Refurb vs New iMac 27" and opinions on spec?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by nizmoz, Apr 30, 2013.

  1. nizmoz macrumors 65816

    Jul 7, 2008
    I am about to pull the trigger on a new IMAC 27" with 680MX, 8GB, either a 1TB Fusion, 3TB Fusion, or SSD.

    But my question is should I go new, or REFURB? I would save a little money (not much), but read on here some people having issues with refurb 27s. Also I can't seem to find a refurb with 3TB Fusion or SSD option and 680MX together. Seems to only be the 1TB and 680.

    What are your opinions on my spec choices and refurb and new? Thanks guys! Making the official switch to complete MAC from PC. :)
  2. flynz4 macrumors 68040

    Aug 9, 2009
    Portland, OR
    The 2012 iMac is such a significant improvement over the 2011... that I would have a hard time suggesting going back in time.

    Some people complain about the lack of an ODD... but most of us probably have stopped using them already... or certainly will be quite soon. For me... the other advantages (particularly the MUCH cooler operation) is worth having the newest design.

    If you can find a 2012 refurb that matches your needs... that would be fine.

  3. nizmoz thread starter macrumors 65816

    Jul 7, 2008

    Yea, I should have said this is only for 2012 new or REFURB new 2012s. :) Which right now they have some 680mx IMAC 27" 1TB fusions, 8gb in stock in the refurb store.

  4. martinm0 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 27, 2010
    Refurbs are in perfect working order and I have never found their quality to be less than a brand new mac. In most cases refurbs are better as they have had problem parts replaced with new iterations.

    Not sure what stories you were hearing about issues with refurbs, but that's never been my experience.

    I would absolutely recommend the 3.4 i7 and 680MX GPU. Everything else can be managed with external storage or added RAM. Fusion scares me since if one disk goes bad, you lose it all. Just get an external SSD and run the OS off of that and use the internal for additional storage.
  5. Falleron macrumors 68000


    Nov 22, 2001
    I would say get the old model. Tried and tested. I am a bit biased though since I am selling my top spec previous model! :D
  6. anemone macrumors member

    Jun 5, 2007
    I ordered a 2012 base model 27" with 1 TB Fusion Drive from the refurb store and it arrived yesterday. It's perfect, and I saved over $300, which allowed me to order more RAM with some of the savings. I have no regrets. Good luck with your decision!
  7. Bear macrumors G3

    Jul 23, 2002
    Sol III - Terra
    Refurb is fine. Don't forget to get AppleCare.
  8. nizmoz thread starter macrumors 65816

    Jul 7, 2008
    Thanks to those that have responded so far. I personally have never bought a refurb from Apple so this is a first. I am strongly considering it but will have to wait till I get back in town as I am leaving for 4-5 days and want to make sure I am here when the package arrives. So I will probably order it when I return and just wait then and get Apple care with it plus 32gb of ram. :)

    I want the trackpad instead of the mouse, is there a way to get that on the refurb vs the mouse?
  9. Raima macrumors 6502

    Jan 21, 2010
    I have both. The old model is only good cause you can do your own ssd upgrade fairly easily. The bad part is, you're stuck with whatever old dated GPU. My personal recommendation is to get the new model if you can afford it.

    As for the original question with the 1TB, make sure it's fusion. As someone has suggested, if one part of the fusion fails, you loose the data. I'm not sure if this is an over sight, but if you only have a HDD and it fails, you're going to loose the data anyways. The best course of action regardless what storage medium is used, is to use Time Machine's BACK UP.

    If you need more than 1TB storage, plug in a 3TB+ USB HDD.

    A refurbished one should be fine. It still comes with Apple's warranty. I would suggest purchasing apple care with it. If you want different accessories, maybe call apple regarding ordering a refurbished and request for the trackpad instead of mouse. I'm sure they'll be able to work something out for you.

    Hope this helps.
  10. joeybuckets macrumors regular


    Jan 13, 2008
    just bought and received a refurb iMac 27 inch 1TB Fusion, 680Mx, i upgraded from a Imac 24 inch 2008 early model. Difference is like night and day, this new machine is lighting quick compared to my core duo. It came with 8gb ram and i bought 16gb of corsair ram from If u can get a refurb unit and save a couple of bucks then why not? Its a little annoying that there is no optical drive, because i burn/copy alot of my son's movies but a external dvd drive can be had for less then 50 bucks. Good luck on whatever you choose to do.:apple:
  11. jlehman macrumors member

    Apr 16, 2013
    Never had trouble with Apple Refurbs. Always recommend them. The new ones do run considerably cooler than the previous versions which is probably the best thing about them. (I've deployed 10 so far at my college)

    Also, even though you are saving money I would go with Apple Care. You never know what problems may creep up with this new model and re-design. I've also worked at a repair shop with a Apple Hardware Certified Technician (AHCT) and iMacs generally have overheating issues and HDDs that die. When an iMac comes into the shop its because of motherboard being fried or a dead drive.
  12. mainomega macrumors 6502

    Jun 5, 2007
    Wife has a Late 2009 MBP that unfortunately she has been suffering with for the last 6 months. Just not powerful enough for her workload. I threw in a 480GB Gen III SSD and 8GB of RAM but the C2D processor just wasn't up to par. She hates the 15" MBPs (retina too) as she needs the bigger screen size, dragged her to the Apple store and she loved the way the new iMacs looked and handled the test file she brought with.

