Holding out for next iMac, buying maxed out for future proofing

upintheclouds

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jul 26, 2011
126
16
So, I am holding out for the next release of the iMac. I plan to buy it maxed out to future proof it and get me through my degree and hopefully beyond. I know the execs at Apple have promised to please the professionals with the next release of Macs, but I would like some input from those that are in the know with the rumor mill.

Tell me a little about the current processors and the rumors of the next generation? Would it be fair to assume that the next iMacs might have a next generation processor or will it most likely have a speed bump within the current line?

Is it likely that the next iMac will adopt the RAM from the 2016 MacBook Pros?

As far as ports go, I am willing to dongle it up ;) Since the iMac's ports are on the back of the machine, would it be safe to say that an SD card reader, ethernet, etc might stick around with an upgrade to USB-C, or will it adopt the MacBook Pro line and "all the USB-C!"

Could a new keyboard be released too? I've been longing for a backlit Apple keyboard since my first iMac years ago. Could Touch ID and Touch Bar make its way onto the keyboard, or is that just wishful thinking? Even if Touch ID and Touch Bar don't make it to a new keyboard, could it be updated to the butterfly mechanism?

Obviously I know the new iMac hasn't been released yet and its all speculative, so be gentle please.

Thanks!
 

nambuccaheadsau

macrumors 68000
Oct 19, 2007
1,835
433
Nambucca Heads Australia
Nobody knows Apple always keeps its cards close to its chest to prevent other manufacturers stealing the limelight. Like all of us you will have to just wait and see. Anything else is mere speculation.
 

upintheclouds

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jul 26, 2011
126
16
Nobody knows Apple always keeps its cards close to its chest to prevent other manufacturers stealing the limelight. Like all of us you will have to just wait and see. Anything else is mere speculation.
Thanks for the response. I realize that, thats why I added the excerpt at the end.

I'm looking for speculation from people who follow this sort of stuff, especially in regards to processors.
 

steveOooo

macrumors 6502a
Jun 30, 2008
737
89
UK
I think they may announce / reveal it at wwdc because they need to stem the flow of pro users abandoning macOS versus waiting for Sep/Oct - it's been way to long

Maybe even talking / updating on the hallowed Mac Pro
 

richinaus

macrumors 65816
Oct 26, 2014
1,144
920
I think they may announce / reveal it at wwdc because they need to stem the flow of pro users abandoning macOS versus waiting for Sep/Oct - it's been way to long

Maybe even talking / updating on the hallowed Mac Pro
Even though I would be happy to see this, I would be surprised if they do.

Unless they decide to do a large hardware announcement.

The iPads, MacBooks, iMac are all due updates. It would also be easy to update the macebookrpo to Kaby lake.
and we all know about the Mac Pro.

Would be one of the biggest HW presentations ever if they did all the above. My money is on iPads and MacBooks for the June, and a possible silent update on the MBP. iMac October with a possible macpro discussion then.

who knows though.... I am always wrong :)
 

cynics

macrumors G4
Jan 8, 2012
11,586
1,886
Just buy based on the hardware you foresee yourself needing. Attempting to futureproof an iMac can be near impossible since its unlikely computing power will be your bottleneck (then again it could be).

For example I'll be updating because I want HEVC hardware decoding with Kaby Lake processors and for Thunderbolt 3. Both of which are not available on even the highest spec'd iMac currently. So if I would have bought a maxed out iMac I would have essentially been wasting my money, although some would have been recouped on resale.

Not saying a maxed out iMac won't provide the best experience especially when it comes to storage capacity and speed but it might not get you the futureproofing you are looking for.
 
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kschendel

macrumors 65816
Dec 9, 2014
1,062
335
I don't think you are going to see a huge speed bump going forward. Kaby Lake appears to be mostly Skylake with better thermals and more clock headroom. (and maybe better integrated graphics.) Coffee Lake / Cannon Lake are supposedly more refinements and another process shrink. AMD Zen is heading in the direction of more cores at a decent single thread rate at lower watts and price than Intel. I don't think we'll see another Pentium-to-Core leap for a couple years at least.

