iMacs, Refurbs, Older Models and Black Friday and/or Cyber Monday

Discussion in 'iMac' started by iKeith, Nov 24, 2015.

  1. iKeith macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2015
    #1
    I need a new iMac for very basic use, mostly watching videos on YouTube, Vimeo, DailyMotion, Bestreams, GorillaVid, Vodlocker, etc., My requirement is speed. I'm not concerned with storage. (I currently have a mid-2007 iMac with a 320 GB SATA Disk with 298.54 GB free of 319.08 GB.) I like speed. I want to click and be there. I want to click and have my videos start without buffering, stuttering, or freezing. I don't care about a retina screen. 1920 x 1200 is more than fine for me.

    Can anyone recommend the right iMac for me at the best price? Is it possible to get older models (but new or possibly refurbished) and save some money? (Like a model with the original 1 TB Fusion drive with the full 128 GB instead of only 24 GB?) I have $1,900 but would like to not spend it all if I don't have to. It took a long time to save!

    I like iMacs because I only use my computer at home and have no need to carry it with me. HOWEVER, I'm open to considering a notebook if 1) they're considerably cheaper, 2) don't get hot if they run for several hours, and 3) will last at least five years without everything becoming outdated and unsupported. Thanks heaps for your time, suggestions, advice, warnings, links, etc!
     
  2. iKeith thread starter macrumors member

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    Sep 22, 2015
  3. twilexia macrumors 6502

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    Oct 16, 2015
    #3
    No way you're going to be happy with the 7200rpm Hard Drive. If you're concerned with speed you need at the very least a Fusion drive (with 128GB SSD) or go all-SSD with 256 GB SSD. While I prefer the fusion I think for your purposes you should go with pure SSD, get the 256 GB SSD and get an external drive like the Seagate Backup Plus (there's a deal right now where you can get the 5TB cheaper than the 4TB).

    If all you're doing is watching videos, get a refurbished model with i5 and pure SSD. GPU really doesn't matter at all for your purposes. I think this one is great for you:

    http://www.apple.com/shop/product/G...z-quad-core-intel-core-i5-with-retina-display

    Honestly I consider apple's refurbished products even better quality than their new ones. Their refurb policy is extremely strict and they fully test everything to make sure it works.
     
  4. santaliqueur macrumors 6502a

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    Aug 7, 2007
    #4
    Then the only drive you want to consider is the SSD. Stay away from the Fusion drives, as they offer something you aren't interested in.
     
  5. santaliqueur macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2007
    #5
    It's not a good configuration for you because for what you said you desire, you want an SSD. Other than that it's great. Even overkill, as you said you don't need such a high resolution screen. But it will be nice to have!
     
  6. iKeith, Nov 24, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2015

    iKeith thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2015
    #6
    Thanks for the advice. I'm not very good with the tech stuff, so this helps. From what I've been researching, it seems a late 2014 iMac would be a good choice for me. 1TB Fusion Drive with a full 128 GB SSD.

    Are the late 2014 models still available anywhere (Other than the Apple Refurbished Store?) I thought maybe another vendor might be trying to clearance them out...
     
  7. iKeith thread starter macrumors member

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    Sep 22, 2015
    #7
    I will definitely keep this one in mind. Many thanks!
     
  8. iamMacPerson macrumors 68030

    iamMacPerson

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    Jun 12, 2011
    Location:
    AZ/10.0.1.1
    #8
    If you just want to be able to click and go, stay AWAY from bare hard drives and Fusion drives. As santaliqueur said, the only drive you'll want to get is the pure SSD. OS X is way too slow on regular HDDs, and the SSD included with the Fusion drives are nowhere near as fast as a pure flash/SSD drive. These are the options I would recommend:

    21.5", non-Retina, absolute base model available with the SSD. Note: you would get similar performance out of this machine as a MacBook Air. I kid you not, it shared the Air's CPU and GPU. RAM is not upgradeable.

    21.5", Retina, base model Retina plus SSD. This would probably your most future proof model, while not going over budget. RAM is not upgradeable.

    27", Retina, Middle of the line with SSD. Probably the one I would get. Note that B&H doesn't have the base 27" plus SSD as an option or I'd link that. This has an upgraded processor for extra speed.
     
  9. iamMacPerson macrumors 68030

    iamMacPerson

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    #9
    27" 2014 model. 1TB Fusion on B&H. Hope this helped! :)

    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1086734-REG/apple_mf886ll_a_27_imac_with_retina.html
     
  10. iKeith thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2015
    #10

    On the first link, I see it has
    • 1.6 GHz Intel Core i5 Dual-Core
    To be honest, I have no idea what this is. My current, mid-2007 iMac has a
    2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor. What are GHz and isn't 1.6 "slow?"

