iMac poor value?

UBS28

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Oct 2, 2012
1,051
338
On a $2000 computer, atleast throw in a $270 Vega 56. It is not that expensive.

If you select all the options to make it a 2019 machine, you might as well go for an iMac Pro basically.

Something is off with Apple their pricing using outdated old tech hardware.
[doublepost=1553463512][/doublepost]I am playing with the configurations again on the apple website along with the prices and I cannot help but think that the “high-end” specs are what the base model should be.

It is 2019 so sell 2019 computers Apple? Why pay premium prices for old hardware?

I think i won’t buy the “2019” iMac I guess.
 

E.Lizardo

macrumors 68000
May 28, 2008
1,565
134
For me the value is in macOS. It's worth the premium price.
Exactly. Every time I hear someone say this windows machine or Samsung phone has this or that and Apple doesn't I say"Does it run OSX or iOS? because that's requirement #1." Without an Apple os nothing else matters to me.
 

goslowjoe

Suspended
Dec 22, 2017
125
88
Exactly. Every time I hear someone say this windows machine or Samsung phone has this or that and Apple doesn't I say"Does it run OSX or iOS? because that's requirement #1." Without an Apple os nothing else matters to me.
Exactly! When I got my first iPhone, it made whatever else I was using then, well, very meh. Same with macOS. My first MacBook Pro came with Yosemite. Wow. Windows looked then, and still is, rather stale compared to all the macOS iterations.
 
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redheeler

macrumors 604
Oct 17, 2014
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Eh the screen of the device itself is worth quite a lot, its an extremely high quality display, and those don’t come cheap even when buying separately.
The screen continues to be where most of the value is for the iMac, although I partly agree with the OP in that the value-for-money of certain Apple products has gone down recently. Especially while 4K iMacs are shipping with 5400 RPM HDDs and Apple is putting a 128 GB SSD into a $1,199 MacBook Air - as if it still happens to be the year 2012.
 

s15119

macrumors 68000
Nov 20, 2010
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Because you won't buy a product won't make it a poor value. It's a great value to a lot of people. When you start making computers you can decide what needs to be included. In this case, all you can do is go buy something you think is a good value. It's up to each user to decide. Macs have traditionally held their value much better than competitors. For my money, they still have amazing value. Other people like to buy cheap crap that runs crappy windows and ****. Not with my money.
 

jeremiah256

macrumors 65816
Aug 2, 2008
1,283
970
Southern California
On a $2000 computer, atleast throw in a $270 Vega 56. It is not that expensive.

If you select all the options to make it a 2019 machine, you might as well go for an iMac Pro basically.

Something is off with Apple their pricing using outdated old tech hardware.
[doublepost=1553463512][/doublepost]I am playing with the configurations again on the apple website along with the prices and I cannot help but think that the “high-end” specs are what the base model should be.

It is 2019 so sell 2019 computers Apple? Why pay premium prices for old hardware?

I think i won’t buy the “2019” iMac I guess.
To your first point:
Even the cheapest iMac 27", $1800, has a 5K monitor worth at least $1000. I guess it's up to you to decide if the CPU, GPU, storage, RAM, case, power supply, motherboard, keyboard, OS, and mouse are worth $620, leaving Apple a 10% profit.

To your second point:
An iMac 27" i9 with 8-cores, 1TB costs $3200. Add $200 to pump it up to 40GBs with self bought RAM. If you need the Vega 48, you're at $3,850. Current, preliminary tests show it competing quite well against the base model iMac Pro, a Xeon 8-core, 1TB, 32GB RAM, Vega 56 GPU computer that costs $1,150 more.
 
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theluggage

macrumors 601
Jul 29, 2011
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If you select all the options to make it a 2019 machine, you might as well go for an iMac Pro basically.
I think its quite reasonable that if you select all of the options on a particular model, the next model up starts looking like better value. The point about options is that they are, well, optional and you can pick and choose the ones you want.

