New 4K and 5K iMacs

Aurelius

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Arriving this week... there are already reviews for them, in fact.

To me, this feels like the first big, comprehensive iMac update in a long while. The initial 5K iMac was really more of a stopgap, something to add on top of the existing line while Intel got Broadwell and Skylake sorted out.

I'm with the early reviews: it's great to get a 21-inch iMac with a 4K screen, but Apple really needs to either bump up the spinning drive speeds on the smaller models or make them Fusion Drives. 5,400RPM is good enough for the basics, but you'll hurt if you're trying to do heavy-duty media editing or file transfers.

The 27-inch iMacs, on the other hand, look pretty solid. My only beef is that none of these models ships with more than 8GB of RAM standard. They're good enough that I ordered one -- I can probably provide some feedback on it this weekend.
 

StryderxX

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I currently own a 27" 5K iMac and I find the style a little dated. That massive bezel around the border of the screen really needs to be reduced. My model also struggles with the R9 M295X GPU. I noticed that Apple updated the GPU in the newer models (R9 M395X) so hopefully that'll help graphic performance.
 

Verge

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5k standalone display.....



......




.....




.....



I mean wtf at this point.
 

Aurelius

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I currently own a 27" 5K iMac and I find the style a little dated. That massive bezel around the border of the screen really needs to be reduced. My model also struggles with the R9 M295X GPU. I noticed that Apple updated the GPU in the newer models (R9 M395X) so hopefully that'll help graphic performance.

Yes and no. It could stand some modernization, but I can see why they'd keep the bezel with the current display option; that affords them extra space. Now, if Apple could cram in slightly larger displays, that'd be another matter.

And yeah, the graphics are part of why I was willing to hold off on the first-gen. Hopefully, the M300 series has that bit of extra oomph that smoothes things out.
 

defaultluser

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Yes and no. It could stand some modernization, but I can see why they'd keep the bezel with the current display option; that affords them extra space. Now, if Apple could cram in slightly larger displays, that'd be another matter.

And yeah, the graphics are part of why I was willing to hold off on the first-gen. Hopefully, the M300 series has that bit of extra oomph that smoothes things out.

Nope, it's the same old Amethyst XT (aka Tonga XT):

Remember the across-the-board re-brand we got 6 months back? it wasn't exclusive to desktop parts!

https://www.techpowerup.com/gpudb/2742/radeon-r9-m395x.html

Same old under powered AMD mobile part driving a display that's too high a resolution for it. Why do people pay a premium for these things again? Packing Tonga XT plus a 4790k into that tiny volume causes BOTH parts to throttle considerably when gaming!

They could fit a GTX 970 level of performance in the same TDP the Amethyst XT operates in, which would actually be somewhat competent at 5k! But Apple buys whatever the user CAN'T SEE from the lowest bidder, which is why the Macbook Pro 2015 uses an underclocked HD 7770.
 
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CEpeep

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Same old under powered AMD mobile part driving a display that's too high a resolution for it. Why do people pay a premium for these things again? Packing Tonga XT plus a 4790k into that tiny volume causes BOTH parts to throttle considerably when gaming!

If you want to play games at 5K, an iMac is not something you want anyway. The GPU is more than good enough to casually play all of the titles in the App Store at 1440p resolution, which looks fine with the pixel-doubling Apple employs.
 

Yakk

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Interesting news machines. I agree a new thin bezel, or one step further with bezeless would be a great esthetic refresh. While this is really not for gaming, at 5K you'd need a lot more GPU power for games and whatnot. A 970 would still fall quite short at 5K.

Given the form factor, the Fury NANO would probably be the best option considering TDP and size to fit in the logic board and cooling. But I highly doubt enough could even be manufactured in volume to satisfy Apple sales until the process has matured quite a bit. Even then Apple keeps their Mac PROs for this type of work... and even higher price premium.
 

Verge

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If you want to play games at 5K, an iMac is not something you want anyway. The GPU is more than good enough to casually play all of the titles in the App Store at 1440p resolution, which looks fine with the pixel-doubling Apple employs.


iMac isn't meant for gaming.



No-Mac is
 

CEpeep

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Right, but it's PRICED like it *should* be capable of gaming. That is the true crime here, and nobody holds them to it!

What does that even mean? It's capable of playing every title in the App Store. If you're expecting something more/different than that, you're barking up the wrong tree. If gaming is anything more than a casual interest, why are you even looking at a Mac?
 

defaultluser

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What does that even mean? It's capable of playing every title in the App Store. If you're expecting something more/different than that, you're barking up the wrong tree. If gaming is anything more than a casual interest, why are you even looking at a Mac?

