Review: Apple's 27-inch iMac with Retina 5K display still best all-in-one around

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware edited December 2015
A 27-inch 5K iMac is no longer a novelty, but 2015's model is an upgrade bound to satisfy most Mac users -- though Apple did, strangely, decide to hold back on certain key advancements.


Display

The centerpiece of the computer is of course its 5,120-by-2,880-pixel display, which like last year's 5K iMac is almost unbelievably sharp. In many respects, Apple's display technology hasn't changed -- images are bright and practically "pop" off the the screen, with deep blacks, high contrast, and wide viewing angles.




It's hard to overstate the value of 5K. Aside from making images and text super-crisp, it's possible to run multiple apps simultaneously without feeling cramped for space. Apple is still ahead of most PC makers in this respect, since other all-in-one computers typically don't exceed Quad HD (2,560-by-1,440 pixels). For the time being, people who insist on 4K or better without a separate monitor may naturally gravitate in Apple's direction.

There is one upgrade this year, which is support for the P3 color gamut. This is said to offer 25 percent more colors versus the standard sRGB gamut, which may be particularly important for people wanting to do professional photo, video, and illustration work. Certainly, we've never seen color this good on a consumer-level display.

Design

The chassis of the system is essentially unchanged from 2014. It's still ultra-slim, only 5 millimeters thin at the edge, albeit with a large bulge at the back for components like RAM, the logic board, and internal storage. The similarities extend down to the rear-mounted ports, the large black bezels, the adjustable aluminum stand, and a push-button mechanism used to access the RAM panel.




As a rule this is a good thing, since there was nothing fundamentally wrong with last year's design. In 2015 it's still stylish and practical, even if side-mounted ports would make it easier to connect peripherals, and it would be nice if Apple figured out a way of improving portability or (dare we say it) internal access for repairs and upgrades.

Down-facing speakers deliver loud, crisp audio for music, games, and video, and may in fact be good enough for casual users. Audiophiles will of course want dedicated speakers or headphones, especially for the sake of bass.


Performance

We tested the $1,799 base configuration, equipped with a 3.2-gigahertz quad-core Core i5 processor based on Intel's Skylake platform, capable of Turbo Boosting to 3.6 gigahertz. The computer also came with 8 gigabytes of RAM, a 1-terabyte, 7,200-rpm hard drive, and an AMD Radeon R9 M380 graphics card with 2 gigabytes of VRAM.




In general the system proved more than capable at handling everyday tasks, for instance letting us run Chrome, Pages, Spotify, and Slack simultaneously, with Chrome having several browser tabs open -- including one running 4K video from YouTube. It was also able to handle modest games like Limbo at full speed, without hitching or dropping frames.

That being said, it's worth spending an extra $200 to get the model with faster Fusion Drive storage and M390 graphics. People spoiled by Fusion Drives or the SSDs in recent MacBooks will otherwise find boot and app launch times slow, and the M380 just doesn't perform well with graphically intense 3D games or productivity apps. Indeed framerates suffered a bit in The Talos Principle, which is a slow-paced puzzler -- running a game like Grand Theft Auto V in Boot Camp would probably bring the system to its knees. Of course, Macs aren't known for being gaming powerhouses.




Geekbench's 32-bit processor tests gave the machine a single-core score of 3,569, with multi-core performance hitting 10,931 -- not much better than a 2013 MacBook Pro with a 2.4-gigahertz Core i7. Blackmagic's Disk Speed Test showed virtually equal read and write speeds meanwhile, coming in at 200.1 and 197.6 megabytes per second, respectively. That's well below the performance of SSD and Fusion Drive options.


Flies in the ointment

If there's a broader issue with the iMac's engineering, it's really that some of its elements seem outdated, or at least not future-proof. An 8-gigabyte standard allotment of RAM is beginning to feel anemic in a system this expensive, for example, and while there are four USB 3.0 ports and two Thunderbolt 2 connections, there's no USB-C in sight. That seems strange considering how much attention Apple lavished on USB-C when it announced the 12-inch Retina MacBook.

Buyers should probably abandon the tiny and uncomfortable Magic Mouse 2 as soon as possible in favor of a third-party mouse or a Magic Trackpad 2.Unless buyers choose otherwise, all new iMacs come with Apple's Magic Keyboard and Magic Mouse 2. Both peripherals can be recharged via Lightning cables, and the Keyboard in particular is quiet, compact, comfortable, and responsive.

Buyers should probably abandon the Mouse 2 as soon as possible, though, in favor of a third-party mouse or a Magic Trackpad 2. It's tiny and not terribly ergonomic. As if to compound things, its Lightning port is inexplicably on the bottom, meaning that you can't charge the device while you use it.

Conclusion

Apple's philosophy this year can be summed up with the clich? "if isn't broken, don't fix it." Skylake and better graphics hardware at least keep the iMac relevant, and people new to the Mac platform may be happy, mostly because of the incredible display. The effect might diminish if they want to run AutoCAD or the latest Call of Duty, but at that point a PC or a Mac Pro might be the better option anyway.

Our only fundamental complaint is that Apple didn't attempt any significant leaps this year. There's still a place for desktops in the Mac lineup, but Apple has to prove that they can be just as cutting-edge as any PC or MacBook if they want to attract shoppers. That doesn't necessarily mean "thinner," either.

