey. Holy shiat.
 
2012-12-04 04:40:14 PM
My friend fixed my 1970 Scout II with a paperclip and some chewing gum (well, enough to get it started and drive it home.)
Kids these days don't have those skills.

/get off my lawn, pull up your pants, why the hell are you wearing a scarf and a backpack, your music sucks, my balls are caught between slats, yells at clouds
 
2012-12-04 04:40:50 PM

ThatGuyGreg: asmodeus224: The MacPros are entirely upgradeable and customizable

And way, way behind. I wouldn't be surprised if they didn't last much longer.

And, like you said, pricey. Holy shiat.


There is one in almost every video editing suit I've been inside. I doubt they are going away anytime soon.
 
2012-12-04 04:53:25 PM

Im_Gumby: BraveNewCheneyWorld: Im_Gumby: /Win 7-64 Pro, 6 core AMD 1090T OC'd to 3.37GHz, 16 Gig Ram, on a 1TB RAID 0 Array
//Suck it Apple

Please tell me you don't have your OS on that array. It'd be much better to boot a SSD for increased speed and stability.

I do, but the array is completely backed up to a third drive weekly. Haven't experienced any stability issues since it was put together.


If you backup that often, then you'll only be out of action for some time while the data is transferred. If you went with a raid 5 array, then you'd have no downtime when a drive fails. You'd just want to be sure to replace the failed drive as soon as possible. You'd need a raid 5 controller if your motherboard doesn't support it, and another drive to make it work.

BumpInTheNight: What about a raid0 of SSDs like I'm using...as my system drive *boogity booga booga*!

/meh, it takes like 2 minutes to install the OS again and then another 5 to push the last backup onto it
//if one of those ever failed
///they won't.


While SSD's are more reliable, other issues can lead to corruption which still makes a raid 0 a poor choice to boot off of. I would personally never recommend it, but like I said, If you're prepared with backups, you should be fine in general.
 
2012-12-04 04:54:15 PM

t3knomanser: Does anyone buy an all-in-one computer because they expect it to be upgradeable? I will never, ever understand why anyone gives a shiat about the fact that products obviously designed around a certain form-factor aren't user-serviceable.

I really don't understand why anybody cares about this, or why anybody pretends to be surprised.


Considering the hard drives in previous generation iMacs were, indeed, replaceable, this change is very significant. Though I do agree, I can't pretend to be too surprised, considering Apple pursues thinness harder than an anorexic on a celery diet.
 
2012-12-04 04:56:28 PM
I spent $500 at NewEgg for an awesome and completely upgradable PC with nearly the same specs as the iMac, so I'm getting a kick out of these replies. What kind of idiot spends $1500 for a low-end UGLY desktop PC? Oh, wait, it's a Mac. Nevermind. They've got the best marketing department in the world.
 
2012-12-04 04:59:10 PM

asmodeus224: Rwa2play: Darth_Lukecash: You buy a Mac so you don't have to worry about the insides.

I think most computer problems stem from stupidity of do it yourself people.

You mean you LIKE spending $1500-2000 per machine once it's out of style?

Don't you have some neon lights that will change color according to CPU load to solder to your motherboard? Or maybe a case mod?


Not really; I save that money for a future upgrade. You know, something I can do on my PC that Apple won't let me do.
 
2012-12-04 05:00:23 PM

NewWorldDan: I spent $500 at NewEgg for an awesome and completely upgradable PC with nearly the same specs as the iMac, so I'm getting a kick out of these replies. What kind of idiot spends $1500 for a low-end UGLY desktop PC? Oh, wait, it's a Mac. Nevermind. They've got the best marketing department in the world.


This.
 
2012-12-04 05:02:43 PM
I bought a two slice toaster and I just now discovered that I cannot upgrade it to a four slice toaster.
 
2012-12-04 05:02:48 PM
I bought my iMac for space constraints. Plus it was one of the few AIOs that have a decent video card. I've had an iMac that went through a house fire and had ingested a lot of smoke and I had it for 5 years until the HDD failed. Now I could replace the HDD, but I opted to replace the iMac with a newer refurbished model for $220 less than the retail price. But the old iMac was 5 years old so I thought of SDLC in terms of the hardware. i compared it with other AIOs but iMac had the better video chipset still.

PS. I dislike laptops before anyone brings that up.
 
2012-12-04 05:02:53 PM
If your choice was between a Mac and something that you can get at BestBuy, go with the Mac. Fortunately, those aren't your only choices. You can also go outside, breathe in the fresh air, and get raped by roving bands of Linux users.
 
2012-12-04 05:04:07 PM

dukeblue219: How often does RAM break down anyway?


Often enough that it should damn well be easy to replace.
 
2012-12-04 05:04:14 PM

bobtheallmighty: Darth_Lukecash: You buy a Mac so you don't have to worry about the insides.

I think most computer problems stem from stupidity of do it yourself people.


Hey, just because youre paralyzed by fear everytime you open the side of a computer dosent mean other people dont know what they are doing,


/built all my own computers.
//still have an old intell P2 that runs, it beat the odds.


I always wonder at the people who say shiat like that. I mean, it's not even hard to build a computer anymore. You don't worry about IRQs, or Master/Slave Drives, or any of that garbage; you just make sure your processor is on your motherboard's support list, and stick everything in the socket where it fits. It's like playing with Legos these days, except when you're done, you have a new computer.
 
2012-12-04 05:05:36 PM
In about a year or two when it's time to upgrade my system, I'll probably get a chromebook and build my own desktop. I'm old and need a big screen for day to day stuff.
 
2012-12-04 05:06:56 PM

jtown: It's obvious Apple has deliberately designed the new line of iMacs to force people to pay outrageous markups for upgrades of basic components.


Yes, of course, "obvious".

Now this might be true, I wouldn't put it past post-Jobs Apple, but I've been using and developing on their products for almost 20 years, and if there is one experience that's familiar to me, it's getting mad at Apple for something, then figuring out or reading the rationale later and being like "oh, Apple, you were looking out or me all along!". Doesn't happen every time, and I'm not saying it's happening this time, but I don't take anything they do as some obvious ploy to rip me off, until it happens and I get ripped off and there's no other explanation.

This is gonna sound like fanboyism, and maybe it is, but I give them the benefit of the doubt ever since mag-safe power adapters became standard on their laptops. Anybody that thinks about me that much when designing a product gets the benefit of the doubt.
 
2012-12-04 05:09:44 PM

HeartBurnKid: bobtheallmighty: Darth_Lukecash: You buy a Mac so you don't have to worry about the insides.

I think most computer problems stem from stupidity of do it yourself people.


Hey, just because youre paralyzed by fear everytime you open the side of a computer dosent mean other people dont know what they are doing,


/built all my own computers.
//still have an old intell P2 that runs, it beat the odds.

I always wonder at the people who say shiat like that. I mean, it's not even hard to build a computer anymore. You don't worry about IRQs, or Master/Slave Drives, or any of that garbage; you just make sure your processor is on your motherboard's support list, and stick everything in the socket where it fits. It's like playing with Legos these days, except when you're done, you have a new computer.


No shiat. "I BUILT MAH OWNZ COMPUTAHZ!!!!" BFD.

I've dealt with computers that killed people. I've dealt with computers that needed their own rooms just to hold the cooling equipment and generators necessary to run them. I've dealt with thousand node networks before it was cool. I'm sick to farking death of being inside computers. At this point in my life, anyone that brags on their mad computer building' skillz like its some sort of accomplishment that every Junior High School geek on the planet can't do all it tells me is that you don't know nearly as much as you think you do.

They're a farking tool. If the computer is the end in itself for you, you don't have enough to do.

/ BTDT. No one cares.
 
2012-12-04 05:10:15 PM
Anyone who doesn't build a computer from scratch, including the actual components, is a LOSER! This means if you use MacOS, Windows, or any firm of Linux which you didn't program and design yourself, then you suck at computers and thus life itself!

Now if you'll excuse me, I need to play some EVE (WoW is for losers) with my guild as we discuss how the world is filled with people who aren't as cool as us.

/I'm so lonely :-(
 
2012-12-04 05:12:09 PM

HeartBurnKid: It's like playing with Legos these days, except when you're done, you have a new computer.


Learn to play the guitar! It's easy!

/Bongwater
 
2012-12-04 05:16:20 PM

HeartBurnKid: I always wonder at the people who say shiat like that. I mean, it's not even hard to build a computer anymore. You don't worry about IRQs, or Master/Slave Drives, or any of that garbage; you just make sure your processor is on your motherboard's support list, and stick everything in the socket where it fits. It's like playing with Legos these days, except when you're done, you have a new computer.


I half agree on most and completely agree on the lego-like nature of it once you've got the parts. Its the getting the parts which is still a rather daunting task to anyone that isn't currently up to date on the trends and hardware available. What socket? What what's a socket? Okay Intel or AMD? Atom/Ion/real CPU? Is the ram you picked on the HCL for the motherboard? Oh you have to pick a motherboard too? What is this dual channel or triple channel or wtf quad channel? I wanna buy that Nvidia 610 because its cheaper and a higher number then a 580...what do you mean that's a bad idea? The fark is SLI? Oh cool I wanna do that. Oh that motherboard doesn't support it? Pick a different one. Does your ram pick still show up on that new one's HCL? Okay sweet now how am I going to overclock it? What you mean that CPU doesn't overclock? Fark.

