Help me choose (aluminum iMac or white iMac)

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by greg555, Dec 21, 2007.

  1. greg555 macrumors 6502a

    Mar 24, 2005
    I'm planning to buy my first Macintosh (not counting the $10 Fat Mac I bought 10 years ago at a garage sale).

    I want to get a 24" to get the better quality LCD (and more viewing area) but they are a lot of money for me so I'm probably buying a refurbished one. On the store an aluminum iMac sells for $1639 CAD versus $1499 for the white iMac. They both come with Leopard but I'd have to buy iLife 08 for the white iMac to get the new iPhoto version that I want to use. So the old Mac is $60 cheaper after taking that into account.

    I like non-glossy screens better (but the glossy would probably work with the lighting in my computer room once I got used to it) so that is a point in favor of the old Mac.

    On the down side the old iMac is about 10% slower, has a smaller hard drive (250 instead of 320GB), and only expands to 3GB of RAM instead of 4. I don't think the video card differences matter to me since I don't play games.

    I'm leaning toward the white iMac based on the screen and the (possibly) higher odds of getting a perfect refurb on a discontinued model than a new model (post #19 of this thread

    Are there any other differences that would make me regret buying the older model down the road? My Dell Dimension 4100 is almost 7 years old and is starting to show its age. Will I regret the smaller RAM limit and slow CPU in 3 or 5 years? Or some other feature the white iMac doesn't have.

    I've read a lot of iMac threads but haven't seen any that quite cover my questions. So I'd appreciate any comments or experiences.

    Thanks - Greg
  2. 0007776 Suspended


    Jul 11, 2006
    If you don't like glossy screens get the white imac, the new one has the most reflective screen I have ever seen.
  3. greenbags125 macrumors newbie

    Dec 13, 2007
    The thing is, the new Aluminum iMacs is a thing of beauty. You have to see it to really understand. The white iMac looks bland by comparison. The RAM on the new models are also easier to install, which should be a huge plus compared with the white iMacs. I strongly suggest you head over to an apple store to try it out, once you see it, you will fall in love with the design. Also, new > refurb. Just keep in mind, refurbs can have cosmetic damage b/c it is still functioning. Most of these refurbs have been used by another human being and was returned for whatever reason so buyer beware. Lastly, the glare is really negligible. Even against the bright lighting of apple stores, its not noticeable. Good luck and awesome choice going with the iMac.
  4. greg555 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Mar 24, 2005
    There are no Apple stores within 1000km (1000 miles?) of where I live. Fortunately FutureShop and London Drugs both carry the iMac. I've played with the new 24" iMac at London Drugs quite a bit. It is very elegant looking and though I don't like the glare I probably would get used to it.

    Unfortunately there are no stores around here that have both the old and new iMacs so I can't compare side-by-side.

    I'm not really concerned about minor cosmetic issues. Or to put it another way I'd rather have a cosmetically imperfect 24" refurb than a perfect new 20" iMac (refurb 24" white iMac $1499, new 20" 2.0 GHz $1299, new 20" 2.4 GHz $1599 Canadian dollars).

    Thanks for the comments. Keep'em coming.

  5. greg555 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Mar 24, 2005
    Does anyone know if my 10% speed difference estimate is accurate for real world things like ripping a DVD or editing large photos, or movie clips, etc? Or is it significantly more (or less) than 10%?

    Thanks - Greg
  6. panda macrumors regular

    Mar 15, 2004

    hey gregg,

    nice of you to ask around on your dilema.

    i would say that there is no need to give this much thought.

    go for the latest revision imac 24" in alu.

    the reasons for doing so are plenty, of which:
    -newer/est computer and technology
    -stunning design
    -amazing keyboard
    -much better resale

    need i say more?

    go for it and sit back and smile :)
  7. Xeem macrumors 6502a


    Feb 2, 2005
    Actually, the white 24" iMac with the GeForce 7600 GT might end up with a higher resale value than the 24" aluminum. In 5 years, the better video card in the white iMac may make it more valuable than the aluminum because you can upgrade the processors in either iMac, but you'll probably be stuck with the same video card forever.
  8. ClassicBean macrumors 6502a

    Jun 20, 2004
    Because this question is posted so often, I took the liberty of writing a poem to help debaters decide between the two iMacs. Here it is. Enjoy...

