2010 vs. 2011 iMac (Buyer's Planning)

Discussion in 'iMac' started by capebud1, Nov 13, 2010.

  1. capebud1 macrumors newbie

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    Sep 7, 2010
    #1
    I've recently seen a few posts from people that are pondering to buy now, or wait till the next iMac to come out. I'm in the same boat. In January, I will need to decide on getting the new BTO 2.93 GHz, or holding out till the 2011 iMac is released. My uses are mostly for programming, some video editing and encoding, and casual gaming (Mac Steam + Bootcamp). I already use an early 2009 iMac (3.06 GHz), which I'm planning to either sell or hand off to my wife (she's not convinced she wants it yet).

    If you go by the Buyers Guide time lines, the refresh is due somewhere in the March time frame. I know those are just estimates, but that would put it on or near the same time for the next iPad as well. Seems that would not be likely since Apple likes to space product releases out. Furthermore, it might make better sense for Apple to wait until Summer to do a combined launch of Lion and the new iMac. It also gives Apple more time to incorporate the Sandy Bridge Architecture into its configurable options for the iMac. Finally, the current 2.93 CPU is plenty powerful for most needs (casual gaming, Handbrake, etc.). So for CPU purposes, I can see buying the current generation in January.

    I'm more curious about the next GPUs that they will use. The new 6800's are a little weaker compared to their 5800 counterpart, yet they are more energy efficient. If Apple plans to continue to use the 6800 Mobility chips in the iMacs, then this could pose an issue for me. I would like to play some of the current titles (Mass Effect 3 is what I'm gearing toward). For GPU purposes, I'm a bit on the fence here.

    I'm not anxious, but I want to be careful in that this will be my last computer purchase for a LONG time. Should I buy in January, or hold off? Thoughts?
     
  2. biggd macrumors 6502

    biggd

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    #2
    I would wait. With lion will most likely come some kind of new interface or "nicknack" which will be really cool.

    Updated iMacs in feb

    Redesign of iMac in the fall.
     
  3. aiqw9182 macrumors 65816

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    #3
    The 6800 cards replace the 5700 cards. AMD changed their numbering scheme.
     
  4. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #4
    The ATI 5750 in iMac is Mobility 5850 which is based on desktop 57xx (Juniper). 57xx is much worse than 68xx. So, the performance bump should at least be decent since iMac will likely use Blackcomb which is based on Barts (68xx).

    Compare 57xx with 68xx and you get the idea

    Actually, it did not.

    [​IMG]
     
  5. Nishi100 macrumors 6502a

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    #5
    I think they will release it at WWDC 2011, to introduce Light Peak, Sandy Bridge and USB 3.0 (depends if Sandy Bridge has it), as that is "pretty cool tech". And, they might add HDMI and desktop? 68** GPU's- which would also be a good announcements - not as big as Light Peak, though.

    I don't see a major redesign coming up, blu ray or MicroSD.

    But I we may see a separate product: iMac Touch?
     
  6. biggd macrumors 6502

    biggd

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    #6
    I agree. My "redesign" would be an iMac touch.
     
  7. AnimaLeo macrumors 6502

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    Sep 2, 2009
    #7
    The new iMacs might be coming out in February? I thought they'd be out next September?
     
  8. aiqw9182, Nov 13, 2010
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2010

    aiqw9182 macrumors 65816

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    #8
    Eh, doesn't change the fact that there will still be stronger counterparts than the 6800 cards that aren't just two GPU's shoved into one.
     
  9. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #9
    I didn't say a word about other GPUs. It's unlikely that we'll see a mobility version of Cayman though :(
     
  10. aiqw9182 macrumors 65816

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    #10
    Just looking at this picture I bet if Apple removed the optical drive they could find the room to fit a desktop GPU in there.
     
  11. capebud1 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Sep 7, 2010
    #11
    If history holds, iMacs will continue to use Mobility GPUs. I'm just wondering if they decide to go with what would be the 68XX Mobility, would there be any benefit graphically to hold off for that iMac, or buy the current i7 with the 5850 Mobility? Again, I'm planning to buy no sooner then Jan 2011.
     
  12. capebud1 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #12
    If they use mobility chips, then the 57XX is really a 5850 Mobility. Compared to 68XX Mobility chips (and I'm guessing that is what they will use), the 5850's would probably win out in performance. It was mentioned previously that the Caymens (69XX) may not make it to mobility production. Not sure why that would be, but it would be a better option for Apple to upgrade their GPUs for the iMacs. Probably has to do with Cost and power trade offs.
     
  13. aiqw9182 macrumors 65816

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    #13
    No one knows. AMD hasn't shown the performance or specs of their mobility line. And I'm fully aware that Apple has been using mobile GPU's, I'm just saying that if they were to remove the optical drive then that could lead to them using desktop GPU's which will be a big jump over the cards they are using now. If you aren't buying until Jan 2011 then wait for the next refresh, no doubt about it.
     
  14. drambuie macrumors 6502a

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    Feb 16, 2010
    #14
    It could be done, but it would require electrical, and heat dissipation design changes. The power supply capacity would probably have to be doubled, generating more heat. If the GPU was placed in the area of the optical drive, then direct external exhaust venting, similar to desktop video cards, could be used. Also, air intake fans might be required for adequate internal flow-through airflow. The present system, that uses heatpipes with radiators and blowers to remove heat from the CPU and GPU chips, but then relies on convection for overall internal cooling, won't be sufficiently effective.
     
