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Purchasing a 2011 new or refurb iMac vs new 2012?

3584 Views 32 Replies Latest reply: Feb 15, 2013 8:49 AM by babowa RSS
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Huss417 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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Jan 5, 2013 5:09 AM

Hi All,

 

It is time to finally upgrade my old iMac. I waited for the new 2012 model to come out. Now that I have read up on it and see there is no cd/dvd optical drive(which I use quite a bit) I wonder if I am better off trying to find a mid 2011 iMac as they still have it built in?

 

Would the Apple stores still have the 2011 model? I know I can by a stand alone optical drive but questioning which way would be the better option.

 

Thanks in Advance.

iMac, Mac OS X (10.7.4)
  • WZZZ Level 6 Level 6 (11,875 points)
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    Jan 5, 2013 6:16 AM (in response to Huss417)

    The mid-2011 is slightly more servicable than the glued together late 2012. Also think that with the components  more crammed in than ever, and with only one fan, the silly ultra thin design of the 2012 will run hotter and, long term, lead to more premature failures. Personally, I'd get the mid-2011 while I still can. Apple is more and more turning desktops into single use disposables.

     

    The refubs generally enjoy an excellent reputation.

     

    http://www.ifixit.com/Teardown/iMac+Intel+21.5-Inch+EMC+2544+Teardown/11936/1

  • Rudegar Level 6 Level 6 (18,435 points)
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    Jan 5, 2013 6:16 AM (in response to Huss417)

    new model is thin and cool

    old model let you add more memory should you be so inclined

  • Allan Jones Level 7 Level 7 (29,575 points)
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    Jan 5, 2013 6:43 AM (in response to Huss417)

    We just went through that process when upgrading my wife's computer. We got a 2011 refurb directly from Apple for under USD1000. The lack of an optical drive was a big factor, as was cooling, both already mentioned.

     

    I've never seen refurbs in any Apple retail store. Our family has bought about 10 Macs and other Apple products as refurbs, and always use this Apple web page:

     

    http://store.apple.com/us/browse/home/specialdeals/mac

     

    Items offeredcan change in minutes as stock comes and goes so, if you see something you want, don't tarry!

  • seventy one Level 6 Level 6 (8,480 points)
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    Jan 5, 2013 7:07 AM (in response to Rudegar)

    Perhaps not so cool when one considers WZZZ's single fan observation. 

     

    And the OP should not forget the incompatibility with Rosetta.   Many game's platforms and Berlitz language courses are based on that, just to mention a few.  I'm all for a refurb if my current one dies.

  • WZZZ Level 6 Level 6 (11,875 points)

    Still in doubt that the mid-2011 will run Snow Lepoard. In theory they should, but I've yet to hear of someone who's done it.

  • killhippie Level 3 Level 3 (580 points)

    Another reason I would go for a refurb is if the glass on the new machine gets damaged its a whole new screen, and that is glued to the body as mentioned. The previous model has a seperate glass (I think its glass) screen over the LCD display panel, and that can be removed with a suction cups, its only held on by magnets and thats going to be far quicker and easier than replacing a new 2012 models one. Also the fact that if you plug a USB 2 device into a USB 3 port first on the new 2012 iMacs they then become limited to USB 2 speeds is a bit odd and current iPads and iPhones are USB 2. Also the SD card slot is on the side under the optical drive, not on the back. I would personally go for a refurb mid 2011. If you find a i7 model the performnce difference would not be really that noticable in day to day use, dont let bragging rights or Geek Bench scores fool you, Ivy Bridge is more of an incremental update. Intels tick where as Sandy bridge was the Tock. The next worthwhile CPU upgrade will be Haswell.

  • seventy one Level 6 Level 6 (8,480 points)
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    Jan 5, 2013 7:28 AM (in response to WZZZ)

    Yes, true.   Perhaps an earlier version with Snow Leopard installed.   Happy New Year to you.

  • David M Brewer Level 6 Level 6 (9,180 points)
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    Jan 5, 2013 7:33 AM (in response to WZZZ)

    WZZZ wrote:

     

    Still in doubt that the mid-2011 will run Snow Lepoard. In theory they should, but I've yet to hear of someone who's done it.

    My mid-2011 came with Snow Lepoard. Just a few weeks before Lion came out...

  • killhippie Level 3 Level 3 (580 points)
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    Jan 5, 2013 7:38 AM (in response to WZZZ)

    The machines spec is the same, Lion came out in July and Snow Leopard was running on Mid 2011 iMacs which came out in May 2011 with Sandy Bridge CPU's and the same Facetime HD cameras and ambient light sensors as later 2011 Models. The only thing that visibly changed was the keyboard, which incorporated changes for Lion like Launchpad.

  • killhippie Level 3 Level 3 (580 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 5, 2013 7:57 AM (in response to Huss417)

    Refurbs appear in the online Apple store. As to transfering your information across that is very easy, anyone on here could help you and there is plenty of information on here if you search, and an Apple store I am sure  would help you if you purchased a refurb anyway. Also you still get Applecare for refurb machines so you have nothing to worry about. just keep an eye out for one, they will go fast.

  • killhippie Level 3 Level 3 (580 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 5, 2013 8:17 AM (in response to Huss417)

    Its cheaper than a brand new one 2012 iMac that you have already decided you do not want. It has a faster HD than the basic 2012 iMac, you would have to add $250 on the 2012 model to get the better fusion drive and also purchase a optical drive, so yes I think that is a good deal. You can add ram cheaply from OWC in the States (I am in the UK) alot cheaper than from Apple themselves. I think this would be great machine that would serve you very well.

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