i7 7700 K for next high end iMac ?!

komiez

macrumors member
Original poster
May 4, 2016
38
6
A lot of speculations and possibilities, but since I'm interested in the CPU most as my prio 1 and interest for the next iMac - I thought of discussing the processor in the High end iMac's at 27" (?) in a separate thread.

Is it written in stone that they always use the most high end Intel chip for the high end models available?
Thinking of the late 2014 iMac with the 4790K at a high clock/turbo speed clock, Skylake 6700K, what's next?

Some Swedish web articles at Sweclockers
What's possible?!
 

shaunp

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Nov 5, 2010
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I reckon they'll be going with an A10 (i.e. their own CPU) or something from AMD. I think Apple's execs have come to a point there they realise the CPU inside the iPad is quick enough for most people and if they move to that they will only have one platform to write for and support. It will also give them end-to-end control, which they tend to like very much.
 

hollidayslim

macrumors member
Sep 20, 2016
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I reckon they'll be going with an A10...
Moving iMacs to ARM (A10) from x86 would be a very bad move by Apple. Everything currently written for macOS is x86 and telling people they will lose all their x86 programs would lead to a lot of people turning to Windows or a Linux distro. Best case those abandoned macOS x86 users move to an iPad Pro but that would be mostly consumer and not business case.

They have moved platforms in the past I just don't see it happening anytime soon.
 
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shaunp

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Moving iMacs to ARM (A10) from x86 would be a very bad move by Apple. Everything currently written for macOS is x86 and telling people they will lose all their x86 programs would lead to a lot of people turning to Windows or a Linux distro. Best case those abandoned macOS x86 users move to an iPad Pro but that would be mostly consumer and not business case.
I'm not disagreeing, we both see the logic in this, Apple's execs however probably won't agree with us. Remember Rosetta running PPC apps on Intel? I'm sure Apple could do something similar if they chose to get around the short-term compatibility issues. Long-term apps could be moved to a new platform.
 

hollidayslim

macrumors member
Sep 20, 2016
85
54
I'm not disagreeing, we both see the logic in this, Apple's execs however probably won't agree with us. Remember Rosetta running PPC apps on Intel? I'm sure Apple could do something similar if they chose to get around the short-term compatibility issues. Long-term apps could be moved to a new platform.
If they could gracefully emulate an x86 program on ARM then I would agree that adoption would be higher, but if you look at the raspberryPI community and some of the x86 emulators they use the efficiency sucks. Maybe Apple could do better but I doubt they want to sink any R&D in that as they want to utilize ARM and the current App Store.

Actually I support Apple if they want ARM to go desktop main stream if that means we get a nice way to wrap x86 for ARM. :)
 

crsh1976

macrumors 6502a
Jun 13, 2011
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Moving iMacs to ARM (A10) from x86 would be a very bad move by Apple. Everything currently written for macOS is x86 and telling people they will lose all their x86 programs would lead to a lot of people turning to Windows or a Linux distro. Best case those abandoned macOS x86 users move to an iPad Pro but that would be mostly consumer and not business case.

They have moved platforms in the past I just don't see it happening anytime soon.
Not saying it will never happen, but the stakes are high - switching over to ARM means losing Windows/x86 compatibility, which is a massive deal. Gaining iOS compatibility isn't a good enough alternative/benefit, not in its current form at least and would require Apple to at least make it a lot more desktop-like for power users and the like.

Furthermore, we keep seeing single-thread benchmark numbers that tell us the A9-A10 chips are super fast, that's fine, but that says nothing about performance in a multi-threaded setting like a desktop/laptop computer. Frankly, an iMac with an ARM chip better be better than one equipped with a x86 one, as well as have a competitive price to justify the lost benefits: a giant iPad-like limited computer going for a premium price will not fly for most people.
 

Floris

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Sep 7, 2007
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The longer this takes, the more appealing a macbook pro with i7 and external monitor is starting to sound. I really believed for years the iMac is just better for various reasons. But they perform so close to each other when it comes to things like adobe premiere pro and photoshop/lightroom, that I am wondering if i am not better of just maxing out a rMBP and use the left over money + a little bit more, in a big 27" 4k screen.
 

