Going to buy new iMac 5k Retina - Should I wait for Broadwell?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by nymont7, Dec 29, 2014.

  1. nymont7, Dec 29, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2014

    nymont7 macrumors newbie

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    Dec 29, 2014
    #1
    Hi All -

    I am planning to purchase the iMac 5k Retina (i5/16GB RAM/3TB Fusion/AMD 290x) and I'd like to buy it now, but I am ever nervous of the Apple update cycle. From what I read it seems like Apple will be releasing the updated computers with the Broadwell chip sometime this spring, however, it seems like Broadwell will mainly benefit laptops (i.e. Macbook Air/Retina) because its more about energy efficiency than performance.

    My question for you all is - does it make more sense to wait for the Broadwell chip updates or will the updates not offer a big enough benefit to be worth the wait?

    I have a few personal video editing projects that my Macbook Air cannot handle so I'd like to make the purchase sooner rather than later, but I can wait if it will be beneficial in the long run.

    Thanks in advance.

    ***Update: Per a comment below I want to clarify that I have had my Macbook Air for over 3 years now and I am looking to update because there are many things that I would like to do that my MBA cannot handle (video editing, programming, gaming, etc). I want your opinion, because if I am going to invest in a computer for the next 3 to 5 years, I want the most up to date computer possible, however if the broadwell chipset does not make a measurable difference then I have no reason to wait. Thanks again!***
     
  2. robgendreau macrumors 68030

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    #2
    If you fret over stuff like this I recommend you don't buy. There will always be something on the horizon, so you will re-post here over and over forever.

    Since you even asked, it seems we can assume you don't NEED a new computer, so better to just live with what you've got and save your money for something else.

    Or buy a PC or something that has upgradable hardware.
     
  3. UniDoubleU macrumors regular

    UniDoubleU

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    #3
    Intel's not in a hurry to give a huge CPU boost as they've pretty much dominated the market already. Any iMac will give a huge upgrade in video editing performance as they all have desktop CPUs.

    I find GPU to be something much more worth waiting for, though judging from R9 285 and R9 m295x, next year's Tonga R9 3xx chips shouldn't be something earth-shattering either. But if you're OK with MBA as your main computer right now I don't think anything in the next year or two will sway you much more.
     
  4. nymont7, Dec 29, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2014

    nymont7 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Dec 29, 2014
    #4

    Thanks for the thought Rob, however, I believe my comment "ever nervous of the Apple update cycle" was misleading. I have had my Macbook Air for over 3 years now and I am ready to get a powerful desktop that I can use for the next 3 to 5 years for video editing, programming, gaming, etc - things that my macbook Air cannot handle.

    I post this thread, because if I am going to invest in a computer for the next 3 to 5 years, I want the most up to date computer possible, however if the broadwell chipset does not make a measurable difference then I have no reason to wait.

    Thanks for any and all insights!
     
  5. CWallace macrumors 603

    CWallace

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    #5
    Regardless of when the relevant Broadwell CPUs ship, Apple won't use them in a Retina iMac until next Fall as the product is on an annual update cycle, so you'll be waiting roughly a year.
     
  6. AR86 macrumors member

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    Dec 7, 2014
    #6
    Don't think we'll see much differences between the CPU but they could possibly bump up the GPU in the next model but seeing you want the base configuration I don't see why this should affect you and I would recommend you buying now if you've got the money and are happy with the current specs.
     
  7. robgendreau macrumors 68030

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    #7
    Ah, that helps. But consider that the device is a tool, and for your tasks you are aiming that tool at a moving target. It isn't just that computers get faster and faster, it's that what you're using them on changes as well. For instance, take video. If you're serious about video, consider how switching from 1080p to 4k is gonna change the landscape. Storage, processor, displays, etc will all need to catch up. Just in that area alone you'd be hard pressed to find something that will perform acceptably in five years. Just try editing 4k video now on a 5 year old iMac.

    And timing the release of stuff is a losing game. Especially with Apple. So I'm not entirely snarky when I suggest a PC, or maybe a Mac Pro. At least with those you can swap hardware, although the MP isn't tremendously more upgradable than using Thunderbolt externals on an iMac. In fact, I don't think Apple recommends that you CAN upgrade the processors.

    A hackintosh might also be the way to go.

    But consider that even getting a very decent 4k editing setup right now is probably gonna be about $4k, even on a PC. Especially because of the monitor. And adding in the costs of upgrading video cards and processors, in the end it's pretty expensive to keep up. So just buy a 5k iMac now and sell in three years; probably you'd come out about the same, and have the use of it now.
     
  8. WinstonRumfoord macrumors 6502

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    Mar 27, 2014
    #8
    I was fretting over the decision as well. Ended up buying a early 2014 iMac MAXED out from someone who bought the riMac.

    32GB RAM
    3.5ghz i7
    512SSD
    780M 4GB

    Got it for about half of what the similarly specced new riMac would have cost.

    I can resell it for a slight hit when the beta testers have matured the riMac into a stable platform in a year or so :p
     
  9. hologram, Dec 31, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2014

    hologram macrumors 6502

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  10. hjalte macrumors member

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    Dec 23, 2014
    #10
    I just ordered the same machine (except 8GB instead of 32 - I'll upgrade later) :)
     
  11. hologram macrumors 6502

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    #11
    It's stable now. ;)

    I got the 4.0ghz with a 512 SSD, m295x and 8gb ram, then added another 16 gb of Crucial. It's perfect. Not a single hiccup, and the display is stunning..

    And from what I understand, the main advantage to Broadwell is the energy efficiency. That will be a big deal for laptops but won't matter much to a desktop.

    And yes, there will be spec bumps too, but if you keep waiting for those you WILL wait forever.
     
