Print 41 comment(s) - last by retrospooty.. on Jun 20 at 8:19 AM

Apple cuts processor speed in half, drops two cores, and cuts the price by $200

It has been rumored for the past few weeks that Apple would launch lower cost iMacs to make its desktop range more appealing to customers. Early reports pegged the launch for WWDC, but that obviously didn’t happen. However, Apple today made its move, announcing a new budget-minded 21.5” iMac with a 1080p display.
Given its bottom-rung placement in the iMac family, this machine is in no way a speed demon. In fact, it comes with a lowly dual-core Intel Core i5 processor running at a mere 1.4GHz (Turbo Boost up to 2.7GHz) and an Intel HD Graphics 5000 integrated GPU. For comparison, the previous entry-level iMac comes with a 2.7GHz Intel Core i5 processor (Turbo Boost up to 3.2GHz) and Intel Iris Pro Graphics.

Other features include 8GB of RAM, a 500GB HDD (5400 RPM), 802.11ac Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth 4.0.
The new entry-level iMac starts at $1,099, which represents a $200 reduction compared to the previous entry-level model.

Source: Apple

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By YearOfTheDingo on 6/18/2014 8:40:53 AM , Rating: 2
This machine looks seriously crippled. A 1.4GHz dual-core CPU with single-channel memory has like one fourth the performance of 2.7GHz quad-core with dual-channel memory. GPU performance is also going to be crap. You also only get half the hard-drive storage. Few people would sacrifice so much for two hundred bucks.

By retrospooty on 6/18/2014 8:46:40 AM , Rating: 1
I dunno... Not everyone needs the power of todays high or even mid range CPU's or a ton of storage. For a light user, they can save a few bucks. Still overpriced, but not any more than it's original part.

By Fleeb on 6/18/2014 10:27:41 AM , Rating: 2
The tablet is marketed for light users that do not really need a desktop though.

By retrospooty on 6/18/2014 10:54:52 AM , Rating: 2
I am not saying its a smart purchase. The iMac or any "all in one" in general makes no sense to me. I am just saying for someone that was planning to get the standard iMac and doesn't need the power this might be worth it... As to what makes them want the iMac in the first place? It's beyond me.

By Dr of crap on 6/18/2014 12:24:15 PM , Rating: 2
You contradict yourself.
Not everyone needs a high end...,
which would be big money, yet this is over a grand.
I can get a desktop for $300 that will do ALL I ask of it.

HOW is a light user saving a "few bucks" on this? Its Apple, therefore its over priced. See above.

By YearOfTheDingo on 6/18/2014 2:56:58 PM , Rating: 2
1.4Ghz is pretty damn slow. I mean, we're looking at performance of the original Macbook (circa 2006). Spending over a K on something that's obsolete at the time of purchase is kinda crazy.

By Diabloz on 6/18/2014 6:49:05 PM , Rating: 3
Most of their computers are obsolete

By Cloudie on 6/19/2014 3:44:32 PM , Rating: 2
You're crazy! It's Haswell and it's not going to be stuck at that clock speed esp. in that chassis! It'll be at 2.4Ghz minimum.

By Yaldabaoth on 6/18/2014 10:59:43 AM , Rating: 1
I think people are misconstruing what's going on here.

Based on the Turbo clock & graphics, I'm gonna make an assumption that the CPU is a Core i5-4260U. That means that it has hyperthreading and dual channel memory, according to ARK. It also has HD 5000, which is no slouch _in terms of integrated graphics_. Tray price is $315. The next model up of iMac uses a Core i5-4570R, which has a tray price of $255. These aren't the prices that Apple pays, but note the relative difference. Apple is using a more expensive part in the "lesser" model. They don't use the same motherboard, so there is no production efficiency there. Why would they bother to do this?

Apple loves to be minimalistic; they love to use the least hardware "oomph" as possible to drive their software, and no more. The same goes with their supply chain. _This_ CPU part, with _this_ motherboard, with _this_ RAM, with _this_ resolution, etc., gives the result that fits their design of how they want their machines to function, with no more and no less. But, again, why?

