Apple’s next-gen iMac may go for power, speed (to keep Mac users from straying to Windows or something)

“The iMac 2017 may go for power and speed by having the Intel Kaby Lake i7-7700K, which was not yet available when the Microsoft Surface Studio launched so Apple may still sway Mac users from migrating to the competition,” Lucy McClaren reports for University Herald. “Moreover, the Virtual Reality potential of the iMac, a first for Apple may be the final game-clincher for the long overdue device that is now surrounded by many other rivals offering the same basic features.”

MacDailyNews Take: Yet another reporter who thinks hardware is the full story and totally misses what makes a Mac a Mac: macOS.

McClaren reports, “Mac users who have not migrated to Microsoft yet may still be enticed to stay with the iMac.”

MacDailyNews Take: The total ignorance of Mac users and their loyalty is appalling.

“The most logical step is to beef up performance with Intel’s Kaby Lake processor and pack in more power to its graphics processing unit with AMD’s Polaris 10 or 11,” McClaren reports. “The AMD GPUs also bring the potential of a VR support, a feature that has long been demanded from Apple devices and the iMac 2017 may be the very first to do so according to PC Advisor.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: You can pick out someone who’s never touched a Mac from a mile away. They’re just totally clueless.

It’s the software, stupid. — MacDailyNews, January 24, 2005


    1. iMacs have had decent CPUs but always weak on the GPU side. There’s also the problem I’ve heard about thermal throttling in that fancy, thin iMac enclosure. There’s not much of a way to remove heat in such close quarters and I suppose that’s the reason for using weak GPUs. Apple doesn’t want to use a lot of wattage, always tries to make the thinnest enclosure possible and doesn’t want fan noise either. All those self-imposed compromises will tend to bottleneck any attempts at having a powerful iMac.

      Why does Apple have to be the only computer maker to use laptop GPUs in a desktop? Of course, I know why but still…

      The only thing that gives me hope is knowing Apple is definitely designing its own GPUs for future AR/VR usage.

      1. My god, the ignorance here is mind blowing. Where to start?

        The heat removal in an iMac is world class. Only Apple seems to have noticed that heat RISES.

        Others fight a losing battle trying to fan out heat through the back. Like trying to fly by flapping two flat pieces of wood instead of airfoil shaped light honeycombed material.

        To say that iMac struggles with heat eradication is ignorance. The chimney effect employed by Apple makes thinness possible.

        The choice of GPU is nothing to do with the heat eradication of the product. The choice is due to the requirement/market/height restrictions of engineering design.

        I could go on but…..time is more precious to me than trying to convince idiots.

        1. “The chimney effect employed by Apple makes thinness possible.”

          An all in one desktop computer with the same footprint gains absolutely nothing from thinness. It does lose upgradability though…

          Kind of like the Hooters restaurant chain tagline:

          “Delightfully tacky, yet unrefined.”

        2. An all in one desktop computer with the same desktop footprint as before gains absolutely no more capability by being thin. Zero.

          But gratefully we’ve been liberated from post purchase upgradability. /s

        3. “The heat removal in an iMac is world class”
          Not really. Today’s most powerful heat dissipation systems comes from water cooling. The closed systems from Corsair Hydro series are very popular, relatively affordable and easy to install. The iMac heat dissipation system is efficient but not leading. It idles low enough but it is relatively hot under full stress and has a low overhead potential for overclocking.

          In a top desktop system optimized for performance there is no reason to use mobile parts and is no a secret the iMac is a mixture of mobile and desktop engineering. Put simply there is nothing stoping Apple to include a more powerful desktop GPU inside an iMac but their own “thin” design goals.

          In 2017 the hopes of a top desktop GPU inside an iMac are very low while Apple keeps their shape design priority. Although Apple may create a different iMac Pro.

        4. > Put simply there is nothing stoping Apple to include a more powerful desktop GPU inside an iMac but their own “thin” design goals.

          Exactly this. Just yesterday I pointed out that the latest Alienware 15 gaming *laptop* has a *desktop* GPU that blows the top-end iMac’s 2-year old *mobile* GPU out of the water.

