iMac 21.5": Buy a new one or a used 2012/2013 model?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by bostich, Jul 15, 2016.

  1. bostich macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2012
    #1
    I am about to buy a 21.5" iMac for audio production. When I compared different models I realised that some older models actually seem to be more powerful than the latest one. Right now I am specifically looking at the 2012 and 2013 i7 3.1 GHz Quad. They have significantly higher Geekbench 2 scores than the latest i5 2.8 GHz Quad.

    Is there any reason why I should buy a new one rather than one of those two, given that I get an older model for half the price?

    Is there any difference between the two models mentioned in terms of configurability? Can I have the fusion drive replaced should it ever brake?

    And ... is there another used model I should take a look at?
     
  2. Tim in Scottsdale macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2016
    Location:
    Scottsdale Arizona
    #2
    Hello

    Personally, I am in constant use of the Optical Drive in my 2011 iMac, and I wouldn't want a system without optical.
     
  3. varian55zx, Jul 15, 2016
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2016

    varian55zx macrumors 6502a

    varian55zx

    Joined:
    May 10, 2012
    Location:
    San Francisco
    #3
    The new 21.5s are not so good, especially the non-retina ones.

    You'll want to get a computer with an SSD, but there are many 2013 ones out there have better performance than some of the lower end '15 ones.

    Also, the older ones have discreet GPUs, which makes for a big difference, the newer ones now have iGPUs. I don't know when that change occurred so you'll want to make sure that yours has:

    1) an SSD
    2) faster processor than what is available in the 2015 models
    3) discreet gpu
     
  4. tubeexperience macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2016
    #4
    ^ This.

    The 2013 and earlier also have upgradable memory. The 2014 and later have soldered non-upgradable memory.

    SSDs are relatively cheap now (compare to then) so you might considered upgrading your 2013 iMac with an SSD if it doesn't already comes with one.
     
  5. bostich, Jul 16, 2016
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2016

    bostich thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2012
    #5
    There is currently a 2012 3.1 GHz on an auction platform in my area. It has a fusion drive. Only the 2013 3.1 GHz had an optional SSD. I've seen videos on how to upgrade a 2012 imac with an SSD, but how can I be sure my model has the right connectors for an SSD? Plus, the process seems quite tricky.
     
  6. varian55zx macrumors 6502a

    varian55zx

    Joined:
    May 10, 2012
    Location:
    San Francisco
    #6
    It's slower, but what is more important than how much worse it is than a pure SSD, is how much faster it is than a regular spinning disk.

    It is sooo much faster than a regular spinning disk.

    So that would still be a good buy. The fusion works well.

    I personally split mine in terminal and now I do have SSD speeds.
     
  7. inhalexhale1 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2011
    Location:
    Ridgewood, NJ
    #7
    I think unless you're really wanting 4k, picking up an older one is a good idea if the $ difference is worthwhile.
     
  8. tubeexperience macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2016
    #8
    The SSD only model iMac might be missing the hard driver cable, but you can buy one if necessary.

    The Fusion iMac and hard drive only iMac will have everything ready for an upgrade with a 2.5" SSD.
     

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