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  (Source: Apple)
New iMacs pack Iris Pro and 8 GB of DDR3, plus lots of ports -- at a relatively low price

Hot on the heels of its iPhone 5S/5C launch, Apple, Inc. (AAPL) has refreshed its iMac lineup.  The new release brings fresh Haswell cores courtesy of Intel Corp. (INTC), new NVIDIA Corp. (NVDA) GPUs, improved Fusion drives, and impressive allotments of ports/DRAM.

I. New iMacs -- Tons of Ports

The iMacs -- for the uninitiated -- are Apple's all-in-one (AIO) personal computers.  All-in-ones are a general term for computers that have the internals (motherboard, memory, CPU, GPU) squeezed into the monitor casing or its base.  

Apple needed to make a move with the iMac.  After dominating the AIO PC market for several years, in late 2012 Apple was bumped from its number one spot by The Lenovo Group, Ltd. (HKG:0992), who has since clung on to that rank.  Apple is still ahead of perennial third place Hewlett-Packard Comp. (HPQ).  But the latest bump may be just what the doctor ordered for Apple's bid to regain the AIO sales lead.

Whereas the Oct. 2012 iMac refresh was a bolder revamping of the iMac line, which saw the introduction of new 5 millimeter thick aluminum frames, this week's bump is filled with minor changes that make Apple arguably the best AIO PC value on the market.

iMac Evolution
The iMac has evolved once more. [Image Source: Apple]

The new iMacs all come with 8 GB (upgradable two 32 GB for 27-inch, 16 GB for 21.5-inch) of 1600 MHz DDR3 and a 1 terabyte "Fusion" drive, a mostly hard disk hybrid drive with an undisclosed amount of NAND flash onboard (upgradable to 3 TB traditional HDD, a 256 GB SSD, or a 512 GB SSD).  

The iMacs come with a wireless "Magic Mouse" and wireless keyboard.  On top of that they come with 802.11ac Wi-Fi and a wide selection of ports:

iMac Ports
Thunderbol and USB logos
  • SDXC card slot
  • Four USB 3 ports (compatible with USB 2)
  • Two Thunderbolt ports
  • Mini DisplayPort output with support for DVI, VGA and dual-link DVI (adapters sold separately)
  • 10/100/1000BASE-T Gigabit Ethernet (RJ-45 connector)
  • Kensington lock slot
Apple claims that it has significantly improved the hardware and firmware of its proprietary Fusion drives, delivering 50 percent faster performance than the previous generation as commonly (or recently) used files are automatically shuffled to flash storage, while lesser used files are relegated to the hard disk.

II. Haswell, Iris Pro, and GeForce 700M Cards Offer Top Performance

In terms of processing power the base $1,299 USD 21.5-inch model trades last generation's NVIDIA GeForce GT 640M for the on-die Iris Pro GPU inside the Intel Haswell 2.7 GHz quad-core Core i5-4570R processor.  The new processor can turbo clock up to 3.2 GHz.

Overall the new processor with its on-die GPU consumes only 19 W more than the last generation's Core i5-3330S processor, for a net reduction of 13 W of GPU+CPU TDP when the last generation's 32W TDP GeForce GT 640M GPU part is considered -- although it's worth noting that the on-die GPU part itself only saves 4 W (it has a TDP of 28 W) with the remaining savings (9 W) coming from improvements to the CPU cores.

Iris Pro
Iris Pro -- GT3e -- drives the $1,299 USD 21.5 inch iMac [Image Source: Intel]

Aside from being power efficient, the on-die GPU should be slightly faster than the GT 640M.  Benchmarks have shown the Iris Pro (HD 5200) to be 10-15 percent faster than last generation's GT 640M, roughly neck-and-neck with this generation's GT 740M part, and 10-15 percent behind the GT 750M part. 

The Intel part is a BGA design that is soldered to the motherboard, so there's no direct pricing information available from Intel.  But given that the other members of the family retail for $192 USD (tray) versus $184 USD (tray) for the last generation, it appears that NVIDIA has next to no hope of competing against Intel's latest generation Iris Pro graphics on a price versus performance basis.  Hence, Apple likely improved its margins substantially -- perhaps $50 USD or more -- from a hardware cost standpoint, while giving the consumers slightly better performance.

The new iMacs get more power-efficient Haswell core chips. [Image Source: Intel]

A bump to the slightly more expensive Core i5-4570S part (which bumps the turbo clock to 3.6 GHz) and a slightly faster NVIDIA GeForce 750M discrete card costs $1,499 USD.  The i5-4570 has a tray price of $195 USD from Intel, while the GeForce is rumored to cost around $60 USD, based on bill of materials, so Apple is likely pocketing nearly $150 USD (if not more) for this modest performance bump.  The good news for the customer is that if they're brave enough to want to disassemble their motherboard, the i5-4570S isn't a BGA part, so it may be upgradable.

The 27-inch iMac starts at $1,799 USD and gets a peppier NVIDIA GeForce GTX 755M and a Core i5-4570 processor (quad-core, 3.2 GHz standard, 3.6 GHz turbo).  And $1,999 USD buys you an upgrade to a NVIDIA GeForce GTX 775M and a Core i5-4670K processor (quad-core, 3.4 GHz standard, 3.8 GHz turbo)

III. Well Priced in a Sea of Shoddy Competitors

Overall, though, Apple's prices for the 21.5-inch SKUs are surprisingly aggressive, compared to competitors.  While competitors offer devices for as much as $500 USD less for a given screen size, they feature much weaker hardware, making them a pretty unappealing alternative.

