I returned my iMac Retina 5k, did you?...

Discussion in 'iMac' started by frankmcma, Nov 26, 2014.

  1. frankmcma macrumors newbie

    Mar 31, 2008
    I've been reading through the forums here for weeks and it seems like a high number of people have returned their iMac 5K with Retina. Just wanted to start a thread asking...why?

    I'll tell you my story.

    Have: 27-inch Late 2012 iMac, 3.4GHz i7, 32GB RAM, NVIDIA GTX 680MX 2GB

    Got: Base model iMac 5K Retina, 3.5GHz i5, 8GB RAM, AMD M290X 2GB

    I upgrade I would say every 2-3 years. My current 2012 iMac runs great, fast, quiet, plays games, can handle anything I throw at it including video and audio production and photo work. I play games on occasion but not often. Seeing the Apple keynote I was immediately interested by the 5K screen, I decided to see it in person at the Apple store. It looked great. I went online because I wanted to order the top model, i7 with AMD GPU 4GB. It says 2-3 weeks, but if you go all the way through to the checkout, the last step before confirming, it gives you are pretty exact ship date. It was almost a month. Plus for some odd reason, the ship to store option was an extra 3-4 days. I did not know if I could wait a whole month. I decided, maybe the base model would be pretty comparable to my current model. I could walk into the Apple store and buy it that day, which is what I did.

    Unboxing and plugging it in, the first thing I noticed was the fan sound. I am in a pretty quiet room, and I guess I did not really think about how quiet my 2012 unit was. Now the sound was not loud, and the fan was not "spinning up", but the normal fan sound was audible. Very light and not a huge distraction, but noticeable. The screen looked awesome. Text was nice and sharp. I tried doing some web browsing, going to sites I would typically visit. After some basic use over the next hour, I noticed the 5k did not seem as smooth, with web browsing, popping up a finder, using mission control. Just slight millisecond pauses here and there, granted I was trying to torture test it, but I was expecting it to be more like my 2012 but only faster.

    I feel like my 2012 is like butter, with everything, but the 5K just seemed a little pause-y here and there. It was enough to be distracting. I did not even get into games or anything too demanding, I was forming an opinion already. I always get a new mac and am wowed by the performance. I assumed the older mac and new one would be pretty close in performance. But it did not seem to be. Other than that, the screen looked great, but I did notice non-retina graphics more on websites. The Apple website, especially the Apple Watch pages, looked almost 3D. But surfing away from that was more a mixed bag. The only other thing I played was 4K videos. They looked fine, but I often found expanding them or exiting them also produced little micro-pauses. I realize there are a lot of pixels moving around, but it was not something I was expecting. Not in 2014 with Apple's top of the line iMac.

    I boxed up the iMac and returned it after a day. I should have spent more time with it, but the initial impression just rubbed me the wrong way. Maybe the next few software updates will fix it. Or maybe I should have added more RAM like I planned. Or I should have waited the month for the top model to ship to me.

    All in all I was disappointed. I will wait until the 2015 retina iMac comes out. I hope they get the screen tuned to perfection, maybe switching to NVIDIA. Or something.

    So that's my story..what's yours?
  2. Astelith macrumors regular

    Oct 10, 2014
    Are you sure that the noise was from the fans and not from fusion drive ? the hd spin noise is very annoying, with an ssd it would have been better for sure.
  3. Bryan Bowler macrumors 68040

    Sep 27, 2008
    My story is I absolutely love my 5K iMac! It's a great machine and the retina experience on a 27" screen is nothing short of amazing! My older 27" iMac is still sitting next to it and every time I use it, the screen looks flat out terrible on the older model. I am extremely happy I upgraded.

    My new 5K iMac works great. The screen is perfect, it does not stutter and is ultra-fast, and the ever-so-faint fan noise doesn't bother me. After all, modern day computers still have to dissipate heat and that won't change for many years.

    I'm sorry it didn't work out for you and I hope your 2012 iMac lasts many more years.

  4. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    While the RiMac is not for everyone, I think the consensus is overwhelmingly positive. I'd love to have one, but I cannot afford one, and its over kill for my needs, plus its not mobile where as I need a mobile solution
  5. frankmcma thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 31, 2008
    Yes it was the fan. The rattle of a HD can be annoying, but I actually thought that part, the HD, was fairly quiet. Unless it was still using SSD at that point and not even hitting the HD.


    I do see you got the maxed out version. I still wonder if I went with the top of the line, instead of the base unit, if I would have had a better experience. Sometimes I think I should order it..just to see!
  6. Alesc macrumors 6502


    Nov 11, 2014
    And to hear! :D
    The maxed out version seems to be quite "loud" on demanding tasks...
  7. steve23094 macrumors 68020


    Apr 23, 2013
    I have a maxed out riMac and it's whisper quiet, can't hear anything at all unless the GPU is under heavy gaming load when the fan kicks in.

