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Refurb i7 Quad vs New i5 Dual?

all-in-my-head

macrumors member
Original poster
Oct 25, 2003
69
0
UK
I'm about to purchase a 27" iMac playing with a budget around £1500 (≈$2000 in Apples economy).

So, I'm torn between the base 27" model and bumping the processor to i5 (3.6 dual) and getting a refurb 27" i7 (2.8 Quad).

So questions for you knowledgable people:
Is the bump from i3 to i5 worthwhile in the base model?
Which will give best overall performance between the refurb i7 and new i3/5?


I notice the refurb has the ATI Radeon HD 4850 whereas the new ones have ATI Radeon HD 5670 with the same ram.

I've heard the amount of L3 cache can make a difference too and the refurb has twice that of the new ones.

I'm slightly concerned about that the refurbs screen might be an issue, are there any other subtle or behind the scenes upgrades from the new models I should think about too?

(I use Final Cut Studio quite a bit, but most work done in Adobe Creative Suite, so the machine will be 'put to work' in that sense)

Thanks for your thoughts.
 

Hellhammer

Moderator emeritus
Dec 10, 2008
22,164
581
Finland
The refurb is significantly better deal. Both, CPU and GPU are faster. The yellowing was caused by the backlight and it's due the design so new ones still have it and you can always return the refurb if it has issues. They should be individually tested so they are actually better than new ones
 
Comment

all-in-my-head

macrumors member
Original poster
Oct 25, 2003
69
0
UK
It does seem that way.

My hesitation over the refurb was how they do their pricing. I looked last week when the new models models were released and the same (or very similar refurb) was £200 more.

The i7 in question is now £1399 vs the new i5 at £1559.

Is the price drop just a delayed reaction to the new models, or because it may not be in such good nick?
 
Comment

Hellhammer

Moderator emeritus
Dec 10, 2008
22,164
581
Finland
It does seem that way.

My hesitation over the refurb was how they do their pricing. I looked last week when the new models models were released and the same (or very similar refurb) was £200 more.

The i7 in question is now £1399 vs the new i5 at £1559.

Is the price drop just a delayed reaction to the new models, or because it may not be in such good nick?

They are always dropped when the new ones come because sooner than later, there will be new refurbs. It has nothing to do with quality, Apple just wants to get rid of them
 
Comment

blinkin182

macrumors regular
May 3, 2010
195
2
Switzerland
I'm about to purchase a 27" iMac playing with a budget around £1500 (≈$2000 in Apples economy).

So, I'm torn between the base 27" model and bumping the processor to i5 (3.6 dual) and getting a refurb 27" i7 (2.8 Quad).

So questions for you knowledgable people:
Is the bump from i3 to i5 worthwhile in the base model?
Which will give best overall performance between the refurb i7 and new i3/5?


I notice the refurb has the ATI Radeon HD 4850 whereas the new ones have ATI Radeon HD 5670 with the same ram.

I've heard the amount of L3 cache can make a difference too and the refurb has twice that of the new ones.

I'm slightly concerned about that the refurbs screen might be an issue, are there any other subtle or behind the scenes upgrades from the new models I should think about too?

(I use Final Cut Studio quite a bit, but most work done in Adobe Creative Suite, so the machine will be 'put to work' in that sense)

Thanks for your thoughts.

I had similar dilemma (was hesitating between new 27 Quad i5 and refurb quad i7) and decided on the refurb.

I haven't ordered yet, but plan to do so asap!

I feel the value for money is pretty good, there's another thread here, which can be helpful for determining what best "bang for your buck" you can get!
 
Comment

tbevan

macrumors newbie
Aug 1, 2010
2
0
It does seem that way.

My hesitation over the refurb was how they do their pricing. I looked last week when the new models models were released and the same (or very similar refurb) was £200 more.

The i7 in question is now £1399 vs the new i5 at £1559.

Is the price drop just a delayed reaction to the new models, or because it may not be in such good nick?

Received my i7 refurb yesterday (UK Store too). Apart from the white box it came in it might as well be new. Not a cosmetic issue to be found, perfect screen, brand new accessories and unscratched discs. I really couldn't be happier and would recommend it to anyone in the same position.
 
