Buy now with back-to-school bonus or wait?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by iRoranik, Sep 11, 2015.

  1. iRoranik macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2015
    #1
    Now let me first say that I've been reading through this forum aswell as other forums/news sites since weeks already, trying to get an impression about how likely a 5K iMac refresh is in the next 1 - 2 months, and what it would include. However, I'm still not confident about what to do.

    I've saved up the money to buy a 5K iMac, and I could either spend it now, or wait for another 1 - 2 months for a potential refresh. I'm a student and I would profit from the reduced education prices in the Apple Store either way; however, if I'm buying now, I would save 200€ on the Beats2 headphones thanks to the back-to-school offer (well, rather 150€ if you consider that the Solo2 cost about that at Amazon). I was planning on getting new headphones sooner or later anyway, so this seems like a good deal. I know that Beats headphones don't have the best reputation when it comes to overall quality, and quality in sound, but for my "casual" purposes, I think I'd be pretty satisfied with them (watching movies, listening to some music, playing games with it).

    On the other hand, if there really is a refresh next month or in 2 months already, it seems kindof unwise to buy now, and have an outdated product 2 months later. Waiting for so long and not getting any headphones with it then, but therefore getting better specs seems intriguing too.

    Regarding specs, if I buy now, I'd buy with the upgraded i7 processsor, upgraded M295X graphics card, 3 TB of fusion drive, and 8 GB RAM (probably gonna upgrade the RAM later myself). I'm mainly gonna use the device for my study, and of course for the "usual" activities like browsing web and so on. I would use it for "big" games in Bootcamp from time to time, so while games aren't the main priority, I would want to be able to play AAA-titles for the next couple of years.

    So I've tried to ask myself: would I need a refreshed iMac? And I'm frankly not that sure. Having a Skylake processor might be nice, but probably won't make much of a difference for me (I'm not even sure if I'd notice much of a difference if I'd only go for the i5 processor instead, but I better want to invest into the best model now, than to repent later). M395X in the new model, rather than a M295X now? This might actually be a more important reason to wait, not because of the few extra FPS that one would probably get out of games, but because Apple might have fixed the heating issues that the current generation has; but still, I don't know if it would be that big of a deal. Thunderbolt 3? Would be nice to be future-proof by having it, but right now, I don't know what I would need it for. Potentially a Force Touch trackpad? Well if there really is one anytime soon, one could still buy it seperately.

    So I ask for your advice. In my situation, would you rather wait for a refresh with slightly better specs, or would you buy right now with free headphones? I could hold off for some more weeks; but if there is no new model until maybe November, then I would probably buy the current one anyway.
     
  2. JustMartin macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2012
    Location:
    UK
    #2
    If the current machine suits your requirements, then you won't have an outdated machine in 2 months if they update the range. You'll only have an outdated machine when it comes time to sell it or if there's something you need that the spec won't support and that probably won't be for a while.
     
  3. colodane macrumors 6502a

    colodane

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2012
    Location:
    Colorado
    #3
    I would recommend waiting. As you point out, you will also get your educational discount on a newer model iMac later. Don't let the Beats headphone thing influence your decision - you can buy better headphones for less $$ elsewhere.
     
  4. Sirmausalot macrumors 6502a

    Sirmausalot

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2007
    #4
    It is very, very likely (near 100%) they will update the 21" to 4K retina in early October in time for the holidays and to coincide with the new OSX. I am hoping (and waiting) for an update to the 27" at the same time. It would have improved video, possibly an improved screen, possibly improved inputs/outputs. The big wildcard is the processor. Skylake -- will it be available or not. Even if it's not, Haswell may be just fine even in another update. It has been a year for the higher end machine, so it is due for an update.

    If you want to play games, than an upgrade in the video card might be worth waiting for. I say it's a 50/50 at this point.

