IMac:Please tell me why I should wait or not

Hammerdstone

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Original poster
Jan 28, 2019
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I was at apple the other day and almost pulled the trigger on the entry level iMac 27inch with upgraded SSD. I went and had lunch did some research and found about a iMac refresh supposedly like “Real” soon ! I am torn please help and getting impatient lol .. Thanks in advanced !!
 
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vertical smile

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Sep 23, 2014
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I was at apple the other day and almost pulled the trigger on the entry level iMac 27inch with upgraded SSD. I went and had lunch did some research and found about a iMac refresh supposedly like “Real” soon ! I am torn please help and getting impatient lol .. Thanks in advanced !!
There are at least a few threads a week asking the same thing.

The short answer, if you need an iMac, don't wait. If you don't need one, then wait.

No one on this forum has secret info about the iMac refresh/redesign, and if they did, I doubt they would share that info. We are all just speculating and taking educated guesses.

There were ppl asking this same question this time last year with the thinking that there would be a refresh in the spring, which of course never happened, then ppl thought at the WWDC, then the end of summer, then October, then before the end of 2018.

My point is that no one knows anything, and that there might not be another iMac until 2020, or maybe tomorrow.
 

rjsounds

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Jul 3, 2017
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The mid-2017 iMac's are still great machines - just know that you're paying full-price for a machine that's over 18 months old, with even older hardware. Considering we've already past 600 days since the release of the last iMac (and achieved a new record in doing so), it is likely that we should see an update by the end of the second quarter. Hopefully.

So, essentially, if you NEED to buy a new iMac today and you have a business or something that depends on having this new computer, buy it. If not, you should definitely wait for the next release.
 

vertical smile

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Sep 23, 2014
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Oh yeah, if you look back at the threads a year ago, my reasoning was that there wasn't suitable GPUs to go in a new iMac without potential canabalsing sales from the iMac Pro.

I suspected that a new iMac would come until the earliest of Oct 2018 to the spring of 2019. And spring s right around the corner.

It is ironic, because many posts disagreed with me that Apple would wait until 2019, but now I wouldn't be surprised if Apple waited until October 2019-2020....
 

fokmik

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Oct 28, 2016
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i think Apple could make a small March event for the new ipad mini and new imac
 

Hammerdstone

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Original poster
Jan 28, 2019
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The mid-2017 iMac's are still great machines - just know that you're paying full-price for a machine that's over 18 months old, with even older hardware. Considering we've already past 600 days since the release of the last iMac (and achieved a new record in doing so), it is likely that we should see an update by the end of the second quarter. Hopefully.

So, essentially, if you NEED to buy a new iMac today and you have a business or something that depends on having this new computer, buy it. If not, you should definitely wait for the next release.

Essentialy I do need it for work and video editing .. I just hate to spend that kind of money and have them totally switch the game up on us . I’ve been working on a 09 MacBook pro and my daughter spilled pop on the keyboard so a few keys do not work . I just can’t see waiting that long to getting back to high level of productivity like I did when I used my MacBook. They say a huge display difference like what could that be lol . I know your all probably tired of this topic but I thought I’d throw it out there . I just joined and couldn’t find a thread on it .
[doublepost=1548795695][/doublepost]
Oh yeah, if you look back at the threads a year ago, my reasoning was that there wasn't suitable GPUs to go in a new iMac without potential canabalsing sales from the iMac Pro.

I suspected that a new iMac would come until the earliest of Oct 2018 to the spring of 2019. And spring s right around the corner.

It is ironic, because many posts disagreed with me that Apple would wait until 2019, but now I wouldn't be surprised if Apple waited until October 2019-2020....

