Buy a 'late 2013' iMac or wait?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Skittery Badger, Sep 30, 2014.

  1. Skittery Badger macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2014
    #1
    Hi MacRumors,

    I'm in the market for an iMac and I've found a 21.5" model with an SSD and the 750m GPU at a price I like. I'm trying to decide if I should go ahead and pull the trigger on it, or if I should try to wait for Apple to update the line in October. Here are some things that are influencing my decision:

    1) My gaming PC is on the fritz, and my backup computer is painfully slow at everyday tasks, so I 'need' a new computer. I could handle waiting another month, but if the new iMacs weren't shipping until late November, that would be longer than I'd like to wait.

    2) I'm not interested in a 27" Retina iMac (or, more accurately, I don't have the budget for it)

    3) If I knew now that the new iMacs would have dramatically better GPU's, I would probably wait. This is the main thing holding me back.

    4) If any other component significantly changes the value proposition - for example, if the new iMacs will include fusion drives or SSDs standard, at the same price point - I would probably prefer to wait.

    Knowing these things, would you recommend that I purchase now or wait until the line refreshes in the next month or so?

    I know we can't see the future, but I'm hoping that some of you might be able to make better educated guesses than myself.

    Thanks for your time!
     
  2. FreemanW macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2012
    Location:
    The Real Northern California
    #2
    It seems that there is a probability Apple is going to release an iMac refresh that includes a rather significantly improved screen.

    If that is enough of a carrot to wait, then do it.
     
  3. randalf72 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2014
    #3
    Well just my 2p's worth.

    1. OK you need a new computer. If Apple were to launch a new iMac in October based on previous years it would be shipping late October/early November with BTO running a little behind that.

    2. You're not interested in a 27" retina iMac? More importantly you don't have the budget! Well I don't know what the price of any new iMac will be or how/if the range is repositioned as a result of a new iMac.

    What I do know is that if Apple launch a new iMac later this month then as people start to move over there will likely be increased supply in the second hand/refurbished market which might suit you better if you're budget constrained.

    That may take into early November before you see the effects though.

    3. There was a time when any new product from Apple was pretty much a surprise when demonstrated. Remember when Steve Jobs introduced the iPhone? It's fair to say that in recent years Apple has been more of a leaky ship. The rumours of a 5k display are in all liklihood not going to be too far wide of the mark IMO and that will necessitate a beefier GPU. Just how much more powerful is a matter for discussion and debate.

    4. Certainly the industry as a whole seems to be moving towards hybrid or SSD drives so I wouldn't be surprised to find out that they become the standard rather than HDD. I'll take a flyer here and suggest that the reduced power and heat issues associated with SSD's will mean that Apple will turn to an all SSD product lineup sooner rather than later. Whether that is this year or not is again debatable.

    It's three weeks. Wait and see if you like what you see. Even if you don't like any new iMac they'll be a drop in prices and increase in availability of the outgoing model.
     
  4. airjay75 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2014
    #4
    OP - I'm in the same boat as you. I just about pulled the trigger on a 21.5" iMac yesterday. I even went as far as ordering it online for in-store pick-up. But, after wasting the better part of the past 2 days reading all the internet chatter, I've managed to convince myself that there is a good chance all of the iMacs (with the exception of the recently introduced low-end version) will be refreshed during the next month. As such, I cancelled my order and have decided to wait to see what we hear over the next month. It's tough because I am really excited to get a new iMac and now that I've decided to go for it, I just want to do it. But, the question I keep asking myself is whether I will regret it if refreshed iMacs are announced this month. If the answer to the question is yes, then I would hold off another few weeks, as tough as that might be.

    Even if the 21.5" iMacs are not refreshed this month and only a high-end retina 27" version is announced, that could put some further downward pressure on the prices of non-refreshed 21.5" iMacs or, at the very least, the pricing you're finding today should hold steady.
     
