Purchasing new iMac - Need Advice

Discussion in 'iMac' started by applesoundgear, Feb 15, 2015.

  1. applesoundgear macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2012
    #1
    Hello all,
    I'm graduating college in May and plan on purchasing an iMac when I move into my new apartment. I'm dead-set on buying one I just don't know when I should.

    First off, I'm not buying the Retina 5k. I'm sure many of you will make the argument that it's such a great choice, blah blah blah, but I seriously don't need or want it. I'm purchasing a 27 inch model for sure though.

    On my Macbook, I do the general stuff like documents, emails, etc. I also use Photoshop fairly frequently. For gaming, I'm currently only playing WoW, with Diablo III every once in awhile. This summer my friend and I plan on giving FFXIV a try once the Mac client is out. With these all in mind, I am considering spending the extra bucks for the graphics upgrade.

    My problem really comes down to when I should buy it. The non-Retina models have been the same since 2013. Do you guys think they'll bump up the specs in those at some point? If so, when do you think that will occur. If I purchase the iMac, I want to do so when the newest (non-Retina) model comes out. The current models will be 2 years old by the time I'm ready to purchase one.

    Thoughts? Estimates?

    Any comments saying I should get the Retina display will be ignored so please don't bother.
     
  2. redheeler macrumors 603

    redheeler

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2014
    #2
    The 27" non-retina is unlikely to see any more updates at this point. Retina models are likely going to replace it similarly to what happened with the MBP.
     
  3. applesoundgear thread starter macrumors member

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    Jun 14, 2012
    #3
    I feel like that's very unlikely. The 15-inch and 13-inch Macbook Pros received spec-bumps when the 15-inch Retina model was released and the 13 inch received an additional bump the following year even though they were already making and upgrading the Retina 13.
    There's a big difference between $1800 and $2500. I don't think Apple will say bye-bye to the non-Retina THAT fast.
     
  4. yjchua95, Feb 16, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2015

    yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2011
    Location:
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    #4
    Well they gave the hasta la vista to the cMBPs pretty fast.

    In mid-2012, the first of the 15" rMBPs came out, along with the refreshed 13" cMBP and 15" cMBP. At that time, the 15" cMBP was updated because the rMBP came out at exactly the same time.

    In late-2013, the 15" cMBP was completely axed. The 13" cMBP remains to this day, but there have been no further updates since 2012.

    There's also a big price difference between the 15" cMBP and rMBP. But Apple completely axed it.

    Apple does not cater to those on a budget.

    The same thing will happen to the iMac line. The 27" non-retina iMac came out in late-2013, and the 5K came in late-2014. Since they didn't come together, the non-retina iMac remained unchanged. And it will remain that way until it's totally axed when the next 5K iMac comes around, just like the 15" cMBP was axed when the second generation 15" rMBP came out.

    The 21.5" iMac may go down the same route the 13" cMBP did - only the lowest end configuration (the 1.4GHz variant) will be around, while the rest will be replaced by the 4K 21.5" iMac.

    And your post needs a correction - the 13" cMBP was never given another bump since mid-2012. It remained that way to this day. The mid-2012 13" cMBP is the final cMBP that is still sold today.

    Apple has already said its goodbyes to the cMBPs in late-2013, when the 15" cMBP was totally axed and the 13" cMBP was not updated at all.

    Bottom line - no more updates to the non-retina iMac will come. I'm a software developer for one of the largest companies in the Silicon Valley, and I have my connections here and there, and all of them said basically the same thing too.
     
  5. redheeler macrumors 603

    redheeler

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2014
    #5
    Exactly. Like it or not, the non-retina is doomed to no longer receive any updates. Retina is the future.
     
  6. aevan macrumors 68000

    aevan

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2015
    Location:
    Serbia
    #6
    No one can tell for sure what Apple will do, but I find it HIGHLY unlikely that non-retina iMacs will stop receiving updates.

    There is no way they can put a retina screen on the budget version of the 21.5" iMac. They just have to put higher end specs in a Retina iMac, and not everyone needs that. It's quite simple, when they are able to make a low-end retina iMac, that's when they will stop upgrading the non-retina iMacs.

    You compare the iMacs to the MacBook Pros. But it's not the same. You forget the MacBook Air - they could replace the Pro line, since they had the low-end Air line for those that don't need that much horsepower. With iMacs, there is no such thing (and no, Mac Mini doesn't count, because they come without screens).