          Apple has obviously decided high-end gaming and/or VR isn’t a priority. Although my primary and work computers remain Macs, I myself was forced to go with a custom-built PC for my flight simulator, there was no way I was going to pay literally twice as much for a giant iMac with half the GPU performance that would max out the fans the entire time I was flying.

        5. Absolutely Right. Your choice my friend, not Apple’s.

          Those defending Apple on hardware choices today on top machines pretend to live in an evolutionary bubble. Is not Apple who decides VR, top gaming, top 3D design or anything else shouldn’t be part of a smart and sensible person. I don’t care much for VR but I am not imposing my vision to everybody.

          Sorry MDN and those who never opened a computer, so you may think it is for fancy engineers only but today very young people do it and I do it. So you could. You like to talk about hardware but to you it is far beyond. Yes the Mac is a great OS but it is starting to be a past achievement if Apple fails to see not what it is or has been but what should be now and in the future. And not for themselves but for the users. So the better format may die again.

        6. Actually, the ignorance on your part is truly mind blowing.

          “The choice of GPU is nothing to do with the heat eradication of the product.” Ah, so you’re saying they could put a full blown Nvidia P100 GPU in an iMac and have no issues? Give us all a break and never make statements like that.

          Heat rejection in Macs is absolutely NOT world class. When the 2013 Mac Pro was announced it was world class, but by the time it actually shipped others had started to ship items that were even more inventive. The thermodynamics in iMacs is tolerable but nothing more. It does not even use the “chimney effect” properly! Hell, Apple’s use of the “chimney effect” dates back to the original Thin Man, and we all know how that was sub optimal!

          Thermodynamics is, to put it bluntly, a bitch. Even many physicists refer to the field as “thermo-god-damn-ics”. It is one of the few field that routinely uses a fudge factor (entropy) to make the equations work out.

          Apple’s “thin and light” systems DO struggle with thermodynamic issues. Apple DOES pick lower power components to fit within a self imposed thermal power envelope. To say otherwise is burying your head in the sand while sticking your fingers in your ears.

        7. Paul, you’re not thinking scientifically. Wherever you are getting the idea that an iMac has world class cooling, you are dead wrong. Lokk, Porsche used to get away with air cooled engines up to the 1980s but now every one needs a more sophisticated system of heat management.

          The chimney effect is all fine and dandy for situations where you can accept very low heat transfer rates. Apple gets away with this by betting that most users don’t do extended processing tasks. It falls apart when power users push an iMac.

          Heat DOES NOT always rise. High energy goes to places of low energy. Any meteorologist would be able to show you inversion layers in the atmosphere where cold air is above hot air. Intelligent computer design doesn’t rely on perfect environmental conditions, active cooling is essential for sustained performance. This is just one of many areas where Apple’s fashion designers are harming Mac performance. Thin is not the goal for any desktop user. We want power!!!!!!!!

        8. The top iMac is not a workstation even if on paper it has some top credentials. That is why is so abstract to explain what a workstation is to people who never used a workstation to do workstation jobs all day long.

          Use a MBP to do workstation jobs and you will find it is even less qualified as a true workstation computer. The Pro name is only qualified for occasional or less demanding tasks.

          Top performance numbers alone mean nothing for a production environment. But it doesn’t mean you are going to pay for 2-3 year old parts today.

          The MBP may be more powerful in less stress situations than an iMac that has no a Pro name, but for more headroom you will find as the iMac is a better machine. But again when you need a true workstation only the Mac Pro is suitable. Now, if you need a top workstation then you only have PC options.

          Workstation parts are even clocked lower than corresponding desktop parts. This is not a mistake as workstation parts are optimized to work all day long. If they perform better it is because of the expensive software optimization done on their drivers. Also workstation parts include better capacitors and components to better handle heat.

    2. And monitor choices and your graphics card choices … and all….
      Customization… State of the art, Latest concepts… etc.. the panicle of computing at all levels..
      If they cant do that… something is truly wrong with the pic now….
      Becouse they did before !