For example the $1,299 USD Lenovo IdeaCentre does pack a 27-inch screen, but features a slower processor (the Intel Core i5-3337U 1.8GHz), less memory (6 GB DDR2), slower storage (a 1 TB HDD with no flash), no 802.11ac support, a far bulkier body (0.19 in. for the iMac v. 1.17 in. for the IdeaCentre), a weaker NVIDIA GeForce 720M GPU, and only 2 USB 3.0 ports.  To be fair the Lenovo device does have a unique selling point -- it can act as a tablet, with stand-alone battery -- but like many competitive offerings it come up short hardware and design wise versus the iMac.
Lenovo IdeaCentre
The Lenovo IdeaCentre 27-in.
Also, it is worth noting that some iMacs are now being produced in the U.S.A.  I'm not suggesting anyone buy an inferior product out of national interests in today's global economy, but if you can get a comparable or superior domestically made product, I think it's hard to argue that isn't an added bonus.
iMac official
There's no real competitor product that offers as strong hardware internals, let alone as slender an AIO package, as the iMac. [Image Source: Apple]

If you want a cheap AIO, Lenovo has a number of options that outsell the iMac, but for an AIO with premium design, a ton of ports, and decently powerful hardware, the rivals still has no real answer to the iMac.

Even those who want a Windows 8 AIO may opt to look at the new iMacs as an option via Boot Camp, which finally supports Windows 8.

Sources: Apple [1], [2]

Comments     Threshold

This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

By Samus on 9/24/2013 3:38:09 PM , Rating: 5
Reasonable price?

Zero upgradability, no touch-screen and questionable reliability (every generation of iMac has had chronic problems, from the 2005-2007 verticle-lines-of-death models to the latest iMac 2010-2012's that finally got recalled for faulty graphics cards, failing hard disks (they mounted them on TOP of the GPU's--geniuses!)

One is better off with a MacBook at these prices; although they have quirks too.

If you buy the Lenovo, at least you know it'll last.

RE: $1300-$2000?
By Reclaimer77 on 9/24/2013 3:46:56 PM , Rating: 5
Agree. It's an iDoorstop in a few years.

You have to be crazy to drop this much on an all-in-one imo. And come on, for this much an SSD needs to be standard in all models.

As usual per-Apple, the markup on the memory and storage options are just obscene! $500 for a 512GB SSD? $200 for 8GIGS of RAM!!?? That's straight up iRape.

But since you can't upgrade it yourself, bend over and take it.

Apple and reasonably priced never go together, I see nothing here that changes that.

RE: $1300-$2000?
By Cheesew1z69 on 9/24/13, Rating: 0
RE: $1300-$2000?
By Reclaimer77 on 9/24/2013 3:52:45 PM , Rating: 3
lol Holy crap! 4reals? Crazy.

RE: $1300-$2000?
By Cheesew1z69 on 9/24/13, Rating: -1
RE: $1300-$2000?
By talonvor on 9/29/2013 9:54:58 PM , Rating: 2
I up rated you ;)

RE: $1300-$2000?
By inighthawki on 9/24/2013 5:31:06 PM , Rating: 1
As usual per-Apple, the markup on the memory and storage options are just obscene! $500 for a 512GB SSD? $200 for 8GIGS of RAM!!?? That's straight up iRape.

Do you know what kind of SSD? Because in all honesty, $500 isn't that outrageous at all for a good 512GB SSD.

RE: $1300-$2000?
By Cloudie on 9/24/2013 5:38:48 PM , Rating: 2
It's a PCI-express SSD. It's about as good as it gets.

RE: $1300-$2000?
By Reclaimer77 on 9/24/13, Rating: 0
RE: $1300-$2000?
By TakinYourPoints on 9/24/2013 6:00:06 PM , Rating: 1
This one won't be that good, I can guarantee you that.

Anandtech reviewed PCIe flash in the latest MBA revision, the first laptop where it popped up.

What does this mean in the real world? The new SSD is definitely snappier in system use. Wake from sleep is a bit quicker, as are application launches. The funny thing is that with the exception of high-speed Thunderbolt arrays, most external sources aren’t fast enough to even stress the new storage subsystem in the MacBook Air. Large file copies confined to the drive itself benefit a bit as well. I saw roughly 300MB/s reads and 300MB/s writes when copying a large dmg from/to the MacBook Air’s PCIe SSD (compared to roughly 200/200MBps on the old Samsung SATA SSD from the rMBP15).

If you have an external Thunderbolt array with at least a couple of drives, you should have no issues matching the MBA’s internal SSD performance.

Sounds good to me.

RE: $1300-$2000?
By Reclaimer77 on 9/24/2013 6:04:24 PM , Rating: 1
Well of course. It's a freaking SSD!

It just wont be worth Apple's extreme markup. But it's an AIO, what choice do you have?

You would think for $2,000, an SSD would be included maybe?

RE: $1300-$2000?
By TakinYourPoints on 9/24/2013 6:31:40 PM , Rating: 2
This is about the interface being PCIe, not mSATA. SSDs benefit from having direct access to the PCI bus. I'd love to have this on my desktop, but I don't see motherboards anywhere with anything other than SATA interfaces. SSDs on PCI cards exist but they are $$$ .

AIOs will always cost more than a desktop you build yourself, it doesn't matter who you buy it from. Even a standard desktop from a builder has markup over DIY, and an AIO has additional costs closer to that of a laptop because there is so much custom integration.

That said, the iMac has always used premium parts compared to AIOs by HP, Dell, Lenovo, etc. Back when Dell and HP used to directly compete with the iMac, they cost more while having slower specs, less storage, and PVA or TN displays instead of IPS. Nobody really seems to compete on high-end AIO price at all anymore, so they drop to or below $1000 while using TN panels, HD 4000 or GeForce GT615 GPUs, etc etc.

Apple's prices are actually in line with other AIOs given the display panels they use, CPU and GPU, and now PCIe SSD interface.

My biggest problem with them is actually the Thunderbolt interface. I have a nearly four year old i7 860 27" iMac (still going strong) that I use as a work machine and as a display for my gaming PC. This is super easy, just plug in a DisplayPort cable from my PC and its a kickass monitor. This has been made tough with the switch to Thunderbolt since it only accepts input from other Thunderbolt sources.

I have a HUGE problem with this. They're good machines but I doubt I'll ever get one again because of this limitation, unless they go 4K display or something. Until then I'll be using this for years; the display is still perfect and an i7 860 is still great for video encoding, etc.