Score: 4.5 out of 5

Pros:
  • Even better 5K display with wider color gamut
  • Handles tasks like 4K video with ease
  • Stylish and practical design
  • Decent built-in speakers
Cons:
  • Base model performance suffers from weak graphics, slow disk drive
  • Needs USB-C & more default RAM
  • Expensive compared to similarly-performing PCs
  • Magic Mouse 2 is terrible

How to Save $100s When Buying




Apple prices the new iMac with Retina 5K display at $1,799 for a baseline model and scales the line up to $4,099. Fortunately, a big part of what we do at AppleInsider is harvest unbeatable deals and lowest prices anywhere on Apple products from the company's top authorized resellers through our Deal Tracker (deals.appleinsider.com) and Price Guides (prices.appleinsider.com). And there's currently a number of deals on the new iMac 5K that can save you hundreds.

$149 off iMac 5K Retail Configurations @ Adorama
27" iMac 5K (3.2GHz/8GB/1TB HDD/M380) for $1,799.00 $1,649.99% ($149 Savings)
27" iMac 5K (3.2GHz/8GB/1TB FUS/M390) for $1,999.00 $1,849.99% ($149 Savings)
% Price when using the links above and applying promo code APINSIDER at checkout.

How to get Free AppleCare plus a $39 additional discount with every iMac 5K



Meanwhile, if you want to have Apple's AppleCare for iMac extended protection plan included your purchase, Apple authorized reseller Adorama has teamed up with AppleInsider for an unbeatable deal this week, offering Free AppleCare with all 100+ possible configurations of the new iMac 5K. Complete instructions for this deal are included below. Adorama also won't collect sales tax on orders shipped outside NY and NJ, further sweetening this offer. In total customers outside those states should save between $250-$400 on their orders compared to buying direct.

To take advantage of this offer, select your configuration by clicking one of the Adorama pricing links in our Macs with AppleCare Price Guide or from the list below. During check out, use $150 discount promo code APINSIDER to increase the total discount on the bundle of the iMac and AppleCare to $199-$269 when compared to Apple's price, which completely backs out the cost of Apple's $169 AppleCare for iMac extended protection plan plus another $39-$100. This deal is only available online and orders are filled in the order they are received. Step-by-step instructions are also below.

27" iMac 5Ks (Late 2015) with 3 Years of AppleCare (AC)