    I wonder how B&H can offer the lower prices they do? They sound great, but I'm more than nervous buying a computer from half way across the country. If something is wrong with it, there's the hassle of packing it back up and shipping it, waiting for them to look at it and ship it back, etc.
     
  11. iKeith thread starter macrumors member

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    Sep 22, 2015
    #11
    Nice. Just wish it fit into my $1,900 budget at the moment. I tried to save as much as possible to take advantage of any Black Friday or Cyber Monday deals that stores might have. (By the way, is Apple having a Black Friday or Cyber Monday sale this year? I haven't seen anything yet.) $1,900 was the best I could do and that, unfortunately, would have to include tax. I like the deals you found in your previous post, but, then again, there's the uncertainty of buying a computer from across the country and hoping you don't get one that's a lemon or has issues.
     
  12. santaliqueur macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2007
    #12
    B&H is a very reputable retailer, and I'm sure others will agree with me. If anything is wrong with the computer, wouldn't you just take it to an Apple Store? You don't need to take it back to the place you bought it from.
     
  13. iKeith thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2015
    #13
    This makes me feel a lot better, santaliqueur. I appreciate knowing they're reputable.

    If there's something wrong with the computer, I can take it back to my local Apple Store? Really? Wouldn't they ask for my receipt and see it wasn't purchased there and send me back to where I originally bought it? If not, then it seems Apple would price match B&H and let me buy it locally from them.

    Sorry if that sounds naive but I honestly don't buy very much. My last major purchase was this mid-2007 iMac on January 1, 2008! And I bought it directly from Apple.
     
  14. iamMacPerson macrumors 68030

    iamMacPerson

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    Location:
    AZ/10.0.1.1
    #14
    I have personally never had a problem with B&H. I have never ordered a computer from them, but I have ordered other items, like backup batteries and even AppleCare without a problem. I'd trust them 100%. They are able to offer this pricing because Apple sells the computers to B&H just below the business pricing. If you call into Apple's enterprise team, they will quote the same price as B&H. It's a deal they have, with B&H just acting as more of a conduit for Apple's product versus someone like Best Buy. They have super-slim, if any, profit margin on the machines. They make the money on the accessories. They figure if they show good customer service from the get-go, you'll come back.

    Now, as far as the speed of the machine, at this point anything Apple makes will probably be faster then your iMac. Even the iPhone 6s and iPad Pro will most likely score better on Geekbench and other benchmark utilities. Technology and processors have advanced so much these last few years, it's amazing. Now, usually the higher the speed of the processor (gigahertz or GHz) the better the performance. However, when you're talking about a new generation of CPUs, you can't go off of the speed or amount of cores a CPU has. You need to look at benchmark tests and real world tests. For now, let's just look at the benchmarks. Geekbench is the most well-respected utility out there. It only test the CPU, however, let's take a look.

    Here's the Geekbench score for your 2007 2.4GHz Core 2 Duo iMac.

    Here's the Geekbench score for the entry level 1.4GHz i5 iMac.

    The higher the score, the faster the CPU. The new iMac (which is actually the 2014 model because I could find results for the new one) has the same amount of cores (two), but is a full 1GHz slower then your current iMac. It's just over twice as fast. Twice as fast. We are still talking the entry level model here.

    If you do a custom build on a machine (higher CPU, bigger drive, you'll know because it'll say Special Order) I'm almost 100% certain those machines would ship direct from Apple. I would not worry about ordering from B&H personally, I think they're great, and even if an issue does erupt, you get Apple's full 1-year warranty with the option to extend it. B&H is Apple authorized to sell all Apple products (save for iPhones last I checked) so buy with confidence. Just know that time is running out for the 2014 models. They are on close out.

    (I am not paid or endorsed by B&H or Geekbench in anyway. All opinions are my own)

    EDIT: Also, real quick, B&H should register the serial number as sold with Apple immediately. I purchased an iPad from them, and never had to show proof of purchase to get it swapped.
     
  15. iKeith thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2015
    #15
    Wow, I really appreciate all of that information. The way you explained, and demonstrated, it, I have a much better understanding of processors.

    I have a four day Thanksgiving weekend and will be making my final decision then. One last question:

    Do the 1 TB Fusion Drives from 2013 and 2014 still come with 128 GB, or have they been knocked down to 24GB, too? (And, with 2016 around the corner, would I be dense to buy a 2013 model?)
     
  16. iKeith thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2015
    #16
    I really want to thank everyone who posted here for their kindness, help, advice, and especially their patience. You guys are a huge reason I switched to Apple from PC in the first place.

