iMac Wherefore Art Thou?

WrightBrain

macrumors regular
Original poster
May 30, 2009
132
165
I'm so frustrated. I'm looking to buy a new mac. Believe it or not, I'm still keeping a late 2008 MacPro alive and I was waiting for a decent upgrade to the 2013 tower before I committed the funds. I really like towers for their upgradeability as evidenced by my current Frankenmachine. The last thing I wanted to buy was an iMac. But Apple dragged their feet on that and so I resigned myself to buy an iMac. However we are currently between iMac upgrades AND the prospect of Apple making the move to proprietary chips in 2020. So I wait again for a six core iMac which may be announced in March and I may have to extend my wait until they release new Macs with even newer chips in 2020.

I just don't know what to do. I could buy a 2017 iMac now and live with it. Even if Apple adopts new chips it will take a few years for the software to be developed for them. I remember the transition from PowerPC to Intel, and that took at least 3-5 years. It was kind of a waste to buy a new machine and have to run everything in emulation.

I could buy a used or refurbished iMac and just make use of that until the Apple dust settles. By then my wife AND I will need new machines.

Or I could say Eff it and move to PCs. They are cheaper and I am familiar with Windows 10. I'd hate to do that, but I just can't afford the Apple Tax. Oh I can write it off on my taxes (I'm self-employed). But I'd still have to pay it off, of course.

Anyone else in the same upgrade no man's land? What are you going to do?
 

MRrainer

macrumors 65816
Aug 8, 2008
1,172
629
Zurich, Switzerland
What do you do with your Mac?

Maybe the new Mini is an option?

The days of full upgradability of Macs are over, with the exception of the New MacPro.
But there, it will likely come with a price-tag that few will want to pay.
 

Pakaku

macrumors 68020
Aug 29, 2009
2,170
2,159
Totally depends what you need to do. One option could be trying to find an '09 Mac Pro if the upgrading appeals to you that much.

If you're feeling adventrous you could even consider a Hackintosh; the setup is not that scary, but you'll probably want to source out a copy of Windows (ideally win7) or Linux in case you end up hitting hurdles on the Mac side and don't want to use your '08 for some reason.
 
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mroy16

macrumors regular
May 28, 2017
149
68
There will always be a new model coming out "soon". If you need a new computer now and the current iMac suits your needs, there's nothing wrong with purchasing it.
 

elbowrm

macrumors newbie
Apr 29, 2016
14
18
Totally depends what you need to do. One option could be trying to find an '09 Mac Pro if the upgrading appeals to you that much.

If you're feeling adventrous you could even consider a Hackintosh; the setup is not that scary, but you'll probably want to source out a copy of Windows (ideally win7) or Linux in case you end up hitting hurdles on the Mac side and don't want to use your '08 for some reason.
Just curious, what makes win7 better for this than win10?
 

WrightBrain

macrumors regular
Original poster
May 30, 2009
132
165
What do you do with your Mac?

Maybe the new Mini is an option?

The days of full upgradability of Macs are over, with the exception of the New MacPro.
But there, it will likely come with a price-tag that few will want to pay.

Afraid not. We're both Graphic Designers. iMac Pro's are way out of our range.
[doublepost=1551040628][/doublepost]
Totally depends what you need to do. One option could be trying to find an '09 Mac Pro if the upgrading appeals to you that much.

If you're feeling adventrous you could even consider a Hackintosh; the setup is not that scary, but you'll probably want to source out a copy of Windows (ideally win7) or Linux in case you end up hitting hurdles on the Mac side and don't want to use your '08 for some reason.
Oh I wouldn't do an '09 Mac Pro. I'd have to go 2012 at least.

I'd love to do an Hacintosh. But I'm concerned about reliability. And I know my wife would NEVER want to go that route.
[doublepost=1551040936][/doublepost]
There will always be a new model coming out "soon". If you need a new computer now and the current iMac suits your needs, there's nothing wrong with purchasing it.
I'd agree except for the whole Apple moving to it's own processors thing and the fact that by the time I pay off the damn thing, I'd have to buy a new one. Yes it will take 3-5 years for all of the old Intel software to be dumped. So that could work in my favor if I bought an Intel based machine now. I'm leaning towards seeing what is announced in March. If there is no news, I may bite the bullet and buy a 2017 iMac. But not a high end, so I can pay it off more quickly.
 

elbowrm

macrumors newbie
Apr 29, 2016
14
18
Do you know if they stop Build to Orders for the old machines when new ones come out?
I think typically the answer to that is "yes, they stop older BTO," unless they continue to offer the older model as new stock in parallel with the new model, to fill a perceived gap in the model line. But, I think there have been instances where BTO configs occasionally pop up on Apple's refurb & clearance page, and thru other retailers to clear out inventory...
 

loybond

macrumors 6502
Aug 1, 2010
482
241
The True North, Strong and Free
Yeah I wish the new ones would come out now, because I'm looking to buy one in about 2 weeks. I googled a bit, and they say parts start to leak, or there are whispers in the supply chain a few months beforehand. We haven't really seen anything at this point.

For now I'll just pick one up. When the new one comes out, or a Mac pro if it looks good, I'll just sell this one and get that. Simplest solution I think.
 

elbowrm

macrumors newbie
Apr 29, 2016
14
18
Yeah I wish the new ones would come out now, because I'm looking to buy one in about 2 weeks. I googled a bit, and they say parts start to leak, or there are whispers in the supply chain a few months beforehand. We haven't really seen anything at this point.

For now I'll just pick one up. When the new one comes out, or a Mac pro if it looks good, I'll just sell this one and get that. Simplest solution I think.
My prediction is that the next Mac Pro will be something with multiple A1x CPUs, and will come out in the fall of 2020. And I'd be surprised of A1x-based iMacs or MacBooks come out before fall 2020... (I don't have any real info, just a total guess.)
 

