iMac 27" now or wait for refresh?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by nico_, Jan 29, 2018.

  1. nico_ macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2018
    #1
    Hi,

    I'm a student who's starting to enter in the world of photo/video/3D editing and Swift programming; I'm also a gamer. Right now I have a 1,4 GHz Mac Mini (untouched from its basic configuration), which is not enough for my purposes.

    I was looking at the high-end iMac 27": the i7 7700K and Radeon Pro 580 8GB combo should be perfect for all my needs (and its GPU is powerful enough to game at 1440p). I refuse to build a gaming PC because i hate to have more than one machine on my desk, and this iMac looks like it can do everything pretty well.

    My question is: should I consider to buy it in April? Since Intel released Coffee Lake 6-core chips in 2017 and AMD should release new GPUs in 2018, will we see an iMac refresh before Q4 2018?

    Thanks in advance for your help.
     
  2. vkd macrumors 6502a

    vkd

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2012
    #2
    I would wait, lots of folk are complaining about overheating and noisy cooling fans in the 2017 range so I would imagine Apple will address this in the next revision; the new iMac Pro has a vastly redesigned interior with far improved cooling so no reason to suspect that this will not bubble down to the regular range of iMacs some time soon.
     
  3. vertical smile macrumors 68030

    vertical smile

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2014
    #3
    I think depends on how long you can wait. We are currently at 238 days since the last update. The average is 371, and the current iMacs took 601 days.

    The average is based off of when Apple did 1-2 updates a year on iMacs, which under Cook, Apple doesn't update the Mac line as often anymore.

    So, if you should buy or not depends on how long you can wait til the next update. I think it could be well into 2019 before another update, can you wait this long?
     
  4. SaSaSushi macrumors 68040

    SaSaSushi

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2007
    Location:
    Takamatsu, Japan
    #4
    While some, like myself, with the maximum-spec'ed 2017 iMac are reporting neither.

    Yes, I'm with those who don't think there will be a refresh in 2018.
     
  5. Dave245 macrumors 603

    Dave245

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    Sep 15, 2013
    #5
    Maybe a spec update at WWDC like last year.
     
  6. nico_ thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jan 29, 2018
    #6
    I can wait until September 2018, I read some news today: Apple is going to release updated Macs with T2 coprocessor.

    I have a TB2 eGPU to use with my Mac Mini (GTX 950 2GB), so I could wait for a Coffee Lake refresh for the iMac.
     
  7. Dave245 macrumors 603

    Dave245

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    Sep 15, 2013
    #7
    Who said September? they could update at WWDC in June.
     
  8. nico_ thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jan 29, 2018
    #8
    Then I think I’ll wait the WWDC. I think that 2 extra cores, a coprocessor and maybe a more powerful graphics chip are worth 4 months.
     
  9. Dave245 macrumors 603

    Dave245

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2013
    #9
    It was WWDC in June last year, however they doesn’t mean they will do the same again this year. It will be interesting to see if they do a March-April event this year, if not (like last year) then they might save any announcements until June’s WWDC.
     
  10. vertical smile macrumors 68030

    vertical smile

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    Sep 23, 2014
    #10
    I doubt that we will see an update, spec bump or otherwise, before the WWDC. I would be surprised if there is an update before the end of the summer.

    I'm not saying not to wait, but no one but Apple knows when the new iMacs will be out. It could be 2019 before a spec bump or major update.
     
  11. phairphan macrumors 6502a

    phairphan

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    Sep 21, 2005
    Location:
    Reject Beach
    #11
    I am in the same camp. While upgraded processors are available now, I am skeptical they would upgrade the processors without a corresponding upgrade to the graphics. At the moment, the only chips that AMD has to offer that are better than the 500 series chips in the current iMacs are Vega. I believe it's highly unlikely that Apple will introduce Vega to the iMac given its cost and its inclusion in the iMac Pro. While Apple could probably commission AMD to cough up another "refreshed" Polaris-based chip, I think that well is essentially dry. Apple's reliance on AMD has somewhat painted them into a corner...again.
     
  12. nico_ thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jan 29, 2018
    #12
    This is not completely true: we have Vega 28 and 32, which could replace RX 570/580 (and Radeon Pro Polaris chips).

    And we have a wide range of Nvidia cards, Apple could switch again to the green side!
     
  13. paulryp macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2016
    #13
    I would get a Apple refurb. The noise is on the i7s at load only. The i7 is noisy at load but i don't notice it while gaming as i have ear buds in. Also make sure you get at least a 512 SSD don't settle for a fusion.
     
  14. nico_ thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jan 29, 2018
    #14
    I’ll get a fusion drive for sure, my game library is about 1.5 TB and I don’t need superfast transfer speeds right now.

    Maybe in future I’ll upgrade my machine with a very large SSD.
     
