Having 2nd Thoughts ?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by proimage1, Jun 22, 2011.

  1. proimage1, Jun 22, 2011
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2011

    proimage1 macrumors newbie


    Jun 22, 2011
    I have an iMac coming today and now I'm having 2nd thoughts about the model I ordered - this is my 1st Mac coming from PC for the past zillion years. The model I ordered was the refurbished mid 2010 - Refurbished iMac 21.5-inch 3.6GHz Intel Core i5 processor - I paid $1269 !

    Now I'm thinking I should have ordered the new 2011 model - 21.5-inch: 2.7GHz
    2.7GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i5

    The new 2011 model features a quad core and the refurbished one is a dual core -- the price on this one is $1499

    How much better would the newer one be -- the truth is, I'm coming from a 4 year old Dell PC dual core with 3 gigs of RAM and really, it's plenty fast for me. I don't mind spending the extra couple of hundred bucks for the newer one - but is it gonna make that much of a difference -- I'm planning to order another 4 gigs of RAM to add to the refurbished one if I keep it -- I also go the 3 year Apple Care extended warranty for $119 -- my net cost for the one coming today is $1495 including tax, expedited 2 day shipping, and the 3 year extended warranty.

    Any help here would be great - I'm new to MAC since this is my first one - I normally keep my computers around 4 years before getting an upgrade.

    I don't do any gaming if that makes a difference !

    Thanks in advance !

    If I want to return it for a swap - will I run into a hassle ?

  2. Zelnaga macrumors regular

    Jun 4, 2010
    Id return it and buy a new one. $250 for something that is alot more powerful? Id go for it. Also Thunderbolt aswell. It will be important, when USB 2.0 becomes too slow (as if it wasnt slow already), in the future, when USB 3.0 is out.
  3. FrankHahn macrumors 6502a

    May 17, 2011
    I second the suggestion in the previous post. Go ahead and swap for a 2011 iMac!
  4. proimage1 thread starter macrumors newbie


    Jun 22, 2011
    I pretty much guessed what the replies would be - I'll call Apple and see how much trouble it will be -- shouldn't be much considering it isn't even here yet -- wish I had thought a bit more beforehand - typical for me !

    Thanks a ton !:)
  5. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    With all due respect ... why in the world would you wait until FedEx has it on a truck to start asking questions. I truly believe you'll enjoy the machine you have, but if you feel this dying need to have the most current then see if you can return it. It will be a hassle but the hassle is what you deserve for buying and asking questions after the fact. ;)
  6. proimage1 thread starter macrumors newbie


    Jun 22, 2011
    Well, I did read a great deal before I discovered the Mac Forums - honestly, to me it's not a big deal -- just thought I'd throw it out there -- didn't really expect to get flamed or blasted - but then, maybe I deserved that to ?:confused:
  7. Nishi100 macrumors 6502a

    Mar 27, 2010
    For an extra bit of money, you'll future proof yourself a lot: Thunderbolt, USB 3.0 via Thunderbolt, faster CPU and Graphics Processor.
  8. Sirmausalot macrumors 6502a


    Sep 1, 2007
    In this instance, you should spend the extra 200. A hassle, but you'll regret it down the road if you don't.
  9. eggfoam macrumors member


    Jun 21, 2011
    Quick contrary opinion, depending on your intended uses: The 3.6GHz dual-core i5 iMac gets 6828 on Geekbench, while the 2.7GHz quad i5 gets 7890. That's not a very big difference for having twice as many cores. What this points to is that the per-core performance on the 2010 dual i5 3.6 is likely quite a bit better than on the newer machine you're considering.

    If your primary uses are things like web, email, word processing, and NOT things like video encoding or rendering, chances are the older 3.6 will feel faster in practice. It also has HyperThreading, which provides four logical cores even though there are just two physical ones. The 2011 i5 2.7 does not have HyperThreading, so it also has four logical cores (which correspond to four physical ones). Most multi-tasking for the kind of basic uses I mentioned above won't ever saturate two cores, let alone four, so having faster per-core (single-threaded) performance is more important. From this perspective, I'd keep the one you're getting.

    Now, this doesn't take into account future-proofing features like Thunderbolt, but is this something you anticipate using? Do you need an external drive for anything besides backup (for which USB 2.0 will suffice)?

    Also, if you throw an SSD into either one, that will make a big speed difference too, one that feels bigger than any difference between the CPUs.
  10. iMikeT macrumors 68020

    Jul 8, 2006
    Shoulda, woulda, coulda.

    Mine is on its way as well, should be here very soon. I didn't bother looking at anything else and just went straight for a BTO 27" i7 with the 2GB GPU.
  11. frocco macrumors 6502


    Jan 27, 2009
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPod; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_2_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8C148 Safari/6533.18.5)

    I would call Apple and ask if you could just refuse the order and reorder.
  12. proimage1 thread starter macrumors newbie


    Jun 22, 2011
    Thanks buddy -- you know, the girl that I talked to at Apple when I was originally deciding, pointed out a few of the very things you mentioned. She knew her stuff as you seem to as well. Honestly, she sold me on the one I'm getting over the new one -- I don't do any video editing - quite a bit of image editing in PS and LR -- as far as Thunderbolt, I read up on that quite a bit - I've never had a problem with speed using USB 2 for moving data to my external drives - I'm gonna keep the one I have and start learning how to use this new to me iMac -- I still plan on keeping the PC and running it side by side during the learning process anyway.

    Thanks a ton for the reassurance ! :):):)
  13. eggfoam macrumors member


    Jun 21, 2011
    No problem. It sounds like between those two machines, the 3.6 is the right one for you. PS and LR are apps that can benefit from a quad-core processor, but in practice you'll see the benefit only for certain operations. Check out this Macworld article with benchmarks for the i5 dual 3.6. It beats the 2010 i5 quad 2.8 in the Photoshop and Aperture benchmarks but loses on video tasks (Cinebench, Compressor, Handbrake), which is where you really see the quad-core advantage. Even if the 2011 quad i5 is a little bit faster than the 2010 one (and it may or may not be in practice -- newer architecture, but 100MHz slower), you're not giving up any meaningful amount of performance for your photo work, and primarily single-threaded tasks like web browsing should be marginally faster on the dual 3.6.

    Enjoy your new Mac!

    P.S. Some Mac-only software suggestions, since it sounds like you're new to the platform: OmniOutliner for notes and outlines, OmniGraffle if you need to make flowcharts, Transmit if you need an FTP client, Swackett for a cool-looking weather app, or MenuWeather for a convenient one. Oh, and MenuMeters or iStat if you like to keep tabs on your system performance.
  14. proimage1 thread starter macrumors newbie


    Jun 22, 2011
    Thanks again - as luck would have it - the very first program I TRIED to install ( PS CS5 ) - I had no luck - I've installed it zillions of times on PC's with no problems - I've been on the phone with Adobe for half the night and will have a call back at 10:00 am in the morning with an escalated tech support person - just got my new Mac PS Cd today - I know these things happen and I'm not in the least discouraged -- they'll figure it out and I'll be up and running in no time - I'm in no rush !

    Thanks for the list of good software -I'll check some of these out !
  15. Unkei macrumors member


    Apr 11, 2012
    Columbus, Ohio
    Think you need the Mac version of PS. But, Adobe usually will give a registered user a patch of some sort.
  16. Occamsrazr macrumors 6502

    Apr 26, 2012

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