baseline 21.5" i3 Imac

Discussion in 'iMac' started by trader.rob, Jan 7, 2011.

  1. trader.rob macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2011
    #1
    Hello,

    I've just sold my pc and I'm looking to buy an imac. I'm a student, so I can only afford to buy the basic 21.5" with the 3.06ghz i3 processor. I have heard great things about the i5 and i7, but nothing about the i3! How is it for performance, and how does it compare to the older core 2 duo or the new i5?

    Secondly, I hear lots of talk about an imac refresh in the next several months with a new screen size and lower price point. I'm guessing a lower price means that the technology/performance won't be a huge advance from the one I'm looking to buy now?

    I can't really wait to buy the new one as my studies start up again in two days time, so I'm really just looking for reassurance that it's OK to buy now!

    Many thanks & best wishes for 2011!
     
  2. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #2
    Up to what you are going to do with it. i3 is more than adequate for a basic user. Sounds like you need it now so I would go ahead and pull the trigger. An update is still months away.
     
  3. PatrickCocoa macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2008
    #3
    Just Do It

    It's OK to buy now. There is always the new and improved model just over the horizon. If what's available now will work for you, just buy it.

    As an aside, and not that you asked, but every time you get ready to buy something you'll think "wow, the next bright and shiny thing is right around the corner... should I wait... this always happens to me.".

    What's going on is selection bias - you only think about buying new stuff when you're in the market for new stuff. Since there's always something better just about to be released, your experience will be that every time you want to buy something, there is something better about to be released. That's true, but it's also true that every time you're NOT about to buy something, there is something better about to be released.

    Spend. Be Happy.
     
  4. talmy macrumors 601

    talmy

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
    Location:
    Oregon
    #4
  5. trader.rob thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2011
    #5
    Thanks for the speedy replies!

    I would like to use final cut, adobe after effects, photoshop etc. And of course all the little things like watching movies, web browsing and word processing.

    I will check out the benchmark thread now, cheers!
     
  6. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

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    Location:
    Finland
    #6
    In that case, you would definitely benefit from having a quad core. Final Cut and AE are fairly CPU intensive. Have you checked refurbs? You can get quad core for ~1500$ which is a very good deal, only couple of hundreds more than the base i3.
     
  7. trader.rob thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2011
    #7
    I will check the New Zealand store to see what they offer. I'm working within a very tight budget unfortunately. I use a mac pro at school, and will be doing most of the work on that, but I still want to be able to do some when I'm home.
     
  8. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

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    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #8
    2687NZ$ for the cheapest i5 model. It's over 600NZ more than the base model but on the other hand, you get the enormous display which is very nice with the tasks you mentioned.
     
  9. mreg376 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2008
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    #9
    I wouldn't bet on a lower price point. And the longer you wait the longer you'll be without a Mac...
     
  10. lellerbrock1 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2011
    #10
    I just got the base model Imac for Christmas. I absolutely love it. I'm a first time Mac owner. My husband is an IT professional and just loaded my Adobe Creative Suite 4 on my system, not to mention lots of other stuff. Everything works really fast and I can have many windows/applications open at the same time. I think it's great and I like to do photo manipulation as well as web building.
     
  11. thepominlaw macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2010
    #11
    I went for the baseline 21.5" imac last year, now a year later I would say whole heartedly buy the best you can afford.

    I originally wanted a mac mini (having been a PC user / gamer for 20+ years) i decided at 40 it was about time i matured plus i was fed up with gaming. By the time i added all the wireless kit i decided the base imac was the best option as cost wise it was only slightly more.

    I love my Mac dont get me wrong but I WISH i had gone for the one with the bigger hard drive and better graphics as now i cannot afford it. Its also been an expensive journey. BUT not one i regret.

    First purchase was:

    iWork

    And then the long slippery slope appeared:

    Aperture
    Office 2008
    Toast 10
    Mac Family Tree
    Bento
    Photoshop Elements 8
    Ripit
    Photoshop Elements 9
    Premiere Elements 9
    Plus a load more

    Extended USB Keyboard
    1Tb Firewire 800 Hard Drive
    Another 1Tb Firewire Hard Drive
    250Gb Portable Firewire Hard Drive
    External DVDRW
    Magic Trackpad
    iPod Touch
    iPad

    and now applecare as i only have 1 months warranty left. So maybe I should have just gone for the bit better one first...............
     
