Considering a refurb riMac - questions...

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Jim L, Jun 25, 2015.

  1. Jim L macrumors regular

    Jul 16, 2011
    The Piedmont, NC
    Hi all,
    I'm looking at replacing my trusty 21.5" 2011 iMac with the 27" 2014 retina iMac. I've gone the refurb route before and I'm comfortable with the warranty coverage, AppleCare and all that. With the recent price drops and the additional savings of a refurb I'm looking to go with a 2014 27" 3.5 GHz i5 w/ 256 GB SSD and 8 GB ram and the M290X GPU.

    I've looked at the retina iMacs several times in stores, but it's always hard to tell if I'll appreciate the difference in my usage scenario. I do mostly web browsing, facetime calls, email, youtube videos and an occasional movie using Plex. I also use Windows apps in VMware. I do manage my pictures in Photos and I use lots of text-based apps. I rarely play games, and those are only in the Steam app.

    My questions are:
    1. Do you think I'll experience any of the heat problems others have had?
    2. Do you think this Mac will be quiet?
    3. I've had a 24" iMac before the current one. Is there an adjustment period to the bigger size?
    4. Do you think I should see some advantages (crisper text) for reading?
    5. Is the sound quality for listening to music while you work better than a 21"?
    6. Have some owners of the retina iMac had the broken stand problem? (where the screen leans forward)
    7. BIGGIE -- If I order to pick up in the Apple Store will they let me get a trackpad instead of the mouse?

    Apple's return policy is really good and I have no qualms about taking it back if it doesn't suit my needs. The best way to know is to try it for myself, but I do appreciate the input of you other owner's who may have similar uses and have owned other iMacs as well.

  2. Dubadai macrumors regular


    Jun 16, 2015
    Stockholm, Sweden.
    Ill try to answer your questions as well as I can!

    1. No. The i5 and the 290X runs cooler than the i7 and 295X. I just bought mine with the same specs and have not had any heat issues at all.
    2. Yes. During load all you hear is a little "swoosh", and thats only if you paus and listen.
    3. I would say yes, but that depends on how sensitive you are. The difference from 21 to 27 is much greater (of course). 24 to 27 is a jump, but not a huge one. Although the gained work space is a lot!
    4. The retina screen is fantastic. I have a hard time using low resolution monitors after I bought my retina.
    5. I would say no, of the top of my head. Neither is bad. So I wouldn't say that one is better.
    6. Not that I know of, but that sounds like a warranty issue to me.
    7. No idea. Call and ask!
    I would say the biggest difference will be going from a regular drive to a SSD (assuming it was a regular spinner in the 21 you had). It is a faster computer, so managing photos and such is awesome. I even feel it being notably faster than my retina Macbook Pro that i sold a week ago, late 2013 model. So I am sure that you'll feel a difference from your 2011 to the late 2014 riMac.

    Hopefully this helps! :)
  3. jerwin macrumors 68000

    Jun 13, 2015
    I have the same model with the fusion drive. It's usually pretty silent, but yes, you can hear it when the gpu is pushed. It's definitely noticeable (Unigine heaven will activate it-- at about 85 Celsius). If for some reason you have a Apple USB Superdrive, it's louder than than that. But Unigine is designed to stress the video card to its limits. Normally the fan isn't active, and I can't say it's been distracting during Company of Heroes.

    It takes no time at all to become used to the screen. Eventually you start wondering why other screens lack that certain crispness. I may have to replace my secondary monitor with a 4K display...

    As for sound quality-- no idea. I have a AudioSource Amp 100 and Klipsch Synergy speakers. I'm not going back to "built in speakers", no matter how clever Apple gets with it's speakers,. I'm using a minijack to RCA, though.

    It's great for reading. It's incredibly nice for reading old books from the internet archive, if you're into that sort of thing.
    The mouse tends to eat batteries, and some apps don't really like the touch surface.
  4. Jim L thread starter macrumors regular

    Jul 16, 2011
    The Piedmont, NC
    Thanks for the replies. I ordered a refurb of the 3.5 GHz i5 w/ 256 SSD and 8 G RAM. I will try everything out over the weekend and see if it will work for me.

    I'm kind of excited. Hope it is a big improvement.

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