Zen_Arcade

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jun 3, 2019
411
571
All -

Looking at another iMac. Narrowed down to 2 (probably):

1. 2019 refurb i9/2 TB/580x; currently $1907 in military/veteran store.

or:

2. 2020 3.8 GHz i9/1 TB/5500 XT; currently $2249 in military/veteran store.

I'd upgrade the RAM on either one myself.

My question is if the 2020 new is worth the $342 over the 2019; particularly for CPU/GPU (my work doesn't depend on I/O speed, so the fusion drive is fine).

Thanks in advance.
 

CWallace

macrumors G3
Aug 17, 2007
8,743
5,380
Seattle, WA
You get a better display with the 2020 model via TrueTone support and it comes with the T2 which has many benefits (and perhaps a few tradeoffs). You also get better speakers, a better webcam and better microphone coverage.

So I'd go with the 2020, myself, for a price delta that small.
 
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filmgirl

macrumors 6502
May 16, 2007
324
198
Seattle, WA
If it were my money, I would et the 2020. The graphics card is a lot better. A 1TB SSD is still preferable to a FD (assuming that’s what the refurb is), even if I/O isn’t a requirement for your work. A fusion drive will feel fast at first but over time, it’s going to feel slow. Avoid that at all costs. If the refurb is a 2TB SSD, that’s obviously really solid but I would personally still prioritize the better, more modern GPU.

The better webcam is a nice addition too.

If we were talking ~$500 difference in price I might say go 2019, but for $350, I would get the newer graphics, webcam, and T2.
 

nigel415674

macrumors newbie
Oct 22, 2015
21
6
Seattle
I would get the 2020 machine. The 2020 is a big upgrade from 2019. The internals have been beefed up and the GPUs are much better. Even the 5500XT graphics card is pretty good.
 

Fishrrman

macrumors Core
Feb 20, 2009
22,186
8,233
OP wrote:
"my work doesn't depend on I/O speed, so the fusion drive is fine..."

NO!
Don't fall for this trap!

You should NOT buy ANY iMac -- 2019 or 2020 -- UNLESS it has an SSD inside.

It will guarantee the iMac runs fast out-of-the-box, and it will KEEP RUNNING fast as it ages.

For 2020 iMacs, you have to place a special order in the Apple online store.
You cannot walk into an Apple Store (or almost any other place that sells Macs) and buy one "off-the-shelf" -- they must be specially-ordered.

For Apple refurbished 2019 iMacs, you CAN find them at Apple's online refurbished store with SSDs pre-installed. But they come in and go out quickly, so you have to keep a constant eye open, and be ready to buy when one shows up.

Again, not getting an SSD in a new iMac will become THE BIGGEST BUYING MISTAKE you could make. (shouting intentional)
 

PieTunes

Contributor
May 6, 2016
800
1,242
San Diego, CA
The CPU options in the higher tier 2020 27" iMac are a 3.8 i7 or a 3.6 i9. To clarify, which CPU comes with the 2020 iMac you're looking at? Also, the 1TB storage option you mention is for SSD, since the 2020 doesn't come with Fusion drives at all anymore?
 

PieTunes

Contributor
May 6, 2016
800
1,242
San Diego, CA
I would be inclined to get the 2020 as not only do you get better top level specs on paper, but all the other benefits such as True Tone, the T2, 1080p webcam, etc.
 

Nguyen Duc Hieu

macrumors 65816
Jul 5, 2020
1,152
285
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
It's a no brainer here, for 342$ you got everythings better, even the CPU.
If they are both core i9, then the 2019 iMac has gen 9 core i9, which is 8 cores 16 threads;
2020 imac has gen 10 core i9, which is 10 cores 20 threads. gen 10 intel CPUs are better refined chips.
 
Last edited:

Zen_Arcade

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jun 3, 2019
411
571
Thanks all - 2020 was ordered. 27", i7, 8 GB RAM, 1 TB SSD, 5500 GPU.

I'll upgrade the RAM when the iMac arrives - estimated for mid-October.

I do disagree re fusion drive, and have written about them elsewhere - I have a 2019 27" with the 2 TB fusion drive and it's fine. I'd agree the fusion drives with a 32 GB SSD are best avoided.
 
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dizmonk

macrumors 6502
Nov 26, 2010
307
73
I'm kinda in the same boat as I think my Late 2013 is on it's last legs. I ordered a 2TBSSD 2019 from the Refurb store and am debated whether or not to return it and spend the extra money on a 2020 model. I'm a bit torn on this one.
 

frankied71

macrumors newbie
Sep 12, 2018
2
-1
I'm coming from a mac book pro 2011 decided to go for iMac 2019 2tb with 128nvme vs 2020 iMac.
T2 was not the way to go, this will last a while plus when macOS is not supported it will be with Linux iMac
elementary os works well on this machine
 

ADGrant

macrumors 6502a
Mar 26, 2018
833
498
I'm coming from a mac book pro 2011 decided to go for iMac 2019 2tb with 128nvme vs 2020 iMac.
T2 was not the way to go, this will last a while plus when macOS is not supported it will be with Linux iMac
elementary os works well on this machine

I don't see this as an issue. By the time MacOS is not supported I will want a new machine anyway.
 