27" iMac (3.2GHz/8GB/1TB HDD/M380) + AC for $1,968.00 $1,699.00 % ($269.00 savings)
27" iMac (3.2GHz/8GB/1TB FUS/M390) + AC for $2,168.00 $1,959.98 % ($208.02 savings)
27" iMac (3.2GHz/8GB/1TB FUS/M380) + AC for $2,068.00 $1,859.98 % ($208.02 savings)
27" iMac (3.2GHz/8GB/1TB SSD/M390) + AC for $3,068.00 $2,859.98 % ($208.02 savings)
27" iMac (3.2GHz/8GB/2TB FUS/M380) + AC for $2,268.00 $2,059.98 % ($208.02 savings)
27" iMac (3.2GHz/8GB/2TB FUS/M390) + AC for $2,368.00 $2,159.98 % ($208.02 savings)
27" iMac (3.2GHz/8GB/3TB FUS/M380) + AC for $2,368.00 $2,039.99 % ($328.01 savings)
27" iMac (3.2GHz/8GB/3TB FUS/M390) + AC for $2,468.00 $2,259.98 % ($208.02 savings)
27" iMac (3.2GHz/8GB/256GB SSD/M380) + AC for $2,168.00 $1,959.98 % ($208.02 savings)
27" iMac (3.2GHz/8GB/256GB SSD/M390) + AC for $2,268.00 $2,059.98 % ($208.02 savings)
27" iMac (3.2GHz/8GB/512GB SSD/M380) + AC for $2,468.00 $2,259.98 % ($208.02 savings)
27" iMac (3.2GHz/8GB/512GB SSD/M390) + AC for $2,568.00 $2,359.98 % ($208.02 savings)
27" iMac (3.2GHz/16GB/1TB HDD/M380) + AC for $2,168.00 $1,959.98 % ($208.02 savings)
27" iMac (3.2GHz/16GB/1TB FUS/M380) + AC for $2,268.00 $2,059.98 % ($208.02 savings)
27" iMac (3.2GHz/16GB/1TB FUS/M390) + AC for $2,368.00 $2,159.98 % ($208.02 savings)
27" iMac (3.2GHz/16GB/1TB SSD/M390) + AC for $3,268.00 $3,059.98 % ($208.02 savings)
27" iMac (3.2GHz/16GB/2TB FUS/M380) + AC for $2,468.00 $2,259.98 % ($208.02 savings)
27" iMac (3.2GHz/16GB/2TB FUS/M390) + AC for $2,568.00 $2,259.98 % ($308.02 savings)
27" iMac (3.2GHz/16GB/3TB FUS/M380) + AC for $2,568.00 $2,359.98 % ($208.02 savings)
27" iMac (3.2GHz/16GB/3TB FUS/M390) + AC for $2,668.00 $2,459.98 % ($208.02 savings)
27" iMac (3.2GHz/16GB/256GB SSD/M380) + AC for $2,368.00 $2,159.98 % ($208.02 savings)
27" iMac (3.2GHz/16GB/256GB SSD/M390) + AC for $2,468.00 $2,259.98 % ($208.02 savings)
27" iMac (3.2GHz/16GB/512GB SSD/M380) + AC for $2,668.00 $2,459.98 % ($208.02 savings)
27" iMac (3.2GHz/16GB/512GB SSD/M390) + AC for $2,768.00 $2,559.98 % ($208.02 savings)
27" iMac (3.2GHz/32GB/1TB HDD/M380) + AC for $2,768.00 $2,568.00 % ($200.00 savings)
27" iMac (3.2GHz/32GB/1TB FUS/M380) + AC for $2,668.00 $2,459.98 % ($208.02 savings)
27" iMac (3.2GHz/32GB/1TB FUS/M390) + AC for $2,768.00 $2,559.98 % ($208.02 savings)
27" iMac (3.2GHz/32GB/1TB SSD/M390) + AC for $3,668.00 $3,459.98 % ($208.02 savings)
27" iMac (3.2GHz/32GB/2TB FUS/M380) + AC for $2,868.00 $2,659.98 % ($208.02 savings)
27" iMac (3.2GHz/32GB/2TB FUS/M390) + AC for $2,968.00 $2,759.98 % ($208.02 savings)
27" iMac (3.2GHz/32GB/3TB FUS/M380) + AC for $2,968.00 $2,759.98 % ($208.02 savings)
27" iMac (3.2GHz/32GB/3TB FUS/M390) + AC for $3,068.00 $2,859.98 % ($208.02 savings)
27" iMac (3.2GHz/32GB/256GB SSD/M380) + AC for $2,768.00 $2,559.98 % ($208.02 savings)
27" iMac (3.2GHz/32GB/256GB SSD/M390) + AC for $2,868.00 $2,659.98 % ($208.02 savings)
27" iMac (3.2GHz/32GB/512GB SSD/M380) + AC for $3,068.00 $2,859.98 % ($208.02 savings)
27" iMac (3.2GHz/32GB/512GB SSD/M390) + AC for $3,168.00 $2,959.98 % ($208.02 savings)
27" iMac (3.3GHz/8GB/1TB SSD/M395) + AC for $3,168.00 $2,959.98 % ($208.02 savings)
27" iMac (3.3GHz/8GB/1TB SSD/M395X) + AC for $3,418.00 $3,209.98 % ($208.02 savings)
27" iMac (3.3GHz/8GB/2TB FUS/M395) + AC for $2,468.00 $2,259.99 % ($208.01 savings)
27" iMac (3.3GHz/8GB/2TB FUS/M395X) + AC for $2,718.00 $2,509.98 % ($208.02 savings)
27" iMac (3.3GHz/8GB/3TB FUS/M395) + AC for $2,568.00 $2,359.98 % ($208.02 savings)
27" iMac (3.3GHz/8GB/3TB FUS/M395X) + AC for $2,818.00 $2,609.98 % ($208.02 savings)
27" iMac (3.3GHz/8GB/256GB SSD/M395) + AC for $2,468.00 $2,259.98 % ($208.02 savings)
27" iMac (3.3GHz/8GB/256GB SSD/M395X) + AC for $2,718.00 $2,509.98 % ($208.02 savings)
27" iMac (3.3GHz/8GB/512GB SSD/M395) + AC for $2,668.00 $2,459.98 % ($208.02 savings)
27" iMac (3.3GHz/8GB/512GB SSD/M395X) + AC for $2,918.00 $2,709.98 % ($208.02 savings)
27" iMac (3.3GHz/16GB/1TB SSD/M395) + AC for $3,368.00 $3,159.98 % ($208.02 savings)
27" iMac (3.3GHz/16GB/1TB SSD/M395X) + AC for $3,618.00 $3,409.98 % ($208.02 savings)
27" iMac (3.3GHz/16GB/2TB FUS/M395) + AC for $2,668.00 $2,459.98 % ($208.02 savings)
27" iMac (3.3GHz/16GB/2TB FUS/M395X) + AC for $2,918.00 $2,709.98 % ($208.02 savings)
27" iMac (3.3GHz/16GB/3TB FUS/M395) + AC for $2,768.00 $2,559.98 % ($208.02 savings)
27" iMac (3.3GHz/16GB/3TB FUS/M395X) + AC for $3,018.00 $2,809.98 % ($208.02 savings)
27" iMac (3.3GHz/16GB/256GB SSD/M395) + AC for $2,668.00 $2,459.98 % ($208.02 savings)
27" iMac (3.3GHz/16GB/256GB SSD/M395X) + AC for $2,918.00 $2,709.98 % ($208.02 savings)
27" iMac (3.3GHz/16GB/512GB SSD/M395) + AC for $2,868.00 $2,659.98 % ($208.02 savings)
27" iMac (3.3GHz/16GB/512GB SSD/M395X) + AC for $3,118.00 $2,909.98 % ($208.02 savings)
27" iMac (3.3GHz/32GB/1TB SSD/M395) + AC for $3,768.00 $3,559.98 % ($208.02 savings)
