27" core 2 duo refurb imac $1279. Am I stupid for wanting to buy this?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by hwrdrrk, Aug 14, 2010.

  1. hwrdrrk macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2010
    #1
    First, I want to say that after years of looking on this site for advice, I decided I would actually register and ask a question myself! Thanks for letting me be part of this odd (I mean that kindly) little community.

    So, here's the decision: Let's say my budget is $1200 ($1500 if you put a gun to my head) and I'm choosing between:

    The Refurb core 2 duo 27" imac @ $1279 (with 1TB hard Drive)

    Pros:
    The Screen Size I really want
    1TB Hard Drive
    Could also double as a monitor (4 years from now when I hook it up to my i7 mac mini or whatever)

    Cons:
    Core 2 Duo
    Resale value if I decide to sell in the next 18 months?

    AND

    The New i3 21.5" imac @ $1149 (with Student discount + Free iPod)

    Pros:
    Latest and Greatest Technology; well, not greatest. It's an i3, not an i5 or i7
    10% or something faster than Core 2 Duo?
    Easier to move from one room of a house to another (20lbs vs. 30lbs, not to mention the dimensions)
    Faster Ram?
    Cheaper by $130
    Free iPod

    Cons:
    500MB Hard Drive
    Smaller Screen Than wanted
    Don't want a free 8gb ipod touch, and resale value on them is weak ($120); What I want is to buy a real genuine 4th generation ipod touch with a built in camera (or two), retina display, and a better processor. (Hence, the other $200-300 for my September October Budget.


    Please give any advice you have, and feel free to add to my Pros and Cons list. PLEASE focus on the compare and contrast between these two machines that I have outlined. I have read a fair amount of threads that say not to buy core 2 duo, but I'd like to understand in realworld terms for the next 1-3 years why having a 3.06ghz core 2 duo would be so depressing, and why an i3 (we're still talking 2 cores!) would be so enlightening.

    Note: I am open to advice along the lines of "You idiot! Buy the refurb imac core i5 for $1529. Buying a Core 2 Duo is a huge waste of money!" or "Hey dude, just buy the refurb 21.5" for $929; the 9400m isn't that bad." But if you are going to argue for one of these alternate iMacs and stray from my specific dilemma, please substantiate the advice.

    A little bit about me in order of importance: I am first and foremost a musician (Garageband, etc). Secondly, I'm a general computer user / student who likes to have A LOT of stuff open A LOT of the time (38 safari windows, itunes, word, garageband, quicktime with 11 movies open, etc. etc.) Third, about 10% of the time, I'm also a video guy. Even If I'm not working on a final cut express project, I'm compressing videos, or doing something of that nature.

    I'm pretty sure I'm going to want 8 gigs of RAM living on this iMac at some point because of how much I like to do at one time (4 is adequate but not ideal).

    Why the screen size is so important? Because at the end of the day, I rotate my iMac around and watch TV/Movies. I've owned the 20" imac and the 24" imac and sold them both for 5-10% less than I purchased them for. Both were more square than the newer models. The 20" was adequate for work, mediocre for watching TV (10-15' away). The 24" was pretty cool. All are good for actual computer work, but I figured the 27" would be a blast for watching movies on AND, whenever I was doing video work it would be all the more enjoyable.

    Now, I have thought... Why not buy a $1149 21.5" imac and a 32" $350 lcd tv? That's a possibility. But that would be $1500, and the cheaper 32" lcd tvs aren't even 1080 these days... they're 720. And, again, at that $1500 point you might just be telling me to go with the 27" core i5.

    Thanks. Again, I've never done this before. Who knows if this will be one of those posts with 0 replies, or one that actually picks up some heat.
     
  2. peapody macrumors 68040

    peapody

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2007
    Location:
    baltimore, md
    #2
    Sounds like you already made your decision.

    The only thing I would worry about is resale but the 27" is popular so you would get a good amount back. I got the 27" refurb at that price myself simply because I wanted the larger screen and the difference in performance would be negligible for a user like me. I too have many open windows, but no music production experience so I do not know what is necessary for it in terms of CPU, memory, SSD). I myself would just get the 27". I think you would enjoy it more.
     
