Buy now or wait for 2016 iMac?

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

  1. Monomeeth macrumors newbie

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    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. garirry macrumors 68000

    garirry

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    #2
    Don't buy the current 21.5" iMacs. They're incredibly underpowered for their price, and you will need to spend another $200+ to get an SSD and other stuff. It's absolute **** IMO, so you better wait, hopefully they'll do at least something semi-decent.

    • The last complete redesign was the G5, all after were small changes (in order, managing the space better, aluminum body, unibody, making it very thin). So, maybe there will be a re-design next year, but nothing major. Considering the history with Tim Cook though, it is not super likely.
    • I doubt that'll happen.
    • That has to happen at some point, but considering Tim Cook's actions...
    • That really should happen, but considering Tim Cook's actions...
    • If there will be a re-design, yes. If no, then considering Tim Cook's actions...
    So yeah, either you buy the 27" model, or you wait for a better product. It's already at the bottom of the barrel, so it isn't getting worse.
     
  3. Monomeeth thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Sep 6, 2014
    #3
    Agreed entirely, hence my question. So, what would you do? Buy the top end 27" now, or wait and hope for something better in the 21.5" next year?

    Ugh, that's just depressing...

    :(
     
  4. garirry macrumors 68000

    garirry

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    #4
    Assuming I had unlimited money, I'd get the 27". The screen is amazing, and I think I would get it even if I didn't need the display (well, for reasons I explained a little while ago). Assuming I had not much money, I would either wait for a re-design (or update) if it didn't hurry, otherwise I guess my only choice would have been of building a PC or buying a used Mac (the Mac Mini was also corrupted by Tim Cook).
     
  5. Monomeeth thread starter macrumors newbie

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  6. makrom, Nov 16, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2015

    makrom macrumors regular

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    Nov 4, 2015
    #6
    If you expect more changes that there have been since 2007, I doubt this will happen by 2016.

    24" used to be the big form factor for desktop usage but has largely been surpassed by 27". At the same time, it's still too big to cater to customers who want a more compact size. I doubt that there's a market between 21.5" and 27".
    I'd rather hold my breath for more powerful IGP in the smaller models. Which will happen no later than when they get Skylake CPUs.
    Wouldn't hold my breath for that either. Not going to happen as long as they follow the more compact = better mantra. They held off for now with the 27" models but unless there's severely bad feedback on that matter with the 21.5", I don't see that happen.
    Pretty sure this will happen eventually, but I would be surprised if as early as 2016. People are giving Apple a hard time doing that as long as they are willing to pay a hefty premium for an SSD ;)

    All that being said, I could see many of these things happen if iMacs were to become too unpopular. While 27" models still pack a punch, the only advantage the 21.5" models hold over a laptop/display combo is its form factor and display (for the Retina models). Given that many people will be just as happy with a common 4k display and pretty soon every laptop will be able to run then at 4k/60p, this might not be enough to set them appart.
     
  7. Icaras, Nov 16, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2015

    Icaras macrumors 603

    Icaras

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    #7
    I'm actually confident next year will bring a redesign. If not, 2017 at the latest. The iMac has never gone beyond three years without a design modification...until now. So Apple has already let its design linger longer than usual, but I also don't think 5 years is outside the realm of possibility going forward.

    My guess is that 2016 will be a big year for Mac change. Aside from the Mac Pro and the new MacBook, all Mac product lines are getting long in the tooth in terms of design (iMac: 3 years, Mac mini: 5 years, MacBook Air: 5 years, and MacBook Pro: 3 years) and I think they will get redesigned by either next year or 2017.

    I myself am holding out for a redesigned iMac, hopefully next year. It could be the perfect opportunity to introduce the 24" iMac.
     
  8. Jolly-boo macrumors member

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    May 8, 2012
    #8
    I'm in a similar position as you. Have a very old computer. The next PC I'm going to buy will have to last me at least 5 years, I'd imagine, given cost, and if I'm gonna buy an iMac I'd rather buy it at a redesign. And I feel it's about time. Even if small. Just that I'd know I bought something that's at the beginning of its design cycle.

    But, who knows. There have been no rumors. I sit and wonder once in a while how Ive's and his team work. How long does it take to land on something, and how much to they have to work on at the moment. rMB is out. New iPad design, if not Air 3. New iPhone design. Too soon for Watch.

    21,5 and 27 pretty much covers most users. I'm doubtful they'll have a third option. Though I agree that the 21 is too small and 27 too big.

    Apple does seem to be fazing out dedicated graphics on the Pro's. Haven't been following the iMac side as much.