27" iMac (3.3GHz/32GB/1TB SSD/M395X) + AC for $4,018.00 $3,809.98 % ($208.02 savings)
27" iMac (3.3GHz/32GB/2TB FUS/M395) + AC for $3,068.00 check back % ($0.00 savings)
27" iMac (3.3GHz/32GB/2TB FUS/M395X) + AC for $3,318.00 $3,109.98 % ($208.02 savings)
27" iMac (3.3GHz/32GB/3TB FUS/M395) + AC for $3,168.00 $2,959.98 % ($208.02 savings)
27" iMac (3.3GHz/32GB/3TB FUS/M395X) + AC for $3,418.00 $3,209.98 % ($208.02 savings)
27" iMac (3.3GHz/32GB/256 SSD/M395) + AC for $3,068.00 $2,859.98 % ($208.02 savings)
27" iMac (3.3GHz/32GB/256GB SSD/M395X) + AC for $3,318.00 $3,109.98 % ($208.02 savings)
27" iMac (3.3GHz/32GB/512GB SSD/M395) + AC for $3,268.00 $3,059.98 % ($208.02 savings)
27" iMac (3.3GHz/32GB/512GB SSD/M395X) + AC for $3,518.00 $3,309.98 % ($208.02 savings)
27" iMac (4.0GHz/8GB/1TB FUS/M390) + AC for $2,468.00 $2,259.98 % ($208.02 savings)
27" iMac (4.0GHz/8GB/1TB SSD/M390) + AC for $3,368.00 $3,159.98 % ($208.02 savings)
27" iMac (4.0GHz/8GB/1TB SSD/M395) + AC for $3,418.00 $3,209.98 % ($208.02 savings)
27" iMac (4.0GHz/8GB/1TB SSD/M395X) + AC for $3,668.00 $3,409.98 % ($258.02 savings)
27" iMac (4.0GHz/8GB/2TB FUS/M390) + AC for $2,668.00 $2,459.98 % ($208.02 savings)
27" iMac (4.0GHz/8GB/2TB FUS/M395) + AC for $2,718.00 $2,509.98 % ($208.02 savings)
27" iMac (4.0GHz/8GB/2TB FUS/M395X) + AC for $2,968.00 $2,759.98 % ($208.02 savings)
27" iMac (4.0GHz/8GB/3TB FUS/M390) + AC for $2,768.00 $2,559.98 % ($208.02 savings)
27" iMac (4.0GHz/8GB/3TB FUS/M395) + AC for $2,818.00 $2,609.98 % ($208.02 savings)
27" iMac (4.0GHz/8GB/3TB FUS/M395X) + AC for $3,068.00 $2,859.98 % ($208.02 savings)
27" iMac (4.0GHz/8GB/256GB SSD/M390) + AC for $2,568.00 $2,359.98 % ($208.02 savings)
27" iMac (4.0GHz/8GB/256GB SSD/M395) + AC for $2,718.00 $2,509.98 % ($208.02 savings)
27" iMac (4.0GHz/8GB/256GB SSD/M395X) + AC for $2,968.00 $2,759.98 % ($208.02 savings)
27" iMac (4.0GHz/8GB/512GB SSD/M390) + AC for $2,868.00 $2,659.98 % ($208.02 savings)
27" iMac (4.0GHz/8GB/512GB SSD/M395) + AC for $2,918.00 $2,709.98 % ($208.02 savings)
27" iMac (4.0GHz/8GB/512GB SSD/M395X) + AC for $3,168.00 $2,959.98 % ($208.02 savings)
27" iMac (4.0GHz/16GB/1TB FUS/M390) + AC for $2,668.00 $2,459.98 % ($208.02 savings)
27" iMac (4.0GHz/16GB/1TB SSD/M390) + AC for $3,568.00 $3,359.98 % ($208.02 savings)
27" iMac (4.0GHz/16GB/1TB SSD/M395) + AC for $3,618.00 $3,409.98 % ($208.02 savings)
27" iMac (4.0GHz/16GB/1TB SSD/M395X) + AC for $3,868.00 $3,659.98 % ($208.02 savings)
27" iMac (4.0GHz/16GB/2TB FUS/M390) + AC for $2,868.00 $2,659.98 % ($208.02 savings)
27" iMac (4.0GHz/16GB/2TB FUS/M395) + AC for $2,918.00 $2,709.98 % ($208.02 savings)
27" iMac (4.0GHz/16GB/2TB FUS/M395X) + AC for $3,168.00 $2,959.98 % ($208.02 savings)
27" iMac (4.0GHz/16GB/3TB FUS/M390) + AC for $2,968.00 $2,759.98 % ($208.02 savings)
27" iMac (4.0GHz/16GB/3TB FUS/M395) + AC for $3,018.00 $2,809.98 % ($208.02 savings)
27" iMac (4.0GHz/16GB/3TB FUS/M395X) + AC for $3,268.00 $3,059.98 % ($208.02 savings)
27" iMac (4.0GHz/16GB/256GB SSD/M390) + AC for $2,768.00 $2,559.98 % ($208.02 savings)
27" iMac (4.0GHz/16GB/256GB SSD/M395) + AC for $2,918.00 $2,709.98 % ($208.02 savings)
27" iMac (4.0GHz/16GB/256GB SSD/M395X) + AC for $3,168.00 $2,959.98 % ($208.02 savings)
27" iMac (4.0GHz/16GB/512GB SSD/M390) + AC for $3,068.00 $2,859.98 % ($208.02 savings)
27" iMac (4.0GHz/16GB/512GB SSD/M395) + AC for $3,118.00 $2,909.98 % ($208.02 savings)
27" iMac (4.0GHz/16GB/512GB SSD/M395X) + AC for $3,368.00 $3,159.98 % ($208.02 savings)
27" iMac (4.0GHz/32GB/1TB FUS/M390) + AC for $3,068.00 $2,859.98 % ($208.02 savings)
27" iMac (4.0GHz/32GB/1TB SSD/M390) + AC for $3,968.00 $3,759.98 % ($208.02 savings)
27" iMac (4.0GHz/32GB/1TB SSD/M395) + AC for $4,018.00 $3,809.98 % ($208.02 savings)
27" iMac (4.0GHz/32GB/2TB FUS/M390) + AC for $3,268.00 $3,059.98 % ($208.02 savings)
27" iMac (4.0GHz/32GB/2TB FUS/M395) + AC for $3,318.00 $3,109.98 % ($208.02 savings)
27" iMac (4.0GHz/32GB/2TB FUS/M395X) + AC for $3,568.00 $3,359.98 % ($208.02 savings)
27" iMac (4.0GHz/32GB/3TB SSD/M390) + AC for $3,368.00 $3,159.98 % ($208.02 savings)
27" iMac (4.0GHz/32GB/3TB FUS/M395) + AC for $3,418.00 $3,209.98 % ($208.02 savings)
27" iMac (4.0GHz/32GB/3TB FUS/M395X) + AC for $3,668.00 $3,459.98 % ($208.02 savings)
27" iMac (4.0GHz/32GB/256GB SSD/M390) + AC for $3,168.00 $2,959.98 % ($208.02 savings)
27" iMac (4.0GHz/32GB/256GB SSD/M395) + AC for $3,318.00 $3,109.98 % ($208.02 savings)
27" iMac (4.0GHz/32GB/256GB SSD/M395X) + AC for $3,568.00 $3,359.98 % ($208.02 savings)
27" iMac (4.0GHz/32GB/512GB SSD/M395X) + AC for $3,768.00 $3,559.98 % ($208.02 savings)
27" iMac (4.0GHz/32GB/512GB SSD/M390) + AC for $3,468.00 $3,259.98 % ($208.02 savings)
27" iMac (4.0GHz/32GB/512GB SSD/M395) + AC for $3,518.00 $3,309.98 % ($208.02 savings)
27" iMac (4.0GHz/32GB/1TB SSD/M395X) + AC for $4,268.00 $4,059.98 % ($208.02 savings)

