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Subject: Help sought: iMac plan B rss

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Jim Patterson
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I've been without a desktop PC since probably August of this year, when my almost-7yo Dell bit it. I'd been seriously thinking about getting a 2012 iMac 21.5"--one of the higher-end ones with the "fusion" drive, price not entirely known--but there's an ugly rumor floating around that there won't be any iMacs till next year (or, slightly more optimistically, that there will be only very limited 21.5" iMac quantities this year). For various reasons, I don't want a laptop. I'm also open to getting another PC, but I've invested to some degree in the Apple ecosystem, and the build-to-order consumer-level Dells, for example, seem to run about to iMac price anyway by the time you add things up. (I know that one could build a PC from parts, but I'm not that technical; just humor me here.)

I'm looking, though, at a refurb 2011 27" iMac that's $1600. The processor (3.1 Ghz quad-core i5) is actually a little faster than the baseline one in the 21.5" 2012 model (2.9 Ghz). There's also an optical drive in the 2011 left out of the '12, but I don't really care much about that one way or the other. The big losses seem to be in the graphics card department and the lack of USB 3.0. The big plus is that this model actually exists. The 2011 hard drive isn't "fusion," but it's also at 7200 rpm, faster than the baseline 5400 in the 2012 iMac.

2011 refurbished:
http://store.apple.com/us/product/FC814LL/A#overview

What specs exist on the 2012 (BTO options not costed):
http://www.apple.com/imac/specs/

Hold 'em? Fold 'em? Buy a horse?
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Andrew Brannan
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Check Micro Center, you can pick up good refurbished PCs (Dell, Compaq, and Acer, primarily)that are as powerful as the iMacs for about 1/3 the price. No need to build your own, though if you're willing to install a few components (upgraded RAM, maybe an upgraded drive, you can do even better with the Micro Center refurbs.
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Michael Edwards
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The 2011 models of the iMac should be just fine. It might be tempting to see if used (vs. refurb) prices are nicer.

And you are quite correct about the rumors that the new iMac may be delayed in arriving.
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fightcitymayor
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jpat wrote:
..., and the build-to-order consumer-level Dells, for example, seem to run about to iMac price anyway by the time you add things up. .
Wow, you must be adding some serious stuff to get to $1600 in a Dell desktop.
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Michael Edwards
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Various studies have shown that if you equivalently (in terms of hardware) price out a (major manufacturer) PC and a Mac, they cost about the same.

When I last checked, they had revisited the study, and found pretty much the same results, except that - I think Gateway - had a large discount sale going on, that did make them significantly cheaper.

The biggest issue that most folks see, I think, is that they can get a cheaper model of various PCs vs. the lowest end Mac.
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Andrew Brannan
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fightcitymayor wrote:
jpat wrote:
..., and the build-to-order consumer-level Dells, for example, seem to run about to iMac price anyway by the time you add things up. .
Wow, you must be adding some serious stuff to get to $1600 in a Dell desktop.

Actually it's not that hard at all. Their add-ons are horribly overpriced.
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Jim Patterson
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Thanks, y'all. I'll keep thinking about it. I went to look at the Dells in the somewhat foolish hope that there'd be a decent discount through my work. Of course, there isn't.
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