Refurb or new iMac??? I'm Torn

Discussion in 'iMac' started by ajkr711, Oct 26, 2012.

  1. ajkr711 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2012
    Location:
    Michigan/USA
    #1
    I've been hovering for a while on this forum waiting for the new iMac to rear its head...since it's "here", I'll weigh in a little. I'm really torn here as to what to do. I have a late 2006 iMac, so anything will be a significant improvement. Since that time, I've gotten more into editing photos and home videos, along with using itunes, and normal computer usage.

    I would be looking at the 21.5" model (current model is 17"), and I'm just not sure if some of the specs in the new iMac are worth the extra cost. Does the new iMac look nice, absolutely, but i'm more concerned with function and I'm not one to look at all the benchmarks and stuff and will likely keep this computer for as long as I can...just make it work for me. I'm guessing this is probably a boat most people on this forum are in...whether they admit it or not is another story.

    I can get a refurb 21.5" with i5 and 1TB hdd for $1189 in the apple store, but could also get the education discount on the new imac when it's available.

    A couple of questions:
    - i'm comfortable installing additional RAM, so that's not an issue
    - would the fusion drive even benefit me?

    Any thoughts/suggestions would be welcome.
     
  2. flopticalcube macrumors G4

    flopticalcube

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2006
    Location:
    In the velcro closure of America's Hat
    #2
    Since you can get the edu discount, I would think the new one would be best. You also get a huge discount on Apple Care which I would get for this machine. If you can, wait for ifixit to do a teardown to see if you can install RAM yourself if necessary.
     
  3. k.alexander macrumors regular

    k.alexander

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2010
    #3
    ajkr711:

    I am with you. I'm upgrading from 1.83 Core Duo 15" MBP, purchase 2/2006. I can't believe it's lasted me this long. The iPads in the house have taken over a lot of pc duty and primarily I need a computer to store/edit photos. Photography is a big hobby, and Aperture barely moves on my MBP.

    I was waiting for this iMac refresh and was going to get the new one. However, after seeing what's out, I decided to pick up a 21.5" 2011 Refurb for $979.

    I choose the 2011 over the 2012 for the following reasons:
    Obviously one is cost. For $320 less I get a very slightly slower CPU, and a slightly slower GPU (but I dont game and I'm going to guess that either GPU, be it the 2011 AMD Radeon HD 6750M or the 2012 NVIDIA GeForce GT 640M) are going to do about the same job in Aperture and PS. I do miss out on USB3 vs. USB2.

    On the other hand, 2011 iMac has 4 RAM slots. I will prob buy 2x4GB (<$50), not throw any of the existing ram out and end up with 12GB, which should likely last me a very very long time. The 2012 iMac 21.5" has non-user upgradeable RAM--that's just crazy.
    Second, the HD in the 2012 is 5400rpm. And again, it is incredibly difficult to replace on the 2011 and even then only with a Apple-sanctioned HD due to the 7pin connector. It will likely be even more difficult to rip apart the 2012 iMacs, I wouldn't be surprised if the screens were glued.
    Also the 2011 comes with a CD/DVD--you still need that from time to time.

    ----------

    Also the edu discounts are a measly $50 on the base iMac. Not really much help there.
     
  4. TrboMac macrumors regular

    TrboMac

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2012
    Location:
    NC/USA
    #4
    I was pondering the same question but not for long; I just bought a 2011 21.5" iMac today. Keep in mind to get the fusion drive you can only do that w/ the second tier 21.5" and up. It's not available for the entry level, so you may (yet to be seen how much that option will be) be spending close to $1800 even w/ your discount. They also took the firewire port, OD out and downgraded to a slower (5400rpm) drive for the new 21.5". And as someone mentioned, it's yet to be seen how easily, if at all, you can replace the RAM on the new 21.5". You certainly can w/ the 2011.

    If you're alright w/ that, the new one does have a CPU/GPU bump and the new display/look, so it's really up to you. From an entry level standpoint it was clear to me to go w/ the 2011 model. But that's me..
     
  5. ajkr711 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2012
    Location:
    Michigan/USA
    #5
    I'm not even sure the fusion drive would benefit me...thoughts on this?

    I get the whole "it stores apps and frequently used items on the SSD and the remaining data on the HDD" idea, but is it worth ANY price (regardless of how cheap or expensive) for a casual user?

    ----------

    We use Photoshop Elements right now, but I'm consider switching to Aperture...how easy is Aperture? have you had a good/bad experience?
     
  6. mcpix macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 13, 2005
    #6
    In the previous generation of iMacs, it really came down to whether you wanted the 27" screen or you were fine with the 21.5". You could get all the features you wanted in either machine.

    Now, if you pick the 21.5" iMac you're getting a machine with no user upgradeable ram and a slower hard drive. You have to buy the 27" to get these features.

    If you're looking at the 21.5" iMac, I think the 2011 refurb. is the better way to go. For only $979 you get a fast machine, a faster hard drive, firewire, ODD and user upgradeable ram.
     
  7. k.alexander macrumors regular

    k.alexander

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2010
    #7
    I've been using Aperture from when it first came out. I swear by Aperture. It is something that takes a bit of time to get really proficient at, but I would argue that it takes less time to get proficient at Aperture than it would to get proficient at Adobe LightRoom. Additionally, if you are used to iPhoto, then you've got the very basics down and the move to Aperture will be even easier.

    Aperture is very powerful, but in true Apple fashion, it is easier to use than it should be.

    Having said all that, I have considered switching to LightRoom in the last year or two. I first did this when after one Aperture or OSX update I started having crazy graphic distortion problems in Aperture; luckily that went away after some update, which however was months later. LR seems to have an edge on features when compared to Aperture; many professionals have also moved from Aperture to LR over the years--however, unless you're a real power-user of either Aperture/LR, you probably shouldn't worry about the above. LR also seems to run faster, especially on older hardware than Aperture. However, if you're living in an Apple-ecosystem, Aperture is a much better bet in my opinion.

    I only mention all this about LR b/c when I looked to move to LR from Aperture, I realized that although I could move the images very easily, a lot of my edits and other data/metadata would not make the transition at all or not make it easy. As such, having looked at my library of approx. 50k photos, I've given up the idea of going to LR.
     
  8. TrboMac macrumors regular

    TrboMac

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2012
    Location:
    NC/USA
    #8
    Bingo, much agreed.
     
  9. combustible macrumors newbie

    combustible

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2004
    Location:
    australia
    #9
    i'm in a very similar spot myself.
    i've been waiting for the new ones, but now they are here, they're not really doing it for me. the low end has too many compromises in hdd speed and upgradeability. when you spend enough to get the good customisations, it'll be close to twice the price of the older refurbs.
    i'm either going to continue with my 2008 24", or get a refurb 2011 21.5".
     

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