refurb iMac Pro vs 2019 iMac high-end

Discussion in 'iMac' started by SecuritySteve, Apr 25, 2019.

  1. SecuritySteve macrumors 6502a

    SecuritySteve

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2017
    Location:
    California
    #1
    Hello all,

    My girlfriend will be moving in soon and we're looking into buying her an iMac for her work. She will be working from home now (thanks to a promotion) and does high end art and design, 3d modeling, and video editing. Specifically she uses:

    Photoshop CC
    Ilustrator CC
    InDesign
    Blender
    Unity
    Adobe After Effects

    We also are both gamers, and while Mac gaming certainly leaves something to be desired, we spend so much on our workstations that we might as well consider the hardware for gaming too. Based off her described needs, I think she needs either a base model iMac Pro, or a 2019 iMac with the following specs:

    3.6 GHz 8 core i9 with 5.0 GHz Turbo (single core)
    32 GB RAM
    Vega 48
    1 TB SSD

    The issue is the price on a refurb iMac Pro and this 2019 iMac are literally identical, dollar for dollar. I am leaning towards the Pro for the improved cooling system and better graphics card, but this would be a refurbished machine.

    What I want to know:

    What are everyone's experiences with Apple refurbs, especially from anyone that buys them in bulk to give me a good idea of statistical probability of defects? To my knowledge, they should work great. But I want to check with the community before I pull the trigger.

    For her prescribed usage, is there any advantage to the ~12% core speed increase over the 8 core Xeon from the i9 in the regular iMac? Is there also any advantage to ECC memory in her applications? Does the increased SSD speeds from the iMac Pro increase her performance?
     
  2. dcpmark macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2009
    #2
    Refurbs are fantastic in my experience, especially since you can add AppleCare. But those two should not cost the same if you don’t use expensive Apple memory and add it yourself, and you find a place that will sell you the 2019 iMac with no tax.
     
  3. SecuritySteve thread starter macrumors 6502a

    SecuritySteve

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2017
    Location:
    California
    #3
    This is true. I could save about 400$ using an OWC memory kit. I will factor that into my decision.
     
  4. ZipZap macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2007
    #4
    For me the pro has better hardware, ports and cooling. Yes the I9 is a screamer but its in box that was never designed for it. I wonder if I will be sorry I get a pro cause an update might be right around the corner. I have some time, so I will see if rumors start to seep.
     
  5. SecuritySteve thread starter macrumors 6502a

    SecuritySteve

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2017
    Location:
    California
    #5
    Yes the cooling is a big plus for the Pro. Both got slight refreshes at around the same time though. I doubt the iMac Pro will get a full upgrade until 2020 at the soonest.

    Unfortunately I need the machine within a month and a half, so I have time to consider our options and choose wisely, but not enough time to wait for a refresh.
     
  6. mikehalloran macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2018
    Location:
    The Sillie Con Valley
    #6
    Apple refurbs are as good. In fact, if there was a problem, it has now been repaired and gone through multiple checks. Besides refurbs, this is where Apple sells surplus and discontinued models.

    The base Apple iMac Pros are almost never refurbs, however. If so, the Refurb Store would run out and the big resellers wouldn’t be getting them in lots of 100.

    Think about it, if they can’t keep the pipeline going, who’s going to build the custom BTOs when ordered?

    No, Apple makes money at $3999–$4249 depending on where you buy and when. More importantly, they’re moving product at that price point. Think of it as their home-grown little Space Grey market. Except that they are fully warranted and you can add AppleCare for another $169.

    If you keep a close eye on the Refurb Store, the BTOs do show up but be prepared to pounce. I’ve waited 15 minutes on something I wanted and it was gone.

    Day before yesterday, Best Buy had a one-day sale for $4099. The real price of the base iMac Pro is $4,999 only if the R word concerns you. It shouldn’t.

    Speaking of the iMP BTOs, they rarely appear anymore. How many were returned because of the kernel panic issue when used with USB 2 audio devices and Apple didn’t know the problem? Since Mohave 10.14.4 appears to have fixed the problem... I still bought AppleCare for mine — making Apple own that issue till 2022.
    --- Post Merged, Apr 25, 2019 ---
    If I was to speculate (if not here, where?)...

    If/when the iMP is updated, the base model will be little different (slight CPU speed bump, perhaps?) but its price will drop to $4,249 or a few dollars lower. This would not be an unusual move for Apple as the March 2018 iPad showed.

    We’ll see...
     
  7. SecuritySteve thread starter macrumors 6502a

    SecuritySteve

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2017
    Location:
    California
    #7
    Yeah I'm not sure. Much depends on the modular Mac Pro coming this summer.
     
  8. mam8dg macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2019
    #8
    I recently bought a 10-core/64gb/Vega 64 refurb iMac Pro. It arrived in flawless condition and has been functioning well.

    I chose it over a maxed out 2019 iMac because of the cooling system and extra TB3 ports. Really happy with my decision, it is a pleasure to use.
     
  9. CobraPA macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2011
    Location:
    Lansdale, PA, USA
    #9
    So you’re the one... I saw that machine show up in the refurb store! ;)
     
  10. SecuritySteve thread starter macrumors 6502a

    SecuritySteve

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2017
    Location:
    California
    #10
    How much did that save you?
     
  11. mam8dg macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2019
    #11
    The refurb model cost $5,739 (pre-tax). Brand new from Apple, the same specs would cost $6,749 (pre-tax).

    However, depending on where you live, you can get a new model discounted and avoid tax by purchasing from an Apple Authorized Reseller (e.g., using the APINSIDER coupon code from Adorama...though I think that only works for non-base models). Since I would get charged tax from B&H & Adorama, the best new price I could get while avoiding tax was $6,749 (from Expercom or Portable One). With tax, my total was $6,250. So I basically saved $500.
     
  12. SecuritySteve thread starter macrumors 6502a

    SecuritySteve

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2017
    Location:
    California
    #12
    I ended up purchasing her a refurb iMac Pro with 64 GB RAM upgrade for 4,550$ (pre tax), which saves 850$ over the store as new. I think that's pretty awesome.

    My main deciding factor was the SSD speeds, and the cooling. Thanks all for everyone who shared positive experiences about refurbs.
     
  13. mikehalloran macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2018
    Location:
    The Sillie Con Valley

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12 April 25, 2019