Buy now or wait for 2016 iMac?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Monomeeth, Nov 15, 2015.

  1. Monomeeth macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2014
    #1
    Ever since the 5K iMac launched in October 2014 I've been waiting for the 21.5" retina iMac version to be released. It gave me plenty of time to save up!

    But when the new iMacs were released I was bitterly disappointed that there was no discrete graphics card option for the 21.5" models, let alone the lack of RAM upgradeability.

    Going through the whole line-up, the only option available to me is to purchase the high-end 27" model with the best graphics card etc. However, I'm really not keen on 27" - it's just too big for my needs on a single screen, would much rather a dual screen setup.

    But, well, that's the only option that currently meets my overall requirements. So do I just bite the bullet or do I wait for the 2016 models?

    The attraction of waiting for the new models are the possibility of:
    • an entirely new form factor - the current basic design has been around now since mid 2007 - that's 8+ years!
    • the reintroduction of a 24" model (that'd suit me perfectly).
    • dedicated graphics cards again. Or is that just wishful thinking?
    • user-upgradeable RAM again. Or is that also just wishful thinking?
    • SSD drives as standard.

    What do others think?
     
  2. jerwin macrumors 65816

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    Jun 13, 2015
  3. Monomeeth thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Sep 6, 2014
    #3
    Hi Jerwin, seems I somehow posted my discussion twice (although no idea how that happened!)

    Thanks for your feedback. I am starting to consider this now...

    :)
     
  4. colodane macrumors 6502a

    colodane

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    Location:
    Colorado
    #4
    Yes, this is frustrating, but not unexpected.

    I was also waiting for a high-spec 21.5 (or, even better, a 24 inch). I've given up hope on the replaceable RAM, however. Actually, this could disappear on the 27 in the future. On the plus side, even though it isn't standard, Apple does have a decent selection of SSD options.

    In terms of displays, my sweet spot would be a 4K 24 inch such as the Dell that is currently available for about $400. So even considering using one of those with a 13 inch MacBook Pro in clamshell mode. Even looked at Mac Pro but of course that is over-spec in some areas for my usage, much more expensive, and in dire need of an update.

    I'll probably do something in 2016, most likely a mid-spec 27 inch with SSD. But I share your frustration with the currently available hardware from Apple.
     
  5. Benjamin Frost Suspended

    Benjamin Frost

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    May 9, 2015
    Location:
    London, England
    #5
    I would wait and see if a new form factor comes out next year.

    They ought to bring back the 24", as I think that was a sweet spot for many people.

    Personally, I'd like a 34" iMac, but I won't get my hopes too high.
     
  6. unixphone macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2008
    #6
    I also faced this dilemma... i was going to get 27 because I felt the 21 is a rip off product. However, I ended up 21 4k with 8gb and 256 ssd. I suddenly realized life is too short and I rather have a healthy eyes :)
    Will just buy another imac few years later anyway hahaha
     
  7. maxsix Suspended

    maxsix

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    Jun 28, 2015
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    Western Hemisphere
    #7
    Wait ... You'll be very glad you did.

    In this case, for far too many reasons to list :D
     
  8. desmond2046 macrumors regular

    desmond2046

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    Jun 2, 2015
    Location:
    Columbus, OH, United States
    #8
    I guess there will likely be a new iMac design with thunderbolt 3/USB type-C along with the upgraded new Mac Pro next year.

    However, I doubt a reintroduction of 24" model. I also don't think there will be a dGPU on the 21-inch model. The trend of Apple is becoming more and more non-user-upgradable. If SSD becomes standard, they will increase the base model price...

    I came from using a 23-inch monitor at home and 21-inch in my office. The 27-inch isn't big at all. It is something you will get used to and appreciate in a few days. The benefit of waiting for the 2016 model would be

    1. Thunderbolt 3/USB type-C interface.
    2. Completely new generation Arctic island 14/16nm GPU by AMD or Pascal GPU by nVidia (less likely). They will likely be featured only on the 27-inch model.
     
