Realistically... how "future" proof are the iMacs?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by kryptonitejesus, Oct 3, 2010.

  1. kryptonitejesus macrumors member

    Jul 26, 2010
    I ordered the i5 27" iMac last Thursday and it will be here Tuesday, I'm antsy so I've been pondering plenty of questions, and I've noticed a lot of forum members always want to suggest the upgrade from i5 to i7, claiming it will future proof the computer, yes, it will, but I'm coming from a old 2.4GHz single core Windows PC, and in my opinion, I see the graphics card being at the bottom of the barrel in terms of future proofing.

    So let's hear your thoughts, on how future proof you guys feel your iMacs are?

    Do you really think in 4 years my i5 iMac won't suit me just as well as it will when I finally get it?

  2. TMRaven macrumors 68020


    Nov 5, 2009
    The iMac's gpu is only at the bottom of the barrel in terms of future proofing if you're solely thinking of gaming.

    If you want to really game on a computer, get a dedicated pc tower for just gaming.
  3. GimmeSlack12 macrumors 603


    Apr 29, 2005
    San Francisco
    Don't do this to yourself (second guessing, buyer's remorse, etc.). An iMac today will be fine in 4 years. Games have always been and still are the weakest link to OS X. My iMac 2.4ghz C2D is running just fine now and I'm approaching 3 years with it and have no reason to believe it won't be just as fine when 2012 approaches.
  4. wordoflife macrumors 604


    Jul 6, 2009
    I still plenty of PowerPCs from 2003 being used just fine today. :eek:

    My question is though, if the hard drive goes out, and you are out of warranty, what do you do on your iMac? That's my only concern with iMacs, otherwise I'd buy it right now.:)
  5. maril1111 macrumors 68000


    Mar 14, 2010
    Unless you plan on doing verrry heavy graphical/video work or some very heavy gaming you will be fine for at least 4-5 more years
  6. Spike88 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 25, 2010
    IMO, computers for general home users are only good for 3-4-5 years "on average". Low ends are good for 3, average sized is good for 4 and more "beefed up" computers are good for 5 years. If one wants to game, get a proper gaming machine - like PS3 or X-Box. Computers are made for computing (like file, print, email, surfing, download type tasks) and gaming machines are made for gaming. Mix both together and one gets fruit cocktail.

    If I had to do it again (for my home computing tasks), I'd get a cheap Win xx desktop system with 23-24" "gentle on the eyes" screen and when it goes, get another cheap system. Seriously, my next home computing system will be a Win xx system with its "use large fonts" features....
  7. rgarjr macrumors 603


    Apr 2, 2009
    Southern California
    What u do is crack it open and replace/upgrade the hard disk yourself.
  8. aliensporebomb macrumors 68000


    Jun 19, 2005
    Minneapolis, MN, USA, Urth

    As more and more software is going to be written to accommodate multi-core processors it will only help your purchase continue to be useful.

    At some point, there's going to be some future Mac that you'll no doubt want
    that won't do what your currrent one will and then you'll want to upgrade.

    But five years with this machine should be realistic I'd think.
  9. MacHamster68 macrumors 68040


    Sep 17, 2009
    dont worry so much , even if you would have bought a used refurbished core duo like i have in my will be fine in 4-5 years from now ,
    ok some programs or games then might have a minimum requirement
    of a core i7 with at least 10.0ghz and 1TB ram and 1TB graphics but who knows whats in 5 years time really ,maybe the internet doesn't exist any more by then or maybe it became illegal in 5 years to own a computer because of some new anti computer law , nobody really knows that today :confused:
    so even if you would buy a i7 now it might be outdated in 4 -5 years too ,
    its dead simple if you need or want to stay ahead of the game you just need to buy a new iMac at least every year , but that is in pc world the same isn't it ,
    but for basic tasks like basic websurfing without flash and emailing and playing itunes , light photoshop work even my iMac G3 can do that and he is from 2001 and he wil continue to do so in 5 years from now no doubt :), so yes your i5 will be fine too if he lasts that long that is, and if you are still allowed to own a computer by law ....
  10. mmomega macrumors demi-god


    Dec 30, 2009
    DFW, TX
    You're going to love it. Don't worry.

    and Hey!!, wait 5-6 months then toss in another 4GB of Ram, wait 5-6 more months then put in an SSD. You'll just fall in love with it all over again :) Enjoy your purchase .
  11. kryptonitejesus thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 26, 2010
    I'm not really worried guys, just wanted to start some light discussion on what the general community thought about what the future held for us iMac owners. Or us soon to be iMac owners... damn 1 more day! lol
  12. barkmonster macrumors 68020


    Dec 3, 2001
    I'm still using a Mac from 2002 with a dual CPU board pulled from an 2001 Mac, the best thing about being so far behind the performance of current macs is that even a relatively slow Mac Mini from 2007 would be 5 times faster and capable of handling over 3 x the RAM. A current iMac with a core i5 or i7 would easily be 2 or 3 times faster than that so it's all a case of how powerful your current mac is compared with future models.

    The core i7 iMac is so powerful, it's close to Mac Pro speeds from 2008 and current Mac Pro's haven't even doubled that performance yet, even by adding even more cores.