    3. Same here for my personal businesses, but the value of the Apple ecosystem is no longer compelling. Which is why I didn’t buy the Trash Can and my main production machines are a 2009 and a 2012. Given their advancing age, something is going to give this year.

      Wish it wasn’t so, but….

      ….it ain’t looking good for Apple.


    1. I don’t require that Apple provide new/upgraded/updated Pro machines every year.

      However, the current state is purely asinine. While the common lament is that the current Mac Pro is over three years old, the reality is that the hardware, technologies, and subsystems within the Mac Pro are approaching four years old.

    1. Building a spaceship campus that cost an exorbitant amount is far more important than satisfying the users that helped build that stockpile of cash they’re sitting on.

  1. The hardware is not totally irrelevant. There was a day not very long ago that you could buy an iMac that could actually play games. Now they almost all have Intel integrated GPUs. It’s pretty daft for a $1500 desktop to have a terrible GPU.

      1. Jesus, there’s no reason to be an asshole about it.

        You are each half right. All the 21″ models sport integrated GPUS which are woefully inadequate for modern gaming, assuming you can actually find cutting edge Mac games.

        It is true that the 5K iMac has a decent display (better for static image editing than for dynamic video use) and can be had with up to an AMD Radeon M395X GPU with a grand total of 4GB GPU RAM. One can’t really complain too much about the price, either, even though Apple does its usual raping of customers for RAM and dinky default hard drive sizes.

        The problem is that the 5K screen is too good for this GPU, which was designed for mobile screens. So if you have every tried to play action games on the 5K iMac, you will discover that you have a stuttery experience at full resolution.

        Apple DOES need to get with the times. Both the 21″ and 27″ iMacs need new discrete GPU options badly.

  2. The only reason to stray is because you ain’t gettin’ the machine you want, or the ability to upgrade or use the components (Nvidia for CUDA acceleration anyone?) you want for the software you choose (not everyone chooses AMD & FCP X).

    Those tantalizing options live in abundance on the Dark Side where you can do anything your little heart desires.

    No more dumbing down machines for pros please.

  3. I want a tower with 5 full height drive bays. 6 would be better. No dongles, so a card reader and DVD reader inbuilt. And nothing on my desk except two big monitors a keyboard and a trackpad.

    If Apple won’t make one I’ll buy a wintel machine. My current (stupid) Mac Pro spends most of its time running win10, office and OneDrive under parallels. It works but win10 is ok on its own and, heaven knows, there isn’t a single Apple app that makes the grade these days. Some people like Final Cut Pro. I hate it. Really hate it.

    I would never buy an iMac. I had one once but the screen was always at the wrong height. And I have a big tape drive and lots of disks. So much clutter on my desk with the silly Mac Pro.

    But it’s fast. Horrible ergonomics and cables that always work loose. Designed by an ignoramus who doesn’t use a computer for real work. Finding the power button is always a challenge!

    I’m so over Apple. I love the Mac OS but the metal sucks. Horrible keyboards on the new notebooks designed by an ignoramus who doesn’t type.

    And crap application software. Jeez mail was last updated so many years ago that it cant sort all my large inbox into read and unread( it sorts some and there is a jumble after that) -. some limitation imposed by Apple II Hardware perhaps that Apple have never fixed.

    As for iWork. Obviously no-one at Apple uses it. Have you ever seen a financial report? With all those landscape tables? You have to put them in another document and manually assemble them. Or use a Microsoft product.

    I think it’s time for a Mac replacement- a new Unix-based OS that runs on normal hardware. Maybe Linux? Though last I looked it was a mess to install.

    Whatever Apple are they don’t make useful computers any more.

  4. Fuck loyalty, my work demands fast processors and beefed GPU. If Apple does not deliver I will be buying a PC next. I like the MacOS, but I certainly don’t plan on getting 3 year old hardware just to use it.

        1. Do you honestly believe that the many ARM chips necessary to replace a handful of CISC processing cores is cost effective for workstations? Apple would charge an ARM and a LEG. And lose the ability to directly run CISC software.

