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Old Apr 9, 2013, 01:27 PM   #1
parkemon
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iMac: 2011 Refurb vs. 2012

My 2006 Core Duo iMac is currently on its last legs, and I'm looking to get a 27" replacement this year. I saw a 2011 refurb (3.1GHz i5, 1TB HDD, 4GB RAM, 1GB GPU) for about $600-700 cheaper than the configured 2012 (3.2GHz i5, 1TB Fusion, 8GB model, 1GB GPU) I'm looking at. I will mostly be doing work in Adobe CS, some Java development (learning at home) and would like to do some gaming (native Diablo 3, Half-Life 2), and possibly Bootcamp. I would be buying AppleCare for whichever I pick. A few questions I have are below:

1. Is it reasonable to expect a spec bump / price drop (however insignificant), by fall 2013?

2. Does the '11 model have a significant amount of glare compared to the '12? The screen will be facing a north-facing window.

3. Once I upgrade the RAM to 16GB on the '11, will there honestly be that much of a difference in performance?

Appreciate any help you can give me.
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Old Apr 9, 2013, 03:10 PM   #2
firedept
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Quote:
Originally Posted by parkemon View Post
My 2006 Core Duo iMac is currently on its last legs, and I'm looking to get a 27" replacement this year. I saw a 2011 refurb (3.1GHz i5, 1TB HDD, 4GB RAM, 1GB GPU) for about $600-700 cheaper than the configured 2012 (3.2GHz i5, 1TB Fusion, 8GB model, 1GB GPU) I'm looking at. I will mostly be doing work in Adobe CS, some Java development (learning at home) and would like to do some gaming (native Diablo 3, Half-Life 2), and possibly Bootcamp. I would be buying AppleCare for whichever I pick. A few questions I have are below:

1. Is it reasonable to expect a spec bump / price drop (however insignificant), by fall 2013?

2. Does the '11 model have a significant amount of glare compared to the '12? The screen will be facing a north-facing window.

3. Once I upgrade the RAM to 16GB on the '11, will there honestly be that much of a difference in performance?

Appreciate any help you can give me.
1. Price drop NO. Spec bump would be very minor since they just did a big spec bump end of 2012.

2. I have owned both the 2011 & 2012. As I work on them in a dark environment I have never really noticed a difference. I find the 2012 a little brighter and clearer to view. I do have a 20.5" iMac that has a wall of glass to the north while the iMac faces east and have never had an issue with glare. But each and every person has a different opinion on how glare distracts them.

3. The biggest difference between the 2011 & 2012 is the fusion drive and graphics card. The fusion drive is significantly quicker than your standard 7200 rpm HDD. The RAM upgrade would make some difference, but the fusion will make a big difference.

If you can afford, I would say go with the 2012 with fusion. Everything will be quicker. If looking to save, go with 2011. You will still be able to do everything you want to do with it.
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Old Apr 9, 2013, 11:06 PM   #3
RedCroissant
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Quote:
Originally Posted by parkemon View Post
My 2006 Core Duo iMac is currently on its last legs, and I'm looking to get a 27" replacement this year. I saw a 2011 refurb (3.1GHz i5, 1TB HDD, 4GB RAM, 1GB GPU) for about $600-700 cheaper than the configured 2012 (3.2GHz i5, 1TB Fusion, 8GB model, 1GB GPU) I'm looking at. I will mostly be doing work in Adobe CS, some Java development (learning at home) and would like to do some gaming (native Diablo 3, Half-Life 2), and possibly Bootcamp. I would be buying AppleCare for whichever I pick. A few questions I have are below:

1. Is it reasonable to expect a spec bump / price drop (however insignificant), by fall 2013?

2. Does the '11 model have a significant amount of glare compared to the '12? The screen will be facing a north-facing window.

3. Once I upgrade the RAM to 16GB on the '11, will there honestly be that much of a difference in performance?

Appreciate any help you can give me.
Quote:
Originally Posted by firedept View Post
1. Price drop NO. Spec bump would be very minor since they just did a big spec bump end of 2012.

2. I have owned both the 2011 & 2012. As I work on them in a dark environment I have never really noticed a difference. I find the 2012 a little brighter and clearer to view. I do have a 20.5" iMac that has a wall of glass to the north while the iMac faces east and have never had an issue with glare. But each and every person has a different opinion on how glare distracts them.

3. The biggest difference between the 2011 & 2012 is the fusion drive and graphics card. The fusion drive is significantly quicker than your standard 7200 rpm HDD. The RAM upgrade would make some difference, but the fusion will make a big difference.

If you can afford, I would say go with the 2012 with fusion. Everything will be quicker. If looking to save, go with 2011. You will still be able to do everything you want to do with it.
I agree with almost all of it except for the advice to go with the 2012. The 2011 is almost the same and the only real difference is the fusion drive that people have found a way to do themselves with terminal. Get the 2011, max out the RAM, buy a SSD, make your own fusion drive, and come out ahead on the price.

I would honestly still buy a 2009 or 2010 model even though they are only C2D models. I recently had to sell my 2009 and miss it because it was awesome for the 4 years that I owned it(and I did buy at the "wrong time" just before a spec bump AND a refresh of the line).
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