[Editor’s Note: Due to its very nature, it’s been somewhat difficult to get a professional media review of our Turnkey Upgrade Program for the 2011 iMac, so we’re posting a customer testimonial, instead. If you’re a reviewer and want to review the upgrade program, please contact us.]
Why I Chose the OWC Turnkey Upgrade Program for the 2011 iMac.
by Ken H., OWC Customer
In January, I had a 2TB OWC Mercury Elite Pro RAID hard drive that wouldn’t mount. Since none of the data on the drive was backed up, I started to look into data recovery and found out how expensive it was. Fortunately, OWC Tech Support helped me determine that that the problem was simply a power adapter problem and not a drive failure.
After coming so close to losing valuable data, I decided to come up with a backup plan. I bought a 12TB OWC Mercury Elite Pro Qx2 and configured it as RAID 5. I also bought an empty Qx2 and placed the 2TB drives from two 4TB Mercury Elite Pro RAIDs into that for an 8TB RAID 0 drive. That way, I could put all of the videos and photos from several drives onto one large drive and keep a backup of the large drive.
While I was researching the Qx2, I found out about the 2010 iMac Turnkey Upgrade Program and was intrigued by the possibility of adding an eSATA port to fully utilize the Qx2’s capabilities and to speed up the transfer of large amounts of data between drives. This was also my first real introduction to the many benefits of using SSDs.
I was already starting to think about buying a new computer. I had recently been watching more streaming video (mainly MLB.TV as a Braves fan in Southern California) and noticed that my Mid-2007 iMac had a hard time keeping up. The video feed became very erratic when I tried to do anything else at the same time and I was growing tired of constantly watching the “spinning beach ball” whenever I wanted to do something.
I decided then that my next computer would be an iMac Turnkey Upgrade. Since the iMac was about to be updated, I decided to wait for the 2011 models to be released.
The delay of the 2011 Turnkey Upgrade Program due to the hard drive replacement issue almost made me consider getting an iMac with the Apple SSD and 2TB hard drive. If I did that, though, I would have had to wait an unknown amount of time for Thunderbolt adapters to use eSATA. I also really had my eye on getting a 3TB hard drive and was irritated that Apple didn’t even offer one. Plus, I found out that the Apple SSD is more expensive for the same size and only utilizes 3G SATA speeds. Of course, I would have bought the RAM from OWC anyway, because of the savings over Apple RAM, but it was just one more thing I’d have to do myself. So, I decided to wait for the 2011 Turnkey Upgrade Program; I knew that OWC would eventually find a way to replace the Apple hard drive.
The day that the program was announced, I placed my order with OWC for a 27″ upgrade with 6G eSATA port, 240GB OWC Mercury Extreme Pro 6G SSD, 3TB hard drive and 16GB RAM. I then ordered a 27″ i7 with 2GB graphics (base hard drive and RAM) from Apple, and had it shipped directly to OWC with the OWC order number referenced.
The next day, I decided to get the 480GB SSD instead, since it made sense to get the largest available while the upgrade is being performed. I spoke with the Turnkey Upgrade Program coordinator and was able to replace my existing order with a new one containing the 480GB drive. They were able to reference the two orders together since the shipping label had the original order number.
When the iMac arrived at OWC, I received a call to confirm my configuration. I was also given the option of getting the original RAM sent back or turning it in for a rebate (I chose the rebate).
The work was completed within two business days and I received the computer back on the third business day after it arrived at OWC. Everything was exactly as I had ordered and the speed difference compared to my last iMac is incredible; my post-upgrade benchmarking scored 11817 in Geekbench (64-bit) and got an Xbench score of 434.18.
Between the excellent service OWC provided and the enhanced performance the upgrades provide, I would definitely recommend the OWC Turnkey Upgrade Program to anybody considering it.