Buy now or wait?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by SDAVE, Dec 6, 2016.

  1. SDAVE macrumors 68040

    SDAVE

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    #1
    Hey all, I'm helping out someone get a top of the line iMac, but I've been hesitant in getting it for him since the current one is over a year old (and doesn't have USB-C, which is where things are going anyway).

    The machine will be for editing (FCPX and Premiere Pro) so was looking at the 395x and 4.0Ghz i7 Skylake.

    They plan to add a secondary 4k monitor for previewing, hence why 395x (more VRAM) is needed.

    Is it worth paying $2849 for this or wait until March??
     
  2. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #2
    If they can wait, then by all means that almost always is the way to go.

    If they don't wait, then they have a machine to enjoy 4+ months, plus its not a lock we'll see new iMacs in March. What happens if Apple opts to roll out an update in June? Would that prospect or risk, alter the purchase decisions?

    Also, consider what Apple has done with the MBPs, and we can figure some of those decision decisions will work their way into the iMacs. We should see a Polaris GPU, though probably not the top of the line model, we'll see USB-C and maybe the removal of the SD slot. Are these changes something that will aide the buyer?
     
  3. samcraig macrumors P6

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    #3
    All reasons I went with a 2015 iMac 27" 5K... And don't forget about user upgradable memory. It's possible that might get taken away too....
     
  4. SDAVE thread starter macrumors 68040

    SDAVE

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    #4
    Thanks guys. Went ahead and ordered.

    I really don't see how much Apple can upgrade this thing -- I assume maybe a brighter display, USB-C/TB3, maybe TouchID/TouchBar on keyboard? And removing the SD card. And Polaris/CPU will probably stay Skylake.
     
  5. hfg macrumors 68040

    hfg

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    #5
    Plus, as with many things you buy ... sometimes it is best to pass on the first iteration of a new design, and purchase the second release. This will enhance buying the current model to use while you wait.


    For example: the 2014 5K iMac vs. the 2015 5K iMac
     
  6. SDAVE thread starter macrumors 68040

    SDAVE

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    #6
    Yeah looking at comparisons between those two, the 2015 has better thermal design and can run at high clock speeds without throttling.

    The iMac is due for a redesign, so next update will probably look different and will be a "first iteration" product with Skylake and Radeon Pro. I assume 15-20% performance update.
     
  7. richinaus macrumors 6502a

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    #7
    It will be Kaby lake - current machine is already Skylake.

    15 - 20% is probably a bit much - maybe 10% but a much improved GPU [which is what I am holding out for].

    The current machine though is great.
     
  8. SDAVE thread starter macrumors 68040

    SDAVE

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    #8
    Isn't desktop Kaby Lake coming late 2017 -- not in time for the iMac?
     
  9. cl516 macrumors newbie

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    #9
    I went for it now, grabbed a i7 4.0 27" with 512SSD and M395. Coming from a 2008 Mac Pro, I'm sure the new machine will be more than delightful. Also, IMO seems like it's been out just long enough where a lot of 3rd party software is stable enough.
     
  10. SDAVE thread starter macrumors 68040

    SDAVE

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    #10
    It's using a i7-6700k skylake processor. I have a Hackintosh with this CPU and it flies.

    You'll definitely be happy.

    The only concern is the Tonga based GPU, which is from 2014.
     
  11. Nismo73 macrumors 6502a

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    #11
  12. SDAVE thread starter macrumors 68040

    SDAVE

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    #12
  13. CWallace macrumors 603

    CWallace

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    #13
    That is the guess if they want to announce it at the iPad event, which should be March based on past cycles.

    If they just want a PR release, then it will be whenever Kaby Lake and the mobile AMD 470 and 480 series GPUs are ready, which looks like January or February.
     
  14. SDAVE thread starter macrumors 68040

    SDAVE

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    #14
    Will the GPU from Tonga to Polaris be a huge jump for apps like FCPX and Premiere Pro?

    I know Kaby Lake and Skylake are maybe 10-15% difference at most.
     
  15. Dave245 macrumors 601

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    #15
    I'm guessing they may go for a redesign, the last one was 2012, I will wait and see what 2017 brings before upgrading mine. The 5K display would be nice tho, not sure if they will add the Touch Bar to the new iMacs.
     
  16. ivanwi11iams Contributor

    ivanwi11iams

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    #16
    If you wait, you'd at least have the choice to purchase OLD or NEW. Especially with the path that Apple are taking, by removing certain ports :(
     
  17. jigzaw macrumors 6502

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    #17
    THIS is what I was wondering. Once they start selling the new one, do they typically discount and continue selling last year's model? I don't believe they are currently selling 2014's. Or are you referring to used/refurbished?
     
  18. ivanwi11iams Contributor

    ivanwi11iams

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    #18
    Yes, slightly discounted. But, to be honest, you'll find the likes of Best Buy (not sure where you are), and B&H offering deals to get rid of inventory. That's what happened here in Atlanta, GA, after the release of the latest MacBook...

     
  19. jigzaw macrumors 6502

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    #19
    Cool. Yeah, I'm also torn on this. I'm an editor (I use Avid and occasionally Premiere, but will eventually get around to trying FCPX) and I was going to buy the new iMac this fall and since one didn't come I've been going back and forth over whether to go for it now or wait. I don't need it immediately or before the holidays, but I also don't want to wait until next summer or fall, so if it looked like it'll be that long then I'd just get one now. I'm thinking of going for the i7 4ghz, 395x, 1TB SSD. Looks like a beauty. I'm concerned that Apple's current direction might make the next version of iMac LESS attractive/professional like they did the MBP, but at the same time a next-gen GPU that is VR compatible is an interesting prospect...
     
