21.5", 27", Refurbished, New? Oh my...

Discussion in 'iMac' started by ZenithP, Aug 9, 2011.

  1. ZenithP macrumors newbie

    May 12, 2010
    So, I know there's been some posts about how refurbished products fare. I always hear mix results...

    I'm an up and coming graphic designer. I'm planning on getting an iMac, and I can only afford the 21.5" model. I would prefer to get the 27" because I LOVE the screen size, and reading through a few posts, many recommend the larger screen for designing. I saw a refurbished 27" model under $1500, before taxes. I won't get the $100 iTunes card for students, but I think it still is less expensive, and can afford it now.

    I can't afford the refurbished 27", so I talked to my parents and agreed to pay pay the difference.

    I'm afraid of paying so much, and getting my parents involved in my purchase, for the refurbished model. But I need to get a computer ASAP, and I don't want to spend some money now and get something good, but not what I preferred, and end up paying again for something I did want to get.

    Anyone get any refurbished products from apple lately? What were your experiences? Any advice? Sorry for the long post...
  2. tinkletwink1 macrumors newbie

    Aug 9, 2011
    All the refurbished iMacs I received had horrible screen yellowing.

    I also purchased the 27" and felt it was way to big for me, and most users for that matter. I returned it and I am ecstatic with my 21.5".
  3. jbyun04 macrumors 6502a


    Aug 31, 2008
    Look at your budget and get the best that you can get.

    As a designer myself, I went from 15" MacBook Pro + 24" external to getting rid of my 24" and using my 15" only. It's all about personal preference really.. if you feel like you can focus well with a massive 27" screen, great. 21.5" is still a fair size and still bigger than 15" which lots of people work on so you should be fine even with a 21.5" refurb spec.

    My advice is if a high end 21.5" is all you can get for now, get it. When you start to make money from your work, you'll be able to sell your iMac for a decent price and you shouldn't have any trouble upgrading to what you want.
  4. ZenithP thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 12, 2010
    Really??? That's not good...

    I guess the pozzass of the big screen wouldn't last... And I guess I can save some cash and use that for software and an iPad.
  5. ZenithP thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 12, 2010
    You make a good point. I wouldn't have to burden my parents either. I think I could comfortably afford the low end iMac. Do you think that could handle Illustrator and PIxelmator?
  6. SR20DETDOG macrumors regular

    Jan 25, 2011
    Queensland Australia
    Like you I'm an aspiring graphic designer too.

    My iMac was a birthday present from my parents, though, they were only willing to put so much towards it. Luckily for me I was in a position to be able to pay for the rest of my 27". I had the same, "Pay the extra for what I really want now instead of paying again later." sort of thinking.

    While I do love the 27" screen and it does help with photo editing, 3D modelling etc it's not as great as you may think. I recently added an old CRT monitor as a second display and I found that it's much more useful than the 27" display.

    If you can find a way to afford the 27" then great but I think you might be happier possibly even better off with the 21.5" + cheap second display. The 21.5" is still a great display.

    Good luck with the decision making,
    whichever model you end up with I'm sure you'll love it :)
  7. jesushavemercy macrumors member

    Jul 6, 2011
    Buy an mac mini around 800 dollars and a 27'' screen for about 250 dollars.
  8. striker33 macrumors 65816


    Aug 6, 2010
    Most users? Source?

    Anyway yeah. if your in Uni the discount will make it cheaper than any refurbs, so surely you are looking at last years model? Either way, 27" iMacs tend to be more prone to yellowing, but even then most people cant/dont notice it anyway so its not worth worrying about. Its not a great screen for colour accuracy anyway should you need it, unless you'd plan on using it in a pitch black room.
  9. iSayuSay macrumors 68030


    Feb 6, 2011
    27" for me has helped eliminate the need of secondary display. The width is huge enough to do 2 or 3 things at once. And having full screen apps features with Lion in 27" is quite ridiculous.

    Safari in full screen filled with 70% blank page instead. Maybe some website like Amazon have thought it over by stretch to fit any width of screen. But not most of website.

    Photoshop often times getting too big if I use the whole screen alone. But at the good side I could still see at my iTunes library while doing Photoshop :D
  10. Blue Sun macrumors 6502a

    Feb 11, 2009
    If you're going to be manipulating more than one image at a time, then the 27" iMac is really the one to get.

    I have a 24" iMac and there have been multiple times when I could've used the extra 3" of screen real estate.
  11. bigmikeinnj macrumors regular


    Jul 13, 2010
    River Forest, IL.
    While I don't own the model you are talking about let me share my experiences with you just the same. In late 2006 I bought a 24" iMac Core Duo 2.16 mhz refurbished - I saved over $300.00 going that route - being in the San Francisco area at the time it arrived the next day - been using it non-stop for close to five years and it's been great. It looked like brand new and has performed quite well all this time. I'm on it A LOT.

    With the money I saved I bought the extended warranty and an iPod Photo 30GB (which had just been discontinued) that was factory refurbished also. I plan on buying the 27" iMac later in the year factory refurbished, get the extended warranty and with the money I save buy a box of Cohibas...

    I've also had great luck buying factory refurbished Sony and Olympus products.