I think it's because Apple has figured out that a Core i5-4260U works just fine with OS X and an FHD screen, and uses less power, which is important in mobility. The lowest model of MacBook Pro currently uses a Core i5-4258U, which also has a (current) tray price of $315, but has about 87% more TDP than the 4260U due to the higher clocks, Iris Pro, etc. These parts use the same motherboard, so Apple will have a bunch of infrastructure to put these new "guts" in computers. However, current MacBook Pro models use, at a minimum, 2560x1600 screens. I anticipate that we will instead see ~1080p (Maybe WUXGA instead?) non-Retina MacBooks at a slightly lower price-point than the MacBook Pros. Then again, perhaps the 4260U is fine with 2560x1600. [Shrug]

TL;DR: I think Apple isn't getting new parts to make a cheaper iMac. Apple is going to make a cheaper MacBook, and that allows them to make a (slightly) cheaper iMac, too.

By Yaldabaoth on 6/18/2014 11:35:43 AM , Rating: 2
Well, I'm an idiot. This is the same part on the MacBook Air. Hurp de durp.

By aliasfox on 6/18/2014 4:55:12 PM , Rating: 2
I think this might also indicate something else - Apple might have ordered tons of these chips and MacBook Air motherboards, and wants to be sure it can sell through them, because otherwise this doesn't make sense. The ultra low power i5 can't be cheap, and is likely much more expensive than any other logical option - dual core i3, standard 35-45w laptop i5, or even just a slower i5 than what's used in the next level up.

On the bright side, given that it's a 17w chip in a computer designed for 45-65w chips, it should be able to turbo like crazy?

By retrospooty on 6/18/2014 5:26:25 PM , Rating: 2
You are probably right... This is a chip surplus.

By TakinYourPoints on 6/18/2014 7:21:39 PM , Rating: 2
This makes the most sense, especially since this particular 1.4ghz i5 is not cheap. The only good thing in this package is the IPS display, but at this price it makes way more sense to get a Macbook Air instead. Its an excellent ultrabook with the same CPU plus SSD storage.

This baseline iMac an insanely bad deal given that $200 more gets you an iMac with a 2.7ghz i5, Iris Pro graphics, and double the storage. I think you nailed the reason why they're doing this with the specific part its using.

I'm impressed...
By Vertigo2000 on 6/18/2014 9:08:52 AM , Rating: 4
They were able to put cheap laptop specifications into a desktop form factor at only twice the price, and threw in a larger monitor to boot.

Is there nothing Apple can't do?

RE: I'm impressed...
By Brandon Hill on 6/18/2014 9:18:29 AM , Rating: 5
microSD slot on a phone/tablet

RE: I'm impressed...
By retrospooty on 6/18/14, Rating: 0
RE: I'm impressed...
By Brandon Hill on 6/18/2014 9:26:57 AM , Rating: 2
microSD sot and multi-user profiles (just for the tablets) are the biggest sticking points with me.

The fact that they charge $100 to go from 16GB to 32GB boggles my mind. Just give me a microSD slot and let me stick my music/movies on it. I don't care if you won't let me run apps from the card, but at least give me the slot to store media.

RE: I'm impressed...
By bug77 on 6/18/2014 10:02:00 AM , Rating: 2
You know very well that's pixie dust dipped flash memory and $100 for 16GB is a steal. Oh and let's not forget that it's more fluid and it feels more polished than other flash memory.

RE: I'm impressed...
By retrospooty on 6/18/2014 10:21:16 AM , Rating: 2
Clearly it saves data in a superior manor. :P

RE: I'm impressed...
By bug77 on 6/18/2014 10:28:16 AM , Rating: 2
Don't know if it's intended, but "manor" sounds about right in the context.

RE: I'm impressed...
By Reclaimer77 on 6/18/2014 9:46:11 AM , Rating: 2
lol exactly. Bravo.