  20. ivanwi11iams Contributor

    ivanwi11iams

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    #20
    I wished I could have got mine custom built and afforded the one with either a built in 512GB SSD or 1TB SSD. Alas, I have the 2TB Fusion drive, with 128GB SSD. Albeit, I have a 3TB SSD enclosed drive for Time Machine backups ;)

     
  21. jigzaw macrumors 6502

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    #21
    Oh myyyy, I've been thinking about someday going the enclosed SSD route since I haven't seen any SSD externals. That sounds like a great setup. Yeah, the pricing on the upgrades are really kind of outlandish but I don't have a desktop at all (just have a late-2012 MBP, which is still doing great) so I'll splurge for an iMac that I hope to keep for 5-6 years. My only remaining question is to wait or get one now. With zero info from Apple as to what their plans are, it's kind of a tossup. It'd be a real mess if it becomes like the Mac Pro and we see no new iMacs for 2-3 years..
     
  22. SDAVE, Dec 10, 2016
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2016

    SDAVE thread starter macrumors 68040

    SDAVE

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    #22

    Well going the way it is (Look at the 2016 MacBook Pro).

    New iMacs will definitely:

    1. Have USB-C ports (with Thunderbolt 3 support). So you will need a lot of dongles.
    2. They MAY remove Ethernet port (maybe not?)
    3. Remove expandable RAM?
    4. Will definitely remove SD card slot.
    5. Keep Skylake processor (as it is now, with i7-6700k) or get early Kaby Lake processors, which ISN'T a huge jump in performance, maybe 10-13%).
    6. Brighter display (just like the 2016 MBP)
    7. Faster SSD (it's already pretty darn fast as it is) but the price will go up on these SSDs.
    8. New Polaris based GPU (Or Vega??). Newer AMD GPUs are more efficient in terms of heat, but they are NOT performance monsters like newer-gen nVidia GPUs. I assume it will be a 4GB or 8GB GPU configuration with an RX480 or similar Polaris GPU.
    9. Thinner
    10. Touch ID or TouchBar (probably on the wireless keyboard?). Touch ID might be on the rear, I don't know if having it on the keyboard is "secure" enough for them.

    So yeah, I don't think it's a SIGNIFICANT update for editors or graphic designers. The GPU is probably the only thing that's a worthwhile update, but even then, Polaris is NOT a revolutionary architecture. Vega is supposed to come in 2017, so maybe Apple already has dibs on it.

    Also keep in mind the next update will be a redesign, so we have to deal with first-gen issues, which are typical with Apple (anyone remember the first Retina MacBook Pro? Fans used to kick up very early and get loud, and heavy throttling would lag the whole system)...or 2014 iMac which has thermal throttling, that the 2015 doesn't.

    So anyway, I have the 2015 top of the line iMac in my posession right now, and intalling Adobe, Apple, Davinci Resolve apps at the moment, will report back on the performance.

    I know for a fact that FCPX is heavily optimized, and it will run like a beast.

    Premiere Pro on the other hand (even CC2017) is a bit of a hit and miss. I think they work best with CUDA based GPUs like the Quadros with lots of GPU VRAM. They fly on PCs (ew) with higher end GPUs. You can slap on multiple LUTs, transitions, filters, layers, tracks at 4k+ and not have it choke. But on Macs it's a bit of a mixed back. However, Adobe started using Metal (instead of OpenCL) now so that may change things in the future.

    Will report back. I'm setting this up for a relative who's an editor, so I have to run a few tests. I told him that he can wait until March for a new update, but he needs one now (He's still using a very old PC from 2009). He can always sell this one on eBay/Craigslist and get a new one. That's the good thing about Apple products.

    I also didn't want him to get the TrashCan Pro because it's a terrible value and 3+ years old in terms of hardware. Also has to purchase a 5k monitor. The iMac is a no brainer since it's also a monitor.
     
  23. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #23
    There's no reason to buy the current Mac Pro, the iMac is more then up to the task, and you get a gorgeous monitor to boot.
     
  24. CWallace macrumors 603

    CWallace

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    #24
    The only USB device I have that is hard-wired is my game controller so I just plan to get new USB-C to USB-A/B/Micro/Lightning/Whatever cables. Probably cheaper than the dongles and much more elegant. :)


    I don't think they will as these machines are used in "corporate" environments where wired Ethernet is common.


    I'm inclined to believe they will not do so for the same as above. The 27" is more common in environments with an IT Department and those environments will want the flexibility to adjust RAM. If they do make it non-removable on the 27", I expect 16MB will become the default and 32MB the option.


    Like Ethernet and removable RAM, there is no reason to do this.


    Might see Skylake on the 21", but I am sure the 27" is going to Kaby Lake.


    Is the new LG 5K standalone display brighter? Because that is almost certainly the one the new iMac 5K will have.


    Apple dropped the price on the current SSD options, so they might bring the faster ones in at the same price.


    I expect we will see RX470 and RX480 at 2GB as the standards and RX490 at 4GB as the upgrade.


    I think the thickness will be the same. Might be thinner bezels around the screen.


    TouchID, yes. TouchBar, not so sure.
     
  25. jigzaw macrumors 6502

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    #25
    Thanks! This is some great analysis.
     

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