iMac 2014, thoughts?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by iMcLovin, Jan 31, 2014.

  1. iMcLovin, Jan 31, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2014

    iMcLovin macrumors 68000


    Feb 11, 2009
    I have a top of the line imac late 2012, and considering to buy a new one when it comes out this year.
    I was considering to invest in a Mac Pro, but since my main tools are AE and Photoshop - and since Adobe is stuck in the past, it seems like a total waste of money - because I won´t benefit from all the computer power.

    THough, my current imac has the 680MX with 2gb VRAM and the current one all ready has up to 4gb VRAM available. It´s allready a good machine, but I´m hoping the next to get even higher specs.

    Here´s what I wish for:
    -up to 64 gb or RAM (faster ram than the current)
    -faster ssd (but 1gb is enough in size imo)
    -next gen gpu up to 6 gb of VRAM (or 8gb :p )
    -Thunderbolt 2, though I dont think its thunderbolt 1 that is the bottleneck.
    -6 or 8 cores cpu (I know future updates of AE will benefit more from this)
    -3 or 4 thunderbolt slots(since one is used by my second monitor)

    Any chance of the imac of 2014 could get any of this? -when do you think we will se an upgrade?

    I know this is on the verge of not being a consumer level machine, but it would be enough for me for a long time, unless Adobe decides to step up their game.
  2. Bear macrumors G3

    Jul 23, 2002
    Sol III - Terra
    I'd expect September or October of this year for the next iMac update. Of the list, the only things likely in my opinion is Thunderbolt 2 and a faster GPU. As for more Thunderbolt ports, buy devices that have 2 ports so you can daisy chain them.

    I think you should be looking at a 6 or 8 core Mac Pro for what you want.
  3. Chris5488, Feb 2, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2014

    Chris5488 macrumors regular

    Feb 26, 2011
    • You actually need more than 32GB RAM? Buy a Mac Pro..
    • Current SSD's are the same as used in the current Retina Macbook Pro's, delivering write speeds up to 700MB/s and read speeds up to 730MB/s. Faster is always better, like the Mac Pro is achieving 1000MB/s, but I question if anyone would actually FEEL the difference? I prefer cheaper BTO SSD's.
    • Next gen GPU yes! :) More powerful ones yes yes! Up to 6 or 8GB of VRAM... not necessary! The most powerful desktop GPU's of today come with 4GB of VRAM, while the very best BTO GPU available for the iMac is still a mobile, much less powerful version, these GPU's are just not powerful enough to fill and use all that VRAM. It's no more than a neat trick manufacturers use to make the cards look more powerful on paper and sell them for more, but it makes no difference in speed. Even the current 780m with it's 4GB of VRAM would run just as fast with 3GB or even 2GB of VRAM.
    • 6 or 8 cores CPU? Not essentially the same as "more powerful". Let Intel decide and stick to the things we actually know. Just stick to next gen Intel-cpu's.
    • Since Thunderbolt is daisy-chainable you could easily daisy-chain your monitors. No need for more than 2 of the world's most underused ports on an iMac. Otherwise: buy a Mac Pro..

    If I would make a list, it would be something like this:

    • Better Intel Haswell's (no new generation expected in 2014, only for the most powerful i7-K's, which are never used in iMac's. A refresh for Haswell Cpu's IS expected, so that'll be it)
    • Faster next-gen GPU's (If to guess: Nvidi's: 880m and others expected during spring 2014. But AMD could be an option too since their new desktop GPU's are kicking ass and mobile version are on their way)
    • 1TB Fusion drive STANDARD (away with those slow HDD-only computers! BTO options as follows: 3TB Fusion Drive, 500GB SSD, 750GB SSD, 1TB SSD)
    • 4K LED display!!!
  4. Kek macrumors newbie

    Feb 2, 2014
    • Bring back MXM
    • Stop soldering everything
    • Go back to the G5 days and think more about self-serviceability rather than making the machines thin enough to cut bread
  5. MacDarcy macrumors 65816

    Jul 21, 2011
    I'm waiting for the next update to the imac line as well. Personally I think the current VRAM is fine. I'd like to see the 1tb SSD come down in price, as I'd really prefer to go SSD over fusion. That'd be cool. Thunderbolt 2 I think is a given.

    Other than that, I'm wondering if Apple will finally give retina displays to their imac line. With all the competition coming out with cheaper and cheaper 4k monitors, I think its a real possibility. Although the current 27" imac screen is beautiful.

