Buying my first iMac, what do i need to know?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by ApplePie22, Nov 4, 2012.

  1. ApplePie22 macrumors member

    Nov 17, 2011
    so far I have two dilemnas...

    1) which screen size, I have a 22" now, the 27" feels too big, but everyone says go big or regret it, thoughts?

    2) new iMac vs current model: some say to wait for the upgraded HD and thinner bezel, while others say with my needs (basic email, browsing, office programs) save the money and go pick up the "old" model today.

    3) any software I must have?

    4) anyway to pay less than retail (crazy I know)?

    any other tips for me?
  2. Lampmeister macrumors member

    Mar 30, 2009
    Fort Worth
    You'll get used to a 27" in a hurry, I promise! As for current or new model, that's a tough one, but you'd be happy with either. I don't have any software recommendations to speak of, but you'd probably like pages and numbers for word processing/spreadsheet duties. (unless you're already addicted to the Microsoft products) Less than retail? Forget about it! :D
  3. ChromiumXarsus macrumors newbie

    Oct 27, 2012
    South Dakota
    It really depends on what you need (and want)

    You will likely hear similar recommendations from other users but I’ll throw in my two cents too. The answers to most of your questions really depend on how you will use your iMac.

    I do a lot of photo/video editing and I multitask like crazy... It’s not uncommon for me to be editing, chatting, listening to music, working in my e-mail and surfing simultaneously. For me the larger screen means more real estate for my tasks. If you just use the iMac for singular tasks or if you’re never going to watch movies on it from a distance then you may not need a larger screen.

    As for buying a new iMac versus a current model... Again, it depends on what you need but also what you like. If you use it for demanding tasks such as video editing, gaming, etc. then you may be better off buying a new iMac with some upgrade options; however, if you’re primarily going to use it to check e-mail, chat and surf then a current model will suit you just fine.

    For software it again depends on what you need. I’ve found that many users can get by just fine with what’s included with the iMac. If you like to do basic stuff with photos/video or if you need to do word processing, presentations, and spreadsheets you can simply purchase iLife and iWork. I have both Microsoft Office and iWork... No particular reason other than it depends on which interface I feel like working with at the moment. If your work requires the heavy duty software then you likely already know what what you need... possibly Photoshop, Premiere, etc.

    Paying less than retail... Shop for a refurbished iMac or wait until someone upgrades from an iMac that will suit your needs. I can imagine that when the new iMacs finally start to sell that you will be able to find some really good deals on the current models.

    Hope this helps... Welcome to the iMac!
  4. DisMyMac macrumors 65816


    Sep 30, 2009
    Use macupdate to find what you want.

    If I didn't know what freeware to immediately download, I'd be very disappointed with any new Mac. Only iTunes is tolerable... But at least they minimize bloatware, unlike PCs.
  5. the8thark, Nov 4, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2012

    the8thark macrumors 68040


    Apr 18, 2011
    1. You won't ever regret the 27. But personally I chose the 21.5 cause I felt it was a little too big and I really like the 21.5 size. I would have a look at the 21.5 and 27 instore. Sure not the same as every day use but it's the best you'll get to seeing which is right for you.

    2. If you only need basic things like you say in your original post then both the 2011 and 2012 iMacs will suit your needs. Just remember what the new iMacs don't have. Both models don't have a internal cd/dvd drive. But you can get one external at any time. And the 2012 21.5 supposedly does not have user changeable/upgradable ram, ie have to get the upgrade at the time of purchase. But the 27 has user changeable/upgradable ram. Also if you go for the HDD option in the 21.5 it is a 5400rpm drive. Not saying this is a bad thing, surely weon't affect your light usage needs, but if you're really interested best wait for some benchmarks of this to see if it really affects anything in real world usage.

    3. You'll get the iLife suite of apps with your iMac. That's good. And you said you want office programs too. the iWork suite of apps are something to look into for that. That's if you don't need microsoft office.

    Also a good website to keep bookmarked us Macupdate as said above. A nice place for free apps and updates for your Mac. Most of everything else you need for the basic things you said you want to do are either included with the iMac or an easy free download (like firefox/thunderdird etc etc).

    If you need heavier more complex apps I'm sure you know what you'll need and can work out ways of getting those.

    4. Apart from student/government/business discounts from Apple (which are not all that much) you can wait for a reseller sale or look at the Apple refurbished site for a near new Mac. You can get some great prices there. only thing to note is good Macs put up on the Apple refurbished store tend to go fast.
  6. PGHtommy, Nov 4, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2012

    PGHtommy macrumors newbie

    Oct 29, 2012
    I was recently in your shoes..... I didn't want to wait indefinitely for a new model, so I opted for the mid-2011 iMac. It was all I needed based on my needs (like you web browsing, office stuff, email, etc)

    For me, the 21.5 is just the right size. I looked at the 27" in person and it was waaaay to big for me. Go to a store and check it out before you buy.

    I purchased my iMac as an open box item from "worst-buy" As you can guess, I'm usually not a fan; however, it's very hard to find a current model anywhere and a local store had what I was looking, they priced matched what the apple store had for a refurbished from apple product. (They actually unknowingly price matched me to a lesser model so I got an excellent deal) I saved almost 30% on Best Buys original listed price!

    When I got home, I wanted Microsoft office simply because its what I'm used to, and Microsoft currently has a buy office now and get the next upgrade free, so I went with that. Not sure if that's what you're looking for or not.

    Hope that helps
  7. bulkknoccout macrumors newbie

    Jun 11, 2012
    I actually went ahead and purchased the 2011 21.5 base Imac on amazon yesterday from$1150+free shipping no tax. I will upgrade it my shelf to 16gb of ram. The new one is nice but what got me disappointed was no disc drive, 5400 rpm hdd,and was 1299... then u cant upgrade ram so image how much it would be to get 16gb of ram it completely outrageous.and the fusion drive is nice but imagine the cost from apple.. I saw a a hardrive with ssd on newegg for 90 bucks. I suggest you get the 21.5 imac for 1300 or the 27 in 2011 model. look on or to save money,no tax,and free shipping in some cases but hurry.
  8. blanka macrumors 68000

    Jul 30, 2012
    The 24 inch 1920x1200 is still the best screen to work on. Get an IPS based Dell U2413 (300$) with a quad core 2.3 Mini (799$, faster than all off-the-shelve iMacs), and start a happy life today. Waiting for the iMac coming in January is so boring!
  9. garpen macrumors newbie

    Oct 10, 2012

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