Step by Step Instructions for this Deal with AppleCare included
    1)Make sure you're using a browser with cookies enabled that isn't in private mode.
    2) If you haven't already, take a few moments to join Adorama's free VIP customer program. (It's painless, offers perks, & is required for special promos like these.)
    3) ?Now make sure you're logged into your Adorama VIP account.
    4) ?Once logged in, select your iMac 5K + AppleCare bundle by clicking one of the pricing links above (or those in the Macs with AppleCare Price Guide) -- you must use these links!
    5) When the Adorama iMac + AppleCare page loads, you'll see a price that's roughly $150 higher than advertised. That's OK, add it to your cart anyway.
    6) When you're done shopping, begin the checkout process.
    7) During checkout, apply promo code APINSIDER in the Promo Code field right after your shipping info (where it says "Do you have a gift card or promo code?")
    8) After you apply the promo code, the total price should fall by roughly $150, increasing the total discount on the iMac and AppleCare to at least $169, which deducts the full cost of the plan (plus another $39).
    9) That's it. Now complete the checkout. If you live outside NY & NJ Adorama will also not collect sales tax on your order.
    As always, if you have any issues, you can reach out to us at priceguides@gmail.com and we'll try and help.


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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 43
    rob53rob53 Posts: 1,937member
    Let me start by saying this isn't a review but a sales page. I'd much rather have you link the sales pitch to another page so I don't have to bother scrolling through it.

    As for your Cons, I'm pretty sure AI panned USB-C when it was first introduced. I really don't see the lack of this interface as an issue for a desktop Mac. I do agree with Apple's decision to make the base model weak with a normal HD and minimum RAM. I didn't bother looking at the benchmarks because this model isn't something I would ever buy. Since AI wants to present themselves as the primo Apple review site, it would really make sense to review a model many/most people would buy when you look at the important parts of the computer: display, faster flash storage, and capability of holding 64GB of faster RAM. The late 2015 iMac finally gets flash storage on par with the fastest MacBook Pros so why would anyone put in a slow, circa 2005 HDD. No professional user, like you mention in the article, is going to buy the base model or one with an HDD, they're going to buy at least a 512GB flash drive and add external disk storage for the rest.

