24" iMac - wait for Penryn update or buy refurb now?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by hitekalex, Mar 17, 2008.

  1. hitekalex macrumors 68000

    hitekalex

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2008
    Location:
    Chicago, USA
    #1
    So it looks by all accounts that we're NOT going to see iMac Penryn updates this Tuesday.. some think Apple may skip Penryn all together until Montevina.

    I am in the market for 24" iMac for my office, so here're the 3 choices I am debating:

    1) Buy current version refurb (24" 2.4Ghz) - $1,499 from Apple. I will also upgrade it to 4GB RAM with 3rd party memory kit ($90 on newegg.com)

    Pros:
    - can have it NOW!!!
    - $300 cost savings via Apple refurb program - can have a great 4GB 24" system for "only" $1,580!

    Cons:
    - MacRumors buying guide recommends not buy iMac today
    - getting a CPU which will be "obsolete" in 1-2 months

    2) Wait for Penryn update

    Pros:
    - update just around the corner (presumably!)
    - investing in current version of CPU, etc (until Montevina anyway)
    - may be able to take advantage of added disk space or RAM or GPU, which Apple may bundle with this update

    Cons:
    - update may not happen at all, if Apple skips until Montevina
    - Penryn performance benefits over Merom are negligible by all acounts
    - won't be able to get a good refurb deal

    3) Wait for Montevina update

    Pros:
    - investing in "strategic" CPU update, at least 12 month future proof
    - take advantage of added disk space / RAM / GPU, which Apple may bundle with this update

    Cons:
    - 4-5 months wait!!!
    - won't be able to get a good refurb deal

    So what do you guys think? I am kind of leaning towards (1), but can be convinced otherwise :D
     
  2. glocke12 macrumors 6502a

    glocke12

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2008
    #2
    Its pretty simple. If you need a computer go out and get one. If you dont need it now, and you want (think you need) the latest and greatest than wait.
     
  3. VoodooDaddy macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    May 14, 2003
    #3
    Ppl here seem to get too wrapped up in when the next best thing it coming. Id say wait til tomorrow, if there is nothing new out, buy the refurb. I just bought a 20" iMac refurb about a week and a half ago, knowing very well there was speculation of the new processors. Even had something new come out Id have been happy with my purchase.

    As far as you obsolete comment, everything is obsolete as soon as it hits the market.
     
  4. rhodalinsky macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2008
    #4
    I just did #1, but I am waiting to open the box until tomorrow just in case.:cool:
     
  5. tizod macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2008
    #5
    I am curious as to what you mean by "So it looks by all accounts that we're NOT going to see iMac Penryn updates this Tuesday"

    I am holding out hope that something is going to happen tomorrow. I figured that the store would go down for the Airport update but that ended up happening today so who knows.
     
  6. elfjuice macrumors newbie

    elfjuice

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2008
    Location:
    St Louis, MO
    #6
    hitekalex,

    Go for the 24 inch iMac (refurbed or new, doesn't really matter.)

    If you get any static from your significant other, take them to the nearest Apple store, let them play on the 24 inch for 10-15 minutes and then have try out the 20 incher...

    I guarantee that in less than 30 seconds, they'll be squinting, trying to make out what those "tiny" icons are on the bottom of the 20 inch iMac are. :D

    It worked for me!
     
  7. rhodalinsky macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2008
    #7
     
  8. IgnatiusTheKing macrumors 68040

    IgnatiusTheKing

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2007
    Location:
    das Fort
    #8
    Wait until tomorrow. If there isn't an update, buy the 24" refurb. If there is and the new model knocks your socks off, buy that instead.
     
  9. hitekalex thread starter macrumors 68000

    hitekalex

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2008
    Location:
    Chicago, USA
    #9
    Well, there are no "signs" pointing to tomorrow.. Right before MBP updates 2 weeks ago, there were a lot of sightings of new part numbers trickling into ordering system of Best Buy, etc. So.. if I was a gambling man, I'd be betting heavily AGAINST any iMac updates tomorrow.

    So I think I am gonna wait until tom. morning and if nothing - pull the trigger on refurb Merom order.
     
  10. hitekalex thread starter macrumors 68000

    hitekalex

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2008
    Location:
    Chicago, USA
    #10
    Yes to an extend.. You can still control where in the lifecycle you buy the computing upgrades. For example, if you buy Montevina system 2 weeks after it hits the market - you're likely to run on current processor generation for 12 months or so.

    But you certainly end up paying $$$ premium for that, versus buying something towards the end of its lifecycle (case in point - refurb deals on Merom iMacs).
     
  11. tizod macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2008
    #11
    I believe I will do the same. Hopefully it will take another week to arrive and, as long as I don't open it, I can return it in case of a 2/25 release.
     
  12. clyde2801 macrumors 601

    clyde2801

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2008
    Location:
    In the land of no hills and red dirt.
    #12
    The great unanswered question is what you're planning on doing with it. If it's for general consumer stuff, (web surfing, iphoto, office documents, ripping and burning the occasional movie) then the current one is good for your needs. The other one is, what machine are you using to do it now?

    If you're a power user, and will be squeezing every last processor cycle of the machine, then the updates MAY be worth waiting for.

    Unless you've already got a powerhouse of a machine now, it may make more sense to get the refurb now, and max the ram.

