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GabenJr

The Worst Mac to Buy

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Apple's transition to ARM hardware hasn't landed yet, but the new 27" iMac was just refreshed. With obsolescence right around the corner, is there any reason you should buy one?

 

 

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It isn't the worst mac....it is just the worst time to buy a mac.


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17 minutes ago, TheCoverUp said:

It isn't the worst mac....it is just the worst time to buy a mac.

Its going to be like what happened with the upgraded g5 just released and dead platform in a couple years.

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Having gone through this with the PowerPC-to-Intel transition, now might be the perfect time to buy -- depending on what you do.

 

I bought an iMac G5 in late 2005, months before the first Intel iMac. And... it was just fine. All my apps worked, and the performance was more than good enough. I'd expect the same here. Your Intel-based Mac won't suddenly get slower when the ARM models arrive -- you may just miss out on a few features. And if you depend on your Mac for work, you won't have to worry about app compatibility for the life of the machine.

 

On the other hand, if you're not attached to particular apps and just want the most cutting-edge Mac you can get... then by all means hold off.

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5 hours ago, Commodus said:

if you're not attached to particular apps

I would say due to that fact that moving from x86-64 to ARM64 is a lost simpler than the move from PPC (64) to x86-32 that most of the issues that Rosette1 had emulating PPC (32 or 64bit) on intel (32bit only) devices will not be there.

 

Including perfomance, Rosette2 (unlike what MS are doing on ARM windows) is not an emulation layer it is a static binary translation system that converts your application to ARM instructions at install/first run. Apple are able to do this due to adding explicit adding features to their ARM64 cpus they are using so that the memory subsystems can be switched into a mode that behaviours just like x86 cpus so `all` they need to do is replace x86 instructions with equivalent sets of ARM64 ones. Due to ARM64 have more cpu registres than x86-64 and due to ARM64 cpu instructions bing more of a `RISC` like instruction set this is mostly a matter of taking an x86-64 instruction and lookup up in a dictionary to find the matching sequence (it might be multiple) of ARM64 instructions that match, you can then run the output of this, however it is also likely that apple will run a LLVM optimisation parse over it to optimise it a little first. The key part of this is unlike in the PPC-> intel were apple were unable to modify the intel cpu to behaviour like the PPC one this time they are able to do this so compatibly and perfomance impacts should be much much less of an issue this time around.

A note of Universal Binaries apple did brand it is `Universal binaries v2` but in-fact they have not changed a thing and you can today build a macApp using UniversalBinaries that has up-to 17 different cpu targets in the same binary: https://tenfourfox.blogspot.com/2020/06/the-super-duper-universal-binary.html (you can even set a different OS requirement for each CPU target) apple never stoped supporting this since they also used it for years to support 32bit and 64bit apps in the same binary. 

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On 9/9/2020 at 12:08 PM, jaslion said:

Its going to be like what happened with the upgraded g5 just released and dead platform in a couple years.

I got the Powermac G5 around when the intel migration was happening (I honestly can't recall if I had it then it happened, or if it was a consideration when buying) It was well more than "a couple of years" of life...I stopped using it basically when the tech was just too slow compared to everything else. (I recall video streaming just was abysmal). Granted, I use old tech longer than a lot (as I type this on my 13 year old macbook pro), but my G5 was usful well into the intel era. (Now it collects dust somewhere in my apartment). 

 

It IS a different time now, granted... computers are much more appliacnes  then they were then, though, so it is hard to predict how long an Intel imac will have support, but that due to current trends and views, not past ones.


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2 hours ago, Video Beagle said:

I got the Powermac G5 around when the intel migration was happening (I honestly can't recall if I had it then it happened, or if it was a consideration when buying) It was well more than "a couple of years" of life...I stopped using it basically when the tech was just too slow compared to everything else. (I recall video streaming just was abysmal). Granted, I use old tech longer than a lot (as I type this on my 13 year old macbook pro), but my G5 was usful well into the intel era. (Now it collects dust somewhere in my apartment). 

 

It IS a different time now, granted... computers are much more appliacnes  then they were then, though, so it is hard to predict how long an Intel imac will have support, but that due to current trends and views, not past ones.

The main issue was that the market the powermac g5 went after was the prosumer and professional market. For those people the machine basically became useless once it missed the next update of their software which for some was far shorter than they had hoped.

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