          Why do so many people think RISC is better than CISC? Do they even know what these acronyms stand for? It seems not.

          I have no doubt that the X86 Intel architecture will someday be superseded, but there is nothing Apple has that is going to do it any time soon. Nothing Cook offers shows that he wants to make great desktop macs anymore.

  5. Used Macs since the Lisa in ’82. Owned independent Apple Store. I can say after all this time, I’m close to going to Linux or Windows. Apples underpowered, crippled with soldered components preventing upgrades, all for the sake of increased turnover to new units and ‘thin is beautiful’.

  6. And again, MDN is clueless. Most of my professional life was in commercial photography, video editing and publishing. Two reason why Apple basically cornered those markets. The OS was superior for these purposes. Two was that the hardware was also superior.

    But more recently, that’s been less true. What I’m getting is that we may never see another Mac Pro. I hope that isn’t true, but is looks as though it,may be. So,the only professional machines Apple will have in the Desktop area, which is very important to,these professional areas, is the 27″ iMac. Now, realistically, that’s not close to being ideal. But if that’s the only,option, it had better be a good one indeed. Right now, it’s a fair choice, but not a good one.

    As a result, many higher end pros are reluctantly moving to Windows. This is sad, but it’s true. The fact is that for photography they are ok. For publishing, they are meh, and for higher end video,editing, they’re terrible.

    If not new Mac Pro is in sight, I would be ok with a $5,000+ iMac with high end processors and a real high end board. Also, as the first iMacs were, these should be upgradable as well.

    But we really,need a pro machine with the ability of having at least 128GB RAM, top of the line GPUs run at full speed, with plenty of video,RAM. And a proper Xeon with the option of moving to 22 cores. Two Xeons would be even better. If a machine like that is close to $10,000, that fine too.

  7. Any mass exodus of creative professionals from the Mac platform will not stymie Apple or divert their research interests. They don’t answer to anyone. In that, they are very like Alphabet/Google. True, the two business models differ but their giant footprints, and their godlike indifference to users’ mundane complaints make them equally unapproachable.

    Strangely, I find that comforting. A small company craves loyal customers and seduces them as best it can. An established company can afford to examine a larger landscape of possibilities, sustained in its adventures by a loyal base. A mega-giant will focus on far horizons, unruffled by squawking chickens in the barnyard who made the mistake of laying all their eggs in one basket.

  8. AI must be more advanced than I thought if all these ‘devices’ are demanding the addition of AR/VR. Clearly it won’t be long before humans have little relevance whatsoever as consumers in this technological New World Order.

  9. They need to go back to allowing us to add more RAM after purchase. That was a stupid move just to be thin. Often departments are on a budget at purchase time of the whole machine, and in 2 or 3 years add more RAM. Now you MUST buy it with RAM maxed out to insure you’ll always at the top of that particular computer’s abilities.

  10. C’mon fellas….We’ve got Apple Park….doesn’t that help with your computing needs???

    Richest Tech company in the world and they can’t seem to figure out how to walk and chew gum simultaneously!!

  11. Apple seems intent on screwing up both the hardware and the software.
    Since Snow Leopard OS X (macOS) has been growing slower, buggier, less stable and ever more dumbed down. We all know how Jony and Tim have castrated Mac hardware.

  12. Clearly, we’d all like to see some major bumps in hardware. Part of that problem is Intel. Not one mobile CPU matches my i7-4960HQ. Ok. Some beat it by a little. Many are behind it. There’s nothing amazing being released.

    That being said, Windows is Windows. Corrupt profiles. Required anti-malware. Windows Defender is hardly a perfect contender in that realm. Updates that take 10 years and rollbacks that take 20. Wow. I can touch a screen and attach a door knob. None of that makes Windows good or stable.

    So, yeah. Some may be going to Microsoft for the smoke-and-mirrors and gimmicky factors but………….. Windows is Windows.

