med student - should I wait or buy now?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by aldrae6, Aug 1, 2012.

  1. aldrae6 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2012
    #1
    Hey all, new member and first forum post anywhere, so I apologize if I mess something up. I have been watching this forum for awhile waiting to purchase my first mac since March and now I am getting inpatient. I am a medical student and looking to buy the iMac to study at home with as well as play games such as league of legends (through bootcamp), diablo 3 and starcraft 2. Classes will be starting in 3 weeks and I cant decide if I want to wait for the possibility of a new model coming out in a few months or buying a refurbished 2011 model now. My big questions are:
    1. What is the likelihood of a major overhaul? The current specs of the 2011 model would do everything I need, I am basically waiting so that my money goes furthest and my machine is as 'future-proof' as possible.
    2. What are the chances of apple including an option other than thunderbolt which would allow you to use the imac as a display for a game console?

    Thanks for your responses.
     
  2. forty2j macrumors 68030

    forty2j

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2008
    Location:
    NJ
    #2
    For the particular tasks you list, the 2011 27" iMac with the BTO 2GB 6970m will serve just fine. The risk is that next model will have a GPU that's 2x as powerful, so around 2014 or so equivalent tasks will still fly on the 2012 but degrade in the 2011. The expected heavy lifting lifespan for the 2011's is shrinking.

    Other expected 2012 improvements include a low-glare screen, USB 3 (if you hold lots of media in externals this is helpful), and lower cost (and perhaps standard) SSDs. The CPU upgrade is hardly worth mentioning.

    I'll put it this way: there's a higher chance that Microsoft/Sony include Thunderbolt ports on their new consoles that should come out next year.
     
  3. french.lamp macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2012
    #3
    If you have another computer, I would wait. You really only need PowerPoint and access to internet for med school. I am still using my 2006 MacBook and doing just fine. Congratulations!
     
  4. aldrae6 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2012
    #4
    So is it smarter to wait and buy a new one after classes start or buy now? I would be more inclined to buy now if I could find a refurb that had 2 gb vram but I never seem to see one in the store, although I have read about people buying refurbs advertised as 1 gb vram and receiving 2 gb instead. I may be able to hold out until early-mid september but I certainly dont want to wait until october or later, I am too excited for my very first mac after 24 years of PC.
     
  5. forty2j macrumors 68030

    forty2j

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2008
    Location:
    NJ
    #5
    This happens sometimes through Amazon, but sometimes you also get a machine where someone did a DIY swap on the HDD and didn't use the right kind of drive - Apple uses drives with temperature sensors, and if you don't use the same one or short out the sensor pins on the connection, the fans always spin at max.

    Have you considered a portable? An MBA makes a great system for carrying around a campus, and although you wouldn't want to game on it, it would serve nicely for group study sessions etc. It could easily tide you over while you wait for a 2012 iMac and not go unused once you have the iMac. An rMBP can replace the need for the iMac, although the screen is not 27" and the GPU is actually a bit less powerful than a 2011 iMac's (but my is that 15" Retina screen beautiful..).
     
  6. aldrae6 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2012
    #6
    Thanks for the advice! I already have a laptop which I use to take notes during class and solves any portability issues I have, I wanted the iMac because of how many hours I spend at home studying, its easier to have the bigger screen. Sounds like the consensus is to hold out for the new model while using my laptop to study in the meantime, unless I see a very good deal for a 2011 27 in, I will cross my fingers that the update comes soon. It certainly is frustrating having money you are willing to spend on your first mac but being forced to play the waiting game.
     
  7. Razorhog macrumors 65816

    Razorhog

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    Arkansas
    #7
    Welcome to the club!
     
  8. forty2j macrumors 68030

    forty2j

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2008
    Location:
    NJ
    #8
    Amen..

    I got my 2011 tax refund, and then 2011 iMacs came out, but then I ended up getting the wife a new PC instead.

    Then I got my 2012 tax refund, and I'm still waiting for a 2012 iMac to spend it on...
     
  9. aldrae6 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2012
    #9
    the longer I wait, the more tempting a refurb 2011 looks, but I know that's just what apple wants. I was hoping to get one now and use the next few weeks to figure out the OS, install parallels so that I could use OneNote and figure out how to make that sync with my lenovo laptop, i'm worried all of this may be harder to do when I am in the middle of classes in sept-october. How much resale value could you get from a 2011 27 in i5 after the new ones come out?
     
  10. Johnf1285 macrumors 6502a

    Johnf1285

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2010
    Location:
    New Jersey
    #10
    You can probably recoup most of your costs, but if you sell through eBay, expect 10% of whatever you sell it for to go to eBay and PayPal fees.

    I am going through the same thought process. I am debating 2011 refurb base model to hold me over, or a 2012 11" MacBook Air....

    I would like to eventually get an Air, but it would be a secondary machine and a 2011 refurb on that may serve me well instead.

    I think the best bet for anyone interesting in a new iMac right now is to wait. We'll see it within 3 months (sounds like such a long time!)
     
  11. harcosparky macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2008
    #11
    Take a look at the current iMac.

    Does it do the job you need it to do?

    Does the hardware configuration satisfy your needs.

    If so, might as well buy it and put it into service.

    You could wait, and when the new one is released realize you don't like it. Then you scramble to find a 2011 refurb.
     
  12. aldrae6 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2012
    #12
    Now I am beginning to lean towards buying the 2011 model, but I will only do this if I can get the 2 gb vram, my problem is that I can't seem to find it anywhere except new from apple which costs too much money, I have never seen one in the refurb store. Any advice on where to find one for cheaper?
     
  13. mojothemonkey macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2005
    #13
    At least you told us the very relevant information: that you're a med student. Unless you're about to start your radiology residency at UCSF and need to read MRs on your screen... IRRELEVANT
     
  14. motulist macrumors 601

    motulist

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2003
    #14
    Dude, you're gonna be so busy once med school starts that you almost definitely aren't gonna have the time or energy or desire to buy and setup and transfer over to a new computer later. Once you start med school you're gonna start building up folders and files and computer habits that you use for school, and that would be a nightmare to change a couple of months into it. In fact, I'd say you should go in the complete opposite direction. I'd suggest that you buy the computer ASAP now before school starts so that you can already be used to it and have it setup exactly how you like it before school starts, so that way when school starts you can simply focus on your studies.
     
  15. forty2j macrumors 68030

    forty2j

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2008
    Location:
    NJ
    #15
    First, I find the likelihood that you "won't like" the 2012 to be extremely low. You'll find a lot of people here that always say you should buy "now", because there's always a "next thing coming". There is some truth to that, but the fact of the matter is that the 2011 iMac is over 450 days old and isn't worth anywhere near the $2000 it sells for at full retail. Watching the market is the smarter move if you can tolerate the waiting game.

    Second, I've seen the ability to get the 2GB VRAM model from MacMall and possibly J&R, though I don't know how much (if any) discount was available.
     
  16. dhro1 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2010
    #16
    Depending on what country you are in you should wait until you start so you can use your higher education discount.

    In the UK this works out as about the same as the refurb, but you are also going to get a cheap deal on applecare and a free 3 year hardware warranty.

    Also the person who wrote a sarcastic comment about it being useful you mentioned you are a medical student is being a bit unhelpful. You will spend a lot of time writing dissertations, presentations, articles, etc etc. This obviously doesn't require a lot of power, but it is really nice to have a lot of screen space. Being able to see your source at the same time as being able to see the document you are writing in will save a lot of time. So 27inch is sensible a a cheap companion monitor might be a useful add-on.
     

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