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2010 iMac upgrade to 2020 iMac

Macnificant

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Feb 26, 2008
554
106
I am looking to upgrade 10 yr old iMac and know little about hardware. Should I wait to refurbs appear in refurb store or go with 2020 iMac?
If 2020 iMac do you recommend 3.1 or 3.3ghz? I am not doing much more then home computer with 2 kids and myself. Kids may play Minecraft or fortnite on it. I will upgrade RAM but not sure how high I should go 16, 32, 64 or 128.

thanks in advance
 

velocityg4

macrumors 603
Dec 19, 2004
5,280
1,745
Georgia
Upgrade the RAM yourself. Just get a 2x8GB set to add to the computer. It'll be a lot cheaper.

Gaming will be pretty miserable on it with anything less than the Radeon 5500XT. Since it doesn't sound like a priority. I'd say that money would be better spent on the next XBOX or Playstation. Rather than getting the 5500XT model of iMac. They'll have a longer useful gaming life anyways.

I'd probably get the 3.3Ghz model for the extra storage.
 
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Macnificant

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Feb 26, 2008
554
106
Is there a big difference between the 2019 27in iMac refurbished vs a 2020 27in iMac?
 
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James_C

macrumors 68020
Sep 13, 2002
2,141
568
Bristol, UK
Is there a big difference between the 2019 27in iMac refurbished vs a 2020 27in iMac?

Yes there are a significant number of changes. Most importantly Apple has finally dropped conventional spinning hard (HHD)drives ( which includes the hybrid Fusion Drive) with Solid State Drives (SSD). These make a significant difference to performance. It was possible to configure an SSD into a 2019 iMac, but I suspect most of the refurbs will be HHD or Fusion.

Next Apple has added a significantly better GPU (Graphics) in the 2020 iMac.

The 2020 27-inch iMac is the first one to sport a T2 chipset. That enables Hey Siri, introduces upgraded security functions, and may even speed up certain video-encoding related workflows.

The 2020 iMac has the latest Intel Processors and Bluetooth has also been upgraded.

Also the new iMac finally has a high quality 1080p HD FaceTime camera. Really useful for zoom / FaceTime calls in the current Covid environment.

in short the 2020 iMac is a significant upgrade to the 2019 model, even from the outside it looks the same.

Between the 3.1 Ghz and the 3.3GHz I would go for the 3.3 GHz, mainly for the increased storage to 512GB.
 
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Macnificant

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Feb 26, 2008
554
106
Yes there are a significant number of changes. Most importantly Apple has finally dropped conventional spinning hard (HHD)drives ( which includes the hybrid Fusion Drive) with Solid State Drives (SSD). These make a significant difference to performance. It was possible to configure an SSD into a 2019 iMac, but I suspect most of the refurbs will be HHD or Fusion.

Next Apple has added a significantly better GPU (Graphics) in the 2020 iMac.

The 2020 27-inch iMac is the first one to sport a T2 chipset. That enables Hey Siri, introduces upgraded security functions, and may even speed up certain video-encoding related workflows.

The 2020 iMac has the latest Intel Processors and Bluetooth has also been upgraded.

Also the new iMac finally has a high quality 1080p HD FaceTime camera. Really useful for zoom / FaceTime calls in the current Covid environment.

in short the 2020 iMac is a significant upgrade to the 2019 model, even from the outside it looks the same.

Between the 3.1 Ghz and the 3.3GHz I would go for the 3.3 GHz, mainly for the increased storage to 512GB.

Wow thanks for the advice. My next question is I have around 300gb of music files and 30000 photos/video which is another 150gb on my 2010 iMac and I am using an external WD My Passport Ultra hard drive. What would you recommend upgrading the external HD to?
 
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James_C

macrumors 68020
Sep 13, 2002
2,141
568
Bristol, UK
Music would be fine on your current external drive. I would move the Photo's and Videos onto your new iMac's internal drive (SSD) drive. In time you could upgrade your external drive to a SSD external drive if your photo / video library outgrows your internal storage.
 
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Fishrrman

macrumors Core
Feb 20, 2009
20,431
7,246
THE MOST IMPORTANT CONSIDERATION:

DO NOT
buy ANY iMac UNLESS it has an SSD inside.

DO NOT buy an iMac with a "fusion drive".
DO NOT buy an iMac with a platter-based hard drive inside.

The SSD is your most important choice, as it will run very fast when new and keep running fast as the Mac gets a few years on it.

ALL of the 2020 iMacs have SSDs (it's the only kind of drive they ship with).

BE AWARE that the 2017/2019 iMacs can have platter-based drives, fusion drives, and SSD's.
YOU HAVE TO BE CAREFUL about what you buy, particularly if you're buying from the Apple refurbished store.

That said, I would recommend the Apple online refurbished store as a good source once you know what you're looking for.

I'd suggest a 27" iMac.
Get 8gb of RAM (VERY easy to upgrade RAM on these models).
I'd suggest a 512gb SSD, but if price/availability is a consideration, 256gb will do.
 
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ignatius345

macrumors 68040
Aug 20, 2015
3,013
4,011
Music would be fine on your current external drive. I would move the Photo's and Videos onto your new iMac's internal drive (SSD) drive. In time you could upgrade your external drive to a SSD external drive if your photo / video library outgrows your internal storage.

I'm running my TV library off of an external SSD and it definitely feels fast enough. The options for fast external storage are just so good these days, and getting cheaper.
 
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scontr53

macrumors newbie
Oct 28, 2020
4
1
My iMac is running really slow. I have a TB Hard drive and is less than 1/4 used. Should I buy something new or update it??????

Screen Shot 2020-10-28 at 6.42.37 PM.png
 
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James_C

macrumors 68020
Sep 13, 2002
2,141
568
Bristol, UK
For a 10 year old iMac, I would buy new. You are stuck on High Sierra, your iMac only supports usb 2, and you are probably getting to the point where components may start to fail. You can upgrade to the last Intel iMac or hang on for another 6 months to a year for an Apple Silicon iMac.
 
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