New iMac worth it, or buy older one?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by macstatic, Mar 3, 2009.

  1. macstatic macrumors 65816

    Oct 21, 2005
    After waiting what seems like forever the new iMac is out today, but at a price!
    I've been waiting for the 20" model.

    Will the new specs give a performance boost, or will it mostly go unnoticed comparded to the older model? If I'm quick I can probably grab the old model for the old price before they get replaced.
  2. danny_w macrumors 601

    Mar 8, 2005
    Austin, TX
    I don't get the complaints about the price. It looks to me like all of the prices are equal (20" $1199) or reduced (24" base now $1499 vs. $1899).
  3. desiringGod macrumors regular

    Feb 15, 2008
    You can buy the old ones in the refurb store for a pretty good price right now.
  4. danny_w macrumors 601

    Mar 8, 2005
    Austin, TX
    Yes, the base 2008 20" is now $849 refurb or $999 new.
  5. bigandy macrumors G3


    Apr 30, 2004
    The older one is better value, especially on refurb... imo.
  6. macstatic thread starter macrumors 65816

    Oct 21, 2005
    But costs aside -do the new specs make any difference (for better or worse) to the average user?
    Will it make any difference to Snow Leopard?

    My wife has been looking to retire her old PC for a while and I told her to wait last year because of an expected new iMac to arrive, which it now finally has.
    Her priority is getting a reliable computer which will last for many years. An investment so to speak. She's not the type of person to buy a new computer every second year just because a new, cooler model comes along. She'll be using it for "general" stuff like email, word processing, listening to music, organizing photos in iPhoto etc.

    What I'm trying to find out in this thread is if the new 20" model will work better for her (and be worth the extra money) compared to the old model. The specs don't really tell that sort of thing, so I'm hoping someone here can tell me what the new one can do which the old one can't.
  7. PuckDaddy macrumors regular


    Oct 16, 2008
    actually, the high-end 3.06ghz w/ 8800gs is the same price
  8. macstatic thread starter macrumors 65816

    Oct 21, 2005
    After reading several posts and forums it seems that the pricing for all the new iMacs are more or less the same as before in the United States (I think) while in Europe it's gone steeply up because of the exchange rates.
  9. themanfromvlad macrumors 6502


    Mar 11, 2006
    Old models still have FireWire 400, and come with a remote too, unlike new models.
  10. colickyboy macrumors member

    Dec 27, 2008
    Yes, after waiting over four months for the new iMac, looks like the best deal is the old iMac <sigh>

    Remember the "PC vs Mac" commercial that made fun of PC users "downgrading" their OS from Vista to XP? Well, now Microsoft could do their own "PC vs Mac" commercial, razzing Mac owners who are "downgrading" their hardware purchases... :(
  11. iPegboy macrumors regular

    Jan 13, 2003
    I went with the previous generation 24 inch refurb for $1,199. That is the best deal out there, I think.
  12. danny_w macrumors 601

    Mar 8, 2005
    Austin, TX
    Unfortunately I just bought the one previous to that one (24" 2.4GHz) for $1299. I just called for a price refund and they can't do it since that model is not in the refurb store right now.
  13. stevo8 macrumors 6502

    Jul 3, 2007
    Well the FireWire thingmeans very little since you can still use 400 on 800, and then there's always the fact that you can now upgrade to 8gigs of ram which you couldn't before and 1TB hd as well.. I think it comes down to what your needs are but the new iMac is no chump IMO. I'll for sure be spending the extra coin on one.
  14. macrumorsMaster macrumors 6502

    May 20, 2008

    The old,refurb 24" inch has a faster processor and a discrete graphics card, but the new one has a lower processor and shared(albeit NEW) shared graphics......any care to compare that and say which is best?

    Especially for video editing.....

    Maybe I'll just save money and get a mini(same graphics as the new 24"imac):eek:
  15. MSL1975 macrumors newbie

    Mar 3, 2009
    My Lucky Day

    I almost bought the cheapest version iMac Monday before I read about the upgrades due Tuesday. Today I ordered the previous generation iMac MB323LL/A for $999 (actually got it for $939 with EPP Discount) from the clearance section of the online apple store. I get an e-mail saying that it has shipped and it's been replaced with MB417LL/A which is the new 20" iMac.

    I don't know how common this is, but I'm real happy about it as I've saved over $200. I did order this with overnight shipping and I have no idea if that's why they made the substitution. I notice that the item I ordered is still shown in the clearance section.:)
  16. mgridgaway macrumors 6502


    Feb 25, 2006
    For the usage your wife requires she will be fine with the base iMac.. I would even suggest the previous generation as it is now cheaper. Now if she were to get into gaming, that would be a different story...
  17. JoLi-mac macrumors newbie

    Mar 4, 2009
    Well, there is also the question of the dollar price. Of the smallest models of the new and the previous iMac the prices in Sweden (dollars and crowns) with VAT are:
    • iMac 2,4GHz (older version) $1086 (or 9995 SEK)
    • iMac 2,6GHz (new 2009 version) $1412 (or 12995 SEK)
    With this price differance I'm serriously considdering getting the older version. Low crown sucks :(
  18. Airforcekid macrumors 65816


