Reasons NOT to buy an iMac Right now

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by, Oct 17, 2007.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Aug 10, 2007
    With leopard coming out I feel like it is finally time to get my first Mac Desktop.

    Question is... is it the right time to do it? I bought my Mac Laptop (first mac ever) with little knowledge of the MacBook world... oh was I in for an unpleasant surprise!

    Random Shut Downs, Discolouration.. etc.

    All the marketing about the quality and reliability of Apple pretty much went out the window for me at that point.... BUT, I stuck with Apple and I must say I fell in love for the quality of the software (but not necessarily the quality of hardware)

    So how is iMac? Does it come packaged with a couple of common blunders that will keep me calling AppleCare twice a week OR (unlike early macbooks) is it actually designed well?

    Should I wait a year before they get this product right, or is it safe to jump in this time?


    ~ One.Bad.:apple:
  2. macrumors 6502a


    Sep 17, 2007
    I think its a good time to buy the imac. Specially because they have just recently refreshed the product.

    There have been very minor issues and software updates have always sorted them out. Nothing serious enough for you to hold back.
    With Leopard coming out its going to be a splendid system.
  3. macrumors member

    Sep 11, 2007
    If you buy an iMac, you should look into the older white models first. The ones right before Apple changed over to the aluminum enclosures.

    The new aluminum iMacs have had some reported freezing problems, but the two biggest concerns for me as a buyer are the glossy screen and the fact that these glossy screens aren't really up to the level of the last gen screens.

    I have yet to see a new iMac without uneven back lighting/gradient problems. If you go to an Apple store and set the screen to a solid color, you should be able to see what I'm talking about. Also, the glossy screens aren't great for color sensitive work or bad/sensitive eyes.

    So yeah, I'd check them out before you buy especially if you were dissatisfied in the build quality of your Macbook.
  4. macrumors regular

    Aug 30, 2007
    This is definitely NOT a good time to buy the current generation aluminum iMac. Both sizes have significant problems with their screens, although the 20" is the worst. The current screens are unacceptable. Then there's the freezing problems.

    These issues recently led me to do what another poster in this thread suggested - buy a new-in-the-box previous generation white iMac. I haven't received it yet, but it should be here in a day or two.

    If you are dead set on the aluminum model, I would wait until Apple corrects the problems with the panels. It's probably going to be a while, but they will be forced to address the issue at some point.
  5. macrumors 68040


    Oct 11, 2006
    Minneapolis, MN
    From my understanding the firmware update took care of this. A rep at work just got his 24" last week and is having no problems.

    I have been running Macs for the majority of 20 years and have had very little in the way of problems. The only time I have ever had to bring a product back for repair was my iPod photo.
  6. macrumors G4

    Mar 4, 2006
    OK, speaking as someone who has a new 20" iMac I've not experienced one freeze, although the first thing I did after installation was to install Software Update 1.1. The backlighting is also constant across the panel, although I've had to set the gamma to the TV setting as for me the default was significantly brighter than necessary, even on the lowest brightness setting. The glossy screen also isn't a problem, but then the layout of my room means the computer is neither facing towards or away from a window which may be a factor.

    The only problem I'm having with it is the Airport Wake-from-Sleep issue where it isn't automatically re-attaching to the network I was using, although this has been confirmed as a software issue in 10.4.10, so I'm expecting it to be fixed with the next update. Until then I'll put up with manually re-entering the WPA passphrase when I wake the computer.
  7. macrumors newbie

    Oct 18, 2007
    Picked my 24 inch iMAC

    Set it up in a flash plugged it in and whamo! I just installed Vista 64bit on my PC intel duo 2core and iMAC starts up faster!

    I have a 1st gen Intel Duo Core MBP and that still is quick!



