If USB-C only MacBook Pro comes true, do you think the iMac will follow?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Traverse, Oct 18, 2016.

  1. Traverse macrumors 604


    Mar 11, 2013
    To clarify, yes I think the iMac will eventually follow, but assuming a redesigned MacBook Pro is revealed, do you think they'll tweak the 2016 iMac design to drop the USB A ports for 4 USB - C ports as well?

    On one hand I can easily seem them doing that, but I also wonder if they'd treat a desktop differently than a notebook. Perhaps 2 USB-C and 2 USB-A?
  2. cynics macrumors G4

    Jan 8, 2012
    Its so difficult to tell with Apple. I think it would be a dumb idea to go all USB C on a desktop being how there are so few things that can leverage its enhancements.

    So judging from Apples history of them doing things I think is dumb....there is a chance they do it... lol
  3. Orange Computer macrumors member

    Oct 27, 2014
    USB A is completely obsolete. I can't imagine why you would keep USB A ports on a desktop like the iMac since they're so awkward to reach as it is. They should just have 6 USB C ports on the back of the system.
  4. Traverse thread starter macrumors 604


    Mar 11, 2013
    Because everything I own including my iPhone and iPad cables from Apple are USB-A. Obsolete is like a floppy disk. Though USB-C is superior, it isn't widely used thus USB-A is not obsolete.
  5. roadkill401 macrumors 6502


    Jan 11, 2015
    And Apple cannot get thier bluetooth keyboard to work reliably so you have no option but to resort to a USB keyboard, along with all the lightning cables don't come with usb-c.

    So that would be the total reason for Apple to do that. Because they have "courage" to get rid of the USB-A jack. so what if you now have to buy a bunch of high priced apple adaptors to get anything to work again. But it won't stop there. Your 3.5mm headphone/optical jack will also be gone, along with the two Thunderbolt2 ports so your going to be stuck getting anything you own to plug in.

    But it will be Courageous.
  6. bbnck, Oct 19, 2016
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2016

    bbnck macrumors 6502a

    Mar 19, 2009
    You can use the new Magic Keyboard with the USB cable connected even when Bluetooth is disabled on your Mac (just make sure the keyboard is turned on). This is how I use my Magic Keyboard at work so I don't need to re-pair it each time I get home in an evening. I found this out by accident, it's pretty nice.

    I wouldn't mind a computer with only USB Type-C ports as long as there is enough of them and most devices use it, but that is just not the case right now. It might happen eventually, but I don't think Apple will do this on their iMac line just yet. They can get away with the MacBook, but it will annoy far too many customers that rely on an iMac to get work done. Apple certainly likes to be courageous and push new technology early (or phase it out), but I think they know not to pull a stupid stunt too early. You would hope.

    As a consumer, I am not prepared to buy lots of adapters to plug in my USB Type-A devices unless Apple pays for them and includes an adapter in the box for each USB Type-C port on the computer. Then again, I don't want adapters everywhere cluttering up my desk. Some can manage with a Retina MacBook, I understand that - it has Bluetooth so you can certainly use a wireless keyboard and mouse. But it's not for me. I still use pen drives, I have to use a wired ergonomic mouse, my Fitbit is charged via a USB port, the keyboard is terrible...there's lots of reasons why I wouldn't consider something as limited as the Retina MacBook.
  7. nss_gabriele macrumors newbie

    Oct 12, 2016
    Since they're doing everything they can to piss me off, i likely see them doing it.
  8. Malus120 macrumors 6502

    Jun 28, 2002
    I would honestly be surprised and somewhat disappointed if Apple DIDN'T replace all (or at least most) of the USB-A ports with USB-C. Of course like everyone else here I have lots of USB-A peripherals and will likely need to buy a hub (or an adaptor for the hub I already have) to connect them.

    Why don't I want USB-A ports then, you ask? Simple. USB-C is the future and I'd rather be slightly inconvenienced now, then IO limited down the road (or even today).

    Embarrassingly enough, Apple is already one of the last major computer manufactures to get (the majority of their computers) on the USB-C train, and once they are on board there will be little incentive for manufacturers to produce new USB-A devices.

    That means, going forward, the vast majority of new peripherals will be using USB-C. Sure it will be an inconvenience at first (just as USB and FireWire were when Apple replaced the connectors of old with them back in the days of the Bondi Blue iMac and Blue and White PowerMac G3), but two years from now when you no longer have USB-A devices to plug in you'll be glad not to have valuable IO space wasted with USB-A ports that you never use (particularly given how stingy Apple already is with ports).

