iMac Buying Advice

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by nj22, Apr 18, 2017.

  1. nj22 macrumors newbie

    Apr 18, 2017
    I really wanted to wait for the new models, but I can't wait until fall, or later, so I'm going to go for a refurbished iMac. I've been using mid-2010 MBP for a long time and it's finally time for something new. I'm a basic user. It's mostly for work (using Word, Excel, etc), web browsing, watching Netflix, etc. I do keep a lot of music and movies, though, and I imagine I'll do some light/minor video editing at some point. I've seen other threads that say to get at least a 2TB fusion drive. But for my basic needs will a 1TB fusion be that bad? I'd like to get something that lasts for a long time (which is why I was hoping to wait for the new models), but I'd love to keep the price down.
    My options:
    27-inch, 3.3 i5, 2TB fusion for $1,949. I know I'd love this, but it's more than I'd like to spend. Is it too much for my needs?
    27-inch 3.2 i5, 1TB fusion for $1609: Can I save a few hundred by going with a 1TB?
    (both of those are with 8GB, I'll upgrade myself later)
    21-inch retina, 3.1 i5, 16GB, 1TB Fusion - $1529: I'd prefer the larger screen, but maybe it's worth it to go smaller and save.
    Or wait (a little while) for something else in the refurb store.

    Any thoughts/advice is appreciated. Thanks!
  2. Billy Underhill macrumors newbie

    Billy Underhill

    Jun 2, 2016
    I purchased a factory  refurbished MacBook Pro at an unbelievable price from a top EBay seller that was recommended by AppleInsider. I have nothing but good things to say about them. I just looked to see what he had and came across one of his deals:

    I was very skeptical at 1st being off of EBay, but like I said, everything was legit.

    Oh,and I also own this iMac that I purchased for much more from Apple, before I knew about this seller, and it's a really great computer.
  3. Fishrrman macrumors P6


    Feb 20, 2009
    I'd suggest what B.Underhill recommends in post above.

    Some folks have complained about the 1tb fusion drive, because the SSD portion of that setup is only 24gb in size.
    The 2tb fusion model has a 128gb SSD portion.
  4. motty2307 macrumors regular

    Feb 1, 2010

    I have the 27" 5K model and love it! I'd recommend that size screen. Also keep in mind that it's extremely cheap and easy to get more hard drive space if needed, going external.
  5. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Oct 24, 2013
    Well all the advice is correct, you want at least 2TB fusion to avoid disappointment in system speed. As to anything else it really doesn't matter for your usage. You won't need more than 8gb in the foreseeable future and graphics etc will all be better than you need.
  6. nj22 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 18, 2017
    Thanks for the advice. The ebay option is intriguing, but I didn't think you still got the warranty from Apple if it's a refurb from someone other than Apple. Is that wrong?
  7. MRrainer macrumors 65816

    Aug 8, 2008
    Zurich, Switzerland
    How long is "a long time" for you?

    The thing with the iMac is that when its display doesn't want to work anymore and you're outside of Apple Care, you're looking at a repair bill that is several hundred USD.

    This is why people still want Apple to release an updated Mac Mini.
  8. kschendel macrumors 65816

    Dec 9, 2014
    The 1 Tb Fusion certainly has its problems, but I can think of a couple upgrade options if you really want to keep the initial price down. You could add an external SSD, which is the simplest upgrade if you don't mind dealing with things being on separate drives. If your storage needs aren't that high you could even make the external SSD be the boot drive, and more or less ignore the Fusion (or use it for archival storage). USB3 is fast enough to run an SSD at a decent speed if not maxed out.

    Or, you can upgrade the bits making up the fusion drive, although that involves taking the machine apart, and if you're going to do that you might as well just put a 1 Tb SSD in there and declare victory.

    I'm pretty sure that either option will cost less than the price differential between the 1 and 2 Tb units you listed.

    I'd go with the 27 inch, not only is it a larger and nicer screen, but if I'm not mistaken, RAM is upgradeable on the 27's but not the new 21.5's.
  9. rc135tx macrumors member


    Feb 15, 2010
    Have you considered just replacing the internal hard drive in your MBP with a 1TB SSD? I did that with mine, which is the same model & used much like yours -- it has been just fine since.
  10. nj22 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 18, 2017
    I haven't thought about that. It's an interesting idea. I think I'm ready for a desktop so I think I'm going to just bite the bullet and get the 27-inch refurb, but I may think about doing this just to extend the life of my MBP for a while. I'll still need a laptop and I love this one.

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