    Sep 29, 2008
    United States of America

    For long term I would get a high end 20 inch or low end 24 new. But then again im still using an iMac G3 as my desktop and see no reason why it couldn't handle what you want to do!(Dont get a powerpc!)
  19. macstatic thread starter macrumors 65816

    Oct 21, 2005
    Luckily the previous generation 20" iMac (the one prior to yesterday that is) is still available in several stores in my area, so perhaps this is the way to go for her.
    She isn't into gaming, so that's not an issue.
    I've been comparing specs:

    a) the previous 20" iMac (2.4 GHz) compared to the new model (2.66 GHz) should (on paper at least) make the new one 10.8% faster. Would this be noticeable for most people?

    b) the previous (2.4 GHz) 20" iMac used 800 MHz DDR2 SDRAM while the new (2.66 GHz) model uses 1066 MHz DDR3 SDRAM memory. Does this make any difference in performance or otherwise?

    c) the previous (2.4 GHz) model comes with 1 GB memory (which is expandable to 4 GB) while the new model (2.66 GHz) comes with 2 GB (expandable to 8 GB).
    I suppose expanding memory beyond 1 GB for anyone would make the computer more responsive (less temporary file writing) for just about anyone, but would my wife have any need to expand memory beyond 4 MB?

    If she was to buy the old (2.4 GHz) 20" iMac: what kind of memory configurations does it take, and are these memory expansion boards expensive?

    d) graphics: for the old (2.4 GHz) model:
    ATI Radeon HD 2400 XT with 128 MB GDDR3 memory while the new (2.66 GHz) model comes with
    NVIDIA GeForce 9400M with 256 MB DDR3 SDRAM (memory shared with the computer's main memory). Those specs are Greek to me, except I find it strange that the new iMac shares its graphics memory with its main memory -isn't that a drawback?

    Again: how will the new vs. old graphic card affect my wife's computer enjoyment?

    e) Finally, I know that Snow Leopard is expected (hopefully) soon and that it should give our Macs so much better performance, but does this apply to any (Intel based) Mac, or would mostly the newly introduced iMacs benefit from it?

    I seem to recall something about taking advantage of new graphic cards, which is why I'm wondering if the new 20" iMac would be a better investment in the long run (it won't become outdated as soon) or if it wouldn't make much difference for my wife, even if she should get Snow Leopard (Apple gives it away to people who have bought a new Mac within 1 month release of the new OS, don't they?).

    Oh, like someone else pointed out earlier, the new iMac doesn't come with a remote, for some strange reason (they probably cost $ 0.50 to make or something, in China). It also seems that it no longer comes with an extended keyboard (i.e. with a numeric keypad) by default, but it looks like it can be had with no extra cost if you order online. I guess they want to cut production cost, making it harder for people to get the extended keyboard if they don't really, really want it and you won't get it if you buy an iMac in the store (if they don't take custom orders there that is, but meaning people will have to wait).
  20. help1970 macrumors newbie

    Mar 4, 2009
    Did you get any answers on the operating system from elsewhere?

    Have you received any answers to your last post from elsewhere? I am looking at a 24' model and have a lot of the same questions. When I called Apple, they said for $1299 I could have the 24' with 2.8 processor, 2G ram, 320 hard drive. The sales staff that I talked to said that the old graphics card was just fine as it had 256 dedicated memory. I just don't want to place an order to find out the old model has some major disadvantage (like the new operating system) Like your wife, I just want a good reliable computer for at least 3 years.
  21. Ivan P macrumors 68030

    Ivan P

    Jan 17, 2008
    I have the 2008 base model iMac, and I couldn't be happier. It does everything I want perfectly.
    Yesterday I was that unimpressed with the updates that the moment I got home from work I seriously wanted to go and hug my iMac. Of course I didn't do it :)p), but seeing these updates and everyone's reactions just makes me fall in love with my iMac all over again.
  22. macstatic thread starter macrumors 65816

    Oct 21, 2005
    Nope, nothing so far.
    I'm caught between getting her the previous 20" iMac before they sell out in nearby stores and going for the new one (in which case she can still wait a little longer), but here that'll be around US$ 240 or UKP£ 170 more.
    So gathering all the facts quickly is crucial.

    That, and hoping the Snow Leopard update will be released on the 24th as some people have suggested.
    From what I've read in previous posts you get new MacOS versions for free within a certain period of buying (1 month?).
  23. hank-b macrumors member


    Apr 29, 2008
    I spoke to the Apple Store people in London yesterday. The remaining old stock in Apple Stores isn't coming down in price, except for the 3.06GHz model which moves from £1359 to £1228. They also said they can't sell the new Mac Mini yet as their sales systems don't recognise it - d'oh! All the display machines were still old models, which I thought was a bit odd.

    At the moment, I'm being tempted by some of the refurb prices: 2.4/20" for £659, 2.66/20" for £779 and 2.8/24" for £949 all seem to compare well with the current base iMac 2.66/20" for £949 - or am I missing something important?

    - HB
  24. AstrosFan macrumors 6502


    Jul 26, 2005
    Here are the early benchmarks from Primate Labs. Interesting to me, was that the early 2008 iMac 2.66GHz was comparable to the new iMac 2.66GHz.

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