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Aviboy97

macrumors regular
Original poster
Feb 3, 2011
160
2
Pennsylvania
I just purchased a late 2012 iMac 21.5 3.1 GHz i7 with the 1TB Fusion drive. It’s running Catalina. Got it from a co-worker, who I trust, and rarely used. I got it for $200

So far, booted up fast. Runs smooth. The HD camera kinda sucks, so thinking of getting an external one.

It’s an extra computer for the house. Probably will be used for kids remote learning or my wife using it for remote teaching. Not going to be used as a workhorse.

Thoughts from you gurus? Was this a good buy?
 

Longkeg

macrumors 6502a
Jul 18, 2014
536
264
The Nation’s (US) Oldest City
The 3.1 GHz i7 processor makes this a cut above most 2012 iMacs. It was a build to order machine with a processor upgrade. The real question is are YOU happy with the purchase? Ultimately, you are the only Guru that counts here.
 

loby

macrumors 65816
Jul 1, 2010
1,317
869
I just purchased a late 2012 iMac 21.5 3.1 GHz i7 with the 1TB Fusion drive. It’s running Catalina. Got it from a co-worker, who I trust, and rarely used. I got it for $200

So far, booted up fast. Runs smooth. The HD camera kinda sucks, so thinking of getting an external one.

It’s an extra computer for the house. Probably will be used for kids remote learning or my wife using it for remote teaching. Not going to be used as a workhorse.

Thoughts from you gurus? Was this a good buy?

Good price for a decent system still in 2021. I plan on this week upgrading my 21"2012 late iMac to the i7 from an i5 and put in an SSD. I noticed the fusion drive works actually good on the system (to my surprise) and would have not upgraded the HD on it, but since I am already opening the unit (carefully) I might as well go ahead and upgrade all of it and call it a day.

The only bummer is that the 2012 late model is stuck on macOS Catalina. Catalina runs ok with it, but I think macOS Mojave is better overall probably. For what you will use it for, it is well suited. Some of the older systems are still good and would still be good if they were able to run the newer OS's, but that makes people buy newer systems of course.
 
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Juicy Box

macrumors 603
Sep 23, 2014
6,023
6,859
What type of things will you be using on your new Late 2012 iMac?


I just purchased a late 2012 iMac 21.5 3.1 GHz i7 with the 1TB Fusion drive.
I have 27" Late 2012 iMac with the 3.4GHz i7, 2GB 680MX GPU, and the 1TB Fusion Drive.

I bought it at the launch of it, and it is still my main Mac.

The i7 on the Late 2012 iMacs is a beast, and is still a very capable chip. The performance of the i7 on our Late 2012 iMacs are about the same of a i5 of a Mid 2017 iMac.

I am unsure of what GPU you have in your iMac, but that is probably what is aging the most. I have the 680MX, which was the top BTO option for that year, and it was a really good upgrade over the other GPUs. I am pretty sure it wasn't an option for the 21" though.

Still, it totally depends on what you do with your iMac whether the older GPU would have an impact.


It’s running Catalina.
Catalina doesn't run as well on a HDD or Fusion Drive as it does on an SSD.

If you were having slowing issues, I would suggest using an external SSD, but if everything is running great, no need to fix what isn't broken.

Mojave would probably run better, but again, if you are happy with Catalina, stick with that.

1TB Fusion drive
This is probably the weak link in your iMac. If the HDD hasn't been replaced, it is sure pretty old.

If everything seems to be running great, I wouldn't worry about it.

But.... I highly recommend on keeping a back up of your data. Better if it was a bootable back up, just in case something happens to your Fusion Drive, you can sell boot up your iMac externally for troubleshooting, restoring, or just using it as your new boot drive.


I got it for $200
Older Mac prices are probably going to be getting a little weird with the lower priced M1 Macs, and the performance they offer.


Was this a good buy?
Yes!

Getting any Mac that still gets updates from Apple and performs as well as your Late 2012 for only $200 is a great buy, imo.
 

Aviboy97

macrumors regular
Original poster
Feb 3, 2011
160
2
Pennsylvania
Thank you all!

Wife has been using it for school at the moment. Seems to be running just fine. I doubt I will store much on it as we use Google docs for most things now. Storage isn’t a huge priority now.

Speed seems to be ok. Not lighting fast, but faster than I was expecting.

Overall, we are happy. I guess for $200, I couldn’t go wrong. It suits a need we had and I really didn’t want to splurge on a new one being it’s an extra unit.

Thanks!
 
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Erehy Dobon

Suspended
Feb 16, 2018
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If it works for your specific usage case, the opinions of MR forum commenters is essentially irrelevant.

We don't know what other options you had. Maybe a $200 ghetto Windows 10 mini PC connected to an unused monitor?

One thing for sure, a nine-year old computer is bound to show its age soon.

However there's also the very serious subject of operating system security updates. Only macOS Mojave and macOS Catalina are getting security patches.

This is one area that Microsoft's Windows deployment is far superior to macOS. If your system is capable of running recent versions of Windows, it will continue to receive security improvements.
 
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staypuftforums

macrumors member
Jun 27, 2021
42
91
Really...far superior? Umm...yeah right...please...
Yes, far superior. My 2009 PC will continue to get Windows 10 security updates until at least 2025. That's 16 years of support. To the best of my knowledge, no Mac has ever been supported for 16+ years.

And I can technically load Windows 11 on it which brings support past 20 years (though not officially).
 
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