    I was having to replace my PCs every two years and was tired of all the annual subscriptions for spam and antivirus protections. I was shopping for a new PC and was so frustrated, I decided to just live without a computer. Then, someone asked me if I ever considered switching to Apple. To be honest, the thought never dawned on me because everyone around me had a PC at the time, and all of my employers always used PCs.

    When I started learning about them, I noticed that Apple people (in forums) were VERY kind, VERY eager to help, and VERY patient. When I went into PC forums and mentioned that I was considering switching, they became VERY angry and VERY rude.

    That's what got me in the Apple store and I fell in love. I click for this, drag this here and it's done. Back then, PC was still a 12 Click Program to do anything. Apple's extended warranty was half of what Microsoft's was and I didn't need any annual subscriptions to antivirus, etc., The big gripe was about the price but I still remember what one Apple person told me: "You might pay more upfront, but you'll save money in the long run. To be honest, I don't even remember what I paid for mine." That turned out to be very true. I still can't remember how much I paid and I can't imagine how much money I've saved over the last eight years on not having to replace it.

    Here's what I tell others now: Buying a PC is like buying a car... and having to push it everywhere you go. Buying a Mac is like getting a chauffeur with the car.
     
  17. aman74 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2011
    #17
    Best deal I know of right now is to sign up for a Discover card and use Apple Pay INSIDE and Apple store and double up the cash back for a total of 22% off.

    Adorama sent me an email last night with some pretty good savings including 50 off Apple Care. Use Fatwallet for BH or Adorama to get cash back and also use a credit card that will give you something if you aren't able to do the Discover deal.
     
  18. bent christian Suspended

    bent christian

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2015
    #18
    All PCs are not created equal. A buy an inexpensive Windows machine, you are going to have problems. Same with a car, same with just about anything - it won't last long. As with most things, you get what you pay for in a computer system. I am eight years into use of an IBM Thinkpad. It is still going strong, with at least a few more years left in it. These were some of the best notebook PC available ta the time so...
     
  19. twilexia, Nov 25, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2015

    twilexia macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2015
    #19
    I think we all went through the same journey as you did at some point. Since PCs are so much more prevalent we all had to make the adjustment to using Apple's ecosystem. With apple there are so many things they do right that prevent frustration. Every time I have to figure out some setting on a PC I just want to smash my head against the wall. And i use a PC everyday for work.

    AFAIK regarding the 1TB fusion for previous years, they are all 128GB SSD. They don't make the older models anymore once the new ones come out, so you can be confident buying an older one and seeing 128 GB SSD inside.
     
  20. AppleHater macrumors 6502a

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    Jun 9, 2010
    #20
    There are decent deals if you buy stock models. BTO rarely gets a deal.
     
  21. santaliqueur macrumors 6502a

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    Aug 7, 2007
    #21
    This was outlined in OP's first post.

     
  22. twilexia macrumors 6502

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    Oct 16, 2015
    #22
    Good point. Well, in that case I don't know why he's even bothering to look at the fusion drive.
     
  23. iamMacPerson macrumors 68030

    iamMacPerson

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    #23
    No problem! They will still come with the 128GB drive. The 24GB SSD is limited to the late-2015 models and later.
     
  24. Buerkletucson macrumors 6502

    Buerkletucson

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    Sep 12, 2015
    #24
    Just asking.....
    You people that are promoting a place like B&H.....
    Would they of done the same under this circumstance as Apple did when I ordered directly through them online?
    Sort of doubt it.....


    I ordered an early 2015 loaded iMac 5K in September.....received it and had it for 3-weeks before the announcement of a refreshed 5K version coming out.
    Apple has a 14 day return policy, but I called them and they politely agreed to me returning my iMac so I can get the new released late-2015 5K machine, despite it being 3-weeks since delivery.

    They even emailed me a free 2-day Fedex return tag so I didn't even have to pay postage.
    I immediately returned the machine........Fedex "lost" the returned machine and it was MIA.

    I called Apple about it and they immediately refunded my full purchase price and said they would handle the issue with Fedex.

    Couldn't be happier with Apple...
    but it makes me wonder what kind of support I'd of gotten in similar circumstances with a 3rd party?
     
  25. iamMacPerson macrumors 68030

    iamMacPerson

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    AZ/10.0.1.1
    #25
    I personally don't know, but if the iMac got lost by the carrier and B&H didn't purchase insurance on it, I believe it would fall on them. Also, they accept PayPal so at worst you're covered by them. Outside the 14 days, I don't know what B&H would do.
     

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