How much bang for my buck? What iMac is the best invest? - Version 2!

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Felias, Aug 1, 2010.

  1. Felias macrumors member

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    Jul 29, 2010
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    Germany
    #1
    Hi guys,

    i did put this in the Geekbench-Thread, but as adviced i'll create a new thread for it, as it'll otherwise probably parish in there.

    As i'm always in for numbers and comparisons, i took the Geekbench-results and compared them with the prices to get some interesting numbers. My biggest question is always "Which iMac will get me mist for my money?"

    This approach does make the devices comparable as we have a result for every iMac, even the old ones. Of course Geekbench itself only has a limited significance, but as this is not about the result itself, but it's comparison to others, this does not matter anymore. If you do have any other numbers that is available for all devices, let me know. I'll make a seperate chart for this then.

    For prices i only did look at the prices for the relevant CPU-model. I did not include the graphics card, as otherwise it would get confusing. This is one little flaw of the comparison, but it has only minor effect. If you have an idea how to change it, let me know. The other little flaw are the still missing results of the i5 3,6Ghz. I just put it the number that is expected, i'll update it as soon as the first number is there. But whatever it'll be, I strongly doubt it will change any of the conclusion.

    Also let me know if you have any idea how to put everything here on the forum in a useful way. Until I have found one, please take the following:

    Version 1, only regarding CPU performance:
    Results of CPU-speed/price comparisons of all iMacs (new and old) on Google Spreadsheet
    (please be aware: a google/gmail account is necessary to open the document)

    Update: Version 2, including GPU performance:
    Results of CPU+GPU-speed/price comparisons of all iMacs (new and old) on Google Spreadsheet.
    Hint: For editing the GPU-field, please download the copy and edit it locally. For now the speed comparisons between the graphics adapters are like (9400M - 0; 4670 - 50; 5670 - 70; 4850 - 70; 5850M - 85). If you have a better idea, let me know :)
    For a HTML-Version (no Google-Account required), please click here.

    One request: If you link to this analysis, please link to this thread and not directly to the spreadsheet.


    The most interesting results:

    1. The 21,5" i3 gives you the most horsepower compared to the invest, out of all late 2009 / mid 2010 iMacs
    2. The 27" i7 has by far the biggest improvement in performance of all mid 2010-iMacs compared to the price increase towards the smaller mid 2010-model
    3. The 27" i7 horsepower/money ratio of the old and the new iMacs are nearly exactly the same
    4. Both quadcore 27"-iMacs (i5 2,8Ghz and the i7) are the only iMacs where the upgrade did not advance the horsepower/money-ratio
    5. The dualcore i3 and i5 do have an increased horsepower/money-ratio, meaning it does make even more sense to buy now


    Conclusion:

    If you can live with 21,5", the smalles iMac is by far the best invest. Otherwise go for the 27" i7. Anything between is at some distinct and in drastic words: A waste of money.

    (If you have questions about the analysis, please let me know, i'll gladly explain. Same goes for optimization hints.)
     
  2. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Singapore
    #2
    This is a pretty great comparison felias! I surely will reference it when making recommendations.

    I think it might be better referencing some real world performance increases as well, its likely that these increases wont be seen in the real world. Things like gaming, and some real world applications such as handbrake etc.

    Good stuff though :)
     
  3. leman macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2008
    #3
    The problem with your approach is that it uses a flawed synthetic test. Geekbench tends to over-dramatize the hyper-threading of the i7 — most real life applications won't have such benefit with 8 virtual cores. Still, its an interesting table to look at :)
     
  4. Felias thread starter macrumors member

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    Jul 29, 2010
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    Germany
    #4
    I agree, this would be a great addition. It's just that i haven't found a way to easily benchmark real world performance where results are available for all late 2009 - iMacs so that a comparison is possible. Geekbench is "idiotproof", everyone can do it without much effort, thats why we have so many numbers here. If you have an idea about a better benchmark where results are available shoot :)

    True... although i think i7-buyers are the ones to use Photoshop/Lightroom/Aperture/iMove/Finalcut or similar apps. Hopefully soon a lot more apps will be able to use the cores.
     
