Apple brings iMac update - why wouldn't I buy it

Apple announced a "major update" for the 27 "iMac yesterday. The desktop computer with Retina 5K display now offers interesting specs, but I wouldn't buy it. In this post, I'll explain why I would wait a little longer before buying a new Apple iMac. Because even if the version presented yesterday has up to 10 cores in the CPU, better graphics, only SSD hard drives as well as improved microphones, speakers and cameras - there is a good reason to continue to wait. The same goes for the 21,5 ″ iMac and iMac Pro. 

Thanks to the current update, the updated Apple iMac (2020) consistently brings SSD instead of Fusion Drive, a better 5K display, better microphones and speakers, more power in the CPU (up to 10 cores) and so on - explain why I wouldn't buy it I you here.

Thanks to the current update, the updated Apple iMac (2020) consistently brings SSD instead of Fusion Drive, a better 5K display, better microphones and speakers, more power in the CPU (up to 10 cores) and so on - explain why I wouldn't buy it I you here.

Update for the Apple iMac with 27 ″ Retina 5K display

Whether making music, editing photos, cutting films, 3D rendering or compiling extensive program code - the revised iMac should be available for all of these tasks. For this there are 10 or 6 cores in the 8th generation of the Intel chips used. "For professionals with demanding tasks, the 27 ″ iMac offers for the first time a 10-core processor option with Turbo Boost speeds of up to 5,0 GHz for up to 65 percent more CPU performance“, It also says in the official press release.

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It is also emphasized that SSD hard drives are now used in the entire product range, which is, for example, the Fusion Drive makes obsolete; and work on the computer is generally faster. Up to 8 TB are offered as storage, which should reduce the need for external hard drives to zero for most users (except maybe one or two drives for backups). In addition, the “new” iMac comes with a T2 security chip.

Revision of the 21,5 ″ iMac and iMac Pro

Towards the end of the press release linked above, Apple also mentions that there are also updates for the 21,5 ″ iMac and the iMac Pro. The 21,5 ″ iMac should now also be available with SSD hard drives; Fusion Drive is still an option for those who really want it. The revised iMac Pro offers up to 18 cores with Xeon processors as well as a graphics update to up to 22 TeraFLOPS and 256 GB quad-channel ECC memory. The message closes with the note macOS 11.0 BigSur, which will be released in autumn 2020.

Buy iMac 2020 or wait for the Apple Silicon SoC?

The updates do not read badly - and anyone who is toying with buying a new Apple iMac could be carried away with an impulsive purchase. Personally, however, I would hold back. Because as part of the WWDC20 keynote Apple has presented its “Apple Silicon” SoC, the in-house ARM system that is supposed to replace the Intel processors. All Macs in the range are to be updated to this system within the next two years.

In the worst-case scenario, you won't be able to buy an iMac (Pro) with Apple Silicon until 2022. But I would take the “risk”, because the change will certainly result in an enormous increase in performance. In addition, you are better positioned for the future. Mac, iMac and MacBook models with the new system will surely get the latest operating systems exclusively in a few years. Perhaps we will even see a change to macOS 12 on them only; rather than from macOS 10 to 11. 

What is your opinion on the topic: buy now or wait?

What do you think about it? Do you really need a new iMac now and would you rather give it back in two years as a deposit for an “Apple Silicon” model than wait until then? Or will you be satisfied with your previous computers from Cupertino until the processor technology has been converted? Please leave a comment with your opinion and let me know if I have overlooked a valid reason to buy the "old" technology in the future;)

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13 comments

  1. Sascha says:

    You buy a Mac when you need it. I think the Intel devices will continue to serve well for a long time to come. Of course, the braids are cut off earlier here (I still use a 7-year-old iMac that will not be removed until the next OS version, I do not expect Intel to be dragged along for so long). Nevertheless, I would argue the other way around and let Apple first bring out the first generation (they will still sell Intel by the way, they won't want to outdo everything Intel has), the software also has to be ported ...
    So I think it's an exciting time right now, if I would need a Mac that comes out with ARM, I would probably embark on the adventure, but I think there is still enough room for the "old Intel" computers. And from now on I would not postpone an investment for a year because at some point there will be an ARM. Perhaps the devices will not be that much faster, but simply much, much cheaper (for Apple;) to manufacture); admit you will certainly learn a lot from the iPad and iPhone (e.g. FaceID would be a dream) ...

