iMac's are an awful purchase

Discussion in 'iMac' started by AxoNeuron, Mar 10, 2016.

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  1. AxoNeuron, Mar 10, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2016

    AxoNeuron macrumors 65816

    AxoNeuron

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    #1
    What is with apple's terrible specs in nearly every product category these days? Truly horrendous. I have not seen such an awful lineup from Apple in a long time.

    Seriously Apple, 5400 RAM hard drives are the default on iMacs??? Are we still living in the year 2005 or what?

    And worst of all: graphics. The Intel Iris pro is impressive for an integrated GPU....but it's still integrated! Even the most mediocre cards from Nvidia will leave it in the dust. Seriously Apple, it's about time to start offering some real GPU options again, because EVERY video card you offer is awful. Even their highest end AMD cards are crushed by Nvidia's latest. You can't even get a MID RANGE card in an iMac for less than $2,300. That's absolutely pathetic. Apple, come on, please catch up with the rest of the world and at least give us an option to have a decent Nvidia card in the iMac or Mac Pro, because your current lineup is God awful.

    The Hackintosh I built for less than $2000 absolutely DESTROYS the highest end iMac in EVERY single way. It has not one, but TWO GTX 970's. If only Apple would actually build and sell a machine with half way decent specs I wouldn't have to go to such great lengths to get a decent machine.

    I will never understand why Apple felt the need to make the iMac so thin. It's a desktop machine, no one is lugging around the 27" iMac as a portable device. There's literally zero reason to use laptop parts when you could be using highly superior desktop components at a lower cost to boot.
     
  2. cyclingplatypus macrumors 6502a

    cyclingplatypus

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    #2
    What 5K display are you using with "The Hackintosh I built for less than $2000 absolutely DESTROYS the highest end iMac in EVERY single way"?

    Post some photos of this beast.

    EDIT:
    Oh wait, I see from your footer that you aren't - I think I kind of disproved your statement.
     
  3. AxoNeuron thread starter macrumors 65816

    AxoNeuron

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    #3
    Video card?
    I realize this might come as a bit of a shock to you, but I wasn't discussing monitors. I'm discussing the computer part of the computer. I could have hooked up whatever monitor I liked to this thing and it wouldn't change the basic facts that even the highest end iMac is pretty mediocre when it comes to performance.

    Sure, you have a nice pretty 5k display to use Facebook with, but good luck doing anything more with that awful GPU. For such an expensive machine, topping out at an R9 M395x is ridiculous.
     
  4. The Clark macrumors regular

    The Clark

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    #4
    Your "hackintosh" simply isn't optimized for OS X. Those mid range iMac's can hold their own.
     
  5. swamyg1 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2007
    #5
    I feel your pain. I myself had a beastly hackintosh, been using them for 10 years. I decided it was finally time to make the switch and stop tinkering around. Upgrading the OS and constant issues with a hacked OS X started to become a waste of my time. Time I could be using to make more money or spend with my family.

    I now have a maxed out iMac, my single core bench of 4K+ blows past my old 4930k, I'm benching 17k+ on multi which is a little lower but I'm ok with it. My hack was bending in the high 3k's Cor single and 23k for multi. For me, the trade offs are more positive having a legit Mac, even if performance takes a slight hit. Easy upgrades, recovery, not having to deal with any next files, dsdt's, clover, over clocking etc. what a relief. That stuff was always a pain in the arse for me. I'm getting too old for that stuff.

    I could have gotten an 6 core nmp but I figured the iMac is better buy at this point in time, and I'm mostly a graphics and photo guy anyway, not video. If performance was more important to me, or I was really into video editing, I would probably stick with a hack, or bite the bullet and get a a high end nmp, if they continue to make them. For my gaming fix I have my ps4 so I'm good. The beastly hackintosh was more of a want than a need I guess. It was pure power, with flaws.

    I've had my real iMac for about 2 weeks and it's pretty wicked I must admit. Glad I made the switch. In fact, I just finished selling the last pats of my hackenbeast on eBay... Time for me to celebrate!!
     
  6. taedouni macrumors 65816

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    #6
    I was thinking about configuring my PC Gaming desktop for a hackintosh (I even went far enough to order the WiFi/BT PCI-E card but then quickly cancelled). I ended up getting a 4 GHz i7, 8 GB (upgraded myself to 16GB), 2TB Fusion Drive, Radeon M395 5K iMac and have no regrets. The display alone is amazing. The dell equivalent monitor costs around $1600 so an extra $800 for great hardware isn't a bad deal. But I do agree that 4K iMacs are a rip off.
     
  7. garirry macrumors 68000

    garirry

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    #7
    The whole 5400 RPM thing, yeah, that's *********, nothing to talk about that. But please don't exaggerate things so much, the integrated Intel Graphics have been proven to be extremely powerful, and even more powerful than many other Nvidia integrated graphics. Also, I'm not sure about this, but I think they also are much less prone to failure than Nvidia cards.
     
