Intel iMac Buying Tips

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by thechris69, Jun 29, 2006.

  1. thechris69 macrumors 6502

    thechris69

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2005
    #1
    Hello,
    Ive been saving my money, and I am only a few weeks away from purchasing a intel iMac. However, I am not sure whether to buy new or refurbished from the apple store. Apple promises the same quality machine compared to a new computer. So refurb was the way to go, however, are there any negatives about buying refurb? Such as obvious scratches or visual impurities in the machine?

    And I am contemplating the 20 inch versus the 17 inch. According the the canadian apple store(go canada) a new 17 inch is $1450 versus a $1299 refurb. And a refurbished 20 inch model with 128mb of vram is $1600, so do i spend the extra cash and buy a 20 inch model, or is there not enough benefits in the 20 inch to spend the extra cash.

    And finally is there going to be a new machine out or a very large processor speed bump in the near future? because they havent changed since they came out in january... k thanks for reading and any comments would be awesome....
     
  2. topgunn macrumors 65816

    topgunn

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2004
    Location:
    Texas
    #2
    I always buy refurbished when they are available. Its like buying a used car with 2k miles. It is like new but someone else has already taken the big depreciation hit, not you.

    When I bought my 20" Intel iMac (refurb), I was expecting 512MB RAM and a 250GB hard drive. Well, I was pleased to discover that I had instead received a machine with 2GB of RAM and a 500GB HD. I was a bit disappointed at this point that it didn't have 256MB VRAM. It did have a "persistant" image on the LCD, however. I displayed a white image on the screen for 24 hours and it was gone. Other than that, it was as good as new.

    I have bought 9 refurbs from Apple and 4 of them have had something greater than the advertised specs. 3 had more memory, the iMac had twice the hard drive, a Mac mini was 1.5GHz instead of 1.42GHz (I know this is not because its a refurb) and a Power Mac had an upgraded video card.

    If your new computer has issues that you can't or don't want to accept, send it back for a replacement. In my mind, you can't go wrong with refurbs.
     
  3. Artful Dodger macrumors 68020

    Artful Dodger

    Joined:
    May 28, 2004
    Location:
    In a false sense of reality...My Mind!
    #3
    Hi, if I did it now and not when I bought my Intel 20" iMac I'd buy from the refurb store and get the 20". I had the 17" and wished that I went with the 20" because what I do with it (cartoons and so on). The extra space is nice and getting the 20" you also get a bigger HDD.
    Now as far as price goes it's only a $200US difference from the 17" to 20" going through the refurb store (17" new as a 20" refurb). I know your prices are different so do you need that extra screen size? I say this since it happened to me, if you will be able to buy a 20" iMac go for it over the 17". However if you want to get the most for the same price i.e. extra RAM, AppleCare, some other goodies like speakers then go with the 17" iMac.
    Is there a big price difference going through Amazon in Canada? I ask because I bought my 20" from Amazon and saved $300US because of the rebate and no sales tax. This helped me max out the RAM and buy a few extras that I couldn't have gotten going through the AppleStore.
    Any way good luck and enjoy either one as it's a great machine.
     
  4. thechris69 thread starter macrumors 6502

    thechris69

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2005
    #4
    k thanks for the replies, that helps me to decide to buy refurb over new. however is mac planning to update the imac in the near future?
     
  5. dextertangocci macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2006
    #5
    I don't think it will be updated soon. I think all they can do to make the iMac better is to make it thinner, shorten the "chin" a little, and mabye add a 23" model.

    Have the iMacs ever had any problems? I've never heard of ANY problems with the iMac, from the G3 to the intel iMac. Brilliant computers;)
     
  6. Bakey macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2003
    Location:
    O Donny Boy
    #6
    Apart from leaking capacitors, that dodgy back plate thingy and [if my memory serves me correctly] didn't some iMac G5 models also suffer PSU issues?? [I could be imagining the last one!!]

    So 'yes' they have had problems in the past! ;)
     
  7. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Location:
    Location Location Location
    #7
    Your girlfriend lied to you --- size does matter.

