Apple's New iMacs 2015

Apple’s New iMacs Arrive Early

by John Carroll on October 15, 2015

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An update to the iMac line was expected, but the general consensus was that we wouldn’t see anything until next year.

So much for the general consensus… those morons.

On Tuesday, Apple delivered a slew of new iMacs.

You can find all the product details on Apples website – Apple iMac

This post is about what you need to know, before you buy

Apple 2015 iMac - SpeedShould I Customize My iMac?

Apple stores carry 3 to 4 configurations of each 21.5″ and 27″ model. You can’t change anything.

If you buy online, you can customize. A few dollars extra on a different drive, more memory or a better graphics card can have a significant impact on how fast your iMac runs , how long you keep it and its ultimate resale value.

When I buy for clients, I always customize. It may cost a little more, but you get the best bang for your buck.

With online purchases, delivery may take a little longer as your iMac is built to order.

Unlike standard store models, customized iMacs cannot be returned.

Apple 2015 iMac - Customization

The CPU

Only the 27″ 5K iMacs ship with Intel’s sixth generation Skylake chip. This new high efficiency CPU is expected to bring significant gains in processing speed and overall performance.

All other iMacs have been upgraded to the fifth generation Broadwell chip. This will provide speed gains, though nowhere in the range of Skylake.

Apple 2015 iMac - Amazing Retina Display With Extended Gamut

The Display

Apple still produce two 21.5″ iMacs with standard displays. This may be the last year standard displays are available.

Leading the pack is a new 21.5″ iMac with a 4K retina display – 4096-by-2304 pixels.

All 27″ iMacs now have 5K retina displays – 5120-by-2880

Apple 2015 iMac - 14.7 million pixels

Storage – Hard Drives, Fusion Drives and Flash Drives

Drives store data. You pay for 2 things:

  • Size – How much data you can store.
  • Speed – How fast the drive can access the data.

Apple offer 3 choices on most models:

Hard Drive – Storage is cheap and speed is relatively slow. I wouldn’t recommend this option to anyone. Apple are selling the base model 21.5″ iMac with 4K retina display with a 5,400 rpm hard drive. This is what you would find in a laptop 10 years ago and it’s an embarrassment that they are even offering it.

Fusion Drive – Combines a hard drive with a flash drive. You get the large storage capacity of a hard drive and the speed benefits of a flash drive. Apple’s drive management system is second to none. The impact is immediately noticeable. If you upgrade only one thing… this is it.

Flash Drive – Hyper fast, but storage is expensive. If you can afford it, this is the way to go. If not, don’t worry, the Fusion Drive is still a dynamite option.

Apple 2015 iMac - 2.5X Improved Flash Memory

Memory – RAM

Extremely Important Information.

Without enough RAM, your Mac becomes slow and unresponsive. You may even meet the spinning beachball of death.

The RAM on all 21.5″ iMacs including the new 4K retina display model is soldered to the motherboard. This means the memory cannot be upgraded later. If you are buying one of these models, max out the memory now.

27″ iMacs are user upgradeable to a maximum of 64GB of RAM.

Other Parting Advice

Get Applecare, get zero% financing from Apple and… try to get out this weekend.

Once your new iMac arrives, you’ll be staying indoors for an indefinite period 🙂

Have fun..

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Apple’s New iMacs Arrive Early was last modified: November 5th, 2015 by John Carroll
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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Avatar 1 Philip January 6, 2016 at 8:38 am

Hello,

Thank you very much for your excellent comments.

I am in the process of purchasing a 21.5″ iMac. I am not sure if
I should go with the 2.8 GHz model or the 4K model (3.1 GHz).

Anyways, I plan to custom order my iMac, c/w 16 GB Ram and a 2 TB fusion
drive. How much faster is the boot time and regular processing time if
a 2 TB fusion drive was used instead of a 1 TB fusion drive? Thanks.

Regards,

Philip

Reply

John Carroll 2 John Carroll January 6, 2016 at 9:07 am

Hi Philip – There should no difference between a 1TB and 2TB drive in boot time, because the operating system is kept on the flash portion of the drive and it’s identical in both. If you work with images of any kind, go with the 4K. Check it out at the store anyway, before you buy. Something to remember is that you may eventually sell the iMac and in a few years no-one will buy a non 4K model. Thanks for reading and good luck with your new Mac. – John

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