This refurb model looks very tempting!

Discussion in 'iMac' started by II BISTRO II, Oct 7, 2013.

  1. II BISTRO II macrumors member

    Sep 25, 2012
    waiting for my BTO 2013 mac to come in. did a little search in the apple refub store and saw this..

    3.4 i7
    8GB memory
    1TB Fusion Drive
    NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680MX with 2GB

    my BTO
    $2400 (education pricing)
    3.5 i7
    8GB memory
    256GB SSD
    NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780M with 4GB of GDDR5 memory

    $400 difference.. is it really worth it?? 400$ for a little bit faster graphics card and .1GHz faster haswell over the ivy bridge.. the ssd is also a little faster than the fusion drive but the extra space is not unwelcomed

    what are your thoughts on this guys?!
  2. stoca01 macrumors newbie

    Mar 10, 2011
    I actually bought it and received it last week.
    As you said it is $400 difference from the same configuration but new.

    So far so good. it's in perfect conditions. No apparent issues.
    I replaced a mac mini 2012 i7, 2.6Ghz, Fusion, and I can see the difference.
    Display of course is fantastic. Hopefully it will last. Looking at applecare on ebay for a good bargain.

  3. Krevnik macrumors 68040


    Sep 8, 2003
    400$ less is not a bad deal. The one thing that stands out to me though is that you are ordering an SSD-only model, while the 2012 includes a fusion drive.

    So you will be giving up some perf: SATA vs PCIe for the SSD part, and going from pure SSD to SSD+HDD.

    That's really the only tradeoff that would make me sit and think about going for the older model. Unless you really need 802.11ac or something.
  4. buster84, Oct 7, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2013

    buster84 macrumors 6502

    Oct 7, 2013
    We'll you have to ask your self whats it worth to you?

    2012 Imac

    1) Is a Refurb
    2) 3.4 I7 Ivy Bridge
    3) Fusion Drive
    4) GTX 680MX 2GB of Ram
    5) DDR3 1333MHz Ram
    6) One Thunderbolt Port
    7) 802.11n

    2013 Imac

    1) Its New
    2) 3.5 I7 Haswell (more energy efficient than ivy bridge)
    3) 256 SSD
    4) GTX 780M 4GB Memory
    5) DDR3 1600 MHz Ram
    6) Two thunderbolt ports
    7) 802.11ac
    8) Comes with apple mavericks or gets a Free Upgrade to it. (depending on your order date)

    When making you decision look at it this way.

    1) Haswell is newer technology and is a little faster than the ivy bridge.
    2) The videocard will be better and has double the available memory, and is better overall.
    3) The fusion drive is good, but it just duplicates your most used files and runs it from the 128mb flash. This is sufficient for most, but not as good as a pure SSD drive with a secondary storage drive. If you do alot of video editing or dealing with Large Files that would fill up that 128mb drive.
    4) Ram is faster in the 2013 model
    5) Your getting a New system vs Pre-owned with a new casing. You don't really know how the previous user ran it, or what it was used for or how hot it got.
    6) Both have the same warranty (this is good).
    7) Overall the Haswell unit will run cooler and use less power than the 2012 model. I doubt its enough to notice a decrease in your power bill each month.
    8) If you plan to add another Monitor, or Multiple Hard Drives with 2 thunderbolt ports you can do more.
    9) If you plan to Stream 3D or 4k Resolution Videos to your TV then the 802.11ac will be a benefit. It will also be a benefit if you like to connect a hard drive to your network/router by usb 3.0

    If the difference in features isn't worth $400, then get the refurbished unit. I myself purchased the same setup as option 2. I added a trackpad and applecare to the order and it came out to $2800 After Tax Shipped though my educational discount. I seen that refurbished unit too, but I decided to get new. When it comes to electronics I stick to new products, the only thing i buy used are cars lol.
  5. Bear macrumors G3

    Jul 23, 2002
    Sol III - Terra
    You didn't say what you would be using your system for - without knowing that, it's hard to tell you which way to go. Do you do anything that would make use of having a 780M over a 680MX?

    The SSD will be at least 50% faster then the fusion drive due to Apple going from SATA attached SSDs to PCIe based SSDs. You could always add a USB 3.0 hard drive for more space when you need it.

    Some corrections to the above:

    3) The Fusion Dirve moves the files to the SSD portion, and doesn't duplicate them, This makes a 1TB fusion drive a bit larger than a 1TB hard drive.
    5) Apple does go over refurbished systems and replaces parts as needed before they sell them.
    8)Both models have 2 Thunderbolt ports

    I agree on the used part. Apple refurbished items are different and often can't be told from new.

    And as for Cars, you don't know how well a used car was maintained and how it was driven. Cars, I buy new and keep a decent amount of time. Electronics in general I buy new. From Apple, buying refurbished is not an issue - I have bought Apple refurbished in the past and am quite willing to do so again in the future.
  6. buster84, Oct 8, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2013

    buster84 macrumors 6502

    Oct 7, 2013
    Oh, I was under the assumption i was only 1 thunderbolt port. Thats news to me lol.