  5. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

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    #5
    I can do a 2009 i7 imac test if need be :p I'm surre others could volunteer their computers if need be. Maybe write a lit in the OP and ask for help? Idk.

    At least with geekbench you can see performance increases from previous geek benches, even if they are synthetic.
     
  6. hl450 macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 18, 2010
    #6
    how about updating the spreadsheet with the refurbished price for the old iMacs(late 2009 model)? i think it will make refurbs most appealing
     
  7. wordoflife macrumors 604

    wordoflife

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    Jul 6, 2009
    #7
    If only I had the money I would buy a refurb 27" i5 for 1500 (?)
     
  8. Felias thread starter macrumors member

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    #8
    Thats a great idea! I just updated the list. You were right with your guess, refurbs are interesting, mostly when looking at the i5 and the i7...
     
  9. AnimaLeo macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2009
    #9
    is the 21.5 inch iMac i5 worth the money then? This will be my Mac, and I'd be dropping like £1,500 on this thing which is a lot of money to me (being only 18).
     
  10. emaja macrumors 68000

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    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    #10
    I would love to see the spreadsheet, but when I try to view it, I am asked for login info.
     
  11. SiMBa37 macrumors regular

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    Jul 5, 2010
    Location:
    New York
    #11
    You need a google/gmail account. It takes 2 minutes, just set one up.
     
  12. emaja macrumors 68000

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    Chicago, IL
    #12
    I'm on my iPad and wasn't logged in. Thanks. Got it now.
     
  13. Felias thread starter macrumors member

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    Jul 29, 2010
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    Germany
    #13
    Yeah, sorry for that. I found it the best way to share the spreadsheet. If there are better options, please let me know.
     
  14. Felias thread starter macrumors member

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    Jul 29, 2010
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    Germany
    #14
    We don't have numbers on this yet :-(

    But whatever the score will be, a 21,5" i3 should still have a much better performance/money - ratio.

    Thats another great idea. It will take some time though. First we would need to define the best performance indicator for "real world"-perfomance, then write a little guide and start a seperate thread. After the data is collected, i'm more than happy to set up another spreadsheet for the results.
    Would it be okay for you to help with the first part?

    edit: sorry for the "double" post.
     
  15. emaja macrumors 68000

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    May 3, 2005
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    Chicago, IL
    #15
    No big deal. I am usually logged into Google, but not on my iPad. Plus, it was in German (I think).

    Maybe a quick edit to mention the Google access is needed.

    Thanks for the work on the spreadsheet. It looks to be a nice reference tool.
     
  16. Felias thread starter macrumors member

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    #16
    Done, and the language is changed to english as well. And thanks for the feedback, i'm happy if this helps one person or another in making a decision about what to buy. I myself will probably be going for the 27" i7...
     
  17. Bkxmnr macrumors regular

    Bkxmnr

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    Feb 9, 2009
    Location:
    Wichita, KS
    #17
    I think this just cemented my decision to get the base 21.5" iMac. Thanks for posting this.
     
  18. hl450 macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 18, 2010
    #18
    Felias,

    When calculating the geekbenchscore / price for 27inch imac, i think it's fair to knock 200 off from the price since that's where the screen size comes into play.

    The reason I am suggesting $200 is because the higher end 21.5 iMac has exact same CPU as the base model 27inch iMac(Even the GPU). so i think that makes the calculation a bit fair.

    If you think it's reasonable, Could you update the spreadsheet? Thanks!
     
  19. Sammy Cat macrumors member

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    Jul 28, 2010
    Location:
    North America
    #19
    Excellent spread sheet. Thank you very much for posting it for us. That was a great way to simplify everything and it represents my dilemma in choosing one Mac or another:

    A. i3 base
    B. i5 quad refurb
    C. i7

    Right now, the i5 refurb seems to be the best choice amongst the 3.