Just a sampler of the depthly conversation you'll have with the first time system builder and yourself over a life time of computer hardware do-it-yourselfrism. But I wouldn't have it any other way :)
 
2012-12-04 05:18:08 PM

Electrify: Now if you'll excuse me, I need to play some EVE (WoW is for losers) with my guild as we discuss how the world is filled with people who aren't as cool as us.


At least you have a guild. All I have is these spreadsheets.
When i was growing up I created my own AD&D modules but never played with anyone.

/Lonely? You call that lonely?
 
2012-12-04 05:18:35 PM

Surool: Also, most laptops are also difficult to upgrade


Yeah not really.
 
2012-12-04 05:25:04 PM
Did you assholes biatch this much when you couldn't put new tubes in your radio?
 
2012-12-04 05:30:34 PM

BraveNewCheneyWorld: Im_Gumby: BraveNewCheneyWorld: Im_Gumby: /Win 7-64 Pro, 6 core AMD 1090T OC'd to 3.37GHz, 16 Gig Ram, on a 1TB RAID 0 Array
//Suck it Apple

Please tell me you don't have your OS on that array. It'd be much better to boot a SSD for increased speed and stability.

I do, but the array is completely backed up to a third drive weekly. Haven't experienced any stability issues since it was put together.

If you backup that often, then you'll only be out of action for some time while the data is transferred. If you went with a raid 5 array, then you'd have no downtime when a drive fails. You'd just want to be sure to replace the failed drive as soon as possible. You'd need a raid 5 controller if your motherboard doesn't support it, and another drive to make it work.


I know, but one of the benefits of this setup is that should something get farked, I have a backup to restore from (which I wouldn't get from a raid 5 without also then running a backup). This setup only marginally increases downtime while theorically increasing speeds. I don't need zero downtime.
 
2012-12-04 05:35:22 PM

ThatGuyGreg: asmodeus224: The MacPros are entirely upgradeable and customizable

And way, way behind. I wouldn't be surprised if they didn't last much longer.

And, like you said, pricey. Holy shiat.


tis a rumor they are being phased out....at that point all your complaints will be totally and completely accurate ;)
 
2012-12-04 05:35:28 PM
My favorite thing about building your own computer. My biggest requirement for a new computer is that it's quiet. I don't care if it's got the best graphics, or processor, I want quiet. My friends that build their own have really good, fast machines, but damn they're mostly damn noisy. My Toshiba laptop isn't much better, honestly. If I hook it up to a monitor and anything even modestly processor/graphics intensive it's loud and overheats.

Pretty much any computer today with a mid-range gpu can do what I want a computer to do.
 
2012-12-04 05:37:09 PM

Rwa2play: asmodeus224: Rwa2play: Darth_Lukecash: You buy a Mac so you don't have to worry about the insides.

I think most computer problems stem from stupidity of do it yourself people.

You mean you LIKE spending $1500-2000 per machine once it's out of style?

Don't you have some neon lights that will change color according to CPU load to solder to your motherboard? Or maybe a case mod?

Not really; I save that money for a future upgrade. You know, something I can do on my PC that Apple won't let me do.


oh come on now, i should get some points for the neon lights and case mod trolling there ;)
 
2012-12-04 05:41:38 PM

t3knomanser: Does anyone buy an all-in-one computer because they expect it to be upgradeable? I will never, ever understand why anyone gives a shiat about the fact that products obviously designed around a certain form-factor aren't user-serviceable.

I really don't understand why anybody cares about this, or why anybody pretends to be surprised.


I was going to reply that you probably either have so much disposable money that every time you want to upgrade, you just buy a new PC or that you have never worked in a PC repair shop so you are not aware of how many people fail to conceder future computing needs (needing more RAM or HDD space later). Not only that but the amount of computers less than three years old where components have failed and need to be replaced/RMA'd.

However, since the repair shop that I am the service manager at also repairs mobile devices (mainly iPhones, iPads, iPods and android smart phones) I happen to have a DeWalt D26960 Heat Gun which is used to heat up the glass/adhesive tape used on new iDevices and android phones. A little heat, a few plastic pry tools and a slow, steady hand then the glass will come off of the iMac pretty easily. Some of the Macbook Pros also use this adhesive tape instead of the magnet system so I've performed this repair before (mainly to remove and replace broken glass and/or broken LCDs on Macbook Pros)

Granted, not many tech shops do repairs on mobile devices nor do they have a heat gun, but if your shop has done any repair work for Macbooks in the last few years, repairing/upgrading this shouldn't be too difficult. Pain in the ass? Yes. Impossible? Not hardly.
 
2012-12-04 05:42:14 PM
This is an all-in-one form factor, not a desktop. If you wanted a computer that is easy to swap out hard drives on later I would suggest a PC with a Cooler Master case. If you wanted a computer that has an extremely low profile then I suggest an all-in-one.
 
2012-12-04 05:42:48 PM

T.rex: I think the matter of contention is that Apple will charge you an arm and a leg to get a unit with a huge hard drive and tons of RAM, when, really, the user could've made those same upgrades to a lower (but otherwise identical) unit for pennies on the dollar. 

Its a scam.... They are forcing the consumer to buy the more expensive unit.


And this is why they deserve an anticompetition lawsuit. They are going out of their way to prevent 3rd party upgrades.
 
2012-12-04 05:44:02 PM

Surly U. Jest: Um, most iMacs have been very unfriendly to upgrades, with the exception of the original g5 iMac.


Depends on the upgrade. I have the first gen Intel iMac and adding memory to it was like adding memory to a laptop. Swapping out the HDD, no thanks.
 
2012-12-04 05:45:30 PM

stonelotus: FinFangFark: t3knomanser: downstairs: Because hard drives and memory never fail?

The issue is: what's the MTBF. For memory, it's already pretty high. And with SSDs, you're getting into that neighborhood.

The only time I've ever had a RAM stick fail was when I gave it a good static shocking. It's been a long time since I've had a HDD failure of any stripe. Just going on raw probabilities: the chances of these parts failing when the product is outside of warranty and isn't due for replacement in some fashion is pretty slim.

Some of us buy a tower and keep it for decades, gradually upgrading parts like Theseus's ship. Most of us change over computers entirely every 2-5 years. I keep myself on a 3-ish year upgrade cycle. The MTBF for most parts is much larger than that.

So you've never experienced a HDD failure in all those years?

I've owned computers since 1987 (always had a PC but I've owned a few Apples over that time as well). I have had exactly one hard drive ever fail on me.


I've owned computers since 1991 and have had six hard drives fail on me over the years. Considering that I usually have never owned less than 3 computers at a time, all with multiple hard drives, this is problem doesn't crop up much.

That said, working in a repair shop, I happen to have at least 2-3 customer computers on my bench a week with bad, failed or failing drives.
 
2012-12-04 05:48:53 PM

Psylence: CygnusDarius: fark it, just get an Alienware.

Don't get me started. I spent months trying to solve a DPC latency issue on 2 FailienWare M17x's. Horrible machine, poor customer service. M11x was great though, rock solid and reliable. Too bad they discontinued that one... Now using a core i7 Macbook Air for most things. Building a cheap PC desktop for gaming.

Yeah. I bought Macs. And I've also built a dozen or so desktops, from the boring to sli'd water-cooled horrors. People who "pick a team" are farking retards who need to stop being poor and buy one of everything. And not everyone who buys a Mac is technologically impaired, just like not everyone who builds their own PC's is a neckbearded Aspie...


Ahh, another fellow tech mercenary?.
 
2012-12-04 05:50:32 PM

Bschott007: That said, working in a repair shop, I happen to have at least 2-3 customer computers on my bench a week with bad, failed or failing drives.


Curious: How many of those HDDs reside within desktops with those no-name off brand PSUs that either came with the budget case or from one of those shady-ass low-end 'entry level' computers? I swear once I swore off cheap-ass PSUs as even an option for lower cost builds my parts death count stats has plummeted, mind you parts have also just gotten more reliable in general too. Same goes for those god-awful 'green' drives, you certainly get what you pay for with them.
 
2012-12-04 05:54:40 PM

BumpInTheNight: Bschott007: That said, working in a repair shop, I happen to have at least 2-3 customer computers on my bench a week with bad, failed or failing drives.

Curious: How many of those HDDs reside within desktops with those no-name off brand PSUs that either came with the budget case or from one of those shady-ass low-end 'entry level' computers? I swear once I swore off cheap-ass PSUs as even an option for lower cost builds my parts death count stats has plummeted, mind you parts have also just gotten more reliable in general too. Same goes for those god-awful 'green' drives, you certainly get what you pay for with them.


Green drives are cheap and I use them to archive data. Once filled, I just remove the drive and store away.
 
2012-12-04 06:02:06 PM

BumpInTheNight: HeartBurnKid: I always wonder at the people who say shiat like that. I mean, it's not even hard to build a computer anymore. You don't worry about IRQs, or Master/Slave Drives, or any of that garbage; you just make sure your processor is on your motherboard's support list, and stick everything in the socket where it fits. It's like playing with Legos these days, except when you're done, you have a new computer.