WrightBrain

macrumors regular
Original poster
May 30, 2009
132
165
What do you think? Is it worth buying an Intel based mac now? The waiting for updates and rumors is killing me.
 

mroy16

macrumors regular
May 28, 2017
149
68
The entire Mac lineup currently uses Intel macs, and no new products have been confirmed. There is no reason not buy an Intel Mac if you need a new computer.
 
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elbowrm

macrumors newbie
Apr 29, 2016
14
18
What do you think? Is it worth buying an Intel based mac now? The waiting for updates and rumors is killing me.
This guy's humble opinion is that these things boil down to how much you need something right now, how much you're willing to plug/unplug/tweak, and how much you care about squeezing the most out of bang-for-the-buck. Personally, I've always been more of a fan of using a MacBook Pro in closed clamshell mode with a cheap 4k external monitor than using an iMac. With the iMac, I always had a nagging feeling that I was paying too much for something that was too "locked in" or "non-future-proof." Plus, I like being able to throw the MBP in a backpack!!

Yes, I also love the idea of an expandable tower, but I've come to realize that this is pretty much antithetical to Apple's entire direction (teases/leaks of new Mac Pros aside).

When you mentioned expandability, what are the most important aspects of that to you? To me, the most basic things are the RAM and the solid-state drive, the GPU has some importance, but I don't necessarily need the latest and greatest NVIDIA or AMD hotness there.

If you're anything like me, I would recommend one of the 15 inch Retina MacBook Pros with 16GB RAM that were made from 2012-2015. These have the advantage that there were still pretty much all the ports you would want to use, plus the SSD was user-upgradable (provided you are willing to crack the back cover with the Torx screws). On macofalltrades.com, it looks like these can be had as low as $799: https://www.macofalltrades.com/shop/apple-laptops/refurbished-macbook-pro/macbook-pro-15-inch/?_bc_fsnf=1&Year[]=2012&Year[]=2015&Year[]=2013&Year[]=2014

Then, throw on a 28" 4K monitor, these can be had as low as $325: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=samsung+4k+28+inch+monitor&i=electronics&rh=n:172282,n:1292115011,p_72:1248879011,p_85:2470955011&s=price-asc-rank&dc&qid=1551576374&rnid=2470954011&ref=sr_st_price-asc-rank

Profit!! ;)
 
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WrightBrain

macrumors regular
Original poster
May 30, 2009
132
165
Here’s a dumb question...how well do the 2018 Mac mini’s handle heat? I see there’s an i5 and an i7-each with 6 cores. I could run an egpu with a Radeon 580 with that set up and have a nice machine. But again I’m concerned about heat and life of the machine.

Anyone with experience with the Mac mini’s?
 

loybond

macrumors 6502
Aug 1, 2010
482
241
The True North, Strong and Free
YouTube videos reveal that they thermal throttle like most Macs. For anything intensive, they'll constantly throttle from temperature. That doesn't really mean that the longevity will be affected, as the point of throttling is to keep the CPU performing in its intended range as defined by Intel. The concern is performance.

Here’s a dumb question...how well do the 2018 Mac mini’s handle heat? I see there’s an i5 and an i7-each with 6 cores. I could run an egpu with a Radeon 580 with that set up and have a nice machine. But again I’m concerned about heat and life of the machine.

Anyone with experience with the Mac mini’s?
[doublepost=1551990960][/doublepost]Do what I'm doing, buy a refurb (or a used 2017) and just sell it when the next one comes out. Easy peasy.

What do you think? Is it worth buying an Intel based mac now? The waiting for updates and rumors is killing me.
 

dwfaust

macrumors 603
Jul 3, 2011
5,527
6,215
Here’s a dumb question...how well do the 2018 Mac mini’s handle heat? I see there’s an i5 and an i7-each with 6 cores. I could run an egpu with a Radeon 580 with that set up and have a nice machine. But again I’m concerned about heat and life of the machine.

Anyone with experience with the Mac mini’s?
I just got a 2018 Mini from the refurb store... I run FCPx on it, and, quite frankly, I am pretty disappointed. Final Cut doesn't run as well on the 2018 Mini as it does on the 2014 Mini. The 2018 model does render faster and exports the video faster, but it lags horribly when editing the video - adding titles, transitions, etc... turning off background rendering helps, but then you have to render between editing and exporting... and it gets hot enough to fry an egg on the top.

I called Apple and the "advisor" suggested removing any third party FCPx plugins. I found another solution... I'm sending it back.
 
Last edited:

briloronmacrumo

macrumors 6502
Jan 25, 2008
464
271
USA
Afraid not. We're both Graphic Designers. iMac Pro's are way out of our range.
If you want more than general anecdotal input, it might help to specify your requirements ( i.e. price, what apps need to run and with what performance level ). Just saying things like "way out of our range" doesn't help the list to help you ( because it's a little vague: e.g. do you mean price range or performance range ? ).

It's possible an iMac or iMac Pro ( either new or refurbished ) might fit your needs. Yes, all the iMacs throttle performance at some point due to heat but you haven't specified what performance is required.

I'm not aware of a way to future-proof a mac purchase against Apple's future hardware choices ( i.e. Intel to their own proprietary CPU ). Any emulation will happen on the new machines and not the old. Despite all the marketing hype, notice Apple has NOT demonstrated moving Mac apps to iOS ( the reverse yes ). When they overcome that hurdle, IMO they are closer to moving to another CPU.

As others have mentioned, it really comes down to WHEN you NEED a machine and its requirements. If you share some of that it's possible some of the smart folks here will offer more focused input for you.

I'm probably in the same boat in 6 months. Good luck.