Mac Upgrade path confusion

I have been waiting for a replacement for my ageing Late 2015 iMac for literally years!! I’ve even had family gifting me cash for the last two Xmas’s and birthdays (It’s my birthday this week ) to help with funding it.

I had always thought I was waiting for the next gen 27" iMac but am beginning to wonder if that’s the best option and as time goes by I’m only becoming more and more confused. Worse still, at every turn no matter what option I look to move towards I seem to be waiting of the next gen product again.

For context I am mainly a desktop user. I have little need for portability and I currently have a two monitor setup with the afore mentioned 27" iMac and a 27" LG 4K display.

The options as I see them are:

  1. Wait for the 27" iMac.

This is the most obvious, but the rumours seem to indicate that this is possibly delayed again and is only 50/50 as to whether it will appear in the next Apple event.

Rumours also seem to talk about an iMac pro coming even later as if its a different model but surely with the M1 architecture that we already know of, the iMac, when it surfaces, will simply come in a multitude of opinions for all flavours of M1 or an upgraded M2 chip.

I was ideally waiting for a 32" version to come out but this now seems unlikely.

  1. Get an Apple XDR + Other computer device.

Like many I have fallen in lust with the Apple XDR. But there are some issues, quite aside from the cash. Like what would I best pair it with, a Mac mini or a Macbook Pro. The Mac mini seems a good choice as it would be the least costly to replace in the future as newer versions materialise. However, the Macbook Pro has the advantage of acting as a second screen and delivers portability if it were needed. The other issue is how easily would I find moving to one screen, albeit much larger.

BUT one of the biggest issues here is the XDR’s age and its already falling behind the spec of other devices screens. So would this mean waiting for an updated XDR which may not even come. I’d hate to splash £5K on a monitor for a newer version to come out in 6 months.

It just seems everywhere I turn the options are pending an update.

What would you do?

I’m waiting to see this year’s iMac before I make any decisions. I don’t care for the aesthetics of the M1 iMac.

Agree with waiting to see what replaces the 27" iMac this year. I think that the current XDR will likely be superseded by either that iMac’s screen or a refresh of independent display(s).

How about an 8k display for $2k less than the XDR w/ stand?

I guess the thing you omitted is: what do you want to do that your current setup won’t do for you? Does it require a $6k display?

Also, you don’t have to keep whatever you buy forever. Apple is usually pretty generous on trade-ins.

Do you think the as thetic will be very different? I don’t. While I don’t love the 24" iMac design I don’t hate it - Except for the white bezels that is.

I will certainly wait to see the next event but I just pray the 27" is released then. Hopefully, the display will be good enough to stop me lusting after the XDR.

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Rightly or wrongly the asthetic is a big thing for me and I want it to look “Appleish”.

My current setup is creaking considerably now. I’ve already had a major issue that resulted in Apple changing the mother board (incorrectly - but that’s a long story). The display has a fault that is resulting in ghosting of the image. but the real issue is performance. Redering video is very time intensive resulting in the fans kicking in hard.

I appreciate that whatever I buy can be replaced at a later date, but who wants to buy something just months before something considerably better is released. Essentially, I’m suffering from not knowing what the full range of options will be and I guess I won’t know until the promised two year refresh period is over.

I’m hoping so. I wouldn’t say I hate the 24-inch but I think it looks blocky and ungraceful, not what I’ve come to expect from Apple at all. Worst case scenario, I’ll just keep my iMac Pro.

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It would come down to personal preference.if it was for me, I would wait for the next generation of Mac Mini with M2 chips and more RAM. This would give me a lot of flexibility for monitors, keyboard etc. I think this may be the best way to future proof for next 10 years

I think this is what’s gotten me thinking about the XDR approach. If I thought the XDR had the longevity the hefty initial price may be worth it as swapping out a Mac mini every few years wouldn’t seem too expensive.

