2017 iMac and iMac Pro buyers and owners thread.

Discussion in 'Apple' started by Sam Posten, Jun 11, 2017.

  1. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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  2. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    (Reserved for iMac Pro reviews)
     
  3. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    Reflecting on computer performance, given upgrades and different comments on being or not being "wowed"...

    In 1993 the first generation of Pentium were released, running at 60MHz. (Although too rich for me, and I had bought a 486DX2 33MHz). Jumping to 2001, the Pentium 4's were out, running about 1.8GHz. Eight years and 30x increase in clock speed and around 30x faster performance.

    Today I'm running a Core 2 Duo at 2.93Ghz from 2009. In a couple weeks I'll have the latest i5 at 3.4GHz. Eight years and the clock rate went up 16%. Compared to 3,000% in my previous example. Actual performance has perhaps doubled or quadrupled in the past eight years; nowhere near the 30-fold from the pre-2K era.

    This new iMac I'm buying a year after building my current HTPC, a previous-gen i5 running at 3.2GHz. A 1% increase in clock speed and about a 5% performance increase. Compared to what used to be a 50% increase in CPU performance after about 12 months.

    Which is to say:

    1) If I were a betting man, I'd bet this is why people feel underwhelmed after replacing a three year old computer with a new one. Used to be you'd expect double or quadruple improvement for a 36 month gap.

    2) I miss Moore's Law.
     
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  4. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    This is why I think Apple will move to ARM sooner than later on the Mac.
     
  5. Alf S

    Alf S Banned
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    Side note:

    What's happening to the posting system?

    Sam's post is duplicated twice, I'm seeing it on several other threads as well.
     
  6. 4 Jun 12, 2017
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2017
    JohnRice

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    I think there's more sides to that as well. When I bought my first Mac around 1989, enthusiasts would spend twice as much for a 10-15% increase in power. My first Mac was an SE/30, and I can't recall what the High End Mac was, but it was marginally faster and at least double the price. Also, RAM was typically $100/MB. I think there's a basic fact that CPUs have improved at a much faster pace than computing needs have. I remember my 6300 (6200? I forget), which was not exactly a cheap computer, could barely handle playing a DVD, while doing nothing else. Now, my (hardly new) 2012 i7 Mini can play HD video at full res, drive two large monitors, and tackle several others tasks, all at the same time, without hardly breaking a sweat.

    I kind of welcome the slowing of advancements. The gains now seem to be mostly in GPUs (for hard core video/gaming people) and busses. I'm good with that. I'd much rather see more advancements in busses like TB3/USB-C than in CPUs at this point.

    BTW, I think we're saying the same thing. I'm just saying I'm kind of OK with it. It's great than I can totally use my nearly 5 years old Mini, even if I'm finally tempted to get a new iMac.
     
  7. Keith Plucker

    Keith Plucker Screenwriter

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    Because that would cause performance to drop so much that the new machines they come out without would should a greater improvement? ;)

    -Keith
     
  8. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    Because they can parallelize them and keep the heat down.
     
  9. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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  10. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    I think that was one Ars' best reviews. Having read that, I wonder why that hasn't been the norm for the past 20 years? (Ok, I know the answer, but still.)

    And it shows that I was about right, perhaps optimistic in my historical comparisons:
    Are showed 50% to 100% improvement in raw computational abilities since 2011. Graphics have gone up more so. But disk speeds have gone up dramatically, which increases perceived performance more than the actual CPU gains.

    But yeah, five years, 50% improvement. Moore, we hardly knew ya!
     
  11. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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  12. Raul Marquez

    Raul Marquez Supporting Actor

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    Dave,

    My son just bought a new MacBook pro 2 weeks ago. He told me that he didn't need the touchbar since he thought he wasn't going to use it, so he wanted a cheaper model. However, due to a BestBuy special and with a student discount he got one with the touchbar which was cheaper.

    He tells me now that he uses it constantly.

    Raul
     
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  13. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    I like the idea of it. And I was optimistic about it. But the reviews I've read are generally negative towards its current implementation.

    Of course those are written by expert users and experience may be different for casual and novice users. But that's a problem for a $400 option in the "pro" line. Novices tend to buy cheaper hardware.

    I'm only on the outside looking in as an iMac user. :)
     
  14. Raul Marquez

    Raul Marquez Supporting Actor

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    Dave,

    I'm basically an iMac user as well. I have a MacBook, but basically only use it for travel.

    What would be interesting would be a separate keyboard for the iMac with a NumPad and the Touch bar as well. I personally dislike trackpads, having grown up using a mouse. My son fights me on this all the time. :)

    Raul
     
  15. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    I was hoping the iMac update would bring a touchbar keyboard. But given the reviews and the likelihood such a keyboard would cost $400+, I'm now having they didn't tempt me with such an accessory.

    I did buy the Magic Trackpad 2, upgrading from the original. Similarly, I'm finding the force touch feature a bust for desktop use. There's really no practical benefit to it for my uses.
     
  16. Thomas Newton

    Thomas Newton Screenwriter

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    It's a bundle: for $300, you get the Touch Bar, four Thunderbolt 3 ports, and a somewhat faster CPU. (Faster in theory, but most people probably would not see the difference unless they were running very time-consuming batch operations.)

    There doesn't seem to be a way to get four Thunderbolt 3 ports without getting the Touch Bar.
     
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  17. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    Fair enough. When I was browsing, I mostly noticed the price jump and the touchbar. I thought the relative price jump to the non-touchbar'd MBP was $400+, not $300. But I wasn't shopping seriously the notebooks. I'm an iPad and iMac guy.
     
  18. Keith Plucker

    Keith Plucker Screenwriter

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    Well, I came very close to switching over to Windows 10 but in the end decided to stick with macOS. Today I received my 27" iMac. Just getting it set up now, so far, so good. Although I have worked on other folks iMacs from time to time it is the first one that I have owned myself. FWIW…4.2 i7, 1TB SSD. 40GB of RAM (8GB of Apple + 32 GB of Crucial).

    -Keith
     

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