Is a Maxed out 2013 27" iMac still viable today?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Lord Flashheart, Aug 13, 2017.

  1. Lord Flashheart macrumors regular

    Lord Flashheart

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2007
    Location:
    Cardiff by the Sea, CA
    #1
    Hello, looking to see if a maxed out 2013 27" iMac is still viable today. Would use for maybe some light gaming (WoW) light video editing. Might even use in my classroom as an everyday teacher computer if I get it. If so, how much do you think it is worth? Or should I consider a current model. Money is an issue as I have already spent a ton on my classroom. Specs are :
    • 3.5 GHz Quad-core Intel Core i7, Turbo Boost up to 3.9 GHz
    • 32GB 1600MHz DDR3 SDRAM (8 GB X 4)
    • 3 TB Fusion Drive (which combines a 128 GB SSD and a 3 TB traditional 7200RPM hard drive)
    • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780M 4GB GDDR5 Dedicated Graphics
    • 27" 2560×1440 LED-backlit 16:9 widescreen IPS display
     
  2. mmomega macrumors demi-god

    mmomega

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    Dec 30, 2009
    Location:
    DFW, TX
    #2
    I would put it to work and then try it out first hand, if you have it already.

    If you just want to ask from experience, other than gaming I have 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 iMacs still being used for work 4 days a week 12 hours a day. They won't get replaced until they break.
    In business, until a piece of equipment costs you money, I wouldn't buy another one.
     
  3. Lord Flashheart thread starter macrumors regular

    Lord Flashheart

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2007
    Location:
    Cardiff by the Sea, CA
    #3
    Was thinking of purchasing. Was originally looking at a 2012 i7 Mac Mini, but the iMac, selling for a bit over $1500, is a lot more powerful and was wondering if it would be worth it, or should I get a mini or more current model.
     
  4. nambuccaheadsau macrumors 6502a

    nambuccaheadsau

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    Oct 19, 2007
    Location:
    Nambucca Heads Australia
    #4
    That i7 iMac has a Geekbench score of 13141 which is still pretty fast. The top 4GB gfx card will also help.

    Go with it.
     
  5. Lord Flashheart thread starter macrumors regular

    Lord Flashheart

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    Apr 10, 2007
    Location:
    Cardiff by the Sea, CA
    #5
    Think I will. Was looking at an 2012 i7 Mini, but for the specs I wanted (SSD, max ram...) it was getting up there in price. This is almost 2x price, but much faster and with a monitor.
     
  6. Lioness~ macrumors regular

    Lioness~

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    Apr 26, 2017
    Location:
    Gothenburg, Sweden
    #6
    I have a iMac 2013 i5 32GB ram etc that is still very good. Some less specs then yours.
    Think you will be fine with it a couple of years. Don't know if I had payed $1500 for it though?

    Out of habit, usually 3 yrs between buying new macs, I was thinking about upgrading this year.
    Then I reflected, and realized there's nothing that I can't do with it that I've done since I bought it new.
    So I will at least wait until late 2018 if nothing happens that make me need to buy a new one earlier out of other reasons then bad prestanda.

    Computer evolution goes slower today unless you don't work with things that need it.
    For privat or lighter business, computers seem to last longer then earlier :apple: days.

    So many other :apple: toys that are under evolution too, that we can enjoy & spend our money on too :)
     
  7. EugW macrumors 68000

    EugW

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2017
    #7
    Decent computer. It's essentially a modern computer, in terms of real-world functionality.

    In terms of pure CPU speed it's actually faster than my 2017 Core i5 7600.
     
  8. pixelatedscraps macrumors regular

    pixelatedscraps

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    Jul 11, 2017
    Location:
    Hong Kong
    #8
    That is absolutely still a viable and powerful machine. My issue with older Macs becoming obsolete is connectivity from being stuck on USB2.0, but your 2013 has USB3 and Thunderbolt.

    If you can, I'd look into replacing that puny crippled Fusion drive with a straight up SSD (512Gb) and putting the 3Tb into a Thunderbolt enclosure.

    Still good machines, no matter what anyone says.
     
  9. EugW macrumors 68000

    EugW

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2017
    #9
    Nah. I'd just leave the machine as is physically, but would split the Fusion drive into a separate boot SSD and data hard drive, leaving both as internal drives.

    IIRC, the SSD in that Fusion drive is a 128 GB model, which is more than sufficient as a boot drive and for application installs.
     
  10. pixelatedscraps macrumors regular

    pixelatedscraps

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    Hong Kong
    #10
    Fusion drives are rarely able to keep up with any type of professional design work. If you don't do any design, CAD/CAM, photography or video editing, then stick with it I suppose.
     
  11. EugW macrumors 68000

    EugW

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    Jun 18, 2017
    #11
    1. He's not doing any professional design work.

    2. He already has an SSD. My advice was to split the Fusion drive and separate out the SSD. In that scenario, he no longer actually has a Fusion drive per se. With the separated out SSD, he can have better control of what stays with the SSD. Stuff like iTunes media and such can go on the hard drive, and all the boot applications and some user data can go on the SSD.

    3. For photography and video editing, it would be better to have SSD, but he can do that over Thunderbolt, which luckily he would have with that machine. Hell, you can even run a boot drive over Thunderbolt with decent performance (although I wouldn't recommend it).

    The issue here is replacing a drive in such an iMac is not dead easy, and there is a lot of potential for damaging the machine in the process. Since he already has an SSD, he may as well use it.
     
  12. Lord Flashheart thread starter macrumors regular

    Lord Flashheart

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    Apr 10, 2007
    Location:
    Cardiff by the Sea, CA
    #12
    Ya, Would not be doing any professional design work. Mostly every day cpu in my classroom, some gaming (have PS4, Xbox and Nintendo Switch, so not much on this computer, especially if I have it in my classroom).Light video or photo work.
     
