I can't wait but is the iMac too old to buy

Discussion in 'iMac' started by bas-macfan, Jun 9, 2010.

  1. bas-macfan macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2010
    #1
    Hello everyone,

    I know, I am not the first to ask this but I really do not know what to do. I want to buy an iMac, but the iMac in stores now seems outdated to me. C2D procesoor.... (yes I do mean the 21,5 inch of $1199.-, that is all I can afford. The topline iMac is great but sooooo expensive) and not to mention the stone age GPU. I mean.... a notebook GPU?????

    But how long do I have to wait for the new iMac. I hope with i3/i5 and a much better GPU....... Maybe 22 inch??

    Who can give me some hope.... an answer.... when is the new iMac on earth???

    Cheers!

    Bas
    Holland
     
  2. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2006
    Location:
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    #2
    Nobody knows. An update could be in the offings around now, though- it's past the average.

    http://www.macrumors.com/members/buyersguide/#iMac
     
  3. Dont Hurt Me macrumors 603

    Dont Hurt Me

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2002
    Location:
    Yahooville S.C.
    #3
    I wouldnt pluck down $1200 on a a machine with a old 9400m gpu, thats kind of a joke in this price range. Macbook has a better gpu in the 320m. might as well wait for the bump, its coming but who know when. These old GPU's are APPLE achilles heel. Patience and lets hope Apple hasnt forgotten its computer division while chasing pods and pads.
     
  4. bas-macfan thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2010
    #4
    So true.....:mad:
     
  5. tsmithgolf2000 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 18, 2006
    #5
    I am in the same boat, I want to buy a new machine and it's probably going to be a 27" imac. I am thinking the upgrades, when they come, will be with the 21" models and only minor tweaks for the 27". But, who knows....
     
  6. Bodhi395 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2008
    #6
    I'm also looking to buy the low-end iMac. How bad is the current processor?

    I think the only processor heavy task I will do with it is editing and encoding video. Will the current generation be sufficient for that, or should I wait until an update, which might not come until the fall?
     
  7. epicwelshman macrumors 6502a

    epicwelshman

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2006
    Location:
    Nassau, Bahamas
    #7
    I am in the exact same boat as you guys. I'm looking at the midrange 21.5" to replace my GenA BlackBook, but I am concerned about the Core2Duo processor, especially when the MBP's are using i5 and i7s.

    I can wait a little while, but not too much longer...
     
  8. TMRaven macrumors 68020

    TMRaven

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2009
    #8
    I highly doubt apple will change the core2duo in its baseline iMac come time for an update. Since they like implementing the same changes through their whole lineup, they'll most likely just put a 320m in the base iMac and offer some price reduction, while maybe offering the 3.33ghz variant as default. A decent upgrade. Also, just because the high-end wolfdales in the low end iMacs is an older cpu architecture from intel, doesn't mean it's a bad cpu-- still extremely powerful.

    If you wait until an iMac upgrade, chances are you can save up enough money for a higher end iMac that has a dedicated card. Higher end 21.5" iMac will probably offer a clarkdale chip with lower end dedicated gpu like mobility 5650/mobility 5750.

    The current top-of-the-line 27" inch iMac offers only a notebook gpu, but just because it's a notebook gpu doesn't mean it's a good gpu.
     
  9. MattG macrumors 68040

    MattG

    Joined:
    May 27, 2003
    Location:
    Fletcher, NC
    #9
    I too am in the same boat, however I'm looking to purchase the high-end 21.5". I've got a 4(?) year-old 1.8ghz CoreDuo that I'm looking to pass down to my parents, so I can get them off of Windows for good. I just can't bring myself to buy something from the current line of 21.5" iMacs, and the 27" is simply too big and too expensive for my needs.

    Ideally I'd like to see Apple give them a more up to date processor (Clarkdale), but at this point I think whatever they release next, I'm just going to scoop one up, even if it's just a faster Core2Duo processor. It just seems silly for me to buy one now when an update is likely inevitable in the next few months.
     
  10. nj-mac-user macrumors 6502

    nj-mac-user

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2009
    Location:
    TX
    #10
    I think you meant to say "just because it's a notebook gpu doesn't mean it's not a good gpu."

    I can attest the 4850 is a very capable gpu. Still extremely good despite its age. And chances are the next imac update will also have a mobility gpu if not an underclocked desktop gpu. There are reasons for this.
     
