New iMac or Wait?? Apple vs. Intel

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
H20nly
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New iMac or Wait?? Apple vs. Intel

Post by H20nly » Sat Mar 13, 2021 10:59 pm

I've been updating all my music/DAW software lately. I'm currently using a mid 2011 iMac on High Sierra, which is as far as I can update the OS. It's served me well, but I need to get some newer hardware. I went to purchase one and realized that the Intel vs. Apple processor is going to be a problem when making a purchase right now. So the credit card portion of the purchase page is currently blank and waiting. If I buy an iMac today, I end up with an Intel chip... Normally that would be fine with me, but I realize 3 or 4 years from now it could get in the way.

My biggest software concerns are as follows:
  • Ableton Live - currently I have version 10 and purchased the 11 upgrade recently.
  • Cubase 11
  • Superior Drummer 3
  • AAS String Studio VS-2
  • Arturia Analog Lab V (and a handful of others from them, but nothing used in any projects)
I mostly use Waves plugins, but I'm good on V12

If you happen to have used Live 8 or 9 on the new Apple chip, or know that you can, that would be good to know... Sorry, haven't been keeping up with online discussions about this stuff. I mostly keep the iMac off the internet, except to update.

Any thoughts or advice on this would be appreciated. After 9 years, I'm concerned my hard drive could fail any day. I've been backing up to TimeMachine and part of the reason for all my recent updates is to make the transfer process to a new computer easier
LoopStationZebra wrote:it's like a hipster commie pinko manifesto. Rambling. Angry. Nearly divorced from all reality; yet strangely compelling with a ring of truth.

Tarekith
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Re: New iMac or Wait?? Apple vs. Intel

Post by Tarekith » Sun Mar 14, 2021 12:48 am

I would just keep backing everything up and wait it out. If your computer dies before the M1 iMacs come out, so be it, the current iMacs are still really nice. If you make it a few more months and can switch then to the M1 version which it sounds like you ideally want, even better.

The wait sucks, I know. I'm buying an Apple Silicon 16" MBP the second they go on sale, so I'm itching too.
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H20nly
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Re: New iMac or Wait?? Apple vs. Intel

Post by H20nly » Sun Mar 14, 2021 3:00 am

Yeah I'm just worried if I wait a few months and get the new iMac I might end up instantly regretting it if software I want to use won't work on it. I doubt Apple is gonna change their mind and switch back to Intel though... So, it could just be more waiting for the software to catch up... assuming it all will.

My other big concern is the price. In my old iMac the RAM was accessible. I upgraded the 8 GB it came with to 20. On a new one today, after all the (factory only) upgrades I would be ordering, it's a $2700 computer. And, I'm still only getting a 1 TB SSD with 16 GB of RAM, cuz a $2900 or $3100 computer is too far past my threshold... But I'm worried the prices might be even higher when Apple releases the new models.
LoopStationZebra wrote:it's like a hipster commie pinko manifesto. Rambling. Angry. Nearly divorced from all reality; yet strangely compelling with a ring of truth.

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Re: New iMac or Wait?? Apple vs. Intel

Post by Tarekith » Sun Mar 14, 2021 3:38 am

I think 1TB and 16GB is going to be par for the course for a good while still either way. Running that here, never had any issues FWIW.

They didn't jack up the prices on the MB Airs or Minis, so I would be surprised if they did that with the higher end MBPs or iMacs.
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Re: New iMac or Wait?? Apple vs. Intel

Post by H20nly » Sun Mar 14, 2021 4:21 am

Thanks. That's really helpful. I appreciate the feedback.
LoopStationZebra wrote:it's like a hipster commie pinko manifesto. Rambling. Angry. Nearly divorced from all reality; yet strangely compelling with a ring of truth.

sadfay
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Re: New iMac or Wait?? Apple vs. Intel

Post by sadfay » Tue Mar 30, 2021 5:46 pm

Hey FWIW, I installed an SSD in my mid-2010 27" iMac and it was like having a brand new computer. It was a bit of a surgical operation, but the online guide (from the shop that sells the SSDs) was very helpful and clear.

I did this around 3 years ago, when I thought my computer was on its way out, now it's still going strong. (Although I'm thinking I need some more raw power, so I might invest in a refurbished 2015 model or something...)

I was also a bit miffed and shocked when I saw Apple charge an extra £400 to get their latest iMacs up to 16GB and 1TB. Bastids!!
I'd almost swallow my pride and pay the £2000 for a new iMac, but that extra £400 just sickened my piss.

