iMac - Where are the deals

AndrewSipe's picture

Well, I'm in the market for a new iMac.

I did some cursory searching for a great deal on one of the newest iMacs.
I'd like to get this setup:

* 3.06GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
* 2GB 800MHz DDR2 SDRAM - 2x1GB
* NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GS w/512MB GDDR3
* 500GB Serial ATA Drive
* Apple Mighty Mouse
* Apple Keyboard (English) + User's Guide
* Accessory kit
* SuperDrive 8x (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW)
* 24-inch glossy widescreen LCD
* AirPort Extreme
* Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR

I'd also add iWorks '08

At without my employee discount the total is = $2,414.68 (includes $136.68 for tax) Free Shipping with the discount it's = $2269.46 (includes $128.46 for tax) Free Shipping.

At, the same computer with iWorks '08 AND Extensis Suitcase Fusion for Mac = $2396.96 - $224.08 (in a total of 3 mail-in rebates) = $2172.88. The website didn't say it includes tax, but if it does it would be $141.77 more = $2314.65 (if you're curious, Extensis Suitcase Fusion is $99.99 - $90 MIR.) The tax for PA is 6% and usually applies to the total before MIRs and S&H are added.

Obviously, Macmall is the better deal (unless, of course taxes are included.)

Does anyone know of any other discounts or sites that are offering bargains right now on the new iMac? I don't mind paying more if there are MIRs or worthwhile add-ons. A new printer is not a worthwhile add-on however.

I've been out of the MAC game for about 6 years now, it's time I get back in it.

Si_Daniels's picture

Apple and deals? I guess you didn't get the memo ;-)

Maybe they offer reconditioned machines?

aluminum's picture

MacMall has a horrendous customer support track record. Avoid them. And mail-in rebates are just adding to the mess that would likely turn into. Google both "MacMall support" and "MacMall rebates" and then rethink the 'better deal' ;o)

Ways to save a few bucks on Macs:

- Amazon and 'forget' to pay sales tax
- refurbs
- find a .gov employee who can sponsor a .gov discount for you (saves about the amount you'd pay on taxes)
- Shop around for your own Ram. You can usually save a few bucks that way.
- Buy the low-end model of any product line rather than the high end model. In general, the higher end models don't give you the same ROI for the price. IMHO, you save money and have better equipment if you buy low-end, but upgrade more often. Not to mention that upgrading more often allows you to retain more of your resale value of the current box.

aluminum's picture

Oh, and check with Best Buy. They sell Macs now and might have some additional bundles worth looking at.

If you can wait 3 months, what deals, if any, Apple has often come out around back to school time.

(Also, this all assumes you are in the US. If you are outside the US, good luck...Apple tends to screw non-US folks on prices).

blank's picture

Buy the low-end model of any product line…

Very good advice for most designers. Unless the machine will be used for video production, 3D, or playing games under Windows, the basic Apple systems still scream through just about everything. Use the money saved to buy gobs of RAM, tho, because it’s easy to max out 2 gigs with just iTunes, a browser, and a few CS3 apps running.

pattyfab's picture

The deals are in the Refurb section of the Apple Store - bottom left corner of the page. I don't know if you can get your exact specs, but I got my iMac and my laptop there and saved approx $1200 total on the two.

And I agree, buy the low end machine. The difference is usually ultimately pretty negligable.

The refurb machines are either machines that were opened and returned or machines that had problems that were fixed. They come packaged just like new machines and with the same guarantees. The guy I spoke to in the Apple Store agreed that refurb was the way to go.

jupiterboy's picture

Most electronic components fail because of defects in the first few days of use. If a refurb. has failed and was sent back for repair there is a logical case to be made that it will be less likely to fail in the future because the other components have been tested past their probable point of failure.

AndrewSipe's picture

Darrel, good points and most of them I follow regularly. However, an all-in-one machine is more so the exclusion than the norm. Most of the components aren't easily accessible, let alone upgradeable.

I am however upgrading the RAM myself (I've found a 4 GBs for half the price of Apple's).

And you're probably right on the ROI. For the small jump in processing speed is it really worth it to go to the 3.06Ghz from the 2.8? Maybe not. But if you factor in the graphic card (the new one has a 512mb card, the refurb has 256mb), then things start to even out a little more. Again, it goes back to what's upgradeable and what isn't.

Anyway, I know what I want, I just want to see if I can find the best deal on it. And I am in the US, and my employee discount is decent (we're a government contractor, so it's probably on par.)

aluminum's picture

I should clarify that I didn't mean upgrade the machine's components, but upgrade the entire machine (ie, buy a new one, sell the old one).

Instead of buying the high-end system every 4 years, buy the low-end system every 2 years.

A brand new MacBook is likely better equipped than a 2 year old MacBook Pro, for example.