That would totally suck
 

theluggage

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Jul 29, 2011
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Essentialy I do need it for work and video editing .. I just hate to spend that kind of money and have them totally switch the game up on us .
What is actually known is this:

1. In the past, the iMac has typically been updated every 12 months or so.
2. The current iMac hasn't been updated since June 2017

(On the other hand, the Mac Mini just got updated after 4 years and the Mac Pro is 5 years and counting, and I believe it was about 3 years for the MacBook Air, one of Apple's most popular Macs. On the other hand, the 2018 MacBook Pro got "updated" with new graphics options after just a few months)

3. The typical dates for new Mac launches are June/July (Apple's WWDC conference), October and sometimes March

(oh, and there's usually an iPhone/Music/Services-only event in September, before which the MacRumors community always gets lathered up about new Macs and then acts all surprised when it turns out to be iPhone/Music/Services-only).

4. Anything else is speculation. Sometimes, there's a genuine leak (pictures of a case, registering a new device with the Wakkanda communications commission, clues from an OS update) but otherwise its just guessing.

So, really, the best you can say is that it would be unsurprising if Apple launched an updated iMac in the next 6 months.

As for the speculation: if Apple release a straight update of the iMac with 'like-for-like' updates of the components, apart from any improvement in the GPU, the most significant likely improvement is that the latest Intel chips have increased the number of cores across the board, so the i5/i7 iMacs would get 6 cores rather than 4. If you're doing multi-core intensive work like video or audio then that would be the most useful speed increas we've seen for a few years... but note the if - Apple could just as well decide to go for lower-powered 4 core processors in the iMac to leave a niche for the pro models.

Always bear in mind that if Apple do re-design the iMac, you may or may not like the result. The easily-upgradeable RAM and the SD card slot are likely casualties of any major re-design. The price could easily rise.

On the other hand, the 2017 model is well-proven and you know what you are getting and will be a big step up from your 2009 MBP.

So, to re-iterate what others have said - if you need a new computer for work now get what is available - its not going to crumble to dust if a new version comes out next month. If you already have a system that is getting the job done, and just hanker after that new computer smell, wait.

...and if you always want to be able to get a new system in the form factor and hardware features of your choice with this year's CPU and GPU, switch to Windows or Linux.
 
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lowkey

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Well, at work we needed another iMac for a new employee this week. We picked up a late 2013 iMac very cheap to tide us over. We’ll sell it for what we bought it for in a couple (??) of month’s for a new model when they come out!
 

dapa0s

macrumors member
Jan 2, 2019
66
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Got the 2017 iMac last week.

In the past 2 months, I've bought and used the mac mini and the macbook pro 13 inch and 15 inch, and in the end decided to get the iMac.

I absolutely love it and I have 0 issues with it. It's a great and reliable machine, and I don't regret buying it.

If you need a mac now, go ahead and buy it; if not, then wait.
 

EugW

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russofris

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Mar 20, 2012
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Does anyone know of a website that aggregates leaks and rumors from Apple's Macintosh supply chain so that we could make an informed guess as to the release date and specifications?

I've obviously already checked iPhonerumors.com and 9to5iPhone.com.

(Please don't make me explain the joke)
 
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theluggage

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Plus, it’s already been over 600 days since the last update, an all time record for the iMac.
...but not, unfortunately, an all-time record for Apple (e.g. MacBook air until last October, Mac Mini until last October, Mac Pro until definitely maybe sometime this year...?)

We'll only know for sure when it actually happens. Maybe March (that's usually iPads but sometimes Macs), maybe June, maybe October... maybe never, maybe they'll pull out the rug from under everybody and re-position the whole iMac line to leave a bigger niche for the Mac Pro and iMac Pro.

Trouble is, if you need a new computer for work then its costing you time, and maybe money, right now. Its one thing if you're wondering whether to upgrade from a perfectly good 2012+ machine, quite another if you're struggling with a 10-year-old MacBook with a wonky keyboard...

One possibility for #Hammerdstone is to maybe look on the Apple refurb store to see if there is a suitable machine there - Apple refurbs have a reputation for being good-as-new, and saving a few hundred bucks off the 'brand new' price takes the sting out of buying slightly dated hardware.
[doublepost=1548862578][/doublepost]
Does anyone know of a website that aggregates leaks and rumors from Apple's Macintosh supply chain so that we could make an informed guess as to the release date and specifications?
If such a site did exist they'd have to be careful to distinguish between actual concrete leaks from the supply chain or product registrations with regulatory authorities, and idle speculation based on wild guesses, wishful thinking and numerology... because although its great fun to chew the fat with Mac lovers, someone who wanted to make an actual spending-money decision might mistake it for reliable advice.