  15. vertical smile macrumors 68030

    vertical smile

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    Sep 23, 2014
    #15
    I have an older i7 iMac, and I hardly ever notice the noise. I have an external HHD near the iMac, and any noise I notice always comes from that. Maybe the newer ones are louder?

    I agree, I got the 1TB Fusion on my Late 2012 iMac, and I wished I would have just gone with the SSD.

    Of course, do what you want to do and what you can afford, but every time there is a thread like this, the SSD is almost always recommended over the Fusion.

    You could do a internal SSD boot drive, and have an 3TB+ external drive for your games. External HHDs are really cheap, or get an enclosure and an internal drive.

    I have the original 1TB Fusion Drive, and it works pretty good with WoW, as long as I play it a lot. If I take a break from the game, and come back a few weeks later, the load times are horrible. It will eventually get back to normal if I continue to play a lot, but I only play that game.

    If I played a lot of games, I suspect that I would lose any benefit of having the SSD part of the Fusion Drive. So, if I was in your shoes, I would get a SSD for the boot drive, and an external drive for my games.
     
  16. glenthompson macrumors 68000

    glenthompson

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    Apr 27, 2011
    Location:
    Virginia
    #16
    The 1tb Fusion drive is a loser due to the small size of the SSD - 32gb. The 2 and 3 tb versions have 128gb SSDs. Much better performance. Do you want the drives internal or is external ok?
     
  17. Dave245 macrumors 603

    Dave245

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    Sep 15, 2013
    #17
    Is there a big difference between the Fusion and pure SSD?
     
  18. vertical smile macrumors 68030

    vertical smile

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    Sep 23, 2014
    #18
    Yes.

    For example, when playing WoW on a daily basis, the load times on the original 1TB Fusion Drive was almost instant.

    If I would take a break from playing for a week, and did other things on my iMac, when I would go back to WoW, the load times were very long.

    It would get better after a few plays, but if it was just a SSD, I wouldn't have the issue.

    If you use something often, it gets put in the SSD portion of the Fusion, but if you use a lot of stuff, then the 128GB just isn't enough. The 24GB and 32GB is probably pointless for anyone that uses more than a few apps.
     
  19. Dave245 macrumors 603

    Dave245

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    Sep 15, 2013
    #19
    I don’t play games on my iMac but I do use Final Cut Pro X a lot as well as other apps for writing and so on. My next iMac I think I’ll get a pure SSD as it may be faster when rendering files for Final Cut.
     
  20. vertical smile macrumors 68030

    vertical smile

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    Sep 23, 2014
    #20
    I wished I would have ordered on my Late 2012 iMac with a SSD instead of the 1TB Fusion.
    I would have used external storage if I needed more space.
     
  21. Dave245 macrumors 603

    Dave245

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    Sep 15, 2013
    #21
    Yea I’ve seen a few people saying the same thing, I’m waiting for the next redesign before I upgrade.
     
  22. Sebski macrumors member

    Sebski

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    Oct 8, 2016
    Location:
    UK
    #22
    I had the same problem. I got 21.5" iMac Late 2012 with Fusion Drive, was very angry when I found that few months later they started offering custom upgrades to SSD only. Anyway, about 12 months I decided to split that Fusion Drive. I removed HDD part and replaced it with Crucial 750GB MX300 SSD. Oh-my-god! That was the best decision ever! That new SSD is my main system disk, I don't remember if I managed to fill it more than 35-40%. It is very fast. I left Apple's 128GB SSD as my secondary disk.
    --- Post Merged, Feb 3, 2018 ---
    My 2012 iMac with that SSD I mentioned above is like newly born :)
     
  23. Fishrrman macrumors G5

    Fishrrman

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    Feb 20, 2009
    #23
    OP wrote:
    "I can wait until September 2018..."

    If you can afford to wait, I suggest you do so.
    I sense that your patience will be rewarded.
     
  24. glenthompson macrumors 68000

    glenthompson

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    Apr 27, 2011
    Location:
    Virginia
    #24
    Depends on your use case. If your working set of files fits within the 128gb of the SSD then performance will be similar. If you regularly access many large files it will be slower as it has to go back to the spinning drive. My wife has a 3tb Fusion and the performance is close to an SSD due to the way she works.
     
  25. Internet Enzyme macrumors 6502

    Internet Enzyme

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2016
    #25
    I’m really hoping they release one at wwdc this year: the rumor says that their will be one new desktop with a custom chip. Maybe that could be a Mac Mini. I’d be good with a well spec-ed mac mini. But I’m cautiously optimistic about the idea of a new imac this year. It’s just a waiting game until WWDC. I really wanna get a powerful mac to replace my aging 2015 stock rmbp, and I’ve never had a mac desktop. An iMac would be great, but I’m not going to jump in on a model that’s already a year old.
     

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