RE: $1300-$2000?
By Reclaimer77 on 9/24/13, Rating: 0
RE: $1300-$2000?
By TakinYourPoints on 9/24/2013 6:50:51 PM , Rating: 2
Thunderbolt is amazing technology. It'll be super useful in my business next year (uncompressed 8k digital video sources that record onto 1.5TB SSDs need a LOT of throughput), I just hate how this implementation shuts out standard DisplayPort input for video.

RE: $1300-$2000?
By CaedenV on 9/24/2013 8:09:53 PM , Rating: 2
It was the exact same thing for Firewire 400 and 800. Great for video, but outside of that it was too expensive of a port to really be justifiable on most other devices until the port was essentially being retired.
I mean, Thunderbolt is awesome tech.. but $500-1000 for a HDD enclosure with no drives? That is a bit much. We are also supposed to be seeing external video cards, 1-10GbE connectors, and tons of other uses, but it seems like that is all turning up to be vaporware, it is just for HDDs and monitors for the foreseeable future.

However, this is not Apple's fault (as much as I wish it was). The blame for the high price is entirely on Intel, who really needs to cheapen the price somehow in order to make it a more useful option.
... also, it was much cooler when it was LightPeak.

RE: $1300-$2000?
By ritualm on 9/25/2013 12:48:52 PM , Rating: 2
Thunderbolt is amazing technology

If only. Like eSATA, it's absolutely great for external mass storage. Like eSATA, it's absolutely useless for everything besides external mass storage. Also, the TB implementation leaves something to be desired, even on OS X.

The only TB device I have in my house thus far - and I bought a MBPR last year - is a Gigabit Ethernet adapter. I can justify getting a massive 16-port hub for USB. The TB version will cost several thousand bucks upwards. It's just not economical.

RE: $1300-$2000?
By epollyon on 9/26/2013 1:08:41 AM , Rating: 2
Check this guy out:

works well with my SSD
80 bucks

RE: $1300-$2000?
By BRB29 on 9/25/2013 1:21:12 PM , Rating: 1
1. You can change the RAM yourself. Dell and HP charges outrageous RAM prices also but not as bad.
2. $500 for 512GB SSD is not unreasonable. Apple won't use cheap SSD
3. It's still relatively expensive but you have to consider that their Fusion drive is actually pretty good. See anandtech review on that. Their overall aesthetic and design is the best out of all AIO.

4. I still wouldn't pay over $1k for a AIO because I would rather have a laptop with a 27" monitor. It is much more versatile.

As usual, Apple is expensive. Don't buy it if you don't like it.

RE: $1300-$2000?
By Nortel on 9/25/2013 3:02:44 PM , Rating: 1
I'm kind of surprised with all the hate on pricing here. The thunderbolt 27 inch monitor by itself is $1000, everything else past this point is for the computer. Even when the system gets old, it can still be used as a standalone 27" monitor for another computer.

Expandability is arguable, it's essentially a laptop in a different looking configuration and with that comes limitations. I think they struck a balance with the 27" and while not a Mac Pro, it was never designed to be one.

RE: $1300-$2000?
By augiem on 9/25/2013 3:16:40 PM , Rating: 1
The 27" monitor is WAYYYY overpriced. Not even close to worth $1k. So, no, it's not like you're getting a $1k monitor and a near free computer.

RE: $1300-$2000?
By Nortel on 9/25/2013 3:37:37 PM , Rating: 1
A 27 inch 2560x1440 IPS panel monitor from a different manufacturer will run $750 to $800. This monitor will not include gigabit ethernet. firewire or thunderbolt ports. Additionally, it wouldn't include 2.1 speakers, front facing camera with mic or be made from aluminum. Heck, it even comes with a thunderbolt and magsafe cables :)

All in all $1000... Not even close to being 'WAYYYY overpriced'.

RE: $1300-$2000?
By inighthawki on 9/25/2013 4:22:33 PM , Rating: 1
It is if you also consider most other 27" (and 30") displays to also be overpriced. Go look around and you'll see there are a few budget brands that usually use the exact same panel at a few hundred dollars less. The only thing they lack is usually a nice shiny exterior or couple types of ports (HDMI, DP, etc).

Adding in all the goodies like thunderbolt should not end up adding $500+ to the resulting price.

RE: $1300-$2000?
By epollyon on 9/26/2013 1:06:06 AM , Rating: 1
DERP, thanks for the market analysis.

RE: $1300-$2000?
By chrnochime on 9/26/2013 1:06:21 PM , Rating: 2
Thanks for the absolute useless comment.

RE: $1300-$2000?
By BRB29 on 9/26/2013 1:21:54 PM , Rating: 1
The monitor and hardware is worth around ~1300. With the better design, pleasing aesthetics and much faster Fusion drive. I think it is only maybe $200 overpriced.

I think someone in that market and price range will definitely pick the iMac over the Lenovo unless they have to have Windows.

RE: $1300-$2000?
By Cartman Jones on 9/25/2013 2:47:10 PM , Rating: 2
The RAM prices are crazy, but that is a reasonable price for a PCI Express SSD of that size. For Apple, these are actually pretty nice machines. Some things that are listed by Mick as advantages though are rather dubious. I am baffled why screen thickness matters in a desktop, but apparently that is a feature in Macland. Performance wise, though, they should be really good, especially for an AIO.

RE: $1300-$2000?
By Kiffberet on 9/26/2013 7:57:59 AM , Rating: 2
You don't have to be crazy to be rich.

For you in your trailer park, by all means a lenovo AIO would serve it's purpose and look just fine.

But for 'crazy' rich people in a $1m+ house, or high end office, that cheap sh1t just won't cut it.

RE: $1300-$2000?
By ritualm on 9/24/2013 4:00:14 PM , Rating: 1
Couple other problems as well.

Only the entry-level iMac 21.5" gets the good iGPU, while all other models get a laptop GPU.

