2010/11 iMac vs. 2012 iMac

Discussion in 'iMac' started by jonlanghoff, Oct 25, 2012.

  1. jonlanghoff, Oct 25, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2012

    jonlanghoff macrumors newbie

    Nov 21, 2008
    Hi all,

    What are the major improvements to the new iMac, besides from the obvious cosmetic improvements, the new ports and so on?

    I'm asking because many "old" iMacs are beginning to be put up for sale, and I'm considering to buy one of these instead of the new one - to save money, basically. The new baseline 27" iMac will be DKR14,600 (that's $2,500) here in Denmark. Meanwhile, you can get 1-2 year old used 27" iMacs (in near-perfect condition) for around DKR10-11,000 ($1,700-$1,900, and let's say that I can negotiate it down to around $1,500), also with 8 GB RAM and with an i7-processor (instead of i5 in the new baseline model).

    Will there be a great performance boost with the Ivy vs Sandy? And with the faster RAM? Otherwise, I'm willing to miss out on the new design - to save a thousand bucks!

    What do you think?


    EDIT: I'm gonna use it for surfing and making apps. No really heavy calculations or renderings.
  2. theSeb macrumors 604


    Aug 10, 2010
    Poole, England
    It depends on what model you're buying and what kind of apps you're planning to make. A base level MBA can be used to write "apps". My 2009 MBP with a Core 2 Duo CPU can be used to write "apps". How serious is this? Are you going to have a continuous integration build server running in the background on the same machine? Are you planning to write 3D games? Or fart-type apps?

    Xcode likes memory. 8 GB is good. Xcode caches aggressively into memory and therefore the speed of the storage system is not very important after the initial build. CPU is the most important factor in build times. But, if you're writing fairly simple apps, with some automated tests, you won't really ever be slowed down by massive compile times, unless you're planning on writing something the size of Chromium, which takes about 12 minutes to compile on a dual Xeon CPU system. Do you see the point I am getting at?

    If you already have a mouse/keyboard/screen, then a Mac Mini makes more sense.

    If we compare the high-end 27" models (not built to order), then:

    i5-3470 - faster
    GTX 675MX - faster
    1 GB GDDR5 VRAM - same
    1 TB 7200 RPM - same
    Standard RAM - 8 GB 1600 MHz - MORE and faster

    So clearly the 2012 model wins. But do you need all of that? I would say, no, based on the limited information you've provided.
  3. tyche macrumors 6502

    Jul 30, 2010
    a 2010 or 2011 iMac is still very much a viable option. 2011 are a little faster than 2010 and have thunderbolt. Same for the 2012's and add usb 3.0. So from a connectivity angle, there's that to consider.

    It comes down to it that there's always a new shiny in the Apple portfolio and they always make it appear that what you currently have is junk and you just have to get the new model. Just look at the 4th gen iPad. "Twice as fast". Nothing wrong with the 3rd gen. Angry Birds isn't going to run faster but I'm sure plenty of people are itching to upgrade.

    I have a 2010 model with an external fw800 drive and use smaller usb 2.0 flash drives so usb 3.0 isn't a big deal for me for a couple years I think. It's the dual core 3.6Ghz version and there's nothing I do (vmware, xcode, gaming) that this thing doesn't power through. Apart from benchmarking graphs, from a user standpoint you're not going to see huge differences in the model years for what you do.

    If you can save $1000 getting a 27" 2011 iMac, I'd say that is a great option over the 2012. You can buy your own RAM when you need it dirt cheap. I have 16GB now it was like $85.
  4. ggg71 macrumors newbie

    Oct 25, 2012
    2011 iMac vs 2012


    I'm thinking about getting a refurbished baseline 2011 iMac. It just seems like a much better deal.

    I can get the mac for $980, add in $50 for Ram upgrade (total 12 GB), $50 for OWC SSD kit and $180 for 256 GB SSD drive. And it has a built in drive, for occasional ripping of CD's DVDs.

    That brings me to $1260 + tax.

    The new baseline iMac is $1300. Memory is not user upgradeable. We don't know yet how easy it will be to upgrade the drive.

    The biggest drawback is the lack of USB 3. But I think I can survive with 2.0. And obviously the nicer screen. Again, my computer is not in a high glare spot, so I think I can live.

    A comparable new 21.5 imac is going to be $1299 + $200 to upgrade to 16GB ram + $250 for fusion drive + $70 for superdrive. So $1820. Over $500 more!

    Am I missing something?


  5. zyh4530 macrumors newbie

    Oct 25, 2012
    First of all, you are comparing a refurbish one with a new one, even though there is not much difference. 2012 iMac base model has a better CPU and a slightly better GPU. And the memory is also faster. The optical drive is not a necessary for many people. So there is not $500 difference.


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