Previous 1 2 Next 23 Replies Latest reply: Jul 22, 2012 10:37 AM by bj97301 Branched to a new discussion.
Chippy99 Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)

I know this may be a difficult one to answer, but I am interested in peoples' opinion...


I have been looking to replace my home computer for some while and after much deliberation have decided to go for an iMac (having always been a PC man previously).  I do quite a bit of video encoding and other processor-intensive stuff, so I am going to go for a 27" i7 model with an SSD drive as well.  I am bursting with excitement about it (childish, I know, but I am).


Then I find out there are new 2012 models, perhaps around the corner.  Do you think I should wait a few weeks (months) to see what the new models offer?  Or should I jump in now?  I'd hate to buy now to find there's something much better only days away.  On the other hand, I hear the Ivybridge processors are no real improvement (performance wise) over Sandybridge.  And I don't do gaming, so a better graphics card is of dubious benefit.


What's your thoughts?  I'd be grateful for any opinions.



PC, Windows XP Pro, SP3
  • varjak paw Level 10 Level 10 (169,805 points)

    Up to you. No one here has any knowledge as to when Apple may release new models nor what they might feature, so we have no way of making any sort of judgement other than guesswork, and speculation about unannounced products isn't allowed in these forums. If you don't need a new computer right away, there will be little or no harm in waiting and see what might appear. Otherwise, if the current model fits your needs at a price you feel is reasonable, go for it with the understanding that a new model will possibly be released in the not-too-distant future (somethign which is almost always the case with consumer electronics).



  • Chippy99 Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)

    Thanks for your comments.  I guess I am fishing around for someone to say "go for it" because I am so keen to get a new iMac.  My heart says go ahead, buy one now.  My head says wait a couple of months.

  • necronym Level 4 Level 4 (1,350 points)

    As varjak says there will always be a newer, higher spec machine coming out as technology advances.


    The question you have to ask is how immediate are your needs?


    Intel have announced Ivy Bridge, which is an evolution of the Sandy Bridge CPU, using 3D gates (or whatever it is). Ivy Bridge will offer a performance improvement over Sandy Bridge.


    Depending on your computing needs, you may benefit from an Ivy Bridge based system, if you do really CPU intensive tasks.


    I recently got a 27" 2.7GHz i5 with 16GB RAM and it flies when encoding HD video compared to my old 27" 2.66GHz i5 with 16GB RAM, but for simpler day to day stuff, there's not a lot in it, yeah the new machine is slightly quicker, but my old machine was no slouch either.


    There's speculation and expectation about redesigns etc but I like the current design and I'm not particularly bothered about Ivy Bridge. This machine does what I need more than fast enough and should do for the next few years without a glitch.


    If the current model satisfies your needs and you like the design etc, go for it, but if you perform CPU intensive tasks more often, it might be worth while waiting to see what is on offer in the future, but at the end of the day, it's your call.


    Whatever your decision, be happy with your purchase and be productive. Worrying about specs and waiting for the next 'newest' thing could be counter productive if it costs you paid jobs while you're waiting.

  • a brody Level 9 Level 9 (64,875 points)

    If you wait, you aren't likely to get any 10.6.8 compatibility.  Then again, if you aren't able to get a new one before they switch what's in stock, it won't matter anyway.  10.6.8 compatibility also means compatibility with older PowerPC applications which haven't yet been updated, and may never be.  If you get the older model, you can check if it qualifies for 10.6 compatibility right off the bat by reading the bottom of:

    And if it does, see if Apple can ship the last system specific 10.6 installer CD.

    After that upgrade to 10.6.8 and apply the Flashback update:

    Other things to think about when buying new:

  • ds store Level 7 Level 7 (30,320 points)

    There is another advantage to waiting,


    OS X Mountain Lion 10.8 is going to be released later this summer, so the next new iMac released after that would be the one to buy.


    The advantage of this is, especially for a new to Mac owner, is that you get the benefit of a new OS, on new hardware combined with Apple holding your hand for three months for free.