The smaller iMacs are restricted to 2.5" 9.5mm storage, be it SSD or HDD. Regular 3.5" drives are only available on the 27". Regardless, the "Fusion" implementation involves a very-hard-to-replace SSD component.

While I can understand the desire to put form over function in laptops, there just isn't a need to prioritize form like that on a compact desktop that sits on a desk all day long. As it currently stands, an iMac is essentially a higher-than-MBP without a battery. I'm more likely to spec my own than bother with one of these iThings.

RE: $1300-$2000?
By Reclaimer77 on 9/24/2013 4:07:04 PM , Rating: 3
All they had to do was make it a few mm's thicker, and it wouldn't have to have all these compromises on internals.

But since we're talking about an Apple product here...meah, that was never an option.

And is Apple serious with this strategy of pretending Blu-Ray doesn't exist??

Only the entry-level iMac 21.5" gets the good iGPU, while all other models get a laptop GPU.

I didn't catch that, lol. Just wow!

RE: $1300-$2000?
By superstition on 9/25/2013 4:11:57 PM , Rating: 2
All they had to do was make it a few mm's thicker, and it wouldn't have to have all these compromises on internals.

Welcome to the world of planning obsolescence (which uses incrementalism). I guess you're not very familiar with the world of tech, because it's been around for a long time.

I do have to wonder, though, if you railed against Apple for leaving the Apple IIe and Mac Plus on the market for so many years back in the day.

Gartner (back in 1999 or so) found the Mac platform to have lower TCO than Windows. However, Steve Jobs loved planned obsolescence and sped it up. Apparently consumers like it, too, because Apple has been raking in the cash since.

If you think form doesn't matter much consider how well Apple was doing when it doled out dozens of models in the 90s in bland beige cases. The machines were functional and all that, but they were boring an Apple almost went out of business.

People make emotional purchases all the time, especially with cars. The amount of money people waste on car emotions greatly exceeds the overpriced RAM in a Mac or the fact that it's designed to be replaced in a few years by limitations imposed by its form factor.

RE: $1300-$2000?
By purerice on 9/26/2013 4:12:04 PM , Rating: 2
Agreed on that 100%.

Most people I know feel so relieved when they finally pay off their car, but within a year or so they feel the itch to put themselves back through the 5 year loan ringer again.

While the majority of users on this forum are likely more tech DIYers, the appeal of the iMac is lost on them, but for a lot of users who don't upgrade until their old machine breaks down, a $1300 AIO is not a bad deal. It is ironic that some people who spend $1300 annually on GPU alone, scoff at a $1300 that will last 4+ years as over-priced.

RE: $1300-$2000?
By augiem on 9/24/2013 5:14:13 PM , Rating: 2
I'm really glad to see the Iris Pro finally showing up in the wild finally. That should make the ultra thin laptops interesting finally, even though I'd never buy one being that they're all ultra expensive.

RE: $1300-$2000?
By purerice on 9/26/2013 1:18:17 PM , Rating: 2
Finally a non-flaming post, thank you. I hope you are right but iirc, all Iris Pro GPUs are currently tied to quad core processors. The lowest TDP for mobile Iris Pro is 47W and for desktop, 65W.

To keep it with Apple, their 15" retina MBP does have a 45W i7-3630QM but that is over 2 kg in weight. 13" MBPs are 1.6kg and have 35W CPUs while Macbook Airs at 1.1kg have 15W CPUs.

It may take until next year's 14nm shrink or perhaps not until 10nm for embedded DRAM to make it on to a quad core CPU. Intel could always put Iris Pro on a dual core chip, but that's another issue.

RE: $1300-$2000?
By TakinYourPoints on 9/24/2013 5:55:24 PM , Rating: 3
Only the entry-level iMac 21.5" gets the good iGPU, while all other models get a laptop GPU.

Why would the 27" iMac need Iris, it has a dedicated GTX 775M or 780M.

RE: $1300-$2000?
By Tony Swash on 9/24/13, Rating: 0
RE: $1300-$2000?
By Reclaimer77 on 9/24/2013 7:51:30 PM , Rating: 4
Apple customer satisfaction = confirmation bias.

RE: $1300-$2000?
By Tony Swash on 9/25/2013 8:38:54 AM , Rating: 1
Apple customer satisfaction = confirmation bias.

Apple has now remained atop the American Customer Satisfaction Index of personal computers for 10 years straight

Here’s a bit of advice.

When your theory conflicts with reality, you should create an alternative theory, not an alternative reality.

Meanwhile in the real world.

RE: $1300-$2000?
By Reclaimer77 on 9/25/2013 8:58:03 AM , Rating: 2
Apple has now remained atop the American Customer Satisfaction Index of personal computers for 10 years straight

And yet their PC business is a joke. OSX has abysmal marketshare. The only reason people even buy Mac's anymore is because they can, finally, run Windows on them and join the rest of the planet.

"Customer Satisfaction" is entirely subjective and myopic anyway. Who cares?

RE: $1300-$2000?
By superstition on 9/25/2013 4:19:23 PM , Rating: 1
Windows sucks. It used to have a decent interface. Windows 95, while ugly compared with the Mac OS, wasn't bad. Now we have Windows 8 which is atrocious.

I built a custom machine that has Windows 7 and OS X on it and I use OS X for everything except gaming. I had equal access to Macs and Windows since I started computing and, despite flaws in the Mac platform over the years, I continue to find the overall interface to be less cumbersome. Windows 8 is just the most egregious example since 3.1

RE: $1300-$2000?
By superstition on 9/25/2013 4:23:28 PM , Rating: 2
One design flaw that's plagued Windows from the beginning is its modality -- the way windows try to take over the entire screen. That's one big flaw that Microsoft never really got a handle on.

The trend is toward using tabs to combat modality, but they're still inferior to overlapping windows (windows that don't try to take over the machine if you touch them) in my opinion.

