refurbished macs (c2d or i5)

Discussion in 'iMac' started by wanttobuyimac, Jul 13, 2010.

  1. wanttobuyimac macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2010
    #1
    Refurbished iMac 27-inch 2.66GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i5 VS Refurbished iMac 27-inch 3.06GHz Intel Core 2 Duo

    Hi, I am new to MACs. I am looking at buying a refurbished iMac, I am on a very tight budget. I just saw the refurbished apple store for these two iMacs and the price difference is about 400dollars.
    the only difference i see in the spec is

    i5:
    Processor 2.66GHz Intel Core i5 (quad core)
    Cache 8MB shared L3 cache
    Graphics ATI Radeon HD 4850 with 512MB of GDDR3 memory

    C2D:
    Processor 3.06GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
    Cache 3MB shared L2 cache
    Graphics ATI Radeon HD 4670 with 256MB of GDDR3 memory

    I have already overstretched my budget in considering the C2D and then a friend confused me by suggesting the i5.. I am now in stalemate in buying a mac.
    a quote from my friends email:
    "If you are going to sell it in 18 months time C2D would probably do.
    Any longer ? I would look at east at the i5. Then you know it will
    happily run any new OS and Software. i.e. 10.7 - CS 6 etc. in three
    years time."

    My use is pretty basic - home use, kids school projects, and some work on dreamweaver/photoshop. Maybe watch some streaming videos. Do some internet voice/video chating with relatives overseas. - u get the picture.

    I do see this as a long term investment, considering the cost.

    I am a PC user ( i hope that's not a forbidden word here :D. I am just bored / tired of viruses/ wireless issues/ etc and just wanting to try something else then Windows!!

    Any good advise would be appreciated.

    Thank you

    btw: i did search the forum, but found older post discussing these machines (nothing about macs with the spec i have written above) and also nothing that exactly addressed my question.
     
  2. leftywamumonkey macrumors 6502a

    leftywamumonkey

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    Jun 23, 2010
    Location:
    California
  3. OatmealRocks macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2009
    #3
    I'd personally would get i5. You should check out geekbench and look @ the performance #'s of the two. Personally C2D is just not enough these days.. and if your requirements increase the i5 will be a better fit regardless.
     
  4. alust2013 macrumors 601

    alust2013

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2010
    Location:
    On the fence
    #4
    Benchmarks are nearly irrelevant to an actual user's experience. Also note that OP also mentioned that the computer would be for basic use, and absolutely nothing mentioned would take advantage of the i5 over the C2D. Also note that it was mentioned that the C2D is even a bit of a stretch moneywise.

    Personally, with all things considered, I would recommend the C2D in your case. If you're not doing anything CPU intensive (nothing that you listed is), you really wouldn't know the difference between the two. I am using my MacBook with a 2.4GHz C2D, and it is plenty for what I need and want it to do. I even use it for games occasionally, so I wouldn't worry about it being any sort of underpowered.

    Also, as your friend mentioned, the i5 would run more future software/further OS releases. This is a very sketchy argument at best. There are no architecture changes between C2D and i5 that would in any way prevent the C2D from running future software that the i5 would, including new OS releases. There is a bigger difference between the Core Duo and Core 2 Duo than the Core 2 Duo and i5 in that the Core Duo is a 32-bit processor, while the Core 2 Duo is 64-bit. The i5 is simply quad core versus dual core, and it has turbo boost and more cache. So naturally it would be a performance bump in CPU intense apps, but nothing more. It's absolutely nothing like the PowerPC to Intel jump that was a completely different architecture.

    Excuse the long post, I just wanted to be thorough. Good luck with your new Mac, which ever you choose. Cheers! :)
     
  5. dexthageek macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2007
    #5
    Now to really confuse you. The i7 (refurb) is only $150US more then the i5.
     
  6. wanttobuyimac thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2010
    #6
    Appreciate the replies. (esp the long one!! -alust2013)...
    I am not looking at i7... Thats just way out of budget... I have to draw the line somewhere... Stretching to c2d and considering i5 itself has done me in!!. I think i am leaning towards the c2d... I am not a latest greatest junky.. Just want a nice machine to work on... And c2d should suffice my requirements.
    Just want to know if there is anything seriously wrong with the C2D spec i put up...if its fine machine for home use say for the next 3-5 years... I think i'll just go with that... Too much research is confusing me ... And then i'd end up not buying one..!!
     
  7. dexthageek macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2007
    #7
    I don't see anything wrong with the hi-end C2D except for the fact that it is an aging CPU, it should still be able to cope with your requirements. I have a 2.4Ghz Santa Rosa MBP and it still runs great. I can't believe it is almost 3 years old.
     
  8. talmy macrumors 601

    talmy

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
    Location:
    Oregon
    #8
    The Core 2 Duo model will do just fine. My wife does similar things on last years low-end iMac which is slower than the current models. Still very fast. We also use low-end Mac minis as entertainment centers with no problems.
     