Otherwise, they'd end up with a "Buyer's Guide" making authoritative-sounding "Don't Buy!" or "Buy Now!" declarations based purely on the fact that "it seems about time for a new one" or some analyst predicting "new models with improved CPU and graphics" (what!? no!!!) and hoping to build a reputation on confirmation bias (because the new iMac was definitely coming last October, right?)

Of course, when the new iMac is released next week/March/WWDC 2019/next October/WWDC 2020/AppleDisney World Conference 2021/Vintage Computer Restoration Fair 2051 (delete as appropriate) we can all look back and laugh at the naysayers...
 

spheris

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Aug 8, 2018
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The American Empire
No reason to wait, get an iMac Pro, even the entry level will serve you well for a long time to come and will improve with time. I got mine a year ago and performance has actually improved in several applications. Most software has yet to be optimized for +2/4 core utilitzation. More applications will better use the actual power of the system over time as code is updated for 8 cores and upward.
 

ginhb

macrumors member
Sep 8, 2018
53
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It's probably safe to assume there won't be a major spec upgrade with only a small price increase. It's likely to be considerably more expensive. Apple consider themselves a premium brand, deserving of a premium price. People might look at the new models and say "Boy, I didn't expect them to be THAT expensive!" We'll have to see.

As others have mentioned, if you don't really need one right away and you want a higher end machine than the ones available now, just wait to see how the new ones look.
 

EugW

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No reason to wait, get an iMac Pro, even the entry level will serve you well for a long time to come and will improve with time. I got mine a year ago and performance has actually improved in several applications. Most software has yet to be optimized for +2/4 core utilitzation. More applications will better use the actual power of the system over time as code is updated for 8 cores and upward.
iMac Pro is way too expensive if you’re not looking for a high end machine.
 
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dapa0s

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Jan 2, 2019
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No reason to wait, get an iMac Pro, even the entry level will serve you well for a long time to come and will improve with time. I got mine a year ago and performance has actually improved in several applications. Most software has yet to be optimized for +2/4 core utilitzation. More applications will better use the actual power of the system over time as code is updated for 8 cores and upward.
I never understood this advice. Obviously not everyone is wealthy enough to just go ahead and buy a new computer that starts at $5000.

It's like going on a car forum and making a thread on whether to buy a new car now or to wait, and someone jumps in and says "just get the new Ferrari, it's a great vehicle!".
 

spheris

macrumors member
Aug 8, 2018
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The American Empire
I never understood this advice. Obviously not everyone is wealthy enough to just go ahead and buy a new computer that starts at $5000.

It's like going on a car forum and making a thread on whether to buy a new car now or to wait, and someone jumps in and says "just get the new Ferrari, it's a great vehicle!".
I won't dispute that there is an expense threshold. But the beginning of this thread is whether to get something now or wait. and there's a matching thread about 600+ days since the last iMac update. It seems most go for the 27 in this forum and given that apple right now is oriented towards a less for more price scale right now. If you do the math, you're getting a mid range for 2500-2800 anyway, and looking for the next incremental update in the next 2 to 3 years going by the majority of threads here.

Just for my use case, it made sense. This machine will have a lifecycle of roughly 9 years before it starts to reach a performance scaling threshold and starts falling behind for my purposes and that's a liberal number for it. I expect it will end up being closer to 12 years for parallelism and multithreading to efficiently exercise a Xeon W's capabilities. Breaking that down that's a savings of 3000-6000 and another 1000 in switchover costs per machine, per cycle if you go by the average upgrade cycles that apple imposes on the standard iMac as 18-24 months. It's not that I recommend the Ferrari, it's that in the long term cost and project planning that goes into buying a machine or multiple machines for professional use. It makes a financial argument for going that path. If it's for casual use, or non specific purposes. I can see an argument against. But my reply is purely based on my own use case. I have limited funds just like everyone else, so I have to plan smart for it.
 
