iMac For Retirees?

HuskerHarley

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Original poster
Oct 28, 2017
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Lincoln
We're retired, having grown up during the Crayon Years (No Calculators, Cell-Smart Phones & Computers) makes it hard trying to select the right computer due to having no schooling (Computer) during our learning years!

Currently using an older windows computer (2008/9?).

I check this site out often but get frustrated. I don't understand most of what gets discussed here. Wife wants me to make the Decision (Scary, If ya know what Marriage does to ya, LOL!)

We use our Desktop mainly for Storing & Editing Photos, sharing them with our Children & Grandkids. Also, use it for watching TV (DISH Anywhere) and Streaming YouTube Etc, when the Wife has control of the TV (Most of the time!)...We visit Websites & Forums & Facebook type sites. Wife plays Games (Solitare Type) We do banking and listen to our music. We use two monitors, one is used for "My Radar" Weather Map 24/7.

Sorry for Rambling...We want a computer that doesn't always need to be rebooted or freezing up all the time. So, guessing an Apple has fewer problems, at least that's what we've been told.

There is so many add ons and upgrades on the Apple site for each version they offer. I/we usually give up because we're worried if we don't choose the better options we'll be unhappy or eventually, too late, realize we overpaid for something not needed to begin with!

We want the 27" Screen but after that, it gets hard to figure out the correct options/versions for our wants and needs.

Budget is around 3K...

Please, we (I) could use some direction/suggestions on what to order?
 

retta283

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Jun 8, 2018
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Kingman, AZ
For you use case the base 27-inch iMac with no upgrades should do the job fine. Only thing that might be worthwhile is switching from the Fusion drive to an SSD, size is your choice. If you plan on keeping it for 5 or more years, jumping up to 16GB RAM may also be a good upgrade, but you can find the RAM cheaper from other parties and upgrade it yourself. The 27-inch has an access door on the back for quick RAM upgrades.

The iMac is a great computer, and the 27 inch screen is epic.
 

colodane

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Nov 11, 2012
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Colorado
The 27 inch with SSD (highly recommended!) and 16 GB of RAM should come in under your budget and be a fine machine for you and your wife. An i5 CPU should be fine with either base or mid-range graphics. You will need to order this from Apple as a Built to Order unit. But they usually ship either directly to your or to your local Apple Store within a couple weeks.
 

velocityg4

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Dec 19, 2004
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Georgia
Get it from BHPhoto. They are an Apple Authorized Reseller. So you get the same warranty. They have the various options laid out on their website. It's at least easier to post a link of what you should get. I'm only assuming what you need for storage. 512GB is usually plenty. As you are using a ten year old computer. It probably is plenty for you. If it isn't you can go larger. It's in line with what others have said. Base model with 16GB RAM and a 512GB SSD. Don't get the fusion drive.

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1468589-REG/apple_z0vq_mrqy2_08_27_imac_with_retina.html

Don't forget an external hard drive for backups. Although you can backup most stuff with iCloud. It isn't all encompassing yet.
 

colodane

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Nov 11, 2012
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Velocityg4 is correct. B&H does offer direct sales of the iMac configuration you decide on at the same price as Apple. But I personally prefer ordering directly from Apple for a couple of reasons:

1) Apple has a much better return policy. Two weeks after your receipt, no questions asked - complete refund, or you can order a different configuration if you want. B&H, even though they warranty what you purchase, has a much more restrictive return policy - close to "NO RETURNS" if I remember correctly.

2) Apple offers the option to ship to your local Apple Store. I like this because I've had issues in the past with UPS, Fed-Ex, etc. in missed deliveries, ringing the bell and running away before I can get to the door, needing to go to a remote depot for missed deliveries, and so forth. Much more pleasant to know it is safely at the Apple Store and then go there at my leisure to pick it up. I'm lucky to live a 10 minute walk from the Apple Store, so I understand that your preference may be different depending upon where you live and your access to a Apple Store.