I think we'll see clock rates stay in the ballpark, probably with power savings in both CPU and memory, and more work on the integrated GPU. I've no clue about ports and to be honest I couldn't care less as long as there is USB-3 or some equivalent. My guess is that storage will stay SATA-3 since it's cheap and easy; SSD prices for >1Tb storage aren't going to drop that much IMO and I would be surprised to see them go all-NVMe.

Unless you have some very serious processing requirements, need very large very hi-res displays, or plan on taking a decade to get your degree, you could probably buy a 2015 refurb and have it get you through and beyond.
 

ravinder08

macrumors 6502
Jun 11, 2010
299
45
Just buy based on the hardware you foresee yourself needing. Attempting to futureproof an iMac can be near impossible since its unlikely computing power will be your bottleneck (then again it could be).

For example I'll be updating because I want HEVC hardware decoding with Kaby Lake processors and for Thunderbolt 3. Both of which are not available on even the highest spec'd iMac currently. So if I would have bought a maxed out iMac I would have essentially been wasting my money, although some would have been recouped on resale.

Not saying a maxed out iMac won't provide the best experience especially when it comes to storage capacity and speed but it might not get you the futureproofing you are looking for.
THIS!
 

OW22

macrumors 6502
Sep 3, 2006
297
104
Dublin, Ireland
I just bought new, just took delivery of it yesterday. I guess it all depends on your needs. I'm not a pro user, my iMac is a media PC really and that's it. I'll use it to listen to music, watch movies, stream Netflix, look at photos, web browsing etc. My last iMac was the 2009 one and it lasted me to this point. I bought the highest price one, spent €2,750 on it as I got the trackpad as well.

2TB fusion should be enough for me, I never went above 700GB on my last machine. I'll get more RAM at some stage probably.

For someone like me, there would be zero point in waiting for the new iMacs. This is my 3rd straight iMac, no other PC would come near these machines for me. I have no interest in a touch screen windows PC for instance.
 

macduke

macrumors G4
Jun 27, 2007
10,969
14,675
Central U.S.
I thought I saw some rumors about 6 core Xeons going in iMac Pros, which would presumably have better thermal envelopes than existing models. Otherwise I think Coffee Lake or something next year is supposed to have six core i7 for the first time, so I'm likely waiting for the six core chips in the iMac either way.
 

26139

Suspended
Dec 27, 2003
4,315
373
Just buy based on the hardware you foresee yourself needing. Attempting to futureproof an iMac can be near impossible since its unlikely computing power will be your bottleneck (then again it could be).

For example I'll be updating because I want HEVC hardware decoding with Kaby Lake processors and for Thunderbolt 3. Both of which are not available on even the highest spec'd iMac currently. So if I would have bought a maxed out iMac I would have essentially been wasting my money, although some would have been recouped on resale.

Not saying a maxed out iMac won't provide the best experience especially when it comes to storage capacity and speed but it might not get you the futureproofing you are looking for.
I wish this was an auto-reply sticky post to every future-proofing question.
 

OW22

macrumors 6502
Sep 3, 2006
297
104
Dublin, Ireland
I have to say, I'm genuinely impressed with my new Mac. The 5K is pretty amazing and has genuinely blown me away with the quality of the text and icons on the screen. There's a few YouTube videos that show the display off but I know the likliehood of me noticing the differences between 4K and 5K is minimal. It'd a seriously quick, impressive machine.
 

cynics

macrumors G4
Jan 8, 2012
11,586
1,886
I have to say, I'm genuinely impressed with my new Mac. The 5K is pretty amazing and has genuinely blown me away with the quality of the text and icons on the screen. There's a few YouTube videos that show the display off but I know the likliehood of me noticing the differences between 4K and 5K is minimal. It'd a seriously quick, impressive machine.
That is because its an amazing display. The likelihood of you even encountering a display of that resolution and color space in the real world not on a Mac is virtually zero unless you find yourself around a lot of creative professionals. Even then its unlikely you'll find that resolutions. And this is nearly 3 years after Apple made it nearly main stream.

