New i5 vs new i7 vs refurb i7?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by mankymanning, Jun 1, 2011.

  1. mankymanning macrumors regular

    Jul 18, 2008
    I am in a dilemma, I have on order a top spec iMac, i7, full gfx 2TB + SSD. I am fed up of waiting and reconsidering due to my requirements.

    I need 16GB RAM for my work (running several VMs) hence not just getting a newer MBP. I am now thinking perhaps I should go for a base i5 now and add SDD via thunderbolt later. Only the base and high end 27" iMacs seems to make sense in terms of cost. I don't really play games but when I see youtube videos of recent ones I think perhaps I would like to start! (possibly Half Life 2 Episode 2, bit of Crysis, Elder Scrolls 4 - that sort of thing through Bootcamp)

    I don't really know if the 6770 with only 512MB RAM is enough to play any games decently. Not too fussed if they aren't at native resolution.

    The i7 comes with hyperthreading but realistically the processor core can only do so much so I am thinking in terms of running VMs a quad i5 is probably fine anyway. I am not really hitting CPU issues on my current 2.8GHz Core2Duo.

    The refurb has a decent gfx card, i7 plus hyperthreading but not thunderbolt and it is a right faff to get an SSD fitted to it. I am comfortable in doing it but I guess it likely invalidates any Applecare I buy. Big cost saving though.

    So the prices are roughly £1400 for base i5, £1400 for refurb top spec i7 from 2010 (no SSD), £2300 for 2011 top spec i7 with SSD. For comparison purposes I am leaving out the cost of Applecare and 16GB RAM.

    Anyone else been through similar dilemmas / thinking?

    Perhaps I am just being impatient and should wait for my new mahine to arrive which ticks all the boxes (except price!)
  2. w00t951 macrumors 68000


    Jan 6, 2009
    Pittsburgh, PA
    I would just wait. It's a very long term purchase, and I would wait a few weeks for the better hardware.
  3. Steamrunner macrumors member

    Aug 9, 2008
    If cost is a part of your thinking, then I would imagine you're going to keep this machine for at least a couple of years, possibly longer. So, think of it this way: in two years, which will be more important to you: The fact you saved some cash a couple of years back, or the fact you don't need to worry about upgrading your computer again for another couple of years?

    For the sake of a few weeks, I know what I'd do (and indeed, am doing).
  4. Bear macrumors G3

    Jul 23, 2002
    Sol III - Terra
    Various points...

    "SSD Through Thunderbolt" - This may not be a bootable device and you have no idea how much it will really cost. ANd that presumes you don't buy the refurb without thunderbolt.

    However if you plan to add SSD (and other stuff that isn't in the high end model) to the 2 lower price models you need to add that to the price.

    The 2GB VRAM in the high end unit will be much better for gaming. As others have said, you're going to be keeping the machine for a few years, go for 27" with SSD.
  5. mankymanning thread starter macrumors regular

    Jul 18, 2008
    Yeah I guess you are all correct. I'll wait <sigh>

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