iMac 2009 to iMac 2012 - worth the upgrade?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by bulldoze, Sep 4, 2012.

  1. bulldoze macrumors regular

    Mar 15, 2011
    We have an iMac late 2009 i7 2.7 fitted with 12Gb Ram.

    How much faster would a new 2012 be? we have 3 user accounts running and on my account I have a VMware windows machine and my wife uses Photoshop on her account quite a bit.

    So potentially quite a few apps open and the machine does beachball a fair amount.

    What kind of real world increase would we be looking at? 30%? 50%

    We might have a home for the old one so I am weighing up options now.
  2. karpich1 macrumors regular

    Dec 18, 2007
    Assuming you're serious, then nobody can say.

    It's all speculation at this point whether or not there will even BE a 2012 iMac... let alone what it will have.

    Currently, the iMac available from the stores is a 2011 iMac, from around May 2011.

    The forums are filled with people anxiously awaiting a new iMac because at 490+ days since the last refresh... this is probably the longest wait between iMac releases since the migration to Intel CPUs. Hence all of the posts in the iMac forum mentioning "2012 iMac" for something-or-another. The natives are getting restless.

    Really, the speculation on the specs is all over the place. Awesome Graphics Card? CPU speed bump? USB 3? Retina? etc Nobody knows.
  3. bulldoze thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 15, 2011
    I am serious! just trying to plan ahead that's all.

    I was thinking that Apple would have to use components that are out in the wild at the moment (or are imminent) so I am trying to get peoples opinions as to real world performance increases.

    My wife thinks it will be worth it and much faster - I am not so sure.
  4. forty2j macrumors 68030


    Jul 11, 2008
    In your situation, I'd wait for the darn things to actually be released, and then check the benchmarks.
  5. karpich1 macrumors regular

    Dec 18, 2007
    No problem , just couldn't tell if it was a troll thread... since sometimes people (like Retina MacBook Pro users) ask that just to annoy the iMac fans :)

    The difference between the old and new chipSET is only a couple % points. But we don't know yet which CPU or GPU they are going to put inside. They COULD put in a really nice GPU upgrade... or do practically nothing... just like what they did with the MacPro desktop upgrade recently.

    If you don't NEED it right away... I'd suggest waiting 1-4 weeks to see if anything develops. Otherwise, if you NEED something now... then you'll probably see a slight performance boost between a 2009 to 2011 iMac. But I don't know what % you'd see.
  6. bulldoze thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 15, 2011
    I know, I know, but I find it is best to sell Mac products before the new model is announced to get best price for it - we can share our Macbook in the mean time. Used prices tend to plummet once the new model is announced, especially if there is a redesign.

    My gut feeling is to wait and if it is an significant upgrade take the hit on the used price - or alternatively wait another year.
  7. forty2j macrumors 68030


    Jul 11, 2008
    I know you said "real world", but Geekbench is pretty helpful for seeing some relative performance gains.

    Here's where it stands:
    Late 2009 i7 - 9728
    Mid 2010 i7 - 10520
    Mid 2011 i7 - 12520

    Expect maybe another 10% bump on the 2012. The bigger change in the 2012 is the GPUs.


    Just saw this line in particular and thought: no matter which iMac year you have, an SSD will help you a lot.
  8. bulldoze thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 15, 2011
    Yep an SSD is something I have been thinking about as well - another thing that might possibly be in the new iMacs.
  9. marzer macrumors 65816


    Nov 14, 2009
    Have you done a format/install since you got it? To refresh it? I've got that same machine but w/8GB RAM, and its rare to get a beach ball. I often run multiple VM's, Photoshop Elements, various other apps at the same time. As well as play some fairly demanding FPS games.

    But I format/install with each OS upgrade. I find it makes a difference IMO with regards to machine performance.

    Or maybe just log the other accounts out when not in use.

    On the other hand, if you're looking to justify a new machine, forget all I've said. (Been there, done that) ;)
  10. GermanyChris macrumors 601


    Jul 3, 2011
    I wouldn't upgrade, but I would to a clean install.
  11. RealEvil macrumors 6502

    Aug 5, 2007
    Upgrade if you can afford it but I have the same 2009 iMac as you and it never beachballs with a SSD in it and running 2 VMs in Parallels. I replaced the HDD with a SSD and put the HDD in the DVD-Rom bay. It was not a trivial upgrade but it made it like a new machine.
    Whilst you are there, RAM is so cheap - put 16GB in it.

    That being said, I will probably upgrade this year. I want USB 3, Thunderbolt and 32GB RAM.
  12. Mike in Kansas macrumors 6502a

    Mike in Kansas

    Sep 2, 2008
    Metro Kansas City
    With your machine's specs, I'm surprised that you beachball as much as you do. I have an older machine with less RAM and a slower processor and run things like Aperture, Photoshop, Premiere, etc. I rarely beachball although I am using an SSD for a boot/app drive.

    Have you repaired permissions lately? Over time I have noticed that the machine sometimes feels sluggish - if I repair permissions on my boot drive it seems to quicken up again. This is mainly after an OS upgrade, or an upgrade to a series of apps I use a lot.
  13. Bargle macrumors regular

    Aug 25, 2012
    My apologies to the OP, I was comparing the 2011 model to a hypothetical 2012 model.

    Upgrading from a 2009 to either the current model or the...2013 model would be a huge upgrade. Cutting load times in half, at least.

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