imac 27 refurb or brand new 21.5inch

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by e1usive, Feb 10, 2011.

  1. e1usive macrumors newbie

    Dec 3, 2010
    always wanted a mac, going to be buying tommorow, using for general use, graphics design, design, and studying

    should i get the 27" refurb with

    Refurbished iMac 27-inch 3.06GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
    Originally released late 2009
    27-inch LED-backlit glossy widescreen display
    4GB memory
    1TB hard drive
    8x SuperDrive (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW)
    ATI Radeon HD 4670 graphics with 256MB memory
    Built-in iSight camera

    or brand new 21.5"

    i3, 3.06 ghz 4gb ram ect

    is it worth buying an older model with a bigger screen?

  2. Monkey194545 macrumors member

    Jul 30, 2010
    I would only get the 27inch if you got it with core i3 (preferably the i5 or i7). The higher resolution combined with the C2D will cause it to be slower than the smaller i3 (not to mention the slower ram).

    *Disclaimer: I'm am partially biased, I went with a new 21.5in 3.2 i3 last year over a C2D refurb'd 27inch.
  3. cootersgarage6, Feb 10, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 25, 2011

    Nov 6, 2010

    Hmmm... The intel core 2 duo is getting dated fast. get the i3. iMac
  4. daabido macrumors newbie

    Dec 16, 2008
    My vote is definitely for the 27". It is a spectacular screen size and even though the C2D is definitely an ageing architecture, it should be more than sufficient for your needs.

    An i3 iMac won't be much if any faster than a 3 Ghz C2D. An i5 might be, but it will only shave less than a second apart from graphics intensive rendering stuff.

    If you're going to do high end graphics rendering, then still get the 27", go grab yourself a coffee while it's doing its work and marvel at how much more enjoyment you have gotten from the larger screen for the 99.99% of the time when the C2D is just dandy for the job at hand.
  5. bvanlieu macrumors member

    Dec 28, 2008
    if you can't swing the i3 27" refurb, then the best advice really is to ask what you are going to be doing.

    You are comparing a refurb to a new (which makes no sense to me: you can get refurb 21" too, so if you are ok with refurb, you are ok with refurb :p

    the i3 is faster, but not monumental depending on what you do.

    If you are transcoding video all day long, then yes i3 over a CD2 if that is your only two choices.

    If you are a typical user who browses, emails, writes, don't care about gaming, then its all about screen size IMHO.

    And for me, given a slightly slower CPU and a much bigger screen, I would choose display.

    I recently went from a 20" 2.4 CD2 to a 27" i3 (refurb). In everyday use I don't really notice too much of a delta in how windows open, programs load. Both systems have 4+ G of RAM which has a lot more to do with user experience for *my* use.

    Only when I do some Handbrake do I see the i3 shining...its quite speedy.

    I spent a bit more to get the i3 as I could afford it, but I didn't feel the value of the i5 or i7 cost delta for what I do. It was a compromise to me personally. I open a lot of programs and work from home, use VMware fusion, so I load it up with RAM and go to town and the CPU for me is not a limiting factor.

    The 3 year old CD2 2.4 worked fine for me...I was just limited to 4G on that platform. 8G currently in the 27 :D


    - b
  6. grantrobarts macrumors member

    Jun 29, 2007
    I recently bought a refurb 27" i7 with SSD. This is the best Mac I have owned to date. The speed is excellent for the photo hobby end of it, games actually run really well, and the screen real estate is SWEEEET.

    Overall, the refurb price was pretty fair and I would never be scared of buying a refurb.
  7. TJRiver macrumors 6502


    Jan 14, 2009
  8. SkippyThorson macrumors 65816


    Jul 22, 2007
    Utica, NY
    First, I have to say I would get a refurbished Apple product over new if I was ever given the choice. I've never had an issue, often, they're just as good as (if not better) than new, and why not save some cash?

    Now, in this case, it's a no-brainer for me. A new 21.5" Vs a refurbished 27"? I'd definitely go with the 27" every time. As mentioned, an i3 won't gain you much, and just may even be a little slower than the ~3ghz C2D.

    That extra half a foot of screen real-estate will prove to be a great asset. You won't miss what you never had, but you'll always wish you had just a little more room for things. :p
  9. Flavor macrumors newbie

    Jun 19, 2010
    I'm currently working with a 27 inch C2D 3.06ghz system and it's flawless. Running about 12-14 apps at all times without so much as a hiccup. If you can spring for the i3 it will be best but there is definitely nothing wrong with the 3.06.

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