I half agree on most and completely agree on the lego-like nature of it once you've got the parts. Its the getting the parts which is still a rather daunting task to anyone that isn't currently up to date on the trends and hardware available. What socket? What what's a socket? Okay Intel or AMD? Atom/Ion/real CPU? Is the ram you picked on the HCL for the motherboard? Oh you have to pick a motherboard too? What is this dual channel or triple channel or wtf quad channel? I wanna buy that Nvidia 610 because its cheaper and a higher number then a 580...what do you mean that's a bad idea? The fark is SLI? Oh cool I wanna do that. Oh that motherboard doesn't support it? Pick a different one. Does your ram pick still show up on that new one's HCL? Okay sweet now how am I going to overclock it? What you mean that CPU doesn't overclock? Fark.

Just a sampler of the depthly conversation you'll have with the first time system builder and yourself over a life time of computer hardware do-it-yourselfrism. But I wouldn't have it any other way :)


Well, yeah, but those are mostly questions of "what do you want it to do?", not "will it work"? A modern computer user/builder will never experience the sheer "joy" of dropping offline every time they move their mouse because their modem and their mouse happen to be on two COM ports that share the same IRQ.

And, TBH, I've been building systems for a decade and change now and never looked at a RAM HQL. Hell, RAM's another thing that's gotten so much easier lately; you used to have to worry about EDO and parity bits and everything else, now it just comes down to "DDR2 or DDR3?"
 
2012-12-04 06:03:18 PM
And it's about to get worse like this in the PC world, now that the next generation of Intel chips will only come pre-soldered to new motherboards.

As for Mac Pros, Apple hasn't given those a serious upgrade in a long time. They have the power of a 2- or 3-year old computer at this point. The lack of attention Apple has paid to the Mac Pro suggests that they might discontinue the model entirely.
 
2012-12-04 06:05:25 PM

asmodeus224: Oh noes! I can't open up my transmission and fix it very easily either! Why ?! WHAYYYYY!?

Seriously, if a harddrive dies, the problem isn't replacing it, it is recovering the data, the frigging hardware itself is nominal and i would just presume to bring it in to a tech shop and let them fuss with it, as does 99% of the world. If you have the time and patience to go knuckles deep into your computer, god bless ya, i don't have the time or the inclination.

/haven't opened a computer box since 1998 or so
//don't miss it


You seem to imply that this isn't an issue for most generic Repair Shops out there. You are going to need a hotair gun that can hit a minimum of 700 degrees F to heat up that glass which will loosen up the glue on the double sided tape they are using to hold this glass onto the Mac. Not only are their shops out there that will not touch Macs, but for those that do Mac repairs there are not many that have a heat gun in shop. A blow drier set on high *might* work if you had 45 minutes to waste trying to get the glass heated enough.

Fact is, someone needs to get the HDD out of the Mac if they are going to try to do data recovery or if they have to send it out to a data recovery center (if the HDD is beyond software data recovery efforts). There are only two shops in my area that will touch a Mac (I don't consider the Geek Squad a real tech shop) and only one of those (my shop) will work on MacBook Pro glass/LCD repair and upgrades to this new iMac all-in-one.


Vegan Meat Popsicle: t3knomanser: I really don't understand why anybody cares about this, or why anybody pretends to be surprised.

The article clearly states there are iMac fans who have already been doing drive upgrades with this very line of products for years, so they might be surprised and they might care about this new design parameter.

Also, I'm pretty sure the dullards who are buying these just because they're absurdly simple aren't reading Ars teardown articles, so it really only is aimed at those tinkerers in the first place who would want to know this.

So... yea... not really sure what your point is.


Ars Teardown articles are also great for us who work at Repair shops. When a new model is brought in the shop and none of the techs have worked on it yet, Ars and PowerBookMedic.com are great sites to have bookmarked.
 
2012-12-04 06:06:32 PM

CygnusDarius: fark it, just get an Alienware.

Build one from scratch.
 
2012-12-04 06:10:49 PM

jtown: If a bargain builder like Acer could manage this 2 years ago, surely Apple could manage it today.

Stock photo with power adapter for approximate scale:


Acer TimelineX - 1.23 in, 5.6 pounds.
Apple Macbook Air - .68 in, 2.38 pounds.

With great size comes great structural integrity for battery compartments, memory compartments, doors for access to hard drives, etc.
 
2012-12-04 06:11:47 PM
Which will make not owning an iMac that much more pleasant.
 
2012-12-04 06:12:39 PM

Darth_Lukecash: You buy a Mac so you don't have to worry about the insides.

I think most computer problems stem from stupidity of do it yourself people.



just keep your trust in Apple, they have your best interests at heart.
 
2012-12-04 06:16:17 PM

t3knomanser: Does anyone buy an all-in-one computer because they expect it to be upgradeable? I will never, ever understand why anyone gives a shiat about the fact that products obviously designed around a certain form-factor aren't user-serviceable.

I really don't understand why anybody cares about this, or why anybody pretends to be surprised.


Yes. They're called laptops and they seem to be sort of a thing these days. If you can swap the *DD in a laptop, a desktop has no excuse.

RAM you could almost give them the pass, but the storage? Yeah, those things never fail or need to have data retrieved when the the PSU or the motherboard or any of the other many non-serviceable components fail.
 
2012-12-04 06:19:18 PM

Rwa2play: NewWorldDan: I spent $500 at NewEgg for an awesome and completely upgradable PC with nearly the same specs as the iMac, so I'm getting a kick out of these replies. What kind of idiot spends $1500 for a low-end UGLY desktop PC? Oh, wait, it's a Mac. Nevermind. They've got the best marketing department in the world.

This.


STOP LIKING WHAT I DON'T LIKE!

Some people prefer Windows. Some people prefer Linux. Some people prefer Mac OS. Some people who prefer the later are willing to pay a little more for the experience they prefer. Why would you care?

And while it's true that part of Apple's sales strategy seems to be replace rather than upgrade or repair, if your Mac is under warranty any replacement of drives or memory is somebody else's problem (you don't have open the box yourself), and if it's not under warranty, it's not that expensive to have someone with expertise (and the proper equipment) to do it for you.

As far as replacing parts go, it all comes down to time vs. money. I'd rather pay someone to crack open my Mac and put a new drive in than take the time to do it myself.

Full disclosure, part 1: I have a MacBook Pro that I just took in for service at the end of my 3-year extended warranty. I got a new hard drive (upgraded from 160GB to 500GB), a new optical drive (it was rattling), and a new battery - all covered. Very happy with Apple on this score.

Full disclosure, part 2: The home button on my iPod Touch stopped working. Apple Store said it would have to be replaced, but not to worry because if you replace it through their Genius Bar, it's not as expensive as buying it off the shelf. Instead, I took it to a phone repair place (called AppleNBerry) less than 2 miles from my home, where they fixed it in a couple hours for $50. Apple can suck a big green donkey dong on this score.

Full disclosure, part 3: I work in QA, and also own computers and devices running XP, W7, W8, ChromeOS, Unbutu, and Android.

I prefer Mac to Windows, and like iOS and Android equally.
 
2012-12-04 06:22:35 PM
I bet you $5 Apple already has a fix for this - upsell a Time Capsule with every sale.
 
2012-12-04 06:23:10 PM

100 Watt Walrus: Full disclosure, part 1: I have a MacBook Pro that I just took in for service at the end of my 3-year extended warranty. I got a new hard drive (upgraded from 160GB to 500GB), a new optical drive (it was rattling), and a new battery - all covered. Very happy with Apple on this score.


Point of clarification: The hard drive was chirping, and I'd received a "Service Battery" warning. They didn't just replace these things because the computer was 3 years old. Wear from normal usage, obviously, isn't covered by warranty.
 
2012-12-04 06:27:05 PM

HeartBurnKid: Well, yeah, but those are mostly questions of "what do you want it to do?", not "will it work"? A modern computer user/builder will never experience the sheer "joy" of dropping offline every time they move their mouse because their modem and their mouse happen to be on two COM ports that share the same IRQ.

And, TBH, I've been building systems for a decade and change now and never looked at a RAM HQL. Hell, RAM's another thing that's gotten so much easier lately; you used to have to worry a ...


Hehehe my first experience with an IRQ conflict was trying to figure out why my mouse movements would make the soundtrack in Comache 1 get all choppy :P I used to play fast and loose with ram vs the board maker's list of bribe offeringblessed manufacturers until I met Patriot, then it allll changed. Three sets of ram that situation ate alive, before I just shifted to 'not the cheapest deal', thank god that stuff is a commodity at this point, 16Gb for 50$? 32GB for 110$? Hahahah I'm making ramdisks again :P
 
2012-12-04 06:27:36 PM

CygnusDarius: fark it, just get an Alienware.


You mean Dell?
 
2012-12-04 06:49:52 PM

DORMAMU: CygnusDarius: fark it, just get an Alienware.

You mean Dell?


What, next you're going to tell me Ford makes both Pintos and Mustangs.
 
2012-12-04 06:50:41 PM

BumpInTheNight: HeartBurnKid: Well, yeah, but those are mostly questions of "what do you want it to do?", not "will it work"? A modern computer user/builder will never experience the sheer "joy" of dropping offline every time they move their mouse because their modem and their mouse happen to be on two COM ports that share the same IRQ.

And, TBH, I've been building systems for a decade and change now and never looked at a RAM HQL. Hell, RAM's another thing that's gotten so much easier lately; you used to have to worry a ...