    I'm sure there's an answer, but I have wondered what's so different about the 27 inch that it can have upgradeable ram slots, but no the 21 inch?

    Given that it's a stationary Mac, I don't think they'd want to put anything less that 500GB of storage as standard in there. And 500GB of the flash storage they're using is too expensive. Much easier to let people choose what they want. Fusion drive though should be standard (for the walk-ins who may not understand the benefits all that much).

    I am gonna wait.
     
  9. Monomeeth thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Sep 6, 2014
    #9
    Thanks makrom for sharing your thoughts.


    Actually, I was thinking they might replace the 21.5" with a 24" model. But I suppose that may not suit most people - or maybe they might do 24" and 27" for their new models, and keep a current 21.5" version as the entry point for most consumers.

    Also, I was speculating on a 24" because the organisation I work for is replacing 19" models with 24" models and over time that could amount to about 24,000 monitors. (It's a large organisation, so figured that maybe there's going to be a trend to 24" moving forward).
     
  10. Monomeeth thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Sep 6, 2014
    #10
    Let's hope so. If I wait, I don't want to wait until 2017. My current desktop won't meet my needs for that long - it's already struggling now!
     
  11. Monomeeth thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #11

    Thank Jolly-boo for sharing. Hopefully we won't be waiting too long!
     
  12. makrom macrumors regular

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    Nov 4, 2015
    #12
    I do see a redesign being due, but my guess is that it's going to be something as different as when they went from the first aluminum iMac to the unibody ones or from old unybody to the slim ones we have today. But a change as drastic as G4 -> G5 would surprise me a lot. I don't even think that something as different as the change from plastic -> aluminum is going to happen.
     
  13. Tucom macrumors 65816

    Tucom

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    #13
    The 21.5's are fantastic - they're no different than any other modern, up to date computer. They use the latest Intel Broadwells, are clocked high and are desktop class. The GPUs are ample for anything but gaming.

    Just upgrade to an SSD and you'll have a screaming machine.. it's that simple. Any other statement saying otherwise is delusional and literally makes zero sense. It's up to you, but they've just been updated.. so they're as future proof as anything you can buy right now.
     
  14. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

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    Oct 24, 2013
    #14
    Totally agree with this, the current crop of 4K 21 inch iMacs are awesome, the best small all in one you can buy bar none, desktop class cpu's, IRIS Pro graphics and a 4K screen.
     
  15. makrom, Nov 16, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2015

    makrom macrumors regular

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    Nov 4, 2015
    #15
    Yeah I'm just not feeling the love. CPU isn't an issue, but once you upped the RAM and the SSD, you are paying a small furtune for a machine that not only can't handle games, but also just does the bare minimum for photo and video editing.
    I'm not calling them bad machines, but I don't like those caveats at this price point.
     
  16. Fdefulvio macrumors newbie

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    Oct 16, 2015
    #16
    I debated on starting a similar thread. I also would prefer a 24" display, and was disappointed with the latest announcement. By the time you upgraded the 21.5" to a SSD, you were into 27" money. I was ready to buy a new 27" Retina iMac, but couldn't bring myself to spend over $2000 because of the half hearted Skylake implementation by Apple. At least other manufactures are using DDR4 memory with Skylake. The heat and fan noise issues also concerned me.

    Maybe next year Apple will take full advantage of the new architecture. I decided to go with a refurbished Mac mini and a 1440 25" display. Not quite retina, but better than 1080, and gets me into OSX for half the price.
     
  17. makrom macrumors regular

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    Nov 4, 2015
    #17
    The fan isn't dead silent, but if this isn't what you were expecting, you shouldn't be disappointed. In most cases, it's much quieter than any competing model.
    The main issue about not supporting DDR4 is that you won't be able to carry over the RAM to a DDR4 computer. From a performance point of view however, the difference should be absolutely minimal, according to all the benchmarks I have seen so far.
     
  18. Sirmausalot macrumors 6502a

    Sirmausalot

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    #18
    No heat and fan noise here -- except when exporting video. DDR4 is a non-issue. It's expensive and doesn't add any real performance gain -- especially since you can use 2133 RAM in the iMac. Waiting for a redesign is folly. You may not like it. Waiting for a revised 21" makes sense because it will have Skylake and upgraded iGPUs with performance increase. However the 27" is a great buy right now as long as you get some sort of solid state storage. And BTW, Apple has made it clear they are not releasing a 24" machine. Stop waiting for things that won't exist.
     
