brystal4211

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Nov 30, 2017
4
0
I did a bit of searching on the forum, but thought I'd ask my specific questions in a new post - hope it's not too redundant.

I'm looking to replace our 2006 iMac with a newer one. It will be used by my two teenage boys, mostly for school work, surfing and some gaming. So...nothing all that taxing. I do want a model that will perform efficiently/quickly and will last for their needs for the next 5-6 years (ideally).

21.5" vs 27" - 21.5 is probably just fine for them (the 2006 is a 20"), but I can't help but be drawn to the 27". Other than the obvious screen size decision, are there other factors to consider (for instance, I understand the RAM is upgradeable on the 27").

Model year - any particular models/years to stay away from?

RAM - I'm leaning toward 16gb for a 21.5", since I won't be able to upgrade it later, and I guess I don't care that much on the 27", since it's easily upgradeable.

HD - obviously everything I read points toward the Fusion or SSD option, not only for speed, but for long-term reliability. How critical is that?

I started out looking at Apple refurbished iMacs, which certainly is a safe approach. But I am also entertaining the following models on my local craigslist:

  • Late 2013 21.5", 2.7ghz i5, 16 gb RAM, 1 TB HD, Iris Pro - for $435
  • Late 2012 27", 3.4ghz i7, 32 gb RAM, 1 TB Fusion, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680MX with 2GB of GDDR5 -memory - for $850
Both seem like good buys for what they are; I almost pulled the trigger on the 21.5" one, figuring for $400, how can I go wrong? But...wanted to give it a little more thought. I'm wondering if the 27" with it's higher specs would "last" longer? Not to mention the 27" screen may be nice.

Or...go with a newer model?

Thanks for any advice.
[doublepost=1512099343][/doublepost]Also just found a late 2015 21.5" model - pretty much the base model, but with the 256gb SSD upgrade. They are asking $599. Perhaps that's a good way to go for the newer model and SSD?
 

evoga

macrumors regular
Sep 9, 2014
111
49
It would be more prudent to buy low spec iMac for the children’s school work and web browsing and a Xbox X for the gaming - this would beat any iMac you purchase at gaming.
 

Samuelsan2001

macrumors 604
Oct 24, 2013
7,694
2,123
I did a bit of searching on the forum, but thought I'd ask my specific questions in a new post - hope it's not too redundant.

I'm looking to replace our 2006 iMac with a newer one. It will be used by my two teenage boys, mostly for school work, surfing and some gaming. So...nothing all that taxing. I do want a model that will perform efficiently/quickly and will last for their needs for the next 5-6 years (ideally).

21.5" vs 27" - 21.5 is probably just fine for them (the 2006 is a 20"), but I can't help but be drawn to the 27". Other than the obvious screen size decision, are there other factors to consider (for instance, I understand the RAM is upgradeable on the 27").

Model year - any particular models/years to stay away from?

RAM - I'm leaning toward 16gb for a 21.5", since I won't be able to upgrade it later, and I guess I don't care that much on the 27", since it's easily upgradeable.

HD - obviously everything I read points toward the Fusion or SSD option, not only for speed, but for long-term reliability. How critical is that?

I started out looking at Apple refurbished iMacs, which certainly is a safe approach. But I am also entertaining the following models on my local craigslist:

  • Late 2013 21.5", 2.7ghz i5, 16 gb RAM, 1 TB HD, Iris Pro - for $435
  • Late 2012 27", 3.4ghz i7, 32 gb RAM, 1 TB Fusion, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680MX with 2GB of GDDR5 -memory - for $850
Both seem like good buys for what they are; I almost pulled the trigger on the 21.5" one, figuring for $400, how can I go wrong? But...wanted to give it a little more thought. I'm wondering if the 27" with it's higher specs would "last" longer? Not to mention the 27" screen may be nice.

Or...go with a newer model?

Thanks for any advice.
[doublepost=1512099343][/doublepost]Also just found a late 2015 21.5" model - pretty much the base model, but with the 256gb SSD upgrade. They are asking $599. Perhaps that's a good way to go for the newer model and SSD?


Don’t get the 1TB fusion unless it’s 2013 or older as the newer ones only came with a 24gb or 32gb cache.

To be honest that final one with the ssd is a bargain it sounds like the 1080p version with MacBook Air internals but that should be fine for the kids except for gaming performance it will be fairly poo at that.

