Which iMac?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by lisa360, Feb 7, 2013.

  1. lisa360 macrumors newbie

    Jan 13, 2009
    I just received a refurbished iMac. Not sure if I am going to keep it.

    If you had the choice between these two models ONLY which would you choose? Disregard the RAM because I will upgrade to 12 or 16 regardless. I will be using it for Adobe CS6 mostly. The older model is faster and has a bigger graphics card, but the new one is, well, new.

    27'' 2012 iMac
    2.9GHz Quad-core Intel Core i5
    4GB RAM
    1TB Fusion Drive
    NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M 512MB GDDR5


    27'' 2011 iMac
    3.1GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i5
    4GB RAM
    1TB hard drive
    AMD Radeon HD 6970M graphics with 1GB memory
  2. Ddyracer, Feb 7, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2013

    Ddyracer macrumors 68000


    Nov 24, 2009
    The latter. What the refurb specs?
  3. lisa360 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 13, 2009
    The second 2011 one is the refurbished model. I saw it in stock at the Apple store a few days ago so I went ahead and purchased it while it was available. The minute I bought it I started to think of the newer model instead. Typical :)
  4. crows macrumors member

    Nov 26, 2012
    what is the price difference?, you must remember that the newer model has the ivy bridge processor so at 2.9ghz it probably is faster than the last gen at 3.1ghz also the RAM is faster on the newer model it goes to 1600MHZ and the fusion drive will give you ssd speeds on your applications essentially a ~300MB/s read and write speeds while a normal HDD will do about 80MB/s. The gpu might be slower on the new model but not by much I would think. So really the new model imo would out perform the refurb depending the specific task(there could be some specific stuff where the refurb would be faster), but in general the new model would be faster.
  5. lisa360 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 13, 2009

    Ya that's what I was worried about. The specs always confuse me a bit but you explained it better for me.

    The refurbished one is $1599 (before tax) and the new one is $1924 (before tax), which includes a small Educational discount. If I go ahead and return the refurbished one I will also have to purchase the SuperDrive for $80 extra. So it's about a $400 difference between the two models, pre-tax.
  6. Spink10 Suspended


    Nov 3, 2011
    All depends on use and budget - I would most likely get the 2012.
  7. crows macrumors member

    Nov 26, 2012
    So for $400 more you would get the low end 2012 27" iMac model, I just looked at the apple store and all the 2012 models come with 8GB RAM from factory there is no 4GB option so that's another point in favor of the 2012

    here is the comparison:

    iMac 2011 refurb --- iMac 2012 low end

    3.1Ghz sandy bridge --- 2.9ghz ivy bridge(intel now markets the turbo boost to 3.6ghz)
    4GB 1333MHZ --- 8GB 1600MHZ
    1TB HDD --- 1TB Fusion which has a 128gb SSD ( faster speeds for your apps)
    USB 2.0 --- USB 3.0 ( way faster if you have compatible external hard drives )

    that's the basic differences and in those categories the 2012 is better and faster the exception is the GPU, the older 6970m is faster than the gtx 660m by 10-12% not a lot but might matter to some people depending on what you are doing. Like I said the 2012 model would be faster in the majority of cases only on gpu intensive tasks the 2011 probably would perform better. And you can buy an external optical drive that is not the apple super drive any brand will work and on the optical drive you don't have to worry to buy USB 3.0 compatible because these don't benefit from the speed boost. To me if you can afford the new model and don't need the gpu performance go for it.

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