Buying 1st iMac...just get cheapest refurb?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Van W, Jul 12, 2011.

  1. Van W macrumors member

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    Sep 5, 2009
    #1
    Probably going to buy an iMac in the next few days. I know I want 27", but other than that, is there any reason not to just get the cheapest refurb available? I do want to limit the damage to my wallet.

    Right now, the cheapest 27" is a 2010 3.2Ghz i3 with 1TB hd and a 5670 card, for $1269.

    The cheapest 2011 refurb is $1439, which is $170 more, but with everything a bit faster.

    Thoughts, advice?
     
  2. Paulywauly macrumors 6502a

    Paulywauly

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2009
    Location:
    Durham, UK
    #2
    The 2011 one will be faster, but not so much so that your going to be kicking yourself. Just spend what you can afford to spend
     
  3. AppleDApp macrumors 68020

    AppleDApp

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    Jun 21, 2011
    #3
    If you expect to use thunderbolt get the 2011 iMac.
     
  4. iSayuSay macrumors 68030

    iSayuSay

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    Feb 6, 2011
    #4
    Get the 2011 iMac. The difference is quite huge. i3 was dual core, and i5 is quad core. That's quite improvement for everyday computing.

    And if you say "well I don't need fast processor, it will be just for basic computing and not so often editin" .. Hmm, how about Thunderbolt, only 2011 iMac has it. And you'll be sorry not to get one when Thunderbolt device become more and more standard in the future.

    Remember Thunderbolt was built by Intel, not Apple exclusively, so you can hope any Intel mainboard will include this port in the future.

    Other than that I can't say anything special about iMac 2011, if you feel so inclined to save a little, you can go with i3 .. it's still a good machine for family computing. Not for gamers, though, they $uCK big time !! :D
     
  5. Van W thread starter macrumors member

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    Sep 5, 2009
    #5
    Hmm, thanks for the input. I guess Thunderbolt is the big difference. I see that there are no Thunderbolt devices yet, but they are about to start cranking them out. Looks like a pretty good option to have.
     
  6. MythicFrost macrumors 68040

    MythicFrost

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    Australia
    #6
    I'd say go the newer model. The difference is really small, and if the newer model has a quad-core i5 processor I'd say that's reason enough to get it.
     
  7. mrkramer macrumors 603

    mrkramer

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    #7
    Dual core to quad core won't make much of a difference to everyday computing right now as very few non professional programs currently take advantage of it. For the OP unless you really want thunderbolt I'd recommend going for the cheaper model and saving money.
     
  8. Van W, Jul 13, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2011

    Van W thread starter macrumors member

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    Sep 5, 2009
    #8
    I've been doing lots of poking around and reading, and I'm not sure I like the iMac glossy display so much. It's not terrible, but the reflection is kind of annoying. Now I'm thinking about getting a Mini and a third-party display...for what I'm doing right now (pretty basic web stuff, no video editing or gaming), I just don't need the extra power. Although it would be fun!!

    Also, I'm wondering how long it will be before Thunderbolt becomes widely used enough to be a must-have.

    Thanks again for everyone's input.
     
  9. obsidian1200 macrumors 6502

    obsidian1200

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    Jun 19, 2010
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    Albuquerque, NM
    #9
    Just keep in mind that, if you choose to go the mac mini route, you'll have to buy your own mouse and keyboard (possibly an HDMI cable or a mDP dongle) too. However, assuming the mini refresh (which is rumored to happen tomorrow) doesn't change prices too much, you should still be saving money going this route. This is guessing you won't be purchasing a server addition, which right now is sitting at $999 new, $849 refurbished. The 2010 mini seems like it'd be great for your needs, so the 2011 mini should be more than enough and last you a good long time :)
     
  10. easepease macrumors regular

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    Feb 9, 2010
    Location:
    Colorado
    #10
    ya i'd wait a day, rumor has it a new mac mini may come out and then u could do that. A mac mini with thunderbolt sounds awesome. As far as imac if u want a 27 inch i would go newer, it is not only faster but has 2 thunderbolt ports allowing for 2 extra monitors, the 2010 only has one mdp thus one extra monitor... but yea wait at least till tomorrow see what changes!
     