    Please present the iMac the way it's supposed to, as the best pro-consumer desktop available (and not that far from the Mac Pro depending on its configuration).
  • Reply 2 of 43
    Even though you don't see it from the front, I never liked the bulge in the back of the screen. Wonder why Ives didn't choose to place all the guts in the base and embed the monitor wires in the stand so the screen could be as flat as possible. This way you could just pop the base out from the back (ejected as a tray) for easy repair/upgrade. A little thicker and wider would not hurt the aesthetics in my opinion.
  • Reply 3 of 43
    The problem with the iMac, and all desktop Macs is that they've made them so small or thin that they can't accommodate larger more powerful (more cores) CPUs. Even with the middle of the road i7 in the iMac, it gets throttled down when it gets hot (which happens easily).

    So, for different but similar reasons the iMac, MacPro and Mac Mini have low ceilings on the CPUs they can accommodate due to the design. The current MacPro can't handle the 18 and 22 core Xeons that now exist. And the iMac can't accommodate a 6 or 8 core i7, nor will the design allow for more than 32GBs of RAM.

    Apple is turning their desktops into middle of the road toys. Soon everything will be soldered in and our only choice will be to abandon Apple.

    Very sad.
  • Reply 4 of 43
    I think the new mouse is just fine.
    It behaves similar to its predecessor.
    I don't have to put batteries in it.
    I charge it when I am sleeping.
  • Reply 5 of 43
    rob53rob53 Posts: 1,937member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by stargazerCT View Post



    Even though you don't see it from the front, I never liked the bulge in the back of the screen. Wonder why Ives didn't choose to place all the guts in the base and embed the monitor wires in the stand so the screen could be as flat as possible. This way you could just pop the base out from the back (ejected as a tray) for easy repair/upgrade. A little thicker and wider would not hurt the aesthetics in my opinion.



    Not a bad idea but it would negate the ability for a VESA mount. When you look at the insides of a 27" iMac, there's a lot of empty space. It the main electronics in the iMac were simply placed in detachable "bump", then that bump could be removed and everything inside could be repaired. The only thing that would stay in the main display compartment would be the 5K display hardware and maybe the speakers. The iMac I'd buy wouldn't have the huge HDD so putting everything in a detachable box that wouldn't need an inside cover shouldn't be that big of a deal. Actually, just having a large removable panel might be enough as well.

     

  • Reply 6 of 43
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post



    "...The effect might diminish if they want to run AutoCAD or the latest Call of Duty, but at that point a PC or a Mac Pro might be the better option anyway."

     

    Running AutoCAD does not automatically mean you are going to do a lot of heavy lifting. Yes, your system (Mac or PC) will strain under the weight of very large backgrounds (like an entire multi-acre site plan with lots of layers from various disciplines embedded), or perhaps complicated 3D models, but a 4.0 GHz i7 like on my late 2014 27" iMac 5K is perfectly suitable for day-to-day building plans and technical diagrams such as block diagrams and 3D mounting details.

     

    I only run AutoCAD LT on OS X, but if I need to take advantage of advanced features, I switch over to our network license of AutoDesk Design Suite over on the Bootcamp Windows side. This includes Revit, 3D Studio Max, and a bunch of other stuff that is not available on Mac, but they all run quite well on the iMac. The way our licensing works, I can't install a seat of full version AutoCAD only on the OS X side.

     

    The main advantage of the 5K Mac vs. a PC is of course the nice big 5K screen. Separate 5K screens were by themselves almost as much as the iMac late last year. Still, the iMac is a bit of a luxury and a bit more expensive compared to a regular i7 PC with a 4K screen, so we ended up getting a few of these types of PCs for the CAD department (seems kinda mean for the CAD guys, but they're used to the Windows version).

  • Reply 7 of 43
    rob53 wrote: »
    Let me start by saying this isn't a review but a sales page. I'd much rather have you link the sales pitch to another page so I don't have to bother scrolling through it.

    As for your Cons, I'm pretty sure AI panned USB-C when it was first introduced. I really don't see the lack of this interface as an issue for a desktop Mac. I do agree with Apple's decision to make the base model weak with a normal HD and minimum RAM. I didn't bother looking at the benchmarks because this model isn't something I would ever buy. Since AI wants to present themselves as the primo Apple review site, it would really make sense to review a model many/most people would buy when you look at the important parts of the computer: display, faster flash storage, and capability of holding 64GB of faster RAM. The late 2015 iMac finally gets flash storage on par with the fastest MacBook Pros so why would anyone put in a slow, circa 2005 HDD. No professional user, like you mention in the article, is going to buy the base model or one with an HDD, they're going to buy at least a 512GB flash drive and add external disk storage for the rest.

    Please present the iMac the way it's supposed to, as the best pro-consumer desktop available (and not that far from the Mac Pro depending on its configuration).

    So AI should ignore reality and only review high end models? You realize the base Air is the best selling Apple computer, right? Not the high end stuff?
  • Reply 8 of 43
    rob53 wrote: »
    Let me start by saying this isn't a review but a sales page. I'd much rather have you link the sales pitch to another page so I don't have to bother scrolling through it.