    Good luck, get the big screen, it's so cool to have that much real estate to work on.
  12. c613m macrumors 6502


    Aug 9, 2011
    I would buy the entry model brand new 21" iMac. Order yourself 4GB's of RAM 2x2 from wherever, should add about 40 bucks (I had paid 35 for an extra 4GB's). This leaves you with the 100 Gift Card for being a student, and it also doubles your RAM to 8GB's. Along with the 2.5Ghz Quad i5, I don't think you'll have any problems. Plus it's extremely cost effective.

    That's what I would do. The 27" inch model is really too big (for me anyway).
  13. iamthedudeman macrumors 65816

    Jul 7, 2007
    Refurbished is better than new in my opinion. Just because a few people get a few bad ones should not sway or scare you into not buying one.

    From my experience refurbished BTO's which are made in the USA, like the i7's are the best way to go judging from my experience. I own and operate a marketing firm and have 22 iMacs, 4 Mac Pros. All bought over the last two years. Out of those quite a few have a yellowing issue. 7 to be exact. All new models. Two of them are actually 2011 models. ,

    I have four BTO's refurbished models and all including the latest one is better condition than new.

    I bought last month a refurb 27 i7 2.93 with 256 SSD. It is the first flawless 27 iMac I have bought. The screen cover was better than on a new model. Different than new but better. The magic mouse was better. On new ones they can be "loose'. Buy a new magic mouse on it's own and compare it to one that comes with a new model to see what I mean. The keys on the keyboard are very "tight' not loose like on new ones tend to be. Like buying a standalone keyboard.

    Not a scratch on it.No dust under the screen, no dead or stuck pixels, no yellowing. Nothing, perfect screen. It is the first perfect iMac I have bought so far. And it is refurbished.

    Refurbished have better quality control than a new model. New models coming off the line all do not get checked out. So many out of a batch a 100 for example get pulled off the line and then checked out. All refurbs get checked out.

    In my opinion getting a 21.5 is crazy for graphic design work. I do graphic design on a daily basis for marketing purposes and let me tell you a 21.5 will not cut it. Not by a long shot.

    Go for the 27. The screen has to be seen and used to be fully appreciated.

    This one is the second fastest 27 iMac right now. Fits your budget and is made is the USA.


    My opinion is that most if not all of the 27 iMacs that have yellowing are damaged in transit. Kavik made a post on this awhile ago and I believe this to be true and spot on. That is not gospel from myself but from my experience with BTO's that are made in the USA that I have gotten and they are all flawless 27 iMacs. Four of them to be exact. Made in the USA less transit time. All ground shipped.


    Expedited shipping causes items to get banged around a lot. And more importantly are shipped "solo' by themselves.

    Ground shipping items are shipped via a "canister' or "pallet'. Shipped with other items in a metal 'box'. Not by themselves. I had one of these metal 'boxes' shipped to my business via ground when I got my first shipment of Apple hardware two years ago. Not banged around at all. I got 10 iMacs and 4 Mac Pro's and a few laptops. All with no yellow screens.

    I bought 12 to be exact after that, four were BTO refurbished and are flawless. Out of the remaining 8 there were 7 that had yellow screens. All not shipped ground and were expedited.

    Just because it s refurb does not equal to a yellow screen. That is just silly and just doesn't make any sense. I believe the opposite to be true. How it's shipped, how far it's shipped from makes the biggest difference in my opinion.
  14. Emathieu macrumors regular

    Feb 9, 2011
    My refurb 2010 i7 iMac has been absolutely perfect, including the screen. I personally can't imagine going back down to a smaller screen now. As a matter of fact, I'm considering getting a Cinema Display as a second monitor.

    I think it will all come down to personal preference, and the 21" may turn out to be fine for you. Or, you could always add an additional monitor later if you decide you need more real estate.
  15. jbyun04 macrumors 6502a


    Aug 31, 2008
    Absolutely. If my 2.8 C2D with an aged GPU can handle PS/ID/IL on a regular basis without any problems, I don't see a newer, more powerful iMac having troubles.

    While I'm sure the i3 21.5" would do you fine (not QUITE sure on that 4670 GPU..) I would try to shoot for the next one up (i5 Quad with 6750M) it's $90 more but almost a no brainer considering you'll get a lot more resell value out of it and a much better computer.
  16. HBOC macrumors 68020

    Oct 14, 2008
    I went from a 2.2GHZ i7 Quad MBP (with Matte screen) to a base iMac 2.5 i5. I slapped 8GB of RAM in it, and it is pretty wicked fast. I use it with Aperture 3, CS4 Master Suite (mostly PS) and I also use the NiK software. I have everything open all the time, as well as my 12,000 song iTunes Library and really I don't notice a slow down at all.

    It also runs Win7 pretty well also!
  17. ZenithP thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 12, 2010
    I never replied back! I'm sorry.

    Thanks all! You guys really helped. I ended up getting the 27" base iMac. My parents lend me the money and have JUST finished paying them back. I gotta say, I LOVE the big screen!

    Thanks again everyone!
  18. CWallace macrumors 603


    Aug 17, 2007
    Seattle, WA
    I just received my refurb Mid-2011 iMac 27 3.4GHz i7 with an SSD and it's perfect. Even better, they shipped me a model with 8GB of RAM instead of the stated 4GB and 2GB of VRAM instead of 1GB.

    New, I would have paid $2999, but the refurb was $2499. :cool:
  19. sam2428 macrumors 6502

    Mar 8, 2011
    Houston, TX

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