2012 vs 2014 iMAC - need input

Discussion in 'iMac' started by icing2014, Aug 11, 2014.

  1. icing2014 macrumors newbie

    Aug 7, 2014
    Hi everyone,

    I need help in making my mind up in regards to getting my first iMac. I will be using it for graphic and web design, and minimal video editing (mainly family videos)

    I have been going back and forth on refurbished vs new, and since this is my first iMac - all the specs and year when it was released making me dizzy :) the below specs are from the Apple store as of tonight 8/11/2014. I have the bottom final three choices and I would appreciate it if you could tell me why you would choose one over the other.

    I was set on getting a Fusion drive over a regular one but now I'm thinking if that is necessary if I were to get a faster processor?

    Thank you so much in advance.

    OPTION 1:

    Refurbished 27-inch iMac 3.4GHz quad-core Intel Core i7
    Originally released October 2012
    27-inch LED-backlit display with IPS technology
    8GB memory
    1TB Fusion Drive
    NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680MX with 2GB
    Built-in FaceTime HD camera
    Price: $1949

    OPTION 2:

    Refurbished 27-inch iMac 3.2GHz quad-core Intel Core i5
    Originally released October 2012
    27-inch LED-backlit display with IPS technology
    16GB memory
    1TB Fusion Drive
    NVIDIA GeForce GTX 675MX with 1GB
    Built-in FaceTime HD camera
    Price: $1949

    OPTION 3:

    New iMac 27-inch iMac 3.5GHz quad-core Intel Core i7, turbo boost upto 3.9GHz
    27-inch LED-backlit display with IPS technology
    8GB memory
    1TB Fusion Drive
    NVIDIA GeForce GTX 775M with 2GB
    Price: $2259 (educational discount price)
  2. brerlappin macrumors member

    Oct 14, 2012
    Option 3. The i7 has hyper threading and your design apps will most likely utilize it.
  3. flopticalcube macrumors G4


    Sep 7, 2006
    In the velcro closure of America's Hat
    Option 1. The 680MX is faster than the 775M and the RAM can be upgraded by you using cheaper 3rd party RAM to 32GB. As noted, the hyperthreading of the i7 can be useful. You won't really notice the difference in speed between the older i7 and the newer one.
  4. brerlappin macrumors member

    Oct 14, 2012
    Note that option 3's fusion drive is PCIe based and is faster than option 1's. But the other video board may be slightly better.
  5. cheezeit macrumors 6502

    Jul 10, 2010
    Dallas, TX
    Option 2. Then get a ssd and a thunderbolt enclosure for fusion like drive. There is one in the market place too that'll save you quite a bit as well. Also it's new and not refurb.
  6. joe-h2o macrumors 6502a

    Jun 24, 2012
    Option 1 is the best value of those.

    The 680MX is still a pretty hefty GPU, and the RAM is a user upgrade that you can do cheaply yourself, so between the two refurb options it's a no brainer to pick between 1 and 2, which just leaves the decision between the new and the refurb.

    In my opinion, the refurb with the 680MX is the better deal - you won't really notice much difference at all between the newer i7 and the one in the refurb, and the discount is pretty good.

    Refurbs are also essentially "as new" machines from Apple - they have the same warranty and the same access to basic 1 year and 3 year apple care. They're a great way to get an excellent deal.
  7. firedept macrumors 603


    Jul 8, 2011
    Option 1. 680MX great choice. Saves you some money over option 3, and really is the wisest choice of the three. I own this machine and do this kind of work on it. Amazing iMac to work on. Fast.
  8. ixxx69 macrumors 65816

    Jul 31, 2009
    United States
    Option 2 doesn't make any sense to me - you're getting slower CPU then Option 1 in exchange for more RAM. But it's unlikely you really need 16GB of RAM, and if you ever do, it's easy to upgrade. So I say Option 2 is out.

    Regardless of the SATA3 vs PCIe of the Fusion drive, it really isn't going to be particularly relevant to a Fusion drive since it's rather limited in performance to begin with because it's a... Fusion drive. I'd rather have a smaller SSD, but you haven't listed that as an option. SATA3-based SSDs are still insanely fast for normal users anyway.

    From benchmarks I've seen, the GTX 775M vs the GTX 680MX has the 775M with a very marginal lead, but let's call it even.

    Options 1 is refurbished, a year older, with a slightly slower CPU (let's say ~10%) but $300 savings compared to Option 3.

    If money isn't tight, and it's like, "heck, what's another $300?, I want to treat myself to a new-new computer" - I say go for Option #3.

    However, I'll assume it is, and the $300 difference is a lot of money to you, in which case, Option #1 is the way to go.
  9. 12dylan34 macrumors 6502a

    Sep 3, 2009
    Option 1. But buy some more RAM to put in it. 8GB is pretty much nothing for working with video or larger Photoshop files.

    I've got 2x4GB sticks that came out of that exact same model if you want to buy them. PM me if you're interested. (I bought third party RAM, so I have no use for them).
  10. Mac32 Suspended

    Nov 20, 2010
  11. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Apr 23, 2011
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    Option 1. The 3.4GHz i7-3770 performs similarly to the 3.5GHz i7-4771.

    The GTX680MX is also faster than both the GTX675MX and GTX775M.

    8GB might be a bit short for your usage. I suggest upgrading to at least 16GB.
  12. Serban Suspended

    Jan 8, 2013
    I choose Option 4: Buy a new iMac when will be release in October
  13. hologram macrumors 6502

    May 12, 2007
    Which day in October? You forgot to give the release date. :rolleyes:
  14. tyche macrumors 6502

    Jul 30, 2010
    I'd only buy an iMac with an SSD but of those 3 options, I'd recommend #1.
  15. Suture macrumors 6502a


    Feb 22, 2007
    With the uses you stated, I'd go with option 3. It's newer, the Fusion drive is faster, and it sounds like you don't need the slight performance increase of the 680MX vs the 775M. Unless you're gaming, I'd go with option 3 over option 1.

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