RE: I'm impressed...
By Wolfpup on 6/18/2014 10:14:04 AM , Rating: 2

Obviously doesn't seem worth the $200 discount.

I'm still super annoyed Apple doesn't have a real desktop PC like they used to, and super annoyed that if they're going to do these all-in-ones, at least make the hard drive and RAM user replaceable!

What's really sad is the upcoming Alienware $500 box looks like it'll be a better PC than this is LOL (let alone if you bump up the specs)

RE: I'm impressed...
By TEAMSWITCHER on 6/18/14, Rating: 0
RE: I'm impressed...
By Diabloz on 6/18/2014 6:46:55 PM , Rating: 2
Your kidding right? i just built a PC for 1200 that eats the 27" alive..

RE: I'm impressed...
By Diabloz on 6/18/2014 6:48:23 PM , Rating: 2
They don't want to make it replaceable!! they want MONEY! - don't buy apple products!

By Rage187 on 6/18/2014 9:21:46 AM , Rating: 2
$300 tablet performance in a $300 monitor for just $1100

RE: Cheap!
By hughlle on 6/18/2014 9:45:21 AM , Rating: 2
I'd love to see this $300 tablet with i5, 8gb ram, 500gb hdd, and hd5000 graphics.

RE: Cheap!
By Diabloz on 6/18/2014 6:51:49 PM , Rating: 2
you can buy a 500 PC with an i5 and 8 GB of ram!

RE: Cheap!
By Shadowself on 6/18/2014 10:14:08 AM , Rating: 2
I second that. Please give us a source for this "$300 tablet". Even at $400, I'd buy seven in a heartbeat.

RE: Cheap!
By bug77 on 6/18/2014 10:15:35 AM , Rating: 2
The CPU alone is $315. That aside, the memory and hard disk are worth ~$130 and wireless is probably built into the motherboard. Let's be generous and say another $100. That's $545. A 24" Dell UltraSharp can be had for another $350.
So yes, overpriced, but not that much. The thing is, if anyone would build an equivalent PC, they wouldn't be using laptop parts and that would drive the price down significantly.

We don't know how to build a sub-$500 computer that is not a piece of junk.

But at least they can build a piece of junk for over twice the money.

RE: Cheap!
By Bob_A_Feet on 6/18/2014 3:05:26 PM , Rating: 3
You can pre-order an Intel Haswell Quad-core I7-4790 4.0 GHz processor for the exact same price, or get an unlocked processor for $30 more. That is a top of the line CPU that runs at 4 GHZ STOCK.

This is not a bargain. Apple is once again taking its consumers for a ride, but they are often too blind or too stupid to understand this. Reality-distortion field set to max.

RE: Cheap!
By ComputerJuice on 6/18/2014 5:35:29 PM , Rating: 2
Say what? Where are you shopping? Do yourself a favor and shop elswhere... An i5 quadcore @ 3ghz is about $150.

RE: Cheap!
By bug77 on 6/19/2014 4:44:30 AM , Rating: 2
This is a mobile part. I went with the reference price, because you can't really buy that from anywhere.

RE: Cheap!
By geekman1024 on 6/19/2014 7:56:11 AM , Rating: 2
A MOBILE part, in a DESKTOP...yeah right, that's innovative.

RE: Cheap!
By bug77 on 6/19/2014 8:14:49 AM , Rating: 2
Look it up. There's only one Haswell CPU that runs @1.4Ghz and turbos at 2.7 and that's a mobile part. It's ok if you want to keep cooling to a minimum.

Nice package
By Dug on 6/18/2014 1:35:45 PM , Rating: 1
We deploy these at work.
Why? Because it's the cheapest package we can get reliably and it has everything needed.
People say you can get cheaper. Sure you can, but can you just pick up one piece of hardware with one power cable and be done for the cost of an iMac?