Hehehe my first experience with an IRQ conflict was trying to figure out why my mouse movements would make the soundtrack in Comache 1 get all choppy :P I used to play fast and loose with ram vs the board maker's list of bribe offeringblessed manufacturers until I met Patriot, then it allll changed. Three sets of ram that situation ate alive, before I just shifted to 'not the cheapest deal', thank god that stuff is a commodity at this point, 16Gb for 50$? 32GB for 110$? Hahahah I'm making ramdisks again :P


Well, I didn't say I just buy the cheapest RAM I can get. But I generally just get a brand with a decent reputation, and don't worry about whether it's on the HQL or not. Usually the difference in price is a couple of bucks anyway. Kingston, Crucial, and Corsair are my go-to RAM brands, and I've generally had good experiences with OCZ too.
 
2012-12-04 07:16:13 PM
Oh hey, it's our daily dose of anti-Apple propaganda. Are these threads sponsored? I kind of hope they are. It's less slimy than the alternative.
 
2012-12-04 07:25:06 PM
It's not like teenage girls are known for upgrading their computers anyway.
 
2012-12-04 07:37:15 PM

asmodeus224: Rwa2play: asmodeus224: Rwa2play: Darth_Lukecash: You buy a Mac so you don't have to worry about the insides.

I think most computer problems stem from stupidity of do it yourself people.

You mean you LIKE spending $1500-2000 per machine once it's out of style?

Don't you have some neon lights that will change color according to CPU load to solder to your motherboard? Or maybe a case mod?

Not really; I save that money for a future upgrade. You know, something I can do on my PC that Apple won't let me do.

oh come on now, i should get some points for the neon lights and case mod trolling there ;)


Ok ok you get some points for that. :)
 
2012-12-04 07:42:17 PM

dukeblue219: I think we get so used to talking with other tinkering, technie types that we grossly overestimate the amount of the population that really cares. I personally love to upgrade here and there, and would not want an iMac if I couldn't, but it's not 10% of the population that's upgrading their computers. I'll bet it's more like 0.1%. Seriously.


I think it's higher than that. I'm sure I'm not typical but I had 4 family members with aging macbooks in my house last christmas and I spent half a day cloning drives and swapping out 500GB 7200rpm drives for the 80GB 5400rpm POS drives as well as doubling their memory. It was fun and easy to do.
 
2012-12-04 07:43:19 PM

mccallcl: StrangeQ: People that actually know about computers shouldn't care about this since they would never buy a Mac to begin with.

In my experience, "knowing about computers" comprises a vast range of knowledge. Many people who I think know more than I do are Mac users. They're nice to use, and powerful once you get into the UNIX part. They also look nice, which if you're in front of it for 12 hours a day, several of which are spent in public, you appreciate.


A good friend of mine is a network engineer and all of his home machines are Macs. He finds them to be more stable and require less maintenance than a Windows machine. Given what he makes and how valuable his time is, I can see why he would have done it.

Many of my fellow musicians are all Mac-heads. Personally, I can't justify the cost of a Mac Pro. The base model is $2499. The same whitebox machine is almost $1000 less.
 
2012-12-04 07:48:48 PM

rooftop235: Well, little things like RAM and hard drives are nice to be able to upgrade. RAM would be a bigger thing for me.


The cost of RAM is so low right now and the benefits of additional memory so pronounced that you might as well always put in as much as your system can take on the day you buy it.

Well, not if you're buying RAM from Apple. Their markup is farkdiculous.
 
2012-12-04 07:52:56 PM

kahnzo: You can also go outside, breathe in the fresh air, and get raped by roving bands of Linux users.


Bull, Linux users can't get laid even by raping.
 
2012-12-04 07:59:30 PM

pxlboy: Personally, I can't justify the cost of a Mac Pro. The base model is $2499. The same whitebox machine is almost $1000 less.


Where can you even buy whiteboxes with Xeon "Nehalem" CPUs in late 2012?
 
2012-12-04 08:05:10 PM

rooftop235: Well, supposed your hard drive fails after two years. Would you spend over a thousand dollars on a new rig or just spend a couple hundred on a replacement drive and reload it? There is no hand-me-down with this machine it seems. Unfortunate. But oh well, we shall see.


I might be wrong, but I think Macs can boot from an external drive connected via Thunderbolt.

So, if the built-in HDD fails, you can spend a couple hundred on a little box to sit on the desk next to it, and keep using the computer until that drive fails too.

Granted, you lose a lot of the aesthetic elegance of the all-in-one this way, but as everyone in this thread has shouted repeatedly, people who care about aesthetics are stupid.
 
2012-12-04 08:18:40 PM

JonZoidberg: CygnusDarius: fark it, just get an Alienware. Build one from scratch.


I say that. Sadly, I know little about assembling computers, so I can't give that advice.
 
2012-12-04 08:19:22 PM

CygnusDarius: JonZoidberg: CygnusDarius: fark it, just get an Alienware. Build one from scratch.

I would say that. Sadly, I know little about assembling computers, so I can't give that advice.


FTFM.
 
2012-12-04 08:27:11 PM
This is the stupidest criticism in the world. Apple products are what they are - that's why I don't buy them. But it is also exactly why the millions of people who do buy them DO. They want it to work right out of the box, to be easy to use, to be good for social networking and media, and to be cool and stylish. They get that, at the expense of a relatively small amount of extra money. They are not any dumber than I am - they just want different things.
 
2012-12-04 08:30:32 PM

poot_rootbeer: pxlboy: Personally, I can't justify the cost of a Mac Pro. The base model is $2499. The same whitebox machine is almost $1000 less.

Where can you even buy whiteboxes with Xeon "Nehalem" CPUs in late 2012?


Well, at least, the dual hex-core Pro is a Westmere. Apple's workstation line is starting of closing in on mid 2010...
 
2012-12-04 10:16:13 PM

BumpInTheNight: HeartBurnKid: I always wonder at the people who say shiat like that. I mean, it's not even hard to build a computer anymore. You don't worry about IRQs, or Master/Slave Drives, or any of that garbage; you just make sure your processor is on your motherboard's support list, and stick everything in the socket where it fits. It's like playing with Legos these days, except when you're done, you have a new computer.

I half agree on most and completely agree on the lego-like nature of it once you've got the parts. Its the getting the parts which is still a rather daunting task to anyone that isn't currently up to date on the trends and hardware available. What socket? What what's a socket? Okay Intel or AMD? Atom/Ion/real CPU? Is the ram you picked on the HCL for the motherboard? Oh you have to pick a motherboard too? What is this dual channel or triple channel or wtf quad channel? I wanna buy that Nvidia 610 because its cheaper and a higher number then a 580...what do you mean that's a bad idea? The fark is SLI? Oh cool I wanna do that. Oh that motherboard doesn't support it? Pick a different one. Does your ram pick still show up on that new one's HCL? Okay sweet now how am I going to overclock it? What you mean that CPU doesn't overclock? Fark.

Just a sampler of the depthly conversation you'll have with the first time system builder and yourself over a life time of computer hardware do-it-yourselfrism. But I wouldn't have it any other way :)


The scary part is that some of call that sort of self-talk FUN.

\Too poor to buy a mac.
\\First three computers were cobbled together from "rich" friends' castoffs.
 
2012-12-04 10:22:23 PM

t3knomanser: downstairs: Because hard drives and memory never fail?

The issue is: what's the MTBF. For memory, it's already pretty high. And with SSDs, you're getting into that neighborhood.

The only time I've ever had a RAM stick fail was when I gave it a good static shocking. It's been a long time since I've had a HDD failure of any stripe. Just going on raw probabilities: the chances of these parts failing when the product is outside of warranty and isn't due for replacement in some fashion is pretty slim.

Some of us buy a tower and keep it for decades, gradually upgrading parts like Theseus's ship. Most of us change over computers entirely every 2-5 years. I keep myself on a 3-ish year upgrade cycle. The MTBF for most parts is much larger than that.


just made a booking on Friday to have three iMacs hard-drives replaced due to a bad batch of drives

/getting a kick etc
 
2012-12-04 10:24:16 PM

BraveNewCheneyWorld:
If you backup that often, then you'll only be out of action for some time while the data is transferred. If you went with a raid 5 array, then you'd have no downtime when a drive fails. You'd just want to be sure to replace the failed drive as soon as possible. You'd need a raid 5 controller if your motherboard doesn't support it, and another drive to make it work.


With 1 TB SATA drives, and RAID 5, you are pretty much guaranteed data loss. Never use RAID 5. RAID-1 for two drives or RAID-10 for more is the gold standard.
 
2012-12-04 10:53:41 PM

finnished: BraveNewCheneyWorld:
If you backup that often, then you'll only be out of action for some time while the data is transferred. If you went with a raid 5 array, then you'd have no downtime when a drive fails. You'd just want to be sure to replace the failed drive as soon as possible. You'd need a raid 5 controller if your motherboard doesn't support it, and another drive to make it work.

With 1 TB SATA drives, and RAID 5, you are pretty much guaranteed data loss. Never use RAID 5. RAID-1 for two drives or RAID-10 for more is the gold standard.


I am curious as to where that opinion comes from? Got any links about that?
 