    Any thoughts among those 3?
     
  20. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

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    #20
    i5 is definetely a good choice, what are your requirements/work load?
     
  21. Sammy Cat macrumors member

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    Jul 28, 2010
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    North America
    #21
    The Mac will be for my lady. Her requirements are a nice clear screen. The i3 would suffice.

    We looked at the base i3 and then an i5 with the 1gb video card the other day. The difference between screens was amazing. The 27 inch had better colors and crisper/sharper text (a lot better).

    I only now wonder if the refurbished i5 with its 512mb video card will be as sharp and colorful.
     
  22. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

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    #22
    from what we know - the panels are IDENTICAL in every way, its just the CPU/GPU etc that have been changed. i dont see why you shouldnt go for the refurb if you dont care for gaming.
     
  23. mattnotis macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 9, 2010
    #23
    I'm currently running a 17'' iMac with an ATI Radeon X1600 (128 MB) so even if I buy the cheapest iMac currently available, how much clearer will everything be?
     
  24. Sammy Cat macrumors member

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    Jul 28, 2010
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    North America
    #24
    It is not much to go on, but perhaps can give a slight perspective. My 20' Samsung 204T from 2005 (it was a higher-end lcd at the time, even had DVI), running off of a 128mb Radeon x300 SE is better than the i3 w/256mb video card.

    Anybody that does graphic and text work would notice the difference immediately between the 21.5" and 27" screens.

    To answer your question though, the new iMac will certainly have a better screen. Below are the following specs for your old iMac and the current 21.5" i3:

    17" screen: Resolution of 1440x900, viewing angles of 120° horizontal and 90° vertical, brightness of 200 cd/m, and a contrast ratio of 350:1

    21.5" screen: Resolution 1920x1080, viewing angles of 178° horizontal and 178° vertical, brightness of 320 cd/m2, and contrast ration of 1000:1, 16:9 aspect ratio
     
  25. hl450 macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 18, 2010
    #25
    Since OP hasn't responded, I just created a new spreadsheet with adjusted price for 27inch model as I described in the quote.

    Click here to see the Updated Spreadsheet with few more columns(adjusted price for 27inch and education pricing)

    And for the (geekbench score / price) ratio, I have added two more columns that might be interesting to some readers here.

    1. Performance / Adj. Price - Ratio column:
    Same as what OP did but instead, I divided it by the adjusted price(which is same for all 21.5 inch models, 200 less for 27 inch models)

    2. Education discount with iPod touch value calculated as 160 column:
    This is for ppl who are looking to buy with education discount. When i calculated the price I subtracted 160 more from education discount(-200 more ontop if 27inch model)


    Also, I fixed the minor errors in pricing as OP had $1679 for i5 - 3,6Ghz (corrected to 1699) and $2179 for i7 - 2,93Ghz(corrected to 2199)



    As we can see on the table, for new 2010 iMacs, the 21.5 base model and 27inch i7 is giving the biggest bang for your buck.
    Obviously, the 21.5 base model dominates more for education pricing ( 5.76 vs 5.41 GeekScore/dollar)

    Refurb i7 definitely stands out... it would really stand out if they gave iPod touch for refurbs.. :D

    However, if you have dollars to spend and access to education pricing, i guess new iMacs(only base 21.5 and core i7 27inch model) aren't bad at all, as their score/dollar values look pretty comparable to those of refurbs. After all refurbs aren't exactly new. (Although some of them might be new as apple may be busy burning the previous generation stock:D)

    BTW, the reason why i only subtracted 160 for 200 dollar ipod touch is that i figured many people will sell it on ebay around 170 ~ 180 + shipping then there are fee that ebay charges and paypal charges(EVIL!!!! :( ) so that's why it's 160. :p
     

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