     
  5. iRoranik thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2015
    #5
    Yes, that's why I'm unsure at the moment. We've only gotten substantial news/rumors about an upcoming new 21,5" iMac, featuring a 4K display (which is even supposedly in production already, if one would trust recent rumors), but nothing really about a new 5K iMac. So while, as you pointed out, the release of a 4K iMac in the next 1 - 2 months is almost certain, we don't know if there is a new 5K iMac during that time too. It's certainly possible (and might be the most likely thing to happen) that Apple updates both machines at the same time; but if Skylake isn't ready, I could also imagine that the 4K iMac doesn't feature Skylake and is released soon, whereas the 5K iMac is released at the very end of this year or early next year, therefore having Skylake. (But this would probably be to late for me.)

    So... I really don't know. If we certainly knew, or at least had solid evidence (e.g. substantial rumors or leaks) that a new 5K iMac releases next month or early november, then I would rather wait. But I'm afraid that if I decide to wait and Apple doesn't release a new 5k iMac by then, that I might have to go with the old one anyway, but having missed out on the back-to-school promotion then.

    I now have one month of free time until the new semester starts, so it's appealing to get an iMac now, get started with it and use it for all kind of stuff that I probably won't have much time for during the semester. I wouldn't need it right now before the semester starts, but altogether with the free headphones, it's certainly appealing to buy now and do some cool stuff with that machine before the semester keeps me busy. (Although I would of course prefer a refreshed iMac over free headphones. But as we don't know if there really is a new 5K iMac, I'm really unsure...)
     
  6. George Dawes macrumors 6502

    George Dawes

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2014
    Location:
    Woof bark donkey
    #6
    Shame Apple are still SO secretive , it's probably why they don't make inroads into business IT etc as how are buyers supposed to make informed decisions when they might buy hundreds if not thousands of macs then find a week later they're all out dated ?
     
  7. TechZeke macrumors 68020

    TechZeke

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2012
    Location:
    Rialto, CA
    #7
    I'm starting to see rumors of no october event. If true, that means Apple is going to wait until Skylake. The problem is that on one hand I don't want to wait until March(at the earliest) for a new 5K iMac, but on the other hand I don't want to drop $2k on the 2014 iMacs.

    Apple's secrecy and Intel's delays/roadmaps combine to make 2015 the worse year ever to look at buying Mac unless it's the 13" rMBP, 12" rMB, or MBA.
     
  8. iRoranik thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2015
    #8
    That's how I feel. I personally wouldn't even really care for Skylake; I would happily buy a refreshed model in October if it "only" has the new M395X GPU, an improved display and such "little" things. But it seems as if Apple might really take some more months with the 5K iMac and release it altogether with Skylake later on, because Skylake might be a bigger deal for most people than just a slightly impoved GPU.

    The only things that come to my mind that Apple could present in an October event are new iMacs and a new iPad Air; but to me, it seems as if these two would not be sufficient to hold an entire event. An updated iPad Air would be rather underwhelming for a keynote, considering it only could contain features that the iPad Pro already has, and the iPad Pro already had it's spotlight this month. And if there was an October event, I don't think Apple would have put so much stuff into the September event; especially the iPad Pro would have been more suited for an October presentation if there was one. Also, the last years, Apple could show off the new Mac OS version at the October keynote one last time, and release it shortly thereafter. This year, El Capitan releases at the end of September already, so one less reason for an October event.

    The new 4K iMacs could be released silently, and so could the new iPad Air, if there even is one at all. (I believe there were rumors about no iPad Air refresh this year, because of the iPad Pro? I'm not 100% sure though.)

    So at the moment, I rather tend to buy now and look at the headphones as more of a compensation, so to speak, for having a model that's almost a year old and might be outdated soon. If I really buy one now, then I'm gonna wait until the last day of the back-to-school promotion though (next Friday, the 18th).

    This way, I would still have the chance to return the iMac in case that we do get solid rumors/announcements about a new 5K iMac soon: if I order Friday the 18th, I doubt the iMac will arrive before Wednesday the 23rd (maybe even 2 - 3 days later). From this day, I would have 14 days during which I could return it (so I could return it until at least Wednesday, the 7th of October). I hope that if there really is a new 5K iMac in October/November, that we get at least some solid rumors/evidence of that before the 7th of October. Otherwise, I would have to be pleased with the current model.
     
