Print 66 comment(s) - last by KoolAidMan1.. on Jan 26 at 7:09 PM

Demand, and possibly quality issues, have caused Apple to delay shipments of the bestselling new 27-inch iMac (right) 3 weeks.  (Source: Apple)
Delay puts a damper on the best-selling desktop

The new Apple iMacs, released in October 2009 have been much maligned for quality control issues, including broken screens, failure to boot, graphical glitches, and, most recently, yellowed screens.  However, it's important to note that they've also been a terrific sales success story for Apple, topping desktop sales charts in Q4 2009.  Customers who haven't suffered problems have fallen in love with the improved hardware, seamless aluminum enclosure, and edge-to-edge glass design.

That said, Apple seems to be enduring more struggles with the popular model.  About a week ago, Apple had said that it was shipping iMacs within less than a week from the order time.  Now it says the delay on 27-inch units has been pushed to three weeks according to Apple Insider.  The 27-inch unit features a better GPU (ATI Radeon HD 4850) and offers the 2.8GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 processor as a customization option (these options are not available for the 21-inch unit.

Demand likely is playing a heavy factor.  Apple may also be trying to weed out "lemons" -- iMacs with screen yellowing that are reportedly quite abundant.  Apple in December pushed the delay window for 2 weeks, following reports of graphical issues, chiefly affecting the new 27-inch iMac.  Apple has released a patch to fix this problem, and since has been delivering on a quicker timeframe.

Those problems may actually be playing a role in the delay, in addition to the demand and yellowing issues.  Many users on the Apple's customer support forums [1] [2] say that the graphics patch did not fix their issues.

Apple is constantly trying innovative case designs and packing hardware in tight spaces, but recent issues with the MacBook Pros and iMac series have illustrated that quality issues can bedevil such unproven efforts.  Apple has not officially addressed these recent quality slippages on a whole, but its surely a major concern for the company, which has built a small, but significant market share based largely on a strong brand image.

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RE: Wow
By monomer on 1/21/2010 3:19:33 PM , Rating: 3
You seem to have missed the OP's point. The fact is, the $1550 price you quoted is not directly comparable, since you are comparing an El Cheapo 27" 1900*1200 TN panel, to a high end 27" 2560*1440 S-IPS panel, which would cost significantly more.

That said, most of the iMac purchasers probably don't care about the technology and the resolution of the panel, and just buy it for the shinies.

RE: Wow
By Smilin on 1/21/2010 4:23:34 PM , Rating: 1
You're missing a point as well.

I do not have to buy a monitor . I use the one that I have which is better than the Apple. Furthermore when I go to upgrade my hardware (for much less than buying a new apple) I don't have to throw my monitor away.

Yet another point: the Apple machine is shipping with hardware that cannot handle my monitor! That video card would drive 3D Games on my screen at single digit framerates....that brings up still another point but Apple users already know what it is. tee-hee.

RE: Wow
By ClownPuncher on 1/21/2010 6:21:59 PM , Rating: 5
Who used a Mac for games? Seriously, most users are just using them to look at pictures of kittens and check out prices of the Prius online.

RE: Wow
By themaster08 on 1/23/2010 2:37:37 PM , Rating: 2
Not forgetting Twittering their friends!

RE: Wow
By Calin on 1/22/2010 2:17:26 AM , Rating: 2
What better monitor you have? If it's something better than a 27", 2650 by 1400, S-IPS monitor we'd like to know.
As a side note, the S-IPS are the holy grail of LCD monitors in terms of image quality (viewing angles, especially from below)

RE: Wow
By Smilin on 1/22/2010 2:03:32 PM , Rating: 2
It's an NEC something or other. I don't remember if it's a 27 or a 30...Runs at 2650x1600.

S-IPS isn't all that and a bag of chips. Put down the apple juice. I don't plan on playing my games from the next room over so viewing angle matters not.

Besides the iMac can't even drive that monitor properly with that video card.

RE: Wow
By KoolAidMan1 on 1/22/2010 5:39:24 PM , Rating: 2
You're seriously going to defend TN and *VA displays against IPS.

Your opinion is officially worth nothing, congratulations.

RE: Wow
By ChristopherO on 1/23/2010 6:47:32 PM , Rating: 2
Wait a minute.. Were talking about defending IPS screens with yellow tint, right?

I mean, in all fairness, one could say the TN screens are vastly better given that Apple seems to have a bit of an issue shipping in volume without yellow screens...

RE: Wow
By KoolAidMan1 on 1/24/2010 5:05:37 AM , Rating: 2
This is based on the assumption that all of the 27" iMacs ship with yellow tinted screens. Mine doesn't have it, my friend's doesn't have it, and none of the ones I've seen in offices or retailers that I've seen (Apple Store, Best Buy, my indie retailer) have it.

A small percentage of iMacs have them. Its a good thing this is being taken care of since they are clearly out there, same as Microsoft replacing faulty XBox 360s (I'm on my third, which is par for the course among my friends) but to say that a large percentage of iMacs ship with yellow IPS panels is FUD, plain and simple.

