Buying a Used iMac...

Which imac?

  • 2009 21.5" iMac for $375

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    8

aggiebradley

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Feb 19, 2014
7
0
Two options Both are 21.5 imacs in really good condition:

$375 for:
Late 2009 iMac 21.5"
3.06 GHz Processor
16GB RAM
500GB HD
NVIDIA GeForce 9400 256MB
Mac OS 10.11.6 (El Cap)
Serial number QP0101FT5PK

or $550 for mid-2011:
Software
Yosemite
ILife 11, Office 11
Adobe Master suite CS5.5
Final Cut Pro
Windows 7

The iMac Quad Core 2.5 GHz Intel "Core i5" I5-2400S (Sandy Bridge) processor with a dedicated 256k level 2 cache for each core and a 6 MB shared level 3 cache. In lieu of a system bus, it has a "Direct Media Interface" (DMI) that "connects between the processor and chipset" at 5 GT/s.

8 GB of RAM (1333 MHz PC3-10600 DDR3 SDRAM),
500 GB (7200 RPM) hard drive,
DVD+R DL "SuperDrive"
AMD Radeon HD 6750M graphics with 512 MB of dedicated GDDR5 memory.

my Biggest concern is buying the $375, and it being a 2009 model, but for ~$175 more I could have a 2 year newer model?

Thoughts?
 

ApfelKuchen

macrumors 68040
Aug 28, 2012
3,662
2,266
Between the coasts
The 2009 is on the highest version of OS X it will ever run. The 2011 can be upgraded to Sierra, and could very possibly run the next version of MacOS as well.

The newer iMac has less RAM, but it is upgradable. Without knowing your intended usage, I can't predict whether 8 GB is enough, but for routine usage, it is.

Overall, I'd always go with the newer machine - you'll likely get two more years of life from it, which is a lot for machines of that age.

Whichever computer you buy, consider what will happen to that software if you have to either replace the hard drive, or erase and reinstall the contents of the hard drive due to disk directory damage. Considering the age of both Macs, it's not a matter of whether, but when. I'd not factor the value of software into the price - how much is each computer worth with zero software?

Apple software reinstalls/upgrades are tied to the Apple ID account of the original owner. Reinstalling Microsoft Windows would require possession of the product registration key. I'm not sure what Adobe requires for a reinstall.
 

purpletalon55

macrumors member
Apr 1, 2017
54
5
Get 2011 basically it will last till at least 2019 in my opinion my late 2015 aka the current model will last till 2021 with updates.
 

redheeler

macrumors 604
Oct 17, 2014
7,659
7,492
The 2009 is on the highest version of OS X it will ever run.
No, Late 2009 is supported by Sierra. Early 2009 isn't, but can still run it as unsupported.
Overall, I'd always go with the newer machine - you'll likely get two more years of life from it, which is a lot for machines of that age.
Agreed on this point, a Late 2009 with Core 2 Duo and GeForce 9400M will be showing its age. 2011 less so.

Both Macs would see a decent improvement from an SSD upgrade regardless of other specifications, though.
I'd not factor the value of software into the price - how much is each computer worth with zero software?
Agreed on this point as well, often sellers will load it up with hundreds of dollars worth of pirated software in an easy attempt to get more money for it.
 

nambuccaheadsau

macrumors 68000
Oct 19, 2007
1,835
432
Nambucca Heads Australia
The late 2009 iMac 27" model will run Sierra as redheeler says.

If you can run to the 2012 model, it comes with USB3 for faster backups and better graphics. That pirated software can be a trap. First time it requires an update, if the CD and activation code are not included, you have problems.
 

Fishrrman

macrumors Core
Feb 20, 2009
19,604
6,823
Also -- the 2011 has a thunderbolt port.
You can buy an external SSD in a thunderbolt enclosure, plug it in, and set it up to be an "external booter".
It will run the iMac MUCH faster than the internal platter-based hard drive can.

It will transform the computer.
 

Count Blah

macrumors 68040
Jan 6, 2004
3,114
2,592
US of A
Where are you buying from? There are better deals out there to be had, depending on how much leg work you want to do.
 

aggiebradley

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Feb 19, 2014
7
0
so, I ended up buying the 2009 model, partially because the 2012 was already sold, and the seller was willing to give it to me for $200!

That being said, I erased everything via Disk Utility and now I'm stuck since my Apple ID isn't associated with OS Lion. (But on my old macbook I believe I have Maverick?) My original plan was to use an external enclosure to grab all the files off my old hard drive, but now I'm thinking that my old hard drive can actually fix my mistake of erasing everything off the computer. can I simply create a small partition on that hard drive with an installation feature for sierra I guess? Or should I try to downloand Lion as that is the OS that came with the mac and then upgrade after I install Lion?
 

purpletalon55

macrumors member
Apr 1, 2017
54
5
so, I ended up buying the 2009 model, partially because the 2012 was already sold, and the seller was willing to give it to me for $200!

That being said, I erased everything via Disk Utility and now I'm stuck since my Apple ID isn't associated with OS Lion. (But on my old macbook I believe I have Maverick?) My original plan was to use an external enclosure to grab all the files off my old hard drive, but now I'm thinking that my old hard drive can actually fix my mistake of erasing everything off the computer. can I simply create a small partition on that hard drive with an installation feature for sierra I guess? Or should I try to downloand Lion as that is the OS that came with the mac and then upgrade after I install Lion?
That sounds difficult and like a time sink :( but hey Macs are great.
 

nambuccaheadsau

macrumors 68000
Oct 19, 2007
1,835
432
Nambucca Heads Australia
No your machine came with Snow Leopard OS X.6.1 or X.6.2 depending on when it was sold. Lion is a pay for operating system and from there you can upgrade to Sierra. If the computer has an operating system you can purchase Lion OS X.7 from Apple Online, see below.

You will need an Apple ID and at least a computer with OS X.6.6 to access the App Store as you will be emailed a code and supplied with the download link. You will be able to download via your MBP and then burn to a USB thumb drive and use that in the iMac, boot and hold down 'C'. Still on US$19.99.

You cannot erase the drive you are booted from using Disk Utility, so check everything out first.


http://www.apple.com/shop/product/D6106Z/A/os-x-lion#
 
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