  15. iamthedudeman macrumors 65816

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    #15
    The next refresh is not going to happen any time soon. The last refresh was less than three months ago.
     
  16. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #16
    http://www.anandtech.com/show/3987/amds-radeon-6870-6850-renewing-competition-in-the-midrange-market

    Compare 6850 with 5770. The difference is huge, 6850 runs circles around it.

    There is no mobility Cypress (58xx) either so I doubt there will be a Cayman based mobility chip. It's simply too hot. Plus, according to roadmaps, Blackcomb will be based on Barts and that's the high-end mobility GPU.

    Possibly a mid range GPU like desktop 57xx or 67xx. That wouldn't be much better than the current offerings.
     
  17. Icaras macrumors 603

    Icaras

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    #17
    No, it's been since almost 4 months since last update:

    http://www.macrumors.com/2010/07/27...s-with-upgraded-ati-radeon-hd-graphics-cards/

    And yes, I believe it will happen soon...by Feb/March, like many here have proposed. We're already halfway in an iMac's usual refresh cycle.

    The iMac is Apple's flagship desktop line, which means frequent updates.
     
  18. Trinite macrumors regular

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    Oct 22, 2010
    #18
    Hell, now you've all got me wondering about the waiting game....

    I've been planning to buy the upgraded 21.5" iMac, with the 3.6 i5. But to be honest, I don't really NEED it at the moment (just want :)). I could wait....

    What are other people's thoughts on February vs. March-April for the next upgrade?

    And what do you all think about the difference in bump that the 21.5 and the 27 are likely to get? Hellhammer, does that "Product Strategy" slide you posted suggest that the 5700 series GPU won't be upgraded, but will continue, while the 5800s get the move up (I'm assuming these are the mobility chips, by the way, and thus show the different paths that the 21.5 and the 27 are currrently on. Is that right?)?

    If there is going to be an "evolutionary" step for both the 21.5 and the 27, it might be worth waiting a bit.....

    Thanks!
     
  19. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #19
    Nope, that's just what is AMD's current strategy. There should be more GPUs coming in early 2011. The timings in those roadmaps are old since Barts is already out and Turks isn't but there should still be more GPUs sooner than later

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  20. Nishi100 macrumors 6502a

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    #20
    Any chance of a HDMI port?:D

    (or Blu ray - but thats not going to happen)

    Also, if Apple puts Light Peak in their next iMac, will there be an adapter, from Light Peak to HDMI and a Light Peak to USB 3.0?
     
  21. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #21
    Definitely. The idea of Light Peak is that you don't need other ports so various adapters are needed. At least in the beginning when most products still use something else
     
  22. AnimaLeo macrumors 6502

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    Sep 2, 2009
    #22
    Hellhammer, what are your predictions for the next iMac - specifically the 21.5 inch one. Also, when do you reckon it will be released?
     
  23. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #23
    Base 21.5"

    Core i3-2100 3.1GHz
    ATI 5670 (aka 5730M) or ATI "Seymor" (66xxM?)

    High-end 21.5"

    Core i3-2120 3.3GHz [option for Core i5-2400S or Core i5-2500S (quad cores)]
    ATI "Whistler" (67xxM?)

    Base 27"

    Core i5-2400 3.1GHz (3.4GHz with Turbo) or Core i5-2500 3.3GHz (3.7GHz with Turbo) [quad cores]
    ATI "Whistler"

    High-end 27"

    Core i7-2600 3.4GHz (3.8GHz with Turbo)
    ATI "Blackcomb" (68xxM?)

    Released in March-April.

    I have to say that this is highly speculative since most of the parts I listed have not been released yet. The naming system of next gen ATI GPUs is still open so that's why the model numbers have ? after them. According to the CPU lists we've seen, there will only be few duals and those are Core i3s, thus I believe 21.5" will get option for quad core (TDP is 65W so heat wise it will fit) and 27" will go quad core only.

    Source 1
    Source 2
     
  24. Nishi100, Nov 14, 2010
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2010

    Nishi100 macrumors 6502a

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    #24
    Currently, the i7-960 cost around $655.99 clocked at 3.2Ghz and the i7-950 clocked at 3.06ghz is $294.95.

    I don't know is Sandy Bridge will follow this ridiculous pattern ($300 for an extra 0.14ghz); but, if it does, then I think the maximum Apple will go for is 3.06ghz.
     
  25. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #25
    You can't compare the frequency straight to the price. Besides, you're looking at wrong CPUs.

    SBs that will be released in early 2011 (LGA 1155) will replace LGA 1156 socketed CPUs, i.e. the ones that iMac is currently using. The CPUs you listed use LGA 1366, they are different beasts and their successors won't come until H2 2011.

    Since LGA 1155 is targeted for mainstream computers, the prices must be reasonable. If Intel keeps the same price points, then i7 will be ~300$, i5 will be ~200$ and i3 will be 110-150$. Plus, all 95W CPUs are +3GHz according to what we've seen (excluding i5-2300).
     

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