  11. pilot1226 macrumors 6502a

    pilot1226

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2010
    Location:
    USA
    #11
    Every time I see another "when's the new iMac" thread I want to /wrists.

    As stated dozens of times on the forum, we don't know when the next update is coming. In terms of an average lifecycle, we could expect it anytime, as we're past the average.

    The C2D chip is extremely old, if you "have" to buy because you can't wait, I would suggest the i5 core or the i7 core. The only thing that "arguably" makes people angry about the iMac is the graphics card, which turns 24 months old at the end of the month.

    If you're a typical user that plays a game here and there, does some video or photo stuff, and uses their computer mostly for the internet, word processing/spreadsheets, and e-mail, then by all means the i5 will be fine for you for years to come.
     
  12. TMRaven macrumors 68020

    TMRaven

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2009
    #12

    Yes. :)
     
  13. Yamcha macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2008
    #13
    I would wait, Apple should have updated the processors ages ago, I mean its a little over 4years old.. =/ but I guess thats Apple for you..

    Better to wait for the newer iMacs.. the 9400M on the 21.5" is horrible :rolleyes:.. And the updates should be around the corner, its past the average update time..
     
  14. TMRaven macrumors 68020

    TMRaven

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2009
    #14
    My friend just recently talked to me, and he wants to replace his 3 year old dell laptop with the lowest end alienware laptop (costs 800usd?) that has an intel celeron processor with 1.3ghz clock speed, and up "upgradeable" core2duo clocked at around 1.6ghz. :D

    But on the flip side, it sports a 335m.
     
  15. Bodhi395 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2008
    #15
    How about the C2D processor if I'm that typical user, will it be all right for say 2 or 3 more years?
     
  16. nj-mac-user macrumors 6502

    nj-mac-user

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2009
    Location:
    TX
    #16
    You'd probably need to be more concerned with the gpu than the cpu with the low end imac. The 3.06 C2D is still very very good, but its the 9400M integrated gpu that will hinder you from accomplishing certain things such as some gaming and video editing. Save a little more and at least go for the high end 21.5 if you needed to since it at least has a decent dedicated gpu.
     
  17. jb609jb macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2010
    #17
    Good Question

    The previous poster asked is the Core Duo good enough for 2-3 more years. I plan on buying the 21.5 base model this week and I am looking for it too last me about 5 years. Is there a reason anyone outside of people who play games on their Mac's to feel like they are going to have a Mac that won't last?
     
  18. nj-mac-user macrumors 6502

    nj-mac-user

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2009
    Location:
    TX
    #18
    It really really depends on exactly what you'd be using your computer for or might be using it for in the future to determine how long it will last you. For web browsing, word processors, listening to music, etc. even a pentium 4 would suffice your needs.
     
  19. TMRaven macrumors 68020

    TMRaven

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2009
    #19
    A high end core2duo will last you at least 3 more years, if not way more, for simple tasks like web browsing and multimedia asides video encoding, and provide great multitasking capabilities with them.

    I remember I was using the iMacs at my university's new media lab for a web project (2.66ghz core2duos) and I had quite a bit or photoshop windows open, firefox windows open and dreamweaver windows open. I was beginning to fear the cpu would tank out, but it was still holding up great.

    To be quite frank, I got this lynnfield iMac, and I havn't really encountered any need for the cpu itself. It's a nice thing to have and gives an extremely large amount of leeway, but the only thing where it shows use is in video encoding.
    Sure things will be coded for more cores down the line, but that won't provide much benefit for the basic usage things anyways. If what Apple thinks is true, and everybody eventually migrates away from Flash for HTML5, then core2duos will see even greater lifetime. As it stands, Flash is probably the most stressful cpu thing when you're doing everyday tasks.

    People are right, you should be more worried about a better gpu than cpu. Get a discrete gpu at minimum-- especially since the way things are going, people are moving more towards gpu for their computing tasks. Apple has always been more focused on their cpus than gpus (releasing their computers around new cpu releases instead of gpu releases exemplifies this-- lynnfield iMacs) A lot of other computer companies get away with really old cpus in their computers.
     
  20. Bodhi395 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2008
    #20
    Besides intensive 3D games(like 1st person shooters), and professional level video editing, what would be some programs that the current low end iMac would not be suitable for either now or in the next 3 years?
     
