Upgrading to iMac

Discussion in 'iMac' started by silentearth, Feb 1, 2015.

  1. silentearth macrumors newbie


    Feb 1, 2015
    Hello all, I'm looking to buy a pre-owned iMac (after having my pre-owned MacBook for the last 5 years), and I'd like to ask for some experienced opinions on which model I should choose.

    2009 27" iMac
    ATI Radeon HD 4850 graphics
    2.66GHz quad-core Intel Core i5 (2nd gen)
    16GB RAM, 1TB hard drive, 240GB SSD

    2013 21" iMac
    Intel Iris Pro graphics
    2.7GHz quad-core Intel Core i5 (current gen?)
    1TB hard drive, 8GB RAM

    I like the 2013 because it's basically new and comes from Apple refurb with a 1-yr lmtd warranty. I like the 2009 because it has more RAM, a SSD as well as a hard drive and a better (but older) processor. However, it's age has some concerns with me.

    Here's what I found while doing some research

    "The Pro Graphics was released over three years more recently than the Radeon HD 4850, and so the Pro Graphics is likely to have far better driver support, meaning it will be much more optimized and ultimately superior to the Radeon HD 4850 when running the latest games."

    "In terms of overall gaming performance, the graphical capabilities of the AMD Radeon HD 4850 are marginally better than the Intel Iris Pro Graphics 5200 Desktop."

    "The Pro Graphics transistor size technology is 33 nm (nanometers) smaller than the Radeon HD 4850. This means that the Pro Graphics is expected to run much cooler and achieve higher clock frequencies than the Radeon HD 4850."

    Should I choose the 2013 over the 2009 because it's newer and supported? Or should I go with the 2009 because it's worth the age? I'd like to get at least one more OS X update before I upgrade again. I plan on making my final decision tomorrow.

    p.s they're both the same price.
    Thanks :D
  2. as11ley macrumors 6502


    Aug 19, 2013
    United Kingdom
    The Intel Iris Pro graphics in the 21.5'' iMac are no means bad. I have the late 2013 iMac 21.5'' with Iris graphics and it suits my needs. Unlike previous integrated graphics solutions, the Intel Iris Pro has its own 128mb of RAM. This really helps it as it means its not sharing resources with the rest of the system.

    It obviously still isn't going to compete with high end dedicated graphics cards, but for mid range computing with occasional gaming, it will do just fine. Just don't expect to be running the latest games on Max settings.

    I personally would choose the 21.5'' late 2013 iMac over the 27'' 2009 modal. Simply because it will be supported for much longer. However, I do recommend trying to find a 2103 machine with a fusion drive in it. That way you get the benefit of an SSD with the stage capabilities of a hard disk drive.

    Again, it really depends on what you need from your system.

    Hope this helps!
  3. silentearth, Feb 1, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2015

    silentearth thread starter macrumors newbie


    Feb 1, 2015
    That sounds about right as to what I'll be doing with it.

    Unfortunately, I only have a budget of $1,100, these iMacs I found are near that. :(

    p.s the seller of the 2009 is asking $1,049 + $49.99 shipping or best offer (making it $1,098.99). I'm gonna try to make an offer of an even $1k + $49.99 for the shipping (making the offer $1,049 with 'free' shipping). That is, if I decide to choose the 2009 instead of the 2013, (which is $1,099).
  4. silentearth thread starter macrumors newbie


    Feb 1, 2015
    I have settled on the 21" iMac (2013) Iris Pro graphics, 8GB RAM, 1TB HD, 2.7GHz, factory refurbished by Apple. I'm using it right now and so far I'm pleased with my decision.

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3 February 1, 2015