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The first Intel iMacs (September 2006) were supported until Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard (released 2009, updated until July 2011) and the ones released in 2007 were supported to OS X 10.7 Lion (released 2011, updated until 2012).

So it might be safer to stick with Intel, as their "transition" ARM computers might have technical limitations that shorten their support life, if history is anything to go by (having Windows Boot Camp compatibility on Intel Macs is useful as well).

I'd wait until the next iMac update. Some of the 8th-gen Coffee Lake processors in the current iMacs date back to late 2017... a poor value, in my opinion.

Edited by HiWire

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The issue for me is the lack of information. If the new 27" iMacs are going to be released by early 2021 and will be using Intel processors, I'd wait. But if they're going to sport the new Mac processors I might prefer sticking with a current Intel machine. I wouldn't like being a guinea pig for the new processors paying full Mac prices.

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I think the ARM processors are less likely to cause problems compared to the switch from PowerPC to Intel processors. I think they have a bit of experience in both hardware and software using ARM processors, they are dedicated to their machines and they control the manufacturing.

Edited by morphsci

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The little information we do have is Apple expects the transition to take two years and there are some “very exciting Intel-based Macs coming”, so odds lean that every line has another generation coming, no? Course we don’t know the specs. Personally, it would depend on how dependent one is on software that could be slow to upgrade. Fortunately, cloud-based services makes labored enterprise software less an issue that last time, but I still remember my perfectly fine G4 tower no longer getting the good stuff more than any bugs on the subsequent MacBook (besides battery swelling), so sign me up as a guinea pig. 

Am I the only one feeling old we’re going through a transition again? 

Edited by blessingx

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The general consensus on the pro audio forums is that the Mac Mini will be the "this year" release since they had to get them adapted for the developers kits, then all the laptops sometime in 2021. There's been a lot of talk about Apple blurring the line between the iPad Pro and the rest of the Mac products and the lower performance end (4 cores or less) will be first.

The pro or prosumer end will be last since they rely on at least 6 physical cores and 8 is pretty much considered the minimum these days.

Of course, it's possible that the new processors won't need all those cores but that would be a tough sell (even though single core performance rules pro audio apps).

When will the iMac (or any mac ) redesign release happen? 

The health of the supply chain will probably have a lot to do with that but there's always a chance that the entire iMac-iMac Pro line will be jiggered (since my i9 iMac isn't that much different from the basic iMac Pro for less than half the price).

BTW. When I said 5 years, that includes the time it'll take for all the 3rd party developers to toe the line (some still aren't Catalina compliant!).

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2 hours ago, Torpedo said:

The issue for me is the lack of information. If the new 27" iMacs are going to be released by early 2021 and will be using Intel processors, I'd wait. But if they're going to sport the new Mac processors I might prefer sticking with a current Intel machine. I wouldn't like being a guinea pig for the new processors paying full Mac prices.

Even if the new ones are introduced with a chipset that you don't like there will likely be closeouts, refurbs and other options that will make it possible to purchase just about whatever you want (within reason).

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1 hour ago, TMoney said:

Why don't I remember this? This is amazing!

Steve Jobs held a funeral for Mac OS 9 at WWDC.

https://videopress.com/v/cTvJLHm8

Same here. Also a good rundown on the End of OSX over at the often excellent Stratechery... 

https://stratechery.com/2020/the-end-of-os-x/

Edited by blessingx
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I keep an old white MacBook around running Snow Leo. because it has Rosetta.

One of the apps on it is one from Sony that will import files from a MiniDisc player and convert them to .wav.

Come to think of it, I should boot it and see if it's still working.

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1 hour ago, n_maher said:

Even if the new ones are introduced with a chipset that you don't like there will likely be closeouts, refurbs and other options that will make it possible to purchase just about whatever you want (within reason).

That's not that easy in Spain. While Apple has good presence and fair sales, there aren't many refurbished products available at Apple's web here. Purchasing at US store would have the extra expense of duties and taxes, the guys at customs are getting more avid and cleverer. Not sure I'd buy second hand a €2k Mac, but it'd be something to reconsider if the new iMac isn't of my liking. 

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I’m with him.  I doubt even Apple can predict whether this is a long term phased replacement or just a phase.  I certainly won’t be the guinea pig.

 I realize you all want to throw predictions out there, but that’s all they are, predictions.

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Looking at Apple history what would be the equivalent of an architecture transition short term phase? 

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12 minutes ago, blessingx said:

Looking at Apple history what would be the equivalent of an architecture transition short term phase? 

None? That's why I was confused by Mr. Chalk's comment.

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44 minutes ago, blessingx said:

Looking at Apple history what would be the equivalent of an architecture transition short term phase? 

And how many cases has there been of long term architectural transitions?  2?  That’s not exactly a statistically valid sample, especially considering how different today’s climate is compared to the first two.  I’m not saying it won’t happen, I’m just saying we don’t have enough information to interpolate a b-spline curve.

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Or you could look at it as 2 of 2 (100% or in H-C terminology, fucking all) have been long term. Statistics do not come into play here at all for the very reason you state. But assuming this will be different when they have way more control than they did previously, seems more of an error in logic, not statistics. Or I could have just drunk too much.

