Is the 2017 iMac still a good buy?

bearmaster1

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Feb 12, 2018
10
7
Los Angeles
I've been waiting for a while to upgrade my 2011 iMac. You can now buy the 2017 iMac for $100 to $200 below apple MSRP. Is this a good buy?

For my basic needs, the computing power of 2017 is more than enough. I am looking at the base 27" configuration with 256 GB SSD, 8 GB RAM, and 3.4 GHZ processor. I don't know that the 2019 models with 6 cores, etc are worth holding out for.
 

CWallace

macrumors 604
Aug 17, 2007
6,604
2,506
Seattle, WA
I'm quite happy with my 2017 iMac 5K so I am not planning to upgrade even though I am normally in that window (2 years in on my 3 years of AppleCare).

Is this a brand new machine? You might be able to save even more on a 2017 via the Refurbished store (I have purchased plenty of refurbished iMacs and MacBook Pros and never had an issue with them).
 

dazlicous

macrumors 6502a
Jun 2, 2011
898
198
Manchester
I've been waiting for a while to upgrade my 2011 iMac. You can now buy the 2017 iMac for $100 to $200 below apple MSRP. Is this a good buy?

For my basic needs, the computing power of 2017 is more than enough. I am looking at the base 27" configuration with 256 GB SSD, 8 GB RAM, and 3.4 GHZ processor. I don't know that the 2019 models with 6 cores, etc are worth holding out for.
The way I look at it for the price of 100 to 200 extra your getting a pc that will probably have longevity with being more cores
 

bearmaster1

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Feb 12, 2018
10
7
Los Angeles
This is a brand new machine. I am in California with a high sales tax, so if I order new online from Adorama or BH it beats Apple refurb price with tax. Out side of transcoding the occasional video I don’t think any of my uses would benefit from 4 vs 6 cores.

I’ll just wait for the reviews of the new machines to come out. Hopefully prices on 2017 will drop more.





I'm quite happy with my 2017 iMac 5K so I am not planning to upgrade even though I am normally in that window (2 years in on my 3 years of AppleCare).

Is this a brand new machine? You might be able to save even more on a 2017 via the Refurbished store (I have purchased plenty of refurbished iMacs and MacBook Pros and never had an issue with them).
 

ccsicecoke

macrumors 6502
Aug 19, 2010
251
293
This is a brand new machine. I am in California with a high sales tax, so if I order new online from Adorama or BH it beats Apple refurb price with tax. Out side of transcoding the occasional video I don’t think any of my uses would benefit from 4 vs 6 cores.

I’ll just wait for the reviews of the new machines to come out. Hopefully prices on 2017 will drop more.


In case you didn't know, all merchants nationwide, including Adorama and BH, will start collecting sales tax to CA residents from April 1st.
 

EightyTwenty

macrumors 6502a
Mar 11, 2015
776
1,572
Honestly, the vast majority of people with the computing needs you described would be perfectly fine with any iMac made from 2012 onwards.

In fact, if Apple shipped 2012 iMac’s in a 2019 box, only people who do specialized tasks like editing 4K video would even notice.

Moore’s law hit a brick wall around 2012. The average user won’t tell any difference between a $400 2012 iMac and a $2,000 2019 iMac (other than the screen - 5K is a legitimate improvement).
 

mikehalloran

macrumors 68000
Oct 14, 2018
1,603
392
The Sillie Con Valley
Honestly, the vast majority of people with the computing needs you described would be perfectly fine with any iMac made from 2012 onwards.

In fact, if Apple shipped 2012 iMac’s in a 2019 box, only people who do specialized tasks like editing 4K video would even notice.

Moore’s law hit a brick wall around 2012. The average user won’t tell any difference between a $400 2012 iMac and a $2,000 2019 iMac (other than the screen - 5K is a legitimate improvement).
That’s funny. Although there’s a tiny bit of truth in your nonsense, a 2012 iMac has SATA III busses. Compared to the performance of PCIe 3 x4? Yea, right. Large files on fusion drives, yea, little difference, I’ll concede that.