    1. Sierra feels an awful lot like windows too though. Bloated beyond recognition. Old code and layers of inefficient architecture. ITunes is a perfect example. But it gets worse. Safari memory management poor at best. Inept Gatekeeper, horrible security options on by default, unintuitive user controls and a rollback of utilities capabilities. Unlike Windows, very locked down with stupid restrictions against user customization of toolbars, fonts, colors, sounds, etc. Mac App Store in which one cannot find a damn thing or try before buying. And now mandatory security software needed too. To a person who used a Mac almost daily since 1996, I see no tangible user benefits since Snow Leopard. We could forgive many of the limitations of early versions of OSX but now what is the Mac to Apple? It just gets a few iOS leftovers every couple years. Nobody seems to be doing anything to Mac the Mac a more effective PERSONAL COMPUTER, all we see is iCloud functions requiring subscription and Apple Watch purchases. Hardware with no continuity of interface generation to generation. Stupid market choices in a cynical attempt to sell more goddamned accessories adapters and cables. Forcing of users to buy 3rd party gear when Apple can’t build it in (like external GPU boxes since Apples are not upgradeable and don’t support latest industry standards).

      By this time, the Mac should be more efficient and capable than Windows. It is not.

      1. I agree. I would have stayed on Snow Leopard, but I use Turbo Tax, and THAT is the limitation. As of 2013, it would not work with Snow Leopard, so I took my Mac into the store and put Yosemite on it (I only had wireless data at the time), and that kind of screwed some things up. Starting next year, Turbo Tax will not work on Yosemite, so I upgraded to El Capitan, and that introduced some other problems with iMovie. That was only fixed after I bought a new version of that. Since my machine cannot support Sierra, I am pretty much maxed out.

    2. I can say 2 things:
      1. Upgradability or expansion
      2. GPUs

      GPUs are the other powerful processors inside current computers. GPUs still duplicate performance every 18 to 24 months, today. Developers have started to use the great power available from GPUs to accelerate certain very repetitive application process as encoding, transcoding, encryption or rendering. And what Apple puts inside a top iMac? a medium mobile performance part. Yeah, the Mac Pro has 2 top GPUs but they are 3 years old so they together are less powerful than 1 top current GPU.

      Search for “QUADRO GP100” and you will find Dell, HP, MSI, Lenovo, Boxx all leading PC brands use Nvidia Quadro GPUs for their professional lines. The QUADRO GP100 is just so powerful and expensive it is on its own level. But Apple is not part of this market. Why? Because they don’t care about high end professionals at all.

      Also if Apple would have thought about their users 3 years ago these users didn’t had to buy again another machine just to install a newer GPU.

  13. Loyalty? It’s the software? Lol. I used to respect you guys. What a joke. You are as behind on the times as Tim Cook.

    If you want a computer to type up ridiculous articles such as this using WordPress, yeah I guess any Mac will do. If you want a computer with some horsepower and you need to do any moderate work like Photoshop or God forbid, 3D modeling or sculpting in Maya or Zbrush, the OS you are using means jack.

    I’ve been a loyal Mac user for 20+ years. In January, I switched to a PC and I haven’t l looked back. Do I miss MacOS? Absolutely, but I missed a decent graphics card and not being price gouged even more.

    You guys are part of the problem. Loyal to a fault. Instead of calling out Tim Cook and Apple, you spout this drivel and follow the almighty word like a bunch of lemmings. Sad.

  14. I switched to Mac ten years ago or so after getting pretty disgusted with Microsoft’s software quality. I still have my iMac from 2007 and, after maxing out with 6 GB and El Capitan, it is about as good as it will get. I still much prefer the Mac O.S. over Windows 10 (which never fixed the problems I had of 8), but the current architecture is pretty outdated. The desktop equivalent of an iMac motherboard (assuming they are using a mobile motherboard) can hardly be found used. Since Apple does not seem to have an interest in upgrading their hardware, an alternative is to build a Hackintosh. The 100 series chipset motherboards are really coming down in price as are the SkyLake series of CPUs, since the 200 series chipsets and Kaby Lake are out now.

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