By the way, this post is not for the purpose of bashing B&H. Back when I was into photography and electronics, I spent tons of money there and was almost always pleased with their service. I just don't think it is the optimal sales channel for expensive Apple computers.
 

iono11200

macrumors regular
Mar 9, 2012
119
16
While there is a slight learning curve going from Windows to Mac it is one I believe to be well worth it. Dollar for Dollar, I think you will LOVE your new iMac. Although many feel the design is outdated, It is still a gorgeous machine. I have a 2019 21 inch iMac with 16gb RAM and a 512gb SSD. It is a blazing fast machine. A 27 inch with the same configuration is even nicer. I just don't have the desk space for it. None the less, I believe spending a little more for the SSD is a very wise upgrade. Also, Applecare is a solid purchase. Tech support is better than anything else out there and it's always good to a decent hardware warranty on such an expensive machine. Good Luck and Best Wishes!
 

lcseds

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Jun 20, 2006
993
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NC, USA
Macs are expensive. But they would be ideal for you. Updates done in the background, less of a virus threat, etc. A pretty good photo manager/editor and a great video editor comes with it. It all works. No piecemeal stuff with support coming from 8 directions (if there is support at all). If you are a user and not an "power user", I recommend any of the iMacs. I suggest Applecare. Apple repairs out of warranty tend to be expensive, but if it makes it a few years, it's probably good for ten years.
 
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HuskerHarley

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Original poster
Oct 28, 2017
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Lincoln
Been reading other threads here till my head is ready to explode, some really get interesting although off the track at times!

Great advice so far. Have a few questions before pulling the trigger...

My storage shows 211gb used. Will a 512gb SSD be OK to use for everything including backups?

Sounds like the best bet is to order with 8gb Ram then order more for great savings. Would adding 16gb for a total of 24gb Ram be overkill?

I/We use a Logitech Revolution Laser Mouse and love it...Will it work with an iMac?

Is the Track-Pad Gimmicky or very useful and simple to understand?
 

kazmac

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Mar 24, 2010
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Any place but here or there....
Velocityg4 is correct. B&H does offer direct sales of the iMac configuration you decide on at the same price as Apple. But I personally prefer ordering directly from Apple for a couple of reasons:

1) Apple has a much better return policy. Two weeks after your receipt, no questions asked - complete refund, or you can order a different configuration if you want. B&H, even though they warranty what you purchase, has a much more restrictive return policy - close to "NO RETURNS" if I remember correctly.

2) Apple offers the option to ship to your local Apple Store. I like this because I've had issues in the past with UPS, Fed-Ex, etc. in missed deliveries, ringing the bell and running away before I can get to the door, needing to go to a remote depot for missed deliveries, and so forth. Much more pleasant to know it is safely at the Apple Store and then go there at my leisure to pick it up. I'm lucky to live a 10 minute walk from the Apple Store, so I understand that your preference may be different depending upon where you live and your access to a Apple Store.

By the way, this post is not for the purpose of bashing B&H. Back when I was into photography and electronics, I spent tons of money there and was almost always pleased with their service. I just don't think it is the optimal sales channel for expensive Apple computers.

Despite purchasing my last two Macs from B&H, I agree in buying from Apple. Their return policy is vastly superior. If I was buying any 2019 model, I would have purchased through Apple.

I think the base or mid-tier 27” iMac with 512 SSD and 16gb ram should be fine.

EDIT: 512 won’t be enough for back ups too, but you could always get an external hard drive for back ups. If you decide to upgrade the ram yourself, it is super easy to do and you’ll save $.

If you do not need the top tier 27” you could also build to order with a 1TB ssd, if you do this, I’d still suggest external hard drives for back up (At least double the capacity of your iMacs’ drive).
 
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Nismo73

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Jan 4, 2013
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Been reading other threads here till my head is ready to explode, some really get interesting although off the track at times!

Great advice so far. Have a few questions before pulling the trigger...

My storage shows 211gb used. Will a 512gb SSD be OK to use for everything including backups?

Sounds like the best bet is to order with 8gb Ram then order more for great savings. Would adding 16gb for a total of 24gb Ram be overkill?

I/We use a Logitech Revolution Laser Mouse and love it...Will it work with an iMac?

Is the Track-Pad Gimmicky or very useful and simple to understand?
Trackpad is good for normal use like web browsing and general navigating...I set it for “tap to click” and you can easily scroll a page with two fingers swiping down or up. It takes a little bit to get used to the different functions but once you do it’s a great navigation device.
But I generally use a mouse for photo editing stuff.
 
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colodane

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Nov 11, 2012
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Colorado
I think that 512 GB is the "Sweet spot" for Apple SSD right now. Adding more is quite expensive. Based on your usage, it should be enough storage for you. You should not use that SSD for backup, however. Best to do that with an inexpensive external hard drive.

