Refurb 2017 iMac a good buy?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by which mac for me, Nov 6, 2018.

  1. which mac for me macrumors newbie

    Nov 1, 2018
    The refurb store has the base 2017 iMac for $929 and the base retina for $1099. Is this a good deal for someone without heavy computer needs? I'm replacing a 2011 Macbook Pro that won't really run Word or Chrome anymore without lag to the point of unusability. I have an iPad Pro so don't need something mobile.

    The alternative would be relying on Pages and Safari for now and waiting for an iMac upgrade.
  2. rayward, Nov 6, 2018
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2018

    rayward macrumors 68000

    Mar 13, 2007
    Houston, TX
    I too am thinking about picking up a 2017 refurb, to replace my ageing iMac (itself a refurb) that is used for web surfing and as host to my ever-expanding media library. My old iMac (see sig.) runs just fine but has reached the end of OS upgrades. I rip my media on it, and processing times have been getting longer and longer. I also need a bigger HDD as the current one is about 2/3rds full (which may be impacting the processing time).

    My add-on question: is a 2.3GHz dual core i5 chip of 2017 vintage going to be notably faster than my 2.93GHz i7 of 2010 vintage?
  3. Stephen13 macrumors newbie

    Nov 5, 2018
    USA - GA
    I'm in a similar situation. My 2011 iMac is slow to the point of being unusable. I use it 95% for casual Lightroom workflow and the rest Safari and email.

    I shoot most photos in RAW and need 1-2TB of local storage plus a backup drive.

    Do I get one of the current iMacs, which are now 1.5 years old? I strongly hesitate to buy a brand new piece of tech that already has a 1.5 year handicap.

    Do I wait until the spring, when Apple may (or may not) release an updated iMac?

    Do I just get an iPad Pro and go with cloud backup, or hope that Apple enables external drive support in iOS 13?

    Do I get a Mac Mini and a new monitor?
  4. nambuccaheadsau, Nov 6, 2018
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2018

    nambuccaheadsau macrumors 68000


    Oct 19, 2007
    Nambucca Heads Australia
    For a 27" iMac yes as you can upgrade the memory yourself. The 21.5" model Apple list as non-user upgradeable and is available in only two options ~ 8 or 16GB.

    Make sure you get a model with an SSD and for goodness sake do not go with a platter drive model only as it will be as slow as molasses.
  5. Fishrrman macrumors P6


    Feb 20, 2009
    Agree with nambucca above.

    Get an SSD -- do not, do not, DO NOT buy one with only a platter-based hard drive or a 1tb fusion drive! It will be TOO SLOW!

    Even a 256gb SSD will make a great difference over the life of the iMac, probably the "biggest difference of all", performance-wise.

    If you get a 21" iMac, you must "buy as much RAM as you think you'll need" for the future, because it's not user-upgradeable. But if your needs aren't "heavy", then 8gb is probably all you'll need.

    If there's any way you can get the 27" iMac, consider that one.
    No one who makes that choice ever regrets having done so.
  6. mikehalloran macrumors 65816

    Oct 14, 2018
    The Sillie Con Valley
    Agree with all the above.

    Are the current 21.5" refurbs a good deal? Yes, in the short run. If your needs are light and don't change.

    Who keeps an iMac for a short period of time? As time goes on, the money saved won't matter if you're wishing you had bought a larger, faster, upgradable machine.

    Can these guys be upgraded later? Yes. Any Mac technician will be able to open the case, upgrade the RAM and internal storage. It will cost more than buying better now.

    At the moment, the only 27" in the Refurb Store costs nearly double that of the 21.5"s. It's more than twice the iMac, IMO, and by far the better buy.

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5 November 6, 2018