I'm not. But people who want to play Steam games or Blizzard games without giving up their OS X DO BUY the iMac.

And as weak as the iMac is, it's still the ONLY REAL gaming platform on OS X. Thus, it has a responsibility to live up to. Even if Apple doesn't think so.

BUT THIN IS SO IMPORTANT FOR A DESKTOP!
 
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D

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While the new hardware overall is nice, I just can't get past that lame ass 5400 rpm hard drive - a hard drive in a premium Apple desktop computer in late 2015...

I mean really, with the cost of even very nicely performing SSDs reaching down into the sub-$75 range nowadays this is what I'd call basically unacceptable. Least they could have put in there would have been a 1TB 7200 rpm hard drive bare minimum.

5400 rpm, good lord, Apple, what the hell is wrong with you people?
 

Aurelius

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While the new hardware overall is nice, I just can't get past that lame ass 5400 rpm hard drive - a hard drive in a premium Apple desktop computer in late 2015...

I mean really, with the cost of even very nicely performing SSDs reaching down into the sub-$75 range nowadays this is what I'd call basically unacceptable. Least they could have put in there would have been a 1TB 7200 rpm hard drive bare minimum.

5400 rpm, good lord, Apple, what the hell is wrong with you people?

This seems to be the year of Apple clinging on to tech for one more generation than it should (see also: 16GB flagship iPhones). You can solve this problem with a Fusion Drive, of course, but you shouldn't have to. It seems to be the one blot on an otherwise nice update.
 

CEpeep

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I'm not. But people who want to play Steam games or Blizzard games without giving up their OS X DO BUY the iMac.

And as weak as the iMac is, it's still the ONLY REAL gaming platform on OS X. Thus, it has a responsibility to live up to. Even if Apple doesn't think so.

And for that it's just fine. The last 5K iMac ran all of Blizzard's games, no reason this one won't.

If you want 5120x2880@60FPS with max settings, you are not a person who buys a Mac expecting to play games on it. If you just like OS X and want to play WoW and HotS sometimes, this is more than enough hardware to make that happen.
 

brentsg

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iMac isn't meant for gaming.



No-Mac is

Almost exactly half of my Steam library has an OSX version, so it's not as bad as people make it seem. As long as the hardware is there, it's getting better all the time.
 

elleana

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And for that it's just fine. The last 5K iMac ran all of Blizzard's games, no reason this one won't.

If you want 5120x2880@60FPS with max settings, you are not a person who buys a Mac expecting to play games on it. If you just like OS X and want to play WoW and HotS sometimes, this is more than enough hardware to make that happen.

Assuming I'm fine with 1400p at a decent frame rate, which GPU is 'good enough'? The 380 / 390 / 395? Nothing more intensive than WoW / Starcraft II.
 

majic12

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Just checked the page here in Spain and i coudnt be more dissapointed ,but not surprised.All start with a crap i5 2 core or 4 core cpus and 5400 rpm.Its all most 2016 but it looks like apple still have a few hundred thousands left from the dumpster and is comited to sell them.And of course 2 gb amd gpus which im sure are below 980m level.Please forgive me for saying this but i wish this company goes bankruptcy some day :( Its not about the PCs.Im just dissapointed of the ugly way they do their stuff.(having in mind that they are not the only ones in the world)i supose i said something stupid.
Sorry if this comment was harsh to users.
 

Aurelius

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Assuming I'm fine with 1400p at a decent frame rate, which GPU is 'good enough'? The 380 / 390 / 395? Nothing more intensive than WoW / Starcraft II.

StarCraft II generally runs smoothly at 1440p on my outgoing iMac from 2012 (3.2GHz Core i5 Ivy Bridge, GeForce 675MX), so you probably wouldn't have an issue with it on any of the new models.
 
D

Deleted whining member 223597

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Assuming I'm fine with 1400p at a decent frame rate, which GPU is 'good enough'? The 380 / 390 / 395? Nothing more intensive than WoW / Starcraft II.

Both of those games are mostly CPU dependent, so just make sure you get a strong CPU. SC2 ran decently (not great, but not terribly) on a 2012 iMac with the GTX 660M, I forget what the CPU was.
 