  12. MonkeySee.... macrumors 68040

    MonkeySee....

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2010
    Location:
    UK
    #12
    I've moved from a Quad Core 3ghz PC to the "basic" iMac 21.5" model.

    DO NOT get put off because its the low end of the spectrum. Its far superior than most PC's out there so like i say don't be put off.

    I use my mac for a lot of Photo Editing both with iPhoto and Aperture and have no complaints and the Mac handles it well.

    I rip and encode DVD's with Handbreak and again, still no issues.

    I'm very happy that i took a punt on it and saved myself a few quid as it is a great machine.
     
  13. Btrthnezr3 macrumors 6502a

    Btrthnezr3

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2010
    Location:
    Texas
    #13
    I'm pulling the trigger on a base later this month when I get paid.

    My uses are pretty basic...

    web, email, iTunes (about 200gb and growing), iPhoto (lots and lots), some iMovie, MS Office--this is basically going to be the "family computer".

    Oldest is moving out, youngest is going to Junior High--so he will need something for school work/projects but we like to keep an eye out so no computer in his room.

    This will also be my main machine as my laptop has been relegated by the wife and is about to die anyways.

    I've decided to buy the base and save some money and then see how many times I wish I had a laptop to do certain tasks. If that number is high after about 6 months, I'm gonna buy an air. If I hardly ever wish for one--I'll save my money for something else.

    I know the base i3 will be great for me...I had some higher i3 or i5 lust but the money just isn't worth it. For what I'm going to save I can buy accessories (external hd, applecare, new wireless router...something like that).

    Good luck with your purchase...I'm personally chomping at the bit to make mine. :D
     
  14. GoDuke1 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2011
    Location:
    North Carolina
    #14
    I was in a similar boat as many on this thread. I was switching from PC to Mac. At first I was going to get a Mac Mini, and decided to get an iMac instead. After reading many threads (like this one) and looking at countless YouTube reviews, my decision was made based on this. The HDD is the iMac isn't easily user upgradable. You can upgrade it, but it does require surgery. So I went with the iMac with the larger HDD. With that came a faster processor and a bigger GPU. Performace on my i3 3.2 is great. I'm not a gamer. I use basic apps like Office for Mac, iLife 11, etc. I haven't seen any lag. iTunes opens a second.

    I haven't regretted my decision on the iMac vs Mac Mini. Nor the decision to get the $1499 vers. For me it was the better choice. Also I know budget is a concern, but for peace of mind I highly recommend getting the Apple Care program. The iMac's are great but some do have issues and Apple's hardware is pretty expensive. It only takes 1 issue to pay for the price of the program.
     
  15. Btrthnezr3 macrumors 6502a

    Btrthnezr3

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2010
    Location:
    Texas
    #15
    So GoDuke...what were your reasons for bumping to the 3.2 over the base?

    Just curious... :eek:
     
  16. Queso macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2006
    #16
    Always go up a model and get the better graphics card as a minimum. It's the one thing that obviously hobbles the low end models as time passes.
     
  17. GoDuke1 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2011
    Location:
    North Carolina
    #17
    I needed that Terabyte drive instead of the 500Gb in the $1199 vers :D
     
  18. Btrthnezr3 macrumors 6502a

    Btrthnezr3

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2010
    Location:
    Texas
    #18
    Gotcha...cool.

    The wifey is on me about getting something really nice (lol)...I may get the upgraded i3 and play games. She won't let me get an xbox 360 so maybe the computer will make up for it. LOL
     
  19. thepominlaw macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2010
    #19
    so true, i will live with mine this year then upgrade after we know what the 2011 refresh brings
     
  20. GoDuke1 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2011
    Location:
    North Carolina
    #20
    If you choose the $1499 vers you can actually upgrade the processor to a 3.6Ghz i5. Would be "Nicer" LOL

    21.5: i5 @ 3.6, 512Mb GPU, 4 Gig RAM, 1Tb HDD $1699
    Then surf over to http://www.crucial.com/store/mpartspecs.aspx?mtbpoid=ABEA1129A5CA7304 and pick up a 4Gb RAM kit for $45!
     