    If you like the glossy screen
    And something modern
    Get the Aluminum iMac
    But if you like white stuff
    Then go with the white iMac

    The end

    (I never said my poem rhymed)
  9. netdog macrumors 603


    Feb 6, 2006
  10. SteveG4Cube macrumors 6502

    Jul 22, 2002
    MontCo., PA
    I have a 20" white G5 iMac at home and a 20" alum. iMac at work. I don't have any problems with the glare even in a brightly lit room. The LCD quality is slightly better on the white one, but that shouldn't be an issue on the 24". As said above, the Alum. ones are awesome looking, makes the white ones look tacky.
  11. jnash macrumors regular

    Apr 26, 2007
    I love my ALUM! and I went with the 2.4ghz due to I am patient
  12. ThunderLounge macrumors 6502


    Sep 20, 2006
    24" Alum.

    It'll hit the wallet a tick heavier initially, but it's well worth it. I just got one this week, after waiting for a year on a mac pro to replace my old G4 (that died :(), and since I fired it up for the first time I've been kicking myself in the butt for not doing it sooner.
  13. atthecross macrumors 6502

    Jun 8, 2007
    My wife would say get the one that matches your decor. :)

    That's how I got to upgrade from a 3 month old 20" white iMac to a 24" alum
  14. 0007776 Suspended


    Jul 11, 2006
    Actually refurb > new, because the refurbs have been checked by an actual person so they know they are working., and the price. Also the refurb Mini that I bought there was no way to tell it was a refurb, other than the box it shipped in, and based on what other people say the other models are usually similar.
  15. SteveG4Cube macrumors 6502

    Jul 22, 2002
    MontCo., PA
    Exactly, not to mention you often get free surprises like larger HD and more RAM.
  16. jnc macrumors 68020


    Jan 7, 2007
    Nunya, Business TX
    Get the white one. Price + matte screen trumps whatever the alu's offering.
  17. stevento macrumors 6502


    Dec 10, 2006
    Los Angeles
    aluminum. i wouldn't go for the gargantuan 24" though.
  18. je1ani macrumors 6502

    Sep 19, 2007
    People who usually ask themselves this question... always tend to go white..
  19. dmw007 macrumors G4


    May 26, 2005
    Working for MI-6
    Either computer would be huge improvement over your current system. I love my 24 iMac with the upgraded 7600GT video card- spanks the new iMacs for gaming. But since you do not plan on gaming and the price difference is only $60, I would go with the aluminum iMac- it has a slightly faster processor and a larger HDD. :) :apple:
  20. ivan1234 macrumors regular

    Nov 8, 2007
    I like the white one better as well, but if I were buying a new computer, it just wouldn't make sense to buy older technology for about the same price.
  21. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    May 19, 2002
    As people have pointed out, the iMacs do support 2nd monitors -- so getting a display you are comfortable with for calibrated color is still possible even with the new glossy machines. All depends on how you are about multi-monitor machines having similar or different displays.

    But alas you are right a decent 24" is more likely with a refub white than the refurb aluminum machine.
  22. eXan macrumors 601


    Jan 10, 2005
    I'd like to say that white 24"ers had very uneven lighting. The edges of the screen were considerably darker than the center. This was on all 6 iMacs I've seen.

    Alum 24", on the other hand, is a very good screen. If it wasn't glossy a LOT of people would have prefered it over white one.

    As for glossiness, I dont think its a problem. Even when monitor is facing a window its not that bad and if it doesnt, the glossy is awesome.

    Not to mention you get a considerably faster computer with more HD space for basically the same price.

    And I prefer new design vs old one.

    So my vote is alum.
  23. SaSaSushi macrumors 68040


    Aug 8, 2007
    Takamatsu, Japan
    I sold my 20" Core Duo (white) iMac and upgraded to a 24" aluminum iMac. I don't miss the white one a bit. I love my new iMac and couldn't recommend the new generation highly enough.

    I just ordered 4GB of RAM to replace the 2GB I've been using. I think the ability to run 4GB as opposed to 3GB in the white models is also a big selling point. Running Vista in VMware Fusion with 2GB total is death. I am looking forward to speeding things up considerably by alloting 2GB per OS once my new RAM is installed.
  24. BKKbill macrumors 6502


    Well I would like to put my two cents on the aluminum 24". My signature tells the story. As for glossiness, it's not a problem. The only time I see reflections is when reading these post and look for them. If your looking for gloss that is what you see.

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