  12. AR86 macrumors member

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    #12
    What if the next rImac they released had a nvidia 980 as an optional upgrade :p
     
  13. redheeler macrumors 603

    redheeler

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    #13
    Even when Skylake comes out, I doubt I'll be convinced I made the wrong choice. The Retina iMac is a fine machine and will be for years to come, plus I will always remember being one of the first to use this amazing display ;)
     
  14. hologram macrumors 6502

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    #14
    And what if the one after that has a 1080 upgrade?:p
     
  15. AR86 macrumors member

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    #15
    Better play it safe and wait for 2019 :D
     
  16. hologram, Dec 31, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2014

    hologram macrumors 6502

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    #16
    Too late <sigh!>.

    I just bought mine.I guess I'll have to regret it for the next five years, :mad:
     
  17. RUQRU macrumors regular

    RUQRU

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    #17
    From a pure economics standpoint it always pays to read MacRumors about upcoming hardware and not buy anything. Since there will always be a new CPU/GPU combo "in the next refresh" your investment portfolio will continue to grow as you are not spending funds on "inferior" hardware released by Apple.

    Of course, all you can do is look at photographs of the current Apple offerings and visit your Apple store to reinforce your decision to wait the the next greatest offering.

    The rest of us suckers will just have to use our inferior riMac and know we were duped while others who refuse to buy can gloat about how smart they are to wait and wait for the really "good" stuff to be released.
     
  18. soamz macrumors 6502a

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    #18
    How much did you pay for it and where did you get it ?
     
  19. robgendreau macrumors 68030

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    #19
    So true. Let's say you passed on the first $399 iPod cuz you were waiting for the "refresh" and didn't wanna "beta test" it. So you bought Apple stock instead. And you waited. And waited. Now that stock is worth $26,374 (source: http://www.businessinsider.com/had-you-invested-in-apple-stock-instead-2013-5).

    I don't always jump on new tech, but you look at the screen every second you work on your computer. Unlike storage, speed, connections, etc etc, this is something that use you all the time. It enhances your experience in ways that few other upgrades to a computer will. Until we get voice control or something.
     
  20. RUQRU macrumors regular

    RUQRU

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    #20
    Exactly, I bought Apple some shares in the late 1990's for $13 a share! I did it because I loved Apple even though many thought the company was done and heading toward bankruptcy. To this day my wife always reminds that I did not buy enough. We would be multi-millionaires. At least I made enough money over the years to be this inferior riMac!
     
  21. WinstonRumfoord macrumors 6502

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    #21
    A private party via craigslist, paid $1900 with apple care :)

    ----------

    That is a legitimate point. I will be swapping mine out as soon as the refresh comes along. I had just heard way too much about lag and performance, particularly in Lightroom which would account for about half of the computer's useage, so I figured it's worth holding out.
     
  22. ixxx69 macrumors 6502a

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    #22
    As per usual, no one knows when the next update is, and the reasons for waiting are extremely subjective.

    The only thing we can say with much certainty is that if it's a Broadwell update, any updates will be minor. The Broadwell CPUs will be a minor speed bump and there's no reason to expect any changes to current technology such as the retina display, USB3, Thunderbolt 2, Wireless AC, SSD drives, etc. If they wait until Skylake to do an update, then that might see USB3.1 and TB3, but I don't think those technologies are a reason to wait given the timeline...

    Since the iMac was just updated, it would be highly unusual for another update to come before mid-summer, and there are rumors Broadwell might be skipped altogether in the desktops in favor of Skylake, in which case it would be holidays 2015 at the very earliest (or even 1Q 2016).

    I think the most compelling reason to wait (or buy something else) is that the new iMac 5K is a 1st-gen version of bleeding-edge display technology, and while it looks like a great computer on paper, the 2nd gen versions seem to get more of the bugs ironed out. I'm particularly concerned that the amount of GPU involved in driving the retina display will lead to over-heating issues (but hopefully it won't!).

    If that is a major concern for you, then I would suggest getting a less tricked out iMac now (e.g. do you really need 16GB of RAM?) and then selling it in a couple of years after the retina iMac has had time to mature. If the 1st-gen 5K display isn't a major concern to you, then I don't think waiting for Broadwell (or Skylake as the case may be) is worth it if you're really in the market for a new computer now.
     
  23. robgendreau macrumors 68030

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    #23
    Don't count on a "refresh" helping with LR. It's mostly an LR problem, and for me at least, not much of one. I use LR tons on my riMac and since the problems for me are insignificant, so it can't be mostly a hardware issue. Meanwhile, the riMac has sped up my work in LR considerably. And PS, DxO, Nik all work great. I wasn't all happy with LR even on my last machine, so perhaps I've just gotten accustomed to LR's drawbacks.
     
  24. UniDoubleU macrumors regular

    UniDoubleU

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    #24
    rMBP '12 and riMac '14 owner here reporting. No hardware lagging on both first-gen machines. Also owner of first gen MacBook Aluminum, I like to live my life dangerously :D Yosemite Mission controls seems to hate to run smoothly on both Macs. I've got the top GPU upgrades for both. The iMac 5K won't get anywhere close to overheating and has no problems driving 15 mega-pixels.

    The big update that'll come with Skylake is Thunderbolt 3 which will also be bringing DisplayPort 1.3 along enabling us to support Target Display Mode natively. Not a huge benefit in my opinion seeing as I'll also need another latest and greatest Mac with TB3 to plug it in also, $€£¥! :eek:
     
  25. Traverse macrumors 603

    Traverse

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    #25
    Personally, I would never buy a first gen Retina product. Especially on as large of a scale as an iMac.

    Granted, the Macs haven't suffered like my iPad 3 did, but still. It may not lag now, but future updates could punish it. Broadwell is supposed to have modest graphics improvements from what I read on these forums.
     

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