iMac Buying Advice ($1,200ish budget)

Discussion in 'iMac' started by JesseW6889, Jun 2, 2011.

  1. JesseW6889 macrumors 6502

    Dec 12, 2010
    I am interested in buying a new iMac, this will be my second computer and second Mac, the first being an 11" MBA.

    I am purchasing with the intention of using for html, xcode and gaming (starcraft 2, team fortress 2) but I don't need to run things at high anything, just would like to play them full screen fluidly.

    I am between a new 22" base model iMac and a refurbished 27" i3, both are about $1,200. I'm not all that concerned about hard drive size or thunderbolt connector, but I understand that either way, I won't be able to use either iMac as an external monitor for my MBA.

    I don't have a strict budget of $1,200, and if I can justify the added cost, I can increase my budget accordingly.

    My question is if the i3 from last generation is going to be powerful enough to do what I need. I assume that it will be because I use a MBA as my main computer and LOVE IT. I also really love the responsiveness of the MBA, and since I've never used an iMac before, I don't know how it will stack up to it.

    Any advice is appreciated, thanks!
  2. philipma1957 macrumors 603


    Apr 13, 2010
    Howell, New Jersey
    wait for the 2011 iMacs to come out as refurbished models..

    wait and see if t-bolt has a booting external case.

    yeah i know everyone says i don't care about t-bolt but it would allow easy backup.

    right around the corner here comes lion.

    also if you have a student next week will be the back 2 school promo.

    you won't need to wait for a refurb if you get a free ipod and sell it on ebay.

    maybe the 2011 with the 2.7GHz quad-core i5 is good enough..

    it is 1499 but as a refurb or with the student back 2 school deal you would be close to 1250-1275
  3. justinLONG macrumors member

    Mar 15, 2011
    i bought a mid-2010 refurb i3 3.2ghz imac with the 5670 with 512MB. cod 4 and bio shock looks and play well.

    although when I play borderlands it doesn't seem to play as smoothly.
  4. Sirmausalot macrumors 6502a


    Sep 1, 2007
    Get the 21.5" iMac with the better specs. It will be better for gaming in the future. Then when you can afford it, and if you want it, get a large external monitor or simply hook it up to your current TV
  5. JesseW6889 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Dec 12, 2010
    22 or 27 inch?
  6. SuperMatt macrumors 6502a


    Mar 28, 2002
    I agree with this comment. If you can afford the newest model, do so. It will last you longer. I've also used the 21.5" screens and the 27". I wouldn't personally pay more for the 27" unless you want to use it as a TV too...
  7. TheNakedMan macrumors member

    May 20, 2007
  8. RoelJuun macrumors 6502


    Aug 31, 2010
    Be aware that the responsiveness of your MBA is because of the SSD inside. The iMac doesn't have a SSD unless you pay 500$ extra. And Apple doesn't allow you to add a SSD in the base-model.
  9. caughtintheweb macrumors regular

    May 17, 2011
    The refurbished 2010 i7 is an excellent choice considering you are on a tight budget. It has the 27 inch and i7 processor, both of which are useful when you edit and touch up photographs. 1 GB of 5*** series GC is good enough for your needs.
  10. justinLONG macrumors member

    Mar 15, 2011

    21.5".... I never really played games on my mac, but the more I do the more I want to upgrade. for $1500 the refurbished mid-2010 27" i7 looks like a good option to me.

    maybe wait for the 2011 imacs to come out refurbished like philipma1957 said.
  11. JesseW6889 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Dec 12, 2010
    Based on what you guys have said, I am leaning more towards the refurbished 27" i7 for $1,500.

    I'm still not sure whether I'd like the extra space the 27" provides or if I'd think it was obnoxious.

    I don't currently have a tv though, so if there is some way to use it as a tv, that would definitely be a huge selling point for the 27" for me. Any suggestions?

    From what I can tell, the refurb 27" mentioned above is something like $600 off its base price, is that right?

    Any other arguments or info I need before I make my decision? I'm still about 50/50... I like the idea of having the newest model, but the 27" also seems like it'd be something I'd want in the long run (with not being able to upgrade the monitor on an imac, not really anyways) I still might wait for the 2011 refurbs but, I do like the idea of the 27" i7 for $1500!

    Thanks for the responses so far, I appreciate everyones help, I just don't want to spend $1,000 plus on something that In two weeks i think 'i should have gotten xxxxx!'
  12. caughtintheweb macrumors regular

    May 17, 2011
    The 1500 i7 is a good balance between getting an old model vs getting all the features. You can always add an external tv card for your monitor and make it work like a tv. The i7 was priced 2199 a month back, so its a good 600 bucks lower. As far as the performance goes benchmarks show that its slightly better than the current base 1999 model and second only to current 3.4 ghz i7. Only thing missing would be the thunderbolt port. Of course if you have the extra money, you should always go for the latest, but given the budget constraints this is a really good deal.

    I was going to buy the high end 21.5 inch model, because I thought the 27 inch would be too big. But I am glad I did not make that mistake. The extra real estate you get is so useful. Its almost like having two monitors.

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