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What's so good about the newer iMacs?

Avatar Trevor Hewson
Our 2009 iMac is still working very well but, having learned that it won't be supported by Mojave, I have to accept that it can't go on forever. Having just taken a brief look at the specs for the current offering, the first things that hit me were negative: the re-location of the SD card to the back and the absence of an optical drive.

Of course there's lots of effusive 'best ever' guff on Apple's website but I'm hoping that folk who have bought iMacs in recent years might be able to provide some more convincing encouragement by telling me what improvements I might actually notice when we eventually bite the bullet.

Trevor

Re: What's so good about the newer iMacs?

Avatar Mick Burrell
Above all, screen resolution and speed.

Re: What's so good about the newer iMacs?

Avatar Rick Churchill
My BBC Computer had a red switch on the back. When you operated it the operating system and word processor, both in ROM, would fire up instantly with a beep and so the computer was immediately ready for use. Upgrading was a little more difficult!

Re: What's so good about the newer iMacs?

Avatar Tony Still
How was the web browser on your BBC Micro Rick?

Re: What's so good about the newer iMacs?

Avatar Tony Still
We went down that route earlier in the year; I think Mick has summed up the benefits:
* Fusion drive makes start-up and many other operations much faster.
* USB 3 ports make many things (notably external disks) go much faster - a huge boon for Time Machine (but your drives need to be USB 3 too to see the benefit).
* The system will benefit from Apple's greater use of the GPU in macOS (Metal).
* The retina displays are lovely, more detail, wider gamut.
* Assured compatibility with macOS, security updates etc for some years to come
* Supports AirDrop and other continuity niceties.

Downsides are the lack of an optical drive, though there are cheaper options than Apple's (we went with Apple though) and a surprisingly small amount of extra compute power from the main CPU (depending upon models obviously but Intel has hit a bit of a wall).

You'll need to buy an adaptor if you need Firewire and we've not found an adaptor to plug in ROMs from the BBC Micro.

Re: What's so good about the newer iMacs?

Avatar Trevor Hewson
Thanks Mick and Tony - and Rick, I think??

I vaguely recall that for each of the last few OS updates, there were a one or two interesting features which turned out not to work on our iMac. I think most, if not all, of these come under Tony's last bullet - Airdrop and other Continuity niceties.

I do have one Firewire drive. It's the old Firewire standard (Firewire 400?) so we had to buy an adapter when we bought this iMac too!

We've no complaints about the screen or the speed of the present machine (although it does seem to find switching users hard work sometimes) so we won't be rushing into upgrading. I'll keep an eye out for John Lewis offers.

Re: What's so good about the newer iMacs?

Avatar Douglas Cheney
You could always buy a refurbished iMac from Apple, my last two Mac have been refurbished and I had no problems with them. I also bought two 12" Mac Books from the refurbished store for two of my granddaughters when they went to college.

Re: What's so good about the newer iMacs?

Avatar Douglas Cheney
Web link to refurbished store https://www.apple.com/uk/shop/browse/home/specialdeals

Re: What's so good about the newer iMacs?

Avatar Mick Burrell
I suspect that more urgent than the iMac for replacement would be a Firewire 400 drive! That's surely of an age where you shouldn't be relying on it to provide a backup in an emergency.

Re: What's so good about the newer iMacs?

Avatar Trevor Hewson
Point taken but, as an ex-engineer, I’d need counselling if I were to throw away something that still works!

Re: What's so good about the newer iMacs?

Avatar Tony Still
Bath-tub curve Trevor!

Re: What's so good about the newer iMacs?

Avatar Alan Cox
How fast is 'faster' or pehaps 'much faster'? And how much difference does a bit of extra speed make to your life?

Re: What's so good about the newer iMacs?

Avatar Mick Burrell
Very little Alan - unless perhaps you're rendering video.

Re: What's so good about the newer iMacs?

Avatar Trevor Hewson
Yes, that was my view too, hence my plaintive appeal for some more tangible, qualitative improvement that might tempt me into making the upgrade.

Re: What's so good about the newer iMacs?

Avatar Tony Still
Disk access is much faster, night and day difference at start-up. Sorry, no stopwatch readings to back this up.

Re: What's so good about the newer iMacs?

Avatar Derek Wright
The newer Macs will have Metal support in the graphics "card" which is now a pre req to get Mohave to install.
what is Metal a graphics "function" that speeds up graphics

Re: What's so good about the newer iMacs?

Avatar John Ansell
I have been considering updating my iMac, it won’t run Mojave. I don’t find my 2010 iMac slow and it does everything I ask of it. I will wait until Apple stop producing security updates for High Sierra or a hardware failure before upgrading.

Re: What's so good about the newer iMacs?

Avatar Trevor Hewson
John, I agree that our 2009 iMac doesn’t seem slow generally. However, Mary and I have separate user accounts on it and there is no doubt that ‘fast user switching’ no longer lives up to it’s name. Changing users now seems to involve the iMac in a lot more work (lots of disc chuntering) than it used to. I’m sure that Tony is right in pointing to this area as one where we would notice a difference with the newer, SSD-equipped machines.

Re: What's so good about the newer iMacs?

Avatar Mick Burrell
Trevor - any chance your hard drive is getting full?

Re: What's so good about the newer iMacs?

Avatar Trevor Hewson
1.28TB out of 2TB available. It looks like we might have to keep this machine a bit longer in order to justify the decision to go for the 2TB upgrade when we bought it!
 
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