  9. Macmamamac macrumors regular

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    Mar 21, 2015
    #9
    Wait for 8k. Not gimmicky inbetweens like 5k. ( LG has confirmed 8k displays for Apple soon )

    Probably happening next year. Upgraded Thunderbolt Display with 8k a shoe in with an upgraded Mac Pro.

    iMac 8k will follow a few months after.

    ( still love my 5k, btw )
     
  10. Max(IT) Suspended

    Max(IT)

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    Dec 8, 2009
    Location:
    Italy
    #10
    I would only consider the 27" iMac.
    Some choices Apple made about the 21" are disappointing.
     
  11. ScorpionT16 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2015
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    #11
    The 27" isn't that big, you will adjust, and get better value. I came from a 21" Monitor, and have dual 21" Monitors at work, the 27" is just right and ideal. Less is more, two monitors just mean two extra objects to take care of, look at, and occupy space. And that annoying joint/gap between the two monitors. Not to mention using valuable resources for one extra screen, when you could prioritize in one using OS Xs multiple desktop views. Also the ability to upgrade the ram, I doubt even in new models lower sizes would allow upgradability, they might even pull it from the 27" at the rate their going.

    Now to get my work to get at least 24" monitors lol...
     
  12. whodatrr macrumors 6502a

    whodatrr

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2004
    #12
    Really, I just don't get 8k in a 27" screen. Even though I'm middle-aged, my eyes are pretty good. the move from 1080 to 1440 was a big improvement, IMOHO. The move form 1440 to 5k, not so much. yes, it does look a bit prettier and it's nice for editing 4k videos while having tools around the screen, but otherwise it doesn't improve most of my productivity. I feel like it's taking a pounding own my bank account and GPU cycles, for a negligible productivity bump.

    And I am a multi-display freak. While I turned the 5k iMac back in, I do have 4 27" 1440 displays, a 4k display, and a 34" 3440x1440. Of the three, the 34" is by far my favorite. But I just don't see how 8k would improve my life, unless if was curved and 60" wide or something like that?


     
  13. twilexia macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2015
    #13
    If you want to wait close to a year, go ahead. No ones stopping you. If the iMac is for work then you know any week spent without it is a waste.

    New models will always come out and new refreshes will always bring with them the latest and the greatest. USB C, while nice, will at least take 2 years for all the adapters and devices to come out with the upgraded connection.

    Finally macs have good resale value, typically at least 50% if not more. So at most you're looking at 1-1.5k loss if you do sell next year in order to get the latest and greatest. But in that 1 year you could be doing so much with the Mac that it far surpasses the value of 1.5k.
     
  14. campyguy macrumors 68030

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    Mar 21, 2014
    Location:
    Portland / Seattle
    #14
    I need a few iMacs for the office and want one for home - 27" models with VESA mounts. I'm waiting. I've seen demo Win laptops with the updated interface, and several have been announced for retail sale in January. Apple already is selling an adapter. Peripherals, including USB-C empty enclosures for dual disks for RAID 1/0 are already available - today.

    I can't see Apple waiting too long to put updated iMac/rMBP/nMP units on the market. I'll be pulling the trigger on a few iMacs later that day...
     
  15. Sirmausalot, Dec 6, 2015
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2015

    Sirmausalot macrumors 6502a

    Sirmausalot

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    Sep 1, 2007
    #15
    8k isn't happening. They are at a retina pixel density and a pixel count they like for FCPX. 5k was a choice (surprising to all of us) that in retrospect makes sense. The 4k imac was more predictable and is also here to stay for many generations. But the 4k wait for Skylake. 5k buy now
     
  16. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

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    Boston
    #16
    Get the 27" as others stated, its fast, gorgeous and the screen is expansive. I don't think the 21" will see a dGPU, and I don't think they'll roll out a refresh of the 21" model any time soon
     
