About to pull the trigger, narrowed to 2 options...

Discussion in 'iMac' started by MattSepeta, Jul 7, 2011.

  1. MattSepeta macrumors 65816

    MattSepeta

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2009
    Location:
    375th St. Y
    #1
    Once a payment clears "pending" in a day or two, I will have the funds to buy my new iMac (albeit without having a buyer for my existing machine lined up, oh well).

    I was dead set on getting a used 2010 27" from craigslist from a local guy. specs:
    " $2,300 -
    2010 iMac
    27" Screen 2560x1440
    2.93Ghz Intel Quad Core i7
    12GB RAM
    256GB SSD
    2TB HD
    1GB ATI Radeon HD 5750
    Apple Bluetooth Wireless Keyboard (unused)
    Apple Bluetooth Wireless Mouse (unused)
    Includes original box and packing materials and all disks and manuals."

    Not a bad deal. No need to monkey around with opening up the mac or ordering more ram or anything. Easy enough and a fair price.

    Uh oh. I just found this site: www.expercom.com and they are selling a "new" version of the same computer, but with slightly different specs for what appears to be a VERY good price:
    "$1,898.00 -
    27" LED Display 2560 x 1440 resolution
    8x double-layer SuperDrive
    Radeon 5750 Graphics with 1GB
    2.93GHz Quad Core i7
    16GB (4x4GB Expercom) RAM
    2TB Serial ATA Drive
    Apple Wireless Magic Mouse
    Apple Wireless Keyboard"

    Almost the same, but I get 16GB RAM with the expercom vs 12GB with the used mac. It is also cheaper. But then I need to install an SSD on my own.

    I see this as a double edged sword. By getting the new one and installing it myself, I can get a higher quality SSD for cheaper, but I need to install it myself. I would buy this Intel X25-M 120 GB 120GB (I have no need for 256gb anyway, I currently get along more than ok with a 90GB ssd) for $280 bringing the grand total up to $2,180.

    Still cheaper than the "used" from craigslist, but barely. Bit more RAM. Much better SSD (From what I understand, Intel X25-M is MUCH better than BTO SSD).

    Here are my main questions:

    • Is the pain of the DIY install worth the extra performance? I installed my last one but my understanding is that it is more difficult on the 27" ones?

    • Yellow screen. I absolutely can-NOT be bothered with a yellow screen. I use the computer for professional photography uses and really do not want to return/muck around with a bad screen. I have not followed the yellow screen issue in the slightest, as it has never been of concern to me.

    Of course I will be able to try out the used one to check for any screen defects, but is there a risk that the one from expercom will ship with the faulty screen?

    Thanks a ton. Sorry for going on and on!
     
  2. fivedots macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2011
    #2
    I would take the RAM out of the equation altogether. You can bump it to 12gb from 4gb for about $60 and 5 minutes of your time. It's the only part of the computer that's designed to be taken apart and upgraded.

    If you can't be bothered to install RAM, installing an SSD is going to be way too much work and risk.

    The used one is not a good deal. You can get that same machine as a refurb for under $2,000, plus $60 or so for the RAM upgrade. Includes a 1 year warranty. Essentially brand new and inspected from Apple vs. used from a stranger.

    The second one is also not a great deal. Again, better off buying an Apple refurb with a full warranty. Even after the RAM upgrade you're likely to come out ahead.
     
  3. BigBeast macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2009
    #3
    Dude- Apple.com is selling the refurb 2010 2.93 i7 with 256GB SSD for 1999. That should be the one you get! Ram is dirt cheap and easy to install. An SSD install voids your warranty and is less than "easy." Get the refurb.
     
  4. fivedots macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2011
    #4
    Exactly. Don't mess around with a used one or from a non-Apple vendor; not for those prices.

    Got the same one yesterday, without the SSD. Swapped in 16GB of ram in about 5 minutes and will be putting the 4GB up for sale. Cheap and easy, with a warranty.
     
  5. MattSepeta, Jul 8, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2011

    MattSepeta thread starter macrumors 65816

    MattSepeta

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2009
    Location:
    375th St. Y
    #5
    Ok then. How easy is it to add in a HDD beside the BTO SSD?

    Thanks a bunch

    EDIT I am not worried about needing to add RAM or Drives on my own.

    Also- AFAIK I want an internal HDD as well to store my Aperture libraries on. I want it to be as fast as possible (But obviously an SSD is too small), so I would prefer not to have it on a FW800 drive as it is now.
     
  6. panzer06 macrumors 68030

    panzer06

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2006
    Location:
    Kilrath
    #6
    I want to know this as well. I'd buy the refurb SSD in a heartbeat if adding the std drive just means doing the same as I did when I opened up this iMac 24. In other words is the std space for the 3.5" drive open and unused with cabling and power in place?