    If you buy now, you get the buggy 10.7 which hasn't been a very good release at all, then you'll need to upgrade OS X to 10.8 on older hardware, which also tends to lead to problems.


    So why have problems when you can wait a few more months and have none?



    There is some disadvantages to iMacs and Mac's


    1: iMac's you can't replace anything inside except add more RAM, you cant' touch the hard drive with your data on it. Anything sensitive, even if you use Filevault, you need to use a external drive in case the machine breaks, you have to drag the whole thing in for repair.


    2: AppleCare is a MUST on nearly all Mac's for three years of coverage because the repair bills will shock you to death.


    3: Apple expects you to upgrade your operating system on their schedule, which is annually now, so it tends to break all your third party software and slows your machine down, if you don't upgrade, your denied security updates as Apple only supports the last two OS X  versions in circulation.


    On the contrary, despite more malware on Windows, Microsoft does support their OS versions for apx 10-12 years and you can replace the OS from System restore images and apply patches, install new software. Mac's you can restore, but not apply new patches or new software on older OS X versions.


    4: You need to employ a multiple backup plan with Mac's, and try not to get "trapped" by your data so you can use it on PC's if you find out Mac's are not to your liking.


    5: You must understand that with Mac's there is a LOT of change, you can walk into a AppleStore a year later just to find out you can't get or use a new monitor with a old system, have to buy a $30 adpater or some other thingy to get your old hardware to work with newer ones.


    6: You will find out there isn't a whole lot of hardware choices, that Apple constrains you quite a bit and there isn't as much software selection on Mac's as on Windows, however it's usually of a better quality as much of the Mac hardware usually is. If you need specialized hardware like a Toughbook, then you need Windows, Apple has a very limited selection of hardware, take it or leave it.


    7: Understand that your going to be entering the "luxury consumer computer market" basically the Gucci of computers and be paying a lot more for your computers, tech etc., than with a Windows machine and not really get any value, just a better experience. With Apple, if your machine or OS X is about two years old or older, then your frowned upon as not being hip enough to keep up.


    8: If you need to work a LOT with Windows machines, it's likely better to get a Windows machine. If some, then you can use Windows in Bootcamp or a virtual machine software., Less then you can use Office products on a Mac.

  • ds store Level 7 Level 7 (30,320 points)

    I've noticed your on a XP system, have you given Windows 7 a try?


    A LOT of Windows users like Win 7, it's cleaner, runs more securely, free Microsoft Security Essentials, free System Restore Disks/images and boot cd.


    Windows 7 Areo, even from this lifelong Mac user's opinion, is a remarkable improvement over all the other versions, it's still not quite as nice as a Mac, because Apple only makes quality hardware.


    However Windows 7 on quality hardware (I also run Windows 7 on my Mac) doesn't look too shabby at all.


    OS X is still clearly better, the hardware and quailty OS makes for a better machine, more stable, but there are some drawbacks and too much radical change on Mac's as Apple is a hardware company and OS X is just the paint job, a new color hopefully to sell more hardware, so the OS isn't as stable for longterm use anymore.

  • Chippy99 Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)

    Thanks everyone for your really helpful comments.  Lots for me to think about.


    (I am currently on Windows 7 by the way - maybe my sig says otherwise - I will check in a minute.)


    In many respects an new Windows PC makes sense.  It's definitely cheaper.  I could buy or built an i7 with all the bits and pieces and massively better graphics and throw in a 30" monitor and probably spend significantly less than the £2,500 a new specc'ed up iMac is going to cost me.  Or I could tart up my existing PC with a new motherboard, CPU and ram (and maybe a PSU) for perhaps £500.  I already have an £800 Eizo 24" monitor which isn't too shabby.


    But none of the above sets my heart racing.  It's just another boring old PC that does boring old PC things a bit faster.  And hopefully quieter - which is a driving force for a new PC - my current one is driving me mad with the noise!