UnknownSouljer

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Just checked the page here in Spain and i coudnt be more dissapointed ,but not surprised.All start with a crap i5 2 core or 4 core cpus and 5400 rpm.Its all most 2016 but it looks like apple still have a few hundred thousands left from the dumpster and is comited to sell them.And of course 2 gb amd gpus which im sure are below 980m level.Please forgive me for saying this but i wish this company goes bankruptcy some day :( Its not about the PCs.Im just dissapointed of the ugly way they do their stuff.(having in mind that they are not the only ones in the world)i supose i said something stupid.
Sorry if this comment was harsh to users.

You're entitled to your opinion, but you must recognize that Intel manufacturers the processors, AMD the GPUs, and of course virtually everything else is sourced from everywhere else.

Not every computer is built for you. This is why there is a configurator. This is why there are different tiers. Complaining that not every configuration and that not every tier suits your tastes is absurd and a waste of time.

I 100% guarantee that you feel the same way about every other manufacture. I don't think there is a base model or first tier Dell, HP, Asus, MSI, Lenovo, or Sager I'd want either. You just have an unrealistic expectation of Apple for some reason. Apple caters to a fairly wide user base.

If you don't want an i5 and a 5400rpm drive... upgrade it. Or don't buy it. Seems simple enough.


While the new hardware overall is nice, I just can't get past that lame ass 5400 rpm hard drive - a hard drive in a premium Apple desktop computer in late 2015...

I mean really, with the cost of even very nicely performing SSDs reaching down into the sub-$75 range nowadays this is what I'd call basically unacceptable. Least they could have put in there would have been a 1TB 7200 rpm hard drive bare minimum.

5400 rpm, good lord, Apple, what the hell is wrong with you people?

I guess people don't understand sales and differentiation. Only the 21.5" doesn't come with a fusion drive as standard, and it's only a $100 option to bump up. If it's "unacceptable" don't buy it or upgrade. I don't get what is so hard to understand about this. Apple doesn't exist to specifically cater to you. Or even to the [H] enthusiast crowd nerds. It exists to make a profit. Most people will still be completely satisfied with a 5400rpm drive. Most people probably don't even know what an SSD is. Apple knows this, hence why their base level machine doesn't have any form of SSD. Will they more than likely eventually go 100% solid state in the future (like with their MBAs and MBPrs)?: Probably, but that day isn't today.
 
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D

Deleted whining member 223597

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That argument that Apple is only there to make a profit isn't the argument you, as a customer, should be making (unless you are a shareholder, in which case it makes more sense). The 5400RPM HDD is inexcusable at this price point and I'm not really sure why you're defending it. Other options exist, but it shouldn't even be a choice, similar to the bs 16gb iPhone 6S/Plus model.
 

UnknownSouljer

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That argument that Apple is only there to make a profit isn't the argument you, as a customer, should be making (unless you are a shareholder, in which case it makes more sense). The 5400RPM HDD is inexcusable at this price point and I'm not really sure why you're defending it. Other options exist, but it shouldn't even be a choice, similar to the bs 16gb iPhone 6S/Plus model.

2 things: #1: You're arguing that I shouldn't argue for the truth. I'm telling you reality. Being a shareholder or not would have no bearing that Apple is a business. They aren't a charity. I'm not going to get a delusional perspective because you can't understand capitalism.

#2: You didn't even pay attention to what I said to majic12: Show me any other manufacturer that you wouldn't have to do some level of customization to. There isn't a single manufacture that you wouldn't have to tweak in some way shape or form. Asus, HP, Lenovo, Sager, Dell, the lot. What makes zero sense to me is that you (and by you, I mean anyone really) would hold Apple to some standard that you wouldn't any other company.

Finally, you're talking about phones in comparison with their desktop machines. But to address your iPhone comment, I don't think you know what "inexcusable" really means if you're using it in this context. I'm sure there are plenty of people that are perfectly happy to have base level 16GB phones, I actually know some. Now don't get me wrong, 16GB is too small for me on a phone at this point but once again capitalism and options: a 16GB option exists because there is a 64GB and 128GB option. There isn't a "one size fits all option." There is nothing forcing you choose anything. You vote with your dollars just like everyone else. As a side note, I'm currently shopping for a used laptop. I personally think that 4GB of Ram and 128GB HD's on MBAs is too low, but considering how many of them exist in the market, clearly other people didn't think so. Other people have very different perspectives on what 'enough' is. I'm sure you'll see the same things with used iPhone 6's (not 6S... but the previous generation, hard to denote which quickly via text) on the market. I bet if I check Swappa, I'll see more 16GB models than anything else. You would argue that that is because it's the lowest end "default", but not one of them was forced to get that model, and no argument you can come up with will explain it other than choice.

