iMac upgrade cycle dilemma - any advice?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by jijoya, Nov 6, 2011.

  1. jijoya, Nov 6, 2011
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2011

    jijoya macrumors newbie

    Oct 9, 2011
    I've been saving up for a 27" iMac and am about 2 months away from pulling it off. Hopefully. Depends on Xmas bonus. Worst case scenario is I'll be getting it in February. I'll be adding the 256 GB SSD + 2TB option plus upgrading the video card, and the i5 processor up to i7, plus I live in the EU, hence the need to save up.

    AFTER getting that, the plan was to save up for an 11" Air. It was a long-term strategy I was happy with. Brought order to things. Except I suddenly realized there are upgrade cycles to keep in mind (after recent rumors about possibly getting "significant" upgrades from Apple next year, with the new iMacs being due in the second or was it third quarter).

    So naturally now I'm very vividly imagining a scenario where I finally get the iMac I'm more or less daydreaming about these days, only to feel cheated a few months later because the new one came out. I started thinking about maybe getting the Air first, and waiting for the next iMac (it's been very difficult, I really want the damn thing). The Air is going to be my secondary computer so it won't be a massive disappointment if they upgrade it shortly after I buy it.

    So my first question to you all is, hypothetically what improvements would you expect from the 2012 upgrade? Ivy Bridge for certain, but beyond that?

    My second question is, based on the expectations you have, if you were in my situation (where you can get the iMac in late Dec at the earliest or in Feb at the latest), would you choose to spend what you've saved up on a 4GB RAM, 128GB SSD Air to console yourself with while saving up for the 2012 iMac, whenever it comes?

    I do have a quad core Ubuntu PC so it's not a matter of being computerless until I visit an Apple retailer. It is, however, a matter of really wanting to switch. (Not because of Ubuntu, I've loved it for years, but I got charmed by my iPad over the summer and eventually succumbed to playing with iMacs and Airs in stores and in my b/f's house. I successfully avoided it for years but after the iPad he ambushed me with, giving in was a matter of months. The rest is history.)

    Edited to add: Right after posting I realized the thread may be better suited for the forum where people seek advice on what to buy. My apologies if anyone else feels that way, I posted here because since I began considering getting the Air first, I've mostly had my mind on it.
  2. thekev macrumors 604


    Aug 5, 2010
    The imac and macbook air are two totally different beasts. Regarding the imac intel will probably have processors out around march or April like usual. The rumors about a major overhaul are just that (rumors). I can't see why it would be a choice between a 27" imac and an air. You don't really mention what you need to run on it, more that you just want a mac.

    Ok so here are some things that could see updates on a major design change. The imac could see an updated panel design with one of the newer LG revisions. They could ditch the optical drive as that seems to be a popular idea on these forums (and Apple has done this on two machines so far). I actually would hope they don't go thinner on that design because imacs run hot enough as it is under load. Thinner = smaller fans and Apple requires their machines to be silent. If they're choosing thin + silent the components won't run cool even with the ivy bridge power reductions. If you don't do any heavy work or gaming on it, you'll never notice the heat issues.
  3. jijoya thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 9, 2011
    It's not. Being well aware how different they are, I'll be getting both one at a time. I can afford to get the secondary computer first if the advice here proves to be "Wait for the 2012 iMac" because my dual boot Ubuntu/Win PC will, if necessary, last another year without annoying me (too much) when doing the heavy lifting.

    Prepress, 3D rendering in Poser, and Photoshop work. I do what little gaming I feel the need for on my iPad.

    Thanks for your response to Q2.

    Heavy work happens. Games - Ubuntu has taught me to live completely without them, and when I was a 100% Windows user I didn't go for the heavy ones.
  4. jsolares macrumors 6502a

    Aug 8, 2011
    Land of eternal Spring
    The 2012 iMac will have ivy bridge, no idea when it'll actually come out tho, the 2012 Air will also have ivy bridge but it'll probably be a full year from the 2011 release to come out.

    I'd wait for both, if you can't wait for both i'd get the current Air and sell it once the new iMac comes out and get the iMac, and then get the new Air when it comes out.
  5. jijoya thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 9, 2011
    Thanks, jsolares.

    Depending on whether I manage to save up enough by early Dec or by mid-late Feb, I'll get the Air first as buying an iMac almost 2 months before a full year has passed since the 2011 release would be silly. "If you waited nearly 10 months, you can wait another 2 or more" and all that.

    There'd be no other reason to postpone based on the 2 answers I got, however. Ivy bridge is of course an upgrade, and if a major design change does happen that would be interesting to see (though one of the things I do for a living requires me to use an optical drive at least twice a week so its disappearance wouldn't be too welcome). Truth be told though I'd be far more inclined to rethink a 2011 iMac purchase if people were also speculating about better video cards, or more RAM, or larger SSDs (all of the above would be pushing it, I suppose). Since none of the 50+ people who read my questions posted to mention any of the above, I've assumed the forum finds them unlikely.
  6. Abazigal macrumors G4


    Jul 18, 2011
    My personal guess is that any imac revision would be minimal, yet significant. Nothing too revolutionary, but would still be a welcome change to any would-be computer owner.

    Besides processor upgrade, I am thinking possibly doing away with the optical drive, graphics upgrade and maybe making SSDs standard across all models (or at least an option for that). I don't see a need to make it any thinner than it already is. You aren't lugging it around, so weight isn't really a primary concern, and the space savings would be fairly insignificant.

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