RE: $1300-$2000?
By Argon18 on 9/26/13, Rating: 0
RE: $1300-$2000?
By nikon133 on 9/24/2013 9:50:53 PM , Rating: 2
Meanwhile in the REAL real world, Lenovo took No.1 in AiO segment end of last year.

I was surprised to hear that, but bloody good on them.

RE: $1300-$2000?
By Strunf on 9/25/2013 8:02:36 AM , Rating: 3
Those stats mean nothing, Apple enjoys of a very faithful fanbase to the point that their users will undermine any shortcoming their Apple product may have, most other brands don't enjoy this kind of fanbase and a guy that buys Lenovo today may buy a HP tomorrow.

RE: $1300-$2000?
By BRB29 on 9/25/2013 2:50:22 PM , Rating: 3
why can't you just admit that it's a different demographics than you guys. Apple users don't want to tinker with their computers or devices.

For those that wants options, there's plenty of other options in different platforms.

I don't understand why people are so outraged by a product they are not going to buy. I would understand if you actually need to buy it but it is not the case at all.

RE: $1300-$2000?
By Jeffk464 on 9/25/2013 11:03:46 AM , Rating: 2
If you buy the Lenovo, at least you know it'll last.

Yes the Lenovo is beautiful for less than half the price and win 8 actually makes sense with the touch screen.

PS I don't think macs are known for falling apart are they.

RE: $1300-$2000?
By Jeffk464 on 9/25/2013 11:04:49 AM , Rating: 2
Oh, thats not the lenovo I was thinking of.

RE: $1300-$2000?
By superstition on 9/25/2013 4:25:31 PM , Rating: 2
Touch screens suck if you're like me and can't stand to have fingerprints all over the screen. Staring at a computer screen with finger smudges all over it for hours is not my idea of a quality experience.

RE: $1300-$2000?
By Zak on 9/25/2013 11:40:23 AM , Rating: 1
I'm not aware of any "chronic problems" with iMacs and there are hundreds around me. You made that all up. The recalls were due to faulty hard drives received from Seagate, genius.

Oh, and why would I want a touch screen on a desktop? Do you work for Microsoft's Windows 8 marketing team?

RE: $1300-$2000?
By captainBOB on 9/25/2013 3:02:54 PM , Rating: 2
Just gonna nitpick.

Reasonable price? Zero upgradability...
If you buy the Lenovo, at least you know it'll last.

The Lenovo in the example is no better when it comes to upgradeability. If you're looking to buy an all-in-one, you're retarded if you think upgradeability is a feature.

Otherwise iMacs sucks balls when it comes to reliability, actually every damn AIO sucks balls in some way even the Lenovo, because they're AIOs.

RE: $1300-$2000?
By superstition on 9/25/2013 4:27:25 PM , Rating: 2
LED screens and ssds make it much easier to design a reliable AIO because of heat reduction. The latest generation of Intel chips also curbs energy usage.

RE: $1300-$2000?
By palmira_friend on 9/25/2013 3:32:06 PM , Rating: 1
my parents inlaw just got a 2013 Audi TT Convertible by working part time off of a computer. additional info..........

RE: $1300-$2000?
By marvdmartian on 9/26/2013 7:47:41 AM , Rating: 3
But....but...but....IT'S GOT MAGIC!!!

And, evidently, a built-in reality distortion field generator!

RE: $1300-$2000?
By headbox on 9/26/2013 12:34:09 PM , Rating: 1
You can Resell an iMac (or any Mac) for a good price years after you buy it. You can't do that with any PC. I bought a Macbook Pro for $1600 and resold for $1450 two years later on CL- and 10 people called me within an hour of posting it. I tried selling a $2,000 Dell a couple years later, and no takers for $500. iMac holds RESALE VALUE you trolls.

Tons of ports > Tons of tiles
By YearOfTheDingo on 9/24/2013 4:01:55 PM , Rating: 1
I counted the number of tiles on the photo of the Lenovo. There are 47 of them. That's one big sea of distraction. Unless Microsoft ends this madness, my next desktop is going to be a Mac.

RE: Tons of ports > Tons of tiles
By Cerin218 on 9/24/2013 4:40:48 PM , Rating: 5
If I had an nickel for every idiot that doesn't like something Microsoft that spouts off that the next computer they buy will be a Mac. No it won't. It won't be a Linux either. If you really know what you were doing, you'd already have one. My guess is you will be like the rest of the idiots that pay 2.5 times more than comparable PC hardware. And then get locked into buying Apple peripherals that are over priced. And in the end be stuck when your wonderful "Just works" machine breaks or you do something to wreck it. Every time I get a call from some yahoo about the key chain I want to push them down a flight of stairs. Apple is not intuitive. Unless you truly understand what you are doing like my network infrastructure friends, you have no need of a Mac. And you won't teach Microsoft a lesson either. If you were really smart, you'd make Windows do what YOU want. I have that many tiles on my start screen and appreciate all the information that I can see at a glance before I hit my Desktop tile and do real work.

RE: Tons of ports > Tons of tiles
By Reclaimer77 on 9/24/2013 4:47:45 PM , Rating: 3

Windows 8 is an abomination, sure. The solution is to install Windows 7, NOT to buy an i-anything.

RE: Tons of ports > Tons of tiles
By Jeffk464 on 9/25/2013 3:03:53 PM , Rating: 2
you can make win8 work just like win7.

RE: Tons of ports > Tons of tiles
By YearOfTheDingo on 9/24/2013 8:17:06 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, I've been using a Macbook for the past seven years. Switching to a Mac desktop would thus involve zero learning curve. I have another notebook running Linux, but for day-to-day work I'd prefer something with more polish. OSX with Parellels will be a perfectly fine combination.

RE: Tons of ports > Tons of tiles
By TakinYourPoints on 9/25/2013 1:00:11 AM , Rating: 2
This is a super common setup among developers, OS X on the desktop and Windows in Parallels. There's a huge advantage to having a UNIX operating system with strong developer support that also runs Windows for testing, all on the same desktop. VMs up the wazoo.