2012-12-04 11:16:54 PM

BumpInTheNight: finnished: BraveNewCheneyWorld:
If you backup that often, then you'll only be out of action for some time while the data is transferred. If you went with a raid 5 array, then you'd have no downtime when a drive fails. You'd just want to be sure to replace the failed drive as soon as possible. You'd need a raid 5 controller if your motherboard doesn't support it, and another drive to make it work.

With 1 TB SATA drives, and RAID 5, you are pretty much guaranteed data loss. Never use RAID 5. RAID-1 for two drives or RAID-10 for more is the gold standard.

I am curious as to where that opinion comes from? Got any links about that?


it is anecdotal. i can confirm though, ppl in my circle will never ever use 5 again after bad experiences.
 
2012-12-04 11:47:02 PM
Is this the thread where people express their outrage over an electronics device they don't use?

I didn't buy a Mac for it's "upgradability". I bought it for the sense of smug superiority I get from using it public.
 
2012-12-04 11:54:54 PM
I used to care about how closed Macs were, but I got over it. I kept upgrading about every 2 years anyways and I buy my machines spec'd out to what I want, so in the end, I couldn't care less and so on my last upgrade switched over to a 27" iMac with an additional 27" Thunderbolt display. For a long time Solaris and Linux guy working in a Windows shop, I enjoy having a UNIX machine at my fingertips again, so I'm here to stay. I still have the other hardware, but for the most part they're loaded with Debian now and, no, I don't have a Windows set up in a virtual machine or boot camp. Not missing it.
 
2012-12-05 12:48:53 AM

t3knomanser: FinFangFark: So you've never experienced a HDD failure in all those years?

Nope. Last HDD failure on a machine I owned was... um... 1999? I might have had one circa 2001.

namatad: THE FUNNIEST part about that whole statistics thing: some parts fail before the mean and some parts fail after the mean. For every person who has never had a problem, there is a person who has had a problem.

I do understand how statistics works. It's called an "acceptable rate of failure". And let's be honest, MTBF is usually not a normal distribution. First, there are usually two peaks: the parts that fail very early, and the parts that fail near the MTBF. Parts that fail early are covered by some kind of warranty. Between that point and the MTBF, you have a low rate of failure, increasing up the curve as you hit the MTBF. If the MTBF is large enough relative to the expected lifetime, the number of failures in production will be very low.

T.rex: Its a scam.... They are forcing the consumer to buy the more expensive unit.

It's not quite a scam. Apple certainly doesn't mind the fact that they get you to upgrade through them, but y'know what? I'm willing to bet that even before they went this route, most people doing upgrades did it through Apple. Your average user isn't going to install a RAM chip themselves. They're not going to swap a HDD.

So, yeah- Apple definitely appreciates the extra profit on the high-margin parts they upgrade with, but this really is driven by their design constraints, not their profit margins. Apple solders the RAM to the mainboard in their new line of MacBooks because it's cheaper and slimmer than a socket. And the market has responded: people prefer buying slimmer laptops to upgradeable laptops.

Whether this will translate to the desktop is an open question, but I think the sorts of people that would contemplate a Mac desktop are also the sorts of people who would appreciate the form factor.

Myself, if I were getting a desktop, I'd go for the big honkin' full tower, because the only reason to prefer a desktop is ports and upgradeability. Otherwise, I can't see a reason why I'd want a desktop when I could have a laptop instead.


I think you've got it backwards. Apple's design is driven by market capture tactics, not the other way around.

To wit, I just upgraded the RAM on my Samsung laptop. I opened a little door (one screw), pushed on the chips with my finger, they popped out. I stuck the new chips in, and closed the door. The HDD was right there next to the RAM. Could have replaced that too, just as easily.

Don't kid yourself. The ONLY reason Apple makes things like this difficult is money. They want to capture as much of the money that you spend on computing as possible. Period.

Personally, I find the lengths they will go to to do so insulting, so even if I liked their products, I'd never buy one.
 
2012-12-05 12:48:54 AM

gingerjet: Only Fark Independents(tm) stuck in the 80s.


That is the decade where I learned that non-standard proprietary systems suck. If something breaks, you either have it repaired or replaced with the same component. You pay a lot of money to end up with the same product.

Meanwhile in the PC compatible world, if something breaks, you can treat it as a forced upgrade. Toss the broken component for something better, sometimes for less than the cost of your old part.

I look at these new iMacs as nothing more than a disposable computer. If it breaks, you toss the whole thing and get a new one. Seems like an awful waste to me.
 
2012-12-05 01:03:21 AM

Im_Gumby: /Win 7-64 Pro, 6 core AMD 1090T OC'd to 3.37GHz, 16 Gig Ram, on a 1TB RAID 0 Array


So, when are you going to upgrade?
 
2012-12-05 01:41:01 AM
First thing I ever learned how to replace on my computer was the memory. The second was the hard drive. These are the basics, like being able to change your own tires. If you can't change a hard drive or memory yourself, you don't need to own a computer.
 
2012-12-05 02:24:36 AM
So buy one with 16gb ram and use an external hdd if the drive fails and stfu.

Do you idiots know that it can also be used as a Thunderbolt Display? Add a Mac mini in 5 years for $500 and there's your upgrade.

Get a tower if you want to diddlefark around.

//still pissed at the lack of Mac Pro refresh
 
2012-12-05 04:24:22 AM

gadian: First thing I ever learned how to replace on my computer was the memory. The second was the hard drive. These are the basics, like being able to change your own tires. If you can't change a hard drive or memory yourself, you don't need to own a computer.


2/10

Too obvious. How many people do you know who change their own tires?
 
2012-12-05 06:08:58 AM

American Decency Association: BumpInTheNight: finnished: BraveNewCheneyWorld:
If you backup that often, then you'll only be out of action for some time while the data is transferred. If you went with a raid 5 array, then you'd have no downtime when a drive fails. You'd just want to be sure to replace the failed drive as soon as possible. You'd need a raid 5 controller if your motherboard doesn't support it, and another drive to make it work.

With 1 TB SATA drives, and RAID 5, you are pretty much guaranteed data loss. Never use RAID 5. RAID-1 for two drives or RAID-10 for more is the gold standard.

I am curious as to where that opinion comes from? Got any links about that?

it is anecdotal. i can confirm though, ppl in my circle will never ever use 5 again after bad experiences.


Ahh kk, I'd just never heard of the technology being genuinely flawed in any way like that. I can accept bum controllers or worse badly written software raid doing stupid things or the CPU they rely upon doing it upon their behalf, and I can accept catastrophic failure like a PSU spikes your entire array through the goal posts of life, but if the parity algorithm vs drives larger then 1TB was a documented problem I'd be forced to make some very expensive changes around work and home :P
 
2012-12-05 07:03:34 AM

Tourney3p0: It's not like teenage girls are known for upgrading their computers anyway.


Don`t be like that. Not all macs are owned by teenage girls, some are owned by gay people and some are work computers or college computers.
 
2012-12-05 07:09:38 AM

BumpInTheNight: American Decency Association: BumpInTheNight: finnished: BraveNewCheneyWorld:
If you backup that often, then you'll only be out of action for some time while the data is transferred. If you went with a raid 5 array, then you'd have no downtime when a drive fails. You'd just want to be sure to replace the failed drive as soon as possible. You'd need a raid 5 controller if your motherboard doesn't support it, and another drive to make it work.

With 1 TB SATA drives, and RAID 5, you are pretty much guaranteed data loss. Never use RAID 5. RAID-1 for two drives or RAID-10 for more is the gold standard.

I am curious as to where that opinion comes from? Got any links about that?

it is anecdotal. i can confirm though, ppl in my circle will never ever use 5 again after bad experiences.

Ahh kk, I'd just never heard of the technology being genuinely flawed in any way like that. I can accept bum controllers or worse badly written software raid doing stupid things or the CPU they rely upon doing it upon their behalf, and I can accept catastrophic failure like a PSU spikes your entire array through the goal posts of life, but if the parity algorithm vs drives larger then 1TB was a documented problem I'd be forced to make some very expensive changes around work and home :P


I have a RAID 5 on six 1TB drives, have had it running for years without a single byte of lost data. Just for adding to the `anecdotal` data

Of course, I picked drives that work well with RAID and don`t go into sleep or into low power modes or any stuff like that.

Thinking of going to 2tb and RAID 10 though to get rid of the parity overhead and maybe get some more speed for the video editing. Do that with your `no upgrade or changes after purchase` machines...
 
2012-12-05 08:01:15 AM

BumpInTheNight: k, I'd just never heard of the technology being genuinely flawed in any way like that. I can accept bum controllers or worse badly written software raid doing stupid things or the CPU they rely upon doing it upon their behalf, and I can accept catastrophic failure like a PSU spikes your entire array through the goal posts of life, but if the parity algorithm vs drives larger then 1TB was a documented problem I'd be forced to make some very expensive changes around work and home :P


It's not necessarily flawed, it's just that it doesn't necessarily give the kind of protection you think it does. That in addition to its downsides, like slow writing due to parity calculation, makes RAID-1/RAID-10 the better option. Especially considering, and also due to, big hard drives being cheap.

RAID-5 was great years ago, when hard drives were small, but still redundancy and space was needed. It was a compromise.

The quick rundown is this: besides failing catastrophically, hard drives can experience read errors. In fact, this is more likely than a hard drive completely dying. So, when a RAID-5 array loses a drive, and starts rebuilding it, if it encounters a read error on the remaining drives, the entire array is lost.