    This concern becomes even more pertinent when you consider that while Thunderbolt 3 and USB-C share a port, Thunderbolt 3 supports daisy chaining while USB-C does not. This means that if Apple set up the IO configuration similar to how it is done today (with two USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 ports and four USB-A ports), you could end up with a nightmarish IO scenario where you have to position USB-C devices at the end of a Thunderbolt 3 chain, and if one of your devices doesn't want to play ball you may just be SOL.

    I feel the pain of those who don't want to buy an adaptor, but USB-C is the future, not just on Mac, but industry wide. This is one of those decisions that doesn't just take "courage" (god what a dumb way to explain it to the customer Eddy), but makes sense.
  9. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Oct 24, 2013
    Let's be honest, most USB A devices use a separate cable so it's not even a case of replacing the device just a cheap cable for most hard drives etc.
  10. roadkill401 macrumors 6502


    Jan 11, 2015
    Where that thought falls apart is that everybody has not gone out and bought a new computer in the last 6 months. Vendors know what side their bread is buttered on and will make items that they can sell and make money on.

    USB2 & 3.0 were the perfect example as they shared the same connector and backwards compatible. it's easy for a manufacturer to make a usb3.0 flash drive and sell because they know that any computer with a usb-a port be it a slow usb1 or 2 will work with their device. Now as it's a totally different shape they have to either include an adaptor or are shut out from 85%+ of the market who would purchase their product because they don't have the right shaped port.

    If you are selling a mouse, that can't even use the bandwidth of usb2, why would you pay big money to license the usb3.1 chipset to make a product that will likely sell less than 5% to computers that have only the usb-c port on it? Take a look to the flash drive, and there are still many that only have a usb2 plug. USB-C will be a fringe port for the next 3-4 years as the average life in the real world of a computer is 7-10 years.
  11. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    imo, there's little Apple can do update wise for the 5k iMac. It's already on Skylake, unlike the 21" iMac. So if they're not going to redesign the enclosure like many people are hoping, and there's no CPU upgrade, what can they do?

    Well, there's the GPU, thunderbolt 3 and USB-C, so I think that's what we're looking at.
  12. Malus120 macrumors 6502

    Jun 28, 2002
    Except that is exactly what mouse and keyboard manufacturers did for years (perhaps even a decade?) during the PS2 to USB transition. Include a cheap USB adaptor in box, bam problem solved.

    And no USB-C will not be a fringe port for 3-4 years. FireWire was a fringe port,Thunderbolt (1&2) was a fringe port, USB-C already has support from both PC manufacturers, (Android) smartphone manufacturers, AND Apple. Adaptors and hubs for USB-C are ALREADY cheap and plentiful, and are only going to get cheaper from here on out as more and more computers ship with EXCLUSIVELY USB-C.

    While I definitely understand the aversion to adaptors (particularly for laptop users), this is just the way Apple works, and thankfully, this time it's not going to be nearly as painful as all the other times when Apple was attempting to buck the IO trend (FireWire vs USB 2/FireWire 800 and Thunderbolt vs USB 3).
  13. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009
    Orange wrote:
    "USB A is completely obsolete."


    Look around at all the products still being sold with "A" connectors, vis-a-vis those being sold with "C" connectors.

    USB "A" is hardly "obsolete", and will be sold and used for years to come.

    Having said that, I would expect that within a year -- perhaps with the new iMacs coming in November (or January) -- we'll see USB-c on the back, instead of "A" type connections.

    Users will have to get "A-to-c" type connecting cables for their existing peripherals.

    Final thought:
    I'm wondering how "robust" the type C connector is going to be over the long-term. It's certainly smaller than the A style. I'm wondering if the internal connections will prove to be more fragile and more prone to breakage, weak connections, etc.
    Only time will tell.
  14. MrX8503 macrumors 68020

    Sep 19, 2010
    I wouldn't mind if the iMac went all USB-C
  15. joema2 macrumors 65816


    Sep 3, 2013
    The Kaby Lake i7-7700K might be available -- benchmarks have already leaked out. Whether Apple can get this in sufficient quantities for an iMac 27 will depend on the exact timeframe and Apple's priorities. The i7-7700K is a quad-core CPU which may be significantly faster than the i-6700K Skylake CPU in the 2015 iMac 27. It appears to have a 4.2Ghz base clock and turbo mode to about 4.5Ghz. Besides the clock rate the Instructions Per Clock and integrated graphics are significantly improved. E.g, Quick Sync has been improved to do 10-bit H265/HEVC which will be important in the future. TDP should be lower than the i7-6700K so there would be no thermal problem even if Apple did not change the case or cooling.