Apple is a multi-billion dollar business. I'm sure they are keenly aware of their market. And bully for them for being able to exploit it. If you don't like the way that tastes going down, there are other companies with other options. But sooner or later you're going to have to figure out that every single one of them would operate the same way given the advantages Apple has. Or I guess don't figure it out and lie to yourself about the nature of business.
 
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Aurelius

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That argument that Apple is only there to make a profit isn't the argument you, as a customer, should be making (unless you are a shareholder, in which case it makes more sense). The 5400RPM HDD is inexcusable at this price point and I'm not really sure why you're defending it. Other options exist, but it shouldn't even be a choice, similar to the bs 16gb iPhone 6S/Plus model.

I'd say the 5,400RPM drive is tolerable, but only just. Apple really needs to standardize on Fusion Drives, or else hope that 7,200RPM laptop-sized drives come down in price.
 

elleana

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I don't have the exact numbers, but consider two configurations in isolation - 5,400rpm drive and fusion drive. The fusion drive is $100 more than the 5,400rpm drive, let's say $1,200 and $1,300.

Now, simple marketing and advertising logic dictates you should price at $1,200 and offer the $1,300 model as an optional upgrade. I don't know any company who would offer the $1,300 model as the starter / base model and offer a $100 'downgrade'.

You could argue Apple should not even offer the $1,200 base 5,400rpm model at all, but there is a simple economic theory called supply and demand. If there was no demand, Apple wouldn't offer it.
 

NetJunkie

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Right, but it's PRICED like it *should* be capable of gaming. That is the true crime here, and nobody holds them to it!

No. It's priced like the fantastically engineered desktop system that it is. I have the first gen 5K that I got on launch day. It's an absolutely amazing system. No...I don't game. I'm the target user for a system like this.
 

Aurelius

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So I've been using my 5K iMac (the highest-end spec with the 3.3GHz Core i7, M395 graphics and 2TB Fusion Drive) for a week. Quick impressions:

Anyone who bought the first-gen knows this, but the 5K screen is superb. It ruins you for any other desktop display, simply because everything looks so sharp. It's hard to say if the expanded colour gamut really matters, but it's nice to know that my photos accurately reflect what I shot. And it's hilarious to think that you can pay less for a 5K iMac than it costs to get Dell's 5K display (which has to 'cheat' by using two display signals) by itself. Buy an Apple 5K display, get a full desktop computer for free!

Performance-wise, it's clear this hits the spot. It's not a gaming rig (although Homeworld Remastered plays well at 2560x1440 with high detail), but it's definitely not hurting for speed, either. If you were concerned that the first 5K models were just barely enough to handle things, it shouldn't be an issue here. If you can at all manage, get a model with a Fusion Drive or SSD. I've seen this on my laptop, but that flash storage absolutely changes things. I used to have to get a drink in the morning while waiting for my work apps to load -- now, they're all open within a few seconds. I can't speak for other models' performance, but they're all using upper-end video... you'll be fine.

I still think it's a shame that Apple ships all of them with 8GB of RAM, but the higher bandwidth combined with a Fusion Drive helps eliminate some bottlenecks. There's two RAM slots free if you want to get your own memory, as it is.

The new input? The Magic Mouse 2 isn't that radically different, although it's nice to have a battery that doesn't need replacement after a week of heavy use. I'm a big fan of the keyboard, though. It's more comfortable and looks nicer on the desk... and if you need to charge it, you don't have to stop what you're doing.

My main beefs are with the futureproofing. There's no USB Type C or Thunderbolt 3, so you may eventually have to buy adapters or go without certain peripherals. Also, I'd argue that Fusion Drives should be standard, with 2TB on all but the base model. We live in an era of 6TB desktop hard drives, 2TB shouldn't be standard on only the most expensive version!

And while I don't mind the current iMac design, it'd be nice if Apple could find a way to shrink it down without compromising on performance. It's a big honking computer, and not that easy to lift at 21 pounds. It'd be great if Apple could trim the overall footprint and shave a pound or two off the weight.
 

elleana

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Ugh been thinking very hard if I want this or not. Currently on a 40" 4K screen which is decent but not great. Trying to decide if going back to 27" is tolerable.
 

ssnyder28

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No. It's priced like the fantastically engineered desktop system that it is. I have the first gen 5K that I got on launch day. It's an absolutely amazing system. No...I don't game. I'm the target user for a system like this.

Yes fantastically engineered and unable to use the 5k resolution... unless you think $2500 is worth it to browse your desktop in 5k that is.
 
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