Now you might say "but the chances of the read error happening must be very small". And it is, kind of. Looking at the datasheets, it can be very small. Like to the tune of 1:10^14 bits for SATA. But remember that the rebuild operation needs to read the entire disks. And when the disk sizes are in the TB range then all of a sudden we start reaching probabilities that are actually probable. Not to mention the long rebuild time required.

But regardless of all this, what if you think "Well, I'm just a home user, I don't need the hardcore redundancy." Ok, say you want to create a 2 TB array. With RAID-5 you could do 3 WD Black Drives, $119.99 each at Newegg. Or, do 2 2TB drives with RAID-1 for $179.99 each. The RAID-5 array ends up costing you $0.01 less. What's the benefit of saving that $0.01? What's the downside?

Why RAID 5 stops working in 2009
Data Storage: The Myth of Redundancy
 
2012-12-05 08:22:51 AM

Kazan: Darth_Lukecash: I think most computer problems stem from stupidity of do it yourself people.

no


This. My machine is going on 5 years old, still runs like a new one. Then again, I hand-picked the parts and built to my specification. Your home build crew are the ones that take the time to research out their parts and only buy decent equipment. Your PC hardware problems are mainly from your Ma and Pa Kettles that buy the cheapest $250 eMachines off the shelf at Wal-Mart because the kids said they need a computer. Now, with the parts I buy, I can build a starter rig for about $450 that can handle even some 3D games with not too much trouble (Not Skyrim on full detail 1600x900, but it'll handle most games at a playable framerate). That machine will last 5-8 years on average. I have some machines I have built that are going on 12 years and no failures.

That $300 Wal-Mart special is using the cheapest, slowest RAM that can be bought, hard disks usually from IBM or Hitachi which are cheaper but have proven to be far less reliable, and most often sub-standard power supplies that fail in just over a year most of the time and can take down a motherboard once they start to flake out.

The problem is that probably 70% of home users are the ones buying the crap systems off the shelf and that's what gives PCs such the stigma of being poor hardware choices. It's also why Apple users think Apple's hardware is so superior, even though now it's the exact same components that any hobby system builder is already building machines with, and they're usually better quality components than Apple's.
 
2012-12-05 08:59:44 AM

finnished: BumpInTheNight: k, I'd just never heard of the technology being genuinely flawed in any way like that. I can accept bum controllers or worse badly written software raid doing stupid things or the CPU they rely upon doing it upon their behalf, and I can accept catastrophic failure like a PSU spikes your entire array through the goal posts of life, but if the parity algorithm vs drives larger then 1TB was a documented problem I'd be forced to make some very expensive changes around work and home :P

It's not necessarily flawed, it's just that it doesn't necessarily give the kind of protection you think it does. That in addition to its downsides, like slow writing due to parity calculation, makes RAID-1/RAID-10 the better option. Especially considering, and also due to, big hard drives being cheap.

RAID-5 was great years ago, when hard drives were small, but still redundancy and space was needed. It was a compromise.

The quick rundown is this: besides failing catastrophically, hard drives can experience read errors. In fact, this is more likely than a hard drive completely dying. So, when a RAID-5 array loses a drive, and starts rebuilding it, if it encounters a read error on the remaining drives, the entire array is lost.

Now you might say "but the chances of the read error happening must be very small". And it is, kind of. Looking at the datasheets, it can be very small. Like to the tune of 1:10^14 bits for SATA. But remember that the rebuild operation needs to read the entire disks. And when the disk sizes are in the TB range then all of a sudden we start reaching probabilities that are actually probable. Not to mention the long rebuild time required.

But regardless of all this, what if you think "Well, I'm just a home user, I don't need the hardcore redundancy." Ok, say you want to create a 2 TB array. With RAID-5 you could do 3 WD Black Drives, $119.99 each at Newegg. Or, do 2 2TB drives with RAID-1 for $179.99 each. The RAID-5 array ends up costing you $0.01 ...


Interesting set of articles, the one from 2007 seems to have several doomsayer parrots but then also several that explain away the false assumptions that went into the statistics he used to come up with his theory, the biggest one being that a raid controller would decide to nuke an entire rebuild over one lost bit rather then just flag that set corrupt and move on with its life.

2TB array? No, 12TB arrays are your magic mark at this point my friend. Btw, raiding with black drives? Heh, I guess you don't know about their little feature called TLER and why not having it on black drives is some what of a problem?

Link to WD's big fat warning about using black drives in raids

I'd say if that wasn't on your radar I really suggest you reconsider.
 
2012-12-05 09:15:59 AM
I build every computer I buy. No reliability issues requiring the replacement of the entire computer, ever. One motherboard failure in the last 12 years, 2 video cards, and 1 HDD. I have five computers for four family members (one file server) and all are up and running.

I had ONE iMac, failed after 3 years. Had a macbook, failed after 3.5 years. Not going down the apple path after I gave them two (2) chances to build a better PC than I can.
 
2012-12-05 09:38:02 AM

pxlboy: Personally, I can't justify the cost of a Mac Pro.


Don't buy a Mac Pro, man. Just buy a spec'ed out Mini. Mac Pros are for people who need to be convinced that a computer is "industrial-strength" by looking at it. It's one of the worst desktop Macs ever designed. Everyone I know who has bought one is unhappy with it. I'm not surprised, you can tell Apple hates the product and regrets making it by the way they treat it. It's going the way of the X-Serve, which had way more reason to exist than the Mac Pro ever has.

psy5ive: //still pissed at the lack of Mac Pro refresh


See? Look at this guy. Don't be this guy (sorry)

spqr_ca: Solaris


My condolences.

ChaoticLimbs: Not going down the apple path after I gave them two (2) chances to build a better PC than I can.


This happens. I used to work for Apple during the 1990s, and they have had intermittent QC issues the whole time they have been around. Once a customer found grapes in the box with their Quadra.
 
2012-12-05 09:42:39 AM

BumpInTheNight: Interesting set of articles, the one from 2007 seems to have several doomsayer parrots but then also several that explain away the false assumptions that went into the statistics he used to come up with his theory, the biggest one being that a raid controller would decide to nuke an entire rebuild over one lost bit rather then just flag that set corrupt and move on with its life.

2TB array? No, 12TB arrays are your magic mark at this point my friend. Btw, raiding with black drives? Heh, I guess you don't know about their little feature called TLER and why not having it on black drives is some what of a problem?

Link to WD's big fat warning about using black drives in raids

I'd say if that wasn't on your radar I really suggest you reconsider.


Yes, with RAID-5 that's exactly what's going to happen. The controller will drop the entire array when the second drive is unreadable. Ironically, the array is

And about the drives, that's exactly what I mean. People will go ahead and buy whatever drives, WD Greens even, put them in RAID-5 thinking that now they're covered against data loss. When they're not.

But what it boils down to is what do you gain by using RAID-5 instead of RAID-1 (Or -10)? Again, RAID-1/10 is the gold standard of RAID.
 
2012-12-05 10:03:26 AM

Z-clipped: Don't kid yourself. The ONLY reason Apple makes things like this difficult is money. They want to capture as much of the money that you spend on computing as possible. Period.


So why don't you have to unglue the screen glass to get to the RAM slots in the 27" iMac model, too?
 
2012-12-05 10:10:20 AM

poot_rootbeer: Z-clipped: Don't kid yourself. The ONLY reason Apple makes things like this difficult is money. They want to capture as much of the money that you spend on computing as possible. Period.

So why don't you have to unglue the screen glass to get to the RAM slots in the 27" iMac model, too?


Wait until the next version.

/at first, it was only the MacBook Air that had a sealed battery
//now they all do
 
2012-12-05 10:27:57 AM

Surool: PsyLord: Obligatory Apple Fanboi retort: Why would you need to upgrade something that is already perfect?

Above: Obligator unhinged iHater post. Nobody says that but you guys.


I actually own a few iProducts. I just wish Apple would make them friendlier to upgrades or connectivity, such as a microSD slot, non-proprietory power/sync port, etc. Just take cell phones for instance. I can charge/sync my Samsung S3 using any micro USB cable. Motorola and HTC also uses micro USB for power/data transfers.
 
2012-12-05 10:47:24 AM

t3knomanser: Does anyone buy an all-in-one computer because they expect it to be upgradeable? I will never, ever understand why anyone gives a shiat about the fact that products obviously designed around a certain form-factor aren't user-serviceable.

I really don't understand why anybody cares about this, or why anybody pretends to be surprised.


But in obsolescence fills landfills.

Why does everyone hate landfills?
 
2012-12-05 10:51:10 AM

HotWingConspiracy: Pincy: Isn't that one of the benefits of buying a mac? That you don't have to know anything about computers other than how to use the interface?

Yeah. In an odd way, not being able to do anything with it justifies the premium pricing.

If you aren't that type of consumer it will never make sense.


www.cvoptical.com
 
2012-12-05 10:54:52 AM

StoPPeRmobile: t3knomanser: Does anyone buy an all-in-one computer because they expect it to be upgradeable? I will never, ever understand why anyone gives a shiat about the fact that products obviously designed around a certain form-factor aren't user-serviceable.

I really don't understand why anybody cares about this, or why anybody pretends to be surprised.

But in obsolescence fills landfills.

Why does everyone hate landfills?


