24" Refurb or 21.5" Base?

EliteF50

macrumors regular
Original poster
Oct 28, 2009
197
0
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?
 

dmfactor

macrumors newbie
Nov 25, 2009
17
0
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.
 

EliteF50

macrumors regular
Original poster
Oct 28, 2009
197
0
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.
The 24" is 2.93GHz.
 

EliteF50

macrumors regular
Original poster
Oct 28, 2009
197
0
Well, what about the CPU speed? Would I notice a major change from 2.93GHz to 3.06GHz?
 

53x12

macrumors 68000
Feb 16, 2009
1,544
4
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.
What is more important to you, better quality screen or a larger screen?
 

Roy43

macrumors newbie
Nov 18, 2009
19
0
I would take the 21.5. Unless you are doing heavy computing it will do the job.
 

oculus42

macrumors 6502
Dec 9, 2002
319
3
Maine
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.
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.
 

oculus42

macrumors 6502
Dec 9, 2002
319
3
Maine
Is the difference that big?
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.
 

Sirmausalot

macrumors 65816
Sep 1, 2007
1,065
270
No Doubt

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

Shanpdx

macrumors 68020
Sep 24, 2008
2,452
283
Blazer town!
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")
 

EliteF50

macrumors regular
Original poster
Oct 28, 2009
197
0
Are there any downsides to refurbs besides the plain box? Are they usually scratched or anything?
 

Mac21ND

macrumors 6502a
Jun 6, 2007
724
167
Are there any downsides to refurbs besides the plain box? Are they usually scratched or anything?
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
 

applelicious

macrumors member
Nov 17, 2009
73
0
New York, NY
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:

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
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.
 

stevenb

macrumors member
Aug 25, 2008
43
0
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!
 

Badger^2

macrumors 68000
Oct 29, 2009
1,962
2
Sacramento
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
 
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