AndrewSipe's picture

Perhaps, but the likelihood of me upgrading in 2 years is pretty slim. It's been 6 years, I'm getting the biggest. Because it's more likely that I won't upgrade for another 6.

canderson's picture

One of my co-workers received an iMac for work purposes right before they released a newer model. Because it was within some grace period, I think 30 days, he sent it back to receive the newer model for the same price. It had been taken out of the box, so I'm sure it had to end up as refurbished. The point of my story is that, yeah, just because something is refurbished doesn't mean there was ever anything wrong with it.

pattyfab's picture

But the point is, the difference between the high and low end is really not that great given the price, especially when they introduce bigger/smaller faster better 6 months from now. I just upgraded after 7 and went for the low, it's still like rocket fuel compared to what I'm used to and it's hundreds cheaper.

Yes, anything out of the box is a refurb whether or not there was anything wrong with it.

kakaze's picture

The best place to buy a Mac if you don't want/need to get it built to order is Amazon usually. They're tax and shipping free and usually offer 100 to 150 in rebates.

David Rault's picture

The best advice I can give: do NOT buy the new Imac, metallic with glossy screen. The screen is a piece of crap, colors are a disaster. Get a refurbished 24 inch white Imac with the gorgeous matte screen, you'll thank me with flowers.


AndrewSipe's picture

Look: 4Gbs RAM for $50 (after MIR of course)
PC2-6400 is what's in the new iMac.

pattyfab's picture

Ditto on the glossy screen. Big mistake on Apple's part.

AndrewSipe's picture

Wait a second... how long has the EDIT feature been gone?

Ricardo Cordoba's picture

The best advice I can give: do NOT buy the new Imac, metallic with glossy screen. The screen is a piece of crap, colors are a disaster. Get a refurbished 24 inch white Imac with the gorgeous matte screen, you’ll thank me with flowers.

David, I am looking for a new iMac too, and I was rather shocked to see that (1) the new iMacs have glossy screens, and (2) glossy screens are the only choice... *Sigh*...

I will seriously consider your advice, sir!

cuttlefish's picture

The glossy screens do have the advantage of being easier to clean and not making rainbows when you poke at them (being generally more resistant to poking). The matte screens are easier to look at, but are harder to replace than your keyboard when you spray coffee through your nose.

Miss Tiffany's picture

Poking!? I'm afraid that is a pet peeve of mine. I cannot stand, nay abide, people touching my displays.

David Rault's picture

yeah well... i guess french guys do not poke at their screens and spill coffee through their noses :-)

i surely guess that was a joke... huh?


Si_Daniels's picture

Tiffany, have you considered the iShock? It will administer a small electric shock to anyone who touches or licks your screen.

jupiterboy's picture

^ now this I could use! iPod, not so much. Must be a southern thing.

rosem's picture


innovati's picture

you're obviously going to get an iMac no matter what, now I don't know about iMac deals, but I do know about a couple of other things I wish somebody had told me as soon as I got my iMac.

1) the iMac is an amazing machine, and the more you look at it, the more you realize how awesome it is. Did you know every mac since 2005 comes equipped with optical audio in/out, just in case you need pure digital audio feeds.

2) Bluetooth is amazing. every mac has it, and so does the Nintendo Wii. It's a little pricey, but dorpping 45$ on a Nintendo Wiimote when I don't even have a Wii was one of the best investments I've made this year. using Darwiin remote (free) or RemoteBuddy (40$) you can use the Wiimote as a remote control for your iMac, and if you have a sensor bar, even as a wireless mouse!

3) Quicksilver. It's like a program-launcher, only way way more powerful, and it's now open-source. Forget dragging a million icons into your dock and then having to hunt to find the program you want, now I open any program on my computer with a thought and 3-5 keystrokes (which is faster than you can read the aplication name when it appears on your screen anyway)

Best of luck with your new love,

Miss Tiffany's picture

@sii: I really wish that were real. ;^)

Jackie Frant's picture

sii - that was banned in Austria - just like the invisible fence -- they don't want any animal to go harmed....

jupiterboy's picture

But for the clients that would be classified as mineral or vegetable? They are the ones it would be most useful for.

Si_Daniels's picture

Try the iForce - an energy field that will protect you Mac from clients and Windows users alike.

As for the Mac-owners love of animals I guess that's why so many allow even encourage CS (Cat Saliva) on their machines?

AGL's picture

And also, let's not forget, the beautiful "Tangerine" with its blasting 233 Mhz processor :-)

Ricardo Cordoba's picture

Get a refurbished 24 inch white Imac with the gorgeous matte screen, you’ll thank me with flowers.

David R., I feel very lucky that I saw your comment when I did... My refurbished white iMac arrived today, and the only glossy part is the border around the screen! I met up with a designer I used to work for over the weekend, and he agrees with you, too. So anyway, here are my flowers! You deserve 'em, sir! Many, many thanks!

P.S. Patty, that video is too funny!

AGL's picture

The kitty video is nots. Just purrrfect :-)

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