2011 27" iMac ($1999 model) or 2012 27" ($1799 model)

Discussion in 'iMac' started by obsoletepower, Nov 13, 2012.

  1. obsoletepower macrumors regular

    Dec 14, 2006
    Toronto, Canada
    Hey guys,

    I am currently trying to decide between a refurbished i5 27" iMac for $1599 which has the Radeon HD 6970M graphics with 1GB GDDR5 or the upcoming model for $1699 (with education discount) which has the Nivida GeForce GTX660M with 512MB GDDR5 which seems to be a little bit worse than the 6970. I do a modest amount of gaming but that will not be my main purpose for the iMac.

    What do you guys suggest?
  2. forty2j macrumors 68030


    Jul 11, 2008
    Column A:
    10-15% faster GPU
    Firewire port
    Optical Drive

    Column B:
    10-15% faster CPU
    75% reduced screen glare
    Looks sexier from the side

    You need to decide which column is more important to you.
  3. obsoletepower thread starter macrumors regular

    Dec 14, 2006
    Toronto, Canada
    I guess I will have to wait for performance benchmarking before I decide...In the mean time I will pick up a refurbished iMac 27" 2011 because I do have 3 months to return which will be well within the release of the new 27" in December.
  4. ctdonath macrumors 65816


    Mar 11, 2009
    USB3 port
    Thunderbolt port
    Fusion drive
  5. The-Pro macrumors 65816

    Dec 2, 2010
    USB 3 port, Yes
    Thunderbolt port, the 2011 has two of those aswell
    Fusion drive, the possible of having one BTO, but hes not getting that, at least the OP didnt say it
  6. iHailCarlo macrumors 6502

    Aug 10, 2012
    Both are great machines, but I would get the latest and the greatest.
  7. obsoletepower, Nov 13, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2012

    obsoletepower thread starter macrumors regular

    Dec 14, 2006
    Toronto, Canada
    USB3 is not really a huge concern for me because my USB devices (apart from my multi-card reader for my DSLR) would not benefit from speed and downloading photos to my computer is plenty fast for me with USB2.

    Fusion drive is great for someone that wants better IO performance coupled with large storage but I would be set with a 240GB SSD since I use a NAS for large file storage.

    I would like the latest and greatest but I am still deciding if losing the optical drive and better video card (while paying $100 more) is a worth-while investment for me. I should also mention that the SD card slot has been re-located on the back which makes it a lot more inconvenient to access especially if you frequently need to do so. It kind of forces you to use an external card reader which will permanently take up that USB port.

    Another thing that concerns me about the refreshed model is the modding capabilities. By that I mean changing/adding HDDs, upgrading CPU etc. The mid-2011 iMac is pretty easy to mod but we don't yet have any details on the late 2012 models.

    Anyways, I ordered a 27" refurb. which should be here on Thursday. I will see how I make do with it and wait for the new 27" to be released before I make my decision. In the meantime I would love to hear your comments/experiences/suggestions.

    One major reason I see for going with the late-2012 is the laminated glass to the screen. Based on the amounts of posts on various forums about the iMac screens, it seems to be a big issue with dust getting into the LCD panel assembly after some time, requiring an LCD replacement. While this may not be fixed in the new model since the majority of users report dust inside the LCD and not in between the front element and LCD screen, it may be worth noting.
  8. rangers12 macrumors member

    Sep 10, 2009
    Let us know your thoughts on the 2011 model- I am having the exact same debate- especially now that it looks like the 2012 model may be delayed even further. Seems like you pay more for the thin shape, USB 3 and the new screen- not sure if it's worth the trade-off..
  9. atthecross macrumors 6502

    Jun 8, 2007
  10. obsoletepower thread starter macrumors regular

    Dec 14, 2006
    Toronto, Canada
    I received the mid-2011 iMac this morning (the 27" i5 model with the 1GB AMD HD6970 graphics) and loving it so far. I have already installed and activated Windows 7 Pro 64-bit on it to test its gaming capabilities and so far I am getting great results. I have tried Diablo 3 on high settings and it runs well with the AA backed down a little bit, I installed F1 2012 and that runs smooth as butter on Ultra settings, CoD Black Ops runs great on max. settings. I have yet to try Battlefield 3.

    I am befuddled by the size of the screen. It is perfect for me. I am a mobile application developer and the extra real-estate is a welcome upgrade. I realize that the iMac is overkill for my needs, would have been perfectly happy with a Mac Mini but since I needed to get another monitor anyways and the Mac Mini would have been $799 + the cost of a 27" display it made more sense to go with the iMac that has a discrete graphics card and has the screen built-in. I will likely keep this machine because from what I can tell thus far it suits my needs and because the new 27" iMac ($1799) will have a lesser graphics card.

Share This Page