20" Refurb'ed White or New Alu?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by mbcracken, Sep 7, 2007.

  1. mbcracken macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2006
    #1
    OK,

    So, I'm now 2nd guessing my choice from yesterday where I placed an order for a 20" Refurb'd white at $1099.
    Specs for White.
    Refurbished iMac 20-inch 2.16GHz Intel Core 2 Duo SuperDrive
    20-inch widescreen display
    1GB memory
    250GB hard drive
    8x SuperDrive (DVD+R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW)
    ATI Radeon X1600 with 128MB GDDR3 memory
    Built-in iSight camera

    So, for only $100 more, I could get the new Alu. Which one is better? If the Alu one is then I would be willing to spend the $100 diff. At this time, I am unable to afford the 24" iMac.

    Any help? I guess, I am also asking because I have now read some skepticisms regarding refurb'd units.

    Cheers,
    Mike
     
  2. BennyK macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2004
    Location:
    Appleton, WI
    #2
    If I was making the choice, I would go new. I love the screen, keybord, fast FSB, can add up to 4 GB of ram. But it is a personal choice. Both are great computers.
     
  3. FatSweatyBlldog macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2007
    #3
    refurbs great deal

    Why would you be worried about a refurbished product from Apple? By all recent accounts, they are as advertised, and come with full "as new" warranty.
    You can get a lemon when buying a new unit too...

    The questions you need to ask yourself, aside from whether the $100 is important to save:

    1)Which iMac design do you prefer?

    2)Does it matter that the new 20'' has a TN LCD panel (as opposed to the S-IPS in the old 20'')?
     
  4. flopticalcube macrumors G4

    flopticalcube

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2006
    Location:
    In the velcro closure of America's Hat
    #4
    Actually, I think refurb's have been tested more rigorously than new products so I heartily recommend them.

    It comes down to whether you prefer the old look or new. Here are some points to consider.

    1. The X1600 is a faster graphics card than the Mobility 2400XT.
    2. The 2400XT is DX10 compatible, the X1600 is not.
    3. The new iMacs can take up to 4GB of RAM vs 3GB for the old ones.
    4. The new ones will probably hold their resale value longer.
    5. For $300 more you can get the 2.4GHz/2600Pro model.
     
  5. mbalson macrumors member

    mbalson

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2007
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario
    #5
    The new iMac is also based on the new Santa Rosa chipset and comes with the new wired keyboard.
     
  6. gamerz macrumors 6502

    gamerz

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2006
    #6
    I'm having the exact same problem, except the difference is $300.... I'm just going to dish out the extra money and get the new one.
     
  7. mbcracken thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2006
    #7
    These are all great responses and I appreciate them. I should have added that I will be processing photos with this beast so that is why I am leaning towards the white (non-tn screen).

    Either one will be a huge improvement from my old G4 yikes (350 mhz) for photo processing. My processing standards are fairly minimal as it is. though

    So, I am leaning towards the white one for a better screen quality. Is this the right assumption that this refurb'd will have that much better screen then the new alu?

    I may end up getting the new keyboard anyways.

    Cheers,
    Mike
     
  8. mrgreen4242 macrumors 601

    mrgreen4242

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2004
    #8
    For quality control, I like refurbs, personally. They've been individually tested as mentioned. From a which model is better perspective, well, it's really close.

    The 2.0ghz is actually probably slightly faster for most tasks because of the improved FSB. It'll be really, really close those. The x1600 is likely a bit faster than the 2400XT right now, but I suspect that the 2400 will get the edge as the drivers mature. Finally, the last technical difference is the RAM and whether you'll ever want to go with 4gb, as the old models top out at 3gb.

    Apart from that, it's really a personal choice of which display you prefer, if the new keyboard is a significant incentive for you, etc. The old iMacs have a technically superior display - it's a better type of panel, better color accuracy, etc. The new glossy models LOOK fantastic (to many people) though. The new keyboard is great, IF you like very short travel keys. I personally prefer the aluminum finish, but some people like the white, etc. etc.

    One final thought is that the refurbs aren't guaranteed to come with the newest software. They are listed as coming with whatever software they originally shipped with, in this case iLife '06. Many people have reported getting the newest OS and iLife with their refurbs, but that's no guarantee you'll get iLife '08, if that is important to you.
     
  9. mbcracken thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2006
    #9
    I'm glad I'm not the only one struggling with this choice. Apple's marketing/pricing teams have done a very good job with coming up with tempting step up one pricing. Not that I am disappointed with these prices.

    Cheers,
    Mike
     
  10. mbcracken thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2006
    #10
    What is the FSB?

    It really comes down to screen quality for me. I will not be gaming on it but still photo quality is probably the most important issue at this time.

    I don't think 3-4 megs of RAM will make that much of a difference for me since it will be be a vast improvement over what I have now.

    If I did get iLife 08, I would need the family pack, to load onto my iBook and old G4 anyways.

    I think I'll stick with the white one until I hear that the 20" alu monitor is better.