Nice try.

RE: Wow
By KoolAidMan1 on 1/24/2010 5:16:28 AM , Rating: 2
I'll take it further and say that I'd take a yellowed IPS display over a "good" TN any day of the week.

"Good" is in quotes because such a thing doesn't exist. :)

As it stands it isn't an issue for the consumer since you can easily exchange an iMac with a faulty display for one that isn't, so no big deal, lots of FUD about nothing.

RE: Wow
By Smilin on 1/25/2010 2:21:59 PM , Rating: 2
Are you saying there is no such thing as a good display if it's not an overpriced IPS?

They are nice monitors to be sure but the price premium *at this time* is not worth it. It's also especially not worth it if that monitor is PERMANENTLY tied to a video card that is incapable of properly driving in the iMac.

Like I said... Set down the apple juice there KoolAid.

RE: Wow
By KoolAidMan1 on 1/26/2010 2:55:04 AM , Rating: 2
In my opinion, absolutely, good is good and bad is bad. TN panels look like crap, especially in larger sizes due to the problem of narrow viewing angles getting magnified by the extra height. *VA panels are too contrasty and have weird motion artifacts and inverse ghosting problems, not to mention that they have horrible input lag which is a major problem for games. IPS panels have good input lag, no dithering, excellent viewing angles, and the best color and contrast in an LCD. The only thing that would be better is if you were using a high quality plasma display like a Panasonic G or V series or a Kuro (RIP), but that wouldn't make any sense unless you were sitting over 6 feet away since they're all so damn big.

So yes, in my opinion anything less than an IPS LCD is not good. Now, I can justify buying a TN or *VA display if that's all you can afford, budget is always a concern, but that doesn't automatically make that display good.

Its like saying a Ford Focus is a good car because its cheap. No, it isn't good, its simply cheap, just like those TN displays.

And again, the video card in the 27" iMac is more than capable of driving a 30" display that has greater vertical resolution. You are completely 1000% wrong in saying that it can't drive a 27", its crazy to think that.

As for being permanently tied to that computer, its actually a tremendous help in terms of resale value. Two years holding onto a 24" iMac yields only a 40%-50% depreciation in value. I wish I could get as much back when selling my old PCs. A big part of it is the display, which in the case of the 24" iMac is still the same as in the $1000 NEC 2490WUXi. It helps to retain its value, and you sell the old display but you get a new one that's even better.

So long as Apple keeps putting best in class LCDs into their iMacs, they're a good value. It'll change when this stops, but high quality displays has always been a high priority with their desktop displays (now if only someone would make IPS panels for notebooks...)

RE: Wow
By Smilin on 1/26/2010 10:06:15 AM , Rating: 2
And again, the video card in the 27" iMac is more than capable of driving a 30" display that has greater vertical resolution. You are completely 1000% wrong in saying that it can't drive a 27", its crazy to think that.

It's pulling 39fps at 19x12 on a year old game.

It's going to run like sh*t at 2560x1600 and if you stick with 19x12 it's going to look like big greasy sh*t on that monitor.

If you're going to run a 2560 monitor you need a top end video card or a pair. Apple basically put in enough graphics to ensure a beautiful 2D display and at least claim 3D capability.

It's like Paris Hilton designed a computer.

RE: Wow
By KoolAidMan1 on 1/26/2010 7:09:48 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, and its pulling ~75fps in another year old game, L4D. It'll bench similarly for TF2 or L4D2. It is also likely using a Core 2 processor and not an i7. It won't make a huge difference since games are all GPU limited these days, but the difference is still there.

As it stands, the card is more than enough to drive a desktop with multiple HD video windows running at once. 3D performance, given how gaming is a lower priority on Macs, is gravy as far as I'm concerned. If you want to game then you build an ATX desktop. I did, got an i7 860 with GTX 285 here. I'll bump up the GPU when I eventually get the upcoming NEC 27" to match the iMac next to it.

If you don't game, and the vast majority of users don't do hardcore 3D gaming on a PC, well doesn't, matter, you still can with this display. Check out 4850 benchmarks on Crysis at 2560x1600 and medium settings, it does surprisingly well at 30fps. Not as fast as my machine, but its not a big deal given that you can probably count the number of people with iMacs that will run Crysis on one hand.

Think USAGE. I use the iMac for my main desktop and Final Cut Studio HD. It handles both perfectly, everything is super smooth. To say that the GPU cannot handle the display for its intended use is retarded. Gaming performance is there but its gravy IMHO. Anyone gaming on an iMac is most likely going to play WoW or Sims 3, both of which will run great on that setup.

That said, it'll be awesome once 5000 series ATI GPUs are cool enough to get into all-in-one and notebook enclosures (well, notebooks that don't weigh 12lbs...)

