2013 iMac vs 2012 iMac Refurb vs Waiting

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Corrode, Oct 7, 2013.

  1. Corrode, Oct 7, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2013

    Corrode macrumors 6502a


    Dec 26, 2008
    Calgary, AB
    I'm looking for some help in purchasing a 27" iMac, mainly for my wife who is a part-time wedding photographer.

    • It's primary use will be editing 30MB RAW files in LightRoom 5.
    • We are on a budget and looking to spend as little as possible, but willing to pay if it means the machine will last longer.
    • Hoping to get 5 years out of it.
    • We get an education discount as she works at a university.
    • Fusion drive is a must.
    • Will be able to buy in 1-2 months.

    Option 1:
    2013 27" iMac 3.2 i5, 1GB 775M w/ 1TB Fusion Drive ($1929)

    Option 2:
    Refurb Late 2012 27" iMac 2.9GHz i5, 512MB 660M w/ 1TB Fusion Drive ($1669)

    Option 3:
    Wait for the new 2013s to end up in the refurb store

    Option 4:
    Wait for 2014 iMacs (yeah, right)

    I'd appreciate any advice. I like to have the latest and greatest Apple stuff but don't know if ac wifi, PCI SSD interface, and Haswell is worth the money.

    Time isn't a huge issue as we're at the end of wedding season so editing won't get busy again until next spring. Also, anything will be better than the 2009 13" MacBook Pro she's editing on now.

    Thanks for the help!
  2. macs4nw macrumors 601


    It might be a little while before those 2013 iMacs show up in the refurb store, so it comes down to whether the slightly faster processor, the faster variety of that flash in your Fusion drive, the 802.11ac WiFi, and last but not least, that doubling of graphics memory, are worth $260 to you.

    Also, when it comes to resale, you'll have a one year more recent iMac to sell, ie slightly higher residual value.

    I believe, it's a small price to pay, but admittedly, I don't know your financial situation. Good Luck!
  3. mattbaar26 macrumors regular

    Jan 15, 2013
    In 1-2 months the 2012 should be even cheaper too if you don't get from the apple site.
  4. macrominnie macrumors member

    Nov 20, 2010
    I'd suggest staying alert during the Black Friday/Cyber Monday interval, about 7 weeks away.

    If recent past is an indicator, there will likely be sale prices for the 2013 models pretty similar to the eventual refurb prices for the 2013 models. The 2013 sale prices will probably only be a little more than the 2012 refurb prices. The 2013 model would then be an easy choice.

    Excuse the extra opinioneering: I would suggest going with the 256 gb SSD instead of the fusion drive, and then using a Thunderbolt (or USB 3.0) portable external HDD for any additional memory needed. The TB external drive should be plenty fast for most uses. Actually, I find portable USB 3.0 drives plenty fast for supplementary memory. And external USB 3.0 drives are cheap.

    The external Thunderbolt (or USB 3.0) drive will remain relatively "future proof"-you can always use it elsewhere. In the meantime, the SSD performance is better, meaning the iMac will "seem" up to date longer.

  5. macs4nw macrumors 601


    "Macrominnie" above, made an excellent suggestion, with which I totally agree.

    That 256GB SSD option is the same price as the 1TB Fusion drive, so the extra external USB3.0 HDD would be the only added cost, but all your software for the foreseeable future will easily reside on that 256GB SSD, and in addition to a faster machine (under certain circumstances, such as when transferring large files), you'll have more flexibility in adding future storage capacity in the form of a larger, or an additional external HDD.
  6. ezekielrage_99 macrumors 68040


    Oct 12, 2005
    I'd personally go with a new Haswell iMac because performance wise both graphically and processor it's much faster compared to previous generations.

    If it's for work I'd go with the newest generation simply because it will last you longer, BTW the Fusion drives do run rather quick though I would still get an extra drive for a back up.
  7. Corrode thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Dec 26, 2008
    Calgary, AB
    Thanks for the replies! That is a great suggestion and one that I had briefly considered, but not seriously. I've got a 1TB USB 3.0 RAID 1 external that I use as a secondary backup for all the RAW files (then I back that drive up to CrashPlan) so the 256GB might just work.

    Also, thanks for the heads up on the Black Friday thing. I'm in Canada so I'm wondering where the best place to pick something up on sale would be. I've only ever purchased my Macs straight from Apple so this would be a new experience for me.

    Thanks for your time! If anyone else has suggestions, feel free to post!
  8. stanleymac macrumors newbie

    Jul 24, 2011
    Question: how could you get a $1929 option 1??
    I tried and this option would cost me USD $1999.


    Attached Files:

  9. LaunchpadBS macrumors 6502a

    Nov 11, 2008
    I've seen the 2013 iMacs in the UK refurb store.
    Worth the wait me thinks...
  10. Corrode thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Dec 26, 2008
    Calgary, AB
    Student discount in Canada.
  11. kteare macrumors newbie

    Nov 26, 2013

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