Maxx Power

macrumors 6502a
Apr 29, 2003
861
333
A lot of speculations and possibilities, but since I'm interested in the CPU most as my prio 1 and interest for the next iMac - I thought of discussing the processor in the High end iMac's at 27" (?) in a separate thread.

Is it written in stone that they always use the most high end Intel chip for the high end models available?
Thinking of the late 2014 iMac with the 4790K at a high clock/turbo speed clock, Skylake 6700K, what's next?

Some Swedish web articles at Sweclockers
What's possible?!
Probably a non-K edition. Why a multiplier-unlocked K edition for an iMac ? You can't overclock it in the UEFI anyway, unlike a PC. You also lose out on features like Trusted Execution, vPro and SIPP. You probably won't ever use those technologies, but if your trade-off is unlocked multipliers on an iMac, which you definitely won't be able to use, you might as well skip the "k" edition.

AMD would be a good bet for the Zen CPUs, eventually.
 

jerwin

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Jun 13, 2015
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I reckon they'll be going with an A10 (i.e. their own CPU) or something from AMD. I think Apple's execs have come to a point there they realise the CPU inside the iPad is quick enough for most people and if they move to that they will only have one platform to write for and support. It will also give them end-to-end control, which they tend to like very much.
You do know that iMac's aren't toys? You do know that the i7 iMac is, for most purposes, the fastest Mac you can buy. Don't you?
 

varian55zx

macrumors 6502a
May 10, 2012
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San Francisco
I reckon they'll be going with an A10 (i.e. their own CPU) or something from AMD
If they move to AMD processors then they may have just lost a loyal customer of almost two decades. Taking the effort to switch would be worth it at that point.

I hope these knuckleheads don't do it, in all honesty I don't think they will.
 

knassar

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Jul 31, 2015
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The longer this takes, the more appealing a macbook pro with i7 and external monitor is starting to sound. I really believed for years the iMac is just better for various reasons. But they perform so close to each other when it comes to things like adobe premiere pro and photoshop/lightroom, that I am wondering if i am not better of just maxing out a rMBP and use the left over money + a little bit more, in a big 27" 4k screen.
Funny you should say that. I'm having the same internal debate, but since I'm an MBP user who's never owned an iMac, i'm working myself towards the opposite conclusion. I guess this is a classical example of "the grass is greener on the other side" reasoning.

In pure compute terms, the iMacs blow all MBPs out of the water (trust me - i've done my homework). If you need actual performance, the iMac is a way better compromise for your needs, unless mobility is crucial to you.
 

ivoruest

macrumors 6502
Jul 12, 2010
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Guatemala
I reckon they'll be going with an A10 (i.e. their own CPU) or something from AMD. I think Apple's execs have come to a point there they realise the CPU inside the iPad is quick enough for most people and if they move to that they will only have one platform to write for and support. It will also give them end-to-end control, which they tend to like very much.
I would say this is very likely in the not-so-distant future. The iPad processor is no slouch by any means. Its just a matter of time and a little more development/refinement.
 

danielwsmithee

macrumors 65816
Mar 12, 2005
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Probably a non-K edition. Why a multiplier-unlocked K edition for an iMac ? You can't overclock it in the UEFI anyway, unlike a PC. You also lose out on features like Trusted Execution, vPro and SIPP. You probably won't ever use those technologies, but if your trade-off is unlocked multipliers on an iMac, which you definitely won't be able to use, you might as well skip the "k" edition.

AMD would be a good bet for the Zen CPUs, eventually.
Apple has used the K edition CPUs in the top end iMac for 2 generations in a row. I don't see that changing now. With the 6th generation processors that meant a clock speed jump from 3.4->4.0 GHz to 4.0->4.2 GHz. With the 7th generation the last I have heard that will be 3.5->4.2GHz to 4.2->4.5 GHz. Apple uses the K edition simply because it is the best performing processor that fits in the TDP budget of the iMac. Since the 7700K is expected to have a TDP of 94W I expect it to make it into the iMac eventually.

