Buy the iMac refresh with Snow Leopard or wait for Lion pre-installed?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by dfine1966, Apr 27, 2011.

  1. dfine1966 macrumors 6502

    Apr 9, 2011
    Well, I finally decided to switch from a Windows only machine, to go with Apple, and an iMac. I have always built my own Windows machine since the 90's, and always put the top of the line products in it for a very low price. After I bought my wife an iMac back in 2008, I decided my next computer would be a Mac, and just dual boot, and have the best of both worlds. I built my Windows computer 4 years ago and it is time for a new computer, as some of my parts are starting to fail. My dilemma is not which iMac to get. I will buy online so I can get my own configuration that I want, most likely, top of the line. At least I get a good discount from Apple, thanks to my wife's companies discount with Apple.

    I am not really in a great rush to get the iMac, just yet, but I might need it sooner than I thought because of some work that I might be starting within a month.

    Now my question: What do I gain in waiting for Lion installed on the refresh, instead of purchasing it with Snow Leopard when it might come out in a few weeks?

    One thing I can think of right away is that I might save some money waiting by not paying extra for the update disk. I am not sure what else would be different.

    What is the difference between the update disk for Lion and what would come with the computer when Lion is released. Will there be more programs included in the OEM disk?

    What do you think, should I wait, or should I get the iMac refesh, with Snow Leopard, when it released?

    I would appreciate any advice you can give me.
  2. flopticalcube macrumors G4


    Sep 7, 2006
    In the velcro closure of America's Hat
    The update disk is the same as the retail. If you need one now, buy it. If Lion is released within 30 days of purchase, it will probably cost you $10. Otherwise, you can upgrade at your leisure.
  3. Vylen macrumors 65816

    Jun 3, 2010
    Sydney, Australia
    There are additional things in the OEM disk such as iLife.

    So, if you were to get an iMac now with Snow Leopard and then bought Lion, if you ever wanted to do a clean install, and want to keep iLife, you'd have to reformat, install Snow Leopard and then upgrade to Lion.
    I think... The additional software in the OEM disks are included in a Bundled Applications folder and can be (re-)installed through there. I don't know if it'll crap out if you try to install them on Lion with a Snow Leopard restore disc. I suppose you could look around to see if someone installed them on Snow Leopard with a Leopard restore disc or something.

    As for what you should do, I would suggest waiting a week or two - it wouldn't kill you to do that, right? ;)
  4. flopticalcube macrumors G4


    Sep 7, 2006
    In the velcro closure of America's Hat
    iLife comes on a separate disk and can be installed on any compatible OS.
  5. rkaufmann87 macrumors 68000


    Dec 17, 2009
    Folsom, CA
    This isn't a which is better situation it's a when do you want to get it decision. Yes you will probably have an upgrade cost of you purchase now however you would get the enjoyment of using the computer vs. waiting. The update disc of Lion will be identical to the pre-installed version, OS upgrades on Macs are incredibly simple to do assuming one takes basic precautions. For example you would be surpassed the amount of people that have funky systems and do a major upgrade and then wonder why there upgrade went off the rails.

    The only downside to buying a new machine with Lion pre-installed is you are dealing with a new OS. While it has been thoroughly tested all new OS's will have teething issues. However if you buy a machine with Snow Leopard you are getting a stable OS that runs like a clock.

  6. dfine1966 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Apr 9, 2011
    So, if I understand what everyone is saying. When the new iMac refresh comes out, there's really is no reason to wait for Lion to come with the iMac and I could upgrade very easy without losing any of the perks that would come with an OEM version of Lion on the new iMac Refresh. It still will have all the same programs that I would get with Snow Leopard and the upgrade disk of Lion, like iLife. Unless a new iLife comes out when Lion is released, then that is a different story.

    As I said, I am not in a great rush to get the iMac right now. I probably could wait until July to buy it, unless my computer completely dies before that time. I could use my wife's iMac if that happens, but it would be tough.

    So if I don't need right away, would you wait?
  7. flopticalcube macrumors G4


    Sep 7, 2006
    In the velcro closure of America's Hat
    Correct. There is no guarantee that Lion will be released this summer, although it's very likely. A new iLife is highly unlikely. By buying sooner, you have the option of a stabler OS. Lion may not be stable upon release. If you don't need it now, wait until you do. I'm sure you'll know when you need it.
  8. Treeman574 macrumors regular

    Feb 5, 2011
    QLD, Australia
    I would get the imac with snow leopard. Then you can easily upgrade later, if you want to.

    What they seem to be doing to spaces will make me think twice before upgrading.
  9. Kendo macrumors 68000

    Apr 4, 2011
    What are they doing to Spaces?
  10. Emathieu macrumors regular

    Feb 9, 2011
    Mission Control. Not sure if it is needed and many of us are not sure we're going to like it. I've been very happy with the current implementation of Spaces (a few minor tweaks would make it near perfect, IMO).

    They've basically taken Expose, Spaces and Dashboard and crammed them together.
  11. macaddict3 macrumors member

    Feb 27, 2011
    it depends if you want to wait for the sandy bridge processor which is better than the current one also, there would probably be a upgrade on the graphics proccessor than I would wait for the next release but if you are really scared that mac lion is bad than I guess you should get an iMac with snow leopard.
  12. Sdevante macrumors 6502

    Dec 12, 2008
    Let me just say that upgrading the operating system on a Mac is a surprisingly pleasant experience compared to what I've seen people face with a Windows machine. It was very straightforward.

    Having said that, I am also debating buy now v. buy later, but my main concern is I don't want to have to waste money upgrading later.
  13. talmy macrumors 601


    Oct 26, 2009
    Ah, Mission Control! I'm in the developer program. IMHO Mission Control is great for small-screen Macs (think MacBook Air or 13" MacBookPro) but really looks stupid on my 27" iMac with a second attached monitor. Hopefully it will be a bit more refined (or even configurable to the old ways) by release.

    I've got a few apps that won't work under Lion which are critical to my use, so I can't upgrade until those apps are upgraded. No reason to suspect they won't be. Luckily for me, every program I've written and use on the Mac works fine.

    So don't consider not having Lion at the start to be an issue. With Snow Leopard you have something that works fine, and you can defer the upgrade until later when it is "safe", probably the .1 or .2 release!

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