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d0nK

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Essentialy I do need it for work and video editing .. I just hate to spend that kind of money and have them totally switch the game up on us . I’ve been working on a 09 MacBook pro and my daughter spilled pop on the keyboard so a few keys do not work . I just can’t see waiting that long to getting back to high level of productivity like I did when I used my MacBook. They say a huge display difference like what could that be lol . I know your all probably tired of this topic but I thought I’d throw it out there . I just joined and couldn’t find a thread on it .
You can buy a new 2009 mbp keyboard for less than £20 on eBay!
I'd do that and wait for the iMac refresh (I'm also waiting) because the new iMac will have the new 6-core CPU's (and maybe higher in some models) which are definitely worth the wait for your video editing!
 
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EugW

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Jun 18, 2017
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I won't dispute that there is an expense threshold. But the beginning of this thread is whether to get something now or wait. and there's a matching thread about 600+ days since the last iMac update. It seems most go for the 27 in this forum and given that apple right now is oriented towards a less for more price scale right now. If you do the math, you're getting a mid range for 2500-2800 anyway, and looking for the next incremental update in the next 2 to 3 years going by the majority of threads here.

Just for my use case, it made sense. This machine will have a lifecycle of roughly 9 years before it starts to reach a performance scaling threshold and starts falling behind for my purposes and that's a liberal number for it. I expect it will end up being closer to 12 years for parallelism and multithreading to efficiently exercise a Xeon W's capabilities. Breaking that down that's a savings of 3000-6000 and another 1000 in switchover costs per machine, per cycle if you go by the average upgrade cycles that apple imposes on the standard iMac as 18-24 months. It's not that I recommend the Ferrari, it's that in the long term cost and project planning that goes into buying a machine or multiple machines for professional use. It makes a financial argument for going that path. If it's for casual use, or non specific purposes. I can see an argument against. But my reply is purely based on my own use case. I have limited funds just like everyone else, so I have to plan smart for it.
If you want value, an entry level i5-8400's CPU performance competes well against the top-of-the-line i7-7700K for multithreaded applications.

https://www.anandtech.com/show/11859/the-anandtech-coffee-lake-review-8700k-and-8400-initial-numbers/8



 
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lowkey

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It’s more likely that they will become 6 core machines, rather than quad core, so the performance upgrade will be significant...like the last MBP update.
Apple also just announced that pricing will no longer be linked to USD fluctuations, so for non US countries I’d say any price increase will be limited.

It's probably safe to assume there won't be a major spec upgrade with only a small price increase. It's likely to be considerably more expensive. Apple consider themselves a premium brand, deserving of a premium price. People might look at the new models and say "Boy, I didn't expect them to be THAT expensive!" We'll have to see.

As others have mentioned, if you don't really need one right away and you want a higher end machine than the ones available now, just wait to see how the new ones look.
 

Steve121178

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Apr 13, 2010
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I was at apple the other day and almost pulled the trigger on the entry level iMac 27inch with upgraded SSD. I went and had lunch did some research and found about a iMac refresh supposedly like “Real” soon ! I am torn please help and getting impatient lol .. Thanks in advanced !!
Wait for a refresh. You would have to be stupid to purchase now unless you got a very good deal.
 
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theluggage

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I never understood this advice. Obviously not everyone is wealthy enough to just go ahead and buy a new computer that starts at $5000.
I'd hope that nobody here is going to kick sand in your face if you really can't afford it, but If you're already looking at an (unspecified) high-end regular iMac, which can get into the $3000 range, then the iMac Pro is worthy of consideration - especially if its for professional use where you expect to invest a bit of your income in equipment.

(Personally, I don't think the iMac Pro makes sense - for that level of "investment" I'd want to be able to choose alternative displays and upgrade the GPU mid-life - but then I'm after flexibility rather than a tool for a specific job)

It's like going on a car forum and making a thread on whether to buy a new car now or to wait, and someone jumps in and says "just get the new Ferrari, it's a great vehicle!".
Depends which car forum - that's not an unreasonable response to someone asking if they should wait for the new Porsche.

