27" iMac: Buy high-end refurb now or mid-level new later

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Tike1994, Feb 20, 2011.

  1. Tike1994 macrumors member

    Tike1994

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2010
    Location:
    St. Charles, IL
    #1
    I've been wanting to buy my first iMac and finally have the money available, but I don't know if I should buy an upgraded refurb now or wait for the refresh.

    I would describe my family as regular users. I work with a lot of spreadsheets, my wife plays Facebook games, and my son is addicted to RTS games like Starcraft II and Supreme Commander.

    I'm looking at the $1,699 price point.

    I could get the 2.8 Quad Core i5 refurb for that price today. It's more muscle than we probably need, but I figure the better processor and graphics card would help to "future proof" the iMac and extend it's useful life.

    If I wait for the refresh, $1,699 will probably get me the "entry-level" 27" iMac. It would have Sandy Bridge and an updated graphics card, but it would probably be a lower level processor and graphics card.

    So my question is, for $1,699 is it better to get older upgraded technology or wait for the newer lower grade technology? In other words, is a Sandy Bridge i3 going to better than a current Quad-core i5?

    I like to think I know about computers, but comparing processor technology and graphics cards gets a little over my head.

    Thanks in advance for any advice. I really appreciate it!
     
  2. Morley7 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2010
    #2
    Why not wait for the refresh then buy refurbished.

    Basically with technology the longer you wait the better you will get for any given price point. So your money is going to go further if you wait for the update.

    I'm not sure about iMacs, but MBPs end up in the refurb store pretty quickly after updates. Probably only a couple weeks.

    That's what I would do.
     
  3. gnasher729 macrumors P6

    gnasher729

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2005
    #3
    On the other hand, the longer you wait, the longer you wait without a computer. I take the long view. I buy a Mac and keep it for several years. I have the latest and greatest for a few months and something outdated for several years. It is just unavoidable. And it does not matter one bit _when_ you buy.
     
  4. AppleMatt macrumors 68000

    AppleMatt

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2003
    Location:
    UK
    #4
    Can you afford to add an SSD?

    If you put the boot system on there you'll get a far better jump than waiting/paying for the next generation. Search for a couple of YouTube videos - it really is night and day performance wise (which makes sense, the hard drive is the rate-limiting step in most people's computing work flows).

    One thing to consider, you can't add SSD later without a third party kit - Apple helpfully only include the mounting bracket and cable if you order SSD from the start. It's not impossible, but it is an irritation to bear in mind.

    AppleMatt
     
  5. Morley7 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2010
    #5
    I agree. However the OP is asking whether or not they should wait before purchasing, in hopes of getting a faster computer. If they were looking at two current products it would be much more clear cut. I'm just pointing out that the only real dilemma here is if they want to purchase a more than adequate computer now, or wait and purchase an even faster computer.


    @ OP If you wait you will get more power for the same amount of money. Given your current situation its not really necessary.

    However it wouldn't hurt either.

    http://buyersguide.macrumors.com/#iMac
     
  6. Tike1994 thread starter macrumors member

    Tike1994

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2010
    Location:
    St. Charles, IL
    #6
    Thanks for the input

    I really appreciate people taking the time to give me some feedback.

    If the refurbs really do show up quickly after the refresh, then that would get me the best of both worlds, but that will require some serious patience.

    I'm concerned that since the MacBook Pros just took almost a year to refresh that the new iMacs may not come out until June/July (maybe along with Lion).

    What my real question was, is a current quad core i5 with a Radeon 5750 a better machine than the dual core Sandy Bridge i3 and graphics card that's likely to be in the "entry-level" 27" iMac? I know it speculation as to what the $1,699 iMac will have after the refresh, but that's why I'm posting on macRUMORS :D

    I've heard that Sandy Bridge is a big improvement for laptop use, but is it going to be a big step up for desktops? If not, it seems like I would get more for $1,699 from a current quad-core i5 than I will buying new after the refresh.

    Hopefully the new MacBook Pros this week will give us an idea of what to expect in the iMac upgrade.

    Thanks again for all of the input!!!
     
  7. talmy macrumors 601

    talmy

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
    Location:
    Oregon
    #7
    When the new models come out, the refurbished older models drop in price. You might even find a refurbished i7 for the same price as the new i3.

    So if you don't need a new computer right now (and apparently you don't), it will always pay to wait.
     
  8. opera57 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2009
    #8
    If you want the computer now, I would go for the refurbished i5. If you can wait (but who knows how long it will be?) then I would still go for a refurbished model, as it is probably unlikely for the new base model to be faster than the current refurb i5. [​IMG]
     
  9. Tike1994 thread starter macrumors member

    Tike1994

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2010
    Location:
    St. Charles, IL
    #9
    After seeing the new MacBook Pros I definitly plan to wait. If they're putting a Quad core i7 in the 15" MBP I'm sure the 27" iMac will have a nice processor upgrade, too. Plus, since I plan to keep this thing for a long time it would be nice to have Light Peak / Thunderbolt in case that becomes a mainstream connection.

    Also, it looks like the GPU's will at least jump to the 6000 series.

    Thanks again for all of the advice.
     
  10. talmy macrumors 601

    talmy

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
    Location:
    Oregon
    #10
    It's plenty hard to crystal-ball things. It was looking like the standard Thunderbolt (aka Lightpeak) connector was going to piggyback on USB. Apple is putting it on DisplayPort. Sounds like more special adapters (at $29/each) will be needed. :(

    At any rate, I'm in no rush. I use Displayport with adapters for DVI and VGA on several systems, and only use external drives (ideal for Thunderbolt) on one. Though it's a bit extreme:
    [​IMG]
     

Share This Page