First time imac shopper, need advice on used imacs

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Overkill44, Oct 13, 2017.

  1. Overkill44 macrumors newbie

    Oct 13, 2017
    Hello, I am tired of windows and already have a bunch of other apple devices so I want to jump into the mac world. Right now I am looking at used imacs. I always like to buy relatively well spec'd models but I wonder if I am going overkill and spending hundreds extra unneeded. My uses for the imac will be general internet as well as making and editing videos of my kids.
    Is the following a good deal and is it overkill for my needs?
    27" Imac retina 5k late 2014, 4GHz, 1TB SSD, 32GB RAM, Radeon M295x - price $1700.

    Would I be better off going with a more basic 2015 5k retina imac with a price around ~$1,000

    Thanks for help
  2. redfirebird08, Oct 13, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2017

    redfirebird08 macrumors 6502


    Feb 15, 2007
    The SSD is important. Computer will last longer and you will get tired of a spinning drive pretty quick. They are very slow. 32 gigs of RAM is also nice to have. That 2014 machine should last a long time.

    Similar specs for the mid-2017 version will cost you $3,600 on Apple’s website. $1700 looks like a good deal to me, assuming the previous owner took good care of it.
  3. joema2 macrumors 68000


    Sep 3, 2013
    There is some indication the 2014 i7 iMac 27 had some thermal problems, but I don't know how serious this was. You might never encounter any issue. I personally would feel a bit better with a 2015 model.

    OTOH that is a really good price and top spec, and the thermal issue is a theoretical problem. However another option would be a top-spec 2017 i5 iMac 27. There's one on the Apple refurbished site for $1949. Even thought it has the 2TB Fusion Drive it has the RP 580 GPU which is much faster than the M295X, plus the machine will run a lot cooler. In terms of CPU performance it might be roughly equal to the 2014. However the 2017 Kaby Lake CPU (whether i5 or i7) has improved Quick Sync which can make handling H264 video faster, at least on FCPX.
  4. SigEp265 macrumors 6502


    Dec 15, 2011
    Southern California
    If you cant find anything used that is to your liking, I always recommend Apple's refurb store. :)
  5. azentropy macrumors 68020


    Jul 19, 2002
    Is the 1TB SSD drive an original Apple one? If so then it is a good deal. If it is an aftermarket drive (where they just the replaced the standard 3.5" drive with an SSD) than not as much of a deal. If they are mistaken and it is really a 1TB Fusion drive, then it isn't a good deal at all.
  6. Overkill44 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 13, 2017
    Thanks guys the 1TB is oem. The seller sent me original receipt for machine and it was $3800 in November 2014. Besides knowing if this is a great deal or not is whether I need this much performance or if I would be fine with a more basic model such as a 2015 5k with 1 TB fusion drive for ~$1000??
    Is this a must have
  7. redfirebird08 macrumors 6502


    Feb 15, 2007
    I think it’s worth the money. Spinning drives can fail at any moment. If you spend $1,000 you might as well get something that will last a long time.
  8. nambuccaheadsau macrumors 68000


    Oct 19, 2007
    Nambucca Heads Australia
    Be aware Solid State Drives can and will also fail.

    Have had one or two come DOA in the box when new. An SSD is not a guarantee of the drive's longevity. You pays your buck and takes your chances but this appears a good deal.
  9. Overkill44 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 13, 2017
    Ok looking at this other machine also:

    4ghz i7 24GB Ram, 512 SSD and AppleCare through 9/2018. Whats this one worth?
  10. danielwsmithee macrumors 65816

    Mar 12, 2005
    He is correct SSDs do fail. There failure modes are much different than a HD though. You are more likely to get a DOA SSD than HD typically in my opinion, but once you have one that is working from experience the SSD typically outlasts the HD unless you are doing an unusually high amount of data writes.
  11. cynics macrumors G4

    Jan 8, 2012
    2014 or 15? Which GPU?
  12. Overkill44 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 13, 2017

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