Questions before purchasing iMac

Discussion in 'iMac' started by imran12, Aug 18, 2013.

  1. imran12 macrumors newbie

    Aug 18, 2013
    Hello! I'm looking to buy an iMac within the near future, though there's a few questions I'd like to ask as this will be my first Mac product ever.

    1. I'm waiting for the new models to be released in the Fall so that the older models (i.e. the newest ones available right now) will decrease in price. I haven't been monitoring it for that long so I was wondering if there's a typical decrease in price once the new models come out?

    2. I've been browsing around the internet and I saw that some people had problems with the iMac 27 inch (that is, the LED screen). Would it be better to get the 21.5 inch to avoid all these issues? Or have the issues in production subsided since the release of the 2012 model?

    3. Is AppleCare recommended for the iMac? I'm learning towards yes given the problems I've read about but again, I'm not sure if they're problems that are still ongoing.

    4. In terms of quality, are there certain places that are better to buy it from? I was mostly looking at Amazon since that's often where there are dips in pricing but I thought I'd ask someone who has more experience on the matter.

    5. Finally, a question more on tech specs. I'm thinking about getting it with 8gb (2 4gb memory) but saw the options of increasing up to 32gb. I've never been able to gauge the difference, especially never having considered such a powerful machine. If the most intensive thing I will be doing is photoshop/lightroom, will the 8gb be enough? Don't really want to spend more money than I need to. Likewise, if I'm just doing this, is the flash storage worthwhile or should I be fine with the serial ATA drive?

    This is totally uncharted territory for me so I would appreciate any and all help.
  2. Bear macrumors G3

    Jul 23, 2002
    Sol III - Terra
    Look at the Apple Store refurbished Macs for a discount. Do get AppleCare because you never know what will happen.

    A Fusion Drive will help. For Photoshop/Lightroom, 8GB is not enough, but if you're going for a 27" iMac you can easily add memory later and you can buy from a repurable company other than Apple and save a noticeable amount of money on the memory.

    And make sure you get a 2012 (or later) model so you have USB 3.0 for faster external drives.
  3. FreemanW, Aug 18, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2013

    FreemanW macrumors 6502

    Sep 10, 2012
    The Real Northern California
    Your first and second question position you to be looking for an investment.

    You should look elsewhere.

    Buying an iMac is just like buying any other computer, it does nothing but decrease in value and in relationship to other, newer hardware, performance.

    If you want an iMac, but do not want to pay full retail price, look to Apple Refurbished and be done with it.

    You either want a 27" screen or a 21.5" screen. I don't follow your decision ladder.

    Yes, get Apple Care.

    To be concerned with pricing and then turn around and contemplate buying the Apple memory option is oxymoronic. If you do order an iMac, install additional memory yourself--that is, if you're purchasing the 27" model.

    As for memory and storage. Using Photoshop and image processing generally . . . . I would be of the opinion and recommend that you go with 16GB of memory (purchase one 8GB kit to compliment your factory memory) and a fusion drive. In my opinion, the fusion drive provides you with the best performance/dollar ratio while providing good storage capacity--you are talking about image processing and storage here.

    I would also opt for the fastest processor you can afford, a core i7 3.4GHz and the 2GB graphics card option for the win. (under the go big or go home column)

    Anything less is a compromise driven by financial consideration(s). Be okay with it, live with it, be quiet. :D

    If you decide that a 21.5" screen is for you, yeah, that makes the decision about memory mute, you order it from Apple--or risk breaking your new computer by installing the memory yourself. (memory on the 21.5" model is not a field serviceable (read user serviceable) item.....can you do it yourself? sure.)
  4. imran12 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 18, 2013
    Sounds good. Thank you!

    I was mostly concerned with the 27inch problems given the thread in this forum about having to return multiple iMacs due to problems. In such a situation, I'd rather take the 21.5 inch and not deal with it.

    I did not realize how easy replacing the memory was on the iMac. Again, I have not purchased a Mac product before and was of the impression doing such modifications was more difficult as opposed to other companies.

    Thank you for the help!
  5. FreemanW macrumors 6502

    Sep 10, 2012
    The Real Northern California
    No worries, happy to help, sorry if my response sounded gruff . . . . not my intent.

    I couldn't be happier with my 27" iMac, my first Apple.

    I loaded it with 32GB of memory before the memory manufacturers figured out that they were leaving money on the table and jacked up the pricing model.

    Good luck with your decision.
  6. ioannis2005gr macrumors 6502


    Aug 10, 2013
    Indeed, many complains!!! There are many defective 2012 27 inch iMac displays, why? Poor QC as said? Defective lot? I am wondering whether or not similar problems exist with 2012 21.5 inch iMac displays, too.....
  7. old-wiz macrumors G3

    Mar 26, 2008
    West Suburban Boston Ma
    Subjective.. People with problems tend to post and complain. People who do not have problems do not start threads "My new iMac works fine".

    If you sell a million machines, and even 1% have problems...
  8. ioannis2005gr macrumors 6502


    Aug 10, 2013
    yes...maybe, positive approach! I have read 5-10 different complains in one only thread...I have not read all other threads....also, every complain led to 3-4 iMac replacements!!!! I wish it had been only the 1%....can you imagine if I buy an expensive BTO version? long will take to replace it and how many times....?

    The question remains, are 2012 21.5 inch iMac displays better than 27 inch iMac displays? I am talking about displays only!!!!
  9. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    Apple will put the older models in the refurb store and the price cut is about 12 to 14% give or take a percent

    There's been some complaints but I think over all its a great machine. With the warranty I'd not worry about it. I'd rather have a 27" display personally.

    If you can swing it, then definitely, it adds two more years to cover defective equipment. I sometimes but it, and sometimes I don't. Its probably not a bad idea in the long run

    Since apple makes the computer, there is really no better place. Buy it at Amazon if the promotions are better. I prefer showing up to my local Apple store and getting instant gratification :D

    8GB should be more then enough for now. I've used 8GB on many machines running Aperture, Lightroom and Photoshop and found the ram to be adequate. More can be better but I don't think that 8GB will be insufficient.
  10. ioannis2005gr macrumors 6502


    Aug 10, 2013

    I intend to buy a 2012 27 inch iMac but after reading all those display problems with multiple replacements under Apple Care Warranty, I would agree to purchase the extended warranty but you may consider a 2012 iMac 21.5 inch (with 512MB...low vRAM) or a "full" Mac mini (i7 mobile CPU and HD4000 or 5000 graphics are good for average home user) with your own monitor or HDTV as a good alternative (cheaper) solution far from 27 inch LG panel poor quality....;)
  11. Eduardot macrumors member

    Mar 30, 2013
    27 inch iMac, 32gig ram, 1 tb fusion drive and 2 gigs video ram. i5 or i7 to me not as important. Totally different system than any windows based pc.
    Used Microsoft based pcs since 1988, jumped to Apple in 2012, I dont think i will ever go back to windows………. Ever!

    GO FOR IT……!

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