Should I buy an iMac now, or wait for new ones?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by JasonMovieGuy, Aug 3, 2016.

  1. JasonMovieGuy macrumors regular

    Jan 11, 2010
    Chicago, IL
    I currently have a 2009 iMac 21.5" still running Snow Leopard. It's the entry level model. I can't even edit HD 1080 and I do a lot of editing now.

    I really want the top of the line 27 iMac, but with the fall coming this is usually when they release a new model. Should I buy now or wait a few months? I truly need to get one by the Fall of 2016. Are the current iMacs capable of editing in 1080 without getting glitchy? Or is it recommended I wait for the newer ones?
  2. mpe macrumors 6502

    Sep 3, 2010
    If 27" inch, then go for it. Honestly, I don't think there is anything radically different in the hypothetical late-2016 refresh unless you absolutely need Thunderbolt 3/USB 3.1 (to drive mutliple external 4K/5K displays).
  3. Trebuin macrumors 65816


    Jun 3, 2008
    Central Cali
    If at possible, I would wait as some encoding uses the video card and if apple is upgrading the video card for the iMac, you can expect an approximate doubling in that performance. With encoding, that should make a significant impact. I'm waiting. Big jump from a 21" 2007 model.
  4. blufrog macrumors member

    Dec 19, 2014
    If you must buy now, be sure to spec the 4Gb M395X card to ensure you have the most graphics power available.

    I have a top spec Late 2014 5K model, and even now it is excellent.
  5. CWallace macrumors 603


    Aug 17, 2007
    Seattle, WA
    If you need it now, buy it now.

    If you can wait till end of this year / beginning of next, then wait and see what comes out.
  6. mpe macrumors 6502

    Sep 3, 2010
    You expect doubling performance compared to M395X? That's extremely unlikely.
  7. richpjr macrumors 68030


    May 9, 2006
    Agree with this whole heartedly. I have a 2010 iMac and while it's been a great machine, it was the last year with no USB3 or TB. Since USB 3.1 is about to take off, I'm not getting stuck without it as I tend to keep my computers for some time.
  8. dwfaust macrumors 601


    Jul 3, 2011
    If you need a new Mac, buy one. There will always be a new model coming... but if you are always waiting for the next one, you will never have one. Just do it.
  9. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Oct 24, 2013
    Well Polaris is claiming double the performance per watt so if they keep the same TDP for the graphics card then it is possible. And given the appearance of virtual reality rigs that are actually worth the effort and that work, Apple has got to be thinking about getting its graphics capabilities up to scratch for this demanding use.
  10. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    You're almost always better off waiting for a newer model. We're in August, and Apple tends to release their iMacs in October, can you wait the 10 to 12 weeks? If not buy now, if so, wait and see

    I know that's not a very specific answer, but that's all we have at the moment. I'm happy with my 2015 iMac, but I'm not editing 1080 content.
  11. henkej macrumors newbie


    Jul 18, 2014
    You should never buy one now. Always wait for the new one. Same with everything really. I never buy a new car, always waiting for a newer one. Food too. I don't eat. Waiting for a newer kind of food.
  12. mpe macrumors 6502

    Sep 3, 2010
    Yes. We don't have to speculate. Polaris reviews are up and while power efficiency is better the performance is nowhere near double. In fact in many tests the older 390X is still performance king. I think there is no chance the hypothetical 27" iMac refresh will have double GPU performance unless they radically change form factor and opt out for multi-GPU solution which is unlikely.
  13. Trebuin macrumors 65816


    Jun 3, 2008
    Central Cali
    Approximately. This is because the die shrink was enough to heavily reduce the temps on this chip. Also, we can consider that the charts provided by both nVidia and ATI are their own benchmarks and not real world and as we're still waiting on ATI releases, I would recommend looking at the nVidia increase percentages. It's also hard to match card to card exactly between generations. Apple also under clocks GPUs at times to prevent overheat scenarios in cases such as compact frames...but this should not be any different from the current GPUS. Also, the manufacturers don't tell us what temps they're running the new benchmarks at.

    If I were a betting man, I'd expect less to much less than doubling because if I were Apple, I'd reduce the graphics card max temp from what the 2015 model currently runs at. Approximate doubling would be the max we would see...but more like 50% increase.
  14. MacScott macrumors regular


    Jan 27, 2012
    I have decided to wait. I have a mid 2010 27 inch. It is closest enough now that it isn't a big difference for me.
  15. Trebuin macrumors 65816


    Jun 3, 2008
    Central Cali
    Great, one more person jumped in line in front of me :(
  16. Relentless Power macrumors Penryn

    Relentless Power

    Jul 12, 2016
    It's worth waiting for. At least we should hear or see additional rumors by the end of September at the latest.
  17. cincygolfgrrl, Aug 4, 2016
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2016

    cincygolfgrrl macrumors 6502


    Apr 2, 2012
    Somewhere In Time
    This year will be notable for MacBook Pro upgrades, not iMac. As others have said, if you can hold out until October you may get a more capable computer. If you can't wait, you're still getting a great machine that will meet your needs for the foreseeable future.

    I admit this is pure speculation, just like everyone else's response. ;)
  18. EnderBeta macrumors 6502a


    Aug 5, 2016
    Are you going to be playing games on it?

    If so I would wait and get the next iMac with the next round of graphics chips. They will only be incrementally better but as long as the resolution of the monitor remains the same it will do that much better in rendering the graphics and be able to notch up a few more settings.

    In terms of the CPU I'm not sure there would be an update to it yet because I don't believe the next generation of the mainstream Core i7 processor has been released yet. If the new iMac is coming out in October then it will probably keep the 6700K.

    My guess is they will provide more memory and higher capacity drives to maintain the price or knock the price down a hundred or so dollars.

    If you're not going to be doing gaming on it and you have a need for the machine I would go ahead and buy one now.

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