Buy an iMac now or wait?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by dondon4720, Dec 23, 2014.

  1. dondon4720 macrumors member

    Nov 12, 2012
    I want to get an iMac, I went to the Apple Store and they had a retina and non retina right next to each other and honestly I wasn't impressed with the retina, yah the colors are brighter but is it really worth the extra money. I love nvidia cards and have had problems with AMD in the past, I know no one knows but Apple but should I wait and see if there is a new non retina (or even retina) with the new nvidia chipset in it? Or should I get one now, I hope to get at least 5 years out of it so I want to make sure what I get will last, I will be using it for Adobe suite, and CAD design for my college work as well as some light to medium gaming and day to day tasks such as web surfing. :apple::apple::apple:
  2. rkaufmann87 macrumors 68000


    Dec 17, 2009
    Folsom, CA
    Your question is asked every day of the year and the answer is ALWAYS the same. If you want or need a new computer then just buy the darn thing and get on with it. Waiting for a newer computer is a loser's game because there is always something newer, faster, and cooler coming but the question is do you need those features whatever they may be and are you willing to wait. Remember this is a rumor site and no-one and I mean no-one knows except Apple when they will release new machines.
  3. dondon4720 thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 12, 2012
    But if I get one will it last 5 years? Does the retina have better performance than the non retina?
  4. andy9l macrumors 68000

    Aug 31, 2009
    England, UK
    5 years? Assume not. The iMac is a mid-end desktop/laptop hybrid today. Squeeze the 3 years out of it with AppleCare, then sell it on and get the 2017 model for ~$1000. Rinse and repeat.

    The retina does offer better performance, but real-world benefit will be minimal, with the exception of the screen.
  5. hjalte macrumors member

    Dec 23, 2014
    I don't own a mac and I have only played with the machines in the stores. I am in the process of buying an iMac myself and is really torned up about which to get.

    After reading a lot on the forums, here's what I can conclude so far:

    * The speed difference in the non-retina vs 5k is very small.
    * In benchmarks, the 5k almost always win
    * In real life, lots of people experience lagging with the 5k (could be fixed with software updates - not sure)
    * The screen on the 5k is much prettier (apparently, once you go retina, you don't back ;) )
    * Many people complain about high fan noise from the 5k (e.g. the fan go on with little load)

    The price difference of the two models aren't really that much. When we're up in these numbers, I don't see the extra $600 as a problem...

    ...but I do see it as a problem that the 5k seems like an unfinished product.

    This is a $3000+ machine and everything should just work (isn't that the reason most people by macs anyway - it is for me).

    Finally, I just want to say, that I don't have any of the machines. All my info is from reviews and threads on this forum.
  6. MistrSynistr macrumors 65816

    May 15, 2014
    This is why in a week I'm going with a 2013 i7 refrub and then in a year or so upgrade to the retina (once the kinks are ironed out) using the brunt of the i7's take towards it.
  7. rkaufmann87 macrumors 68000


    Dec 17, 2009
    Folsom, CA
    Mine on-average have lasted 5 + years. My first iMac was a 2007 24" model, it's still working fine today.
  8. Mindinversion macrumors 6502


    Oct 9, 2008
    Answer already given: if you need one now [or want one now, buy one now]

    If you wait for "the next big thing" you'll never buy one ;)

    As for "will it last", you won't see any real performance difference between a 3 year old Sandy bridge processor and tomorrow's Broadwell processor. Unless they have a major breakthrough in quantum computing, optical processing, and/or holographic processing, I think you're safe for 5 years.

    You may, however, miss next year's symmetrical USB plugs.
  9. robgendreau macrumors 68040

    Jul 13, 2008
    Get retina something or other, and get SSD or Fusion. As noted, nothing "lasts" five years without you pining for the latest greatest, but retina and flash storage are the future. Non-retinas with spinning platters will be flip phones in 2019.
  10. hjalte macrumors member

    Dec 23, 2014
    I guess the question is if there is a real advantage with getting the retina unless you are doing video or photos. Sure the screen is much clearer and you get more estate on your screen, but at what cost?

    A laggy computer with heat problems?
  11. RUQRU macrumors regular


    Apr 14, 2011
    Mac Addict!
    Analysis Paralysis! Just buy the damn 5K and be happy. It is a great machine. Mine runs completely YES completely silent with the i7, 295 , SSD and 32GB of ram. Core temps are in the low 100F area most of the time.

  12. hologram macrumors 6502

    May 12, 2007
    Nonsense! Some people will complain about anything, and some people have a software conflict creating a problem that you wouldn't have on your system.

    I got a 5k iMac 4.0 i7 a little while ago, and it's absolutely silent. It runs cool, and it responds instantly. Maybe some have a software conflict that's causing a lag, because I sure don't have any, and it's definitely not a hardware problem. That''s the trouble with listening to advice from unsatisfied people... they'll make you unsatisfied too, even when you're not likely to have the same problem they have.

