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Old Nov 14, 2012, 07:49 AM   #1
veryevilash
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Help with purchase

Hi all,

I'm totally new to mac. Been using PC for over 15 years now and I'm looking to change. My wife & I both have iPads & iPhones. We also have Apple TV. My question is which machine should I get. There is a nice reburb on apples site:

http://store.apple.com/us/product/FC814LL/A

or should I wait for the new 27" iMac to come out? I'm mainly getting it because I'm tired of Windows and I'm looking for something new. I will be doing some video editing as well as photo. Also some gaming and basic day to day stuff. If I were to get the new 27" imac I would probably get a maxed out with upgraded processor over the I5 which the refurb model come with. I'm guessing I'll also have to add some more RAM to the refurb but I'll have to get an optical drive with the newer model. So I'm not sure if with the money I'm putting into the refurb would equal out to the newer model. My budget is about $2k-$2200.
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Old Nov 14, 2012, 09:43 AM   #2
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The more I'm reading up it seems waiting would be the smart option.
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Old Nov 14, 2012, 10:03 AM   #3
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If gaming is a consideration, wait for the new model and get the upgraded GPU. The upgraded CPU is less important if you can only afford one. And if budget is an issue, you can get a much cheaper (and less pretty) aftermarket optical drive than Apple's.

Also, bear in mind.. and I hate Intel for this.. the i5 in the refurb is not the same as the i5 in the new model. The refurb has "3rd generation" or "Sandy Bridge" while the new one is "4th generation" or "Ivy Bridge". There's about 10-15% speed difference.
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Old Nov 14, 2012, 10:07 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by forty2j View Post
If gaming is a consideration, wait for the new model and get the upgraded GPU. The upgraded CPU is less important if you can only afford one. And if budget is an issue, you can get a much cheaper (and less pretty) aftermarket optical drive than Apple's.

Also, bear in mind.. and I hate Intel for this.. the i5 in the refurb is not the same as the i5 in the new model. The refurb has "3rd generation" or "Sandy Bridge" while the new one is "4th generation" or "Ivy Bridge". There's about 10-15% speed difference.
Thanks for the reply. I'm pretty set on waiting now. Off hand do you know how much the upgraded GPU would be? I've think I've read $200.
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Old Nov 14, 2012, 10:09 AM   #5
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Thanks for the reply. I'm pretty set on waiting now. Off hand do you know how much the upgraded GPU would be? I've think I've read $200.
$200 is my guess. We have no way of knowing for sure until it's available for purchase.
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Old Nov 14, 2012, 10:11 AM   #6
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$200 is my guess. We have no way of knowing for sure until it's available for purchase.
Thank You. I think that pretty much puts me at $2200 then. I'll have to use my wife's student discount.
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Old Nov 14, 2012, 10:36 AM   #7
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Thank You. I think that pretty much puts me at $2200 then. I'll have to use my wife's student discount.
Go ahead and spring for the 1TB fusion drive too. Probably another $200, but will be worth it.
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Old Nov 14, 2012, 10:39 AM   #8
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didnt see it mentioned, but to save some cash, dont max out the ram on the Apple side. You can get ram much cheaper after the fact and max it out from there.
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Old Nov 14, 2012, 10:52 AM   #9
veryevilash
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Go ahead and spring for the 1TB fusion drive too. Probably another $200, but will be worth it.
What's the main advantage of the fusion drive? Can it be added later? Like I said, I'm brand new to Mac. Thanks!
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Old Nov 14, 2012, 10:58 AM   #10
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What's the main advantage of the fusion drive? Can it be added later? Like I said, I'm brand new to Mac. Thanks!
The main advantage is that you get a considerable increase in disk access performance while still having a large storage device. It is basically Solid-State Media and conventional Hard Drive combined. You would see a benefit in boot time, launching applications, loading times in games.

You cannot add it later because Apple does not sell Fusion drives separately, only Build-To-Order.
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Old Nov 14, 2012, 10:59 AM   #11
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What's the main advantage of the fusion drive? Can it be added later? Like I said, I'm brand new to Mac. Thanks!
iMacs are generally not upgradeable so you should plan on getting a fusion drive at the initial time of order. The primary advantage is faster startup and shutdowns however it's a also a "smart" drive in that it learns. Apple describes the fusion drive at:

http://www.apple.com/imac/performance/
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Old Nov 14, 2012, 11:06 AM   #12
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If you play games/autocad work then with your budget of $2k - $2200 I would wait for the new model because you will be able to get a top of the line iMac with the latest graphics.

If not, definitely go for the refurb. because you are saving around $600 and for casual computing you will most likely not benefit from that $600 premium. The refurb. is last year's top of the line iMac which is a very capable machine, even for gaming.

I guess my question is, what do you plan to do with it?

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iMacs are generally not upgradeable so you should plan on getting a fusion drive at the initial time of order. The primary advantage is faster startup and shutdowns however it's a also a "smart" drive in that it learns. Apple describes the fusion drive at:

http://www.apple.com/imac/performance/
The iMacs are not user-upgradable. You can technically upgrade the HDD + add a second HDD with the optional dual hdd kit from OWC, upgrade the CPU, upgrade the GPU, the optical drive, and of course the RAM (apart from the late 2012 21.5" models which have soldered-on RAM).
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