    * 2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
    * 4GB 667MHz DDR2 SDRAM - 2x2GB
    * 320GB Serial ATA Drive
    * SuperDrive 8x (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW)
    * Apple Mighty Mouse
    * Apple Keyboard (English) + Mac OS X
    * Accessory kit
    * ATI Radeon HD 2600 PRO with 256MB memory
    * 24-inch glossy widescreen LCD
    * AirPort Extreme
    * Bluetooth 2.0 + EDR
  8. macrumors member

    Sep 16, 2006
    Mountains of No. California
    I've had a 20" iMac for two months now. I use it every day. I have NEVER had any problem whatever! It's a great computer and I love the glossy screen. The colors are very bright and I have had no problems with reflections. The new keyboard took me about two minutes to get used to and now I don't even bother with my older, wireless one. I'd say, all in all, it is a good buy and a solid desktop computer. There are a lot of whiners out there that will find fault with anything and I'd take it with a grain of salt!;)
  9. macrumors 604

    Digital Skunk

    Dec 23, 2006
    In my imagination
    Where do you live? On the east coast, in Maryland and Pennsylvania at least, I have never seen this problem. All the iMacs I have seen are fine. And they have never had a problem from what I hear the users saying.

    Here are some examples from people right here in Mac Rumors.

    See... no problems from this user, and he got the one that everyone seems to be complaining about. I am starting to think that the people that see problems with their screens are either buying really early/bad batches of shipped iMacs, or they are wearing glasses with a yellow tint. :D

    P.S. To the OP... you can wait forever for an iMac update that is at least 5 months or more away, and think you can get a perceived better quality screen or you can get your machine now and let the muckrakers watch you actually do things with your machine. There is nothing wrong with this current iMac and once you get Leopard you will be very happy with your decision.
  10. macrumors 6502


    Mar 11, 2006
    I bought 24 brand new 20-inch iMacs for a lab at work a month ago....they look and work problems reported here.

    If you are a LCD panel snob, maybe you'll be able to find an issue.
  11. macrumors G4


    Sep 7, 2006
    In the velcro closure of America's Hat
    Screen quality is somewhat of a subjective observation. I have two 20" Alu iMacs and they both exhibit a slight gradient. This is on par with the gradient found in 20" monitors around $250. The freezing problem is one that I have experienced in both machines and it only happens, for me, at high GPU usage levels or is repeatable with certain programs. In Windows XP, the new Catalyst 7.10 drivers from ATI seem to fix the problem. Given how many times my childrens' PCs have locked up playing games, I don't think its that big an issue for me.

    There is not really that much in the new iMacs to boast about over the old. The CPU is a little faster, the hard disk and RAM a little bigger. The GPU is somewhat better - most of the time.
  12. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 10, 2007
    wow, so I see there is no clear answer to this question.

    I guess I'll go to the Apple store and ask a rep a few questions... look at the screens... etc.

    Other than that, do you think the "freeze" problem will be fixed with an update or is it a Hardware issue?

    I don't want a computer that freezes on me!
  13. macrumors regular

    Aug 30, 2007
    Go to the Apple store and look at the 24" and 20" side-by-side. You will be shocked at the terrible quality of the 20". Put the 24" (or both, if you like) on a solid color desktop and observe the color/lighting inconsistency across the screen. Spend a hour or so there tinkering with them. This experience will most likely make this issue very clear to you.
  14. macrumors member

    Sep 11, 2007
    I live in New Jersey and the iMacs at my Apple store clearly have screen problems.

    But I think this is a case where it doesn't bother a lot of people. I can see how someone could be ok with it.
  15. macrumors demi-god

    Oct 14, 2005
    Virginia Beach
  16. macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

    Jul 16, 2002
    This problem isn't nearly as widespread as you might think it is, from reading posts in this forum.

    Next week, next month or next year is always a better time to buy a computer, assuming you don't need it sooner.
  17. macrumors 6502a

    Mar 22, 2007
    I'd say go get one now!

    I've had a 24" model since they were first released and although I have had a few freezing issues this has been a minor issue and Apple have vowed to fix it soon.

    The glossy screen is simply beautiful and I have no dead pixels, brightness variations or any colour distortions. This is one of the best LCD's I have ever seen and I used to work as the lead process engineer at an LCD repair factory! The glossy nature of the screen is a complete non-issue for most people, myself included. You just need to apply common sense with regards to windows and lights to avoid serious reflections. The brightness of the screen overcomes any minor reflections. The screen is way better than the G5 iMac and the new design makes the old machine look very out of date in my opinion. I simply can't see the point in buying a discontinued machine...