    If you're afraid of a laggy computer with heat problems now, you'll be just as afraid a year or two from now. Don't believe everything you read... people will ALWAYS find something to complain about.

    I bet when quantum computers are available people will complain about how slow and laggy they are, too.
  13. UniDoubleU macrumors regular


    Aug 14, 2014
    So what do you expect of the machine? Of course, the iMac 5K's a natural in doing photos and videos as you can view much of the materials in full clarity, all of the video and most of the raw photos. Nope, you're not getting more real estate if you're using Retina displays correctly, amazing clarity is why people use Retina mode. Of course, using 2880p and squinting at the screen with a magnifier is also an option. Why are you considering the iMac?

    So... Laggy? I think the posts about that were mainly or Mission Control lagging, which unfortunately is persistent on a lot of macs. Heat problem? I don't think I've seen a thread about fried logic boards yet so not a "problem"... Knocks wood. If this iMac as faulty as the notorious actually overheating MacBook Pro 2011 then we'll all get free replacements from Apple. But whatever, I live in Thailand and the thing hasn't gotten any close to overheating on me.

    A charming feature of this forum is massive whining when a new product hits the shelf. iPhone 6+? Oooooh, huge ugly bending scrap metal. How many actually bent unintentionally? If the forum is correct then Apple would have hundreds of thousands bent iPhones! :apple: Every time it's the same story of the older version is better. Before the iMac 5K launch? iMac 2012 were much better! Well, I do agree in terms of value of money. The iMac 2013 weren't a huge upgrade from 2012, but then looking at both Intel and Nvidia at the time not shipping any vast improvement either. Ok, everyone agrees that Mac Mini 2012 are vastly better than 2014 yes. Hardware-wise is the iMac 5K vastly superior to iMac 2013? Of course not but then i7 4790k is not much faster i7 4770k, but what can you do? That's the fastest consumer CPU in the world! Is the m295x underpowered? It's got 1Tflop more computing power than GTX 780m and better OpenCL capability!

    What cost? You expect every $3,000+ dollars computer to work right out the box? Well, you must be very disappointed in the current Mac Pros can be even much more expensive as monitor is not included! :p I think what we all need are more realistic expectations. Buying a $3,000 iMac 5K today? You're getting a great IPS display at the highest resolution in the market. With 15 million pixels! While the rest of the world are using something like 2 million pixels and the elite few using 8 million pixels... what else? Fastest consumer CPU and fastest AMD mobile GPU using the latest architecture and potentially supporting all their current bells and whistles. The awesome RAM upgrade window is still there! Oh and fast storage also. That's plenty for me.

    Want Target Display Mode in iMac 5K? Displayport 1.3 is specified but no GPU has that yet. It'll come with Thunderbolt 3 which would be available in no less than a year but probably more than that as Intel is not punctual recently. Want to play every game at Ultra detail in full resolution? No single GPU available can achieve that even at 4K. Probably at least another 3 years until we have an expensive desktop GPU that can barely do that. Waiting for that? Get comfy then :D
  14. Mac32 Suspended

    Nov 20, 2010
    I have a maxed out late 2012 iMac, and I'm definitely waiting for the next retina iMac model. If you don't have an iMac, and want one now - I would get it. However I like to game, and I'm waiting for the 980M from Nvidia, or better..
  15. Roller macrumors 68020

    Jun 25, 2003
    I have late 2012 iMac at home and a Retina iMac at work, both with the highest available video card and CPU. The home iMac has a 3TB Fusion drive, and the office computer has a 1TB SSD. I definitely appreciate the Retina iMac's display and speed, and I haven't had any problem with fan noise or heat. But the cost:benefit ratio isn't enough to make me replace the home computer yet. I generally wait three-four years to replace my iMacs, so I'll probably wait until late 2015 or early 2016, depending on what's available.

    However, if I were contemplating my first purchase now, I wouldn't hesitate to get the Retina iMac, with the knowledge that there will always be something better around the corner.
  16. hjalte macrumors member

    Dec 23, 2014
    It is nice to hear that there are some who didn't experience heat or fan problems.

    That's the problems with these forums. Most of the posts are from people with problems ;)
  17. dogslobber macrumors 68040


    Oct 19, 2014
    Apple Campus, Cupertino CA
    Unfortunately, all the current iMacs either have a 27" screen or are crippled by only having a maximum 16gb of memory. That's why I stick to my trusty 2011 21.5" as I have the best of both worlds. If you need a big screen sometimes then plug it in as needed. You can never compromise on physical memory.
  18. fastlanephil macrumors 65816


    Nov 17, 2007

    It sounds like you need to get the best computer for using Adobe Suite and CAD design.

    The iMac is a great computer for many things but you should first check what would be the best fit for your serious work. Maybe a Windows PC?

    For web surfing and such an iPad might be the ticket.

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