Refurbished 2010 i7 27" iMac or 2011 i5 27" iMac

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Bradyk123, Jun 12, 2011.

  1. Bradyk123 macrumors newbie

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    Jun 12, 2011
    #1
    I am looking into getting a new quad core iMac to replace my Core 2 Duo 21.5" iMac. I would like as much processing power as possible but for around $1600 - $1700. I do a lot of Photoshop, After Effects, Final Cut Pro and many other very processor intensive activities. Would the refurbished 2010 Quad Core Core i7 with an ATI Radeon 5750 with 1gb of VRam be better than a new 2011 Core i5 with an ATI Radeon 6770 with 512mb of VRam for the uses I am going to be using it for?
     
  2. Benz63amg macrumors 68000

    Benz63amg

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    Oct 17, 2010
    #2
    the 2011 imac is better than that 2010 i7 lol, no competition.
     
  3. NutsNGum macrumors 68030

    NutsNGum

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    #3
    Wrong.

    http://www.primatelabs.ca/blog/2011/05/imac-benchmarks-mid-2011/

    I was having this same dilemma, I went with the 2010 refurb i7. Faster CPU, less fast GPU, still capable enough if I want to game, which I dont particularly.

    For any tasks that prioritise CPU over GPU, the previous gen i7 will be superior.
     
  4. Benz63amg macrumors 68000

    Benz63amg

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    Oct 17, 2010
    #4
    im not wrong, you are wrong. sure your i7 is SLIGHTLY faster than the 2011 i5 but the i5 uses a much better and newer architecture, you have an older generation processor. (which is an amazing one but its an older generation processor compared to the new sandy bridge processors)
     
  5. caughtintheweb macrumors regular

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    May 17, 2011
    #5
    Based on your needs 2010 model would be a much better bet. My needs are almost the same as yours and you would need higher cache size, gram and i7 processor. And as CPU benchmarks suggest, 2010 i7 scores over 2011 i5. The 2011 has a much better graphics card though which makes it good only for gaming. I also checked photoshop tests result and 2010 model easily beats the 2011 i5.

    Unless you have to have the latest model even if it is a little slower 2010 is clear winner. And I am not even considering the fact that you save $300-400.
     
  6. Benz63amg macrumors 68000

    Benz63amg

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    Oct 17, 2010
    #6
    the old i7 is not that faster than the 2011 i5 lol, check the geekbench tests.
     
  7. NutsNGum macrumors 68030

    NutsNGum

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    #7
    Define "better" given that the i5 is slower.

    You are wrong.
     
  8. Bradyk123 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jun 12, 2011
    #8
    Ok, I think I going to go with the i7 2010 mainly because the main reason I need it is for mostly Photoshop and it seems to run amazing with the i7 and gaming isn't that big of deal to me. Also the Target Display mode is going to be of much use for me and on the new iMacs you need a thunderbolt compatible device. That 27" display is gorgeous and can't wait to get it in my hands!

    Thanks everyone!
     
  9. mankymanning macrumors regular

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    Jul 18, 2008
    #9
    Gotta say that the difference in speed between those processors isn't massive. Lots of factors increase overall speed especially SSDs wrt I/O contention. If you are dealing with large files then I think the more modern i5 +SSD would be the best bet. The point being that with Thunderbolt you can add an SSD later. The 2010 model means you can't.
     
  10. NutsNGum macrumors 68030

    NutsNGum

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    #10
    It's a large enough difference, especially when you factor in the price difference between the two models.

    There's also no guarantee that thunderbolt will be able to take advantage of externally bootable disks.
     
  11. mankymanning macrumors regular

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    Jul 18, 2008
    #11
    The OP didn't mention a price difference. Even if you can't boot from them you can put the work files on it, install apps on it, move your user folder to it etc. Just having experienced how much better SSDs make a system I don't think I could ever now buy a machine where it was so difficult to add one.
     
  12. Benz63amg macrumors 68000

    Benz63amg

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    Oct 17, 2010
    #12

    no, you are wrong, sandy bridge is superior to older generation CPUs by all means. (less heat, more efficient.. you can read on sandy bridge on google.com )
     
  13. iamthedudeman macrumors 65816

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    Jul 7, 2007
    #13
    Of coarse sandybridge is superior to lynnfield. But the higher end i7 870 has more horsepower and is faster than the 2400 i5 regardless. HT plays the biggest difference here.

    The i7 is faster and the 2010 model i7 27 is the second fastest iMac right now. Regardless of sandybridge or no sandybridge. 8 virtual cores beats 4 real ones any day of the week how ever you spin it.
     
  14. clyde2801 macrumors 601

    clyde2801

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    #14
    Presuming, of course, that the software is optimized to take advantage of multiple cores. Which, in the OP's case, it is.

    The new i5 is pretty darned close to the 2010 i7, which is amazing.
     
  15. wxman2003 Suspended

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    Apr 12, 2011
    #15
    Most of the refurbs are probably the ones returned because of yellow tint problems. I would bet Apple ran a few tests and then re-boxed them.
     
  16. iamthedudeman macrumors 65816

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    #16

    Returns are not perfect but neither are new ones. Returns most likely have less issues because they actually got " inspected" before they get sent out. Unlike new ones that a few get checked out in batches.

    You have a higher chance of having problems with a new one than a refurb. And alot of the time they are "new" ones that were not sold, especially the BTO's.
     