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38 minutes ago, Dusty Chalk said:

And how many cases has there been of long term architectural transitions?  2? 

Rough equivalents? Correct me if I’m misinterpreting, but it sounds like you’re saying Apple is experimenting here without clear long term plans. I’m just wondering when this has happened before? Even a heavily pushed product line they’ve relatively quickly reversed themselves on? The Newton only lasted five years (killed with Jobs return). Anything else?  

Edited by blessingx

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14 minutes ago, blessingx said:

Rough equivalents? Correct me if I’m misinterpreting, but it sounds like you’re saying Apple is experimenting here without clear long term plans. I’m just wondering when this has happened before? Even a heavily pushed product line they’ve relatively quickly reversed themselves on? The Newton only lasted five years (killed with Jobs return). Anything else?  

No, I'm not offering my prediction to usurp yours / y'alls's -- I'm saying I refuse to accept any predictions because there's not enough information to go on.   Purely from the perspective of my buying choices as a result -- I refuse to be an early adopter in this case.

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1 hour ago, Dusty Chalk said:

No, I'm not offering my prediction to usurp yours / y'alls's -- I'm saying I refuse to accept any predictions because there's not enough information to go on.   Purely from the perspective of my buying choices as a result -- I refuse to be an early adopter in this case.

Yup, that's how I see it, we don't have the information to know if this new ARS chip that would be implemented on the new iMac would be a transitional chip towards a more developed, affordable... one which would revolutionize personal home computing, or eventually a very good one outperforming current Intels. Or not, just a chip offering a better cost/effective more profitable option for Apple, which for being in "development" phase might be buggy and troublesome compared to the current Intel offerings that have been working on computers for more than a decade. Would Windows make something to compatibilize these new chips?  Not that I'm using any Windows based apps on my Mac, but still compatibility is desirable.

On the other hand I'm with Hi-Wire that the current iMac line is being outperformed by more affordable options mounting better and more energy and heat savvy options. An intermediate upgrade of the iMac line keeping Intel architecture with better performance/price graphics and more affordable SSD, perhaps more RAM, would be my preferred option. Again we lack the information.

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No Boot Camp on Apple silicon for now: https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2020/06/heres-whats-happening-to-boot-camp-amid-the-apple-silicon-transition/

The Verge writes that Microsoft has not given out a Windows 10 ARM license (yet) and virtualization like Fusion or Parallels might take a while: https://www.theverge.com/2020/6/24/21302213/apple-silicon-mac-arm-windows-support-boot-camp

We'll have wait to see if this means Apple will offer both CPU options, e.g., iMacs with ARM or Intel processors.

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(Rant warning. Also, I haven't been reading any of the Apple commentariat, so I'm sure this has been covered and perhaps refuted by other people in more detail.)

I'm pessimistic about this move to "Apple Silicon". Remember all the "G5, the only desktop supercomputer" nonsense from the early 2000s? Where some cherry-picked works-in-the-lab-only benchmark showed it outperforming an Intel chip, but ran everything in the real world with all the speed of frozen molasses? I'm getting echoes of the same thing here.

CPU design is a game of dollars spent on chip design and optimization. Intel makes fast CPUs because it has been dumping the largest sums of money into the problem for the longest period of time. Because of this, its (crappy) microarchitecture has outran and outperformed better designs like SPARC, MIPS, PA-RISC, Transmeta Crusoe, and (especially painful to me) the superb DEC Alpha. This means Intel is the only game in town for high performance. "Lightroom ran smoothly" — yeah, that's convincing.

This move is going to be a huge pain in the ass. It'll be fine for Mac users who use nothing more sophisticated than Safari and Apple Mail (those who haven't already moved to an iPad for those tasks). For the minority of us who actually use Macs to do complex things? lol. Binary compatibility will suck (no vector instructions according to the article linked above). Updating all the open-source compilers will suck (will Apple contribute changes back to LLVM upstream? no clue). A bunch of libraries will probably stop being good (I expect low-level optimized linear algebra tools to have problems). I'm already holding on to 2015 MBP because I dislike the new hardware, and running Mojave because I want nothing to do with Catalina, and dread the day that machine stops working.

I think this move is to make it easier to develop i(Pad)OS apps. That way apps are developed on nearly the same hardware that they will run on, and Apple really only needs the Mac as a development platform for its mobile devices.

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After reading the article I linked above and as the dust has begun to settle, I've gone from "I'll wait and see" to " I can't wait to see".

I'm very optimistic about the future of computing.

Of course, the next few years will be bumpy particularly for developers (can you say job security?) but I'm hopeful that this move may lead to some real advancements.

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I think pro users will keep an Intel Mac around for old applications until the long transition is over.

The preliminary test results from the developer kit are promising – imagine what numbers from an A13-based kit would look like: https://www.laptopmag.com/news/apple-silicon-gets-the-benchmark-treatment-first-results-are-amazing

But it will be an uphill battle for some developers, especially those who haven't made the transition to 32-bit apps yet. Some of those will be dead-ended on Macs running Mojave or Boot Camp indefinitely.

Take a look at the WWDC videos for an idea of what's coming – I'd rather be optimistic than pessimistic: https://developer.apple.com/videos/wwdc2020/

Edited by HiWire

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