I’m in the opposite camp - I really like the look and size of the 24”. The more I use it, the happier I am with it. I prefer the look of it over the 5k iMac. Never cared that much for the sharp edged iMacs, particularly when having to carry one. We just replaced my wife’s 2017 5k with a blue M1 and she prefers the look.

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Amazing - same thing happened to me. Apple Support finally diagnosed a hardware problem with the 10Gbps Ethernet port on my 2020 5k 27” iMac, resulting in replacement of the logic board. The problem remained so the logic board was replaced a second time. Performing a System Report revealed that the wrong logic board was installed (lower-tier graphics board instead of Radeon 5700XT). I balked at taking in the iMac for a third logic board replacement, so Apple shipped a new computer to replace the twice-repaired one.

Re-assessing computer needs in view of the changed M1-centric landscape, I decided to switch to the M1 Mac laptop + external monitor lifestyle. I immediately sold the replacement 27” iMac to and will use my M1 13” MacBook Pro as my primary computer while waiting for Apple’s 2022 Mac lineup to emerge and choose an appropriate external monitor.

Flexible, yes, but there is no “perfect” monitor choice. I would love a 5k resolution 32” that “plays nice” with Macs - responds correctly to sleep/wake-up, Mac keyboard brightness controls, etc.

Hopefully Apple will offer an affordable alternative for the Pro XDR 32” monitor. I’m not hearing much in the way of rumors, though.

I do not know much about monitors, what is your opinion on this LG monitor ? LG 34BK95U-W it is between 4k and 5k spec

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Previously always a “desktop person” with a 27" Imac however when we moved to Cyprus from UK I had to switch to a MacMini and a temporary cheap monitor (the shipping time of the iMac to Cyprus was ridiculous if do me by sea and way to expensive to do by airfreight.

Since being here I have gone laptop (Macbook Pro) coupled with a 32" Benq 4K monitor. honestly given the flexibility of this set up I am not sure I would go back to a dedicated desktop machine, the Macbook gives me a second screen for notification apps, Things, Mail etc while I work on the external monitor. I do have a separate keyboard and trackpad which allows the laptop to be on a stand to the side.

When it comes time to upgrade, and here is never a right time something new and shiny will always be round the corner, I will probably go for a MacBook Air, honestly it’s enough for my needs, coding and a bit of graphics work. I have come to the conclusion I would rather change regularly at a lower cost than blow a lot on a MacBook Pro which I do not need (remember Apple said most people did not need it) and maybe struggle to replace financially in years to come.

I allocate so much a month to tech replacement costs, and by just going for a standard air, ipad and phone over a pro versions I am saving a lot while still getting a great Apple experience.

I’ve never seen a monitor with a screen that comes close to the screen on either an iMac or the XDR. I have an LG as a second monitor and its OK but does not come close to the clarity of my ageing iMac.

There’s a lot in what you say regarding overall flexibility which adds to many confusion. In fact what I haven’t mentioned is that I’m also using a 2013 MacBook pro. But I do very little with it and rarely need the laptop portability. So on the plus side a laptop would replace this too.

At some point I’d possibly like an iPad Pro which would act as my portable solution (but I need to see what I’m spending on my replacement Mac setup first).

@Keith I am in the boat with you, bailing water.

I have a 27” 2013 iMac that has never been right (The only bad Mac I have ever owned). I have been waiting to replace it. I primarily use two iMacs (work and home office) and love the setup. I have an iPad for when I am away. I love the 27” screen, and cannot see myself being happy with the 24”.

I get fed up every six months and look at the Mini and monitors. I don’t really need the Macbook solution.

I am hoping that there is a 27” (32”, 34” ??) iMac on the way. I guess I am in “wait-and-see” mode.

I don’t think we’re alone :slight_smile: I think lots of people are waiting to see what the 27" replacement is.

Ideally, I would love a 32" equivalent but really don’t think that will materialise. Looking at the current 27" there is lots of room they can steal if they thin the bezels so I can see the screen being bigger but only by a maximum of 1". I don’t think they will make the device significantly bigger itself.