  3. hwrdrrk thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2010
    #3
    Thanks for the input peapody. How do you like your Machine so far? As far as music production, a fast Core 2 Duo is fine. The important thing is firewire, which all imacs have, so I can hook up my m-audio firewire 410. But I am concerned down the road, with Core 2 Duo getting less support in the future. Likewise, I'm normally the kind of buyer who doens't mind paying $900 for outdated technology, but $1300 is a hefty sum for the processing power of a 2005-2009 technology when it's clear that 2010-2014 technology lies in the i3, i5, i7. So even though you say it sounds like I've already made my decision, I haven't. But I appreciate that you were able to notice where I was leaning in my current state of indecisiveness.
     
  4. peapody macrumors 68040

    peapody

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2007
    Location:
    baltimore, md
    #4
    If you want longevity and resale value down the road, then you would have to get the best. People love to read the specs and a core processor is going to wean out the core 2 duos over time and if you are really concerned about the resale, then the 21.5 might be a better purchase to get more of your money back.

    But as for immediate enjoyment I think the 27" is solid. I never said wow to any apple product like I did when I saw the 27" for the first time.

    I haven't received my imac yet - it is actually being delivered today! The Core processors didn't make a difference to me because I knew I wanted a 27" screen. I watch a lot of movies and do a lot of photoshop work so I wanted to spoil myself a little. A lot of people know the more technical aspects more than me, so I would wait for them to chime in.
     
  5. hwrdrrk thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2010
    #5
    Cool, the wait begins... come on all of you brilliant apple people, chime in :)

    Was there any part of you that was tempted to spring the extra $250 for the i5 refurb? Or were you already outside your budget to begin with?
     
  6. peapody macrumors 68040

    peapody

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2007
    Location:
    baltimore, md
    #6
    Yep, already outside my budget lol. Already have a macbook pro with the core i5 so there was no need. Just needed a home desktop, and screen real estate, as my macbook pro is my main work machine.

    For my purposes, CPU didn't make as much of a difference as installing an SSD. I required fast program launches and what not and that is what the ssd helps in a lot. However - harder to upgrade an ssd in an imac obviously. It will be something I do down the road (do a lot of asus and apple repair so it is no big deal).
     
  7. SidBala macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2010
    #7
    27 inch. Just make sure you dont get one of the yellow tint ones.
     
  8. gnasher729 macrumors P6

    gnasher729

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2005
    #8
    Core 2 Duo is a 64 bit processor, that is all that counts for future support. It will be supported for many years. At some point in two, three years some software might not run on 32 bit systems anymore, but I doubt you will get any software ever that runs on i3/i5/i7 but not on Core 2 Duo.

    The way I see it: The big screen is a real plus. The bigger hard drive is a real plus; once 500 GB are full they are full. The slower processor is much less important; there are few things where you would notice any difference at all.
     
  9. hwrdrrk thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2010
    #9
    Valuable advice, thank you. This argument definitely makes me more willing to buy a Core 2 Duo instead of an i3. But as far as the quadcore of the i5 and the hyperthreading of the i7, would you be of the argument: "If You're going to spend $1300 on a 27" iMac, you might as well scrounge up the extra $200 to get a $1500 quad-core to truly have a powerful machine?" Or is spending $1300 on a 27" Core 2 Duo iMac a sound investment?

    I'm with you. I find myself seeing it that way too. We're spoiled these days to be unsatisfied with a 500GB hard drive but now I consider it just enough room to cover the basics. 1TB says, "Yes, you can keep all of your movies and music on here instead of on external drives." I'd like that.
     
  10. thagomizer macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 26, 2005
    Location:
    USA
    #10
    Core 2 is still a decent CPU. Apple is still shipping them in the latest Mac Mini and Macbook. Don't worry about it, enjoy the huge screen. A quality 27" monitor by itself is $1000. When you tire of this machine's performance, use it as a monitor.
     

Share This Page