  19. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

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    #19

    as anandtech says DDR4 not worth the effort yet.

    http://www.anandtech.com/show/8959/...-3200-with-gskill-corsair-adata-and-crucial/8

    There is currently no real difference in performance.
     
  20. Jolly-boo, Nov 16, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2015

    Jolly-boo macrumors member

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    #20
    I hope we'll start seeing some rumors after new years. If it's assembled in China there's gotta be some.

    I am endlessly curious to see if they'll attempt to make the back drastically thinner. It'll be thinner for sure, but how much. It might come at the expense of power (more power, not equal), but the goal clearly is one of those concepts images you might find on google pages or in movies set in future.

    Otherwise they'll just add another 21,5 inch retina iMac option next year. Clearly this forum is upset about them having a simple HHD, but it works. Slow boot time, but it works.

    My biggest gripe with the 21,5 inch iMac is the black bezel. They're too thick. Makes the screen look small. It's like looking at my iPad 3 and the iPad Air 2. The 27 screen is large so it's much less cumbersome.

    FYI, just for loolz, my main computer is a windows XP from 2005. With 1GB of ram. Since I, dunno, came of age and got a job next to my studies, I've had plenty of chances of buying something better but, there was always something else to buy. A driver's license in Norway is expensive! I'll tell you this though: this computer has taught me incredible patience. I might as well wait another year ...
     
  21. fathergll macrumors 6502a

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    Sep 3, 2014
    #21

    I would buy this in a heart beat over the 2015 21" 4k model. Bigger screen, dedicated GPU, RAM can be expanded for dirt cheap.


    http://www.apple.com/shop/product/G...z-quad-core-intel-core-i5-with-retina-display

    October 2014
    27-inch (diagonal) Retina display with IPS technology; 5120‑by‑2880 resolution
    8GB memory
    256GB Flash Storage
    AMD Radeon R9 M290X graphics processor with 2GB of GDDR5 memory
    $1,869.00
     
  22. TechZeke, Nov 16, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2015

    TechZeke macrumors 68020

    TechZeke

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    #22
    First, if you are fine on a 10 year old machine running XP with 1GB of RAM, you should stay on that Machine until it breaks.

    Second, the reason why the standard HDD doesn't seem like a big deal to you is because you've never experienced SSD. It's not simply just the boot times; an HDD can make getting around the OS a chore. SSDs have gotten much cheaper in recent years(including PCIe SSDs) thus there is no excuse for Apple to not be offering an SSD component in a $1500-$2000 machine, period.

    I'm also not sure why everyone is obsessed with redesigns. There isn't much Apple could do to the design except make it even thinner or reduce the bezels. Then people would still be complaining that it's same basic design from 2009.
     
  23. Sirmausalot macrumors 6502a

    Sirmausalot

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    #23
    People talk about redesigns because they can. It's like talking about the weather. And Jolly-boo, if you have the cash, treat yourself to a new computer this year (with solid state storage).
     
  24. Jolly-boo, Nov 16, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2015

    Jolly-boo macrumors member

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    #24
    Redesigns are fun. An iPhone is redesigned every two years. Macs aren't.

    Ow, believe me, it will be another ten years before this thing breaks. It's a trooper. The HHD is the only thing that failed on me.

    I've had a rMBP, I know the difference between the two storage options. All I'm saying is that it works. Going from SSD to HDD, sure, not easy. And apparently everyone in this forum is some sort of 4k video/ 3D programming editor ("Hyperthreading man, you must have it!").

    Apple products (especially Macs) have gotten a lot more expensive this past year in Norway. Something to do with oil. You don't need to understand the value, but a version of the rMBP at the end of 2014 cost 12000kr. Now it's 16000kr. The difference is almost the price of a 16GB iPad Air 2.

    The reason my computer has sustained me so long is because I don't edit film or photo. Game on PS4. I draw in Photoshop here and there and I certainly feel the slowness there the most. Now that I'm studying programming, the low resolution is certainly bugging me, cus I can't have many windows open.

    As the thread starter, I'd something I have to think about. Though I doubt his computer is as old. Color options would be nice. Not gold, though. That'd look weird on a 27 inch.

    Edit: Target display more would be nice also, for one day, if needed. I know why it hasn't happened, but don't know if the technology is close. Surely they'll release a revised 5k display when they've figured this one out.
     
  25. AlexisV macrumors 68000

    AlexisV

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    #25
    The chances are that the next update will just be a refresh. There is scope for giving you more for the same money next time, but it could be spring 2016, November 2015, March 2017. Who knows?

    I'd just go 27" personally. I've had the 20ish inch since 2006 and I'm going to 27" now.
     

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