  8. sunapple macrumors 6502a

    sunapple

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    #8
    Laptop parts, high prices, ... this is nothing new to the iMac line and I don't think it will ever change because this just is what the iMac is. It's no gaming machine. For most people it's a great machine though, others may want to buy a Mac Pro, built a Windows PC or a hackintosh. But yeah, it's never been about affordability with these things.
     
  9. cyclingplatypus macrumors 6502a

    cyclingplatypus

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    #9
    I was serious about wanting to see photo of it, please post some.

    Not talking about a display in an iMac is not talking about an iMac - yes the components are not desktop components but iMacs for the most part aren't bought for that reason. They are bought for what they are, sleek, powerful (for the individuals buying them) machines.

    At the end of the day for most people (my opinion) the display is the most important part of the iMac - it does what I need it to do and it looks pretty doing it. I don't have a box sitting under my desk or on top of it and a separate monitor (or more) - one cable (and a charging cable for peripherals) is all you need to make an iMac work out of the box.

    Just because you believe that it is an awful purchase doesn't mean that other people don't find value in it - many people just want something that works out of the box - plug & play and lack the skills to build a computer.
     
  10. varian55zx macrumors 6502a

    varian55zx

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    May 10, 2012
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    San Francisco
    #10
    I'll always trust Apple and have for many years.

    I don't trust PCs and never will. Macs are much nicer.

    With a Mac you're also paying for more beyond the specs, such as the look, design, etc. That's worth $thousands.

    If you don't understand why, maybe one day you will.

    For someone like me who doesn't use their Mac for jack frankly this computer is perfect.
     
  11. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

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    Boston
    #11
    But you have too because that's a large part of the iMac. You cannot ignore one major component and then call the computer inferior.

    I agree the 5400 rpm drive is aweful, but that's not part of the component list of the 5k iMac. It uses 7200 rpm drives, and even then you can easily select SSD at the time of purchase, which again negates the 5400rpm debate.

    As for hackintosh, vs. iMac I think that's a strawman argument because almost any home built computer will out perform a mass produced computer as you build it to your specifications, using the components you feel are the best, i.e., you have complete say. So a home built computer will almost always out perform a Dell, HP, or iMac.

    The iMac isn't targeted towards those who want to build computers, they're targeted to the consumers, and they seem to be flocking towards Macs. Unlike other manufacturers, Apple is increasing marketshare.
     
  12. jerwin macrumors 65816

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    Jun 13, 2015
    #12
    Quite sure about that?

    NVidia 720

    Iris Pro 6200
     
  13. redheeler macrumors 603

    redheeler

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    Oct 17, 2014
    #13
    In the case of the iMac, the display is part of the computer. And sure you can connect any display you'd like to a build, but to be fair you have to add in the cost of that, since it's already included in the iMac's price. To get a 5K display from Dell costs $2,199... suddenly your build isn't cheaper than the iMac at all.

    The included 5K display is what makes the iMac a good deal. Having used one myself, I wouldn't want to go back to anything less.
     
  14. MistrSynistr macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 15, 2014
    #14
    You can seriously do "this product sucks compared to XYZ" on every single product that exists.

    It's all about what suits your needs and wants. I wanted an iMac because OSX is like butter compared to Windows and I love the design of it. I love getting on it, years later, in my art room. I never had that feeling with a chunky plastic PC.

    It's a user experience. Most of us don't want some garbled "Hankintosh" PC looking thing with wires and plastic everywhere.
     
  15. AxoNeuron, Mar 11, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2016

    AxoNeuron thread starter macrumors 65816

    AxoNeuron

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    #15
    Yeah, it has a 5k display, but all of its video card options are simply mediocre. So you can have all those pixels but good luck doing much with them.

    That's my primary complaint. Apple just isn't offering any good video card options on the iMac. Even a single one of my computer's 970's beats a m395x in nearly every way. Two 970's blow it out of the water.
    --- Post Merged, Mar 11, 2016 ---
    Umm...the 720 is about as low end as it gets from Nvidia. I'm talking solely about their mid range cards.

    Try again, thanks.
    --- Post Merged, Mar 11, 2016 ---
    Sure, but Apple is making it very easy this year. You know, if Apple offered a GTX 980m as an upgrade option I would have probably bought one.

    And personally, I couldn't care less what it looks like, it's a purely functional machine for my work. I don't care if it's thin or not. It's a desktop. Most people wouldn't care if it weighed 50lbs more. If you're using it as a portable machine...you're doing it wrong.
     
  16. phrehdd macrumors 68040

    phrehdd

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2008
    #16
    The OP made some reasonable points -

    Why offer a 5400 rpm drive at all on these computers?
    Why offer on some models mediocre video (on board) to support hi rez screens?
    Why the need to take a desktop machine and make it "thin?"

    The list goes on.

    By the time one has a BTO of choice, it becomes a rather expensive option.

    Lets all remember folks-

    OSX is held hostage by the hardware
    while
    PC hardware (commercially) is held hostage by the OS (Windows)

    Take your choice.
     
  17. monokitty macrumors regular

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    Sep 16, 2011
    #17
    Yeah, but that's really not the point of his post. Apple hardware is behind the times and it's difficult to legitimately argue otherwise.

