24" iMac - New or Refurb?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by carman63, Nov 6, 2006.

  1. carman63 macrumors regular

    Oct 27, 2006
    I'm ready to pull the trigger on a 24" iMac. I'm considering waiting on the next wave of refurbs to appear, at $1699 for the base 24" model.

    However, if I buy new I can get it for $1899 with the education discount. I can also upgrade the RAM and/or video at that time, which aren't options on the refurb section.

    So the question is, for basic computing - word processing, surfing, email, and some digitial darkroom items in either Photoshop Elements or possibly Aperature - would the base setup work? Actually, it comes down to, do I go new and upgrade the video or not. I can always upgrade the RAM.

    Thoughts? Opinions? Beer?

  2. roland.g macrumors 603


    Apr 11, 2005
    One mile up and soaring
    Well for Beer I would recommend Fat Tire or J.W.Dundee's Honey Brown.
    I don't think it is a huge price jump to get the graphics upgrade. The RAM it seems is cheaper, even moreso with edu, to get from Apple because you have to get 2x1GB sticks and then will or won't sell the 2x512s. You should configure the edu priced 24" with 2GB RAM, video and see what that cost it compared to a refurb + 2GB third party RAM. The $200 is definitely something to consider, but I personally would want the 7600GT, so the refurb wouldn't be an option. I was actually going to get a 24" but my friend at the Apple store couldn't get me a discount so the base would have been $1,699 + options. So I settled for a refurb 1.66 Core Duo Mini Superdrive and will wait until Leopard and iTV to get a 24".
  3. carman63 thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 27, 2006
    I did the compare with a new system with 2GB of RAM, then took the refurb and the cost of a 2GB kit from www.macsales.com. And I came up with $100 difference, favoring the refurb.

    Now, if I leave the RAM at 1GB on each system there's a $200 difference between a refurb and the educational price. And the video card is a $113 upgrade. So now the question becomes, is the video upgrade worth $313?

    (difference between a new BTO system and a refurb base model).

    If I'm only doing photo editing on an occasional basis, and NO gaming, do I really need the video upgrade?

    Thanks again!
  4. Dont Hurt Me macrumors 603

    Dont Hurt Me

    Dec 21, 2002
    Yahooville S.C.
    The thing I would be careful about with getting a refurb is Apples dead pixel policy is shady. If you are going for a nice big screen you want zero dead pixels. My advice is to get a machine at a store and then look at it before purchase. Nothing would suck more then getting a refurb with some dead pixels and then apple telling you its still Ok.
  5. weldon macrumors 6502a


    May 22, 2004
    Denver, CO
    No, you do not need the video upgrade if you are not into gaming. The extra 3D power won't matter one bit for doing 2D photo editing.
  6. carman63 thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 27, 2006
    Thanks for the inputs. I'm thinking I'll go ahead with the refurb and save myself some $$ :)


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