Even then - a 1TB/32GB iMac with the max CPU and GPU is $700 less than the 1TB/32GB iMac Pro - and that's with Apple's sky-high RAM prices - anybody paying with their own money would be advised to get 3rd party RAM and save another $500 bucks. That's if you need 32GB RAM and 1TB internal SSD in the first place (maybe you do, maybe you don't - options are there for people who don't).

I am playing with the configurations again on the apple website along with the prices and I cannot help but think that the “high-end” specs are what the base model should be.
I think a more nuanced way of putting it is that the base model (or, lets say, the base model with 256GB SSD) is actually pretty good value for money, esp. by Apple standards, given the only comparable display on the market costs $1200 on its own. However, the upgrades are ludicrously expensive. Of course, that's part of Apple's business model because it works - people choose a product on the base price and then get carried away with the add-ons. Look who was just saying that they 'might as well' pay an extra $1000 for an iMac Pro...

The other issue is lack of choice in Apple's range. The 5k display is only 'a $1200 value' if you wanted a 27" 5k display and although you'd expect to pay a premium for small-form-factor or all-in-one, Apple don't offer a straightforward desktop for people who want a "pick-up truck" rather than a "sports coupe". Even the mythical modular Mac Pro sounds as if its going to be a gull-winged electric SUV rather than a pickup.
 

Fishrrman

macrumors P6
Feb 20, 2009
17,460
5,671
The iMacs have always been overpriced. But if one wants the Mac OS (without the muss and fuss of trying to build and maintain a hackintosh), one "pays the price of admission".

I bought my last iMac in 2007. It actually still works ok, even though I don't use it much any more and will retire it shortly.

Since 2013 I've been using the Mini platform. The admission price for the Mini is a bit lower than that for the iMac -- still higher than it should be!
 

cynics

macrumors G4
Jan 8, 2012
11,334
1,710
I can’t believe anyone would even consider buying a computer without SSD at this point. Shame on Apple for peddling outdated crap.
I went to Dell.com and selected desktop, sort by highest price and I got this monstrosity.

Screen Shot 2019-03-31 at 2.19.29 AM.png


And it comes with this....

Screen Shot 2019-03-31 at 2.19.06 AM.png


HP is the same.

Screen Shot 2019-03-31 at 2.23.55 AM.png


HP's workstations for creative professionals (video editors) come with a 512 SSD so thats good.

Technically Apple includes more SSD as standard now across their product line than most other computer manufacturers. I will say some the competition has a ridiculous amount of SKU's which doesn't help.
 

theluggage

macrumors 601
Jul 29, 2011
4,160
2,875
I went to Dell.com and selected desktop, sort by highest price...
...yes, because that's the smart way to choose a computer. (That's a water-cooled blingtastic gaming system you have there).

Or, you could have had:


delltower.jpg


HP is the same.
Nope - that HP system you showed had 2TB HD plus 256GB PCIe SSD.

Plus, bear in mind that systems like these are easily upgradeable with standard components like M.2. PCIe drives, standard HDs, cheaper SATA SSDs or PCIe GPUs - the Dell has a 'tool free' case - that can be easily updated for a fraction of the cost of Apple's limited build-to-order options.

The higher-end HP Envy all-in-ones tend to come with 256GB SSD + 1 to 2 TB of spinning rust, too. Quite a common configuration for windows (even in the old days, having a small but fast 7200rpm hard drive for the system/software + a slower "bulk" hard drive for data was a common config).

I'm not saying that any of these warrant a like-for-like comparison with iMacs. The 5k display makes the iMac hard to touch (the HP Envys are all 1440p) and I'm not sure that any PC maker is even trying to produce i9-level all-in-ones. As I've said before, if you want an iMac then nothing beats an iMac. The point of looking to the Windows/Linux world is that there is a far broader choice of specifications.

I will say some the competition has a ridiculous amount of SKU's which doesn't help.
True. Apple could afford to add several more product lines and more options to their range and still not scratch the surface of the train wrecks that are HP/Dell/Lenovo's catalogues.
 

familychoice

macrumors member
Mar 5, 2015
44
3
I went to Dell.com and selected desktop, sort by highest price and I got this monstrosity.
I did the same last week, after being put off by the SSD upgrade costs of the iMac.

