24" Refurb or 21.5" Base?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by EliteF50, Dec 2, 2009.

  1. EliteF50 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2009
    #1
    I know I've asked this question over and over, but I really need help choosing my first iMac. So, I can get the base 21.5" or a 24" Refub.

    21.5" LED 16:9
    3.06GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
    4GB DDR3
    500GB Serial ATA Drive
    NVIDIA GeForce 9400M
    8x double-layer SuperDrive

    -$1,299

    -OR-

    24" LCD 16:10
    2.93GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
    4GB DDR3
    640GB hard drive
    8x SuperDrive (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW)
    NVIDIA GeForce GT 120 with 256MB memory

    -$1,349

    ------------------------------------------------------------

    The only reason I don't want the 21.5" is because of the GPU. I mean, I've got an ATI Radeon HD 2600XT, and from what I've read so far, it would be a downgrade.

    EDIT: One more thing, will I see a big difference in CPU speed?
     
  2. oculus42 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2002
    Location:
    Maine
    #2
    The GT 120 is essentially a 9500GT. I'm a fan of pixels, so I'd go for the 24", myself.
     
  3. dmfactor macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2009
    #3
    Is that 24" refurb a 2.8ghz or a 2.4? I just purchased that exact refurbished model with a 2.4ghz processor for $899, so I'd say you're overpaying a bit on the refurbished model if it's a 2.4ghz.

    EDIT: In the case of it being a 2.93ghz, I'd personally take the 24" over the 21.5. Especially with all the DOA, screen flickering, etc. that has been reported with the newer iMacs you can at least avoid that with a refurbished machine. Also, the speeds of both computers would be near identical and the 24" might actually out perform the 21.5 on GPU intensive processes, as the 21.5 is using integrated video memory.
     
  4. EliteF50 thread starter macrumors regular

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    Oct 28, 2009
    #4
    The 24" is 2.93GHz.
     
  5. Badger^2 macrumors 68000

    Badger^2

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2009
    Location:
    Sacramento
    #5
    21.5 stock is $1050 from macconnection.

    Its not a 2.4, never came with a GT120.

    http://www.macconnection.com/IPA/Shop/Product/Detail.htm?sku=10682017
     
  6. EliteF50 thread starter macrumors regular

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    Oct 28, 2009
    #6
    Well, what about the CPU speed? Would I notice a major change from 2.93GHz to 3.06GHz?
     
  7. dmfactor macrumors newbie

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    Nov 25, 2009
    #7
    No, that small of a difference really wouldn't be noticeable.
     
  8. EliteF50 thread starter macrumors regular

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    Oct 28, 2009
    #8
    Really? So... I should get the 24-inch? The only thing I find wrong with it is the LCD vs LED, and the SD card slot.
     
  9. 53x12 macrumors 68000

    53x12

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    Feb 16, 2009
    #9
    What is more important to you, better quality screen or a larger screen?
     
  10. Roy43 macrumors newbie

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    Nov 18, 2009
    #10
    I would take the 21.5. Unless you are doing heavy computing it will do the job.
     
  11. oculus42 macrumors 6502

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    Dec 9, 2002
    Location:
    Maine
    #11
    Unless you need the high-quality LED backlight (still LCD, BTW) or can't fit the 24" on the desk, there's very little contest. The SD slot is convenient, but nothing you can't pick up for $10.
     
  12. EliteF50 thread starter macrumors regular

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    Oct 28, 2009
    #12
    Is the difference that big in quality?
     
  13. oculus42 macrumors 6502

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    Dec 9, 2002
    Location:
    Maine
    #13
    The 24 has 1920x1200. The 21.5 is 1920x1080. Resolution-wise, that's 230,000 pixels... plenty to consider.

    Despite LED being nice and all, it's really something you can disregard unless you've ever re-lit your office so the color calibration was more accurate.
     
  14. EliteF50 thread starter macrumors regular

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    Oct 28, 2009
    #14
    MSN, Internet, [Medium] Video Editing, Photo Editing, Word Processing, etc.
     
  15. Sirmausalot macrumors 6502a

    Sirmausalot

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2007
    #15
    No Doubt

    Get the 24" now. Better graphics, better screen, warranty (double it with most mastercards or visa)
     
  16. shanmugam macrumors 68020

    shanmugam

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2008
    Location:
    Blazer town!
    #16
    I went with 21.5" for reasons below (I got it for $1300 on black friday with apple promotion and $100 credit card discount)

    #LED Backlit screen
    #16GB RAM - easier to go 8GB (4x2GB) with 21.5" than 24" (2x4GB)
    #3.06Ghz CPU standard voltage CPU
    #SD Card Slot

    (I prefer wired KB and mouse)
    #Magic mouse (if you like)
    #Wireless keyboard (if you like)

    i would say 24" have advantage in graphics may be (that too if you get previous generation high end model)

    i disagree there will be big resolution loss (but sure 24" is bigger than 21.5")
     
  17. EliteF50 thread starter macrumors regular

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    Oct 28, 2009
    #17
    Are there any downsides to refurbs besides the plain box? Are they usually scratched or anything?
     