Comment

all-in-my-head

macrumors member
Original poster
Oct 25, 2003
69
0
UK
Received my i7 refurb yesterday (UK Store too). Apart from the white box it came in it might as well be new. Not a cosmetic issue to be found, perfect screen, brand new accessories and unscratched discs. I really couldn't be happier and would recommend it to anyone in the same position.

That's really encouraging thanks. With the thoughts on here and the recent price drop in the refurb I totally leaning towards it now.

Out of interest anyone know the tangible difference between the two graphics cards in each 4850 vs 5670?

I've heard the hard-core gamers crying out for the latter, but I won't be using the machine for games, the most intensive app is probably Motion in that department.
 
Comment

vidc

macrumors newbie
Jul 29, 2010
7
0
UK
Received my i7 refurb yesterday (UK Store too). Apart from the white box it came in it might as well be new. Not a cosmetic issue to be found, perfect screen, brand new accessories and unscratched discs. I really couldn't be happier and would recommend it to anyone in the same position.

we received our refurb i7 last thursday - we ordered as soon as the prices dropped. this is our second refurb mac in the last couple of years.

i've same response as tbevan - apart from the box, it's brand new. We even got 2TB, when we'd only ordered 1TB (mrs vid has already partitioned this for her use :rolleyes:).

vid
 
Comment

all-in-my-head

macrumors member
Original poster
Oct 25, 2003
69
0
UK
Great! Now if everyone could stop buying that refurb model for the next few days while my cheque clears I'd be very grateful! :D

Thanks everyone for your thoughts and experiences.

Here's hoping they're still available at the end of the week.
 
Comment

blinkin182

macrumors regular
May 3, 2010
195
2
Switzerland
Great! Now if everyone could stop buying that refurb model for the next few days while my cheque clears I'd be very grateful! :D

Thanks everyone for your thoughts and experiences.

Here's hoping they're still available at the end of the week.

Finally ordered my refurb iMac 27inch i7 quadcore 2.8Ghz :D

Hope it'll arrive in perfect condition! I would really be annoyed if I'd have to go through a multiple return dance like some other posters in these forums have described... Will see!

Good news about the seeded graphics update to developers too! That probably means we will see updated ATI drivers boosting performance of the 4850 :)
 
Comment

LAPTOPODO

macrumors member
Aug 1, 2010
71
0
I'll probably order de i7, as I'm doubing beetwen i5 (quadcore) and i7 (quadcore) both refurb....

The price difference for me it's 120$

I don't care about the box (not fancy one ok) so long the computer arrives in good condition... :p

..and as you say you can maybe find 2TB HD surprise on it (not the first case I read) :D

By the way, I have read than the ATI 4850 it's better in much aspects than 5670 (which I think it's a an ATI 5XXX low model)
 
Comment

all-in-my-head

macrumors member
Original poster
Oct 25, 2003
69
0
UK
So i went for the refurb and it finally arrived a day or so ago.

Standard white box, all fine.

Cosmetically perfect on the outside.

First Issue: The screen was wrapped in clear plastic stuck heavily to the bezel around the screen. In trying to pull away the plastic it popped the screen out in the middle at the top so i could see right inside - scary! But the screen went straight back again.

Secondly: I have a very slight yellowing at the bottom of the screen, I'd say the lower middle third. Not noticeable unless you run the well known test. Will have to see how this affects designing - especially working with light greys on websites!

Third: This is the main concern, I have the also not uncommon problem that when the screen dimmed/sent to sleep I get a buzzing noise form the top of the machine. The moment you wake it up it stops. This only seems to happen once the machine has been on and working a while and gets hot.
You can see the exact problem here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jXyH1XGFFck if your interested.

There's also a dead pixel, but its just below the menu bar and for the discount of a refurb I can live with it.

I'm surprised a refurb machine would have such a problem as number 3 though. I would imagine they are each actually checked properly in the refurb process!?
 
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drambuie

macrumors 6502a
Feb 16, 2010
751
0
Reading this thread brings a question to mind that applies to all Macs. It looks like used returns are sold as reburbs in plain boxes, but what about unsold factory sealed units returned from retail stores when new models are released? Are they also repackaged at refurb, or sold in the original sealed retail boxes?
 
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