People also forget to mention you get mouse or track pad, wireless keyboard, speakers that actually sound good, dual mics,web cam, bluetooth 4, 802.11ac, 4 usb 3, 2 thunderbolt ports, Kensington lock slot, sdxc card slot. And one of the easiest on the eyes displays I've come across. And it runs silent!

Backup is automatic and can be used on any other machine, you can even restore to a laptop if you want. So anytime someone needs an upgrade or replacement, it takes almost no time at all and we don't have to worry about licensing or reinstalling the OS, reinstalling apps, etc.

So if you take labor into account, including backups, setup and deployment time, the iMac is several hundreds less than any competitor without cables everywhere. That and we haven't had one fail yet (knock on wood). We have 3 on standby but haven't needed to open them up yet.

RE: Nice package
By retrospooty on 6/18/2014 2:45:25 PM , Rating: 1
Where do you work that an iMac for end users is a useful thing?

RE: Nice package
By zero2dash on 6/18/2014 3:26:15 PM , Rating: 2
Most of our marketing department is on 27" iMacs, but I also think that's because people still think that Adobe runs like crap on Windows, which hasn't been the case in over 20 years.

RE: Nice package
By TakinYourPoints on 6/19/2014 7:12:58 PM , Rating: 2
It isn't just for creatives. About everyone I know in Silicon Valley develops in OS X. Google, Facebook, my good friends at Artillery, all use OS X. If you're developing for non-MS platforms then it makes sense given that most IDEs outside of .NET are a pain in Windows.

OS X clearly has lots of users in the creative fields. I work in the film industry and Macs are used everywhere. That said, programming for open platforms such as the web is mostly done in OS X or some other *NIX variant. Its weird seeing how much Mac hate there is around here (almost all from Android fanatics, no less) given that Google supports about 50k OS X machines.

RE: Nice package
By retrospooty on 6/20/2014 8:19:31 AM , Rating: 2
"I work in the film industry and Macs are used everywhere."

It all makes sense now. The complex rationalizing, the feeling superior but being treated inferior complex that you seem to go through about your Apple products. The inability to grasp why other people see things differently than your myopic view of the tech industry.

It's OK, TYP, they do work well. Just use them an enjoy them and don't worry that other people don't like them or care.

RE: Nice package
By amanojaku on 6/18/2014 3:58:18 PM , Rating: 3
Why? Because it's the cheapest package we can get reliably and it has everything needed.
Sounds like you don't know much about computers outside of Apple.
People say you can get cheaper. Sure you can, but can you just pick up one piece of hardware with one power cable and be done for the cost of an iMac?

People also forget to mention you get...
No, I cannot. Because I can buy a non-Mac All-In-One starting at $400. For example, $750 gets you a 23" LED-backlit touchscreen, 8GB of RAM, a dual-core CPU at 3GHz, and a 1TB 7,200 RPM drive. That's MORE performance for LESS money than the cheapest iMac.

And most, if not all, of the added features (SDXC, Bluetooth, etc...) are included. Those that aren't are available as low-cost options, often available from lower-cost 3rd parties.
Backup is automatic and can be used on any other machine...

So if you take labor into account...
MS has been changing its backup and migration tools a lot, but they're still there. However, as a business you have a lot of migration tools available to you. In fact, businesses with serious IT departments NEVER backup desktop applications because they have application deployment software.

It's much better because you can deploy an application to many systems from one server, and application upgrades are done on the deployment server. No matter how many desktops ask for the application (hundreds, thousands!), you've only performed as many installs, license inputs, and upgrades as you have servers.

You can backup files with OneDrive, Dropbox, or any of the free or commercial applications. However, your desktops shouldn't even have user files. User files should be stored on the network, on a highly-available system that gets backed up regularly. If you're running a five-person business then your choices make sense. 10 and over and it's just inefficient at best.

"If you look at the last five years, if you look at what major innovations have occurred in computing technology, every single one of them came from AMD. Not a single innovation came from Intel." -- AMD CEO Hector Ruiz in 2007
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