    As for the fusion that sucks if its not duplicate files. That means when the SSD is full it will continue to move files from the SSD to the 7200 rpm drive every time it determines that the file is no longer a "frequent file" That could increase file transfer times if your computer decides that it wants to keep your new "Movie" on the SSD instead since you just opened it, and moves 5g of data from the ssd to the 1TB drive. That means you have to wait on the movie to move to the SSD and wait for the 5g of data to move off instead it it instantly getting deleted. I see the fusion drive working much better for small files.

    As for the refurbished part. I agree apple does go over the computer, but they only replace known broken parts then once its working they run stress tests on them and send them on their way when it passes. Another part could be getting warn out by the stress the previous owner put on it and just hasn't gone out. I'm not saying its that much of an issue since you get the same warranty, but their is still a higher risk over new since they dont test every module, chip, and components with a multimeter to make sure its still within spec.

    As for the used cars, I only purchase used car's because they tend to be about 6-10k less than a new car. If it has 1-20k miles then its worth it. That 10k will buy Alot of replacement parts when they go out, but at least with Car you get to know how many miles are on the car when you buy it to help determine if its something you would want to risk buying. With apple you could buy a computer that was in a university library that was on 24/7 for over a year. Or in a business that ran it the same way. Not all cars are 10k cheaper used than new, but my bmw sure was. I got it with 10k miles and saved 10k lol.

    If computers listed the hours on the machine that would be better in determining its value. Apple is used in millions of Schools and business that run them 24/7 I'm sure most of those refurbished computers are from business since they are used alot more that the average computer. I sure wouldn't buy a car without knowing its mileage even if i got a 3 year warranty on it.

    I understand a car and a computer is way different, but for me $400 is not worth it when you get those nice upgrades along with a peace of mind knowing that the computer is new with zero hours instead of getting a refurbished one that could have 100 hours to 8760+ of 1 year of continuous use.

    If the price was $1500 then thats more reasonable, but for only $400 less than new the upgrades alone are worth it alone, at least to me. Then again we are all different, which is why i said if that $400 is worth more in your savings account to you, get the refurbished model. To me its not, but hey Apple wouldn't price it that high if they didn't sell...
  7. II BISTRO II thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 25, 2012
    if you got the same configuration as me, how did you pay $400 more for just apple care? is apple care $400?

    im assuming you opted for the trackpad alone over the magic mouse+trackpad option

    very interesting responses from both! i do not NEED the better graphics card nor a faster HD. i WANT them. Ive always dreamed of owning a mac (this is my first) and wanted to build the best/fastest configuration i could; and also to future-proof it.

    The money is not that big of an issue so i think im sticking with my BTO. i ordered an additional 16GB of ram from crucial so my machine will be pretty impressive.

    i already own a wireless keyboard and magic mouse so with my bto i got the trackpad and wired keyboard with numeric keypad (another plus over the refurb model)

    so i guess the $400 could justify all of this :D

    as far as apple refurb products go, they might as well not be refurb. apple does extensive testing on their refurb models... i suggest to a lot of people to buy refurb products from apple to save money (ive owned every single iphone and a ipad as well as an ipad mini)

    refurb is a good way to go with apple products that are non-configurable. in regards to the imac, which is a configurable item, its a bit of a different story if you have a certain configuration in mind.
  8. buster84 macrumors 6502

    Oct 7, 2013
    Totally agree, but with Imac's they get used all over in business, doctors offices, emergency rooms, schools, government buildings ect... They get used alot more and have alot more stress on them. For an ipod, Ipad and even a macbook I'd suggest a refurb, its just the imac's that would worry me when knowing how many use them and how much they cost.

    As for the $400 difference I was referring to your build over the refurbished unit. This is my first Imac as well so i had to get all the bells and whistles lol, but i do have two macbook pro's lol. I'm ready to get out of my windows desktop. I paid $2800 shipped after tax and CA recycling fee for my computer. Same specs as you, except that i got both the trackpad and mouse, and applecare.

    3.5 I7, 256SSD, GTX 780M, 8GB Ram.
  9. II BISTRO II thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 25, 2012
    i cant wait until mine comes in! i had it shipped to a Delaware store (about 45 min drive from Philadelphia) NO TAXES IN DELAWARE ;) lol, so i only ended up paying $2,394 for that configuration, which is a great deal!

    Good luck with your first imac, im kicking windows to the curb! :apple:
  10. Bear macrumors G3

    Jul 23, 2002
    Sol III - Terra
    I think you need to read one of the articles that details how the Fusion Drive works. But in short, you wouldn't be waiting on the transfer as it rearranges where data is in the background.
  11. buster84 macrumors 6502

    Oct 7, 2013
    Haha smart man! I didn't really have that option, but I'm actually writing the whole computer off! It's a $2800 Tax write off for my self-employment job, Since im taking a couple classes as well I decided to use the discount. My tax bracket takes me into the 50% area after federal, medicare, self-employment tax, and State so thats means I saved $1400 off the purchase of the computer since I'm not paying tax on that income. I just cant sell it for a few years, but then again I probably wont ever sell it. I have one macbook pro for my school and one for my work Work, both 2 years old now and wont be selling. I needed a faster computer than my 13" so the Imac was it. My windows computer is an I7, but trying to move date from windows to mac gets annoying fast, plus i needed some more write offs this year.

    We'll i'll just take your word for it. I didnt plan to get it mostly because its only 128mb ssd. I have one of those in my windows pc and always ran out. I wished i had at least 256 since i have 9TB of external storage it was never a big issue.

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