    I don't think we will see a radical redesign of the imac...but this is about the time Apple usually does one. So who knows. I dunno what they could do. I kinda like the current thin design, and am just hoping for internal changes.
  6. Fatboy71 macrumors 65816


    Dec 21, 2010
    I'll be keeping my late 2012 iMac (which I got January 2013) for at least 5 years. Hopefully by that time, a 1tb SSD will either be standard or an affordable option, i.e at the most a £200 option.
  7. MacDarcy macrumors 65816

    Jul 21, 2011
    True, if I got a new imac in January of 2013, i wouldn't be looking to upgrade for awhile either. The last imac I had was a G5 back in 2005. I had it for 5 years before it died.

    But then I got an ipad first gen, and didn't rebut a mac. I travel a lot, and the ipad was perfect. I currently have an ipad mini, and still travel a lot, but am looking to edit the gopro travel videos I've shot. Missing the big screen home desktop I used to have.

    So I plan to get a new imac for that. I'm waiting to see if they are updated this spring. But once I nab one, I too will keep it for a good 4-5yrs. :)
  8. thedeske macrumors 6502a

    Feb 17, 2013
    Agree - As good as it is, the iMac is still a laptop inside. A darn great one though ;)
  9. Bear macrumors G3

    Jul 23, 2002
    Sol III - Terra
    Not quite. It uses a desktop CPU and the 27" use 3.5" drives.
  10. kaellar macrumors 6502

    Nov 12, 2012
    Allrightie, my wish list for iMac'2014 is (apart from obvious ones like Broadwell, next gen GPUs and TB2):

    1. User-replaceable RAM for 21.5
    2. 1TB Fusion Drive standard across the models
    3. Users can choose the SSD/HDD capacities they want separately (from 128gb SSD + 1tb HDD up to 1TB SSD + 4TB HDD, and anywhere between), with the option of no HDD.
    4. Fckn GAMING-GRADE GPU OPTION FOR 21.5 MODEL!! :mad:
  11. joe-h2o macrumors 6502a

    Jun 24, 2012
    It really isn't.

    They use desktop CPUs, the 27" uses a 3.5 HDD (if you have a spinning drive), and the GPU while tagged as a "mobile" part is at the very edges of what is possible for a laptop; the TDP is beyond all but the biggest luggable units.

    The only "laptop" thing about them is the 2.5" spinning drive in the 21".
  12. iSayuSay macrumors 68030


    Feb 6, 2011
    Except it really is. Majority of imac component is made for laptop even if it's not available on Macbook. 780M is available on high end gaming notebook nowadays. Some even have two cards!

    In the 27" the only desktop components remain are CPU and HDD. And what else? If you choose to go with SSD then only desktop CPU remains.

    In the 21.5" it's getting more laptopey. CPU is the only desktop component inside and it's a low powered version (with S suffix). Might perform even closer to the mobile sibling.
  13. joe-h2o macrumors 6502a

    Jun 24, 2012
    The "majority" of components in the iMac (27") are not laptop based.

    The HDD is desktop class, the motherboard is custom, and supports a desktop-class CPU. The screen is obviously not from a laptop. The SSD and RAM are the same across laptop/desktop (the SO-DIMM form factor originates from a laptop but it makes no difference to the performance). The power supply is beyond anything you get in a laptop. The custom cooling solution is similarly higher spec (in terms of TDP) than a laptop setup.

    The only "real" laptop component, as I stated before, is the GPU but it's really only technically a laptop part - it's well above what you would put into a laptop in all but the most extreme cases (i.e., as you point out out, some of those dual 780M units are not what you would class as laptops, except that they are portable).

    These high spec GPUs are really just under clocked desktop parts. They span a bridge between full fat double-wide desktop GPUs with very high TDP and laptop GPUs with very limited power. In reality they should be classified separately. The 680MX in the 2012 iMac, for example, was a standard desktop 680 part, just with lower clocks, unlike other "M" branded GPUs that were considerably cut down versions.

    But, as is common around here, unless Apple puts dual Titans into the iMac, no matter what else they do with it, people will call it a "glorified laptop" in ignorance.
  14. joema2 macrumors 65816


    Sep 3, 2013
    I'm not sure Adobe is stuck in the past. They are devoting great effort to changing from their nVidia-based CUDA rendering methods to OpenCL. I only have PP and AE CS6, but I think some PP CC has already been converted. Such programs would benefit from the nMP multi-GPU.

    Does your 2012 iMac have SSD? If not possibly the biggest performance gain over the widest circumstances will be from that, whether on a 2013 iMac, 2014 iMac or nMP.