    Always remember that bad news is disproportionately louder than good news and there are many happy iMac users out there. There are also a good many "experts" who would find fault with anything because they are obsessed with finding something to complain about.

    Don't wait any longer - we had to wait long enough for the G6 iMac so enjoy it while it's still relatively new.

    Good luck,
  18. macrumors 68040


    Mar 24, 2003

    Let me introduce you to a concept, I like to call it Rev. A. The new iMacs are a Rev. A item. Rev. A's are pretty much beta testers, although they might not know it. Some people think this idea is B.S. but I can't tell you how many times I've seen it proven to be true. It's always a bad idea to get the first of anything new when it comes to technology. It's even true with cars. I'm just telling you from experience, and casting the Apple "fanboy-ism" aside.

    Most of the "bugs" and issues, from what I've read have been ironed out at this point with the new iMacs (except that crappy graphics card and its's been months and people are still waiting on fixes), so if you can't hold on you should be fine with buying now ( least wait till october 26th when Leopard comes out). However, if it were my money, I'd wait for the Rev. B iMacs.

    I'll bet you money the Rev. B iMacs have far better screens (along with all the other minor upgrades that come with each Rev.).
  19. macrumors 6502a


    Sep 24, 2007
    I've done this 3 times at 2 different Apple stores. I have never seen a single 24" unit with the documented issues. All of the 20" inch seemed to have a slight vertical gradient, but it was so slight, that you have to look for it hard to see it, and it was hard to distinguish if it was a viewing angle issue, lighting issue from the bright lights in the store or a real issue with the screen. It was that slight. Maybe it would be more noticeable in a normal lighting environment outside the store. I don't know.

    I went ahead and just ordered the 24" two days ago. I figured I would take my chances. I think they are pretty good at getting a good, working model, and if I don't I can always return/exchange. This at least gives me a pretty good chance at getting a good iMac, versus my 100% chance of not getting a good one if I don't order one.
  20. macrumors 6502a


    Sep 24, 2007
    Absolutely true and good advice. (If by "far better" you mean the same grade panels, but ones with far fewer of these issues. I doubt they will upgrade the panels to a much higher grade.)

    I will just add the caveat that a Rev A does not guarantee you will have problems. Skipping a Rev A also does not guarantee that you won't have problems. You are just shifting your odds. Is that shift significant? Is it worthwhile versus not having the Mac at all and the troubles associated with waiting for a Rev B? That is for each person to judge.
  21. macrumors regular

    Aug 29, 2007
    We got one of each on Oct 2nd. No freezes. The only difference I see between the displays is that the gamma looks a little bright on the 20. But that's my eyes.
  22. macrumors regular

    Jul 26, 2007
    Ok, it is perhaps potluck taking a chance on a Rev A, but I waited a month or so, took several test drives then bought the 20 inch. It is basically perfect - an amazing machine. The screen is excellent - just don't sit with the sun behind you...
  23. macrumors 6502a


    Mar 3, 2004
    Canada's South Coast
    Good Lord people, take a pill! I am not aware of any design flaw with the aluminum iMac's. Like any electronic product, there may be quality control issues or manufacturing mistakes. I'm not sure what Apple's defect rate is, but I'm sure it's well under 5%. Which is pretty darn good for a $1500 consumer product of this complexity. After all, even the cheapest iMac is probably twice as complex as a Saturn V moon rocket! So yes 1 in 20 new iMac's may have a slight screen variance, but 5 in 20 new BMW's have to go back to the shop for one fix or another. So everything is relative.

    Me, I'd wait for Leopard to ship on the new iMac's and then buy one. But I wouldn't lose a minute's sleep worrying that it won't be 100% perfect. Because chances are, it will be.
  24. macrumors 6502


    Feb 19, 2007
  25. macrumors 6502

    Oct 17, 2004
    Its definitely a good time to buy the new imac.
    I mean FFS its just been updated!

    It has intels new SR platform, DX10 capable graphics (yeah a gimmick, but sure), decent pricing and up to date specs.
    It has a great new case and it looks really sexy.

    Seeing as its recently been updated, you'll probably have to wait ~6months for an update.

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