  9. Buerkletucson, Sep 12, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2015

    Buerkletucson macrumors 6502

    Buerkletucson

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2015
    #9
    What's wrong with the 5k iMac that's available now?
    Depending on your configuration its an awesome machine and any little upgrades that may come along will be just that.....minor.

    I just ordered a 27" iMac retina (4GHz i7, 1TB SSD, 16GB SDRAM)...
    Should be here by Sept. 23 at the latest.

    I waited for the announcements on Wednesday but I'm not waiting any longer.....
    Some minor upgrades come along, so be it.......the machine I ordered will still be awesome and viable for many years.
    IMHO, get the machine now and enjoy......don't wait for what might happen or might not.

    Good luck in your decision.
     
  10. iRoranik thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2015
    #10
    Okay, thanks for the heads-up :) Well there is't really anything wrong with it, I just would feel a little disappointed if there really is a new model next month already after all. But right now, I rather think I'm going the same route as you. As I said I'm gonna wait until the end of the week, Friday at most (last day of the back-to-school promotion), but if there isn't any significant news, rumor, leak etc. about a 5K iMac, then I'm simply gonna go ahead and order one too. I would still have the chance to return it in case there's any major news within the return window; but if that's not the case, I'm simply gonna enjoy it without looking too much at what could have been. I too hoped that they would talk about the iMac at the event, especially since it's not looking as if there's another event next month. But well, nevermind.

    Also, nice to hear you ordered one too :)
     
  11. ryannel2003 macrumors 68000

    ryannel2003

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2005
    Location:
    Greenville, NC
    #11
    I purchased a non-retina 27" iMac yesterday and I haven't stopped using it. I didn't want to until October for a possible refresh and I'm glad I didn't.
     
  12. George Dawes, Sep 14, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2015

    George Dawes macrumors 6502

    George Dawes

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2014
    Location:
    Woof bark donkey
    #12
    Do you think there's much difference in the 5 k and normal screen for the average person ?

    My Dad is in his seventies so I'm not sure he will even be able to ascertain the 5k difference ? Is it just Hype ??

    Edit : I just measured up and a 27 is far too big I will get the smaller model.. that's saved me some dough ! lol

    Edit 2 : Forget it , I'm getting a Mac Mini and adding an external monitor , much more versatile plus I've had several problems with iMac screens in the past...
     
  13. iRoranik, Sep 14, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2015

    iRoranik thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2015
    #13
    It's definitely noticeable. I'd say your Dad is very likely to notice the difference when working with it. (Don't have a 5K display yet, but I speak from my experience with my Retina MacBook Pro, which also had four times the resolution of the previous models, and from what I've read about it from other people.)

    While definitely noticeable when working with it, the other question is if the high pixel density is really necessary: for most people, it's not. If you're not working with photos/videos a lot, then chances are that your Dad will be more than fine with a normal screen. Working with a 4K/5K/"Retina" display is a blast and generally very enjoyable, but the average user doesn't really need all these pixels and will also be fine with a "normal" screen for most tasks. On the other hand, getting a high-resolution display is more future proof, as in a few years, 4K might be the standard for computer displays that 1080p is now.

    Keep in mind though that if you want to get a smaller display/iMac, and consider buying the 21,5" model, that it's very likely that there's an update to the 21,5" iMac line soon (October/November) which probably features a 4K display. So if you can wait for another 2 months, I'd rather suggest you hold off until then. If you're not interested in a 4K display then, then the current models will probably available cheaper after a refresh. (If I certainly knew that there is a 5K iMac in 1 - 2 months, I'd wait too, but at the moment, it rather looks as if there might not be another 5K iMac until next year.)
     
  14. Buerkletucson macrumors 6502

    Buerkletucson

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2015
    #14

    FYI...

