Any major differences between the Late 2012 and Mid-2017 iMacs?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by neoelectronaut, Feb 17, 2018.

  1. neoelectronaut macrumors 68030

    neoelectronaut

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    #1
    My parents are using a 2008 Acer Desktop PC and I'd love to get them set up with an iMac.

    My wife has a Late 2012 21.5-inch iMac that she's selling, as she's recently picked up a MacBook for college use. My initial plan was to pick my parents up a Late 2017 iMac, either the entry level model or the 4k model, next time they go on sale.

    But now I'm wondering if maybe this Late 2012 model would work just as well for their basic needs (Internet, E-Mail, Photos, etc.) and maybe I can just "buy it" off of my wife instead.

    Here's a comparison between the three models in question on EveryMac.com. (The Late 2012, and two Mid-2017 models I'm considering.)

    Any thoughts? Would it be best for me to just pick up a 2017 iMac for them or would the 2012 be sufficient? Thanks for your help.
     
  2. nambuccaheadsau macrumors 68000

    nambuccaheadsau

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    #2
    If it has the standard 5400rpm laptop type hard drive not good and getting slower as everything else speeds up. One good point is the 21.5" has USB3 and Thunderbolt. When I had that model ran a Silicon Power TB SSD as an external, cloned the operating system to it, selected it as the boot drive in System Preferences > Startup Disk and it performed beautifully.

    If wifey's iMac has an installed SSD, so much the better for the oldies!
     
  3. Apple fanboy macrumors Nehalem

    Apple fanboy

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    #3
    Why the duplicate thread?
    https://forums.macrumors.com/thread...een-the-late-2012-and-mid-2017-imacs.2106513/
     
  4. neoelectronaut thread starter macrumors 68030

    neoelectronaut

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    #4
  5. Apple fanboy macrumors Nehalem

    Apple fanboy

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    #5
    Ok that's what I thought.
    Just so you know that's a minor rule violation

    1. One thread. Do not post a thread more than once. Post a new thread in the proper forum. If the topic is relevant to more than one forum, pick the best fit or most specific forum and post it only once.
    But to answer your question, I'm still running a late 2012 iMac.
    For the uses you state I'm sure it will be fine.
    Mine has the fusion drive which is still going strong.
     
  6. vertical smile macrumors 68040

    vertical smile

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    #6
    I have the Late 2012 iMac, although it is a 27" inch, I upgraded to the i7, Gould, and 1TB Fusion drive. I also upgraded the RAM, but I did that myself and not via BTO.

    I am sure it will be more than capable for your parents' basic needs.

    But, you should have posted the specs of your wife's iMac, it makes it easier to discuss pro/cons.

    I will say that if it has a 1TB Fusion Drive, the original late 2012 version is better than the 1TB Fusion Drive on the 2017s.

    It has 128GB SSD on it, while the 2017's has only 32GB.

    Another note, the HDD on my Fusion Drive failed. It started to fail after a year-ish, but kept passing The Apple Store's hardware diagnostics test.

    Luckily it totally failed 12 days before my Apple Care warranty was about to expire.

    All that said, no matter what the specs, I'm sure it will be fine for them.
     
  7. Darmok N Jalad, Feb 17, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2018

    Darmok N Jalad macrumors 68000

    Darmok N Jalad

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    #7
    The 2012 version is also easier to get to the internals, as it used magnets to hold the screen on versus adhesive on the 2017 models. That makes it easier to do an upgrade or repair to the hard drive, and you can even upgrade the RAM on the 2012--something that isn't possible on the 21.5" 2017 iMac. If they have no high demands of their system, the 2012 will be more than sufficient and is a bit more serviceable. Plus you can get see if they like using MacOS, and if so, just upgrade them at a later date.

    edit--sorry for the bad info. Both models use adhesive for the display front.
     
  8. vertical smile macrumors 68040

    vertical smile

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    #8
    This is not accurate, as the Late 2012 iMacs were the first to have the laminated displays on glass, so they are glued on.

    The previous model glass was held on with magnets, not Late 2012 models.

    Any internal upgrading will require dealing with the adhesive.
     
  9. Darmok N Jalad macrumors 68000

    Darmok N Jalad

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    #9
    Right you are! I apologize. I thought I read that the 2017 model was the first to go to adhesive fronts, but I guess I got confused. You at least can still upgrade the RAM and CPU, but you have to do a complete teardown to do so.
     
  10. neoelectronaut thread starter macrumors 68030

    neoelectronaut

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    #10
    I appreciate all the input, folks. I was leaning towards keeping it and maybe attempting to drop in a SSD but the wife would really rather just sell it so I guess I’m gonna keep my eyes peeled on Best Buy and see when the $1099 model goes on sale.
     
  11. nambuccaheadsau macrumors 68000

    nambuccaheadsau

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    #11
    Do not buy a 21.5" model with the standard 1TB hard drive. 5400rpm laptop style hard drives are slower than a wet week! make sure it has at least a 256GB SSD.
     
  12. Darmok N Jalad macrumors 68000

    Darmok N Jalad

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    #12
    You might try the Apple Refurbished store. They put the same warranty on their refurb items. Just ordered a 5K iMac from there and saved a few hundred bucks. Check it often, as what they have in stock changes often. The more desirable configurations seemed to be snatched up quickly.
     
  13. joema2 macrumors 68000

    joema2

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    #13
    The 2012 is OK for such basic use, provided it has at least a 2TB Fusion Drive, not the non-Fusion.

    However a 2015 or later iMac 27 with the retina display is a nicer experience, provided it is SSD or at least 2TB Fusion Drive or above. There are lots of those available on the used market.
     
  14. vertical smile macrumors 68040

    vertical smile

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    #14
    On the iMacs, all of the original 2012 Fusion Drives had 128GB of SSD, including the 1TB Fusion Drive.

    It was the 2015 Fusion Drives that reduced the SSD to 24GB on the 1TB model.

    The 2017 Fusion Drives increased the SSD slightly to 32GB on the 1TB model.

    All that said, for the very basic use listed, even a slow HDD would probably be okay.
     

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13 February 17, 2018