  17. iamthedudeman macrumors 65816

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    #17
    :rolleyes:
    The i7 still beats out a i5 2500 in heavily threaded apps let alone the 2400. Single threaded apps the sandybridge is tops.
     
  18. msmezher macrumors newbie

    msmezher

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    Jan 26, 2011
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    #18
    Considering the same options as the OP

    Hi All,
    I'm considering the same two models the OP was looking at, the 2010 27" iMac with 2.93Ghz i7 4GB RAM and an ATI Radeon HD 5750 graphics with 1GB memory compared to the stock 2011 27" iMac with a 2.7Ghz i5 4GB RAM and AMD Radeon HD 6770M with 512MB. The 2010 iMac would cost 1569 and the 2011 iMac would run me 1599 with the student pricing and come with a $100 gift card.
    I'm enticed by the faster processor and graphics card on the 2010 model, but am hesitant for a few reasons. One, I would probably need to pay for the upgrade to Lion as it is not a new Mac (although I'm not entirely certain about that). Two, the 2010 iMac has 3 Gb/s SATA connectors to the hard drives, whereas the 2011 iMac has 6 Gb/s SATA connectors, which would improve the performance of a solid state drive if I add one down the road. Thunderbolt is obviously a benefit for the 2011 machine, but it's hard to say how big a benefit it will be as there isn't much on the market that utilizes it.
    Anyway, I'm getting an iMac as a graduation present and my budget is around 1700 (but I might increase that a little to squeeze apple care in since it's discounted for students as well).
    My main uses are going to be for home entertainment, photo editing, some gaming, and I'm beginning to learn some basic programing. I guess what it comes down to is if the 2010's processor and graphics benefits outweigh the future potential of SATA 6 Gb/s SSDs and Thunderbolt in the future or if the i5 on the 2011 will be enough.

    Thanks!
     
  19. Psilocybin macrumors 6502a

    Psilocybin

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    Ontario, Canada
    #19
    i5 is plenty enough for your needs. It isn't a p4.


    Sent from my iPhone 4 using Tapatalk
     
  20. iamthedudeman macrumors 65816

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    Jul 7, 2007
    #20
    Well I just received the 27 i7 2.93 w/SSD. I also have 14 various other iMacs at my business as well as a new 2011 27 i5 W/SSD. Both are good machines.

    But my new 2011 i5 27 has severe yellowing where as the 2010 i7 27 has literally the most perfect screen on a 27 I have seen yet.

    No yellowing, dead or stuck pixels, no scratches, the mouse and keyboard are better than the new ones. If you ever bought a magic mouse on it's own or a keyboard you will know what I mean. New iMacs can have loose keys or "loose" fitting "mice".

    I own 15 iMacs from 2009 to now most all for my business except one. Each with at least a few flaws. The 2010 i7 27 with SSD so called refurb has no flaws, literally zero.
     
  21. JesseW6889 macrumors 6502

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    Dec 12, 2010
    #21
    I'm in the same boat as the Op.

    Which is the better of the two graphics cards? The 5750 or the 6770?
     
  22. caughtintheweb macrumors regular

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    May 17, 2011
    #22
    Newer one has a slightly better card, but it comes up with only 512mb of gram. I got the 2010 i7 and could not be happier. Its perfect for my needs. And I have had no issues so far. No yellow screen, loud fan noise etc etc
     
  23. iamthedudeman macrumors 65816

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    Jul 7, 2007
    #23
    The 5750 is actually a re-badged 5850, and it is 1GB so it is faster than the 6770.
     
  24. Sirmausalot macrumors 6502a

    Sirmausalot

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2007
    #24
    I just ordered the i7 2010 refurb. In sum, as most have posted

    1. The 1GB video RAM is a great deal compared to the 512MB and will make a difference on apps that use Open CL (Final Cut Pro X for example). And the card is a 5850, so excellent performance compared to the other cards, except the one in the highest end iMac.

    2. The first gen i7 will give you much better processing power over any new i5 for multi-treaded apps (the new Final Cut Pro X and I think CS5). The only thing that will best it are the newer i7s by about 10%.

    3. The 'refurbs' are either overstock (ie, new) or put through an exhaustive series of tests. The yellow tinting issue was due to misaligned screens -- which would be fixed in a refurb.

    This information is from research on forums and direct from an an Apple tech guy here in a NYC store who knew more about this than anyone I've talked to. He was clear the refurb was the best deal unless you were doing a lot of 3D modeling/gaming.

    I wouldn't purchase for a potential (expensive) gain in the future but what will be best for the next year or two. And OWC will install an SSD and give you an external SATA port for $400. To get a gain on a Thunderbolt port, you need to be working with massive files (think RED 4-5K using a RAID SSD). If you're doing that kind of work, you need a Mac Pro. But the i7 will be your best gain working with DSLR footage and the like as it's hugely processor intensive.
     
  25. NutsNGum macrumors 68030

    NutsNGum

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    Jul 30, 2010
    Location:
    Glasgow, Scotland
    #25
    Just as an update, I bought a refurb 2010 i7. Had to send it back on account of large beard hairs under the glass and a dead pixel bang in the centre of the screen. Particularly annoying was the fact that they wouldn't just send me out a replacement refurb, they insisted on refunding my money.

    By the next day all the refurb i7s were gone, cheers Apple!
     

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