I could see Apple eventually going to Zen, once they have worked with AMD to create a single SOC that combines a Zen, RX 480 and whatever other additional goodies Apple wants to bring over from their A series chips.

Apple could theoretically create an SOC solution that combines high efficiency ARM cores with AMD Zen processors on the same chip and software that is written for either ARM or x86 or switch between the two on demand. Apple controls their own destiny in this regards, and they have plenty of experience targeting both architectures.
 
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Teon

macrumors regular
Feb 14, 2016
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I would say this is very likely in the not-so-distant future. The iPad processor is no slouch by any means. Its just a matter of time and a little more development/refinement.
Moreover, there is no doubt that the processor is Intel, and 7700 K, or his close brothers - that time will tell
 
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Floris

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Sep 7, 2007
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Funny you should say that. I'm having the same internal debate, but since I'm an MBP user who's never owned an iMac, i'm working myself towards the opposite conclusion. I guess this is a classical example of "the grass is greener on the other side" reasoning.

In pure compute terms, the iMacs blow all MBPs out of the water (trust me - i've done my homework). If you need actual performance, the iMac is a way better compromise for your needs, unless mobility is crucial to you.
the difference is the price, for 3000 i can max out a mbpro and have 1tb ssd and 16gb ram. for 3000 i have their model without the maxed out stuff, 8gb ram and 512gb ssd. And the cpu is basically the same at the moment as the mbp when i view the results on reviews and benchmarks etc.

so a bit .. oh well, nothing matters.. october/november = release month for the 'pc' side of things, now we have finished with the 'mobile' side of things. So who knows what we have in a month or so from now. i can wait a bit longer. but i am getting more and more curious as to why not just this, or invest in that, etc.
 

shaunp

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You do know that iMac's aren't toys? You do know that the i7 iMac is, for most purposes, the fastest Mac you can buy. Don't you?
Yes I do it's not a toy. But it's not THAT quick either - a PC of the same price would kick its ass in bench mark scores any day of the week especially in graphics performance. And for the record before I get bashed for being a Mac hater, I'm typing this on a 6-core nMP( which also isn't that fast) and the £4k it cost me would have got a much faster PC, but I prefer OS X.

Anyway I digress, the reason I said Apple may use their own CPU is this, and it has nothing to do with what either of us think of the Mac, is this...

For many years now CPU performance has been beyond what most people need for the bit of browsing, email and Facebook they do each day. Any CPU from the past 8 years and certainly the past 5 years will do the job - PC sales have slumped globally because people prefer mobile devices and if they do use a computer most people don't need anything quicker, their old kit will do. I reckon Apple's own CPU's now offer a similar performance to those older Intel CPU's maybe even surpassing them and as Apple are all about the masses these days rather than the professional market or the high-end user, it would make absolute sense for them to have a single CPU type across laptops, desktops and mobile devices. The core of the OS for all devices can be identical (lowering development times and costs) and they would also control the entire machine end-to-end. It's all about Apple having complete control for the 'perfect user experience'.
[doublepost=1474934769][/doublepost]
I would say this is very likely in the not-so-distant future. The iPad processor is no slouch by any means. Its just a matter of time and a little more development/refinement.
It would make complete sense for the majority of users who don't care what is inside so long as it works. It would be interesting to see whether Apple has any interest in the high-end users or professional market any longer. If not that's fine, I just wish they would get on with it.
[doublepost=1474934857][/doublepost]
If they move to AMD processors then they may have just lost a loyal customer of almost two decades. Taking the effort to switch would be worth it at that point.