    As for your Cons, I'm pretty sure AI panned USB-C when it was first introduced. I really don't see the lack of this interface as an issue for a desktop Mac. I do agree with Apple's decision to make the base model weak with a normal HD and minimum RAM. I didn't bother looking at the benchmarks because this model isn't something I would ever buy. Since AI wants to present themselves as the primo Apple review site, it would really make sense to review a model many/most people would buy when you look at the important parts of the computer: display, faster flash storage, and capability of holding 64GB of faster RAM. The late 2015 iMac finally gets flash storage on par with the fastest MacBook Pros so why would anyone put in a slow, circa 2005 HDD. No professional user, like you mention in the article, is going to buy the base model or one with an HDD, they're going to buy at least a 512GB flash drive and add external disk storage for the rest.

    Please present the iMac the way it's supposed to, as the best pro-consumer desktop available (and not that far from the Mac Pro depending on its configuration).
    Agreed, not to mention the fact that this model is $700 less then last years minimum. Honestly most people willing to get one of these iMacs will stay at the 21 inch or get the $2000-2500 model, so testing a $2500 model might be best.
  • Reply 9 of 43
    So AI should ignore reality and only review high end models? You realize the base Air is the best selling Apple computer, right?

    Not the high end stuff?

    700
  • Reply 10 of 43
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,296member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by stargazerCT View Post



    Even though you don't see it from the front, I never liked the bulge in the back of the screen. Wonder why Ives didn't choose to place all the guts in the base and embed the monitor wires in the stand so the screen could be as flat as possible. This way you could just pop the base out from the back (ejected as a tray) for easy repair/upgrade. A little thicker and wider would not hurt the aesthetics in my opinion.



    Have you ever seen the reason for that bulge?  It's not just for the hard drive, but it's mainly for the big heat-sinks for the CPU and the ventilation ductwork that goes along with it.



    Sure, in a few years maybe we'll have CPU's that can run at today's speeds without the needs for heat sinks.  Until then, it's a necessary "evil" per se, but for the most part... most people will see the edges, but not the rear of the iMac.  It's still a marvel of engineering nonetheless.



    I'm anxiously waiting for mine to arrive by the end of this week.  27" top-of-the-line.  Already have the 64GB RAM cards ready, and received my 12TB Pegasus R6 to compliment it!  It's time to retire the 2009 iMac.  It's been a trusty workhorse. :)

  • Reply 11 of 43
    jdwjdw Posts: 653member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by rob53 View Post



    Let me start by saying this isn't a review but a sales page.

     

    If AppleInsider can help some of us save money on a Mac purchase (which surely will NOT happen when you buy direct from Apple), more power to them.

     

    With that said, I think the reviewer interjected his personal opinion too much by calling the Magic Mouse 2 "terrible."  It would have been more appropriate for him to have said, "I personally don't like it, although some people might."  And I am one who happens to like it.  I've used that basic mouse since my Late 2009 iMac 27" purchase, and now with a new Late 2015 5K iMac on my desk, I have the "2" version of it.  The charging on the bottom is stupid, I agree.  But Apple won't get it right until they finally go with wireless charging.  But we'll probably have to wait until 2018 for that.

     

    Aside from the "terrible" remark, the only other complaint I have about this review is that it is too short.  Give people more details, including full benchmark test results.  For those of you who want to see mine, here they are:

     

    GeekBench (32-bit & 64-bit):

    https://browser.primatelabs.com/user/12038

     

    Black Magic Speed Test on 1TB SSD:

    http://cl.ly/image/1Z0j3p0l230O

     

    Cinebench CPU test:

    http://cl.ly/image/282s3V1V0Y2o

     

    Cinebench GPU test:

    http://cl.ly/image/2C3U1D0K3912

  • Reply 12 of 43
    Kind of annoying that they recognize the improvements of a 7200 RPM drive in this iMac but other models, even the 4K iMac, get the painfully outdated budget 5400 RPM relic. It's an arguable trade-off in a battery-operated device but def not in a desktop.
  • Reply 13 of 43
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by sflocal View Post

     



    Have you ever seen the reason for that bulge?  It's not just for the hard drive, but it's mainly for the big heat-sinks for the CPU and the ventilation ductwork that goes along with it.



    Sure, in a few years maybe we'll have CPU's that can run at today's speeds without the needs for heat sinks.  Until then, it's a necessary "evil" per se, but for the most part... most people will see the edges, but not the rear of the iMac.  It's still a marvel of engineering nonetheless.



    I'm anxiously waiting for mine to arrive by the end of this week.  27" top-of-the-line.  Already have the 64GB RAM cards ready, and received my 12TB Pegasus R6 to compliment it!  It's time to retire the 2009 iMac.  It's been a trusty workhorse. :)




    You may have misunderstood and I wasn't questioning the reason for the bulge, and don't disagree with the feats of technical engineering....I just don't like it and always wondered why the guts where placed there if options existed. I saw the base of a stand as an option to place all or some of the guts to slim down the screen. No CPU in the screen, no reason for the bulky heat sinks and ventilation ductwork, right? Hence, a thinner design with less components to deal with and the ability to easily repair/ and upgrade by popping out a tray. I also liked the idea that all the wires would run flat along your desktop at the base of the computer and not run up the stand to the middle of the screen...I hate wires!

     

    The option I presented is only from a layman's perspective, not an engineering one, so no need to get all snippety on me.