  11. obsidian1200 macrumors 6502

    obsidian1200

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    #11
    Well, don't forget, the 2010 27" iMac allows the user to use the display with any device; the 2011 27" iMac limits that functionality to thunderbolt-equipped devices. Of course, if the OP doesn't need/want to use the iMac screen for other devices, then this is a moot point and can be ignored :)
     
  12. Mr Rogers macrumors regular

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    Oct 24, 2003
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    Hong Kong
    #12
    Maybe a similar issue

    I've got the opportunity to purchase a i3 3.2Ghz C2D 27in iMac that just out of warranty for US$1000 or less - obviously I'll need to run hardware tests and screen tests before purchasing.

    If the new Mac Mini comes out this week and its specs out perform the iMac, may cause a problem, but looking at the iMac as a monitor than a computer - I already have two i7 2011 27in iMacs and these are 'fast' shall I say.

    As for the glossy screen, yep, can cause a few issues, but as a media centre LCD screen, movies look great.

    As for TB, not being funny, but there is nothing wrong with FW800 and most external devices are FW800 enabled with TB costs being very high for next 12-18 months.

    For the price difference, US$170, I'd get the newer model, but depending on your real required use, 2010 model does have advantages, particularly for use as both a low powered PC and excellent quality monitor.

    At the end of the day, which ever option you go for, just make sure you have no dead pixels and no yellow tint - which ever machine you chose will have a good three years of life in them if speed is not your priority - 2010 and 2011 models run great on Lion too.
     
  13. Van W thread starter macrumors member

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    Sep 5, 2009
    #13
    Out of curiosity, what devices would use the iMac as a monitor?

    Lots of good info and advice on this thread...I still haven't decided. I thought the new Mini might be announced today, but it looks like it will be next week.
     
  14. MacHamster68 macrumors 68040

    MacHamster68

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2009
    #14
    you are right to just get the cheapest refurb you can find , dont worry about thunderbold now ,thats for people who cann afford thse things as thunderbold devices will be expensive once available and i promise you it will be as widespread as firewire , so only for a specialized market , and for any device you will like with firewire pay a premium , so the least damage to your wallet are still usb devices as they are widespread and available in all price ranges
     
  15. obsidian1200 macrumors 6502

    obsidian1200

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    #15
    Well, for the 2010 27" iMac, any device with HDMI capabilities can use the iMac's monitor as a screen. The most common devices used for this, if I recall, were gaming consoles. Really, the iMac itself does a good job of replacing other video devices (save for a blu-ray player, but you can just buy an external drive for the mac if you want blu-ray). You can also, if you have a cable/satellite box with HDMI out, use the screen as a TV.

    However, bear in mind that you can always purchase an eyetv adapter (eyetv HD, eyetv 250 plus, and eyetv hybrid) to add that functionality later on down the road, although you will be limited to component quality as opposed to HDMI. I think you can even use the eyetv adapters to play video game consoles on the screen as well. The adapters aren't terribly expensive, about $170-180 for the HD and 250 plus, but that's still another expense to keep in mind. The eyetv also would allow you to record television programming if you needed it to, something that you can't do with target display mode anyway.

    If you went the mac mini route, you can always buy a monitor/HDTV with multiple inputs to accommodate other uses as well :)
     
  16. philipma1957 macrumors 603

    philipma1957

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    Howell, New Jersey
    #16
    I have a 2009 iMac wall mounted i have a 2010 mac pro. when and if the imac dies (hdd not the screen) I could use it with the mac pro as a monitor.
     