  9. mr.steevo macrumors 65816

    mr.steevo

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2004
    #9
    Hi,

    If budget is a very real concern, and if you already have a monitor, then for half the price of the iMac you could get a mini ($699). In 3 or 4 years when it feels slow or can't upgrade to the next OS you just drop another $700 for a new mini and you are still paying less than the iMac you were considering.

    The problem is the lack of a camera for voice chats.

    s.
     
  10. dexthageek macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2007
    #10
    This only works if you currently have a decent LCD panel, Mouse and Keyboard.
    If don't have them, the price quickly jumps to the price of the Entry-Level C2D iMac.
     
  11. mr.steevo macrumors 65816

    mr.steevo

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2004
    #11
    Hence the "if you already have a monitor" line.

    Keyboards and mouses are cheap.

    s.
     
  12. dexthageek macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2007
    #12
    sorry, some how I missed that.
     
  13. wanttobuyimac thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2010
    #14

    Yes.. I considered that first... I initially was just going to get a good LCD for my Windows... then.. came the idea why not change operating systems (as i use a Mac at work).. The main thing that attracted me to Mac was the screens and the less clutter on the desk... So decided to budget for a good Mac.
    but i have to say ... Mac Mini sounds like a good option..esp.. cost wise... but then i have to hunt around for a good LCD screen.. so..

    So, I think i will just order the imac c2d refurb... (cant wait to own my first mac :)
     
  14. wanttobuyimac thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2010
    #15
    aah.. i love confusing myself.. !! :confused:

    everyone says get the 27inch.. i just saw a 24inch 2.93GHz Intel Core 2 Duo with similar spec (except for the 2.93ghz and graphics card - nvidia instead of ati).. cheaper..about 150 dollars cheaper...


    any opinions on 24inch or 27 inch??.. ( i know bigger is better..but is it really?.. larger the screen - doesn't the picture become less sharp??) .. and i have heard ( forum and search).. that the 27inch has some issues -yellow tint-etc??.. would the refurbished have these issues?...

    as i said first.. i am a newbie to all this.. sorry if it sounds like a lame question..
     
  15. Spike88 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2010
    #16
    A wise man once told me...

    Never size a computer for today's needs. Always size a computer for one's expected usage in 3 years. Thus, the computer will last its full 4-5 year life cycle. If one sizes for today, they will be selling / replacing it within 2-3 years.

    To me, your friend is a very wise man. re: Do get the i5 - which is a good size for your "computer needs" in 3 years time.

    And if were me, I'd buy the i5. I5 because more and more apps are taking more advanced of multi-processing. In 2-3 years, even more apps will take even more advantage of it.
     
  16. talmy macrumors 601

    talmy

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
    Location:
    Oregon
    #17
    Both in the house, the 27" is much nicer, especially for photographic or video use.
     
  17. wanttobuyimac thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2010
    #18
    Apple is out to confuse me!! Just saw that the refurbished 27" i5 is the same price as a new 27" c2d. But both just above my price budget.. Still thinking refurbished c2d would /should suffice... Going to order it... I wish some one pushes the buy button for me... :) I hate doing it..just in case I took the wrong decision... I must sound pathetic... But I an just bad at making decisions!
     
  18. Sambo110 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2007
    Location:
    Australia
    #19
    Just go for it :). We have a two year old iMac that was the lowest model at the time, and it still runs fast and every app I throw at it perfectly, so the 27" C2D will be fine for the next few years. The longer you wait, the more you will hesitate, and if it's the one you want/need, then there is no reason to not buy it now.
     
  19. talmy macrumors 601

    talmy

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
    Location:
    Oregon
    #20
    Refurbished C2D would suffice for your needs. What's this about the new ones? No reason to buy new unless you need configuration options. Refurbs are just fine in my experience.
     
  20. thelumpya2 macrumors regular

    thelumpya2

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2008
    #21
    seems to me there are too many power hungry "latest and greatest" computer nerds who merely want to have the next best thing so they can put it in their sig with a little apple logo, to get a truly level headed answer in here..

    except maybe "alust2013"

    EDIT: and the guy that posted above me while I was typing this :)
     
  21. wanttobuyimac thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2010
    #22
    today is the day!!.. I am going to order a 27" C2D refurbished iMac. - aud$1849 - Wish me luck :)
     
  22. dudeofblokes macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2007
    Location:
    carrickfergus, northern ireland, united kingdom
    #23
    its a beautiful machine, still a great performer and for everything you need will certain last you a good 3-4 years no problem probably longer, even then a ram upgrade would likely freshen things up.

    have no regrets or worries thats gorgeous kit and its not going to be long till you have that baby right in front of you :D good times ahead dude
     
  23. wanttobuyimac thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2010
  24. dudeofblokes macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2007
    Location:
    carrickfergus, northern ireland, united kingdom
    #25
    i like iwork but compatability wise even tho it can save in .doc format for none iwork users somethings things go wrong and doesnt look right, you may find office much better for yourself or others opening elsewhere and although there is a new version out later this year right now there are some decent offers on the current version if you just try googling it.
     

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