I would go for the 2012 27 inch it is expensive for 5 years old but that spec is huge!

The 2013 will be absolutely fine and is a great price but app loading and boot times will be slow because of the HDD, although at that price paying someone to add an ssd in there is certainly a possibility and may be worth the effort.
 

Fishrrman

macrumors Core
Feb 20, 2009
22,178
8,227
OP wrote:
"I do want a model that will perform efficiently/quickly and will last for their needs for the next 5-6 years (ideally)."

If you want something that's going to keep going that long, then you should be looking at either the 2017 lineup, or perhaps an Apple-refurbished 2015 model.

Here's a -new old stock- 2015. Comes with Apple factory warranty, and you can get AppleCare if you want it. More than $900 off the original "Apple 2015 price":
https://www.ebay.com/itm/202117459305?siteId=0&AdChoicePreference=true&rmvSB=true
(No financial interest -- just saw a good deal a few days' back and saved it)
 

carlvsam

macrumors newbie
Nov 1, 2014
22
17
It would be more prudent to buy low spec iMac for the children’s school work and web browsing and a Xbox X for the gaming - this would beat any iMac you purchase at gaming.

It depends on the type of game one's interested in of course - a console is a very poor choice for those who are into strategy games (i.e.: Civilization, Factorio, etc.)
 

brystal4211

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Nov 30, 2017
4
0
Many thanks for the responses. Sounds like the used ones I've found are all decent options, but I may want to think a bit newer if the goal is to have a machine that serves the purpose for the next 5-6 years.
 

kschendel

macrumors 65816
Dec 9, 2014
1,069
341
I'd avoid anything older than the late 2012 because that's when USB 3.0 came to the iMac.

Given their likely usage, almost any spec iMac will work. I think it's prudent to try to stay with 16 Gb RAM or more, and unless the price is in the can't-say-no range, I agree that the 1 Tb Fusion drives are to be avoided except for 2013 and late 2012. I'm not sure I would worry too much about screen size. You can probably do OK with 256 Gb SSD, but unless the boys have a little storage discipline, that might get tight over time. You can always add external storage, but you might do better with 512 Gb or more, or the 2 Tb Fusion.

If you're serious about keeping the machine for 5 years or more, see what you can find in a 2015 or newer. iMacs certainly can serve 9 or 10 years -- we have an early 2009 iMac with SSD upgrade that's got at least another year in it -- but a lot depends on usage, and if they get into anything heavy duty in college, a 2012/2013 might struggle a bit.
 

brystal4211

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Nov 30, 2017
4
0
OP wrote:
"I do want a model that will perform efficiently/quickly and will last for their needs for the next 5-6 years (ideally)."

If you want something that's going to keep going that long, then you should be looking at either the 2017 lineup, or perhaps an Apple-refurbished 2015 model.

Here's a -new old stock- 2015. Comes with Apple factory warranty, and you can get AppleCare if you want it. More than $900 off the original "Apple 2015 price":
https://www.ebay.com/itm/202117459305?siteId=0&AdChoicePreference=true&rmvSB=true
(No financial interest -- just saw a good deal a few days' back and saved it)

This one certainly looks interesting. I may end up with it. Thanks!
 

brystal4211

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Nov 30, 2017
4
0
Just purchased that one from eBay - so brand new late 2015 27", 3.30 ghz i5, 8gb RAM, 2 TB Fusion. $1,360 and I get the Apple 1 year warranty (as opposed to buying pre-owned as I was thinking). Probably more computer than they need, but it should certainly last.

Again, thanks for the advice - helped a lot!
 

Samuelsan2001

macrumors 604
Oct 24, 2013
7,694
2,123
Just purchased that one from eBay - so brand new late 2015 27", 3.30 ghz i5, 8gb RAM, 2 TB Fusion. $1,360 and I get the Apple 1 year warranty (as opposed to buying pre-owned as I was thinking). Probably more computer than they need, but it should certainly last.

Again, thanks for the advice - helped a lot!

An absolute bargain and a good computer with an amazing screen you will love that 5 k screen.
 

Fishrrman

macrumors Core
Feb 20, 2009
22,178
8,227
OP:

If you're still reading, how about a follow-up post on that iMac you ordered from ebay (since I'm the one who recommended it)?
 
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