Matter of fact they made it main stream enough that most of us take it for granted and dismiss it when comparing it to PC specs. Albeit most of us don't require that level of quality however it is something that can be appreciated by everyone regardless of what they are doing on the machine.

When I sit down in front of many PC's the monitor looks like their is a fog over it by comparison. I have trouble using many of my machines and mostly keep them plugged into my 4k HDR TV because Apple has spoiled me so much.

They've done this with other specs too like PCIe based SSD's (the quickness you are probably referencing). They were using PCIe SSD before you'd find it many machines that weren't purpose built with that in mind. Thunderbolt which is finally starting to show up in PC's. Half decent built in speakers which many monitors still seems like an after thought.

In lieu of sounding like a fan boy I feel Apple does miss the mark quite often. And they update cycles seem to slowed to a crawl in their computer space. But if you really think about it, if you had a PC with a 6700k, high speed m.2 storage, a GPU that can power a 5k 10 bit display, wifi AC, BT 4.0, etc etc would you upgrade it? I probably wouldn't. Now I'm not saying Apple shouldn't because they should but going on 2 years old now.....yeah you'll still WELL ahead of the average PC.

Glad you are enjoying your iMac btw....
 
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OW22

macrumors 6502
Sep 3, 2006
297
104
Dublin, Ireland
That is because its an amazing display. The likelihood of you even encountering a display of that resolution and color space in the real world not on a Mac is virtually zero unless you find yourself around a lot of creative professionals. Even then its unlikely you'll find that resolutions. And this is nearly 3 years after Apple made it nearly main stream.

Matter of fact they made it main stream enough that most of us take it for granted and dismiss it when comparing it to PC specs. Albeit most of us don't require that level of quality however it is something that can be appreciated by everyone regardless of what they are doing on the machine.

When I sit down in front of many PC's the monitor looks like their is a fog over it by comparison. I have trouble using many of my machines and mostly keep them plugged into my 4k HDR TV because Apple has spoiled me so much.

They've done this with other specs too like PCIe based SSD's (the quickness you are probably referencing). They were using PCIe SSD before you'd find it many machines that weren't purpose built with that in mind. Thunderbolt which is finally starting to show up in PC's. Half decent built in speakers which many monitors still seems like an after thought.

In lieu of sounding like a fan boy I feel Apple does miss the mark quite often. And they update cycles seem to slowed to a crawl in their computer space. But if you really think about it, if you had a PC with a 6700k, high speed m.2 storage, a GPU that can power a 5k 10 bit display, wifi AC, BT 4.0, etc etc would you upgrade it? I probably wouldn't. Now I'm not saying Apple shouldn't because they should but going on 2 years old now.....yeah you'll still WELL ahead of the average PC.

Glad you are enjoying your iMac btw....
Well said! I never care about being called a fan boy. I like Apple products because they're dependable and they work. I used to be a PC guy, came to the iMac then in about 2007 I think. Funny enough, after I got the first iPhone....I'm not a PC hater, Windows 10 is fine and I have it on my work PC, I even went to Android for 3 years with a Nexus and then a Galaxy Note 3 and they were very good phones. But I went back to the iPhone last year with the 6S and could see straight away what I had missed. That's what people forget when they slag off Apple or turn their nose up at the brand, we don't buy the products because we worship the company and think Jobs was the 2nd coming. We buy the products because they're well made, dependable, offer superior performance and the company gives very good customer service.

It's not rocket science. If they stop making great products, I'll buy something else.
 
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cynics

macrumors G4
Jan 8, 2012
11,586
1,886
Well said! I never care about being called a fan boy. I like Apple products because they're dependable and they work. I used to be a PC guy, came to the iMac then in about 2007 I think. Funny enough, after I got the first iPhone....I'm not a PC hater, Windows 10 is fine and I have it on my work PC, I even went to Android for 3 years with a Nexus and then a Galaxy Note 3 and they were very good phones. But I went back to the iPhone last year with the 6S and could see straight away what I had missed. That's what people forget when they slag off Apple or turn their nose up at the brand, we don't buy the products because we worship the company and think Jobs was the 2nd coming. We buy the products because they're well made, dependable, offer superior performance and the company gives very good customer service.