    But there are issues.  Of course there's the cost £2.5k is not "beer money" for me at least.  And there are a load of apps that I like and will lose (i.e. won't run on Mac OS and maybe not at all) - Tmpgenc; Badaboom; KeyScrambler; Axcrypt; Photoshop CS3? (I have a Windows copy - will my keys work for the Mac version?); Sopcast (ESSENTIAL for watching the footy on a weekend).


    But then I love my Mac Mini and can't imagine how much better an i7 iMac would be with 16GB ram and a fast SSD.


    Decisions, decisions!

  • ds store Level 7 Level 7 (30,320 points)

    Chippy99 wrote:


    It's just another boring old PC that does boring old PC things a bit faster.


    Then your a tech nut and like to experience new things for yourself, however I think a MacPro would be a LOT more to your liking that a iMac, least you can get inside that machine and make it faster, tweak it out etc. Also it lasts longer because of it's modular design.


    Your other hardware like monitors etc can work with it.


    Boot RAID 0 on a MacPro, sure.


    iMac is a consumer level machine, all locked down. It dies in three years when your AppleCare expires you shell out another $2500. Can't replace anything, not the monitor, the hard drive the video card, just only the RAM.


    And hopefully quieter - which is a driving force for a new PC - my current one is driving me mad with the noise!


    iMac's can make a lot of noise too., it's a all in one design makes it hot and the fans run higher because of it.


    Have you considered changing the fan on your PC for a quieter one?



    Tmpgenc; Badaboom; KeyScrambler; Axcrypt; Photoshop CS3? (I have a Windows copy - will my keys work for the Mac version?);


    Nope, there is no Photoshop version fully compatible with 10.7 yet, there is CS6 being released in about 30 days or so from now, about a year after 10.7 was released.


    You could possiblly upgrade but CS3 is a long jump to CS6, likely better to buy new.




    opcast (ESSENTIAL for watching the footy on a weekend).



    don't know about this one.




    But then I love my Mac Mini and can't imagine how much better an i7 iMac would be with 16GB ram and a fast SSD.


    Well now your already a Mac user, so you know the drill.


    I don't think you have the budget for a iMac, you have gotten your free hit of crack with the Mini but find it a underpowered machine and now want more.


    Go straight to the most powerful machine, the MacPro, especially for Photoshop needs, forget the stop off at iMac land, it's another burn like the Mini is.

  • Chippy99 Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)

    ds store wrote:


    Have you considered changing the fan on your PC for a quieter one?



    LOL.   That could be the answer ;-)


    Currently I have a massive great big ugly gaming PC case with umpteen fans and other rubbish,  Looks like it was designed for a 13 year old with spots.  And it's still noisy despite using Noctua and Silenx fans.  Maybe if I dropped the volts and overclock down, I could quieten it down a bit ;-)


    Interesting heads up on the iMac noise levels though - you don't notice that in the shop, do you, with all the ambient noise and everything.


    Regards the Mac Pro - aren't they phasing them out?  Also, if the iMac is frigging expensive, the Mac Pro is ultra ultra ultra frigging expensive.   I currently run a quad core Intel Q9660 at 4GHz and am determined that my next "upgrade" isn't going to be a downgrade...  So I'd be looking at a 6-core Xeon I reckon to be "faster".  I don't the quad core 3.2 GHz Xeon would cut it.  The base machine with a 6-core Xeon comes in at a staggering £3,022 ($4,700) before I have added any extra bits. Crickey!  Adding a 27" monitor, upgrading the ram myself and adding my own SSD would take me well over £4,000's ($6,500?) which is plain silly... for me at least.


    I have moved my Mac Mini into the office (was in the lounge before as my music server) and am going to try a week or two in Mac land, to see how I get on.  Just typed all this in on the Mac keyboard and that has driven me potty already!  Where's the blinking <delete> (not backspace) key???


    Thanks again everyone



  • a brody Level 9 Level 9 (64,875 points)

    > Regards the Mac Pro - aren't they phasing them out?