    Nobody yet knows, but if the CPU was 10-20% faster as shown on some benchmarks and if the GPU was 50% faster due to 14/16nm fabrication, that would be the largest year over year iMac performance increase in recent memory.

    If they made it USB-C only, that would be frustrating since it will be years before that is commonplace. Likely many iMac 27s would go their entire life with USB-A-to-C adapters. However you have to start somewhere. If all manufacturers waited until USB-C was widespread, the new standard would never succeed.
  16. Sirmausalot macrumors 6502a


    Sep 1, 2007
    I do think Kaby Lake will make this cycle for the 5k (and Skylake for the 4K) with the elimination of the dedicated GPU. Physical ports will be the same, but support USB 3.1 and TB3 int he TB ports as stated with current configuration. CPU 10-20% gains, not sure about Kaby lake iGPU compared to 395X but it will be close or somewhat superior.

  17. joema2 macrumors 65816


    Sep 3, 2013
    I don't think the Kaby Lake iGPU will equal the M395X. The top iMac needs a significantly faster GPU than the current M395X, especially with VR and 4k video editing. The improved Kaby Lake Quick Sync will help certain types of video transcoding but that is essentially separate logic from the GPU, although it requires the iGPU to function. We will know for sure pretty soon.
  18. Taz Mangus macrumors 68040

    Taz Mangus

    Mar 10, 2011
    Could see a reconfiguration based on larger iMac models, a 30" and a 24". I would really like to see a 30" iMac version.
  19. BlueTide macrumors regular


    Feb 6, 2007
  20. Traverse thread starter macrumors 604


    Mar 11, 2013
    I could go for a 30" maybe. I'd want to see the effect on the "Retina" and how usable the next res up from 1440 p worked though.
  21. MacStu09 macrumors regular

    Aug 27, 2009
    I fully expected a "/s" at the end of this statement. But somehow there was none. That has to be the most "I never leave my bedroom" statement I've ever heard, lol.
  22. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009
    joema wrote above:
    "If they made it USB-C only, that would be frustrating since it will be years before that is commonplace. Likely many iMac 27s would go their entire life with USB-A-to-C adapters. However you have to start somewhere. If all manufacturers waited until USB-C was widespread, the new standard would never succeed."

    What ports do current 27" iMacs have?
    Is it 4 USB3 + 2 Thunderbolt?

    If that's the case, the new iMacs may have 4 USB3.1 "A" ports, and 2 USB-c ports.

    Or, perhaps "3 + 3" ...?
  23. reallynotnick macrumors 6502a

    Oct 21, 2005
    Yep I see USB-C replacing the Thunderbolt ports more than the USB-A ports. Now I could see them going all the way to 4 USB-C ports with only 2 USB-A but that's the most extreme. Well I guess they could remove the Thunderbolt ports and go to 2 and 2 USB ports, but I'd be pretty ticked.
  24. cynics macrumors G4

    Jan 8, 2012
    I wouldn't say it's obsolete, certainly not completely obsolete. 99% of USB devices don't even need anything that USB C can offer. Plus you still won't find any USB devices sold today that come packaged with a USB C cord short of very specific exceptions (a charging cable for a laptop).

    At this point it's just unnecessary expense for the end user.

    Would I mind? Not really I guess, I'll just hop on Amazon an buy half a dozen new cables for my current and future devices.

    Some things will require an adapter which is kind of annoying and looks bad without obsessive cable management. Things like 3rd party cameras, keyboards, mice and thumb drives.

    If you use a USB C thumb drive it's unlikely the other place you are using it will have USB C unless it's a very modern computer.

    I think the iMac would benefit from a gradual switch to all USB C to allow it to become common place for USB accessories.
  25. Orange Computer macrumors member

    Oct 27, 2014
    I was being slightly trollish. But now that USB C thumb drives & cables are reasonably available there's really no reason not to switch. If you need to connect legacy equipment, adapters are cheap and if you're buying new there's little reason not to use the better connector.

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