    You should really look when non-retina MacBook Airs stop receiving updates. If this year the Retina MacBook Air comes out (because it is finally possible to do a Retina MacBook with Air's level of hardware) we can (maybe) assume that this will be the last year of non-retina Airs. This would mean it took 4 years for MacBooks to become retina-only.

    So, I guess the non-retina iMacs will receive updates for at least 2 more years, if not more. And we will most definitely see Broadwell non-retina iMacs. There is no question about that. Retina is the future, I agree completely. But that's just it - it is not the present - yet.
     
  7. applesoundgear thread starter macrumors member

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    Jun 14, 2012
    #7
    Yeah, I realized that later. Thought they put the Iris graphics in the cMBP but I just read it wrong whenever I had last looked.
     
  8. andy9l macrumors 68000

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    Aug 31, 2009
    Location:
    England, UK
    #8
    It's $2,349 for non-retina vs. $2,749 for retina once you've specced them appropriately for your needs - 256GB SSD and upgraded GPU.

    That's $400 (less with your education pricing) for a 5K screen and slightly, very slightly, improved gaming performance. The 5K iMac with M295X runs considerably hotter and the fan will be noisier, though. You can be the judge of whether or not it's worth it.

    If you need the iMac today, you need to buy it today. If you can wait, there will ALWAYS be something better round the corner. If you have something personally against 5K screens, I would buy now whilst you still can.

    Besides the 5K screen, there isn't much between the 2013 and 5K iMacs in the real world.
     
  9. yjchua95 macrumors 604

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    #9
    The budget version of the iMac will never receive retina. There will only be one budget version remaining - the 1.4GHz version.

    All other 21.5" iMacs will receive the retina (4K) display. Just like the rMBP, the budget one is the 13" cMBP, while the 13" rMBPs aren't the budget ones.
     
  10. redheeler macrumors 603

    redheeler

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2014
    #10
    Apple has one iMac model equivalent to a MBA, the low-end 21.5" 1.4 GHz. That one will likely remain after the switch to retina and get a price drop. All the others are at comparable price points to rMBPs, and are likely to follow the same pattern they did with the introduction of a 4K 21.5" that will start to replace the aging non-retinas.

    "Retina is the future, I agree completely. But that's just it - it is not the present - yet." It is both the present and future, just not on all models yet ;)
     
  11. aevan macrumors 68000

    aevan

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2015
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    Serbia
    #11
    You may be right, but I still expect at least one more refresh of non-retina iMacs, if not two. I would be surprised if we didn't see Broadwell upgrades across the lineup. I could be wrong, of course.

    My question is - will they keep the design, or do a refresh there, as well. They change it every few years and judging by that, it's due for a change - but I'm not sure they will change it. Their changes to the design always had a reason - making the Mac more thin, for example. But I don't see them changing anything with current iMacs other than, perhaps, making the bezels smaller.
     
  12. applesoundgear thread starter macrumors member

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    Jun 14, 2012
    #12
    I've been banking on the idea that the non-Retina would receive one more update. I don't have anything against 5K, I just don't need it. If I'm going to be watching any movies, it's going to be on the TV besides some occasional Netflix bingeing while I'm at my desk. The performance difference between the high end Nvidia graphics card in the non-Retina and the one in the Retina is very slim (according to some benchmarks, only around a 5% boost). And lots of people say that the Retina can run hot and have a lot of fan noise when simply watching Netflix or surfing the web. I hook my 13 inch cMBP up to a 21 inch monitor and when I watch Netflix, my laptop makes minimal noise.
    I'm perfectly fine with a 1440 res and quiter fans + fewer heat problems. I think it's like when the Retina MBP first came out. There were a lot of issues with the heating, the fans, and the capabilities of the graphics cards running the high resolution- this was more-or-less resolved with the next update to them. I think the Retina will be better in the future. But seeing as I have zero need for a 5K screen, what's the point of spending an extra couple hundred bucks?

    If anything, I'll wait until the fall, when they'd likely update the Retina version. If they don't update the non-Retina, then I'll probably purchase the 2013 model (maybe refurbished). I'm hoping for a non-Retina update at the WWDC though. If they're not updated in the fall then I suppose it's very likely that they're only focusing on the Retina.
     

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