It's not rocket science. If they stop making great products, I'll buy something else.
Its popular and trendy to hate Apple products nowadays. Obviously there is some irony there when those people are calling us "sheeple" since most are blindly following the crowd and never even used a Mac but whatever....
 

upintheclouds

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jul 26, 2011
126
16
Thanks everyone for your feedback!

To be honest, I am torn right now between the next release of the iMac and the next release of the MacBook Pro 15". I am applying to a university for flight school, though the campus is an hour and a half from me, its 90% online. The other 10% will be at the airport (and where ever the hell I want it to be, like the beach haha).

My original plan was to have the iMac at home base for all my class work and studies, plus some flight simulation work, and use my iPad Pro for the times I am at the field or I am not at home. I'm not sure that I can do everything I will need to be able to do remotely on my iPad alone.

I will take all of your suggestions and mull it over! Thanks again!
 

Richdmoore

macrumors 68000
Jul 24, 2007
1,823
272
Troutdale, OR
Thanks everyone for your feedback!

To be honest, I am torn right now between the next release of the iMac and the next release of the MacBook Pro 15". I am applying to a university for flight school, though the campus is an hour and a half from me, its 90% online. The other 10% will be at the airport (and where ever the hell I want it to be, like the beach haha).

My original plan was to have the iMac at home base for all my class work and studies, plus some flight simulation work, and use my iPad Pro for the times I am at the field or I am not at home. I'm not sure that I can do everything I will need to be able to do remotely on my iPad alone.

I will take all of your suggestions and mull it over! Thanks again!
Depending on the flight course, you may be required to get an iPad anyway to use as an EFB (electronic flight bag). It has been a long time since I was a flight instructor, but they are ubiquitous in the cockpit of most professionally flown aircraft nowadays.

It might be worth checking out with the school to see if or at what point during your training they are required.
 

upintheclouds

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jul 26, 2011
126
16
Depending on the flight course, you may be required to get an iPad anyway to use as an EFB (electronic flight bag). It has been a long time since I was a flight instructor, but they are ubiquitous in the cockpit of most professionally flown aircraft nowadays.

It might be worth checking out with the school to see if or at what point during your training they are required.
I love talking to other pilots! I've already got the EFB situation covered ;) Back when I was in the 172 G1000 I used an old iPad as my EFB, even though my instructor would sporadically take it away in flight for emergency training "because the battery died" and make me reach over for the good old paper copies haha. So I got proficient at using both.

May I PM you about flight training?
 

Richdmoore

macrumors 68000
Jul 24, 2007
1,823
272
Troutdale, OR
I love talking to other pilots! I've already got the EFB situation covered ;) Back when I was in the 172 G1000 I used an old iPad as my EFB, even though my instructor would sporadically take it away in flight for emergency training "because the battery died" and make me reach over for the good old paper copies haha. So I got proficient at using both.

May I PM you about flight training?
Sure, although my flight training & collage was from 1992 to 1996, so may be a bit dated. I worked as an instructor at a college until 2000, then 5 years with the commuter airlines, the last 12 years I have been in business/fractional flying.
 

CWallace

macrumors 604
Aug 17, 2007
7,550
3,752
Seattle, WA
In terms of CPUs, it's almost certainly going to be 4-core i7s (iMac) and 4-core E3 Xeons (iMac Pro). 6+ core CPUs (Core i9 and E5 Xeon) will be too hot and they will want to reserve the E5's for the new Mac Pro.

In terms of GPUs, AMD Polaris Mobile will be a given (probably RX 480M based on the E9950 embedded GPU). I do not believe Mobile Vega will be available before 2018 based on how late the desktop models are shipping.
 
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