24in buying advice

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by cdub85, Feb 17, 2011.

  1. cdub85, Feb 17, 2011
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2011

    cdub85 macrumors newbie

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    Feb 17, 2011
    #1
    So my question for ya'll is whether or not to buy a used iMac 24in that i found on craigslist or wait and save up for the 27in i7? The thing is, Its gonna take me a few more months to save up for the 27in, since i'm younger and have to buy it by myself and im chompin at the bit to get a mac. My main uses will be logic,internet, movies, itunes, some gaming(i have a gaming pc) and basic ilife stuff. never owned a mac before so Im not sure if ill be making a poor choice or not by going with the 24in. any advice would be great.
    Thanks, Cole

    Heres the 24in I found on craigslist...http://portland.craigslist.org/clc/sys/2210548654.html
     
  2. utl768 macrumors 6502

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    Sep 8, 2009
    #2
    id wait
     
  3. NeoMac macrumors regular

    NeoMac

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    Feb 10, 2006
    #3
    I would wait too. Have you checked the apple refurb store and see what they have for sale. You can save some cash buying a refurb. Good luck!
     
  4. Tomorrow macrumors 604

    Tomorrow

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    #4
    I'd run like hell away from buying a used computer, if there's the possibility of buying a new (and nicer!) one in a few months.
     
  5. cdub85 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Feb 17, 2011
    #5
    Thank ya'll so much for yor input, I knew this was the place to ask for advice. I've decided to save for a refurbished 27inch i7 model! My tax return should help. Heck I didn't even know there was a refurb store! One last question, can I purchase Apple Care with a refurb? What if I cant purchase it at the same time I buy a Mac. Do I still have the option of waiting 1 year? Thanks so much!

    Cole
     
  6. Tomorrow macrumors 604

    Tomorrow

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    #6
    Yes, and yes.
     
  7. cdub85 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Feb 17, 2011
    #7
    Wow thanks for such a quick reply! This place and it's people are great! Thanks again. Do you think an i7 machine is overkill for my needs? Logic, GarageBand, minor video editing in iMovie, some basic document editing for school, some Photoshop work. I'm just concerned that if I get the i5, it'll get sluggish while the i7 would be a little more future proofed In a sense. I am on a 17 year old budget after all.
     
  8. utl768 macrumors 6502

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    Sep 8, 2009
    #8
    it kinda is but if you go all out now, you could be set for awhile
     
  9. redbotsoftware macrumors regular

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    Jun 2, 2009
    #9
    The i7 is so much more faster and more advance then the price difference. It's like paying 10% and getting 33% boost in performance! It's bench marked check it out.
     
  10. slowtraveler, Feb 17, 2011
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2011

    slowtraveler macrumors member

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    Nov 28, 2010
    Location:
    Boston, MA USA
    #10
    I would offer a little different perspective here, as someone who has managed video and audio post houses and production companies for the last 25 years or so.

    Having plenty of RAM, and enough external storage to comfortably accommodate backup needs, sample libraries, renders, project files, and the like, will make a much bigger difference in your day-to-day productivity than the performance differences between i5 and i7 CPUs, IMHO.

    Think through your system design as a whole, and make sure you have budgeted for these very important additional items, before deciding whether to pay for the high-end CPU. RAM, for one thing, is absolutely key for efficient use of DAWs, samplers, etc. Apple RAM is quite expensive, btw. Check out alternative sources like OWC.

    If you plan to do audio recording, you should also think through how you will use the limited I/O available on iMacs. For example, do you plan to use a USB or a FireWire audio interface? What interface will you then use for external HD? How will you connect a MIDI controller if you need one?

    The activities you described are not terribly compute-intensive. Think through your likely use scenarios as a whole, and don't get hung up on the i5 vs. i7 thing. Today's machines have PLENTY of compute horsepower for your applications. (+1 for the refurb store idea, btw.)
     
  11. cdub85 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Feb 17, 2011
    #11
    Thanks everyone.
    Slowtraveler- Thank you very much for your insight, I can use all the info i can get, As I said I'm a mac noobie. As for the i/o stuff, i figured I'd route all audio and midi inputs via usb, since most peripherals of mine are already usb. Firewire would be used for my 256GB SSD external drive due to the speed of fw800. I see what you mean about getting caught up in i5 vs i7, its easy to do. it just seems smarter to spend $200 more for something with more longevity and speed. Right? I know the i5 will be a beast as is, but I think my iMac will be around for atleast 2-3 years before I would upgrade again. Im just not sure which route to go.. hmm
     
  12. slowtraveler macrumors member

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    Nov 28, 2010
    Location:
    Boston, MA USA
    #12
    You're welcome, OP. Good luck with your decision. There's nothing wrong with spending another $200 for some additional processor oomph if you feel it's justified--provided there aren't other ways to spend $200 that would give you a better return on the investment.

    One final thought on the subject: three years = roughly two turns of the Moore's Law crank, i.e., a quadrupling of price/performance in computing over the next 36 months.

    It might be useful to evaluate your expectation for future-proofing in that context. Modest differences in today's processor performance may not affect the useful life of your machine as much you would intuitively expect.

    Cheers!
     
  13. panzer06 macrumors 68030

    panzer06

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    Sep 23, 2006
    Location:
    Kilrath
    #13
    I would not buy any used iMac with the 8800GS GPU.

    These are just a few recent threads regarding the problems.

    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1076509
    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=934814
    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=970649
    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1071318
    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1085213

    Other than that used iMacs are ok. My 9,1 3.06 with ATI4850 and 7,1 2.4 with ATI HD2650 are great. The 7,1 iMac display is not as good as the 9,1 or the newer 27" systems but it was a good deal. Upgrading the hard drives was relatively simple if you have any hardware repair experience.

    Cheers,
     
  14. ledzeppelin macrumors member

    ledzeppelin

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    Feb 14, 2010
    Location:
    Lost
    #14
    Wow, I have no dog in this hunt but simply reading the forum and I wanted to thank you for the quality post to alert the OP about these problems....I hadn't heard of them.
    I have a June 2010 MBP 13" and a 24" ACD and I am lusting after a new MBP with the new cpu in it...ha....so I am still consider myself a new to Apple systems person and I like reading the forums and learning.
    Again I think you had quite a good post !
     
  15. zainjetha macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2007
    #15
    Just my 2 pennies worth, but why not consider getting a top spec 17-inch MBP and then a 27-inch iMac display - that's my setup. Works perfectly as for the majority of the time I think I am using a desktop and then when I hit the move I do not have to worry about familiarising myself with a different machine, and plus everything's in one place.
     

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