Refurb 2010 i7 - 2.93 vs 2011 i5 - 3.1

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Phweedo, May 12, 2011.

  1. Phweedo macrumors newbie

    May 12, 2011
    I know everyone hate's when these posts pop up.. so I'm sorry for contributing to it, but I wanted some trusted second opinions.

    I have been holding out for this refresh to get my very first iMac. Now that's they are out I'm having some second thoughts.

    Since I wanted the 1gb video card I was forced to look at the 3.1ghz i5 w/ Radeon 6970m. Before the refresh I figured a 1gb card would be in (or available) in the base 27" model... as I didn't really want to spend $2000.

    Now I've noticed Apple has refurbished 27" 2.93ghz i7's with a 1gb Radeon 5750 for $1569(Cdn).

    The computers main tasks will be running Illustrator, Fireworks, Dreamweaver etc. As well as eventually some video editing through adobe after effects and maybe Final Cut. Game playing will be minimal as I use my xbox for that, but Portal 2 and Diablo 3 would probably make their way on to the machine.

    I've been looking at benchmarks for cpu's and gpu's.. but for $400 it doesn't look like I will notice much of a difference. Plus from what I read the 2010's are easier to add a SSD yourself, so the money I save would go into that.

    I don't care about thunderbolt ports, so that isn't of interest to me. I'm purely looking at machine performance and I know it will be faster... I'm just wonder will the 2010 build be something I'll be kicking myself in the ass over because of something like the gpu?
  2. iSayuSay macrumors 68040


    Feb 6, 2011
    From your description, you may get better value and cheaper price from 2010 iMac with i7. It´s still an excellent machine, and Diablo III should run fine on your iMac with high settings.

    Diablo III ain´t that hardcore graphic, eventually it could be light gaming for recent GPU, considering it was designed from 2005 or so .. without any sign of release yet :rolleyes:

    So, yes .. if you dont want to spend fortune on 3.4Ghz i7 ... last year model would be the best bang for your buck. The performance stand between 3.1Ghz i5 and 3.4Ghz i7 on current iMac, with price of new base model 27¨, you can´t complain with that :p
  3. charlieroberts macrumors 6502a


    Feb 5, 2007
    Exact same debate going on in my head...
    And funny enough, you know whats holding me back ? The improved iSight, it just is so important to me...

    The refurb i7 is a lot faster than the 1999 2011 iMac.... so yeah i think I may go with that one... but the Hd iSight... (sigh)
  4. Badger^2 macrumors 68000


    Oct 29, 2009
    I gotta ask -- why would a HD iSight be a deal breaker?

    Just spend $75 on a HD camera?

    i7 is faster in all the CPU tests, but not the GPU.

    none of the things you do are affected by the GPU.

    Im sure Portal 2 will play fine on the 5750, just a lower res. I have no problems playing Portal 1 and Half Life on my Radeon 2600
  5. casinnova macrumors newbie

    Jun 9, 2011
    I just bought the refurb 2010 27" imac i7 with 5750, last week. The price was just too good to pass on. The GPU is more than good enough for most things. I will be using it for photo editing: aperture + photoshop. exporting large batches will be a breeze. I am coming from a 2008 C2D 2.4 imac, soooooo, im a happy camper fo sho.
  6. jrasero23 macrumors newbie

    Jun 2, 2011
    No Brainer

    It's a no brainer go with the i5 Sandy Bridge processor. It's that much faster. Unless you really need to slim off a few dollars
  7. caughtintheweb macrumors regular

    May 17, 2011
    I was in the same boat as you are and I got the 2010 i7. I dont play any games at all on my mac, so I dont require top end GPU. I am a photographer and play a lot of music, so the i7 is a much better value for money. I have the machine for almost a month now and I have to say its insanely fast. And 1569 with a free printer is definitely a great deal.
  8. Mr Rogers macrumors regular

    Oct 24, 2003
    Hong Kong
    Now own iMac 27in i7 2011 and 27in i5 2.8 2010

    Not sure if did right, but in past month have picked up two iMac 27's, my 2011 i5 is being replaced by Apple and have upgraded to the i7 processor and 2G VRAM - cost me approx. US$1900 in total with 12G RAM.

    Then saw less than 3 month old 2010 27in i5 2.8Ghz Quad going for less than cost of refurbished model on Apple store, paid approx. US$1240 for this, but only 4G Ram.

    Will swap out 4G Ram (2X2) from 2011 model and place in 2010 model, hence each machine will have 8G Ram until I get more pennies and can get further 8G RAM for 2011 model.

    Having done all calculations, and having managed to get US$700 for my old iMac 21.5 3.06 C2D, I now own two 27in models, one brand new, the other in perfect condition for US$2450, or about the same price in Hong Kong of the top end BTO 27in with Apple installed RAM - also, made another saving by not having to purchase AppleCare for iMac just sold.

    Is this a bargain, or, have I been plain daft?

    2010 27in i5 2.8 will be used by family and as monitor for Xbox360 Kinect 250G - my daughter loves it - New 27in i7 is now my work horse and both computers are mirrored to be on safe side for work - now all I need is a good RAID 1 system - thinking about getting WD My Studio 6T RAID which can pick up for US$400 or a Drobo which is a more expensive alternative but can cope with 12T of storage maximum.
  9. iamthedudeman macrumors 65816

    Jul 7, 2007
    You mean the i7 2.93 870 is faster right? Which it is. It is the i5 3.1 he was asking about not the i7 3.4. ;)

    The 2010 high end i7 is still the second fastest CPU in the 27 range.

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