iMac Advice needed

in Current Mac Hardware edited January 2014
Hey, folks.

I could use some advice.

I am considering purchasing an iMac. My budget is $1500. So as of right now, I'd be able to get the 27'' Core 2 Duo model.

Let's get to the questions;

-Do you guys think the iMac could possibly be refreshed (updated) in the coming months? (April, May, June?) I'd like to get it for my birthday which is May 23rd.

-I'd like to use it for Photoshop, Illustrator and Dreamweaver. I'd like to have a relatively large Photoshop file open, while listening to iTunes, having iChat on and Safari running simultaneously. Will Core2Duo serve these needs properly for the coming years? Since it's not easily upgrade-able, I'd like it to be somewhat 'future-proof'.

-And the probably cliché question for you folks, should I wait? I've asked myself: what if the iMac is likely to be refreshed in June, what would I do? If it's a legit rumor like the Tablet ones, I'd probably wait.

The problem is, the MacBook Pro and the Mac Pro are already past their refresh date according to the regular pattern of refreshes. If memory serves me right, they should have been refreshed in January. So the problem is; the iMac's refresh is probably also delayed. There's a possibility that it they refresh them all at the same time, but I personally believe it's more likely that they first to the MacBook Pro, the Mac Pro and then later the iMac. And I didn't even include the iPhone yet.

I'd appreciate your insights and thoughts. Thanks in advance.


  • Reply 1 of 10
    They are always "about to be refreshed"... if that's what you base your decision to "buy" on, then you'll never get a new computer. If you want a new one, and you have the cash on hand, then go ahead and buy... there's always a bigger/better/faster model about to come out, but that doesn't make this model any less functional.
  • Reply 2 of 10
    Hey, first of, thanks for replying. No one seems to notice topics that are not made by AI in this particular section, hehe.

    And yes, you're absolutely right. There's always new technology right around the corner. But basically why I wish to wait for this refresh in particular, is because I believe (and others, I've read) that they will shift the quad-core models, meaning: Making the $1,699 27'' model a Core i5, and the high-end 1999$ 27'' iMac a Core i7 standard.

    And if this would be true, while being a minor upgrade technically, for me it would mean I would be able to get a Quad-Core model instead of a Core2Duo. Which is also why I asked about the value of Core2Duo.
  • Reply 3 of 10
    addaboxaddabox Posts: 12,665member
    Take a look at the always useful "Mac Buyer's Guide", which gives you the average refresh time for each Apple product against how long since the last refresh. Then they give it a sliding scale from "Buy" to "Wait", depending on whether or not a refresh is likely to be imminent or a ways off

    For the iMac in particular, they're rating it as "neutral" since, historically, we're mid cycle, and not likely to see a refresh till the fall.

    As far as meeting your needs, sure, you can run everything you need at once with reasonable performance. For the scenario you outline, more ram is going to have a bigger effect than a bumped processor speed, although of course an i5 or i7 refresh is going to give you better performance overall.

    However, we're well past the days of such an update crossing a line from "not so good" to "great". I would guess you could figure on something like 20% speed up in rendering times, and the like, but when those times are already just a few minutes at worst, the difference of a few seconds here and there means that you're probably not going to feel to cramped with the current machine.
  • Reply 4 of 10
    kcmackcmac Posts: 1,051member
    If you're not in a big hurry, the days of the core 2 duo are numbered.
  • Reply 5 of 10
    vineavinea Posts: 5,585member
    If i were you I'd save another $200 and get this:

    Actually, it's the same price as the $1699 27" C2D machine you can afford. Just refurb'd.

    Quad core and the GPU is nicer too. Shame that the i5 has hyperthreading disabled but it's still faster than the C2D.

    The lack of hyperthreading impacts the i5 but it's still faster than the old C2D Quad 3Ghz and the C2D 3.06Ghz in the next level down iMac.

    Here are some iMac specific benchmarks to easier see the differences:

 bottom line is that refurb machine is faster than the older Mac Pro 2.66Ghz Quad while the 3.06Ghz iMac isn't.

    Me, I'd get the refurb and pony up for AppleCare later (more $$$ but I think you can get it within a year) and not wait if you want it now. Or save up the extra $$$ between now and May and see what I could get then.
  • Reply 6 of 10
    pmzpmz Posts: 3,433member
    If I were to buy a new iMac right now, with at least the next 3 years in mind, I would save up a few extra hundred and get the i5. I really think you'd regret buying the C2D iMac so close to the end of it's life.

    (i have a c2d iMac now)
  • Reply 7 of 10
    alwayssalwayss Posts: 6member
    Thanks for all the advice, guys. It helps seeing different point of views.

    I'm still undecicive about which iMac to choose. I'm currently looking to see if the i5 options would be possible with my budget so I can keep all options open.

    I also went to an Apple Store today, to try them out again. I must say the 27'' is extremely huge. Plus it has such a high resolution that makes the text so small to read. But then again 21.5'' is not that big at all..

    I wish they also had a middle model. A 24'' 16:9 iMac with an i5 would be great.
  • Reply 8 of 10
    sandausandau Posts: 1,230member
    get the i5, you won't regret it. refurb IS the way to go.
  • Reply 9 of 10
    alwayssalwayss Posts: 6member
    Well, turns out the i5 model *is* a possibility. I might just go with it, considering it's an all-in-one machine that's not upgrade-able (besides the RAM), choosing a very future-proof model seems like a logic decision to make.

    Not 100% sure yet but leaning towards it.
  • Reply 10 of 10
    sandausandau Posts: 1,230member
    Originally Posted by alwayss View Post

    Well, turns out the i5 model *is* a possibility. I might just go with it, considering it's an all-in-one machine that's not upgrade-able (besides the RAM), choosing a very future-proof model seems like a logic decision to make.

    Not 100% sure yet but leaning towards it.

    i've owned a ton of computers and this is by far the best yet. Although it isn't upgradeable other than the ram, you CAN use it just as a monitor in the future, and the screen is amazing.
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