Haswell iMac could be worth the wait?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by sammy2066, Dec 25, 2012.

  1. sammy2066 macrumors 6502a

    Oct 3, 2007
    There's a couple of reasons why it could make sense to wait on the next iMac refresh. Notwithstanding the most obvious reason of the current iMac being a radical 1st iteration, there are some economic reasons too, coupled with the usual technology curve arguments.

    1. Haswell should feature some decent performance improvements, much better integrated graphics performance, and vastly improved thermals. The last point is crucial when you consider how little real estate the new iMac has for its internals. It should also lead to lower overall case temperatures, which should in-turn lead to higher longevity for other components.

    2. SSD prices should continue their free fall, and we could see more affordable SSD options at higher capacities.

    3. Next-gen discrete graphics could have reduced thermal envelopes in their mobile variants which could make them a realistic possibility in the 21" iMac. The added performance from next-gen mobile graphics chips is obviously welcome.

    4. There could be a Retina display, but I find it highly unlikely:

    a) Because the technology would just not be mature enough by next year to be able to meet the volume shipments that Apple would require.

    b) Assuming they get enough shipments, the graphics performance on the EVEN the 21" iMac, with Haswell integrated graphics would be dismal. A Retina 27" iMac is absolutely ludicrous at this point, so Apple would have an SKU (the 21" iMac), that would incongruously cannibalize sales of a higher priced SKU because of the Retina display.

    c) Given the viewing distances with the iMac, a shift to a Retina display would not be the same order of magnitude change as it was on mobile devices.

    So I'm definitely waiting.

    Just my 0.02c.
  2. scruby macrumors member

    Oct 18, 2012
    I would wait for the iMac after that one. Because it might be a little faster and the overal graphics may be improved. LOL

    If you need a iMac buy it if you dont then dont buy it.
  3. sammy2066 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Oct 3, 2007
    Not quite the point of the thread. It's meant to foster a constructive discourse.
  4. Mac32, Dec 25, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2012

    Mac32 Suspended

    Nov 20, 2010
    Free fall in SSD prices? Not exactly, what if Apple only offer a slightly bigger 1024 gb SSD option next time, which will be just as outragiously priced as the 768gb option is now. Somebody should send some hatemail to Apple about this. :rolleyes:
    Personally I think the next major upgrade for the iMac will be in late 2014, especially for the 27''. Then we'll get a really big GPU upgrade, and maybe a retina screen.
    I think people who order their iMacs now can sleep well at night. Sure, Haswell will give you some CPU speed increase, but the major upgrade will be for notebook and ultrabook CPUs. As far as heat output from desktop CPUs running at medium to full capacity, do we actually know that Haswell will noticably improve on Ivy Bridge in this area? I haven't been able to find anything about this.

    If we look at the past, Intel tends to become very slack in their CPU development when they don't have any real competition (like now unfortunately), and I wouldn't be suprised if Haswell didn't turn out as good as early hype indicated.
  5. azentropy macrumors 68020


    Jul 19, 2002
    Nothing new here... You could go back a year and replace "Haswell" with "Ivy Bridge" and have the same 4 points. You could probably even go forward a year and replace "Haswell" with "Broadwell" and still have valid points.

    Looks like you are justifying to yourself waiting, nothing wrong with that.
  6. snugja macrumors regular

    Feb 11, 2006
    :D Yep. You could always wait for the next one, or the next next one, and so on.
  7. xgman macrumors 601


    Aug 6, 2007
    considering how long this one took, could be a long wait.
  8. lugworm macrumors 6502


    Apr 4, 2011
  9. 12dylan34 macrumors 6502a

    Sep 3, 2009
    If you're prepared to wait a year or more, then wait. If not, then buy.

    They may come out in 4 months, they may come out in a year. Just know that if the shorter period doesn't come to fruition, you will have involved yourself in a waiting game that will pretty much psychologically force you to wait as long as it takes for them to come out. It's what happened with me, and it sucks. I would have bought the 2011 in March had I known I would wait until December.
  10. Ppq macrumors newbie

    Jul 23, 2012

    i would wait for 2016 iMac, definitely worth the wait.
  11. flopticalcube macrumors G4


    Sep 7, 2006
    In the velcro closure of America's Hat
    The lower TDP of Haswell should help the new iMac design. If the current low-end iMac used the IGP then I would have said that the new one would certainly be worth the wait but as it doesn't, its kind of moot. I would expect the new iMacs to come out soon after the release of the nVidia 700m-series GPUs or AMD 8000m series, depending on what Apple chooses. These should also provide some improvement in thermals but given that the nVidia series will be the same Kepler cores, I won't hold out much hope for big improvements in GPU performance. If you can wait, then you could always buy a 2012 refurb if the new machines don't come out by the time you really need one.
  12. joe-h2o macrumors 6502a

    Jun 24, 2012
    The iMac does not use integrated graphics, so the improvements to IGP in Haswell are 100% worthless. The increased CPU performance per unit clock will be nice, but it will be about 10%-15% I'd imagine.
  13. Roller macrumors 68020

    Jun 25, 2003
    Integrated graphics performance isn't relevant for the iMac. Improved thermals are always welcome, but from what I've seen of my 27" 2012 iMac so far, Apple's done a very good job with heat management, especially compared to the 2009 iMac it replaced.