  • Reply 14 of 43
    [QUOTE]Buyers should probably abandon the Mouse 2 as soon as possible, though, in favor of a third-party mouse or a Magic Trackpad 2. It's tiny and not terribly ergonomic. As if to compound things, its Lightning port is inexplicably on the bottom, meaning that you can't charge the device while you use it.[/QUOTE]

    oh FFS.... who wrote this thing?? have they not been paying attention to the in depth discussion on their own site?? nobody needs to charge it as they use it because it gets a month's use per full charge and only takes 2 minutes for 9 hours of use should you forget to charge despite all the warnings.
  • Reply 15 of 43
    evilutionevilution Posts: 1,330member
    So, really, what you want is a Mac mini and a Cinema Display with neat cables.
    I don't like the thin design either, I'd rather it was more like the previous version.

    Ive almost certainly didn't design the iMac. Richard Howarth is Apple's lead designer for most products. Ive just changes a few things and signs it off.
  • Reply 16 of 43
    Even though you don't see it from the front, I never liked the bulge in the back of the screen. Wonder why Ives didn't choose to place all the guts in the base and embed the monitor wires in the stand so the screen could be as flat as possible. This way you could just pop the base out from the back (ejected as a tray) for easy repair/upgrade. A little thicker and wider would not hurt the aesthetics in my opinion.

    impossible, since my iMac doesn't have a base/stand -- it's removable in order to use a VESA arm mount.
  • Reply 17 of 43
    xzuxzu Posts: 139member

    Last time I complain about Apples "Desktop" class offerings, I promise. Its 2015. An all in one? really. I had a Mac Plus in 1987. I don't have a problem with the beautiful computer they have made, I am sure it is awesome for a large part of the market. But where is the DESKTOP? A powerful computer in the $1700-2500 range sans monitor, with expansion. One that will run my software, without compromises for vanity. I don't want to buy a new monitor every three years. I don't want the heat problems I always have with iMacs. I don't want mobile graphics or worse intel graphics. I want more than one hard drive without cables all over my desk, and power strips full of accessories. 

     

    For me its a very expensive digital picture frame. Great monitor attached to a laptop, no expansion, terrible graphics. I can not justify the cost of this computer for my CAD/3D, video, audio needs. I am stuck with the 2013 MacPro for work and a PC for Gaming. All in ones are Apple's appliance dream, but have too much compromise for many users. 

     

    Ok sorry, I will stop complaining.

  • Reply 18 of 43
    rob53rob53 Posts: 1,937member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by TheWhiteFalcon View Post





    So AI should ignore reality and only review high end models? You realize the base Air is the best selling Apple computer, right? Not the high end stuff?

    You realize that the vast majority of AI readers are people who know more about computers than the typical buyer of any computer system? Most computer users don't read trade websites, they use Facebook, watch Netflix, check their email and haven't the faintest idea what's inside their computer. So, yes, I would rather AI review at least the middle of the road configuration and simply mention what the base model includes. I believe this type of a review would better serve the readership of this website. 

     

    Of course we could always take a poll and ask what the readership would like to see.

  • Reply 19 of 43
    rob53rob53 Posts: 1,937member

    Originally Posted by JDW View Post

     

    With that said, I think the reviewer interjected his personal opinion too much by calling the Magic Mouse 2 "terrible."  It would have been more appropriate for him to have said, "I personally don't like it, although some people might."  And I am one who happens to like it.  I've used that basic mouse since my Late 2009 iMac 27" purchase, and now with a new Late 2015 5K iMac on my desk, I have the "2" version of it.  The charging on the bottom is stupid, I agree.  But Apple won't get it right until they finally go with wireless charging.  But we'll probably have to wait until 2018 for that.


    I still use an old 3-button mouse because it fits my hand. I also use the wired, expanded keyboard.


    Aside from the "terrible" remark, the only other complaint I have about this review is that it is too short.  Give people more details, including full benchmark test results.  For those of you who want to see mine, here they are:

     

    GeekBench (32-bit & 64-bit):

    https://browser.primatelabs.com/user/12038

     

    Black Magic Speed Test on 1TB SSD:

    http://cl.ly/image/1Z0j3p0l230O

     

    Cinebench CPU test:

    http://cl.ly/image/282s3V1V0Y2o

     

    Cinebench GPU test:

    http://cl.ly/image/2C3U1D0K3912


    Thanks for the benchmarks, especially the Black Magic speed test. The SSD is very fast. Did you get the base M395 or the M395X (GPU test shows 395 but not sure how the X version would appear).

  • Reply 20 of 43
    v900v900 Posts: 101member
    No USB C and 8GB RAM are your biggest complaints? Seriously?

    USB C isn't used anywhere except for the Retina MacBook, and it could be a few years before it reaches anything close to widespread adoption. It's a nonstarter. And on top of that, the current debaucle where USB C can both be USB 3.0 and 3.1 is bound to lead to confusion and unhappy customers.

    8 GB RAM is plenty for everyday use, and even for many professional tasks. If users want to, they're easy to upgrade.

    The 1TB non-ssd disk is also a smart choice to have available. It's plenty fast, and many people prefer ample space rather than an SSD. And an SSD, even a boot disk could always be bought later and connected through the Thunderbolt ports...
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