  17. coolspot18 macrumors 65816

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    Aug 16, 2010
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    Canada
    #17
    And what would you use a thunderbolt port with?
     
  18. Consultant macrumors G5

    Consultant

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    Jun 27, 2007
    #18
    Fast RAID thunderbolt storage is available. Costs as much as the iMac.

    Good for video editors, and pro photographers working on large images.
     
  19. OW22 macrumors 6502

    OW22

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    Location:
    Dublin, Ireland
    #19
    Word of warning though on the iMac + monitor route.

    Sure you can pick up a 27in monitor from Samsung say or LG for 200 bucks.....But it will come nowhere near the iMac's screen in quality. To get that kind of screen quality you'd need to get obviously the Apple Cinema display or go for the Dell Ultrasharp and they ain't cheap! If you go with Apple Cinema display and Mac Mini you're looking at a dearer price then the iMac and remember, it's an inferior computer!

    You'll also need speakers, mouse, keyboard etc

    When you actually really sit down and work it all out, you realise what a good deal the iMac actually is. The processor, hard drive, Graphics card, ports, peripherals and of course it does look amazing and that is a facto that can't ignored either.
     
  20. easepease macrumors regular

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    Colorado
    #20
    wow i was unaware of this

    good to know
     
  21. Van W thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2009
    #21
    OP here. I haven't bought anything yet, but I think I found a good solution:

    1) A refurbished 2011 21.5-inch iMac 2.5GHz i5 for $1019
    http://store.apple.com/us/product/FC309LL/A?mco=MjMwMTc4ODE

    2) plus a 21.5-inch external monitor like the HP ZR22w for $260
    http://www.amazon.com/HP-ZR22w-21-5-inch-S-IPS-Monitor/dp/B003D1CFHY


    I like the dual-monitor setup anyway. It's a lot of bang for the buck, and cheaper than a comparable 27" i5 or Mac Mini i5 with 2 displays. AND it comes with Thunderbolt, which is nice.

    The only remaining issue (for me) is the glare, and there's those plastic anti-glare films if it comes to that. (Someone on another thread did say that it is uncomfortable to look at one screen that is glossy and one that is matte right next to each other, so the iMac might get the film.)


    I think I've over-analyzed this, but...oh well!!
     
  22. Fishrrman macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #22
    "Probably going to buy an iMac in the next few days. I know I want 27", but other than that, is there any reason not to just get the cheapest refurb available? I do want to limit the damage to my wallet."

    If you go to:
    http://www.refurb.me/us/

    .... you can compare what's available at any moment. You can also enter an email address and if the model that interests you is out-of-stock, you will get a notification when it's in stock again.

    Sometimes the best values are to be found "in the middle". A bump up from basic, but not "top end".

    The refurb.me site shows original cost (orange), and the savings (blue).

    Click on a model that's in stock (doesn't work for out-of-stock items), and you can view the Apple page on it, which also shows you the percentage saved over original cost.
     
  23. OW22 macrumors 6502

    OW22

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    Sep 3, 2006
    Location:
    Dublin, Ireland
    #23
    I was in a store here the other day with the intention of buying the 2011 27in iMac for €1649. But they also had a fully "new" boxed etc 2010 27in iMac, 3.2ghz. And they knocked over €300 off that so I got it for €1300.

    And they threw in a trackpad.

    It was a no brainer for me. I spend a lot of time on my Mac (Previous was 2006 intel 20in iMac) but never for gaming, high taxing photo/video editing etc. It's purely for watching movies, and surfing the web, email, listening to music, uploading photos and some work related document based stuff. So that's more then enough power for someone like me.

    It's all about what you want to do. With the 300+ Euro saved, I can go and get an AppleTV and maybe a Time Capsule at some stage. Or wait for the new iPhone to come out.

    The system I have is really excellent. It flies through the stuff I do, web browsing is a dream, Youtube, NFL.com videos etc.

    And thankfully, my screen seems to be perfect!
     

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