    Cheers,
     
  7. MattSepeta thread starter macrumors 65816

    MattSepeta

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2009
    Location:
    375th St. Y
    #7
    I spent a couple hours trying to find out the answer to that question and it seems that no one is really sure. I found tons of posts on various blogs about "I'm going to try to..." but none actually going over a successful run.

    Anyways, I surfed through CL again keeping in mind the refurb 27" for $1,999 and was flabbergasted to see a bunch of "iMac 27" 2.93 GHz Intel i7/1TB HD/4gb RAM - $2200" and the like! I emailed a bunch of them with more appropriate offers and a link to the 27" refurb on the apple site, but none have been interested. Hmmm.

    Regardless, I still want to get a used one. My last 2 have been 2nd hand from craigslist and have worked great, as has 90% of my camera gear.

    I am hoping that the 27" refurb w/ SSD for $1,999 will be helpful in getting a fair price for one. The more I think about it, the more I want to do the hard drive myself :)
     
  8. panzer06 macrumors 68030

    panzer06

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2006
    Location:
    Kilrath
    #8
    Yeah, if the hard drive bay is open and has the power and sata connections that refurb is the way to go.

    Cheers,
     
  9. robgendreau, Jul 9, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2011

    robgendreau macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2008
    #9
    Er, expercom IS an Apple :apple: dealer (certified Apple Specialist, Authorized Reseller and Service Provider). I realize they are now as rare as hen's teeth, but if you're referring to the OP's choices he is considering buying from somebody who is an Apple vendor. And they've been good to me; I've bought several computers from them.

    And I agree about the refurb. One of your concerns was yellow screen; you get no warranty with a used one that's been opened. At least with a refurb you can deal with that, while you wait a bit for info on how to open it and install your SSD. Opening iMacs isn't trivial; not too difficult but you're a little ft-lb of pull from ripping a hard to find cable or stripping a thread. Just be very careful.

    And worth it? Hmm. On a laptop, fersure. Photography? As you noted, you can't store many photos on them. If you are using just a few photos over and over, and copy to your SSD, then perhaps. If you are turning your computer on and off a lot, yes; if you are starting applications frequently and then turning them off, yes. Lots of reading/writing to a disk, yes, if that disk is where you store stuff. Moving stuff in and out of Aperture for faster editing or whatever on the SSD may be more trouble than it's worth.

    And right now you can buy some other stuff with that $$. They'll become cheaper. And consider they wear out. I say buy the refurb and if you find a pattern in your work that justifies the cost, hassle and warranty-chucking of the SSD, THEN go for it. Meanwhile, see if you can suffer without it.

    Rob
     
  10. MattSepeta thread starter macrumors 65816

    MattSepeta

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2009
    Location:
    375th St. Y
    #10
    Well

    In 5 minutes I am off to pickup my used iMac, woooooohoo.

    I found a guy willing to part with his 27" 2.9 i7 1TB 4GB, still under apple care, under a year old for a GREAT deal. I am very confident in this. Beofre I even get home I am topping by MicroCenter and grabbing a couple 4GB RAM sticks as well as the cables required to mount my SSD.

    I'm just going to remove the SSD from my existing iMac and put it in the new one. No need to buy a new one, at least not yet.

    As for Aperture performance... I am going to keep my Aperture Libraries and ONLY my aperture Libraries on the internal HDD. After extensive research, it seems that keeping your libraries on a clean drive (along with GPU/CPU/RAM) is the biggest thing you can do to increase speed.

    If I am feeling up to it I may post some photos from the process! Wish me luck :D
     
  11. NicoleRichie macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2007
    #11
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_3_3 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8J2 Safari/6533.18.5)

    Expercom is great to work with. I have bought my last two computers through them and the have great upgrade prices usually. Best of luck.
     
  12. MattSepeta thread starter macrumors 65816

    MattSepeta

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2009
    Location:
    375th St. Y
    #12
    Done and done.

    Just back from Microcenter.

    Picked up a 2TB Black, 8GB Corsair RAM, 120GB 120GB Vertex 2, a new power brick with battery backup, all the cables, my anti static gloves, and some canned air all for about $550. I also have over $50 in mail in rebates to send in.

    This brings my total up to roughly $1,900.
    27" 2.9 i7, 12GB RAM, 2TB + 120GB ssd

    Not bad considering the refurb + all the upgrades would have put me out $2,500, not to mention the "inferior" BTO ssd. I also like the in store trade in warranty micro center gave me on the drives. I can simply claim the performance is faltering and bring them in for no questions ask exchange in store for 3 years :eek:
     

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