Not sure how it is with US stores, but the UK Dell store no longer allows customers to configure options - so we get a set bunch of choices for the XPS, which is what I'd be going for. Only one of these includes an SSD, and wouldn't be my choice of desktop. I wouldn't cosndier an HP after problems we had with one of their laptops and poor support.

But anyway, if I try and add a monitor that's anywhere near what you get with an iMac it goes way over my budget, so Apple are still looking first choice for my needs and budget.
 

cynics

macrumors G4
Jan 8, 2012
11,334
1,710
...yes, because that's the smart way to choose a computer. (That's a water-cooled blingtastic gaming system you have there).

Or, you could have had:


View attachment 829584



Nope - that HP system you showed had 2TB HD plus 256GB PCIe SSD.

Plus, bear in mind that systems like these are easily upgradeable with standard components like M.2. PCIe drives, standard HDs, cheaper SATA SSDs or PCIe GPUs - the Dell has a 'tool free' case - that can be easily updated for a fraction of the cost of Apple's limited build-to-order options.

The higher-end HP Envy all-in-ones tend to come with 256GB SSD + 1 to 2 TB of spinning rust, too. Quite a common configuration for windows (even in the old days, having a small but fast 7200rpm hard drive for the system/software + a slower "bulk" hard drive for data was a common config).

I'm not saying that any of these warrant a like-for-like comparison with iMacs. The 5k display makes the iMac hard to touch (the HP Envys are all 1440p) and I'm not sure that any PC maker is even trying to produce i9-level all-in-ones. As I've said before, if you want an iMac then nothing beats an iMac. The point of looking to the Windows/Linux world is that there is a far broader choice of specifications.



True. Apple could afford to add several more product lines and more options to their range and still not scratch the surface of the train wrecks that are HP/Dell/Lenovo's catalogues.
Well its not like I'm buying the Dell/Alienware. The logic behind that was if I look at the most expensive computer Apple sells it has an SSD, if I built a Mac to that price point its difficult to not include one.

Unless the person I quoted meant, its shame on Apple for peddling outdated crap instead of including an SSD and just charging us more for it. The competition has some nice things but its not exactly a bed of roses on either side of the fence.

You are right about the HP I glanced right passed that. The Alienware didn't have a 2nd drive standard.

I feel Apples price is fair for what you get, how long it last, tech support, community, MacOS, etc. If I were to voice a complaint its that I can't easily build a Mac like I could a PC but it is what it is.
 

AlexJoda

macrumors 6502a
Apr 8, 2015
758
579
The iMac is the least overpriced Mac in my opinion. The have an excellent display included and you can use them for a long time. They have no obvious defects like the MacBooks with their Butterfly keyboards, display cables and so on. Even the $2000 iPad Pros are more overpriced when you compare what you get for the money...
 
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adamk77

macrumors 6502a
Jan 6, 2008
513
149
I'll state the obvious that this is such a subjective question. So I'll just share what value is for me.

I don't have to use MacOS, but I do because I prefer it over Windows. It feels more streamlined and minimalistic, and I like that. I don't tinker with it like I do Windows (I go into services and try to disable as much useless crap as possible, and I get OCD with it). I don't have to mess with drivers. I like the extra security. I can't stand malware, spyware, viruses, etc and hate Windows Defender. As that IT guy in my family, I have to reinstall Windows for everyone all the time. All this equates to a lot of time saved, which I highly value.

I like the Apple ecosystem and how well the hardware and software play well together. Here are some of the ways I leverage the ecosystem. It's not something I even think hard about. I just do it. So I actually have to expend some effort and think to come up with this list:
  • I can easily give access to my wifi network to guests with a tap of a button if they are also on an iPhone.
  • I have everything synched via iCloud (photos, keychain, files, etc).
  • I use Handoff often. I often copy something to the clipboard on my iPhone then paste it on my Mac.
  • I unlock my Mac with the Apple watch.
  • I love the Apple trackpads and the scrolling on the iPhone / iPad. I haven't found an equivalent on PC / Android.
  • I answer my phone on my Mac.
  • I send / receive iMessages and regular text messages from any of my Apple devices, including my Mac.
  • I like Apple Pay and use it whenever I can.
  • Face ID is awesome. Often, it feels like there is no password (love logging into banking apps on my phone because of it - much easier than on the computer). Face ID on Apple computers can't come soon enough.
  • I can use passwords saved on my Safari on any of my Apple devices with Face ID or Touch ID.
  • I can easily communicate and share information with my elderly mom. We initially tried Android but it was a disaster.
I'm sure I can list more if I think about it harder. Can I replicate some of these experiences by moving to a PC & Android? I'm sure I can with effort. But I refuse to pay that price in time and energy. So these are all good values for me.

