iMac 21.5" - is the i3 3.2 really worth the extra $300?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by dmk1974, Nov 24, 2010.

  1. dmk1974 macrumors 68000

    dmk1974

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    Sep 16, 2008
    #1
    I'm thinking of changing my 2010 13" MBP to a 21.5" iMac. I had been all set on the i3 3.06 GHz model. But also considering the i3 3.2 GHz version. Is it really worth the extra 300 bucks though for that small of an increase in processor speed plus the larger hard drive and better video card though?

    This iMac will not be used to store all of my photos, videos, and music (i have a separete server computer for that) so the hard drive size difference means nothing for me. But processor and graphics card...really noticeable for $300 more though?
     
  2. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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  3. dmk1974 thread starter macrumors 68000

    dmk1974

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    #3
    80% will be web browsing I'd imagine. Some for office apps. I'd also like to make some family iMovie videos here and there. Not intended for heavy gaming.
     
  4. davidcmc macrumors 6502

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    #4
    Yes, it will, mostly because of the 5670.
    I'm also interested in this same iMac, but I think it's better to wait for the next generation.
     
  5. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #5
    The base is just fine. 3.2GHz would be a bit faster in iMovie when encoding but as it sounds like it's not the main thing, don't pay the extra. If no gaming then 4670 is fine as well
     
  6. dmk1974 thread starter macrumors 68000

    dmk1974

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    #6
    That's what I am thinking of ordering. My MBP C2D 2.4 GHz is ok, but sometimes a bit slower than I'd like. I mean, the 3.06 i3 iMac should be noticeably faster than the MBP, right?
     
  7. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #7
    Yeah, especially in CPU intensive tasks. Where exactly is your MBP slow?
     
  8. dmk1974 thread starter macrumors 68000

    dmk1974

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    #8
    It just seems a lot slower when browsing or using excel and word compared to my Win7 PC that had similar specs. Not the worst and I can live with it I guess, but having just recently "upgrading" from a PC to Mac, I thought I'd see a little improvement than slowdown based on all the glowing reviews I read about Snow Leopard. Don't get me wrong...I like the Mac, but for the money, I want it faster (without costing way too much money). :)
     
  9. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #9
    How much RAM do you have in your MBP? Usually even a clean install of OS X speeds things up a lot
     
  10. dmk1974 thread starter macrumors 68000

    dmk1974

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    #10
    4 GB. I have the 2010 13" C2D 2.4 GHz MBP.
     
  11. josh1231 macrumors regular

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    Feb 24, 2010
    #11
    Considering you're getting a better processor, 500GB larger hard drive, and a much better graphics card I don't think the price is too far out of line. If you're going to be using it strictly for surfing, I'd say no, but I personally would pay the money.

    That being said, once you pay the money to go up to it, the extra $200 to go to a 27" is a no-brainer as well.

    Of course at $1699, the extra $300 to get a better graphics card and a quad core processor is an easy decision, definitely worth it.

    And from $1999 to $2199 to get the quad core I7 instead of the I5 is definitely worth the money.

    I guess it really depends on what you are looking for :)
     
  12. dmk1974 thread starter macrumors 68000

    dmk1974

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    #12
    I know...its so easy to just keep saying for another $200, then another $300...

    I think I'll say with the entry-level model of i3 3.06 21.5. The other that I was looking at (if I decided to spend an extra $500) was their refurbed 27" i5 quad 2.66 model for $1529. That looks so sweet! But it's an extra 50% of the cost from this 21.5 i3 3.06.
     
  13. josh1231 macrumors regular

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    #13
    I have a 27" i5, and like it. It's pretty quick. I have upgraded it to 8GB ram and changed to always boot in 64-bit mode, and it has made a pretty good difference.

    At $1529, it is what I would personally buy. It will be a huge amount faster than the i3 on many things, and the difference in screens is very large.

    Or you could keep the one you have, and in a year sell it on ebay for 80% of what you paid, and upgrade then.

    I personally upgrade every year. Costs $400-$500 a year, but in the end it works about nearly the same plus you get to have the fastest machine.

    I have never understood the computer should last x years crowd. One of the advantages of Mac VS PC is the ability to sell them in a year and not take a 50% loss. Every time they release a new one, the $2k Imac seems to lose about $400. Not bad in my book.
     
  14. samk8000 macrumors regular

    samk8000

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    #14
    I'm in the same position and I think am just getting the cheaper model. I would want the hard drive but external ones can be purchased and for .14ghz it isn't worth it.
     
  15. samk8000 macrumors regular

    samk8000

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    #15
    But I think that there will be a new iMac touchscreen next. :):):):):):):):):)
     
  16. NYY FaN macrumors 6502

    NYY FaN

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    #16
    did you watch their last keynote conference for the MBA? Jobs clearly stated touch screens on regular computers/laptops are dumb
     
  17. davidcmc macrumors 6502

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    #17
    In the past he told that netbooks are dumb, too. :)

    PS: BTW, desktops touchscreens are really dumb, and I agree with Jobs.
     
  18. NYY FaN macrumors 6502

    NYY FaN

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    #18
    I wouldn't hold my breath for a touch screen imac anytime soon
     
  19. mouse123 macrumors member

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    Nov 25, 2010
    #19
    I personally dont like my desktop to be a touch screen too.. Imagine all the finger prints my monitor would have...
     
  20. iBookG4user macrumors 604

    iBookG4user

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    #20
    If you look at the iMac computers at an Apple store at the end of the day you'd think that they were already touch screens :p

    For the OP:
    Just get the base model, you won't notice much of a difference for any of the upgrades, they wouldn't be worth it in your case.
     
  21. mouse123 macrumors member

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    Nov 25, 2010
    #21
    Haha.. I dun bother about those because they are not mine. I wouldnt like my own iMac screen to be full of finger prints, even though they are mine or my parent's. Haha
     

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