Buying a new iMac very soon, but...

Discussion in 'iMac' started by mullock87, Sep 2, 2016.

  1. mullock87 macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 18, 2012
    #1
    Hi all

    I'm looking to buy a new iMac, preferably as soon as possible, this iMac will be used primarily to run Logic Pro X, other music production related software and web browsing.

    I currently have a Late 2009 27" iMac which has served me well, and still works fine. The reason I'm looking to upgrade is because the CPU and HD are constantly maxing out while using Logic Pro X which is stopping me from creating and finishing my music.

    The spec I'm looking at is:

    27" 5k iMac
    i7 4.0ghz
    32gb RAM (upgrading RAM myself)
    512gb Flash Storage
    AMD Radeon R9 M390 2GB

    I'm aware that it is not recommended to buy one now due to a possible update before the end of the year, is it likely the update happening soon will be a complete re-design, faster CPU etc? I don't mind waiting until October but I don't want to wait if all they do is bump up the graphics card and add USB-C, both of which won't really affect how I use the iMac.

    Another question, is the graphics card I listed in the specs alright for also driving a 4k monitor? I won't be doing any gaming or graphically intensive processes on this iMac.

    In an ideal world for me, next week when they release the iPhone 7 they give the iMac a spec upgrade, or even better a complete re-design so that it's the perfect time to buy one.

    Help is appreciated, what would you do in my situation?

    Thanks! :)
     
  2. tubeexperience macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2016
    #2
    It's cheaper if you buy the base model and upgrade it with 1TB Samsung 850 EVO.

    You are paying less and getting twice the storage.
     
  3. mullock87 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 18, 2012
    #3
    I don't want to do that because
    - I don't want to void the warranty on a £2300 iMac as soon as I get it
    - It's not easy to do
    - You get much faster performance from Apple's flash storage
     
  4. Phil A. Moderator

    Phil A.

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2006
    Location:
    Shropshire, UK
    #4
    I never bother playing the waiting game with computers - I buy one when I need it.
    The iMac is a fine machine and that spec would keep you going for several years!
     
  5. mullock87 thread starter macrumors member

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    May 18, 2012
    #5
    I hear you. I'm in a position now where I NEED a new Mac to carry on with work. But at the same time dropping £2300 on a very soon to be outdated one irks me.
     
  6. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2013
    #6
    Well here are no Kabylake desktop processors yet released so unlikely you'll get a CPU upgrade, it's most likely to be a GPU upgrade and tb3 if they bother at all this fall. I think they will bother it's the virtual reality take off at the moment and currently no macs are rated to work with oculus.

    So unless you want VR or a second 5k screen at some point there seems little reason to wait. I doubt we'll see them on sale until November though.

    Go for refurb save some cash.
     
  7. mullock87 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 18, 2012
    #7

    Thanks. I need to buy new so I can use educational discount. Am I right assuming that the current 5K iMac will be able to drive an additional 4k monitor?
     
  8. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #8
    I wonder if the M395x will be better only because you get more vram, which will be needed to drive the second monitor.

    I think over all your specs look solid.

    Agreed, that's been my philosophy. If apple didn't seal up the iMacs, like they did, then yeah, I'd go that route, but I'd rather not risk voiding my warranty on such an expensive piece of equipment.
     
  9. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2013
    #9
    Yeah it'll drive a second 4K screen no worries, it'll even drive a second 5k screen although I would upgrade the graphics card for that.

    Do remember that you can return and replace for any reason within the first 2 weeks if it doesn't meet your needs.
     
  10. mullock87 thread starter macrumors member

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    May 18, 2012
    #10
    Very handy to know, thanks.
     
  11. theluggage macrumors 68030

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    Jul 29, 2011
    #11
    Well, nobody knows if they'll update the iMac at all this fall - but if they do then the most likely changes are exactly as you say: new graphics card and USB-C/Thunderbolt 3.

    The 5k iMac got a new skylake CPU at the end of last year, so its pretty up-to-date.

    I'd think about the USB-C/TB3 issue (which includes USB 3.1 Gen 2): on the one hand, a few years down the line, it could be the gold standard for attaching displays, storage and even external GPUs, and not having it on a sealed machine like the iMac could be a bind. On the other hand, short-term it is going to mean buying a shedload of adapters, including TB3-to-TB1/2 if you already have any Thunderbolt gear.

    When Kaby Lake comes out - which will have a 2 port TB3/USBC controller on the CPU - Apple could combine that with a single discrete TB3 controller to give a total of 4 TB3 ports. A very Apple-like thing to do in that situation would be to drop everything and just have 4 TB3/USB-C ports on the back.

    My guess (pure speculation of course) is that, post-kaby-lake, "high-end" Macs (rMBP, 5k iMac) will have 4xTB3 and other models will make do with just the 2xTB3 provided by the CPU, and all other ports will disappear. (I'm torn on that - practically speaking it probably means buying a USB-C or TB3 dock, but in terms of design the ridiculous "port salad" on PCs which tries to have one of everything offends my sensibilities - I've got a PC on my desk that can drive multiple displays, but you need a different cable for each one. Duh!
     
  12. mullock87 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 18, 2012
    #12
    Very insightful post. If you had to make an educated guess, when would you say Apple would release an updated new design of the iMac line? I would have imagined they would do this late next year when new processors are available for it.
     
  13. Phil A. Moderator

    Phil A.

    Staff Member

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    Shropshire, UK
    #13
    I was in a similar position a month ago and got a new iMac because I needed it right away.

    The way I look at it is they've already got skylake processors and Kaby Lake probably isn't going to be available in large enough numbers until the new year so any update is likely to be minor anyway.

    I'll easily get 2-3 years out of my iMac (which is how long I keep desktops for) and tech is continually updated so there's always something better around the corner
     
  14. mullock87 thread starter macrumors member

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    May 18, 2012
    #14
    You're talking me into getting one...

    As mentioned in my original post my late '09 iMac has lasted me 7 years so far and still works fine so I will probably keep my new iMac for a similar amount of time.
     
  15. Phil A. Moderator

    Phil A.

    Staff Member

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    Shropshire, UK
    #15
    If you keep machines for that length of time, I can understand you wanting to buy the very latest model at the start of your ownership, but I really can't see a massive re-vamp this year due to the fact they currently have skylake processors in them. If I was a betting man, I'd say there may be a big update this time next year with Kaby Lake processors, USB-C and possibly a new design and anything before that would just be for the sake of calling them new

    Having said that, don't blame me if you buy one and they bring out a completely revamped iMac next month :D
     
  16. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    Boston
    #16
    That's my opinon as well. The low power versions of kaby lake are out, but for Macs that only means MacBooks

    Same here, I have the M395 flavor and its fast and powerful. I'm very happy with it.

    AFAIK, Kaby lake won't offer much, but what may be worth considering is people are hoping the faster GPUs will be used by Apple. For my the M395 is more then enough
     
  17. tubeexperience macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2016
    #17
    - I am not sure how things work in the UK, but this doesn't void the warranty in the US.
    - It's actually easy and can be done under an hour.
    - Apple SSD (made by Samsung) may have faster sequential access speed, but actually has slower random access speed.
     
  18. Fishrrman macrumors G4

    Fishrrman

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #18
    OP:
    IF you can keep going with what you have for a few more months, the wait may prove worthwhile.

    I sense that the upcoming new generation of iMacs will have numerous improvements that will prove "worth the wait" and will give the new machines a considerably longer lifespan than one bought right now.

    Then again, if you have no choice, buy now if you NEED IT now.
     

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