Best of all worlds.

By YearOfTheDingo on 9/25/2013 11:34:00 AM , Rating: 2
It's a great setup if you can afford it. My Win7 box still has a couple years life left on it. If Microsoft is still pushing effing Modern UI, then I will probably take the plunge and get a Mac Pro. The new design does look pretty slick.

RE: Tons of ports > Tons of tiles
By BRB29 on 9/25/2013 2:52:29 PM , Rating: 2
My guess is you will be like the rest of the idiots that pay 2.5 times more than comparable PC hardware.

more like only 20-30%.

By troysavary on 9/25/2013 4:25:08 PM , Rating: 2
If you use multi-monitor, Windows 8 is head and shoulders above 7.

RE: Tons of ports > Tons of tiles
By EnzoFX on 9/26/2013 7:25:31 AM , Rating: 1
Says you. I've found no one that doesn't find OS X more intuitive than shitty, old Windows. The only time there's any issue is when people insist on doing things the Windows way, just because it's what they're used to. Once they realize their habits take more clicks, or more steps, they see OS X is more intuitive.

RE: Tons of ports > Tons of tiles
By Roffles on 9/24/2013 4:45:03 PM , Rating: 2
yep, 47 tiles exactly.... no more and no less. i wanted 48 tiles but it won't let me so i'm buying a mac.

RE: Tons of ports > Tons of tiles
By augiem on 9/24/2013 5:01:44 PM , Rating: 2
Only 47? If my current Vista workhorse were running Windows 8, the All Apps page would have almost 1200 icons on it. It may be fun to clone my disk and upgrade just to see that and post screen shots. I imagine it'd run about 30 screens to the right or so. Oh for a folder...

I do have Win 8 dual boot on here, but with nothing much installed on it.

RE: Tons of ports > Tons of tiles
By inighthawki on 9/24/2013 5:53:21 PM , Rating: 2
If you had an "all apps" page with 1200 icons, would you seriously not be using search at that point anyway?

By Reclaimer77 on 9/24/2013 5:58:56 PM , Rating: 2
Maybe his desktop is arranged by penis??

lol total classic...

RE: Tons of ports > Tons of tiles
By augiem on 9/24/2013 8:19:25 PM , Rating: 2
Because I can't remember the names of all this software, I just know what type of task I want to do and go to that category. Organizing by category, subcategory, etc is far better than alphabetically when dealing with large amounts of data.

RE: Tons of ports > Tons of tiles
By augiem on 9/24/2013 8:24:30 PM , Rating: 2
I mean, wxHexEditor, LupasRename, FreeMind, MeshLab, AxCrypt, SynthFont, FRHead, FastFileSplitterJoiner... These are rarely used items, but when I do want to use them, I can find them easily because I have a task I want to do, so I can find my tools by task category. I want to use a hex editor, that is filed away in a proper place for dev tools. It just makes sense. Organization. It's a good thing.

RE: Tons of ports > Tons of tiles
By PsychoPif on 9/25/2013 7:52:51 AM , Rating: 2
I might be a bit off because I don't personaly use it, but you can name groups of icon on the start screen and use what they call ?semantic zoom?

You zoom out of the tile and see only little version of icons with the group name over it.

I'm pretty sure, even your extreme, almost unrealistic, use case can be solved.

RE: Tons of ports > Tons of tiles
By augiem on 9/25/2013 3:24:00 PM , Rating: 2
Call it unrealistic if you want, it's the way I've been using computers my whole life. Yeah, I know, a grab bag full of unorganized junk is good enough for 99% of the users out there. Not good enough for me. Just because the casual user vastly outnumbers the power user these days doesn't mean the power users don't matter.

As for grouping, that takes place on the Modern UI home screen, not the all apps page.

I really detest this ever furthering trend of disorganization and fear of file/folder/organizational systems. It's backwards. It's not a proper way to deal with lots of data. Yeah, just save all your bookmarks to your Start Screen. Please MS... MS and Apple have been pushing it for a long time, and its only getting worse with every OS.

It seems they won't be happy until the file system is just one single giant database table.

By inighthawki on 9/25/2013 4:17:17 PM , Rating: 2
Call it unrealistic if you want, it's the way I've been using computers my whole life. ... Just because the casual user vastly outnumbers the power user these days doesn't mean the power users don't matter.

I don't think your usage pattern is even common amongst power users...

As for grouping, that takes place on the Modern UI home screen, not the all apps page.

Not sure about Win8, but 8.1 does have semantic zoom down to the top level folder level. (e.g. a category for MS Office that would then zoom to the list of office apps). Not quite what you desire, but getting there.

I really detest this ever furthering trend of disorganization and fear of file/folder/organizational systems.

Even on Windows 8 this is rarely the case. On the start screen it might be a single layer of "apps" but all other metro apps still give a view into the file system with full support for drives, folders, and files. Typically this paradigm is only common on devices like phones because they function rather differently from traditional computing environments. Most people do not need or even want a directory structure in that case. what they really want is organization. Sorting music by name, artist, album, etc, and care less about where it is actually placed in the FS.

RE: Tons of ports > Tons of tiles
By augiem on 9/25/2013 3:25:18 PM , Rating: 2
Oh and don't forget, for every program you install, you usually get at least 4 entries in the start menu, sometimes MANY more. Install 100 programs and you're easily at 400-500 items in your all apps page. Even the average iPhone has more than 100 programs on it. Not unrealistic in the least.

RE: Tons of ports > Tons of tiles
By CaedenV on 9/24/2013 8:28:15 PM , Rating: 2
Have you ever used win8?
Yes, the Start screen is a mess on initial install, but it is super easy to organize and clean it up. Want fewer programs on the start screen? Pin fewer items. Want big fat tiles? use big fat tiles. Want little ones? use little ones. A few people I know only have the desktop on the start screen. Want the classic start menu? there are ton's of free or cheap options there too. It is completely up to you.