I hope these knuckleheads don't do it, in all honesty I don't think they will.
AMD wouldn't make that much difference as it's still x86 based, but A10 would be a completely different platform. And as the same with the 3.5mm jack Apple will assume the majority will 'get over it' and they can continue to see products.
 

richinaus

macrumors 65816
Oct 26, 2014
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I'm not disagreeing, we both see the logic in this, Apple's execs however probably won't agree with us. Remember Rosetta running PPC apps on Intel? I'm sure Apple could do something similar if they chose to get around the short-term compatibility issues. Long-term apps could be moved to a new platform.
I think if they move to ARM I may jump ship.
When the move was made to Intel it caused problems for a while for me. Although long term benefits were gained, it was a little painful. This pain was when Apple had a very small market share and there were not that many apps available.
Unless they came up with a solution for a super smooth transition, I will be going to Windows immediately or stay with old hardware until all is resolved [not great for a business]. Given the amount of macOS apps now for me it would be carnage on the system.
[doublepost=1474935776][/doublepost]
Funny you should say that. I'm having the same internal debate, but since I'm an MBP user who's never owned an iMac, i'm working myself towards the opposite conclusion. I guess this is a classical example of "the grass is greener on the other side" reasoning.

In pure compute terms, the iMacs blow all MBPs out of the water (trust me - i've done my homework). If you need actual performance, the iMac is a way better compromise for your needs, unless mobility is crucial to you.
I am in the same boat. My thoughts are now an imac maxed out with a lightweight laptop rather than a large laptop which is underpowered for my needs. Much more expensive solution, but probably the less of a compromise, as my set up is now [15" MBP with 27" TBD].

Will just have to wait and see what is released and then make my mind up - if a new display is released and also the laptops are well powered and desirable then I may well go in that direction again although I can see it is going to be a difficult decision, knowing my requirements.
 
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cynics

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Jan 8, 2012
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I would really like to see an iMac with a CPU from Intel's high end line up. I doubt we will ever see that in an iMac but 6+ cores with HT would be beneficial to me personally. Save the 6700k/7700k for a mid tier options since most people would find that more than adequate...

I have NO problem with AMD's Zen line as its looking at this point. I may actually even prefer it but I'll save that opinion until its released...
 

jerwin

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Jun 13, 2015
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For many years now CPU performance has been beyond what most people need for the bit of browsing, email and Facebook they do each day
And if you want to do anything else, there might be someone willing to sell you the option as a service.
 

CWallace

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Aug 17, 2007
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More and more "productivity" apps are moving to ARM. Microsoft Office 365 is now available in ARM on iOS. Adobe is porting applications to ARM on iOS. I harbor no illusions that the Mac platform will have ARM CPUs anytime soon, but Apple may be able to make the transition without needing exceptional x86 instruction set emulation if enough of those applications have been ported to ARM via iOS.
 

richinaus

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Oct 26, 2014
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More and more "productivity" apps are moving to ARM. Microsoft Office 365 is now available in ARM on iOS. Adobe is porting applications to ARM on iOS. I harbor no illusions that the Mac platform will have ARM CPUs anytime soon, but Apple may be able to make the transition without needing exceptional x86 instruction set emulation if enough of those applications have been ported to ARM via iOS.
My productivity is in the CAD / 3D world not Office and it will be interesting to see how this all pans out. I can see all the normal 'productivity' apps being developed further on iOS but not sure how the rest will go.
 

Maxx Power

macrumors 6502a
Apr 29, 2003
861
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Apple has used the K edition CPUs in the top end iMac for 2 generations in a row. I don't see that changing now. With the 6th generation processors that meant a clock speed jump from 3.4->4.0 GHz to 4.0->4.2 GHz. With the 7th generation the last I have heard that will be 3.5->4.2GHz to 4.2->4.5 GHz. Apple uses the K edition simply because it is the best performing processor that fits in the TDP budget of the iMac. Since the 7700K is expected to have a TDP of 94W I expect it to make it into the iMac eventually.

I could see Apple eventually going to Zen, once they have worked with AMD to create a single SOC that combines a Zen, RX 480 and whatever other additional goodies Apple wants to bring over from their A series chips.
I see that it is indeed in the highest priced, BTO iMacs. I was just thinking that it didn't make much sense in the stock models. Thanks for the correction.

I would welcome Zen/Zen+/Polaris/Vega to any iMac, Mac Mini, MBP and essentially any Mac outside the Air-line. A Zen-based APU with Polaris graphics would make a nice base to mid-ranged model that is more affordable and presumably much faster graphics than present models.
 
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