Last Gen Refurb vs Current Gen New


Original poster
Jul 12, 2010
Ok, so I've been waiting it out with the rest of you to see Apple refresh the iMac line in hope of there being some big update to the components or something. Well, now's the time to buy for me as the line has been refreshed and there doesn't seem to be much of a difference. Problem is, I'm not sure what would be my best option.

A brand new, current gen iMac i5 will cost me £1,549.83 with my education discount. However, on the refurb store (since prices have dropped), I can get a previous gen iMac i7 for £1,399. It's a difference of only £150 which I know won't be much at all to some of you who can afford to max out the BTO iMacs but for me, it's money that I could put to good use elsewhere.

Anyway, I'm wondering, since the only things that really got changed were the GPU and a slight speed bump to the processor speeds, would I be better off getting the refurb i7 over a brand new i5? I'm hoping to run the occasional game or two on Windows (e.g GTA and some others) so how much of a difference would the new graphics card make? Other opinion on this was that I should go for the new one cause a refurb wouldn't be worth as much should I come to sell it next year to purchase the 2011 refreshed model.

Overall I am slightly leaning towards the new model with the i5 and the 1GB 5xxx series gpu but am I just getting drawn to the fact that it's new opposed to refurbished? Obviously the i7 in the refurb would be better than the i5 in the new model but I wouldn't feel as if the computer was 'underpowered' if I had an i5. So that pretty much leaves it down to the graphics. 512MB 4850 vs 1GB 5850. I've heard there isn't much difference between the two but wouldn't that extra 512MB graphics memory help out quite a bit with textures? Lastly, the screens. I've seen a lot of people that have had problems with yellowing screens etc and this would likely be something that apple has addressed in the new model. If I go for the refurb, I could run a greater risk of getting a defective screen.

There are arguments on both sides here for me but like I said, I'm leaning towards the new iMac. Just need some second opinions really :confused:.
Last edited:


macrumors 68020
Dec 10, 2004
You get free printer and iPod with the new one as you're a student, that should make the new worth it
I bought the i5 but with the new refurb price drop I might return it and get the i7 refurb.

While the slight upgrade in graphics, ram speed and sdxc are very nice, I think the i7 might still have the upper hand over the i5. I mean, it's 4 cores and 4 virtual cores, how could it not? Same speed, both at 2.8. I'm considering it and its the same price, if it was more expensive maybe not, but it's either the same or cheaper to get the i7.


macrumors member
Jul 25, 2010
A brand new, current gen iMac i5 will cost me £1,549.83 with my education discount.
Is that the standard education discount or Higher Education discount? I was quoted £1451.13 for the HE discount.

I'm in the same boat, but because I can get the free printer and ipod touch with the rebate I'm going to get a new one. My i5 quad arrived on Monday, but it's going back because of the update. I'm a bit annoyed, I phoned Apple and they wouldn't do any kind of price adjustment.. I guess it's because they're not having a 'sale', they're just calling the old models 'refurbs'. I wish I hadn't gone so over budget already, I really can't afford the new i7, even with HE discount it's £1578 - but I can't help thinking that hyperthreading will help in the long run. :confused:
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