Choice between refurbished and new - please help me decide!

mastermullen

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jun 7, 2018
5
1
I'm not too sure about how quickly iMac's decrease in performance over time, so i'm unsure as to what decision to make when choosing between refurbished and new. Could anybody tell me what would likely be the better choice out of these two options?

New 2017 iMac, for £1280 -
21.5-inch, Retina 4K, 3.0GHz quad i5, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD

or a "gold-grade" refurbished (not official apple refurbished, from another store, Techtrade) late 2015 model, for £999 -
21.5 inch, Retina 4K, 3.3GHz quad i7, 16GB RAM, 256GB SSD



so the cheaper, refurbished model has slightly better specs. but it's three years old, as opposed to the new one. would this make much of a difference? am i better off getting the newer one even though it has slightly worse specs and is more expensive? is the refurbished one likely to be any slower because it's older, or likely to slow down sooner? any help would be appreciated.


thanks!
 

Fishrrman

macrumors P6
Feb 20, 2009
17,160
5,520
I would not buy ANY "refurbished" iMac unless the "refurbishin'" was done by Apple.
My opinion only.
 
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mastermullen

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jun 7, 2018
5
1
I guess it's not 'refurbished' in the same sense as official apple refurbishment. probably more like second-hand, but reset and cleaned up a bit. not sure how much difference it would make.
 

mastermullen

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jun 7, 2018
5
1
do you guys think that the i5 3.0ghz processor and 8GB RAM will be more than enough to run Logic X, Ableton live competently? so i probably may not even need the extra boost from the refurbished model.
 

SecuritySteve

macrumors 6502a
Jul 6, 2017
743
858
California
do you guys think that the i5 3.0ghz processor and 8GB RAM will be more than enough to run Logic X, Ableton live competently? so i probably may not even need the extra boost from the refurbished model.
The 2015 model will run Logic X better, because the processor is an i7. Speeds are great indicators of performance, but i7s have the capability to hyper thread (meaning they get 2 threads for every 1 CPU core) that i5s do not. Audio processing makes use of multicore systems far more effectively.

So there is no doubt the 2015 model will be superior in terms of performance for you. The only remaining consideration is lifetime. A 2015 model has software support until around 2024 (this number is based on the full lifetime of a 2011 iMac supporting High Sierra as it's highest operating system, and High Sierra having support until 2020). If you can expect to replace this machine on or before then, buying the older model with upgraded specifications will be right for you.

However, because this is a used iMac, is there a return policy if they ship you a dud for this deal? Is there major damage to the iMac? What is it's overall condition? These are questions you should ask yourself, and possibly inspect before you buy it.
 

CWallace

macrumors 604
Aug 17, 2007
6,558
2,452
Seattle, WA
If you can get a warranty on the refurbished one, I don't see a reason not to get it since if something fails, you are covered.

I often buy refurbished hardware from the Apple Store and it's all been flawless (I do get AppleCare).
 
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