Imacs - why the mobile hardware?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Grassgreen, Dec 7, 2014.

  1. Grassgreen macrumors regular

    Jun 2, 2013
    Can someone please explain to me, why Apple chooses to put laptop cpu and gpu´s into a desktop machine?
  2. TheBearman macrumors 6502

    May 23, 2008
    Cary, NC
    My guess is heat and room. When you think about it the iMac is basically a 27" laptop attached to a stand.

    If you want desktop components, the MacPro covers that space.
  3. Grassgreen thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 2, 2013
    Macpros are really expensive..
  4. CWallace macrumors 603


    Aug 17, 2007
    Seattle, WA
    It's for thermal and design reasons.

    Desktop CPUs and GPUs draw a fair bit of power and generate a fair bit of heat, so you can't have a thin design like the iMac with them without needing high-speed (and loud) fans and even then, that is not always conducive to long component life.

    I had an old HP Pavillion 17" that used a desktop Pentium (3.4GHz) and a desktop nVidia GPU and it's fans had to run high to keep it cool and even then, the model line suffered CPU and GPU failures due to heat issues.
  5. antonis macrumors 68000


    Jun 10, 2011
    There were iMac models with desktop CPUs, not sure for the current one. GPUs were always mobile, though.
  6. Grassgreen, Dec 7, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2014

    Grassgreen thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 2, 2013
    The Imacs are gorgeous, but wouldn´t mind them being thicker if that means more power. Or they could go back to making the macminis with quadcores again, that would be nice..
  7. davidcmc macrumors 6502

    Nov 5, 2009
    According to Steve Jobs, you don't know what you need. Apple knows what you need, just relax and accept everything they think you need.

    Afterall, everyone needs the thinnest desktop computer possible, right? I mean, all those 5~7 centimeters of thickness would ruin my desktop environment.

  8. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Apr 23, 2011
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    The CPUs are actually desktop CPUs, except the lowest-end iMac 21.5".

    For instance, the i7 in the retina iMac is an i7-4790K, with an unlocked multiplier.

    I'll list the CPUs:
    21.5" iMac with MacBook Air parts:
    i5-4260U (1.4GHz 2c/4t)

    21.5" iMac with quad-core CPUs:
    i5-4570R (2.7GHz, 4c/4t)
    i5-4570S (2.9GHz, 4c/4t)
    i7-4770S (3.1GHz, 4c/8t)

    27" non-retina iMac:
    i5-4570 (3.2GHz, 4c/4t)
    i5-4670 (3.4GHz, 4c/4t)
    i7-4771 (3.5GHz, 4c/8t)

    27" retina 5K iMac:
    i5-4690 (3.5GHz, 4c/4t)
    i7-4790K (4GHz, 4c/8t)

    The GPUs are mobile GPUs because the iMac is so thin. A desktop GPU is too thick to fit inside an iMac.

    And besides, just because they're mobile GPUs doesn't mean they're underpowered. The GTX 780M is a pretty powerful card, along with the R9 M295X.
  9. joema2 macrumors 65816


    Sep 3, 2013
    Since the top-spec retina iMac -- using "laptop" components -- is faster at most things than a quad-core new Mac Pro, the question should be why not?
  10. lowendlinux Contributor


    Sep 24, 2014
    North Country (way upstate NY)
    You buy a MP because you need the dual GPU, you have your own displays, you need ECC RAM, more RAM, and you want an upgradable processor. People buy workstations to do a specific task, and they are spec'ed to reflect that. If you want a good desktop experience you buy a desktop not a workstation.
  11. jdphoto macrumors 6502


    Jan 13, 2014
    I agree, the use of mobile components isn't hampering performance that much. My maxed out 2013 iMac handle's everything I throw at it with ease.

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