  21. Btrthnezr3 macrumors 6502a

    Btrthnezr3

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2010
    Location:
    Texas
    #21
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_2_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8C148 Safari/6533.18.5)

    Wife convinced me to bite the bullet today. I had saved $1000 and was waiting for payday to have the rest but I just put it on the evil credit card and will pay the $1000 and the rest when I get paid :).

    Will then be buying software, AppleCare and more Ram come March pay check. ;-)

    Ended up getting the 3.2 refurb and I'm stoked.
     
  22. Queso macrumors G4

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    Mar 4, 2006
    #22
    My current set up (w/ 8GB RAM). It runs rather well :)
     
  23. D-Love macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2008
    #23
    Grrrr. Posts like this piss me off. The wifey won't "LET YOU" get an Xbox 360? Is this your own money? Then get it if you want it. I know compromise and all that for a happy marriage etc etc, but when I read posts from guys saying their wife or gf "won't let them get it" when it comes to your own hard earned money I really get irritated. Just as she should have the right to buy whatever she wanted with her money, you should damn well have to right to do so yourself.
     
  24. Btrthnezr3 macrumors 6502a

    Btrthnezr3

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2010
    Location:
    Texas
    #24

    Well--how about this...she gives me ***** for having a ps2, gamecube, wii and says that we have enough systems. She also disagrees with the games I want to play since our youngest is 11. In additon, money is somewhat tight--and I've been saving for almost a year to buy the iMac. This included Christmas, extra jobs at work and car detailing on the side. I have the money and she's even excited about getting the computer. A few times, she has said "just go buy a 360 if that's what you want" but I know she's right about the games and I'm not sure I would play it as often as I think--so I'm fine and just kept my money in the computer pile. She encouraged me to get the upgraded i3 at least...and I may sneak a copy of COD onto my account ane make sure the little one doesn't have access.

    In addition, we both work but I am the primary source of income for the family. We don't have near as much as we would like and so we have to save for most things we want. (example: we saved for 4 months to pay for Christmas ahead of time instead of charging it)--she just sees things that the kids NEED in order to be active and such (not like the latest and greatest but to keep them involved, and clothes because they outgrow them--man I love Old Navy).

    Does that make it any better?
     
  25. D-Love macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2008
    #25
    Sell the PS2, gamecube, and Wii. The PS2 and Gamecube are archaic and the Wii is going to be there shortly. XBox Kinect would be a fantastic game system for the whole family, the Kinect games would be good family time games that would give everyone some decent exercise and then you also have the FPS or whatever genre games you like in your own time. In addition the multimedia additions such as Netflix streaming make it more than just a game console if you didn't already have a media device attached. Understand the money concerns, but your previous post didn't make it sound like that was the primary reason you weren't getting one. It sounded like you weren't getting one because she simply was banning it because she didn't like it.

    If your YOUNGEST is 11 I don't think most of the popular FPS (or whatever genre you like) would be a problem. These "concerned mothers" get WAY too bent out of shape about what playing Call of Duty will do to their precious young ones. Kids deserve more credit than that for their intelligence and common sense, at least if they are raised right. Just FYI btw, I am at Starbucks right now and there are a couple kids sitting by me right now who are definitely under 11 (legs are hanging on the chairs) and they are having a fairly detailed conversation about Modern Warfare maps. Their family is sitting at the table next to them and they seem like fairly well adjusted kids. Funny coincidence but worth mentioning lol.

    Another thing, if gaming is a hobby of yours (when you get the time) then she shouldn't be giving you ANY crap about it, just like you shouldn't be giving her any crap about her interests. Everyone is different and there should be a mutual freaking respect for each individual and their differences, married or not.

    Oh - and I hear ya about Old Navy, they are the s*** haha
     

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