I make my living as a developer who make software for Apple hardware. I don't have to use an Apple product. I can definitely build a Hackintosh. But I don't want to deal with all the associated headaches. There is good value here for me. Well, I also build software for Android, too, but I still use a Mac to build software for both platforms. So definitely more value here for me.

There are some intangibles, as well. I love Apple's design. There's a reason everyone tries to copy it (I lol'ed at that fake notch on Android phones).

Now, if I was buying an Apple computer for gaming, that would be an extremely poor value proposition for me. For that, I built a gaming PC.
 
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Kfamily

macrumors newbie
Oct 30, 2018
27
16
Orange County, CA
I went to Dell.com and selected desktop, sort by highest price and I got this monstrosity.

View attachment 829563

And it comes with this....

View attachment 829562

HP is the same.

View attachment 829564

HP's workstations for creative professionals (video editors) come with a 512 SSD so thats good.

Technically Apple includes more SSD as standard now across their product line than most other computer manufacturers. I will say some the competition has a ridiculous amount of SKU's which doesn't help.
Before I bought my first iMac in 2011 (the one I still own), I purchased higher-end Dells. They may have had slightly lower purchase prices, but I had to replace them every 3 years or so (the longest one lasted 3 ½ years). Sometime before the 3 year mark, each one suffered regular blue screens of death and all sorts of issues and were total pains, often software related since the various OS often had problems with new apps etc. but also hardware - once I had a motherboard die along with some other component and I spend a few hours on speaker phone with a dell rep walking me through the process to open the machine to repair it. And when I did replace them, it was even hard to find someone to donate it to, as most charities would not accept any computers over 3 years old.

On the other hand, I have almost 8 years out of my current iMac. If I recall correctly, I went for the highest specs at the time and it was a good choice to future proof the machine. In reality, I should have replaced it after 7 years (High Sierra slowed it to a crawl, can’t upgrade to Mojave, and the HDD died a couple months ago, but alas I waited for the 2018 update that never came so my sweet upgrade timing didn’t workout). In addition, Apple is still willing to pay me $150 as a trade in - not much but a far cry from charities not even accepting a Dell half that age.

So I feel like the lifespan for me is approximately double. And it seems that configuring these Dells and HPs can get pretty expensive anyway especially with a quality screen and is certainly not half the cost. Plus I have a much more enjoyable experience right from the beginning. The fact the OS upgrades were always free (which was innovative at the time and not sure if windows now free or not), shows how integral it is to the enjoyment and use of the iMac. And since I am an iPhone user and the rest of the family has iPhones, iPad and MacBooks for school, our whole family has a seamless experience.

I think the value is there. Thinking it through this way I am inclined to max out the specs for a long term investment. American Express currently is making that decision easier with a fee-free trial period on its Plan It service, where I can pay large purchase over 24 months with no interest or fees (thru 5/10).
 

theluggage

macrumors 601
Jul 29, 2011
4,160
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Well its not like I'm buying the Dell/Alienware.
Doesn't matter whether you're actually going to buy - if you just pick the "most expensive" from a sprawling range like Dell's you're sure to find the worst value-for-money, or something totally non-comparable. You've chosen a system with water cooling and a massive gaming case that is, well, compensating for something...

The "most expensive computer that Apple sells" is a tricked-out iMac Pro that has an extra digit in the price. Its not a way to compare systems.