RE: Wow
By KoolAidMan1 on 1/24/2010 6:27:07 AM , Rating: 2
BTW, I checked out benchmarks with the Radeon 4850 on 30" 2560x1600 displays, a higher res than the 2560x1440 on the iMac. The CPUs in the tests were Core 2 Duos at a little under 3ghz, slower than the i7 860 in the 27" iMac, which in my machines automatically ramp up to 3.5ghz without me manually overclocking them (yay Turbo mode).

At that 2560x1600 resolution it averaged at around 30fps in Crysis. Drop down to 1920 and you're at around 40fps. That's the worst case scenario you're going to see with games. With Modern Warfare 2 or Team Fortress 2 or Left 4 Dead 2 you're looking at much higher framerates, and more than playable if you drop down to 1920 res. I played TF2 for a year on my prior gaming rig with an 8800GT and it ran great. Blame lower system requirements because of consoles lowering the performance ceiling, but there you go. A 4850 at 1920 or 2560 res will run games fine. Not GTX 285 levels like I'm playing with now, but fine.

It'll do way better than run games at "single digit framerates".

In any case, I use a 27" iMac for my main desktop, work, and Final Cut Studio for my portfolio, not gaming. The GPU drives the full desktop with multiple uncompressed HD video windows running and everything with no issues whatsoever. I have a multiple computers (I haven't quite shaken the DIY habit and never will) so the toy PC that my Mac pays for is what I play games on. If I had to though, it'd be fine firing up L4D2 or Dawn Of War 2 on the iMac, the biggest hassle would be rebooting between OS X and Windows. As it stands its a waste of buying another Windows license.

The thing you should ask is why can't other PC manufacturers get comparable GPUs into their own all-in-ones. The best Dell or HP could manage for the longest time are Intel integrated graphics and have just bumped up to G200 and 9400M GPUs. Now those are poor for driving games at the 1920x1200 or 1920x1080 those desktops come in...

RE: Wow
By Smilin on 1/26/2010 10:02:28 AM , Rating: 2

It's pulling 39fps at 19x12 on a year old game.

It's going to run like sh*t at 2560x1600 and if you stick with 19x12 it's going to look like big greasy sh*t on that monitor.

If you're going to run a 2560 monitor you need a top end video card or a pair.

RE: Wow
By ClownPuncher on 1/21/2010 6:23:47 PM , Rating: 3
A TN panel that doesn't turn the screen yellow? Clearly these are El Cheapo too, or they wouldnt be having problems, right?

RE: Wow
By monomer on 1/22/2010 1:27:57 PM , Rating: 2
Okay, look, I'm not commenting on the quality of the product, but there is a huge price to pay to get an IPS monitor. Interestingly enough, Anandtech just so happens to have posted a review of a 27" IPS 2560*1440 monitor from Dell, which runs for... $1050.

I am not trying to defend Apple for their shoddy products or high pricing, but if people want to compare their prices, they need to use comparable items.

RE: Wow
By ChristopherO on 1/23/2010 6:51:49 PM , Rating: 2
Which is impossible till the quality issue is resolved. However, if Apple is selling these, because they managed to find a way to cut costs. And that method leads to a huge defect rate...

Obviously the screen really isn't that good.

The modern Xbox 360 is good... Because they worked out their issues. Likewise comparing the 27" iMac to anything is pretty much pointless until they hit standard defect rates.

People should just brand it "keep away", and then Apple will have the impetus to fix it.

Still, I admire what they *tried* to do, it's just that their execution was a bit off.

RE: Wow
By KoolAidMan1 on 1/24/2010 5:13:11 AM , Rating: 2
The screen is absolutely gorgeous. I actually prefer it to my NEC 2490WUXi, an $1100 24" H-IPS display which uses the same panel as the prior 24" iMac. IMHO it is still the best 1920x1200 24" LCD out there, but this new 27" is frigging fantastic.

As soon as NEC ships their version of the 27" based on the same panel in the current iMac I'll probably swap my 24" out for it. I'll do as I do now and use it as the primary display on my Windows machine and the secondary on my iMac, can't wait.

RE: Wow
By foolsgambit11 on 1/21/2010 8:05:03 PM , Rating: 2
Wow, it costs more for a yellowed monitor? Lucky us!

But seriously, you are correct that when comparing roughly equivalent parts, while Macs do have a premium based on style and compactness, it's not as big as some might make it out to be. But those people perceive the price premium as being larger because they don't need an S-IPS panel, and thus don't need to factor that in to the price. (Or even worse, they don't want a S-IPS because they want the faster response times a TN can give them.)

Apple balances the price and performance of specific hardware differently than those people. People like the above poster place a higher value on performance from their video card, or storage, or whatever, while Apple places the emphasis on the screen, user interface, build quality (until recently?) - basically all the aesthetic parts.

Don't get me wrong, they can build higher performance machines - and they do. But when they have to make choices in their "lower end" offerings, they make different trade-offs than others. From a business standpoint, their way seems to be working just fine. But understand that the perception of bad value isn't necessarily based on misinformation, but different priorities.

"When an individual makes a copy of a song for himself, I suppose we can say he stole a song." -- Sony BMG attorney Jennifer Pariser

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