    • sir appleot says:

      Hey Sascha! Yes, of course you are right. If you just need an iMac, you have to buy it now and can't wait for the luck that the Apple Silicon version is coming soon. And surely you can't go wrong with the Intel iMac either. It is solid hardware that is "well hung". Especially in professional use, as you say, you might want to skip the first round of Apple Silicon and skip the teething problems.
      But I am a little risk-taker and am also sure that there will be fewer problems than there were when the G5 processors switched to Intel. Apple has been using the A-series processors for ages and I am sure that they have been fiddling with a device for years that boot macOS onto the processor architecture. For this reason I am quite optimistic and would certainly be there if a MacBook Pro with Apple Silicon processor comes out.

      I wouldn't have too much hope for the price. Apple is not exactly famous for passing on price advantages that they receive to their customers. But I wouldn't mind if the Macs got cheaper. : D

  2. Andreas says:

    Hallo,
    I'm certainly not a big techie; therefore excuse my "naive" questions in advance:
    I still have a perfectly functioning IMac 21,5 from 2010/2011: What are the consequences for me if I don't buy the update?
    I depend on the device ...

    • sir appleot says:

      Hi Andreas! Thanks for your question and there is absolutely no reason to apologize for it. If you now have a working Mac, you don't need to update. Most people buy a new Mac at some point because the old one seems too slow to them or because it no longer supports certain updates to programs that they absolutely need to work with. For example, those who rely on the latest versions of Photoshop or Illustrator will no longer be able to work with an iMac from 2010. Banking apps also often stop working on very old devices. However, you will not be forced to get a new Mac. If you are currently happy with your device, you can certainly continue to use it. You are a typical case where I would say: Better to wait to buy a new iMac until Apple launches the new models with Apple Silicon. That will be a small quantum leap for you when you switch. : D

    • Renato says:

      Hi Andrew,

      Well, if I read "2010/11" and "dependent on it", I would say that the consequence or the risk of not upgrading is simply a total failure with the associated inconvenience - see failure probability / bathtub curve at the end of the lifecycle of electronic devices - wherever that may be defined on a Mac; but 10 years are already a word ... ????)

      I always exchange my iMac for a new one after 3-4 years at the latest and have always had the best experiences with it:

      - Using the migration assistant, the change has worked perfectly for me for years without exception, so I have now migrated my original configuration from 2006 x times, and always completely "trouble-free" - so don't be afraid of it (no comparison to windose-migrations! !!)

      - If you don't keep the (old) Mac too long, the resale value is still very good and the “surcharge” for an upgrade is usually lower than the depreciation (I assume that you use it commercially, as you depend on it are?!)

      - I usually buy a not necessarily ultra-new model with a corresponding price advantage; eg on Black Friday or preferably as a “refurbished” from the Apple Online Store; they are always really "like new" and with a full guarantee!

      • sir appleot says:

        Hello Renato! That is also my approach. For me, the Mac is a tool for work. It makes perfect sense to invest here regularly and not wait 10 years. Especially since you can deduct the investment anyway. As a freight forwarder, I would probably not have a fleet of trucks from 1970 ... But well, we don't know the background of Andreas and then it's difficult to judge. LG!

  3. Ulrich says:

    As long as there is no solution for the Windows problem with the future Macs, these are out of the question for me, and for many other users who unfortunately depend on Windows programs primarily for work.
    I will therefore in all probability get one of the last Intel Macs next year or the year after that, precisely for this reason, in order to have provisions for the next 5-10 years!

    • sir appleot says:

      Hello Ulrich! There might be no more boot camp, but you can still virtualize Windows on ARM Macs using VMWare or Parallels Desktop. It works very comfortably ...