    Get the 20" refurb and don't look back. It would be a pleasure to use a 20" screen every day. ;)
     
  8. JohnStrass macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    Location:
    Miami, USA
    #8
    Video on the Core Duo Intel macs: two ends of the spectrum

    I recently bought two systems:
    iMac Core Duo 20" BTO 2.0/2 gig RAM /256 VRAM upgrade
    MacBook (white) core duo 2.0/1 gig RAM


    Playing Quake 4 (with the 1.2 intel update) on the iMac is great: I can use all maxed-out settings (except ultra resolution). On the MacBook, I can only use it on the lowest posible settings, or it is really not playable.

    Why do I post this? Because there was a very nebulous answer about how important the video cards are. Some commented that the integrated video in the Intel chip (Macbook) is not as bad as others describe. Simply put, it sucks for gaming.

    I got the maxed-out iMac for HD-video editing from my new sony HD camera, so it was nice to be able to game on that one.
     
  9. thechris69 thread starter macrumors 6502

    thechris69

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2005
    #9
    so i should spend the extra cash on the 20", but if im already spending the extra couple of hundred dollars on the 20" shouldnt i spend a little more and get the 256mb of vram model?
     
  10. mynameisjesse macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2005
    Location:
    new york.
    #10
    My theory is ALWAYS buy what you can't upgrade later. If you have to go with 512mb of ram for a month just to spend extra for the 20", so be it. I promise you, you will kick yourself if you get the 17". I went thru this a little over a year ago with my G5 iMac. And yes, get the upgraded gpu...you probably won't want to upgrade that yourself.
     
  11. keithbennis macrumors regular

    keithbennis

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2006
    Location:
    Coral Springs
    #11

    ^Real talk.
     
  12. solvs macrumors 603

    solvs

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2002
    Location:
    LaLaLand, CA
    #12
    Get the refurb and spend the savings on an extended warranty if price is the issue. I was going to do that, but they had the previous gen iMac on sale for about $400 cheap and I was in OR at the time, so no tax. I'd go with the Intel model over the G5 at this point though. My G5 is nice, and I can run software that hasn't been updated without emulation, but Intel's pretty much the future at this point.

    Even if there's an upgrade, it'll probably just be minor, and it'd still be worth it.
     
  13. thechris69 thread starter macrumors 6502

    thechris69

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2005
    #13
    so now im at the point to buy 20" refurb, but i dont think they sell the model with the upgraded videocard refurbished. can i upgrade the card on my own, or are there any other options?

    p.s. I want to play games on this machine so the upgraded videocard would be best...
     
  14. Artful Dodger macrumors 68020

    Artful Dodger

    Joined:
    May 28, 2004
    Location:
    In a false sense of reality...My Mind!
    #14
    No you can't upgrade the videocard so if you are able to buy one with the 256VRAM do, or call and see if they have any refurbs with it. Sometimes they have something and it's not up on the refurb site asap. I went with the 20" iMac with the 128 VRAM but I won't need the 256 (yes it would be very nice) just not now. I put the extra $$$ in memory, a scanner, a few programs and so on. Everything has been fine that I can throw at it and I think it will for another few years ;)
     
  15. thechris69 thread starter macrumors 6502

    thechris69

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2005
    #15
    k thanks for your input, I should just call the apple store and see what they have...
     
  16. netdog macrumors 603

    netdog

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2006
    Location:
    London
    #16
    I don't know anyone who can't use the extra real-estate on the 20". It's fantastic. Don't skimp on RAM. 2GB will make you a very happy iMac user.
     
  17. JohnStrass macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    Location:
    Miami, USA
    #17
    Apple care?

    I have now paid for Apple care for my Powerbook 165, iMac G3 iMac G4, Powerbook G4. The PB G4 got a couple of dents from luggage being dropped while in the (otherwise excellent) Brenthaven case. One year later, the HD dies. I can't use the warranty because of the dents. So, I have now paid for 4 warranties, and never cashed in. I just bought 2 new macs (iMac and MacBook) and skipped it this time. Is this crazy?
    BTW, I LOVE the 256 VRAM in my iMac. I am convinced that that is te most important thing in the machine.
     

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