  18. Mac21ND macrumors 6502a

    Mac21ND

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2007
    #18
    I haven't noticed any difference with refurbished models. Apple does a pretty good job here.

    I just bought a 21.5 base model actually. Very nice and no complaints. Either way, you're getting a nice computer. Here's why I choose the model I did versus the refurb:

    * LED screen. I have a Apple LCD Display I use at work and yes, there is a difference. Some might consider it minor, but there is difference. I also prefer the 16 x 9 ratio; again, just my preference.

    * RAM Expansion. Being able to go to 16 gb total is really great. It means that I'll have more longevity to my machine.

    * Wireless Magic Mouse and Keyboard by default. Again, that's just me. Some maybe don't like it.

    Good luck
     
  19. applelicious macrumors member

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    Nov 17, 2009
    Location:
    New York, NY
    #19
    Exactly why I bought my 21.5" base. Screen is just amazing and plenty of power for what I am doing, which is pretty much the same as OP plans on doing.
     
  20. stevenb macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2008
    #20
    Refurbished Mac's...

    I have to say the refurbished program helped me get both of my Mac's (see signature). I bought the Macbook Pro earlier this year when my Dell Notebook gave out. Very good pricing on a tight budget. Well, my Dell desktop went south shortly after the new iMac's came out and Apple was getting rid of their older 24 inch inventory. I really wanted the 24" as I have seen it in the store and the 27" was just too big for my work area. I know it is only 3-4 inches wider, but that made it a no-go. To top it off, I thought I was going to get the GT 130 card. Apple is known to include free upgrades at times with refurbished units. My Macbook Pro did not have any, but the iMac came with the ATI card instead of the GT 130. I know people have had problems with the ATI card, but I am having none. I now have Windows 7 32-bit on both computers in Bootcamp and they work great. Both are running Snow Leopard. I could not get VM Fusion to play nice with Windows 7. It was buggy and slow. I even allocated 3 GB of Ram in Fusion and still buggy. Life is great without all those wires. Wireless keyboards and Blue Tooth mice, and wireless printing. No more PC's at my house and I can still use Windows just fine on both machines for work and pleasure. I purchased the Time Capsule at the same time I picked up the iMac and it was up and running great in a short time, backing up both of my Mac's. I have Time Warner cable for the Internet and it smokes with Time Capsule. I never had such fast Internet with my previous router. I must say, I was on a tight budget and still wanted Mac's. The refurbished units helped me to conserve money and have two wonderful computers. Do not be afraid of the refurbished units. They have the same warranty as new and you can get Apple Care to. Enjoy your new computer!
     
  21. Badger^2 macrumors 68000

    Badger^2

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2009
    Location:
    Sacramento
    #21
    you didnt get your specs right

    the $1350 24" Apple refurb is this one:

    http://store.apple.com/us/browse/home/specialdeals/mac/imac?afid=p201|552179&cid=AOS-US-AFFC

    Refurbished iMac 24-inch 3.06GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
    24-inch glossy widescreen display
    4GB memory
    1TB hard drive
    8x SuperDrive (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW)
    NVIDIA GeForce GT 130 with 512MB memory

    vs

    iMac 21.5" 3.06GHz Intel Core 2 Duo 4GB RAM
    1TB HD
    SuperDrive
    ATI Radeon HD 4670

    for $1349

    http://www.macconnection.com/IPA/Shop/Product/Detail.htm?sku=10684961
     
  22. shanmugam macrumors 68020

    shanmugam

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    Sep 24, 2008
    Location:
    Blazer town!
    #22
    Badger^2, the OP is comparing $1199 21.5" model and yes the specs for 24" is wrong ...
     
  23. Badger^2 macrumors 68000

    Badger^2

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2009
    Location:
    Sacramento
    #23
    Then they cant be compared?

    The 24" costs $150 more?
     
  24. EliteF50 thread starter macrumors regular

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    Oct 28, 2009
    #24
    I'm not American, I'm Canadian.
     
  25. flopticalcube macrumors G4

    flopticalcube

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2006
    Location:
    In the velcro closure of America's Hat
    #25
    You should have noted that in the OP. The GT120 (and 130) are rather disappointing video cards IMO. If you want a refurb, get a 21.5" with the 4670 when it comes up although for what you are doing, it won't make much of a difference although HD2600 > 9400m would be a downgrade.
     

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