    After a long debate in my head I figured the following.
    27" 3.4 i7 with educational discount was - $2,079.00
    REFURB 27" 3.4 i7 with 1TB Fusion and MX690 2GB -$2,199.00

    So the difference is $120 but the upgrade to a much faster GPU and even though she already has a 480GB SSD the fact that I wouldn't have to open the iMac made the refurbished one the winner. The imac delivers on Friday but I've purchased 3 refurb ipads for family members and they have always been perfect so hopefully apple doesn't disappoint all of us.

    - Get the refurb -
  13. nizmoz thread starter macrumors 65816

    Jul 7, 2008
    Also the question is where to get a new one if I do? MacMall has them for cheaper, but also no tax! But obviously it isn't buying from Apple and if I needed to swap or something was wrong I can't probably just take it to Apple then. But it is $200+ bucks cheaper due to no tax.

    What do you guys think on vendors to buy from?
  14. zackkmac macrumors 6502a

    Jul 7, 2008
    I buy all of my brand new Macs from MacMall. In fact the 27" iMac in my sig came in about 2 weeks ago and I bought it from them. It is definitely worth it.

    It will not in any way affect the way Apple will handle your issues at the Apple Store, if you have any issues at all. Your iMac will be treated exactly as if it was purchased straight from Apple.
  15. Ak907Freerider macrumors 6502

    Apr 19, 2012
    I bought a 2011 refurb and have been more than pleased. It came flawless and apple was great to work with. I even called them a week after purchase and wanted to order a trackpad and they said no problem and just gave me one. Their was even a price drop on the rufurbs shortly after I got mine due to the new models and apple refunded the difference. Long story short buy refurb it is best bet. Why pay hundreds more for a box?? It will be flawless and still have that new Mac smell.
  16. Arfdog macrumors 6502

    Jan 25, 2013
    You smell your imac?
  17. tuxon86 macrumors 65816

    May 22, 2012
    Doesn't everybody???
  18. Ak907Freerider, May 2, 2013
    Last edited: May 2, 2013

    Ak907Freerider macrumors 6502

    Apr 19, 2012
    Well ya doesn't everyone?!? It's a few months old now so I just hang a new car scent air freshener off the iMac stand.
  19. Arfdog macrumors 6502

    Jan 25, 2013
  20. Coffee Minutes macrumors member

    Jul 6, 2012
    New Computer smell?

    I don't think my new iMac (Late 2012) has the new Mac smell. :confused: Is it possible I got a refurb - perhaps the previous owner inhaled up all of the new computer smell? ...or maybe my particular unit sat on the factory floor longer than others and the new smell wafted away? Could it have to do with FedEx delivery storage methods

    Is it worth exchanging as a precaution (maybe it is not new and a mixed up refurb?)


    (I want to experience the new Mac smell too!!!)


    My sense of smell is fine as I can smell awful odors without issue.
  21. tuxon86 macrumors 65816

    May 22, 2012
    Just go to the apple store and ask for a bottle of iSmell. They sell it for $999.99 and don't forget to buy the $149.99 AppleCare for it.
  22. thedeske macrumors 6502a

    Feb 17, 2013
    Can't comment on the smell thing, but I do have experience with Apple refurbs. Purchased a number of times for myself and clients and they were always in perfect shape. In recent years they started using a non factory box, but that's about the only thing that's different from a new computer.
  23. nizmoz thread starter macrumors 65816

    Jul 7, 2008
    Just picked up my new iMac from the apple store!! They had an i7 3.4, 680mx, 1tb fusion, 8gb of ram with edu discount and apple care it came out well. On the way home now with it! I will put my 16gb of ram from my MBP corsair vengeance in it for now. :)
  24. macthefork macrumors 6502

    Feb 2, 2013
    My iMac never smelled new... But, that's OK since it's always looked and worked like new.

    Maybe i just couldn't smell it. After all, I like to use that "Smokers Bar" car scent that I hang from the mirror. It makes your car smell like the driver smoked a pack a day in the car... and the passenger smoked cigars... ;)
  25. palmharbor macrumors 6502

    Jul 31, 2007
    Refurb = Used Computer

    Any refurb computer was once owned by someone. They had a severe
    problem and Apple replaced it with another new computer. They took
    it back and worked on it for an unknown time. You don't know if the
    problem was discovered and if it was fixed...but you will after you
    set it up. If its bad, they will repair it but NOT replace it.
    Don't cheap a new one.

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