2011 iMac 27 inch 3.4 GHz i7 refurb or wait?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by smitty303, Sep 8, 2012.

  1. smitty303 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2012
    Location:
    Colorado
    #1
    I'm looking to jump into the Mac world for the first time. My current PC has died, but I'm getting along with just my iPad2 for now. But, I would like to import all my DVC tapes of my kids and archive the video. Also, the kids use iMacs at school. So, my dilemma is, buy a refurb 27 inch iMac i7 3.4 GHz for ~$1850 online at apple or wait to see if any new iMacs show up and offer a better long term solution.

    I want the big screen for plenty of room editing videos, a good processor/gpu combo to minimize video encoding headaches, and a good bang for the buck.

    Your thoughts? Thanks
     
  2. Orlandoech macrumors 68040

    Orlandoech

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    Jun 2, 2011
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    Salt Lake City, UT
    #2
    Id wait it out a little longer for an iMac refresh.
     
  3. Dark Void macrumors 68030

    Dark Void

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    Cimmerian End
    #3
    I would wait for the new iMacs as well - if the same price points are kept, with the money you are willing to use in order to purchase that refurbished model you can (just about) go for a $1,999 27'' iMac. The entry level 27'' is currently at $1,699 as well if $1,800 is more around your budget. The specs will be unknown until then but more than likely you will be able to get better hardware with your budget if you wait a bit.
     
  4. smitty303 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2012
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    Colorado
    #4
    Thanks for the input.

    One reason I was thinking of getting the refurb was that there is always a 14 day return window where I could lock in the savings on a pretty top end iMac now in case the spec bump wasnt worth the extra money. That is, maybe a discounted i7 3.4 GHz Sandy Bridge computer would still be more bang for the buck than an Ivy Bridge i5 at $1999. Of course, that assumes that prices stay pretty steady. I might miss out on USB 3 and maybe something like a non-glossy screen, but I'd also save a bit over a new Ivy Bridge i7 at $2199.
     
  5. Yebubbleman macrumors 68030

    Yebubbleman

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    #5
    Ordinarily, I'd tell you to wait for the impending refresh, but on refurbs, the price seldom drops that sharply and that quickly following a new refresh. It does drop a bit, but not as much as later on, and it's not like said refurbished model is necessarily removed when the new refresh comes out, so it's not quite the same breed of buyer's remorse as when a new model comes out. So, if you've got your eye on it, and if you want it, nab it. Personally, the current design of iMac is too failure-proned for my liking; also way too un-upgradable, and not to mention the most guilty of Apple's products of way too much form and not enough function. But if those don't bother you, pull the trigger on that refurb. If you were buying this sucker new, I'd say definitely wait and see what happens in the coming weeks.
     
  6. Zwhaler macrumors 603

    Zwhaler

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2006
    #6
    Definitely worth it to wait at this point with new iMacs right around the corner.
     
  7. thekev macrumors 604

    thekev

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2010
    #7
    I tend to look at it in terms of total system cost, including peripheral devices. Going for thunderbolt vs usb3 devices can make a difference there. The cpu bump itself will be relatively minor, but they did low the max tdp somewhat on the top models. Refurbished pricing tends to drop 15% or so when new ones come out, and sometimes you'll see excellent clearance deals from third party retailers. I wouldn't expect refurbished options on a 2012 imac for a couple months. They've started to sell 2012 refurbished macbook pros. They start a couple hundred over a late 2011. This is recent, and the 2012s came out in July.
     
  8. smitty303 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2012
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    Colorado
    #8
    Yeah, I hadn't thought of the thunderbolt vs. USB 3.0 cost issue. Oh, and I wasn't thinking of 2012 refurb, just the current 2011 refurb. It was more of an issue of $1869 for a 2011 refurb i7 vs. $1999 2012 i5. I figured maybe the quad core i7 sandy bridge at 3.4 GHz might outweigh the ivy bridge i5 performance and save a bit. But it is only $130 difference, which is less than 10% anyway when considering a nearly $2000 price.

    ----------

    I'm not familiar with the current designs failures. Are they due to thermal issues?
     
  9. Yebubbleman macrumors 68030

    Yebubbleman

    Joined:
    May 20, 2010
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #9
    Yeah, you have a desktop CPU, a desktop North and South Bridge (otherwise known as the "chipset"), you have a desktop (3.5") Hard drive, you have a gamer-laptop-PC form factor video card/board (which generates much more heat than say the class of GPU found on the 15" MacBook Pros) and all of that generates a lot of heat. The enclosure that those things all fit in is way too thin for that stuff. As a result, the iMac has more thermal sensors than any other Mac. The hard drive on those iMacs is also proprietary as there's custom firmware on the hard drive that uses the one power pin that is ordinarily used for the hard drive activity LED on PC towers to instead provide the logic board with internal temperature readings. That's bad!
     
  10. smitty303 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2012
    Location:
    Colorado
    #10
    So, no new iMacs announced. I think I'll wait a bit longer. I keep watching the refurb inventory. So far, they still have those 3.4 GHz i7 iMacs.
     

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