But the fact is that if you don't want to see it, there is hardly ever a reason you have to. When I had win8 I rarely ever saw the start screen, and now on 8.1 I can't really say that I know what my start screen even looks like. I only ever catch brief glimpses of it between pressing the 'win' key and when I stat typing to search for something (the exact same workflow I used in win7).
Outside of a start screen, which seems to be an entirely optional experience, you end up with a system that is faster, more reliable, has better network options, great native VHD/VCD support, the ability to control file transfers, better cloud/skydrive support, better device support (especially with newer phones, both WP and Android), neat native multi-monitor features (in desktop... not metro) which use to require mods or a professional GPU, groundbreaking (meaning still needs work, but ahead of others) 3D printer support, and settings menus that actually make some sense (well... in 8.1, still a mess in win8). And let's not forget my favorite feature of being able to log into any computer of my house and have all of my preferences follow me! Seems like a lot of up sides with only 1 minor annoyance of a down side.

RE: Tons of ports > Tons of tiles
By Reclaimer77 on 9/24/2013 8:54:31 PM , Rating: 2
Windows 8 has completely and utterly failed. A Windows 7-like OS with all those improvements you listed, man, would have been amazing. That's all we need, and more importantly, it's all we WANT.

How bad has Windows 8 failed? Well besides the fact that the entire PC market is in decline because of it, Windows 8 still hasn't surpassed Vistas marketshare! Worse still, Windows 8's month-over-month growth rate is lagging further and further behind Vista's dreadful 2007 adoption numbers. When comparing the operating systems when they were first launched, Windows 8's adoption rate in its first month trailed Vista by just over half-a-percent among PC buyers. Now, in their 8th month out, Vista's market-share numbers now lead Windows 8 by 3.64 percent.

How can you look this in the face and sit there and proclaim how great it is? Nobody likes it or sees it as an upgrade, get a clue!!

RE: Tons of ports > Tons of tiles
By rsmech on 9/25/2013 2:28:27 AM , Rating: 2
A Windows 7-like OS with all those improvements you listed, man, would have been amazing

I thought that's what he just said. 8.1 and if you want a free download for you start button. Your dreaded tiles are gone if you choose. Sounds like you're getting what you want.

RE: Tons of ports > Tons of tiles
By ProtonBadger on 9/25/2013 1:24:51 PM , Rating: 2
Well, I don't think the PC market is in decline because of Win8. It's stalled because CPUs are not really getting any faster, because the mass market casual user is happy with a Core 2 Duo and of course smartphones/tablets. It was stalled before Win8 too.

I just replaced a 2007 MacBook Pro with a new Sager but that's because I want to play games. I'm a minority, the MacBook was still absolutely fine for productivity/browsing and is being used for that with a new happy owner.

RE: Tons of ports > Tons of tiles
By Jeffk464 on 9/25/2013 3:21:32 PM , Rating: 2
Yup, even an old athlon II X2 runs pretty much everything out there with lagging. There isn't that much need to upgrade anymore, especially now that intel seems to be de-emphasizing the desktop.

RE: Tons of ports > Tons of tiles
By Jeffk464 on 9/25/2013 3:07:10 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, the Start screen is a mess on initial install, but it is super easy to organize and clean it up. Want fewer programs on the start screen? Pin fewer items.

Yes, MS screwed up by starting with a cluttered start screen. Once you put only what you want on there its actually really functional.

By stevessvt on 9/24/2013 3:40:00 PM , Rating: 5
Apple aggressively priced is an oxymoron.

RE: Yeeeeeaaaahhhhh.......
By Phoque on 9/24/2013 5:30:26 PM , Rating: 2
And even aggressively priced, it remains a rape on the wallet.

RE: Yeeeeeaaaahhhhh.......
By rsmech on 9/25/2013 2:38:56 AM , Rating: 2
The pricing may not be great for PC hardware but maybe for mac. Could this be because so many iPhone users decided to give Macs a try because they loved their phones but are no longer repeat buyers because a mac couldn't replace their PC? Higher priced, expensive peripherals, expensive or unavailable software, locked into iTunes and everything Apple.

I now a few people who liked the phones but regret buying a mac.

RE: Yeeeeeaaaahhhhh.......
By Spookster on 9/24/2013 6:06:41 PM , Rating: 3
Considering Apples target demo is existing Apple sheep this is no surprise.

Typical Mac user:
Price? Meh!
Specs? Meh!
It's shiny! It's futuristic looking, I want one!

Dear lord...!
By ack on 9/24/2013 7:20:59 PM , Rating: 3
So has Dailytech become another Apple rag? The newspeak has been a bit much since the iphone launch. Americans and their Apple favouritism.

RE: Dear lord...!
By CaedenV on 9/24/2013 8:14:26 PM , Rating: 3
Just remember that it is only about 20% of Americans... it just happens to be 100% of the media.

RE: Dear lord...!
By ack on 9/24/2013 10:22:08 PM , Rating: 3
Sorry, I stand corrected. You're right... I don't think I've ever seen an American "journalist" use anything other than Apple products, hence the inherent bias.

RE: Dear lord...!
By TSS on 9/25/2013 8:04:23 AM , Rating: 2
Then 80% of americans are sloths incapable of doing anything about the situation... yknow, watching different, voting different, etc.

If american journalists really only cater to 20% of the market all the news outlets in america would go bust pretty quickly now wouldn't they? Or are you telling me that 80% of the population cannot muster the strenght to start a channel for 80% of the population, because that's one hell of a untapped market....

Funny all the anti-apple comments
By sundragon on 9/25/2013 1:21:44 PM , Rating: 2
Come from people who don't own one but espose how awful the experience is...

My first computer was a frikkin IBM 8086 clone and I've been using Windows since 1.0...

I switched to a Powerbook 15" in 2004 and never looked back.

I've got a crappy Dell laptop for the office with a TN screen that looks like poop and it's as thick as a paperback with awful stickers and poor industrial design. Yes the Dell is 1/2 the price of a MBA but I would pay 2x to get a thin and well build computer with a nice screen - I can afford it and yes it's worth it! You can cry but it's more than specs...