    Cheers,
    Mike
     
  11. FatSweatyBlldog macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2007
    #11
    don't forget applecar w/in 1st year

    FSB=Front Side Bus

    667 on the white iMacs (Napa chipset)
    800 on the ALU imace (Santa Rosa chipset)

    Applecare is a sound investment that you should/can add within the included 1year warranty period.
     
  12. mbcracken thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2006
    #12
    hmmm, that is a significant difference in FSB.

    I always buy applecare. Seems silly not to.

    Cheers,
    Mike
     
  13. ctsport1234 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2005
    #13
    Both are great but I like the design of the white ones much much more (I still like mine very much) :D Thus I say go for the refurb!
     
  14. Stelex macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2007
    #14
    For all of you trying to make up your mind whether to buy an old model or the new one, one thing to consider is the screen quality.

    The new 20" iMac comes with a TN panel, which is absolute rubbish. The colours are washed out towards the bottom of the screen and the viewing angle is appalling. While you can see the picture from 80 degrees either side, the colours get completely distorted when you change the angle even as little as 20 degrees.

    If I knew this I would have gone for either refurbished white iMac or 24" aluminium one. They both use IPS panels, and they're perfectly fine.

    I have written an article about the new iMac screen, including pictures and video, see it here http://www.silvermac.com/2007/imac-colours-washed-out/
     
  15. gamerz macrumors 6502

    gamerz

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2006
    #15
    Really??? So you think the 2400Xt could run WoW well???
     
  16. HLdan macrumors 603

    HLdan

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2007
    #16
    Okay Mr. Geeky guy! The average and even above average and even power user such as myself doesn't factor in their buying decision if they want a TN LCD panel or and S-IPS. 80% of consumers don't know what the heck any of that means and it's not even on the tag of features when buying a new computer.

    To the OP. If you are cool with the glossy screen (because I love it) then the new one is a better buy. The GPU is better, the keyboard is stellar, the chipset containing the processor is more efficient and more ram is supported. Plus the new alu's look so much cooler than the Fisher Price white ones. :)
     
  17. FDX macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2006
    #17
    Im just waiting for the new imac to show up in the refurb store!:D
     
  18. HLdan macrumors 603

    HLdan

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2007
    #18
    iLife 08's iMovie 08 only works on G5 and Intel Macs.
     
  19. Thunderbird macrumors 6502a

    Thunderbird

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2005
    #19
  20. flopticalcube macrumors G4

    flopticalcube

    Joined:
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    Location:
    In the velcro closure of America's Hat
    #20
    Meh, one poster's opinion. I highly doubt Apple would sell defective units without retesting them. Cosmetics are a different issue and most refurb buyers know that.
     
  21. FatSweatyBlldog macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2007
    #21

    Your ignorance is your own issue to deal with, and I wouldn't necessarily be as proud of it as you are (nor take comfort that you're not alone in your ignorance). This is a TECH forum, and the OP had a TECH question. When deciding on a purchase, some people like to know the VALUE they're getting for their money (as well as the relative merits of included components).

    If you don't notice the limitations of the TN panel in the course of computing, then the new ALU iMac is a great value for you, clearly. The OP was looking at reasons for or against the old iMacs, and the switch from an S-IPS panel is one of the major differences between the old and new iMacs.

    I guess since LCD panel technology isn't labeled, it doesn't matter...:rolleyes:
     
  22. tristan macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2003
    Location:
    high-rise in beautiful bethesda
    #22
    I think that if you bought the new one you would get that extra $100 back at resale, or close to it.
     
  23. HLdan macrumors 603

    HLdan

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2007
    #23
    I don't think you understand my point at all. If I had been the OP asking which iMac to get either the white refurb or the Alu new and then you come along saying, "you'll need to ask yourself if you want a TN Panel or an S-IPS Panel?".
    Well then I would kindly reply, "Well what's an S-IPS Panel or a TN Panel?"
    Just because this is "tech" forum doesn't mean it's a forum for geeks only. Not everyone knows that jargon.
    I am power user and the bottom line is how the LCD looks rather than technology behind it.

    The OP wasn't asking a "tech" question he was asking which iMac was the better value. Now the OP may very well know what a TN Panel is but I can guarantee that at least 60% of the forum doesn't know a lot of tech jargon.
     
  24. Koodauw macrumors 68040

    Koodauw

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2003
    Location:
    Madison
    #24
    I have been looking into this as well, and as of right now, I think it is a very tough call. Basically for $100 more, you get the new version with more features, which is really the way to go if you like the new iMacs.

    I myself am not a fan of teh glossy screen, so I was hoping to pick up an older iMac for at a decent price, but they just don't seem to be out there right now. I plan to wait a bit and hopefully the older version will come down in price soon enough.
     
  25. mbcracken thread starter macrumors member

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    Dec 29, 2006
    #25
    How about asking the OP (me) if I know the diff rather then ranting on someone for providing some opinion?:mad:

    NOW...

    Back to my OP.:D

    I went to the Apple Store and verified that the new 20" iMac does wash out the colors. It was awful and matched my iBook. I will stick to my order for refurb.

    Thanks for the input folks.

    Cheers,
    mike
     

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