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Re: New iMac or Wait?? Apple vs. Intel

Post by jonljacobi » Tue Mar 30, 2021 10:10 pm

Pretty amazing the difference an SSD can make. Apple can be real pissers on the upgrades. I can understand the RAM on the M1's which is in the chip, but not the SSD. There have been concerns about the SSD wearing out due to heavy usage by Rosetta 2 and non-optimized browsers.

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Re: New iMac or Wait?? Apple vs. Intel

Post by R. » Fri Apr 02, 2021 2:19 pm

I've be doing lots of homework on the=us as well and the advice I was given is hold out for the M1 chip.

youve had you imac for 10 years, and as I understand it future versions of Ableton will not be compatible with Intel processing for as long as the Apple silicon

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Re: New iMac or Wait?? Apple vs. Intel

Post by sadfay » Sat Apr 03, 2021 11:53 am

Sorry to hijack this thread (although hopefully this could be useful to the OP too), does anyone here have experience with moving from something like a 2010 iMac to a 2015 (or thereabouts) machine?

Or moving from something like an i3 duo core 3.2ghz processor to quad core 4ghz?
Is there going to be some more headroom in Ableton?
Or will it be minor?

H20nly
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Re: New iMac or Wait?? Apple vs. Intel

Post by H20nly » Sun Apr 04, 2021 1:04 am

Sorry, don't have an answer for reasons stated. But, don't consider it a hijack... I'm about to go there.

I did think about swapping the HDD for SSD. I even went so far as getting an SSD for the task. Trouble is that, disk drive aside, I need to be able to update it far enough that software vendors will still support their products. I'm on High Sierra right now. All my apps support it, but it's typically the last rev they do. So I'm basically an upgrade away for most software, including the OS, not getting further support on this hardware.

I upgraded the RAM myself to 20 GB from the 8 GB it came with back around 2012... Supposedly it only supports 16 GB :lol: I definitely don't want to pay the Apple price for RAM and disk upgrades, but this computer just lasted me 9 years... so, I can't complain. Any additional cost will be a non-issue after a year or two.

My biggest concern is how everything I need will port over... and yeah, the migration process from 2011 to 2021 hardware. This iMac was my first Mac. I got a MacBook later but this one is my DAW. The switch from Windows was brutal-ish (all new installers, etc.), but this is an Apple's to Apple's migration so I'm praying it goes smoother
LoopStationZebra wrote:it's like a hipster commie pinko manifesto. Rambling. Angry. Nearly divorced from all reality; yet strangely compelling with a ring of truth.

H20nly
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Re: New iMac or Wait?? Apple vs. Intel

Post by H20nly » Thu Apr 22, 2021 12:06 am

Ok now I'm really confused... the new iMac is 24 inches.. The two older models were 21.5 and 27 inches... This is half way in between ffs
Will there be a 30ish inch? *facepalm*

Apple are really making it hard to buy a computer :lol:
LoopStationZebra wrote:it's like a hipster commie pinko manifesto. Rambling. Angry. Nearly divorced from all reality; yet strangely compelling with a ring of truth.

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Re: New iMac or Wait?? Apple vs. Intel

Post by Tarekith » Thu Apr 22, 2021 12:26 am

These are just the basic entry level versions, I’m sure the larger and more powerful pro versions will be coming out when the larger MBPs are released too.
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Re: New iMac or Wait?? Apple vs. Intel

Post by H20nly » Thu Apr 22, 2021 12:33 am

Hope so.

I just hit up support chat at the Apple store. The rep, of course, could not tell me whether there would be a larger size.

I'll just keep waiting. Worst case scenario, my computer crashes and I restore from backup on a 24". Best case, they announce a 32" model soon and I go f'ing broke upgrading it :lol:
LoopStationZebra wrote:it's like a hipster commie pinko manifesto. Rambling. Angry. Nearly divorced from all reality; yet strangely compelling with a ring of truth.

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Re: New iMac or Wait?? Apple vs. Intel

Post by Tarekith » Thu Apr 22, 2021 1:56 am

I’d bet any amount of money that there is no way that the 24” iMac is the only size iMac they make. Too huge a jump between that and the Mac Pro.
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Re: New iMac or Wait?? Apple vs. Intel

Post by [jur] » Thu Apr 22, 2021 9:05 pm

Tarekith wrote:
Thu Apr 22, 2021 1:56 am
I’d bet any amount of money that there is no way that the 24” iMac is the only size iMac they make. Too huge a jump between that and the Mac Pro.
You're not playing very risky here Erik :wink:
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