    Like the OP, I also built my own gaming PC (granted, it's a Windows only machine, no 'hackintosh' build) because the hardware in the iMacs is so limited and poor value in comparison. The iMac is great for web browsing and non-gaming use and has an amazing display, but it wouldn't kill Apple to offer top tier GPU options - no need to make them standard either - just give us the option to pay for them if we want them.
     
  18. redheeler macrumors 603

    redheeler

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    #18
    Mediocre for what exactly? Gaming? The iMac isn't a gaming-oriented computer, and good luck running games at 5K even on a high end GPU.

    For video editing, photo editing and other tasks which benefit from the 5K display, the iMac's GPU does just fine.
     
  19. AxoNeuron thread starter macrumors 65816

    AxoNeuron

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    #19
    It doesn't though. Let's just face it, their highest end video option is mid range at best. The Iris Pro is fine on some tablet but it simply doesn't belong on a desktop with a 4K display.
     
  20. NT1440 macrumors G4

    NT1440

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    #20
    How does this matter for 90% of the customer base of iMacs to begin with?

    It's a gorgeous display, and the machine is a solid OSX device. Why should consumers care?
     
  21. maflynn, Mar 11, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2016

    maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #21
    I'm not expert on GPUs by a long shot, but I can say is that I'm happy with the iMac's performance. For what I do, I'm not seeing a problem.

    Yes, compared to other high end GPUs, it does look on paper quite pokey. So if you're a gamer who plays lots of intensive games, then yes the iMac may not be a good choice. I spent 2k for a fast computer, that has a 27" 5k display. As mentioned, that price would have been much much higher if I opted for a Dell, given their 5k display is at the 2k price point.

    So regardless of what you may feel, the iMac represented a great buy with great performance (and I'll be the first to admit my tasks are not all that intensive)
     
  22. ApfelKuchen macrumors 68020

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    #22
    Back in the day, you'd have seen these comments about cars. There were people called "hot rodders" who took a stock vehicle and replaced half the components, mixed and matched Chevy engines and Ford chassis... And they were boastful. Some clearly deluded themselves into thinking that they knew how to build better cars than the automakers. The truth? The automakers knew far more than they ever would, but the automakers were building for the mass market, and made vehicles that would be satisfying to public while being profitable to the company. Some things never change.
     
  23. LorenK macrumors 6502

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    Dec 26, 2007
    Location:
    Illinois
    #23
    I love these kind of debates, because when you get down to it, it's downright silly, because what matters in this equation is the use of the computer. If you are surfing the net, watching movies, checking email, then the iMac is certainly good enough to do all that and all of the fancy processors, GPUs, externals and other toys are totally unnecessary for that. I have 8 year old Mac Pro 3,1 for doing some photoshop, video conversion, music editing and it does what I need it to do. A new iMac would do all that as well, as would a Hackintosh, but what would I want to spend the money? Remember that a computer is just a tool and you too can be a tool.
     
  24. jerwin macrumors 65816

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    #24
    I suppose that's one definition of "mediocre", yes.


    What would you consider to be midrange?
     
  25. joema2 macrumors 65816

    joema2

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    #25
    Take if from a professional video editor, the top M395X does very well editing 4K video in FCPX. Most time-consuming video editing tasks are not GPU or I/O-bound they are CPU-bound and even an infinitely fast GPU would not dramatically help. Anyone can see this themselves by monitoring common video editing tasks with iStat Menus.

    The same is true for many time-consuming photo editing tasks. Importing raw stills into Lightroom and generating 1:1 previews is almost totally CPU bound. There are things LR is slow at, especially on a 5K iMac, but this isn't a GPU problem it is poor coding by Adobe. This is obvious because when you disable the GPU in LR, some of these slow tasks speed up. Yes, their code is so poor it actually slows down when using GPU acceleration.

    I agree a faster GPU could occasionally be using in video editing. It's possible writers of editing software and plugins could find some way to leverage that. However everything has a cost. The GTX-970 you mentioned pulls up to 170 watts. My entire 2015 iMac 27 with two Thunderbolt RAID arrays only pulls about 150 watts total under load -- I have measured it myself.

    To add a GPU that pulls more power than the entire current iMac would require a totally different physical design, greatly upgraded power supply and cooling, probably louder fans, etc. All iMacs of that configuration would cost more, which means all those customers would pay the price whether they needed that or not. Apple would then possibly have to splinter the iMac product line and add a "big GPU" version with a totally different physical design. A few people would pay for that but Apple obviously thinks it's not worth it.

    This year both AMD and probably nVidia will be moving from 28 nm fabrication to 14 nm. This will improve GPU performance per watt by about 2x. This has already been demonstrated on sample parts:

    http://www.zdnet.com/article/can-amd-outperform-nvidia-with-14nm-polaris-gpu-tech/
    http://wccftech.com/amd-unveils-polaris-11-10-gpu/

    This will allow Apple to retain a similar physical design, maintain low power consumption yet greatly increase GPU performance. It would have been nice to have this a year or two ago but the technology just wasn't there. Now it is.
     
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