Yes, adding RAM yourself can save you some meaningful $$ if you are comfortable with it. Easy to do. 24 GB is a common configuration.

The TrackPad is a personal preference. I LOVE mine. My wife, who also uses an iMac, LOVES a mouse. The good news is that you can have both. Not expensive. I'd suggest at least giving it a try to see if you like it. Is there an Apple store nearby so you could check it out first? No doubt somewhat of a learning curve to adjust to the TrackPad, but once you do it is a very powerful tool for navigating around your system.
 
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Zdigital2015

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Jul 14, 2015
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Been reading other threads here till my head is ready to explode, some really get interesting although off the track at times!

Great advice so far. Have a few questions before pulling the trigger...

My storage shows 211gb used. Will a 512gb SSD be OK to use for everything including backups?

Sounds like the best bet is to order with 8gb Ram then order more for great savings. Would adding 16gb for a total of 24gb Ram be overkill?

I/We use a Logitech Revolution Laser Mouse and love it...Will it work with an iMac?

Is the Track-Pad Gimmicky or very useful and simple to understand?
Backups should be saved to a separate external Hard Drive, using Time Machine, which is built in to macOS. You can get those quite cheaply from Amazon, Target or Wal-Mart, Best Buy.

A 512GB SSD should be plenty big enough for your needs and you can either add the 16GB as a build to order item or order it separately and install it yourself, whichever you’re more comfortable with doing.

The base 27” iMac 3.0GHz 6-core Core i5 with 16GB/512GB SSD/570X GPU will be $2299.00, which is the same cost as the top tier 3.7GHz Core i5 iMac. From there moving to the 512GB SSD is only $100 more and then you can decide if you want Apple
to put the money in or you want to do it yourself.

Either iMac would do what you want it to do, the slightly more expensive highest tier model (+$300 of you buy Apple’s 16GB of RAM and go for the 512GB SSD) would last you longer (an extra 2-3 years over the 3.0GHz, easily). Also, don’t forget AppleCare+ when you buy the computer. Out the door from Apple would be $2848.00 or a little more, little less depending on your state’s tax rate for the 27” 3.7Ghz/16GB/512GB SSD/580X graphics/Trackpad, no mouse/Wireless extended keyboard/AppleCare+.

The Magic Trackpad is not gimmicky, I use it way more than the mouse. It is as easy or as complex as you want it to be, since you can enable only as many features as you want in System Preferences (Control Panel).

I have no idea about the Logitech Mouse, but I would not be surprised if the mouse does work providing you download the latest version of the driver from Logitech. I found your mouse listed here - https://support.logitech.com/en_us/software/logitech-control-center-for-macintosh-os-x

If you have an Apple Store close enough I would consider shipping your BTO build to the Apple Store and having them migrate your data over from your Windows PC, although I am not sure what versions of Windows are supported by Migration Assistant (an application that transfers information from your old computer to your new computer), which is located in the /Applications/Utilities/ on a Mac. Hope this helps. Good luck!
 
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Martyimac

macrumors 68000
Aug 19, 2009
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S. AZ.
Despite purchasing my last two Macs from B&H, I agree in buying from Apple. Their return policy is vastly superior. If I was buying any 2019 model, I would have purchased through Apple.

I think the base or mid-tier 27” iMac with 512 SSD and 16gb ram should be fine.

EDIT: 512 won’t be enough for back ups too, but you could always get an external hard drive for back ups. If you decide to upgrade the ram yourself, it is super easy to do and you’ll save $.

If you do not need the top tier 27” you could also build to order with a 1TB ssd, if you do this, I’d still suggest external hard drives for back up (At least double the capacity of your iMacs’ drive).
Been reading other threads here till my head is ready to explode, some really get interesting although off the track at times!

Great advice so far. Have a few questions before pulling the trigger...

My storage shows 211gb used. Will a 512gb SSD be OK to use for everything including backups?

Sounds like the best bet is to order with 8gb Ram then order more for great savings. Would adding 16gb for a total of 24gb Ram be overkill?

I/We use a Logitech Revolution Laser Mouse and love it...Will it work with an iMac?

