Buying a Refurb Imac for Law School. Longevity and Games?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by bigjoe1086, Jul 15, 2008.

  1. bigjoe1086 macrumors newbie

    Jul 15, 2008
    So I got a scholarship from a camp I work at and would like to use the money to buy an imac for (hopefully) Law school. I know that I want to buy refurb, but I'm looking at a couple different options and would like ya'lls opinion.

    Option 1 Buy a refurbed 3.06 with the 512 video card

    Option 2 Buy a refurbed 2.8 and with the extra money saved buy some extras for the computer. (iWork, a copy of XP for boot camp, an OS X guide book (I'm new to Macs), and possibly some ram). The difference is about 300 dollars.

    Some considerations, I'm a moderate gamer. I started to play WoW recently, like to do the FPS thing, etc. I would like to be able to stay current on games for at least a decent time since this will be my last computer purchase for a while. How long will the 256 video card hold up in ya'lls opinion in the gaming market?

    This will be for Law school so no hard core video/graphic work needed, although I do some light video editing for a camp video/slideshow, but iMovie will be more than enough for what I would like.

    My grandfather cautioned me too possibly wait until I actually get ready for law school next year (I'm a senior in college this year) and buy a computer then. What is the liklihood of there being a significantly better machine? The buying guide says buy now. I'm a big electronics fan and really want an imac now, so my view is probably jaded, and the money would probably slowly leak out of the next year anyway so I'm leaning toward buying the iMac asap. lol
  2. spork183 macrumors 6502a


    Jul 30, 2006
    I know you set on that imac, but wouldn't the portability of a laptop serve you better? Maybe you have another laptop, IDK. Assuming you go with the 2.8, make sure you get the 500hd. They're on the refurbs now and only $50 more than the 320gb. Course that point is moot if you get the 3.06 which only comes with the 500. Just remember, you aren't gonna find an upgrade for that video later, so if you aren't happy with the 256, you screwed.

    Ram you can always save up and add later.
  3. bigjoe1086 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 15, 2008
    I do currently have a laptop that I will use in law school. It's windows, but it seems that it won't be too hard transferring files as needed, whether its through boot camp or an office type program (iWork, NeoOffice, or Office for Mac).

    I have seen the 2.8 refurbs with the larger hd, but I saw the extreme attached to the name and assume that this is the previous generation 2.8. Which has the lower bus and cache speeds. Is that probably a good assumption? I have two external hard frives that are 250 and 750 in size.
  4. DeaconGraves macrumors 65816


    Apr 25, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    Take your grandfather's advice and wait. If you're wanting to save money, you're going to want to have a computer that lasts you all 3 years. The longer you wait, the more bang you can get for your dollar, and the longer it will last before being "obsolete" as far as your gaming purposes go.

    Also, as a law student myself, seriously consider getting a laptop. You'll want at least for taking exams, if not taking notes in class. If you're wanting to play a lot of games that means getting a mac book pro which may be a bit pricier, though remember your education discount! Also, check with your school about software discounts. Where I go (Univ. of Texas), the campus computer store offered absurd discounts on Office, and the law school library actually gave it away for free!

    If you're worried about the money leaking out, get a savings account.
  5. spork183 macrumors 6502a


    Jul 30, 2006
    Good call. I'm half asleep. You can see in the original price.

    Deacon got a point bout waiting. System's only get better, if you have the patience to wait.
  6. shdowman macrumors member

    Jul 15, 2008
    Southern California
    I will say this about getting a laptop for gaming...

    I have a MBP 1st gen Intel (2.16 120gb hd)

    I use it for graphic design and gaming. The only game I currently play though is WoW. The thing I notice about playing WoW on the MBP is that the comp heats up exponentially. Once this happens, my FPS drops to between 3-6. I have turned down all the settings in game and it just drives me crazy.

    I have a macbook as well and am seriously considering at the moment selling the MBP and getting a 24" iMac refurb.

    So, I dont know if the newer gen MBP's will run smoother, but just thought I would share my thoughts.
  7. Dmac77 macrumors 68020


    Jan 2, 2008
    Listen to your Grandfather!!!! By this time next year, Nehalem will be out. Nehalem is looking like it's going to give a 200% speed boost.

  8. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    HIGH. At no point would I really say this without knowing that between now (summer break before your senior year) and Fall, when Law School will start in 2009, there will be a significant update in technology that will spike your interest. Sorry if I misread, but if you're a senior now that means you're on summer break going into your 12th year. You have a long ways to go. By the time you buy the refurb iMac and get into law school you'll be wanting something again.

    I would anticipate you would need portability for law school. Not to mention windows. Unless the exam application has changed, I believe they were requiring windows. This isn't a huge problem with an intel machine, but if they can somehow force your hand to buy a windows-capable box, then they can force your hand with a laptop.

    I would contact the college to which you are accepted or anticipating going and see if they require laptops. Forget gaming. Buy a console. Honestly, I question how much time a first year law student has to devote to gaming. Frankly I've know a fair number of people in law school and gaming was the last thing on their minds as it was the last thing they had time for. Just a thought.
  9. bigjoe1086 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 15, 2008
    Sorry for any confusion, I'm a senior in college.

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