Meanwhile, if you build a Mac to a ~$2800 price you're quite likely to end up with a 2TB fusion drive with only a 128GB SSD component that isn't easily upgradeable - for a couple of hundred bucks you can easily add a 1TB SSD to that Dell in addition to what is there and you are unlucky you might need to use a screwdriver.

I feel Apples price is fair for what you get, how long it last, tech support, community, MacOS, etc. If I were to voice a complaint its that I can't easily build a Mac like I could a PC but it is what it is.
I'd agree with that, but part of the reason is that nobody else is really trying to compete with the high-end 5k iMacs at the moment so there's nothing really like-for-like to compare it with. Still, the main reason the iMac is value for money is that it includes "$1200 worth" of display that is only worth $1200 to you if it was actually what you wanted...
 

redheeler

macrumors 604
Oct 17, 2014
7,469
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Or, you could have had:


That Dell doesn't come with a display, and as several people have mentioned the integrated 5K display is where the iMac's value is at. To buy the display separately would cost you $1,299.

Subtracting that price from the i9 + Vega + 512 GB SSD 5K iMac and doing the 32 GB upgrade yourself puts it at around the same price as the Dell. And then you're looking at an argument of better software (MacOS) in the iMac, better power consumption + form factor vs. more powerful graphics hardware and upgradability in the Dell.

So the 5K iMac is actually somewhat comparable to the Dell in terms of value, being one of the few Macs that is still reasonably-priced (though Apple really should still make things like 16 GB RAM and a 256 GB SSD not cost extra).
 

theluggage

macrumors 601
Jul 29, 2011
4,160
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That Dell doesn't come with a display, and as several people have mentioned the integrated 5K display is where the iMac's value is at.
Yes, I was one of them. But the bit you quoted & the system I linked to was just responding to the previous poster's dubious point about PC SSD availability/sizes.

Subtracting that price from the i9 + Vega + 512 GB SSD 5K iMac and doing the 32 GB upgrade yourself puts it at around the same price as the Dell. And then you're looking at an argument of better software (MacOS) in the iMac, better power consumption + form factor vs. more powerful graphics hardware and upgradability in the Dell.
You're not wrong, and if you really want an iMac the iMac is the best iMac you can buy, but...

(a) If I were going PC I wouldn't bother with a 5k display because half of the advantage of 5k is that, at 27", its a perfect match for Mac OS's UI design without non-integer scaling. That's a non-issue with Windows. A decent 4k display would cost a lot less.

(b) That 'upgradeability' bit is the kicker. Start adding higher BTO options to the iMac and the price soars c.f. a tower that can be easily upgraded with commodity parts.

Personally, I'd assemble my own, with exactly the parts I wanted, anyway, but even that's usually about choice rather than cheapness.
 

smirking

macrumors 68020
Aug 31, 2003
2,182
1,592
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Apple products have *always* been a poor value. People keep buying everything they put out so they keep pushing the limits on what they can get away with. That said I've bought nearly everything they make. Sigh.
You want a 5K screen? Get ready to pay no matter who you choose... if they even offer the ability to use a 5k screen. Lots of Apple products will never be mistaken for bargains. I don't think the iMac is one of them. The MacBook Pros and the MacPro dinosaur are way overpriced. The other items carry a premium, but I wouldn't consider them overpriced considering that the "free" software they come with is pretty useful.
 

diamond3

macrumors 6502a
Oct 6, 2005
827
246
To me, you have to look at the resale value as well. View the market for used PC's and suddenly even a $500 premium quickly gets erased when you go to buy a new one. I bought a 2017 iMac shortly after there release and I'm hoping to be able to sell it now, upgrade to a new 2019 model for under $500. Losing 20% in almost 2 years seems like a small price to pay while having the most recent iMac. There's absolutely nothing wrong with my iMac, but I edit video and push the system to it's max on occasion so the upgrade is worth it. Plus it sounds like the new i9 taxes the fans less than the older i7. So again, I look at the experience from beginning to end with a computer. Not just the initial purchase price. That alone has left me feeling like I've always come out ahead vs buying a windows computer.

Also, the performance increase with FCPX over premiere alone makes this computer even more valuable for me compared to going down the road of a PC/Premiere.
 
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