    My tip, new Macs and what to do about them has a link to Terms of Use, also at the bottom of the board.  It specifically forbids speculation.  Apple almost never pre-announces its decisions, and if they do, they'll be on

    Mac Pro prices aren't that expensive when you consider the CPU and the operating system are tightly woven together to work seamlessly.  Try and do that with Windows. 

    Don't forget your prices are due to import duties that Apple has no control over.  We don't have universal healthcare in our country, and it costs us far more to get the same insurance here percentage wise for the same insurance, than it costs you to purchase computers.  I wouldn't complain.

    The Delete is command-backspace on most programs and can be programmed if you so desire with many a macro tool out there on the net, if not Apple menu -> System Preferences -> Keyboard -> Keyboard shortcuts.

  • Chippy99 Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)

    Forgive me.


    Instead of my wording "expensive", please substitute "a lot of money".  I did not mean to imply poor value, merely that $6,000 or $7,000 is a lot of money for a bit of soho computer equipment.  VAT and import duty is something we have to bear on all our purchases here, so that doesn't help justify the Mac - PC price differential, although it does of course *help* to explain why Apple products are so much more expensive here in the UK than in the US.


    As an aside, I am tempted by a new AppleTV to replace my aging 1st gen machine.  $99 seems a great price. Try making $99 into £99 by adding VAT (20%) and import duty (4%).  Tricky that.


    Anyway, I have decided after a long think about it to play with my Mini for a few weeks to see how I get on, and also to wait to see what the new iMac may have in store.


    Thanks again everyone.


  • CausticPuppy Level 1 Level 1 (25 points)

    At this point, I would not buy a new iMac.  I would, however, consider buying one of the current-generation models available in the refurb store.  You get the exact same thing as a brand new one, for a lot less money, although probably not in a pretty box.


    For my own needs I'm most likely going to end up with a new Ivy Bridge mac mini since I already have a 24" monitor, though at some point I'm sure I'll upgrade to a Thunderbolt display.


    I love the iMacs, but I'm stilla bit hesitant about the large all-in-one form factor, whereas I could have one thunderbolt display and go through several generations of Mac Mini's.


    I also like being able to take them apart to do things like drive upgrades; I've had no problems disassembling my previous Mini's (1.83GHz C2D and my original G4 version).  The iMac requires more specialized tools, and it's very easy to let dust sneak in between the glass and LCD if you're not in a cleanroom.  Getting at the hard drives is a multi-hour long ordeal in the current iMac's and I'd rather just do a drive replacement myself if one fails.

  • ds store Level 7 Level 7 (30,320 points)

    Chippy99 wrote:


    Regards the Mac Pro - aren't they phasing them out?


    Just a rumor because they haven't been updated, but likely the real reason is the new Intel processors coming.


    Hollywood would scream bloody murder if the MacPro's were axed.



    if the iMac is frigging expensive, the Mac Pro is ultra ultra ultra frigging expensive.


    The MacPro is more cost effective per year than all the other Mac's, and it's powerful.


    If your also willing to do a few things like get extra parts ahead of time and prepare for a OS X upgrade freeze, you can maximize your investment in software which CS6 is considerable investement too.


    However you really can't beat a Windows 7 tower for being cost effective and getting updates for the next 10 years, new software comes out etc.


    WIth OS X you get 2, perhaps three OSX upgrades and then your being sidelined for new software, then security updates etc. Have to run the machine offline.


    If your going to bother to get a iMac, might as well pony up to the monster and be quite impressed, it's a fine machine. Especially with couple of huge displays, I had mine stacked one on top of the other, stuff on top was a full 1080i HDTV (cant' do that anymore ) and the bottom was the computer.


    Nice setup, I lost my pictures of it in a flood,

  • a brody Level 9 Level 9 (64,875 points)

    Rumors are NOT to be believed.    Also they are strictly forbidden, verboten on this forum.  Any rumors posted here will be removed by moderators as their time avails themselves.

Previous 1 2 Next