Can someone explain the pros/cons between new and old iMacs?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Advance The Man, Mar 11, 2009.

  1. Advance The Man macrumors 6502

    Apr 6, 2005
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    Keep seeing conflicting opinions on what to purchase. What's the difference in quality of the video cards? I'm considering both iMac sizes. I would like iLife 2009, which I suppose only sells with new ones and not refurbed ones?
  2. Igantius macrumors 65816

    Apr 29, 2007
    What sort of things will you be using the machine for? Therein lies the rub!

    iLife '09 is included with all iMacs - but the 24" screens are superior to the 20" ones.
  3. jmpage2 macrumors 68040


    Sep 14, 2007
    What you would be using it for would probably help people make a recommendation.
  4. OneBlueFire macrumors member


    Oct 12, 2008
    Manila, Philippines
    In all honesty, my logic when buying technology is to buy the best that you can with the budget you have. It ensures you're still at par with new devices that come out a few years down the road.

    I've never really asked myself "What am I going to use this for?" for ANY of my computers and gadgets. I take a look at my bank account or credit card, calculate how much I'm willing to shell out, then purchase the best unit I can with the budget I've created.

    To answer your question though:
    All "Pros" are in the newer iMacs (Faster processor speed, larger hard drive, more or faster RAM, faster FSB, higher resale value, etc)
    All "Cons" are in the older iMacs (Slower processor speed, smaller hard drive, less or slower RAM, slower FSB, lower resale value, etc)

    Just figure out how much excess cash you have, then dive right in without looking back. Either which way, it's really your budget that's in question. Not what you're going to use it for.
  5. Advance The Man thread starter macrumors 6502

    Apr 6, 2005
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    Thanks for the last suggestion. Will use iPhoto, iMovie for home videos and will be the iTunes for 2 apple tv's, also for ripping DVDs and encoding. .
  6. Gloops macrumors member

    Mar 3, 2009
    Not really. If you shop around you can get a 3.06GHz 2008 iMac with an 880GS for roughly the same price as the 2009 2.66GHz iMac with the integrated 9400M. Faster/expandable RAM and slightly bigger HDD are the only advantages. I'd go for the 2008 3.06 myself.
  7. Advance The Man thread starter macrumors 6502

    Apr 6, 2005
    This is where I'm lost. Didn't mention above, but also will use to rip and convert files to mp4 for the apple tv's. I don't understand what the differences are with the 880's and 9400's. Can someone give me a quick tutorial on what they are and what they will do for what I need? Thanks
  8. colickyboy macrumors member

    Dec 27, 2008
    Not true. The older iMac processors are essentially the same as the newer iMacs.

    The newer iMacs have a larger hard drive...but cheaper to buy an external hard drive with the money saved from the older iMac).

    The newer iMacs have more/faster RAM...but much more expensive than older iMac DDR2 memory and not a noticeable real-world difference from what I've read.

    Same deal with FSB...not a significant real-world difference.

    Newer iMac has an extra USB port but no longer has FireWire 400.

    Newer iMac has a keypad-less keyboard standard (keyboard with keypad is an option). Older iMac has keyboard with keypad standard.

    Newer iMac no longer comes with Apple Remote.

    All iMacs, even refurbs, come with iLife 09. For refurbs, you have to install iLife 09 yourself from the enclosed CD. Not a big deal.

    Because the only diff betw the newer iMac and the older iMac is minor tech specs and not a new technological innovation, the resale values won't differ much. In fact, for those looking for FW400, the older iMac will have just as high a resale value.

    Save about $600 for similar configs between new iMac and refurb iMac by buying the older refurb iMac.

    I got an older 24" 2.8 refurb iMac for $1199. Use the money I saved for 4GB RAM (only $40), a 1 TB external HD ($100), and pocketed the rest.
  9. Advance The Man thread starter macrumors 6502

    Apr 6, 2005

    But for what I want to do (see above posts), wouldn't this 20" refurb do the trick for $799 (see below)? Also, they still mention iLife 08 and not 09. Are you certain they put '09 in the box?

    Product Details

    Model Refurbished 20-inch iMac
    Processor 2.0GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
    L2 Cache 4MB Shared
    System bus 800MHz
    Memory 1GB (one SO-DIMM) 667MHz DDR2 SDRAM (PC2-5300), supports up to 4GB
    Hard drive 250GB Serial ATA; 7200 rpm
    Optical drive Slot-loading 8x SuperDrive with 4x double-layer burning (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW)
    Display 20-inch (viewable) glossy widescreen TFT active-matrix LCD, 1680 by 1050 pixels, millions of colors
    Video Built-in iSight; mini-DVI output port with support for DVI, VGA, S-video, and composite video connections via adapter
    Graphics ATI Radeon HD 2400 XT with 128MB of GDDR3 memory
  10. Bye Bye Baby macrumors 65816

    Bye Bye Baby

    Sep 15, 2004
    i(am in the)cloud
    The day that the new imacs came out I wandered into my local mac store and asked what prices they had the old imacs. The current 3.06 ghz are around £1800 pounds- I picked up the previous 3.06 for £1,100. With education EOL discount.

    Fantastic price. I cannot complain. Great machine
  11. musukosan macrumors regular

    Aug 6, 2008
    I have graphics cards on the brain. It's really my deciding factor on getting a new one or old one. Is there a big difference between the ATI 4850 and NVIDIA's 8800GS?

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