    If you're using it for work, try to figure out how much time you will save, or how much productivity you'll gain each day by switching to the new (refurb) imac. Figure out how much your time is worth. Depending on the figures, the refurb may pay for itself in a few months.

    If the new penryn comes out in a few weeks, figure out how much it will cost, and wait for its benchmarks (as well as the reviews) to come out. Redo the earlier calculation between the refurbed imac and the new penryn imac.

    If the penryn runs rings around the current gen refurb, great! Sell your current system on ebay or CL and get most of your investment back. Macs hold their value well compared to pc's. Enjoy the further increased productivity and new applety goodness features in the new model.

    If the penryn offers only marginally improved performance and features over the current refurb, keep the system.

    Wait for montevina to be released by intel and be placed by apple into even newer systems. Rinse and repeat.
     
  13. Jedebor macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2008
    #13
    I was reading this post, with almost the same choice in mind (between a 24", 2,8 Ghz Extreme I can buy "now" for 1650 $, opened 1 hour by the seller on ebay, still new, or a Penryn updated iMac).

    But thx clyde2801, your opinion is really interesting, I'll consider this... tomorrow, if nothing happens :D You're right anyway.

    I still think that this ebay iMac, with 4 go added after, would be a great thing, but... I don't know, maybe I just want to see something new for the GPU (even if I don't wanna play a lot with my iMac, Starcraft 2 will be there soon... :rolleyes:)

    I'll keep reading your opinions though, nice to see that some ppl aren't crazy with all these rumors, each tuesday.
     
  14. MacGuy35 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2008
    #14
    i'm also in the same boat as you. I'm in the market for a 24" Imac and cant decide if I should get the $1499 refurb one or just wait it out. But in my case I dont NEED one right away so my guess is that I would just wait for the newer ones to come out and they will probably drop the price on the 24" refurb ones even more!
     
  15. Jedebor macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2008
    #15
    I do need a Mac "now" in fact :D just sold my MBP before the Penryn update, and waiting to buy an iMac since this release. Posting from my old pc laptop right now :(
     
  16. MacGuy35 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2008
    #16
    wish I could pull the trigger like you and just get one! I'm TRYING to be patient and see if they would drop the price just one more time.
     
  17. Jedebor macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2008
    #17
    I think I'll wait 'til tomorrow, and if nothing happens, the ebay iMac will be mine. I guess I'll be able to sell it when Montevina will be released, for a "real" speed bump (Penryn won't be really impressive if what I read on many forums is right).

    Hope Starcraft 2 will run on this 2,8 ghz though (with this HD2600...:confused:)
     
  18. zedsdead macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2007
    #18
    The Penryn iMac is not going to be that huge of an improvement. The speed is not really that different, and the improved battery life does not affect the iMac.

    The new iMacs will come with 2 gigs of Ram, but again, if you are upgrading, not an issue.

    The only major difference might be the inclusion of a 512 Video Ram Card, which would be better for gaming given the current iMac's lack-luster performance.
     
  19. trip1ex macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2008
    #19
    From what I can tell the best time to buy a Mac is when they introduce a new model because you'll get the longest use out of a new model if you buy it at introduction and because the prices of old models drop, but it's not like you get a bad deal with the 24" refurb. IT's not like your cpu would suddenly be obsolete in 2 months.
     
  20. marcg007 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2003
    Location:
    Boston area
    #20
    There is nothing wrong with the current...

    video card. I have been using my 2.8 iMac since August and have had not one single problem. I have used it for games, I have used it for photo editing, I have used it for audio and video editing. I played Prey on it with all settings on high and it was fine. Since there aren't many current games I want to play right now, I can't speak to the "latest and greatest" games. It seems to me that people started out basing their assessment of the video card on what had shown up with the windows version of the card. I have found the card to be completely appropriate for my needs.
     
  21. Lancetx macrumors 68000

    Lancetx

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2003
    Location:
    Texas
    #21
    I'm going to do the same thing as I'm tired of waiting. And keep in mind that Apple does have a 14 day price guarantee, so if the refurb price drops within 2 weeks, you can get the difference back.
     

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  22. rhodalinsky macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2008
    #22
    This is the last(it has been 3) night I have to stare at my referb 24" box, and canon MP520 printer box unopened. Tomorrow I either crack them open or return them. Either way i can not wait!:D
     
  23. VoodooDaddy macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    May 14, 2003
    #23
    You must have the patience of Job. I dont know how you can let that box sit there knowing whats inside.
     
  24. Sped macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 30, 2003
    #24
    I think the 4-5 month wait is dependent on whether there is an interim Penryn update. If Apple skips Santa Rosa refresh (Penryn with pseudo-Santa Rosa chipset), then I'd expect Montevina (Penryn with pseudo-Montevina chipset) in June or 3 months from now last I checked.
     
  25. VoodooDaddy macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    May 14, 2003
    #25
    Well I wouldnt go so far as to agree with that last part, but the 24 does seem REALLY big compared to the 20. I just got a 20, which seemed HUGE compared to the square 19" Samsung I had.

    I really didnt have the desk room or budget for the 24, so Im perfectly happy with the size on the 20.

    I was at Frys the other day though and did a side-by-side shot. The 24 dwarfs the 20.
     

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