    The current rumors are the Intel i7 Haswell-E CPU will have 8 cores but won't be released until Q3 2014. Conceivably that might find its way into the top-spec 2014 iMac, but the timing seems pretty tight for the quantities Apple uses. For well-written multi-threaded code, 8 cores will be faster than 4 at the same clock rate and CPU micro-architecture. However lots of parallel code isn't currently written well enough to exploit that. There's also a diminishing law of returns as cores increase, called Amdahl's Law:'s_law

    Haswell-generation i7s have Quick Sync that can dramatically accelerate certain video rendering (single-pass H.264, MPEG-2) but you aren't apparently doing video. The Xeon-based nMP does not have Quick Sync, so in that one narrow area the iMac may have better performance.

    You should try to rationally and objectively prioritize whether you want higher specs or higher measurable performance in your common tasks. They are often two different things. Paying lots of money for higher specs may not deliver dramatically higher performance in your common workflow.

    Making this determination involves measuring and inspecting slow areas of your current workflow -- are they CPU bound, I/O- bound or GPU bound? Using a simple tool like Activity Monitor combined with iStat Menus can help assess that. There's no need improving something which is not currently a bottleneck.

    Even though Adobe is moving fairly aggressively toward increased GPU utilization via OpenCL, if your specific performance "problem area" is not addressed by that, you're currently out of luck. E.g, on Photoshop CC the new "shake reduction" sharpening filter is very impressive but quite sluggish on my 2013 top-spec iMac 27. It is apparently CPU-limited, as there's little I/O and GPU usage isn't that high. However all cores aren't really high, which indicates they are mutually waiting on common synchronization events (see Amdahl's Law). As currently written, that software might be no faster on an 8-core machine.
  15. iSayuSay macrumors 68030


    Feb 6, 2011
    If you put it that way. Of course the motherboard design is custom. In fact all notebook's motherboards are custom. There is no such thing as "notebook motherboard" because there is no standard between OEM unlike Asus/MSi/Gigabyte desktop boards.

    680MX is admittedly unique to the 2012 iMac, but it's actually a 780M pre release model and this year laptop OEM has access to it because it has lower TDP.
    Look at lower iMac models. Do you think they have a unique, non laptop graphic chip? The base 21.5" now use Iris Pro. I wouldn't be surprised if this trickle up to the whole 21.5" line this year. I wouldn't use that on a desktop computer. So little power for a non portable machine.

    Then there's also Mac Mini. I don't know what should it be called. Notetop, deskbook? Certainly not a full fledged desktop. Yet it has custom motherboard with 4USB ports.

    Well if you insist about the semantics then I cant argue with that.
  16. andycho7 macrumors member

    Dec 2, 2013
    Is it just me or everything on the list looks like the Mac Pro?
  17. satchmo macrumors 68000

    Aug 6, 2008
  18. Jacksonc macrumors 6502


    Dec 1, 2013
    Jony's house
    I'm wondering why you would want 64gb ram in an iMac. What would you do with all that?
  19. Serban Suspended

    Jan 8, 2013
    The 750M 1Gb vRAM is pretty good for number 4.
    From april till november 2013 i had too a 21.5" iMac with 650M and was a pretty slow in gaming on MACOS.
    the 750M is a pretty upgrade and that extra vRAM serves well(i have a friend with 750M)
    But if you want a more power go for high end 780M, i have one and 1080p with 750M i think is 40% slower than 1440p with 780M
  20. Fatboy71 macrumors 65816


    Dec 21, 2010
    The Late 2012 iMac had the option of an SSD only machine. Think it was 768 GB the size that was offered. I didn't take much notice, as it was well out of my budget :)

    Other than that, there was the option of the Fusion Drive which as you'll probably know is a part SSD, part HD machine.
  21. mrsavage1 macrumors regular

    Feb 1, 2010
    Congrats the machine you talk about exists its called the Mac Pro! You can buy it now.
  22. kaellar, Feb 3, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2014

    kaellar macrumors 6502

    Nov 12, 2012
    Apart from twice the vRAM, it's the same lowest-power Kepler GK107 silicon as 650m. I have 650m iMac on my own, it's barely mediocre and desperately needs an upgrade for something like 760m-765m, which is around twice as powerful.
  23. huppala macrumors newbie

    Dec 11, 2013
  24. iMacFarlane macrumors 65816


    Apr 5, 2012
    Adrift in a sea of possibilities
    My wishlist:

    256GB SSD standard. No fusion, no spinners at all. Need more storage? NAS.

    Decent GPU standard. Capable of 60+ FPS on Ultra for games 2 years old or older, 60+ FPS on High for 2013 games, 60+ FPS on Medium for games to come in 2014. Base model, obvious upgrade options available at cost.

    Same look for OS X. Please don't "flatten" the OS like iOS 7. Consider how appealing Windows 8 Metro tiles are on a big desktop screen.

    Similar pricing to current models fine, would be worth it. As it stands right now, with the archaic 5400RPM HDDs and Iris GPU, no sale.

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