      • Ulrich says:

        Hello, Jens,,
        So far there have only been efforts to get Parallels to continue running on ARM Macs in general, which is understandable, as the company would otherwise go bankrupt.
        As far as I know, however, there has not been a word so far that Windows can actually continue to be used here, which in view of the fact that not only a few codes have to be translated, but now also simulates an Intel processor in at least good quality must be what a different house number is, is also understandable!
        Microsoft has already made it clear that it will not license the ARM version for use on the Mac, why even if you can paralyze the competition so much.
        So far it looks like Windows will actually not run on the ARM-Mac, otherwise someone would have officially announced this!
        With the end of Intel-Mac, for me the end of Mac in general was heralded as well, because I won't put two computers here, and in many cases the software industry still refuses to use the software that many people in particular use are professionally dependent on bringing them to macOS natively.

        • sir appleot says:

          Hello Ulrich! Even 10-20 years ago, when Macs weren't as popular as they are now, Microsoft brought the Office suite for Mac users. I don't see why they shouldn't strive to do it again now that there are significantly more Mac users than before. In principle, there was also no iOS version of the Office applications and Microsoft has invested here too. I can't imagine that they'll just let Mac users go as customers. There aren't that few either.

          And with the best will in the world, I can't imagine that Windows won't be virtualized. If I understand correctly, it is Parallels Desktop that does the "translation" Mac / PC. They will certainly do everything they can to make it ...

          But of course we don't know for sure. All I know is that I'm looking forward to the new Macs. The Ax processors are so economical in their energy consumption and at the same time so powerful that every Intel processor, on the other hand, acts like a steam engine. I'm really excited about the first "real" Mac that ships with Apple Silicon. I realize that maybe one or the other won't work here yet, but as an early adopter you accept that. My old MacBook Pro will still be here ...

          • Ulrich says:

            Hi Jens,
            In my opinion, the development of Office on the Mac or in iOS cannot be compared with the question of Windows!
            First of all, you shouldn't forget that MS Office was actually the first to run on the Macintosh, and only over a year later on Windows!
            In addition, the corresponding further development of the meanwhile largely neglected Office on Mac was then driven by the increasing success of iWork, against which MS did not want to lose any market share!
            To date, however, it has not really delivered a fully-fledged version in comparison with the MS suite, so Mac users have been neglected here for a long time ...
            In addition, it is not about market shares in the office sector, which can be held on an ARM in the future without any problems, but about the "chance" for MS Apple to hit hard if there is no possibility of the program code written for Intel as well actually emulating a full-fledged Intel processor.
            As already said, these are two completely different pairs of shoes, whether I have "a few" different commands translated by Parallels or VMWare, but the chipset is basically the same, or whether I have to simulate a complete processor.
            Even if the developers at Parallels and Co. succeed in simulating a modern Intel processor completely with software, we can assume that the whole thing will be accompanied by significant losses in performance.
            Those who then depend on Windows-based programs for their jobs will think twice in the future whether they are spending a lot of money on a crutch that does not run the required software, or whether they can buy a high-performance PC for a fraction of the money , and will be able to work quickly with the required programs.
            MS will probably hardly miss this competitive advantage, especially since they have already officially announced that the ARM Windows, which already exists, will not be licensed for Apple devices.
            There is a reason why so far only Linux etc. has been mentioned when it comes to the future of VM software on the ARM Mac.

          • sir appleot says:

            Hello Ulrich! You actually know more than I do. I think your reasoning is conclusive and maybe it will come out as you say. I just hope that somehow you can run Windows on the new Macs without any performance problems - without any in-depth background knowledge of why this could happen. From the user's point of view, it would be a shame if there was no way. However, it wouldn't stop me from buying an Apple Silicon Mac.

  4. Gunnar Treugut says:

    Who can wait should do this. I also wanted to be tempted by the financing offers (24 months / 0% limited until 07.08.20/XNUMX/XNUMX), but was just able to slow me down. When the Mac mini PPC got the INTEL processors, the MOTOROLA processors were also left behind.

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