Which Refurb 27" iMac to buy, 2011, 2012, 2013

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Grubster, Feb 17, 2014.

  1. Grubster macrumors member

    Jun 25, 2010
    my 24" 2007 iMac seems to have met it's doom. I am tossing around the idea of get a mac Mini, but think iMac is the way to go. I was still semi happy with the performance of my 24" iMac but it was slowing a bit working through my larger photo library. Also, the 4Gb RAM and running a Windows Virtual Machine through Virtual Box was getting a bit slow.

    I noticed they sometimes have a 2011 iMac 27" in the Refurb store for 1129. By comparison, the 2012 is 1399 and the 2013 is 1549. it seems the best deal might be the 2012 for $1399. I also have to think about Tax and AppleCare.

    Is the performance bump between '12 and '13 noticeable? My most intensive thing I do is photo editing using iPhoto and Aperture. Maybe I'll switch to lightroom at some point. I'd like to get a good 6-7 years out of this thing.

    I was told the 2011 iMacs get a LOT hotter and they have fixed that with the newer models. I will upgrade the RAM on my own.
  2. sn0wman72 macrumors member

    Apr 7, 2010
    I think the late 2013 is the best value. The latest technology and most likely to meet you 6-7 year goal
  3. andycho7 macrumors member

    Dec 2, 2013
    I check the refurb store pretty regularly, but I've never seen any Mid-2011 27 inch iMacs for quite some time. If I have missed it recently, they must've been sold out within few hours or a day. Last time I remember seeing them was nearly a year ago.

    If your intensive tasks only involves those two programs, I'd get the 2012 model to save few bucks and buy the AppleCare with that difference of the money. However, it is obvious that if you want to make most out of your computer, always get the latest one. So it really brings down to your decision whether that $200-ish difference would be worth it or not. If it's not that big of a difference to you, then of course go with the 2013 model, but if you're tight on budget, then get the 2012 model. I don't think there will be 2011 model showing up in the refurb store anymore.

    Oh, and the reason why I recommended 2012 model is because I myself have 2011 27 inch model with DIY fusion drive installed. Honestly, I had the budget to go with brand new 2012 with Fusion drive or more, but for my needs I figure mid-2011 model would do the job just fine, and it does. Yes, they do run bit hot, but it's nothing serious in my case. I think by going with 2011 model + DIY Fusion drive + AppleCare I ended up paying little less than half of the price of the 2012 model with fusion drive + AppleCare + Tax. I'd rather save up that money for bigger upgrade later down the road.
  4. Grubster thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 25, 2010
    Thanks. Last week, when I found out my computer died, they had a 2011 imac for 1129. I didn't realize it was abnormal as I hadn't been looking. It was gone very fast! I figured maybe more would show up, but it might take a while.

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