    Sure, SSD prices will continue to drop, but not to the point where they'll soon rival HDDs in cost/GB.

    No breakthrough here.

    I agree.

    I just don't see where you've made a convincing argument in favor of waiting for a Haswell iMac. I'm glad I didn't.
  14. Hexley macrumors 6502a

    Jun 10, 2009
    I would only wait for retina display. Everything else is an incremental upgrade.

    I believe the redesign's purpose was to complement the introduction of the retina iMac but because of a lot of reasons the retina panels were unavailable at this time.

    Apple could've shipped the iMac last June with the original enclosure if t weren't for retina. I am glad they didn't as it meant the inclusion of the 680mx gpu.
  15. Gelite55 macrumors regular

    Dec 12, 2012
    You'll always lose playing the time game. Your always gonna get outdated. The only exception is when a new refresh is right around the corner.

    This current model iMac should be around for at least 18 months. Like the last one. Put all your chips in now!
  16. shigzeo macrumors 6502a


    Dec 14, 2005
    The problem is that if you NEED a computer now, waiting a year (or more) isn't an option. I'd love a Haswell or better, but I can't wait a year. I'm hobbling along on a 2007 MBP. Whatever you choose and whenever you choose it, you will get the top-of-the-line for that moment and your hardware will be grossly supplanted within a short span of time.

    If a person can afford to wait, then why not. If a person cannot, then there is no discourse.
  17. Hexley macrumors 6502a

    Jun 10, 2009
  18. zedsdead macrumors 68040

    Jun 20, 2007
    The Haswell iMacs will not offer much in terms of performance.

    I imagine there will be a 1tb Flash option, probably still priced around $1000 (and hopefully other lower flash options as well).

    The Fusion Drive MAY come standard across the line by then.

    I don't believe there are any 6-Core processors coming, so no major increases there.

    The GPU's will be slightly better, but nothing spectacular. Integrated means nothing to the iMac.

    The only real variable is the possible Retina Display, but given Apple went to so much to push how amazing the current display is, I don't see it coming yet. Maybe 2014.

    I've been toying with upgrading to the Ivy Bridge, but I don't see the major benefits yet. I am really more excited to see what the Mac Pro turns into this year finally. I may finally jump to that ship...we shall see.
  19. HurryKayne macrumors 6502a

    Jun 9, 2010
    Just my Personal Opinion:NO.
    1.My Imac27 i7-gtx680mx is coming
    2.Mac Mini will be very powerful and out hopefully before new Imacs;
    3.New Haswell Laptops:D ;
    4.New Mac Pro which will be very happy to sit next your Ivy Bridge Imac.


    Happy NEW YEAR^^.
  20. Shane1905 macrumors regular

    May 21, 2012
    Not to belittle any points you have made, I went through this exact thought process last January when I decided to leave windows and buy an iMac, I waited, I'm still waiting... I've ordered my BTO 27" but by the time it arrives I will have waited over a year. Don't do it to yourself, an awesome machine is always around the corner and always will be.
  21. torana355 macrumors 68030

    Dec 8, 2009
    Sydney, Australia
    I heard the 2020 iMac is the one you should wait for, it will be so thin you will need tweezers to pick it up!!!
  22. HenryHealy macrumors member

    Nov 1, 2011
    I don't see the big deal about people wanting a Retina display iMac. Think about the price, MacBook Pros start at €1700 in Ireland, how much would a 21.5 inch cost?
  23. forty2j macrumors 68030


    Jul 11, 2008
    Haswell has nothing a desktop computer would be interested in. Even the thermals.. the die size is the same, I don't expect the thermal profile to be much different. The integrated graphics will sit there unused, unless Apple decides to skip the discrete GPU for the low end model. The performance upgrade is modest.

    I don't think we have enough information on next gen discrete GPUs. The 2012 crop was a larger-than-usual bump over 2011, though, and I don't know whether or not we should expect another similar bump. And again, no die sizes should be changing for next year's crop. Everything I've seen so far suggests that the thermal profile of the 2012 iMacs is much cooler than the 2011's anyway, so you're not really getting much in terms of usable improvement.

    Retina, if it comes, will be a stand-alone high priced model. I can't see it being standard until about 2015. The stand-alone model may not come until 2014.

    SSD prices have essentially stabilized. I think the "free fall" is done. I expect Apple's prices for them next year to be roughly the same as this year. The possibility of Fusion as standard is intriguing, but that alone is hardly worth the wait.

    If this were August 2013, yeah, I would say you should probably wait for the 2013 iMac, which I expect to see in September. (Prior to the long wait for the redesign, iMacs were refreshed roughly every 9 months.) Otherwise, there's really no compelling reason to wait. The design will be the same. A couple of knobs will be turned slightly, and that's about it.
  24. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009
    "Haswell iMac could be worth the wait?"

    I'm sure it will be... if you don't mind waiting until January 2014....
  25. johnnyturbouk macrumors 68000


    Feb 9, 2011
    on the yellow [oled] brick road to tech nirvana.
    good luck on this site -

    so many thorns and claws :(

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