  17. fandangoguy macrumors newbie

    fandangoguy

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    Nov 14, 2009
    Location:
    Toronto -Canada
    #17
    I'm almost ready to buy a 27 imac i7 late 2015 but after reading this thread (thanks guys!) I'm having second thoughts.
    my vintage 2009 imac works but it's slow obviously...but I'm wondering if waiting til mid 2016 will make a big change in the specs of a new imac...nobody can really tell I know but besides new connectors and maybe new processors, is there a logic in waiting? I sure would love to see the price of flash drives drop a lot...but it won't happen I think..
    just thinking if waiting a bit longer would be the right thing to do...I'm glad i didn't buy the late 2014 after some of the overheating issues..
     
  18. ScorpionT16, Dec 8, 2015
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2015

    ScorpionT16 macrumors member

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    Dec 1, 2015
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    Toronto, Canada
    #18
    If your using it for productivity and daily, don't doubt, it's a good time to buy.

    The Late 2015 5Ks are on the "Tock" Cycle, the earlier 5Ks were the "Tick". Not that anything is wrong with the earlier versions, apple just tweaked and refined the newer release with the refreshed Skylake's. If you do wait, there's no guarantee those new changes don't include things like removing the ability to add ram (knowing apple)... If there is a major design/internal change, I would then again wait for the "tock" cycle, even longer...
     
  19. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #19
    To that point, what else could or would they do on the 5K iMac next year. I think they'll wait for the next chipset from Intel.
     
  20. ScorpionT16 macrumors member

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    Dec 1, 2015
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    #20
    Very possible. Maybe they'll add USB-C and update the Thunderbolt ports, possibly tweak the GPU and 5K display again. Nothing revolutionary. I doubt they would significantly drop any prices either, maybe by $50-100 to encourage more sales due minor tweaks... who knows.
     
  21. Sirmausalot macrumors 6502a

    Sirmausalot

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    Sep 1, 2007
    #21
    The next chipset for the 5K is a ways out. 2017, perhaps 2018? The 2015 5K iMac will likely have a slightly higher speed Skylake chip, and higher speed ports, and a better video card. Except for the video card (for certain situations) none of the other enhancements will likely make a real world difference. To reiterate, the 2015 5K is a buy now, the 2015 4K is a wait until the next generation.
     
  22. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #22
    I think those additions are minor, to the degree it may not make sense to roll out a new iMac - just my $.02
     
  23. gilbeys macrumors newbie

    gilbeys

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    Dec 4, 2015
    #23
    I wanted the 4k too, but like the OP I was disappointed with what apple released. I ended up getting the late 2015 5k iMac. My suggestion is to consider getting the 27". It is huge, but I got used to it rather quickly. Can't imagine going back to a small screen now
     
  24. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2013
    #24
    I still don't understand why people are dissapointed with the 4K iMac.

    The new screens are brilliant with the best coulour gamut around.

    The IRIS pro in broadwell is no worse than the 750M in the previous generation (except in games but the 750M was hardly a powerhouse there anyway and the M370X they would have used as in the 15 inch macbook pro is not really much better).

    The broadwell and skylake CPU performance is so close that anyone noticing a difference needs a more powerfull computer anyway.

    USB C is pointless at the moment and would just mean adapters and issues with peoples current peripherals.

    Thunderbolt 3 is only any use for 5K screen or an external GPU which are so prohibitively expensive you might as well just get the 27 inch machine in the first place.
     
  25. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

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    Boston
    #25
    I can only echo my sentiments.
    Lack of dGPU
    Broadwell chipset, yes, its the only one with a decent iGPU, so it does make sense, but that doesn't mean I think its a good value, i.e., spending a lot of money on an older chipset.
    5400 stock drive.
    1TB Fusion drive only has 24GB of flash storage.

    True, I could upgrade the storage to something a bit more speedier, but then I'm getting close to the price of the 5k. So in the end, I bought a 5k which use Skylake, a dGPU and the model I have has a 128GB flash storage as part of the fusion drive (2 TB) :)
     

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