  5. sleepyking macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2012
    #5
    Same boat as well. What do you think will be refreshed with the 21.5"? I have never owned any Macs so I'm oblivious to any upgrades and performance. Not a gamer, will just need for general browsing, office work, coding
     
  6. airjay75 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2014
    #6
    Well, I actually think the most likely outcome would be the introduction of the 27" retina iMac as a new top end iMac with all the other configurations remaining the same until next year when the Broadwell chips are available. I think there's an outside chance of both a 21.5" and a 27" retina iMac with the non-retina iMacs seeing incremental spec bumps - processor speed, fusion/flash drives, video cards, RAM, better wifi adapter, thunderbolt 2 - one or more of those. The other outcome would be just the 27" retina iMac (no 21.5") along with spec bumps for the rest of the line. The new low-end iMac probably won't see any spec bumps. I suppose one could also dream up any number of redesigns for the iMac line but that seems unlikely to me.

    For myself, I'm assuming that any retina iMac will be too far out of my budget, but if there are any incremental spec bumps in the rest of the line, it would make any iMac I buy today immediately an older model and less valuable. Really, the spec bumps probably won't make a bit of difference in my enjoyment of the computer - like you, I'm not a gamer, and I really am just looking for a basic, high-quality mac experience. But, can I live without an iMac for a couple more weeks? Definitely. Will I fell cheated if there are no spec bumps and I end up buying the same iMac I'm interested in today? Not really. So, for me, I'm going to wait just a few more weeks to see what Apple does. At the same time, it gives me some time to monitor the various resellers to see who is offering any occasional good sales prices.
     
  7. sleepyking macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2012
    #7
    Thanks for the insight. If they did provide incremental upgrades to the 21.5", I imagine the current one would see a price cut. Your thoughts on which would then be the better buy between that and the slightly bumped model?
     
  8. airjay75 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2014
    #8
    Probably hard to say with much certainty until we see the specific spec bumps and the price difference. I think it also depends on how long you're planning to keep your machine. One can probably make a case either way. On one hand, the new iMac will probably retain it's value longer (which matters if say you might only keep it 2 or 3 years before upgrading). On the other hand, you can probably save a couple hundred dollars by going with the older model and have nearly as good of a computer that is likely to have similar longevity (which might make more sense if you're going to keep the iMac until it starts to fail). Really, reminds me of when you go to buy a new car and the next model year just came out but a good deal can be had on a new car from the prior model year. I think it's a similar sort of analysis.
     
  9. Serban Suspended

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2013
    #9
    wait for the new imac with probably 5K and 970M/980M, thunderbolt 2, standard fusion drive and so SSD to be 100$ cheaper than now etc
     
  10. misho73 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2014
    #10
    I couldn't wait and pulled the trigger myself last week for a 27" imac. I came to a conclusion that i may wait for long. If u dont need it urgently u can wait as much as u want. But be aware that all what we hear are rumors. Means Apple never confirmed any events in Oct. We are already in Oct and nothing yet comfirmed. (Apple announced the iphone 6 event a month before). If apple is to push a huge improvement to the imac this month (in two weeks or so) it would have been known by now.

    Waiting is killing if u r in need.
     
  11. airjay75 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2014
    #11
    Well, I hear what you're saying, but I don't necessarily agree that we would have heard by now if Apple is planning an update this month. Apple has a long history of announcing events with only a couple weeks lead time. And, as I recall, there wasn't even an event for the iMac update last year - just a quiet update of the Apple Store. Everyone is still very much expecting there to be, at the very least, an iPad event this month but there has been no formal announcement.

    That said, I think it's safe to say that if an iMac update isn't announced during October, there isn't going to be an update this year. It wouldn't make any financial sense for Apple to announce a new product if they won't be able to fully take advantage of the holiday shopping season.
     
  12. Serban Suspended

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2013
    #12
    Apple will send invitation on 14 October for the 21th October event.
    New iPad, mac mini, iMac is for sure, and probably apple tv and a mac pro update
     
  13. Nee412 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2010
    Location:
    Sunny England!
    #13
    Unless you NEED a new computer right this second wait. It's generally best to wait this close to an possible Apple event. No one really knows everything they will introduce, or how that will change you preference in what to purchase. The iMacs could fall in price again, or they could (probably will) release a retina version you just have to have.

    You won't know till the day, but you'll kick yourself if buy now and something better / more appealing to you comes along in less than a month.
     
  14. Skittery Badger thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2014
    #14
    I thought I'd update this thread to let you all know that I did decide to wait for the Oct. announcement, and as I type this, my new 21.5" i5/8GB/256GB/750m is on its way to me!

    Thanks very much to everyone who offered opinions, it really did help me. I'll post a little mini-review of the machine after I've lived with it for a few months.
     

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