Is the Track-Pad Gimmicky or very useful and simple to understand?
As a fellow retiree, I pretty much agree with this poster as well as the rest of the posts.
1. Base with 8GB, get at least 16GB from OWC AND you can sell your Apple ram back to them, it isn't much money but better than nothing. But you should be able to use the installed 8 also to make a total of 24.
2. 512 SSD should be plenty and most definitely use an external/separate hard drive for backup.
3. I use a Logitech M510 mouse with my mac and works great. I like them much better than the  mice. I don't like the trackpad, for me. I find myself having unintended clicks, swipes, etc. I think I have a lazy wrist or something. It is useful and you may like it.
4. I use a daskeyboard instead of the  keyboard. That is purely personal preference.

Hope this helps.
 
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HuskerHarley

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Original poster
Oct 28, 2017
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Lincoln
If you have an Apple Store close enough I would consider shipping your BTO build to the Apple Store and having them migrate your data over from your Windows PC, although I am not sure what versions of Windows are supported by Migration Assistant (an application that transfers information from your old computer to your new computer), which is located in the /Applications/Utilities/ on a Mac. Hope this helps. Good luck!
I'm gonna go the 3.7GHz route, thanks, makes sense.

No Apple store here (Lincoln, Ne) but one in Omaha (55 Miles). Is it a fairly easy process to transfer from my computer to an iMac if I do it my self? I probably don't have the correct cables? Does the Apple Stores charge for doing it and is it something that would have to be left for a day or more?
[doublepost=1561376573][/doublepost]
Dollar for Dollar, I think you will LOVE your new iMac. Although many feel the design is outdated, It is still a gorgeous machine.
When will the new design/version be released?
[doublepost=1561376707][/doublepost]
Base with 8GB, get at least 16GB from OWC AND you can sell your Apple ram back to them, it isn't much money but better than nothing.
What/Who is OWC?
 

Martyimac

macrumors 68000
Aug 19, 2009
1,841
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S. AZ.
I'm gonna go the 3.7GHz route, thanks, makes sense.

No Apple store here (Lincoln, Ne) but one in Omaha (55 Miles). Is it a fairly easy process to transfer from my computer to an iMac if I do it my self? I probably don't have the correct cables? Does the Apple Stores charge for doing it and is it something that would have to be left for a day or more?
[doublepost=1561376573][/doublepost]

When will the new design/version be released?
[doublepost=1561376707][/doublepost]

What/Who is OWC?
Other World Computing, here is the website, https://www.macsales.com/
 
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Martyimac

macrumors 68000
Aug 19, 2009
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S. AZ.
I'm gonna go the 3.7GHz route, thanks, makes sense.

No Apple store here (Lincoln, Ne) but one in Omaha (55 Miles). Is it a fairly easy process to transfer from my computer to an iMac if I do it my self? I probably don't have the correct cables? Does the Apple Stores charge for doing it and is it something that would have to be left for a day or more?
[doublepost=1561376573][/doublepost]

When will the new design/version be released?
[doublepost=1561376707][/doublepost]

What/Who is OWC?
To answer, or maybe just help a little, It can be easy to transfer files but for a newbie, I would probably have the  store do the work, not sure if they charge or not. Give em a call.
As to a new design,  just updated the iMac this year so personally I don't expect a redesign or even just a spec update for at least a year.
 

HuskerHarley

macrumors regular
Original poster
Oct 28, 2017
244
164
Lincoln
To answer, or maybe just help a little, It can be easy to transfer files but for a newbie, I would probably have the  store do the work, not sure if they charge or not. Give em a call.
As to a new design,  just updated the iMac this year so personally I don't expect a redesign or even just a spec update for at least a year.
Thanks, I'll call the store at 10:00 am (Central) to see what they have to say.
 

cube

macrumors P6
May 10, 2004
16,430
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You could ask your grand-kids to build an inexpensive PC for you with quality parts.

Something can go wrong sometimes, but it is easy to swap components.

Example:

Problem: no image
1. Check with another monitor, port, cable
2. Put the GPU in another system
3. If it doesn't work, exchange or buy another GPU

It is more of a problem when the system drive or Windows goes wonky.
 
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Martyimac

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This is the only Apple user group I could find in NE. Granted it's probably a 2 hour round trip but it only meets once a month. Maybe make a day of it, take the wife shopping while you peruse the  store. Downside is their meetings don't start till 6:30 PM and last until 8 PM. Might make for a long day.