Just for my use case, it made sense. This machine will have a lifecycle of roughly 9 years before it starts to reach a performance scaling threshold and starts falling behind for my purposes and that's a liberal number for it. I expect it will end up being closer to 12 years for parallelism and multithreading to efficiently exercise a Xeon W's capabilities.
Your choice - personally I wouldn't plan on more than a 3-5 year lifecycle, because the CPU isn't the be all and end all of whether a computer fits your needs: other new technologies may emerge or your needs might change... In my case, my last few major computer purchases have been triggered by circumstance changes that caused me to shift from desktop to laptop and back again, as well as things like lack of USB 3 or the right type of display support (who knows what the issue will be in years to come?)

Also, the industry has now discovered planned obsolescence (something they didn't need when Moore's Law was in full swing and stuff was genuinely obsolete after 18 months): IMHO the biggest advance of the last 7-8 years has not been the (useful, but incremental) improvement in CPU power, but the availability of fast SSDs as system drives. One reason that the 2009-2012 MBPs have been so long-lived is that it was dead easy to swap out the HD for a SSD (and even move the old HD to the optical bay for bulk storage) which could really make the machine feel brand new again. The industry won't make that mistake again (as can be seen from the non-upgradeability of recent Macs - or the helpful post suggesting to #Hammerdstone how easy it is to replace the keyboard in a 2009 MBP c.f. the current model).

There's also been something of a lull in CPU development while the industry focussed on the mobile sector - but we may now have reached 'peak mobile'.

If you want value, an entry level i5-8400's CPU performance competes well against the top-of-the-line i7-7700K for multithreaded applications.
This isn't really a quibble with your argument, but the charts you posted make a useful point: #Hammerdstone is currently using a Core 2 Duo system that is somewhere off the bottom of that chart, and even a 2017 iMac is going to give a night-and-day performance boost, c.f. the - what, 20%? - difference between a 7th and 8th/9th gen. chip. If I were trying to get my work done on that system I'd go for the 200% (?) faster system today and risk the 240% faster option appearing next month.

Being practical, I'd look at speed increase like this - if you are (say) converting a video, do you:
  1. Go to bed and leave it overnight
  2. Cook & eat dinner while it finishes
  3. Have a coffee while it finishes
  4. Have a stretch and a scratch while it finishes, or
  5. Not notice the delay
An upgrade worth paying for/waiting for is one that moves the job down a whole category in that list. Anything else is just "new computer smell".
 

Ifti

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Dec 14, 2010
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I’ve been working on a 09 MacBook pro and my daughter spilled pop on the keyboard so a few keys do not work
Personally I would attach an external keyboard and get by with what you have for now. There's no way I would invest in A June 2017 machine now.
 

EugW

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Jun 18, 2017
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This isn't really a quibble with your argument, but the charts you posted make a useful point: #Hammerdstone is currently using a Core 2 Duo system that is somewhere off the bottom of that chart, and even a 2017 iMac is going to give a night-and-day performance boost, c.f. the - what, 20%? - difference between a 7th and 8th/9th gen. chip. If I were trying to get my work done on that system I'd go for the 200% (?) faster system today and risk the 240% faster option appearing next month.
The i5-8400 entry level is 45% faster than the i5-7500.

The i5-7500 is the entry level 27" iMac, but it's not actually the entry level chip, which is the i5-7400.
 

Hammerdstone

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 28, 2019
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Well I took the plunge and ordered one with the 512SSD.....I get it, a new refresh could come out tomorrow or then again not for awhile. So I will get familiar with it use it and when the refresh shows her face and if she’s worth it I’ll will plunge again and pass this lol “old’ one down to my kids who are up and coming you tubers. I feel they would be able to utilize a very strong key component/tool to this age of technology that we live in today. In other words I feel guilty having them learn Microsoft crap. Thanks again guys for all of the info !!
 
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