Need help - iMac 21.5", 3.06 GHz vs 3.2

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by William Smith, Mar 19, 2011.

  1. William Smith macrumors newbie

    Mar 19, 2011
    Hi all,

    This is my first post. Tomorrow we are looking at going to get an iMac, and we need some help.

    Firstly, we are looking at the 21.5" model only. 27" is too big for where it will go.

    Secondly, our main uses are
    > Word processing
    > Watching TV shows/media and listening to music through iTunes
    > Moderate internet browsing
    > Some photo editing, little movie editing

    It is really hard to decide between the 3.06 GHz iMac ($1449AUD, with 256MB graphics and 500GB hard drive) and the 3.2 GHz iMac ($1799AUD, with 512MB graphics and 1TB hard drive). My question is, for what we are doing, is the 3.06 sufficient? We would want to hold onto it as our main computer for at least 4 years, so would the 3.2 be a better decision in the long term?

    Secondly, is getting an iMac now a good idea, or should we wait for a newer model? Apple seem in no rush to launch a new one but there are several Apple and Mac forums stating that the current iMac is several days over its usual lifecycle and 'do not buy - near end of lifecycle'.

    Thanks all for your help,
    look forward to your responses
  2. Onimusha370 macrumors 6502a

    Aug 25, 2010
    Hi there!
    from what you're using the imac for, the base model is good enough for your needs right now; but if you're going to keep it for 4 years its definitely worth getting the more expensive model. you won't notice a difference in processing speed, but the graphics boost is well worth it.
    as i said, for photography and light movie editing, the base is great; but in 4 years you'll wish you went for the more expensive option.
    personally i'd hold out till the next refresh, (which is anywhere from a few weeks to 3 months away). the 21 inch will have a quad core option, and there will be another large graphics step up.
    so if it was me buying, i'd wait till the update and get my hands on the latest and greatest. with quad core, it'll be much more future-proof, seeing as you want to keep it for a long time.
    hope that helps, let me know what you think :)
  3. glennsan macrumors regular

    Jul 16, 2002
    San Diego
    I agree completely. I buy mine and keep them for at least 4 or 5 years so the more powerful one is what I get if I can afford it. However in this specific instance there will be a new one released sometime soon and if you can wait the recommended time frame you would either get a better one for the same price or the current one for a cheaper price.
  4. jpine macrumors 6502

    Jun 15, 2007
    Agreed. I'm waiting (very impatiently) for a new top, of the line, 27" iMac to replace my aged quad core G5. Spending a little more for speed, especially graphic display speed, can go a long way to getting more years out your your Mac. If you can, wait a bit longer.
  5. gdeputy macrumors 6502a


    Jul 23, 2008
    New York
    If you don't want to wait for the new refresh go buy a refurb. Basically same as new and you'll save 2-300 dollars at least.
  6. William Smith thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 19, 2011

    Thanks for your responses

    In regards to the new model and when it is coming out? From what we have now, a dodgy toshiba satellite 1GB ram and 1.6 GHz running Vista, which we've had since 06, it certainly is going to be a big upgrade either way.

    In terms of a refresh, does anybody know any details or have they been locked down pretty tightly. If a major update is underway, with major cosmetic changes and significant spec updates, it may be worth it for us. But 24 months this ridiculously bad laptop has been on the brink of being thrown out of a window!
  7. Sirmausalot macrumors 6502a


    Sep 1, 2007
    We are now ten days overdue -)

    The new Macbook Pros have significantly better processors than most of the iMacs. That imbalance wil be corrected very, very soon. April 10th seems like a good random day to me.

  8. alust2013 macrumors 601


    Feb 6, 2010
    On the fence
    I'd definitely wait. You'll get a good bit more computer for the price. If you do need to buy now though, I'd likely get the 3.2, due to the better graphics and bigger hard drive.

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