Help choosing iMac Quad Core i5 - 2009 or mid-2010?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by steeler, Nov 9, 2010.

  1. steeler, Nov 9, 2010
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2010

    steeler macrumors regular

    Jan 30, 2008
    I've decided to go with an iMac for my next computer. Still have a PB G4 and previously owned a MacBook Pro.

    I plan to buy at the Apple refurb store (unless someone has a better suggestion), and right now they have what I believe is the 2009 model for $1529

    and the mid-2010 model for $1699

    Is the mid-2010 model worth the extra $170 over the 2009 model?

    Excluding the small bump in clock speed, I know the 2010 model has an SDXC slot (vs. SD) and a different (newer) video adapter, but don't see much other difference.

    Besides the usual web browsing, youtube, e-mail, spreadsheet stuff this machine will also be VERY often used for photo/graphic editing in Photoshop and web development. Occasionally (15-20% of the time) used for HD video editing/conversion and DVD writing.

    I plan to keep this iMac as my primary computer for 3-4 years (or longer) before considering a replacement, so I want to future-proof it as best as possible. I know a lot of people will say buy the best you can afford, but I don't want to spend an extra $170 if I don't need to when I could spend it on something else.

    Thank you for your input!
  2. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
    Spend that 170$ on more RAM instead, that will give bigger improvements than a slight bump in GPU. However, the 2010 model has 3rd SATA port so if you're interested in adding an SSD, then the 2010 should be worth it
  3. greenmountain macrumors newbie

    Jul 7, 2010
    With all respect to Hellhammer (whose posts I always enjoy and who I sense knows more about computers than I do) - if you plan to use the machine as your primary computer for 3-4 years or longer I'd spend the extra $170 on the higher-end model now and make a mental note to upgrade the RAM in a year or two. RAM is easily user-upgradable in iMacs and will be even cheaper in 2012 (when you'll really need the performance bump) than it is today. This will spread out your costs while giving you a machine with the longest possible lifespan.
  4. steeler thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 30, 2008
    Thank you both. After a lot of consideration, I went with the mid-2010 model.
  5. applepearpp macrumors regular

    Oct 19, 2010
    glad that you went with the 2010 model.

    Personally i go for the most recent model to keep the resale value higher. I sale my laptops every two years and chip in a bit to get a new, top of the line laptop

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