Review: Thin is in with new 21.5-inch iMacs but user upgrades, SuperDrive are out
Posted 07 December 2012 - 07:33 AM
Those are the reasons I chose to go with a Mac Mini. (I have been overdue for a new Mac for a while; my mid-2007 20" iMac continues to work well, in fact it runs Mountain Lion splendidly, but I want USB 3 and Thunderbolt and other new tech in the new Macs.) I don't play bleeding-edge-graphics games so the Mini's graphics subsystem is fine for me, and since I have a closet full of peripherals it was far less expensive for me to get a Mini with a Fusion Drive and slap in 16gb of Crucial RAM than to get a similarly-equipped iMac.
I probably would have gotten the new bottom-end iMac if Apple had allowed for something as simple as a 7200rpm 1gb hard drive as an option and a freakin' hatch to the RAM slots.
Posted 07 December 2012 - 07:58 AM
If I end up going for a new computer next year as I get more and more into high-definition video editing, I may have to look at a refurb 27" 2011 iMac rather than one of these new models, just so I can have the most "oomph" in my graphics cards for that GPU-intensive work. Saves me money, but kind of sucks for Apple.
Only other option will be that 2013 Mac Pro that Tim Cook hinted at back at the start of the year. Hopefully it will make the iMacs looks like turtles for the price premium.
Posted 07 December 2012 - 08:41 AM
Losing a SuperDrive, dropping from 7200RPM to 5400RPM hard drives (not acceptable in a desktop), losing FW 800 ports, and making even the RAM not user-upgradable (on iMacs, you already couldn't easily get to hard drives or anything else) … those are several big steps down. And for what? So it's thinner when viewed from the side? I'd rather keep the oh-so-huge 1-inch-thick iMacs and keep all these useful features.
I buy my computers to get things done, not to impress other people, or to use as a paring knife. I feel Apple is moving farther and farther away from the needs of its long-time users, chasing the bling of the iPhone crowd. I'm sure it's a wise business decision for them, but I'm not thrilled about it.
Posted 07 December 2012 - 09:48 AM
Posted 07 December 2012 - 10:07 AM
The 5400 rpm drive probably seems like an issue, but I wonder how much it really matters, when you really should be getting a fusion drive. If you have never had a computer with a solid state drive, it is time to upgrade. The performance difference is astonishing. My 5 year old Polycarbonate Macbook, with a Crucial M4, takes a fraction of the time to load anything that my 2010 2.9GHz iMac takes. That iMac has just gone in to our Tech Support people to have an SSD added, and my home 2011 iMac will soon get the same treatment at a local service center.
Posted 07 December 2012 - 10:15 AM
It sounds like you are not a typical iMac user. I am pretty tech savvy and have rebuilt computers in the past, but even I would not open an iMac when we have a company in town who can do the job (under warranty) for $40 per hour.
Posted 07 December 2012 - 10:21 AM
Posted 07 December 2012 - 11:10 AM
Your comments are what I've been looking for. I've been ready to upgrade my 2008 iMac for half a year, but I might just go with a BTO mini with an i7 and fusion drive. I have plenty if FireWire drives and no Thunderbolt drives. I just don't know if a mini will last me 4-5 years like my iMacs usually do.
Posted 07 December 2012 - 11:30 AM
Posted 07 December 2012 - 11:32 AM
What is a typical imac user? Someone who has lots of disposable income and loves to throw out perfectly good machines every few years when they need more RAM or a new hard drive? I have upgraded macs since 1985 with RAM, hard drives, processors, SCSI, USB, ethernet, etc. Macs used to be modifiable to allow them to be used longer. I haven't changed, but Apple's attitude has changed toward allowing people to modify the Mac. I understand that a thin iMac would need a design that makes accessibility prohibitive; but, who is asking for such thinness? Not a typical imac user.