Forgot the link, sorry, http://gnmug.org/
 
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MisterSavage

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Nov 10, 2018
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I bought my 27" iMac two years ago and bumped up the options (for doing development) and I was still under $3k. You'd be fine with much less. As someone else said there is a little learning curve for switching from Windows. Even though it's an hour away having an Apple store available is a nice option. They do have some free classes and also if something catastrophic happens to your machine they can help. I've had Macs for a long time and have almost been problem-free but I did have to take my iMac to an Apple Store recently when an upgrade caused a problem. It was nice that I could do that.
 
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HuskerHarley

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I bought my 27" iMac two years ago and bumped up the options (for doing development) and I was still under $3k. You'd be fine with much less. As someone else said there is a little learning curve for switching from Windows. Even though it's an hour away having an Apple store available is a nice option. They do have some free classes and also if something catastrophic happens to your machine they can help. I've had Macs for a long time and have almost been problem-free but I did have to take my iMac to an Apple Store recently when an upgrade caused a problem. It was nice that I could do that.
Not looking forward to having to learn but it sounds worth it.

Thought I saw something on the news that BestBuy is gonna be able to repair Apple products...I'll call them when they open as well.
 
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Kamolas

macrumors member
Dec 11, 2018
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Considering you already have 2 monitors, a keyboard and a mouse, have you looked at the Mac mini? It might be a better option for someone who already owns all that hardware and just wants to change the desktop tower.
The base mini with 16GB RAM and a 512 GB SSD should be fine for your needs and it is 1400 USD
 
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HuskerHarley

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Oct 28, 2017
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Lincoln
Considering you already have 2 monitors, a keyboard and a mouse, have you looked at the Mac mini? It might be a better option for someone who already owns all that hardware and just wants to change the desktop tower.
The base mini with 16GB RAM and a 512 GB SSD should be fine for your needs and it is 1400 USD
I've looked. I really like the idea of a 5K screen.
 

velocityg4

macrumors 601
Dec 19, 2004
4,596
1,184
Georgia
Been reading other threads here till my head is ready to explode, some really get interesting although off the track at times!

Great advice so far. Have a few questions before pulling the trigger...

My storage shows 211gb used. Will a 512gb SSD be OK to use for everything including backups?

Sounds like the best bet is to order with 8gb Ram then order more for great savings. Would adding 16gb for a total of 24gb Ram be overkill?

I/We use a Logitech Revolution Laser Mouse and love it...Will it work with an iMac?

Is the Track-Pad Gimmicky or very useful and simple to understand?
You must backup to something else. External hard drive, NAS, cloud service, &c. An external hard drive is the cheapest and easiest. The purpose of this backup is to protect your files on your SSD should the SSD fail.

512GB should be plenty. I generally recommend at least double the storage space you currently use. 256GB would be way too small. You'd be dangerously close to going over the recommended maximum usage of an SSD (90% full, 80% is preferable).

The Logitech Mouse should work. However, you have to install Logitechs drivers for all the buttons to work. I've found there software is not reliable. Try the Magic Mouse which comes with the iMac. It's a superb mouse. They don't include junk like other computer makers. The Trackpad is an add-on the Magic Mouse is included. It's actually quite nice too. It does take a while to get used to. Be sure with either to go into System Preferences and fiddle with the settings. Each setting also shows a little how to animation when you mouse over it. It's great for learning gestures.

As a fellow retiree, I pretty much agree with this poster as well as the rest of the posts.
1. Base with 8GB, get at least 16GB from OWC AND you can sell your Apple ram back to them, it isn't much money but better than nothing. But you should be able to use the installed 8 also to make a total of 24.
I'd suggest keeping factory RAM for any computer under warranty (along with any other OEM component). Even if you replace it with larger modules. Just so that when it comes to warranty work. You can reinstall all your factory equipment and take out the upgrades before they look at it. That way there is no fuss with them denying work. They may also decide to swap the computer with replacement depending on the problem. Rather than repairing it. Having aftermarket upgrades installed when you turn the computer in would then prove a hassle.

When will the new design/version be released?
Don't worry about that. The iMac was just updated recently. It's doubtful you'll see anything for close to a year. There isn't anything significant in Intel's roadmap next year for desktops to warrant any sort of wait.