RIP Landfill. 

www.hotflick.net
 
2012-12-05 11:57:16 AM

BumpInTheNight: Btw, raiding with black drives? Heh, I guess you don't know about their little feature called TLER and why not having it on black drives is some what of a problem?


The amount of time that a WD drive spends trying to recover a bad block can be changed using a disk utility tool (versions exist for both Windows and Linux). So you could set that time to a sane value for RAID if you want. The only catch is that you're changing the value in volatile memory, not in ROM, so you have to reset it each time the drive powers up from a cold boot.

So you could use Black and Green drives for RAID in PC-based systems if you could get that value changed very early during bootup. You wouldn't be able to use them in stand-alone RAID boxes unless they include firmwares that could make the same change to your drives.


/just went with WD Red 3TB drives instead of messing with hacks
//drives are whisper quiet, which is great since they're in my HTPC/NAS box in the living room
 
2012-12-05 01:38:14 PM
So you aren't allowed to use Green, Blue, or Black drives for RAID?

Before Red drives came out, what were you supposed to use for RAID (that the average person would know existed)?
 
2012-12-05 02:01:47 PM

meyerkev: Before Red drives came out, what were you supposed to use for RAID (that the average person would know existed)?


Enterprise drives
 
2012-12-05 02:07:32 PM

meyerkev: Before Red drives came out, what were you supposed to use for RAID


WD RE, SE or VelociRaptor
Seagate ES or Ns
hiatachi Ultrastar

In short, their enterprise SATA series of drives.
 
2012-12-05 06:22:26 PM

Surool: lilbjorn: What 99% of Fark Mac threads amount to

That figure is a little low. Ever notice that the Samsung worker treatment stories don't even get greenlit on Fark?


We get it, you love Mac.
 
2012-12-05 09:57:35 PM

machodonkeywrestler: Surool: lilbjorn: What 99% of Fark Mac threads amount to

That figure is a little low. Ever notice that the Samsung worker treatment stories don't even get greenlit on Fark?

We get it, you love Mac.


lol, nope.
 
2012-12-06 10:29:46 AM
I think that the glued together computers are an environmental disaster. There's no reason to attach a screen inextricably to a computer that will be nonfunctional if half of the time of the screen. If they're going to do it, at the very least they should warranty the machine for 5 years from date of purchase with no additional charge. After all, with no moving parts, what do they have to lose? It should NEVER fail unless encountering liquids or drops (for laptops) I think we need a right to repair law for computers like there is for cars.
 
2012-12-07 12:02:37 AM

t3knomanser: downstairs: Because hard drives and memory never fail?

The issue is: what's the MTBF. For memory, it's already pretty high. And with SSDs, you're getting into that neighborhood.

The only time I've ever had a RAM stick fail was when I gave it a good static shocking. It's been a long time since I've had a HDD failure of any stripe. Just going on raw probabilities: the chances of these parts failing when the product is outside of warranty and isn't due for replacement in some fashion is pretty slim.

Some of us buy a tower and keep it for decades, gradually upgrading parts like Theseus's ship. Most of us change over computers entirely every 2-5 years. I keep myself on a 3-ish year upgrade cycle. The MTBF for most parts is much larger than that.


As long as you have a decent case.....helps if its a full tower, your upgrade costs over time are almost negligible. I pay about a hundred bucks for an 18 month old 'best video card on the market' every couple years. Whenever I feel the need to reinstall the OS I put in a new hdd, but I store all my important stuff in a Drobo with Carbonite running on it. My chip is one of the first gen 2.4 quad cores from an off the shelf HP I bought after my first big hdd crash, I put it in a new MB at some point, maybe to get SATA or 64 bit I dont remember. My optical drives are old, they maybe cost $20 bucks a piece. Parts almost never break, so upgrading is just a question of what I want to do. I think the most expensive thing I ever did was the upgrade to 64 bit with the 8 gigs of ram.

The point here isnt to say im good with tech, because Im not. The point is that A relative dunderhead like me can continually upgrade his computer for less than a quarter of the cost of matching the capability in Macintosh parts.

I bailed out on Mac when they licensed the clones. I bought one thinking it was all the advantage of a Mac with the expand-ability of the PC world. I was so wrong. As long as I didnt have anything to compare it to it was fine.....but after I used a PC at work I realized it wasn't actually necessary to sit and wait for a computer to do things. Thats when I realized my entire computer life I had been making excuses for the limitations of the Macintosh line. Its like being an abused spouse, you make excuses for your fear of change.
 
2012-12-07 12:08:05 AM

FinFangFark: t3knomanser: downstairs: Because hard drives and memory never fail?

The issue is: what's the MTBF. For memory, it's already pretty high. And with SSDs, you're getting into that neighborhood.

The only time I've ever had a RAM stick fail was when I gave it a good static shocking. It's been a long time since I've had a HDD failure of any stripe. Just going on raw probabilities: the chances of these parts failing when the product is outside of warranty and isn't due for replacement in some fashion is pretty slim.

Some of us buy a tower and keep it for decades, gradually upgrading parts like Theseus's ship. Most of us change over computers entirely every 2-5 years. I keep myself on a 3-ish year upgrade cycle. The MTBF for most parts is much larger than that.

So you've never experienced a HDD failure in all those years?


My last bad HDD fail was a month before I bought my Drobo. Lost everything. Im reasonably paranoid about it now, with one of those uploader backups and a Drobo. I would not trust a laptop with anything important. Cloud computing in my mind is just an admission that your ok with someone else owning all your crap.
 
2012-12-07 04:51:33 PM

finnished: BumpInTheNight: Interesting set of articles, the one from 2007 seems to have several doomsayer parrots but then also several that explain away the false assumptions that went into the statistics he used to come up with his theory, the biggest one being that a raid controller would decide to nuke an entire rebuild over one lost bit rather then just flag that set corrupt and move on with its life.

2TB array? No, 12TB arrays are your magic mark at this point my friend. Btw, raiding with black drives? Heh, I guess you don't know about their little feature called TLER and why not having it on black drives is some what of a problem?

Link to WD's big fat warning about using black drives in raids

I'd say if that wasn't on your radar I really suggest you reconsider.

Yes, with RAID-5 that's exactly what's going to happen. The controller will drop the entire array when the second drive is unreadable. Ironically, the array is

And about the drives, that's exactly what I mean. People will go ahead and buy whatever drives, WD Greens even, put them in RAID-5 thinking that now they're covered against data loss. When they're not.

But what it boils down to is what do you gain by using RAID-5 instead of RAID-1 (Or -10)? Again, RAID-1/10 is the gold standard of RAID.


We both agree that raids are not a substitute for backups, but what you're arguing for is like saying that the hammer is the gold-standard tool of a tradesman, every tool has its purpose.
 
2012-12-07 07:16:49 PM

BumpInTheNight: We both agree that raids are not a substitute for backups, but what you're arguing for is like saying that the hammer is the gold-standard tool of a tradesman, every tool has its purpose.


No, that's not what I'm saying. As far as tools go, RAID-5 is more like the tool made for cutting holes in floppy disks so you can use the reverse side. At one point it might have been very useful, but not today.

There is no situation where RAID-5 would be a better choice than RAID-1/-10.
 
2012-12-07 07:20:48 PM

finnished: BumpInTheNight: We both agree that raids are not a substitute for backups, but what you're arguing for is like saying that the hammer is the gold-standard tool of a tradesman, every tool has its purpose.

No, that's not what I'm saying. As far as tools go, RAID-5 is more like the tool made for cutting holes in floppy disks so you can use the reverse side. At one point it might have been very useful, but not today.

There is no situation where RAID-5 would be a better choice than RAID-1/-10.


Speed and drive capacity used for storage vs integrity ratio is higher?
 
2012-12-07 07:43:19 PM
No, RAID-5 has an expensive parity calculation that slows it down compared to straight mirroring.

Less lost disk space was certainly a factor in the past, and that's why it was popular. But with today's hard drive prices, it's not a reason any more. And actually, the cheap large drives are a reason NOT to use RAID-5.
 
2012-12-07 07:50:45 PM

finnished: No, RAID-5 has an expensive parity calculation that slows it down compared to straight mirroring.

Less lost disk space was certainly a factor in the past, and that's why it was popular. But with today's hard drive prices, it's not a reason any more. And actually, the cheap large drives are a reason NOT to use RAID-5.


Expensive is true, but which do you tend to run out of first: Disk bandwidth or processing power? With today's quad CPU hex cores let alone dedicated raid controller's abilities its really not a problem to dial up the calculations and still maintain full borne write speeds.
 
2012-12-07 08:05:45 PM

BumpInTheNight: Expensive is true, but which do you tend to run out of first: Disk bandwidth or processing power? With today's quad CPU hex cores let alone dedicated raid controller's abilities its really not a problem to dial up the calculations and still maintain full borne write speeds.


Of course it depends on the amount of read/write, and if you have enough activity, it'll bog down any system. RAID-5 will bog down earlier. This will be especially apparent during a rebuild, which will take hours longer to complete, while leaving your system unprotected.

But now you're just trying to figure out ways to make RAID-5 as good as RAID-1/-10. Why not use RAID-1/-10 to begin with?
 
2012-12-07 08:11:50 PM

finnished: No, RAID-5 has an expensive parity calculation that slows it down compared to straight mirroring.


