Is this iMac buying strategy sound?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by TheIntruder, Jul 9, 2008.

  1. TheIntruder macrumors 6502a


    Jul 2, 2008
    I've got around a $1300 budget for a new Mac. I thought about the MacBook, but I don't really require the portability, and I can't live with such a small screen and the other compromises involved, so I've decided on an iMac.

    While the 24" screen is unquestionably superior, it's gonna be at least an extra $200-300 that I'd rather spend on other things; the 20" screen isn't great, but I can accept it, and my tasks don't require an accurate screen.

    I'm in a state that gets taxed, which kills any savings that come from buying a refurb from the Apple store. I'd rather get a new machine from another vendor for the negligible difference.

    So in lieu of purchasing the current low-end 2008 20" 2.4GHz model, I'm planning to order one of the remaining mid-range 2007 20" 2.4GHz models from Amazon or MacConnection, and then maxing it out to 4GB RAM.

    The new model has a faster bus, but lesser video card and smaller hard drive. Both the artificial and real-world benchmarks are roughly the same, with the exception of the gaming tests where the old model comes out ahead due to the video card.

    The 2008 2.66GHz model is faster, but not $200 worth, and I hate the idea of having two useless DIMMs after I max it out, instead of one.

    My main hangup is whether getting the nearly year-old model is unwise.

    I've gone over this repeatedly in my mind and I think I've covered all the bases, but I guess I'm gun shy and need the encouragement to finally pull the trigger. What say the denizens of Mac Rumors?
  2. GorillaPaws macrumors 6502a


    Oct 26, 2003
    Richmond, VA
    I'm sure you will get a more specific reply from smarter people than myself, but I do have a little bit of information to pass on that may help in a round-about way.

    I recently bought the current low-end iMac and maxed out the ram with 4 gigs since I needed to run parallels. I have heard that OSX will take advantage of any memory you want to give it, but I really wasn't expecting all that much of an improvement from an already-fast 2 G's of memory in my iMac at home and the 4 G's on the new one in the office.

    I was greatly mistaken. While parallels doesn't slow up OSX nearly as bad as it does on an older machine we have running it with only 2G's of ram as I was hoping, OSX just screams which I was not expecting. Apps launch damn near instantly.

    I realize this isn't the exact scenario you are interested in, but I wanted to let you know that in general if very hardcore graphic stuff isn't important to you, then sacrificing processor speed/graphics performance for more ram will be my personal recommendation every time given my recent experiences. I hope that helps somehow.
  3. Le Big Mac macrumors 68030

    Le Big Mac

    Jan 7, 2003
    Washington, DC

    The 24" screen is bigger and better, but it's being a little unreasonable to say the 20" "isn't great".
  4. solidgoldmini macrumors regular

    Sep 14, 2004
    In a house. On a street. In a city.
    I use a 24" iMac at work. I recently converted a family member to Mac and they got a 20" iMac. I notice the difference in the screen. The 20" doesn't look as clear as the 24". Tough to describe, but noticeable.
    And there is a noticeable color shift at an angle-the 24" is much better.

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