US Open champion Murray sealed back-to-back Brisbane International titles with a 7-6 (7-0) 6-4 victory on Sunday in a great workout ahead of the year's opening grand slam.
But Bulgarian rising star Dimitrov - the youngest player in the world's top 50 at age 21 - could also find plenty of positives after going toe-to-toe with the world No.3.
Already drawing comparisons with Roger Federer, Dimitrov showed he may bridge the gap between being called tennis' next big thing and becoming it sooner rather than later.
His ranking is expected to jump from No.48 to 39 after the stirring display.
On paper, the difference between Sunday's opponents could not have been greater despite the slender four-year age gap between them.
Olympic champion Murray, 25, was appearing in his 38th ATP World Tour final.
Dimitrov was in his first, attempting to become the first Bulgarian to win a tour final in the 45-year open era.
Murray went on to clinch his 25th career title but didn't have it all his way in the 87-minute final.
Attempting to become the first player in 10 years to win his maiden title in the season's opening week, Dimitrov burst out of the blocks.
He raced to a 3-0 lead in nine minutes before Murray broke in the ninth game to get the first set back on serve.
However, Dimitrov again threatened in the 11th game when he held a set point, only to be denied by Murray's third ace of the match.
Another Murray ace sealed the tiebreak 7-0.
Murray appeared in control in the second set before a lapse in concentration let Dimitrov break in the seventh game.
But a clinical Murray won the next two games to seal the title.
At his acceptance speech at Pat Rafter Arena, Murray choked up as he dedicated the title to an unnamed, ill friend in Scotland.
"I'd like to dedicate this victory to one of my best friends," an emotional Murray said.
"He's back home watching and you're going to get through."
Murray also congratulated Dimitrov.
"It's his first final. Everyone will agree he played some extremely exciting tennis, it was a very tough match," he said.
"He's just changed coaches, started with a new team, so congratulations to them - I'm sure they're going to do great things together."