Doesn't RAID-5 just use a XOR? With a physical controller, aren't you just talking about a few gate delays here and there? (A 4096 bit XOR in discrete ICs has a settle time of what, 24ns? Even at 6Gbps, you'd only receive 19 bytes or 1/26 of a block and an ASIC is going to beat cascaded discretes) Call me crazy, but it doesn't seem like you'd have to worry that much about the parity calculation being the bottleneck. Maybe if SATA was running higher than 150Gbps...

/My math could very well be bad
 
2012-12-07 08:19:48 PM

finnished: BumpInTheNight: Expensive is true, but which do you tend to run out of first: Disk bandwidth or processing power? With today's quad CPU hex cores let alone dedicated raid controller's abilities its really not a problem to dial up the calculations and still maintain full borne write speeds.

Of course it depends on the amount of read/write, and if you have enough activity, it'll bog down any system. RAID-5 will bog down earlier. This will be especially apparent during a rebuild, which will take hours longer to complete, while leaving your system unprotected.

But now you're just trying to figure out ways to make RAID-5 as good as RAID-1/-10. Why not use RAID-1/-10 to begin with?


Not trying to figure out my friend, trying to explain where I use raid5s to leverage surplus processing to increase write speed vs using mirrors. Besides the unprotected status only lasts until the processes are shifted to a different server (usually a few seconds) and then the one with the dead drive is tasked to rebuild with the hot spare before taking the reigns again. I'll admit that URE thing is something I'm very curious about and that'll shift my opinion about what I do at home, but I my gut is still thinking that where it'd truly come into play (disk A dies and then during rebuild disk B errors out too) the controller can handle it or whatever knocked out disk A likely slew disks B,C & D etc as well.
 
2012-12-07 08:21:49 PM
(Sorry, "The controller can handle it" meaning that it'll mark the sector bad and move on rather then spoil the whole rebuild, so far from random searching the 'spoil the rebuild' bug was exterminated many years ago)
 
2012-12-07 08:55:33 PM

ProfessorOhki: Doesn't RAID-5 just use a XOR? With a physical controller, aren't you just talking about a few gate delays here and there?


The real world difference depends hugely on the implementation, so there's no hard and fast numbers to give there. But even a small added delay gets obviously multiplied especially during a rebuild. Or if the array is in use.

The rebuild part is especially problematic, since with RAID-5/RAID-1, if you lose another disk during the rebuild, you're dead in the water. With RAID-10, not necessarily so.
 
2012-12-07 09:07:34 PM

BumpInTheNight: Not trying to figure out my friend, trying to explain where I use raid5s to leverage surplus processing to increase write speed vs using mirrors. Besides the unprotected status only lasts until the processes are shifted to a different server (usually a few seconds) and then the one with the dead drive is tasked to rebuild with the hot spare before taking the reigns again. I'll admit that URE thing is something I'm very curious about and that'll shift my opinion about what I do at home, but I my gut is still thinking that where it'd truly come into play (disk A dies and then during rebuild disk B errors out too) the controller can handle it or whatever knocked out disk A likely slew disks B,C & D etc as well.


So now we're up to enterprise applications with virtualization then? Ok, so say you have a server that has a hard drive that is about to fail. The server has a RAID-5 with a hot spare. Since it's a hot spare, how does the server process get moved to another VM host? The storage might not even be on the same host, even if you're not using a SAN or something. The host has no idea that the rebuild has started.

So, anyway. The operator gets notified, but he doesn't need to respond since the rebuild starts automatically with the hot spare. It churns for a while, everything looks good, the server is still available. But uh-oh, now there's a problem. You get a read error on one of the disks. The storage array disables the volume, the server is down.

Operator gets notified, only to find out the array is down. Bad news. But that's OK, there's a good backup from earlier today. But the backup was made 8 hours ago. You just lost 8 hours of data.

Compare this to a scenario WITHOUT a hot spare.

The hard drive fails. No hot spare. Operator gets notified. The server and data are still available, though. The operator then can either a) make a backup or b) move the VM to another array completely, or both. Rebuild still fails, but it doesn't matter since the data was moved off. No data lost. Life goes on.
 
2012-12-07 09:09:41 PM
Since the thread is going to close soon, anyone who's actually interested in continuing conversation, you can find plenty of professionals at Spiceworks' Storage forum. I'll probably be here till then, though.
 
2012-12-07 09:15:23 PM

finnished: ProfessorOhki: Doesn't RAID-5 just use a XOR? With a physical controller, aren't you just talking about a few gate delays here and there?

The real world difference depends hugely on the implementation, so there's no hard and fast numbers to give there. But even a small added delay gets obviously multiplied especially during a rebuild. Or if the array is in use.

The rebuild part is especially problematic, since with RAID-5/RAID-1, if you lose another disk during the rebuild, you're dead in the water. With RAID-10, not necessarily so.


Yeah, RAID-10 wins if you can swing the cost/Gb. I just didn't think the parity calculation for RADI-5 was as massive as a penalty as suggested.

Of course, then you have my use case. My chassis had spots for 4 drives. One is an independent SSD for the OS. The other 3 are an array; can't run RAID-10 on that :P
 
2012-12-07 09:22:37 PM

ProfessorOhki: Of course, then you have my use case. My chassis had spots for 4 drives. One is an independent SSD for the OS. The other 3 are an array; can't run RAID-10 on that :P


Could do two RAID-1s. Or if it's a server, install a hypervisor on a flash drive, and create a big RAID-10 pool shared for the operating system and data.
 
2012-12-07 09:25:14 PM

finnished: BumpInTheNight: Not trying to figure out my friend, trying to explain where I use raid5s to leverage surplus processing to increase write speed vs using mirrors. Besides the unprotected status only lasts until the processes are shifted to a different server (usually a few seconds) and then the one with the dead drive is tasked to rebuild with the hot spare before taking the reigns again. I'll admit that URE thing is something I'm very curious about and that'll shift my opinion about what I do at home, but I my gut is still thinking that where it'd truly come into play (disk A dies and then during rebuild disk B errors out too) the controller can handle it or whatever knocked out disk A likely slew disks B,C & D etc as well.

So now we're up to enterprise applications with virtualization then? Ok, so say you have a server that has a hard drive that is about to fail. The server has a RAID-5 with a hot spare. Since it's a hot spare, how does the server process get moved to another VM host? The storage might not even be on the same host, even if you're not using a SAN or something. The host has no idea that the rebuild has started.

So, anyway. The operator gets notified, but he doesn't need to respond since the rebuild starts automatically with the hot spare. It churns for a while, everything looks good, the server is still available. But uh-oh, now there's a problem. You get a read error on one of the disks. The storage array disables the volume, the server is down.

Operator gets notified, only to find out the array is down. Bad news. But that's OK, there's a good backup from earlier today. But the backup was made 8 hours ago. You just lost 8 hours of data.

Compare this to a scenario WITHOUT a hot spare.

The hard drive fails. No hot spare. Operator gets notified. The server and data are still available, though. The operator then can either a) make a backup or b) move the VM to another array completely, or both. Rebuild still fails, but it doesn't matter since the ...


What is the Vsphere API plus competent scripting, Alex?
 
2012-12-07 09:27:56 PM

ProfessorOhki: Yeah, RAID-10 wins if you can swing the cost/Gb. I just didn't think the parity calculation for RADI-5 was as massive as a penalty as suggested.


The only cost in the real world is write speed, because most users don't write nearly as often as they read, which for the more typical user is beyond acceptable. I only made the suggestion because the original person I was responding to had a raid 0 for everything, which I assumed was for cost efficiency per gb. I probably should have clarified from the start exactly why I made that suggestion.
 
2012-12-07 09:28:06 PM

BumpInTheNight: What is the Vsphere API plus competent scripting, Alex?


Competent scripting isn't going to save you from incompetent storage decisions.
 
2012-12-07 09:45:07 PM

BraveNewCheneyWorld: ProfessorOhki: Yeah, RAID-10 wins if you can swing the cost/Gb. I just didn't think the parity calculation for RADI-5 was as massive as a penalty as suggested.

The only cost in the real world is write speed, because most users don't write nearly as often as they read, which for the more typical user is beyond acceptable. I only made the suggestion because the original person I was responding to had a raid 0 for everything, which I assumed was for cost efficiency per gb. I probably should have clarified from the start exactly why I made that suggestion.


Nah, not a server, just a desktop. Only reason I even bothered with an array is because I occasionally toss around uncompressed video files and didn't want to get caught with having to fragment something near the ends. For my purposes, I might as well have gone 0, but the controller could do 5 and a bit of redundancy for the overhead seemed like a reasonable trade off. Thanks for the suggestion though.

Depends on what you're working with, I'd think. If my guess about controller implementation holds up, a massive sequential write would have the same latency penalty as a 1 block write. If you were handling discretely large data, maybe something like a renderfarm, you'd be talking about a nano-second scale latency on a multiterrabyte read/write. If you were talking about tons of small writes then it would definitely get multiplied.

/Not an IT guy
//Closer to a chip guy, hence the curiosity
///RAID-0
////More like AID-0.
//Never again
 
2012-12-07 09:57:46 PM

ProfessorOhki: If my guess about controller implementation holds up, a massive sequential write would have the same latency penalty as a 1 block write.


I'm pretty sure the world is not going to run out of bad implementations anytime soon! :)
 
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