On the fence - which to buy?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by kazyctn, Dec 5, 2012.


Which to buy

Poll closed Dec 20, 2012.
  1. New 2012 iMac base model + superdrive

    22 vote(s)
  2. Refurb 2011 iMac (high end)

    15 vote(s)
  3. New Mac Mini (high end)

    6 vote(s)
  1. kazyctn macrumors newbie

    Mar 17, 2011
    So after waiting a year or so for the new iMac release, I was slightly underwhelmed by the new performance specs and lack of media drive. I had already made up my mind that I could ditch my older MBP and move to a desktop model. (I dont really take it around too often and that led to continual battery problems).

    Anyhow, now I am on the fence between:
    1. a base model 2012 iMac + external superdrive,
    2. a refurb 2011 iMac (high end),
    3. or a new, high-end Mac mini quad core with RAM bumped to 8gb.

    I rarely do much gaming but I'm wondering how much of a difference I'd notice between the integrated graphics in the Mini to an actual GPU card. I also spend a good deal of time in Creative Suite and often have quite a few apps open at a time. Any advice for me? Thanks...
  2. lexvo macrumors 65816

    Nov 11, 2009
    The Netherlands
    Based on your requirements, I think you can't go wrong with any of the options. I would go for the high end 2011 and upgrade RAM to 8GB. It will give you plenty performance for a reasonable price.
  3. CWallace macrumors 603


    Aug 17, 2007
    Seattle, WA
    If I had to pay cash or finance, I'd get a refurb 2011 since it's cheaper and still a solid platform.

    If I could get Same as Cash financing (and paid it off within that window), I'd probably get the 2012.

    I bought my 2011 iMac refurb with the Barclaycard SOC and paid it off in full so no interest payments. Now for XMAS they are offering 18 months SoC for purchases over $2000 so I am now considering the 2012 iMac even though my 2011 is perfectly fine since my 2011 still has a year of AppleCare and is a top-end spec model so I should be able to get maximum value now (and I can park that money for 18 months to earn interest and help pay off the 2012 model).
  4. kazyctn thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 17, 2011
    I keep coming back to the price point differences (I should have included)... Any thoughts on the GPU performance issue vs. the integrated graphics on mac mini?
  5. darkanddivine macrumors member

    Jan 13, 2007
    I did a lot of shopping, and a lot of internal debating about this myself. I am replacing a dead iMac for my home system where I do artwork (PS/Illi, the usual) and music demos in Garageband.

    When the new lines were announced I figured I'd simply upgrade to the new iMac, however when I saw the prices and options on the lower end machines I became less sure.

    Having heard that last years 21" refurbs will fit 16GB RAM (can anyone confirm/deny that?) and are not all that shabby in terms of processors and include a decent Hard Drive, for the saving you make going refurb I can see that as the only option now, and you should save a hunk of cash.

    Unless you need to be bleeding edge (and realistically who does) and unless you have money in spades lying around (in which case go right ahead) then refurb stock will see you right and be kinder on you wallet.


    Here's Parka (a manga artist) on using the Mini as a main machine day to day, though the review model does have fusion.
  6. kazyctn thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 17, 2011
    I'm actually now leaning towards a maxed out mini (fusion, max ram, etc)... I forgot to mention that I already have several monitor options....

    My one concern if I were to go that route is what would suffer by the lack of dedicated GPU?
  7. NVRENUF! macrumors regular


    Mar 19, 2012
    PERTH, Australia
    new model and get a samsung external burner for $29
  8. blanka macrumors 68000

    Jul 30, 2012
    You told us an occasional game and merely Adobe CS use.
    Check adobe site for what is accelerated by GPU (HD4000 is as well supported BTW), it is close to nothing. Some irrelevant filters.
    All the basic GPU actions, flick panning and weird crap like that demand the graphics power of a dinosaur like the 7300GT, so that is no problem with the HD4000. It might include more filters with GPU in the future, but remember that GPU run filters are also less precise. Not that it matters much on 18 or 24 mpixel files, but pixelpeeps will see it.

    The HD4000 is perfectly capable of low to medium complex 3D games, things like quake arena or no limits rollercoaster run at max quality settings at 60fps. Sketchup modelling also fine.
  9. kazyctn thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 17, 2011
    Thanks blanka. Yeah, probably wouldn't do much gaming, but I'd be tempted to hook up a second 21" display I have sitting around... I figure that might make some demands on the video card.
  10. 53x12 macrumors 68000


    Feb 16, 2009
    Wait until spring/summer for the Haswell CPU. That is the iMac to have.


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