    There's quite a leap in Geekbench scores, then it sort of levels off with smaller and smaller increases:-

    419 - 800Mhz G4
    671 - Dual 800Mhz G4
    3563 - 2009 Mac Mini (2.53Ghz C2D)
    3332 - 2010 Mac Mini (2.4Ghz C2D) - For the same price as the previous 2.53Ghz with half the RAM, what a bonehead move Apple!
    4107 - 2009 iMac (3.06Ghz C2D)
    8335 - 2009 iMac (2.8Ghz core i7)
    8565 - 2008 Mac Pro (2 x 3.2Ghz Xeon)
    14904 - 2009 Mac Pro (2 x 2.93Ghz Xeon)
  13. Ivan P macrumors 68030

    Ivan P

    Jan 17, 2008
    Either you try and replace it yourself (tricky but possible), or you take it to Apple and pay them to do it and be sure it'll be done right (just because it's out of warranty doesn't mean Apple will refuse to do it - it just means they'll charge some kind of fee).
  14. archipellago macrumors 65816

    Aug 16, 2008
    seeing as iMac's are a generation behind when they are even announced, you shouldn't really buy one if hardware relevance is an issue for you.
  15. TMRaven macrumors 68020


    Nov 5, 2009
    They're only a generation behind when they're a couple months away from getting updated.
  16. mjsmke macrumors 6502a

    Mar 2, 2010
    I still have a 10 year old iMac G4. 1GHz PPC. I use it as a media center conected to my TV to free up space on my othe Mac. (iTunes is running over my network).

    So even in 4 or 5 years if you buy another iMac there are still uses for an older machine.
  17. excommie macrumors regular

    May 12, 2009
    I'd say these machines are very future proof, especially if you keep them in good condition. In 3 years, most macs are worth 60-70% of their original value. Can you say that about any other computer. Just sell it within 2-3 years, and get the updated model.
  18. kryptonitejesus thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 26, 2010
    I think this is more so true with the laptops, I don't see anyone buying my 2010 i5 iMac in 3 years for anywhere near 60% of it's original cost. Maybe could get a grand out of it in good condition.

    Boy though, knowing the i7 iMac beats out last years MacPro reeaally makes me want the i7, although I really have no use for 8 virtual cores over the 4. What's the highest Geekbench a i5 iMac with max ram has achieved?
  19. davidw macrumors member

    Jun 6, 2005
    New York City
    I Geekbenched my new i7 at 10450 a few minutes after turning it on for the first time. My 2.8 Core 2 Duo 24" from 2007 was 4250. I'm telling you, it's shocking how fast this machine is. Unless there's a monumental update in a couple years, this beast is going to be my primary machine for at least 3-4 years.
  20. kryptonitejesus thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 26, 2010
    Can't wait till I get my i5 in the mail. I was going to settle for portability with the i7 laptop, but that iirc that isn't even quad core. but I should be perfectly settled with the i5, I'm going from having a single core ****** 2.4ghz processor up to a 2.8 quad. Oh yeah, I'm pretty excited to see what it can do, and I can't wait to fix my gaze on the ginormous 27" display :)
  21. reticulate macrumors regular

    Apr 6, 2010
    This is a very fair question, and the answer really comes down to usage scenarios.

    Gaming at high resolutions with lots of shader-driven effects turned on is always going to be at the upper end of the consumer market. The 27" is a good example because while the GPU isn't particularly bad, it really lacks the horsepower to be driving even recent release games at native resolution. So any thought of 'future proofing' goes hand-in-hand with the understanding you're going to be dropping the resolution with each successive leap in gaming technology. The overclocking threads around the place are already showing this - even with some pretty good GPU overclocks the 27" is a far better modern gaming machine at 1080p than native resolution, and that means taking a hit in graphical fidelity due to upscaling.

    Other than that, the specs are more than adequate for just about anything you could think to throw at them. More RAM and an SSD down the track will definitely help, but beyond that you should get a solid 4 years and probably more.

    Of course, if we see consumer quantum computing in that time all bets are off ;)
  22. archipellago macrumors 65816

    Aug 16, 2008
    nope, the 4670 in the newest low end iMac was released in 2008..!:eek:

    even the 5670 was January 2010...where are we now.?
  23. Tombs macrumors regular


    Feb 28, 2010
    Sutton, Surrey England
    What is it you want from your PC

    I think you need to ask the question whats is it you will be doing with your computer in the future not will it be future proof. It cant be future proof because all computer technology moves forward and gets better so there will better components used in the next imac. But more importantly its what you do with the computer thats key, if you want a base to work from, if you want somewhere to store/edit pictures, movies, email from, search the internet, and do it in style then the imac is a great addition to any home network and setup.

    If you lean towards PC gaming or do very intensive graphic work then I'd recommend a PC or high-end (although very expensive and OTT for gaming)! Mac pro.

    I had a duo core imac for 3 years that was the hub computer for all the family for doing emails and storing our media , etc. It looked great and ran pretty much flawlessly for all of that time. I also have a PC for online gaming and was looking to get rid of this when my new imac i7 27 12mb ram 2tb hd arrived, now I have it, it isn't a replacement for the gaming PC it just isn't up to the job for playing online games. But it is a great machine for everything else, so I'm relatively happy. Hope that makes sense?


  24. MacHamster68 macrumors 68040


    Sep 17, 2009
  25. TMRaven macrumors 68020


    Nov 5, 2009
    The mobility 4670 is the only exception, because it's the baseline iMac. Almost all companies implement some sort of older tech in their baseline machines.
    The mobility 5730 was released in early 2010, and that makes it this generation. Mobility 6k series won't be released until q1 2011. The clarkdales and lynnfields in the iMacs are also uptodate. Btw, mobility 4670 was released in q1 of 2009.

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