You should Google "industrial design" - It may not make difference to you, but for those of us who can afford it, it makes a world of difference - I spend my day staring at this thing and I'll pay more for a better experience.

Yes I use Windows as well but the comparison of how the OS X gets out of your way and lets you work is amazing. The fact that I can open a shell and type Unix commands is a HUUUGE plus over Windows and honestly, Linux is great for Apache and servers but the desktop is fail...

Back to Microsoft - Windows 8 was awful without a touch screen. Maybe 8.1 will fix that but 7 is what I run until they fix it.

RE: Funny all the anti-apple comments
By Cartman Jones on 9/25/2013 2:41:54 PM , Rating: 2
You do realize that, if you want, you can buy an expensive windows laptop whose industrial design blows MacBooks away. Carbon fiber? Check. Magnesium? Check. Hell, you can probably find a solid gold, diamond crusted laptop if you look hard enough.

RE: Funny all the anti-apple comments
By superstition on 9/25/2013 4:29:01 PM , Rating: 2
Then you boot it and realize that it has Windows 8.

By troysavary on 9/25/2013 7:53:04 PM , Rating: 2
Better than booting and finding MacOS.

Microcenter can beat it
By venym76 on 9/24/2013 3:44:23 PM , Rating: 1

I'd still take the above system over that. You need to stop cheer leading for Apple. Nothing they make is reasonably priced or consumer friendly for that matter.

RE: Microcenter can beat it
By epollyon on 9/26/2013 12:57:36 AM , Rating: 2
welcome, noob. thanks for the lovely junk post.

RE: Microcenter can beat it
By purerice on 9/26/2013 2:30:39 PM , Rating: 2
...and that is pertinent because...?

Fascinating graphics powerhouse there, Radeon 7650A.

My experience with Dell has been a lot of great specs that somehow end up with the fan going full throttle in a slow, overheating case when the computer's in low power mode playing Solitaire. Apple may be overpriced but there's a reason why Dells are cheap.

As a bonus, since you so kindly brought up an unrelated product, here is some good humor. Dell and Dell Dude, gone to pot in 2003, trying to make a comeback in 2013, up in smoke.

To the anti-Apple circle jerks...
By half_duplex on 9/25/13, Rating: 0
By venym76 on 9/25/2013 2:07:30 PM , Rating: 3
I'm a software developer as well and I have developed IOS apps. XCode is a garbage dev tool, severely limited and lacking in some basic abilities, like having more than 1 project open at a time. Their Nazi like control over content is ridiculous. I have an IMAC at home, I inflict it on those that stay in my guest room. The OS is not intuitive, it has so little to offer the only thing anyone uses on it is the web browser. Oh and try to navigate to system folders. ICraps will never be more than a niche/trendy computer and nothing more.

By Cheesew1z69 on 9/25/2013 2:27:25 PM , Rating: 2
Cool story bro...

Apple Styling
By wallijonn on 9/25/2013 10:44:58 AM , Rating: 2
It looks good, but what do you think happens if you want to upgrade your disc drive? It's poor design when you can't replace the HDD, DVD recorder, or battery without splitting the case. Anyone else would have made access covers on the back panel to readily replace certain parts; laptops do it.

RE: Apple Styling
By Jeffk464 on 9/25/2013 3:29:24 PM , Rating: 2
Its the same as your laptop, when it breaks you are mostly stuck. I guess you end up plugging an intel NUC into it and call it good.

RE: Apple Styling
By epollyon on 9/26/2013 1:00:12 AM , Rating: 1
wtf are you morons talking about? next you'll wanna upgrade the cassette player on it? will it read off a vinyl player? how old are you fucks?

By damianrobertjones on 9/24/2013 4:49:28 PM , Rating: 2
"Also, it is worth noting that some iMacs are now being produced in the U.S.A. "

- Produced? SO.. question... who makes the parts... I know the answer

RE: ?
By ritualm on 9/24/2013 10:25:17 PM , Rating: 2
Assembled, not produced.

Won't mean anything unless you're a government buyer.

Intel dictates appels pricing
By coburn_c on 9/24/2013 4:01:25 PM , Rating: 2
Good to see someone following the Intel edicts

Still won't buy from the shadiest Intel re-packager of the lot.

Bootcamp is not that good
By augiem on 9/24/2013 4:51:21 PM , Rating: 2
I have a friend who bought a MBP mainly to use as a Windows 8 machine. That was a mistake. There are a number of drawbacks when using bootcamp, especially on a laptop since there's no ability to switch to Intel graphics when the GF isn't needed to save battery. Granted, that's not needed here, but there are quite a few other annoyances -- MUCH slower post/boot times even on SSD in Windows, the keyboard, right click handling, and a few others I can't remember at the moment. And of course there's no touch screen here, which may be a big deal or not matter at all depending on how much you use Windows 8 Modern UI.

Lots of myths being broken here
By epollyon on 9/26/2013 12:51:00 AM , Rating: 1
Finally some informed unbiased consumers. I love my do-it-yourself as much as the next guy but here are a few tips that the comments have missed:
Thunderbolt drives: Samsung makes a TB-SATA enclosure that retails about 90$. I have one and it works wonders with my cheapo sata SSDs.
PCI: Extensibility is intended through the connectivity. Have you seen the new Mac Pro? This has been Apple's strat for quite some time now.
Display: As someone who has worked with high end imaging for several years and managed purchasing, I have to say the best display in our lab was the one on our Mac. The gamut wasn't the best on specs but the angles and brightness were unmatched. We spent a lot of money on other displays, none-the-less.

Argue all you want, but, please, no one wants to hear "its apple so it sucks" and "its for artists and grandparents" cuz thats just ignant, =D

Stop this Apple madness!
By amanojaku on 9/24/13, Rating: 0
"You can bet that Sony built a long-term business plan about being successful in Japan and that business plan is crumbling." -- Peter Moore, 24 hours before his Microsoft resignation

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