Back to the OP, when the 2019 iMacs actually ship, the remaining 2017s will flood the Refurb Store — there are some there now but those are actual refurbs. Normally, these will be a little less than buying from out of state — even with CA Sales tax. Here’s a 2017 i7 64G with 2T SSD for $4,079. One with 16G or 32G would be the better buy since you can get RAM for less than 50% of Apple’s prices but expect a lot of those in April.
https://www.apple.com/shop/product/G0TRFLL/A/Refurbished-27-inch-iMac-42GHz-quad-core-Intel-Core-i7-with-Retina-5K-display?fnode=20b865f215422dcb2250859873e548d8f9082583d98a7fe2960a0b9fcb41e55750fe81793fd1fe4ef7d1e63152ab8e68b72ccf659ccca9cfa1093cc9f4f732b6b2a1502b62552d19dbadf9716c53f101

BTW, more and more out of state retailers are being required to collect CA sales tak. That will increase next month.
 
Last edited:

bearmaster1

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Feb 12, 2018
10
7
Los Angeles
I went ahead and ordered the 2017 iMac from BH. I did not know about the April sales tax date and that was enough to push me over. Thanks ccicecoke!

I prefer to buy new rather the refurbished, all else equal.
 
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right mind

macrumors newbie
Dec 16, 2018
16
5
California
I went ahead and ordered the 2017 iMac from BH. I did not know about the April sales tax date and that was enough to push me over. Thanks ccicecoke!

I prefer to buy new rather the refurbished, all else equal.
I did the same right before Christmas. I too live in CA. The purchase I made from B&H was cheaper then an identical machine from the refurbished store.
Actually by quite a bit.

Good timing on your part.
 

EightyTwenty

macrumors 6502a
Mar 11, 2015
776
1,572
That’s funny. Although there’s a tiny bit of truth in your nonsense, a 2012 iMac has SATA III busses. Compared to the performance of PCIe 3 x4? Yea, right. Large files on fusion drives, yea, little difference, I’ll concede that.
You don't have to concede anything because you have no idea what you are talking about in the first place.

The entry level iMac (21.5) uses the same 1 TB 5400 spinner it did back in 2012. Literally the same drive. Makes exactly zero difference if it's SATA II, SATA III or SATA 10,000. The drive itself is the bottleneck. You can ship that 2012 machine in a 2019 box, and the only thing the average user would notice is the difference in screen quality.

Plus a 32 GB (fusion) SSD on SATA II is more than adequate for the average user, forget SATA III or PCIe. We are talking fractions of a second difference for the Facebook surfers, MS Word users, and YouTube watchers (90% of people who buy iMacs). I'm running a SSD on SATA II and every program I use opens instantly.

The OP doesn't need 6 cores. Wasting even 5 seconds debating 6 cores vs. 4 cores for all but a tiny minority of iMac users is a total waste of time. Spending that 5 seconds doing a push-up, or taking a deep breath, or looking out the window all would be a far more productive use of time.
 

mikehalloran

macrumors 68000
Oct 14, 2018
1,603
392
The Sillie Con Valley
You don't have to concede anything because you have no idea what you are talking about in the first place.

The entry level iMac (21.5) uses the same 1 TB 5400 spinner it did back in 2012. Literally the same drive. Makes exactly zero difference if it's SATA II, SATA III or SATA 10,000. The drive itself is the bottleneck. You can ship that 2012 machine in a 2019 box, and the only thing the average user would notice is the difference in screen quality.

Plus a 32 GB (fusion) SSD on SATA II is more than adequate for the average user, forget SATA III or PCIe. We are talking fractions of a second difference for the Facebook surfers, MS Word users, and YouTube watchers (90% of people who buy iMacs). I'm running a SSD on SATA II and every program I use opens instantly.

The OP doesn't need 6 cores. Wasting even 5 seconds debating 6 cores vs. 4 cores for all but a tiny minority of iMac users is a total waste of time. Spending that 5 seconds doing a push-up, or taking a deep breath, or looking out the window all would be a far more productive use of time.
Apparently, you are not burdened by actual knowledge. Time to get out of the armchair and learn something.