  21. REM314 macrumors 6502

    REM314

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2009
    Location:
    Canada
    #21
    The current iMac specs are pretty bad. You can get a much much better CPU and GPU in a PC these days for less money. Apple has lost my support for their desktops.
     
  22. pilot1226 macrumors 6502a

    pilot1226

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2010
    Location:
    USA
    #22
    My personal experience and situation right now probably can sum it up for you...

    I built my now defunct desktop in college in 2002. It had one of the brand new AMD Athlon64 chips featuring Socket 939 architecture. It was awesome when it came out and blew everyone else away. I managed to make a couple bucks doing it too, because word got around campus that I knew my way around a motherboard and before I knew it, a bunch of people were asking me to build them computers for a small fee :)

    Fast forward to 2004. I bought my iBook G4 because I didn't want to lug the behemoth 1000 mi. each way to and from college for vacations (and I didn't trust the housekeeping/maintenance staff that would "visit" during extended vacations so I didn't want to leave it there).

    At the time, the iBook was also awesome and blew away comparable laptops.

    Fast forward again to the late 00's. Internet content had evolved so much in around (or less) than 5 years that I couldn't partake in it. While 5 years' worth of life on any type of high-technology equipment is admirable, I did get a bit disappointed because I was expecting a little bit more life out of it.

    Same issue with the Desktop. Soon after I bought it, they changed to Socket 939 architecture and eventually AM2, and you then saw dual and quad cores launching. DDR2 and DDR3 appeared. PCIe popped up. SATA2 appeared. It just wasn't worth upgrading the desktop.

    Even the Macs had a major fundamental change and moved to an Intel processor.

    So, to summarize what I meant by all this:

    Unless you have any idea what will be commonplace in terms of your internet browsing experience in 3 years from now, I would suggest you wait.

    I am expecting to have more of a shift from traditional means (television, magazines, etc) into more of an internet push. Why watch the weather channel for 10 minutes to see your local forecast when you can crack a laptop or smartphone and get your information instantly?

    Further, with the advent of HD a few years ago and how common 720p & 1080i are and how much they've come down in terms of cost, I wouldn't be surprised to see a lot more streaming content now for computers in HD.

    Considering my graphics card in my iBook can barely load up the Facebook flash games, I would be weary about buying a lousy, old video card if you really want to get more than just a few "years" out of this thing.
     
  23. nj-mac-user macrumors 6502

    nj-mac-user

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2009
    Location:
    TX
    #23
    I know the concensus is that imacs are inferior to PC desktops in regards to price/performance, but you really can't view it that way. You need to compare imacs with other PC all-in-ones, which it dominates. The main benefit of the imac is its all-in-one body design, integrating a high end display with a computer into one sleek unit. There will be obvious spec sacrifices because of this (ie. use of mobility parts for a thinner form factor).

    Sure you can get a bulky PC desktop with better specs and an expensive monitor to go with it as an alternative, but imac buyers go more after style and build quality not to mention Mac OS X ease of use.
     
  24. jb609jb macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2010
    #24
    I am confused.

    So what I got from the last few posts are that base model iMacs are garbage? Does anyone have a counter argument? I have been waiting months and I was planning on buying after WWDC to see if they would refresh and now its time to buy. Is this a huge mistake?
     
  25. TMRaven macrumors 68020

    TMRaven

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2009
    #25
    Nah, the baseline iMacs are still very competent computers-- last upgrade was the first time apple used desktop grade cpus in their iMac lineup. But-- I would go so far as to say to not get the 9400m model, as it's integrated. However a 21 inch model with 4670 is very competent.


    I'd also say iMacs are not falling behind comparable pcs in performance. The use of the lynnfields in the new 27 iMacs was a gigantic step forward. The mobility 4850 chip was also one of the top 3 fastest mobile chips apple could have put in the iMac at the time it was released. They will most definitely put another top 3 mobile chip or very good desktop chip in the next update.

    If you go look around at other companies' sites, and look at their baseline tower pcs and laptops, you'll find garbage. A good chunk of them choose to just use the new i3s with only intel's integrated graphics in their baseline laptops. A good chunk of them are still using celerons in their baseline towers.

    Sure you could argue that you could build your own custom pc for less and more performance, but that's always been the case-- not to mention that custom built pcs don't com loaded with a couple hundred dollar's worth of software like any other oem.
     

Share This Page