    Web browsing and videos are smooth, have not experienced any stuttering.
  8. Alesc macrumors 6502


    Nov 11, 2014
    The magic of Apple: to be happy when your 4k $ computer is not stuttering when you are just browsing web or watching videos...
  9. boast macrumors 65816


    Nov 12, 2007
    Phoenix, USA
    I find my iMac quieter than when I used my rmbp as a desktop.
  10. vir3l macrumors member

    Oct 30, 2014
    returned mine as well, I'll get one once apple has sorted out the issues
  11. steve23094 macrumors 68020


    Apr 23, 2013
    Hardly. I can't disprove a negative.
  12. leenak macrumors 68020

    Mar 10, 2011
    much! But I don't hear the fan at all on my RiMac unless I've been playing a game and then it is fairly quiet, just a sound of air that is pretty faint and I have to not have earbuds in to hear it. My rMBP on the other hand sounds like a jet taking off...
  13. teerexx52 macrumors 68000


    May 1, 2005
    Florida West Coast
    I agree. Mine is great. Best machine I have ever owned!

  14. y-Rex macrumors newbie

    Nov 10, 2014
    I decided to keep my imac 5k. I have the i7 / 295x 1tb fusion drive version, not sure that qualifies as maxed out.

    Anyway the only time I ever had any real issues with it was when I tried to game with it. The gpu temperature went high and the fans were quite loud. The fan noise is not a big issue it's the feeling you get that you might be damaging your mac by letting the gpu temperature get to 100c is what bothered me. However gaming performance was otherwise top notch. I just didn't feel comfortable gaming on it so I just game on my ps4 now.

    Otherwise it's an excellent machine.
    My old computer would not have survived another year otherwise I might have waited like you. If I had an imac from 2012 I would have probably waited like you have.
  15. frankmcma thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 31, 2008
    Oh yes..I have heard that for sure...


    Did you get the stock i5 one?


    Yes I would say that is the higher end one with the i7 + 4GB GPU.

    I too have a PS4 and game on that all the time. I don't game much on my iMac..but do on occasion. I'd like to have the option though, I'd want my new iMac to do it all. And would not expect much less buying a new 2014 machine. I have heard about the fan sounds and the high temps, and yes that would make me uneasy as well. I never got to the point of testing games on the iMac before returning it.
  16. Djay1 macrumors member

    Nov 7, 2011
    Middle Tennessee
    My wife can hear gnat flatulence at 100 yards and she can't hear my new iMac 5K. ;)

    Sorry to learn you got one that was less than satisfactory.
  17. Col Vandal macrumors member

    Sep 2, 2010
    I had some concerns inititially with my base model but noise was never one of them. Overall, it's a great machine and huge step up from my late 2008. I use Photoshop, Lightroom and Aperture regularly and have no complaints other than waiting for Adobe/Apple to issue some updates. I even have the Fusion drive and still have no noise complaints.
  18. touchUpInside macrumors member


    May 4, 2014
    UTC -07:00

  19. fathergll macrumors 65816

    Sep 3, 2014

    One thing we do know is there is going to be a lot of software updates that need to fine tune these machines. How much this is going to help things in the future is a guess. I snagged a Base unit for $2300 which should arrive soon so ill give it a whirl and hopefully it improves with updates and fine tuning settings.
  20. Steveatesh macrumors regular


    Oct 29, 2014
    North east England
    Base unit here, added another 8gig RAM from crucial.

    I love it, mine is quick and animations when minimizing etc are smooth. I'm using it for general computing, including photography stuff. I've tried Tombraider and it was great.

    So no, didn't send it back although after reading many of the threads on here in the first two weeks it crossed my kind. But then I realized that mine wasn't doing the stuff others were complaining about!

    Jeez, I was happy with it until I joined here, then uncertainty caused by other posts, then back to being happy with it :)
  21. SD-B macrumors 6502


    Apr 1, 2009
    is the noise the fan or as the person above you suggests, the fusion drive which he suggests is annoying?


    and your issue?
    curious as I have to make a decision tonight and order something tomorrow

    glad to read that for these few negative ones are scaring me
  22. mdelrossi macrumors member

    Jun 22, 2005
    Base here.
    After effects project rendering full throttle for 15 min no fan no noise just 3 times faster than my 08 macpro 8 core 2.8ghz.
  23. Thorf13 macrumors member

    Nov 12, 2014
    I just got mine two days ago, and I'm very happy with it so far.

    To be honest, most of the people who have posted about returning it seem to already have a 2012 or 2013 iMac. If you're not interested in the huge leap to a 5K screen —*which you may well not be if you don't work with images a lot, or if you simply sit further back while you use your machine —*this release may well disappoint in comparison. It is undoubtedly more powerful than the older models, but running the high resolution screen may well make it seem less powerful in real terms.

    On the other hand, I don't think that leaps and bounds will be made in regards to power with the next release of this machine. Apple's releases are always incremental, and it seems highly unlikely that they will make the 2015 version so much better as to blow this one out of the water. Sure, it will be a little bit faster, but next year's machine always is.

    I have no regrets buying this version, and I have no complaints from my limited use of it so far — including using Lightroom.
  24. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Apr 23, 2011
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    I went for a completely maxed out variant (4GHz i7-4790K, 32GB RAM, 4GB M295X and 512GB SSD), and it never stutters.

    The fans don't spin up either unless I'm gaming or doing 4K work, and even if they spin up, it's just a soft whir.
  25. sleepyking macrumors 6502

    Oct 5, 2012
    this is my very first Mac product period. I got the very base model which has been perfect so far.

    I haven't heard the fan even when the TV is off, or experienced any pause/lag. or at least not noticeable enough. but then again, my first iMac so everything seems buttery smooth to me.

    I might upgrade the RAM eventually just to future-proof it a bit. I plan on keeping this thing for as long as it runs.

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