  13. _Kiki_ macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2017
    #13
    it's still good machine, but for $1500 it's a bit expensive, I'm pretty sure you can buy on online auction for $300-400$ cheaper
     
  14. EugW macrumors 68000

    EugW

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    Jun 18, 2017
    #14
    Ouch, I didn't realize it was $1500. Not worth it then IMO.

    At those kind of prices, I'd recommend an Apple refurb with Retina display.

    US$1700 gets an Apple refurb 3.3 GHz Core i5 27" with Retina screen, 256 GB SSD, 8 GB RAM, and Radeon R9 M395, and perhaps most importantly, 1 year Apple warranty.

    No, it doesn't have 32 GB RAM, but the Retina screen alone is worth a $500 premium IMO. Get the Apple refurb, and then at a later date get another 16 GB Crucial RAM for a total of 24 GB.
     
  15. pixelatedscraps macrumors regular

    pixelatedscraps

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    #15
    Didn't realise the OP wasn't in possession of it, lol
     
  16. joema2 macrumors 65816

    joema2

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2013
    #16
    I would not describe it that way. I own a 2013 iMac 27 with 3TB FD, 2015 iMac 27 with 1TB SSD and 2017 iMac 27 with 2TB SSD. I use them all for professional video editing with FCPX. I have tested the video editing performance of the 2013 and 2015 side-by-side many times. In terms of real-world video editing performance, there is no major difference attributable to the hard drive.

    That is when editing less than 500GB of H264 material on the internal drive. In most cases professionals use external storage and I have about 100 terabytes of Thunderbolt RAID arrays connected to these systems. That further diminishes any possible performance difference from the boot drive, since all the media is external. I can't even tell much difference between application launching time or boot time between Fusion Drive and SSD.

    You can devise situations such as editing multi-cam ProRes where the I/O load is much greater, and in that case the Fusion Drive will be a limit. However in that same case the media is so much larger it won't fit on a typical iMac SSD anyway.
     
  17. Velin, Aug 14, 2017
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2017

    Velin macrumors 65816

    Velin

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    Location:
    Hearst Castle
    #17
    Overpriced. A base 2017 27" 5k iMac retails new for $1800, just three hundred more than this used, nearly four-year old machine. And it's not "maxed out," as it lacks the most critical piece: a full-on SSD. Fusion sucks, because platters suck. Don't be overly enamored by the RAM; it's cheap, and it's unlikely you'll be making full use of the 32 gigs. That money would have been much better spent on an SSD. The video card? Old news. The 780m's 3Dmark score is 5260. Today good cards are doing five times that number. For comparison, the 2017 iMac's GPU scores 13980. (Yes, I know, there are other criteria, but I'm not wasting my time comparing or arguing about tflops, cuda cores, rops, clocks, bus, etc.) A 3 TB hard drive? Who cares. You can pick up a rock-solid external WD 4TB drive for a hundred bucks, give or take; a 4TB WD Passport is currently selling for $119 retail, and that's convenient portable storage and you can likely find it cheaper. No SSD just kills this machine, as does the price.

    Only way I'd buy this machine is if the price were cut in half. I know of what I speak, I regularly buy and sell tech for our business. Pass unless you are given a major price reduction, which they are unlikely to do given how far apart you will be. Which means, don't waste your time and pass (and this is an easy one to call).
     
  18. Fishrrman macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #18
    I wouldn't pay $1,550 for a 2013 iMac. No way, regardless of the specs.

    Put the money towards something new.
     
  19. Lioness~ macrumors regular

    Lioness~

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    Apr 26, 2017
    Location:
    Gothenburg, Sweden
    #19
    Bargain with the guy. There's a lot of used iMac's out there. He want's it sold. Push it down :D
    $1200-1250 would be more accurate.
    Or search the market more....;)
     
  20. EugW macrumors 68000

    EugW

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2017
    #20
    So I just checked out the US iMac education site:

    Customize your 27‑inch iMac with Retina 5K display.
    • 3.4GHz quad-core 7th-generation Intel Core i5 processor, Turbo Boost up to 3.8GHz
    • 8GB 2400MHz DDR4
    • 256GB SSD
    • Radeon Pro 570 with 4GB video memory
    • Magic Mouse 2
    • Magic Keyboard - US English
    $1,789.00

    Plus: "Get Beats wireless headphones when you buy an eligible Mac."
     
  21. opeter macrumors 65816

    opeter

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2007
    Location:
    Slovenia, EU
    #21
    I did just buy an 21.5" iMac (late 2012), that doesn't have a HDD and display for 300 Euros + postage fee.
     
  22. mmomega macrumors demi-god

    mmomega

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2009
    Location:
    DFW, TX
    #22
    Also have to take in to account almost $150 in tax on an $1800 brand new machine.
    If cash is already thin, an extra $450 is out of the budget.
     
  23. jlseattle macrumors 6502

    jlseattle

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2007
    Location:
    Seattle WA
    #23
    My vote is to pass on the computer. I would explore looking into a refurbished computer like:
    https://www.apple.com/shop/product/...uad-core-intel-core-i5-with-retina-5k-display
    --- Post Merged, Aug 14, 2017 ---
    OR do the 21" 4k with a 256 SSD (don't get the fusion drive, they are really bad) with 4gb video card for 1489 (with educational discount). So that will put you in a decent computer with a decent i5 processor and it's brand new. I really like the 21" iMacs. Just avoid the Fusion drive (28gb SSD combined with a 5400 rpm drive).
     

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