Refurbished 2011 27 iMac vs current 27

Discussion in 'iMac' started by shumster, Jun 4, 2013.

  1. shumster macrumors member

    Aug 15, 2001
    Hi all,

    I'm looking at getting an iMac for both work (teaching) and contract work (video editing) - current late 2010 17" MBP just isn't cranking fast enough for FCPX renders.

    My question is whether I'd be short-changed getting a top spec refurbished 27" iMac (3.4ghz i7) as opposed to a current (or updated next week if rumours are true) iMac?

    Pros of refurbished:
    SuperDrive for clients wanting DVD of events
    FW800 AND Thunderbolt - have a bunch of FireWire drives I use for storage, and would rather not use up a thunderbolt port for those.

    Are the previous generation i7's substantially slower than the current ones?
    No Fusion drive option (but I could install an SSD)

    And am I right in believing that although the specified max ram is 16GB on the previous generation imac, it can actually take 32GB?

    As an aside - would the 13" rMBP be a viable portable editing unit?

    Thanks for all advice given
  2. Bear macrumors G3

    Jul 23, 2002
    Sol III - Terra
    The 2011 iMac can handle 32GB of ram.

    As for the 2012, you could get an external DVD burner and a Thunderbolt dock which would give you more USB ports as well. In your case, the Sonnet Echo 15 Thunderbolt Dock might be a good solution whether you go for the 2011 or the 2012 iMac. Especially since you could toss an SSD inside it.

    The only question I have for you that would make a difference. For the software you are using, how dependent is it on the video card?

    And remember you can get the 2012 iMac refurbished as well.

    As for the 13" rMBP, I suggest you go in to an Apple store and play with the 13" and 15" You might have to play with iMovie but it should give you an idea if the screen is large enough for you. And screen size is personal preference. In either case you would probably want the i7 processor.
  3. shumster thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 15, 2001
    Thanks Bear

    The refurb iMac I've got my eye on has" AMD Radeon HD 6970M graphics with 1GB memory
" - is that sufficient to work with FCPX and Motion? I'm not working on The Hobbit, but corporate clients, weddings, sports teams etc, where deadlines are paramount.

    The Sonnet looks like a good solution for the current iMac, but have to wait for it to appear on my side of the Pacific (HKG)
  4. rkaufmann87 macrumors 68000


    Dec 17, 2009
    Folsom, CA
    As has been noted, the 2011 iMacs can accomodate 32GB of RAM. You are also correct on your assumptions about the FW being on the 2011 which provides more life to your existing EHDs. However the 2012 you can use a Thunderbolt to FW adapter, so that is a wash.

    As far as speed, I would recommend looking at one of the many available benchmark tests and see if the difference in speed would save you money. The Superdrive, again a wash because you can add a External Superdrive to the new iMacs.

    The graphics cards in the 2011 machines are more than capable of handling Final Cut Pro.

    IMHO I'd go with a new machine, as you can get a Fusion drive which is less than a SSD for the GB, has the speed and you won't jeopardize your warrranty by installing a SSD.

    Tough decision though, you just have to weigh the pros and cons of each which is what you're trying to do.

Share This Page