ADGrant

macrumors 6502a
Mar 26, 2018
833
498
I do disagree re fusion drive, and have written about them elsewhere - I have a 2019 27" with the 2 TB fusion drive and it's fine. I'd agree the fusion drives with a 32 GB SSD are best avoided.

Fine is relative. Are you using any other Macs with a T2 and SSD?

Also, hard drives will fail and in something as large as an iMac, that is a nuisance.
 
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Zen_Arcade

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jun 3, 2019
411
571
Fine is relative. Are you using any other Macs with a T2 and SSD?

Also, hard drives will fail and in something as large as an iMac, that is a nuisance.

As an Apple user since about 1979, I've used just a few Macs in my day, including a 16" MBP and a 2020 iMac. As I said, fusion drives are fine - the ones I've used work well and are (or were) fast enough for most people and most workflows. Also, many people need affordable bulk storage; this is something in which SSDs are not competitive. There are a lot of people who are not comfortable with simply keeping all their data in the cloud.

As for hard drives failing, well, duh. So will SSDs. And changing either in an iMac is easy.
 

ADGrant

macrumors 6502a
Mar 26, 2018
833
498
As an Apple user since about 1979, I've used just a few Macs in my day, including a 16" MBP and a 2020 iMac. As I said, fusion drives are fine - the ones I've used work well and are (or were) fast enough for most people and most workflows. Also, many people need affordable bulk storage; this is something in which SSDs are not competitive. There are a lot of people who are not comfortable with simply keeping all their data in the cloud.

As for hard drives failing, well, duh. So will SSDs. And changing either in an iMac is easy.

Actually not with a 2020 iMac, the SSD is soldered to the motherboard. I have yet to have an SSD fail in a Mac. I have experience hard drive failures though.

For affordable bulk storage, an external HardDrive works just fine or, if you have a lot of data, a NAS.
 

Zen_Arcade

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jun 3, 2019
411
571
Actually not with a 2020 iMac, the SSD is soldered to the motherboard. I have yet to have an SSD fail in a Mac. I have experience hard drive failures though.

For affordable bulk storage, an external HardDrive works just fine or, if you have a lot of data, a NAS.

You've been lucky. I've seen SSDs in Macs fail (typically in laptops).

And an external drive or NAS misses the point about having an all-in-one. For backups, sure. Most people have no idea what a NAS even is.

Good day.
 

dizmonk

macrumors 6502
Nov 26, 2010
307
73
okay here's a related question. As I wait for delivery for my refurbed 2019, while working on my Late 2013, my wifi keeps crapping out. I've changed channels on the router, rebooted etc., so I'm thinking its not the router but the iMac. Is there any good way to diagnosis the problem? (It mostly happens on the 2.4Ghz band and almost never on the 5ghz.) I'm guessing that the Wifi (which I assume is on the motherboard, right) is dying on the Late 2013. Any ideas? Thanks.
 

ADGrant

macrumors 6502a
Mar 26, 2018
833
498
You've been lucky. I've seen SSDs in Macs fail (typically in laptops).

And an external drive or NAS misses the point about having an all-in-one. For backups, sure. Most people have no idea what a NAS even is.

Good day.

If you want a well spaced desktop Mac for a reasonable price, like it or not, an all-in-one is your only option.
 

Nicole1980

macrumors 6502
Mar 19, 2010
367
403
You've been lucky. I've seen SSDs in Macs fail (typically in laptops).

And an external drive or NAS misses the point about having an all-in-one. For backups, sure. Most people have no idea what a NAS even is.

Good day.

I'll pipe in as one disagreeing with you about the fusion drive.

I do agree with your point about the all-in-one, and staying away from an external drive. In my case I've replaced the internal SATA spinning drive portion of the fusion drive with a 4tb Samsung 860 ssd. It makes a DRAMATIC difference. The handful of times I've used an iMac with a fusion drive now, I notice it RIGHT AWAY. I'm like "what the hell?!" and then look at the system info and see it's a fusion drive.

A one-time purchase of the 4tb SSD for $550, and a little bit of work doing the upgrade ... to me was worth every penny and the little bit of time it took to do the install.

So unless you're pretty unobservant, ANY ssd (even my garden variety SATA Samsung 860 evo), provides an immediate and very noticeable difference.
 
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