    27" iMac = $1799

    27" iMac Retina = $1999

    No-brainer IMHO.......$200 more for the retina with a faster processor.
    Don't know why anyone would purchase the standard display 27"

    Photos, video, etc. the Retina is is much nicer and very noticeable improvement.

    I agree with above...
    If getting the smaller 21.5" I'd wait......it's not a rumor, they are already building the smaller units with retina and will be available in the next few months.
     
  15. kazmac macrumors 601

    kazmac

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2010
    Location:
    in a Shaw Brothers wu xia
    #15
    The 21.5"? I'd definitely wait as others have said.
     
  16. ryannel2003 macrumors 68000

    ryannel2003

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2005
    Location:
    Greenville, NC
    #16
    I've looked at a few Retina 27" iMac's at the Apple Store and the text is the most noticeable difference between the normal iMac and 5K model. I didn't notice a huge difference in color or graphics. If I had the extra $200 I would've purchased the Retina iMac for sure.

    If I had the extra $200 I would've purchased the Retina model. What I didn't realize is I could've purchased a refurb 27" iMac non retina for $1529 as well. I'm very happy with my 27" iMac though and even though the screen isn't Retina it's gorgeous.

    But I agree... the Retina is a better buy.
     
  17. Sirmausalot macrumors 6502a

    Sirmausalot

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2007
    #17
    Looking at this https://www.ihash.eu/2015/06/os-x-el-capitan-beta-2-reveals-4k-21-5-inch-imac-and-bluetooth-remote/ from a couple of months ago, we can deduce the following

    1. The Bluetooth remote came to pass
    2. The retina 21.5 will come out about the same time as the release of el capitain
    3. The reference to the M395x means the 27" should also get a refresh at about the same time likely with the same sorts of updates as other recent machines--better ports, force touch touch pad, better flash storage. CPU upgrades, if any could be broadwell or skylake, or perhaps a tweaked Haswell chip. So a minor upgrade to the 27 and a major upgrade for the 21.5

    Since there is no event likely, then this will be either a silent upgrade and likely announced by this time at the latest http://www.macrumors.com/2015/09/10/tim-cook-wsjd-conference-2015/ so he can name drop the iMac retina line....
     
  18. Buerkletucson macrumors 6502

    Buerkletucson

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2015
    #18
    Speculation is fun, but nobody knows for sure until Apple releases the rumored upgrades.
    Time will tell...

    I'm in the market for a machine now so I couldn't wait...
    I'll be happy with what I just purchased no matter what happens.
     
  19. EnesM macrumors 6502

    EnesM

    Joined:
    May 7, 2015
    #19
    Why would you think that a new 5K iMac won't be released until March 2016?

    Asus Zen AiO S (the iMac clone) was released two weeks ago with Skylake Core i7 6700T which is probably what will go into new iMacs. So it pretty much depends on the GPU now, if they want to continue with AMD, I guess the 395 is also available?

    P.S. No October event doesn't mean no updates, it just means updates will be silent
     
  20. iRoranik thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2015
    #20
    Just wanted to let you guys now, I just went ahead and ordered the current 5K iMac, altogether with the Beats headphones. I just didn't want to wait any longer, without knowing if there is any new model this year at all.

    The iMac will probably arrive sometime next week. If there really are any major news/leaks about a 5K iMac within about 3 weeks, then I still have the chance to return it. But otherwise, I'll most likely keep it. I think (and hope) I'll be pretty satisfied with this machine and don't regret the purchase. I appreciate all the feedback!
     
  21. MistrSynistr macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 15, 2014
    #21

    There is an insane difference. I have a 2013 iMac and the difference is stunning. And I have NO issues with the resolution of mine.
     
  22. Buerkletucson macrumors 6502

    Buerkletucson

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2015
    #22
    Sweet...
    I just looked online and mine is now built and now ready to ship!
    Probably get it early next week...so pumped........good luck with yours.
     

Share This Page