Late Refurb i7 2012 vs i5 2013

Discussion in 'iMac' started by HuwRowlands, Oct 21, 2013.

  1. HuwRowlands macrumors newbie

    Mar 20, 2011

    I was going to purchase the latest (base model) 27" i5 iMac but noticed a late 2012 i7 in stock for £50 less.

    Refurbished 27-inch iMac 3.4GHz quad-core Intel Core i7
    Originally released October 2012
    27-inch LED-backlit display with IPS technology
    8GB memory
1TB hard drive
    NVIDIA GeForce GTX 675MX with 1GB
    Built-in FaceTime HD camera​

    I know there are small differences such as the WIFI and updated Haswell processors but would it not be worth getting the 2013 model, for the late 2012 i7?

    What differences in speed and performance would there be? Would I benefit from having the i7? Or would it be on par with the current i5?

    I am a web designer/dev and use a few apps at once including photoshop/illustrator etc.
    What advice could give me?

    Thanks in advance
  2. mffl04 macrumors member

    Mar 23, 2011
    Just came to post the same question. The processor heavy task I would be doing is some photo editing, home video editing in iMovie and video recoding from eyeTV. Any tips on which on to go with? Will the 2012 model have much speed gains from a 2013 model with the i5?
  3. MacFan782040 macrumors 6502a


    Dec 1, 2003
    Scranton, PA
    Have you guys seen the image retention issues? I was ready to purchase a refurb 2012 iMac or a new 2013 one... and now I'm not sure what to do. Google/search these forums and it seems like a pretty serious issue!
  4. Bear macrumors G3

    Jul 23, 2002
    Sol III - Terra
    Remember when one person has an issue and posts about it on the internet, others pick up and echo the issue making it possibly seem worse than it is.

    Is what you're reading people who have seen the problem themselves or are they just reporting on an issue someone else had.
  5. HuwRowlands thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 20, 2011
    Hmmm... Did not know about this issue. But as mentioned, bad press travels further than the good.

    Are refunds available if I have this issue and complain. I need the iMac for my work.

    Back to the original query though; would it be worth getting the 2012 i7? If there is little difference between that and the newer 2013 i5 then I'll just get that. I don't want to be blinded by the bigger numbers!! (i7 and 3.4ghz over i5 and 3.2ghz). I am assuming with the new haswell processors that the i5 isn't going be any slower than the 2012 i7, if not faster?

  6. Bear macrumors G3

    Jul 23, 2002
    Sol III - Terra
    Apple does have a 14 day return policy and after that display issues would be covered by the warranty.

    Haswell processors do not have that much performance improvement. the 3.2GHz i5 would be slower. The 3.4GHz i5 would be about the same speed as the 3.4GHz i7 except for applications that can take advantage of an i7.

    If you're not getting a Fusion Drive or SSD, for what you said you do the late 2012 will be just as fast if not faster than the 3.2GHz i5.
  7. HuwRowlands thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 20, 2011
    Can I check out the bench tests for this info? Will they tell me which one will be better/faster?
    I'd rather brand new over refurb although I doubt there's much difference there either. The cost saving is only £50.

    Thanks for your help
  8. mffl04 macrumors member

    Mar 23, 2011
    How do you find out which applications take advantage of the i7?
  9. tbolt11 macrumors member

    Jun 20, 2013
  10. bflowers macrumors 6502a

    Jul 19, 2006
    The 2013 has a faster fusion drive, if that is important to you. It also has newer options for the video card.

    I have a 2012 i7 with the 680MX. Very happy with it, and no issues with the screen.
  11. FreemanW macrumors 6502

    Sep 10, 2012
    The Real Northern California
    The late 2013 unit has a rather significant change to the data bus architecture that improves drive data read and write performance.

    You would do well to get a late 2013 27" with the best CPU upgrade you can budget and either a SSD or a Fusion drive option. You can increase your memory as needed and/or as budget allows.
  12. HuwRowlands thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 20, 2011
  13. Chippy99, Oct 22, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2013

    Chippy99 macrumors 6502a

    Apr 28, 2012
    The reality is you are unlikely to notice the difference with either machine. It's all well and good quoting about "significant change to the data bus architecture" but really that will make no difference whatsoever in normal use. The theoretic maximum transfer rate might be higher, but transfer to where? Copy to any other SSD or disk and that device will be the limitation. Loading very large files (Gigabyte plus) to ram will be incrementally faster. How often will you do that?

    Unless you have some specific requirement - like you have hours and hours of 1080p video to transcode using Handbrake, for example - then both machines will likely appear identical.

    It really comes down to whether you want to save a bit of money up front or not. Resale values on the 2013 might be a little higher too, if you plan on selling within a couple of years or so. After that, there won't be much difference there either.
  14. mffl04 macrumors member

    Mar 23, 2011
  15. mffl04 macrumors member

    Mar 23, 2011
    Well ended up with this one I found on craigslist...

    Late 2012
    Quad-Core Intel Core i7 3.4GHz,
    8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 SDRAM, 3TB Fusion Drive
    27" LED-backlit,
    NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680MX graphics,
    Four USB 3 ports,
    SDXC card slot,
    Gigabit Ethernet,
    802.11n Wi-Fi wireless networking,
    Bluetooth 4.0 wireless technology

    Paid $1800 for it..:D

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