Become a MacRumors Supporter for $25/year with no ads, private forums, and more!

Thinking About Upgrading from a 2017 27 inch iMac to a 2020 27 inch iMac

hungx

macrumors 6502
Original poster
May 8, 2012
341
42
Davis, CA
Like the title says, I'm thinking about upgrading from my current 2017 27 inch iMac. I'm skeptical about Apple Silicon (not of the performance, but of 3rd party software support) and want to get one of the last Macs to run Bootcamp. I just don't know how much my iMac is worth and where the best place to get top dollar is (I'm located in the US). I've always used eBay in the past, but the fees are a lot. I couldn't find a comparable machine on eBay to compare prices.

Here are the specs:
2017 27 inch iMac
4.2 GHz i7
8GB 2667 MHz DDR4 RAM
2TB SSD
 

Hat Tric

macrumors newbie
Nov 12, 2018
17
4
Germany
Food for thought: you already have one of the last iMacs to run Bootcamp. And I think it's a quite capable machine to serve you well for the next 5 years.

Not sure however if non-T2 Intel Macs will be excluded from future macOS upgrades or when that might happen.

Anyway, I'm still happy with my 2017 iMac (3,4 GHz quadcore i5) which is a more than capable machine for my needs.
 
Comment

CheesePuff

macrumors 65816
Sep 3, 2008
1,081
805
Southwest Florida, USA
I would try via Facebook Marketplace first, since there are no fees and don't have to worry about shipping - although tends to work better only if you're in a more densely populated area. I've listed a handful of MacBooks and iMacs over the years there and sell them within a day or two, sometimes for more than what they go for on eBay.

As for the 2020 iMac compared yours, you will get: T2 chip, improved microphones, improved speakers, improved webcam, latest generation and better performing CPU & GPU, TrueTone display.
 
Last edited:
Comment

Fishrrman

macrumors Core
Feb 20, 2009
20,445
7,254
I would wait a few months to buy a 2020, until prices on the new ones start coming down a bit from major resellers.

Actually, as others said above, the 2017 remains a dandy iMac. It's not like you're going to gain all that much by going from 2017 to 2020...
 
Comment

CheesePuff

macrumors 65816
Sep 3, 2008
1,081
805
Southwest Florida, USA
I would wait a few months to buy a 2020, until prices on the new ones start coming down a bit from major resellers.

Actually, as others said above, the 2017 remains a dandy iMac. It's not like you're going to gain all that much by going from 2017 to 2020...

I disagree, its the first iMac update in 5 generations (2013, 2014, 2015, 2017, 2019) that has major improvements. Others have always been small spec bumps.
 
  • Like
Reactions: sir grotius
Comment

||\||

macrumors 6502
Nov 21, 2019
286
550
Seems silly to me to lose money selling your old Mac and pay the increase for the new one, only gaining a marginal performance improvement.
 
Comment

sir grotius

macrumors member
Jul 21, 2020
41
12
Bucks County, PA
I went from a 2014 iMac to 2020, so was a no brainer to me. The new tech fascinates me, such as the T2 chip, obviously much better CPU and especially GPU, nano glass, etc. I'm with you, where I want to stay with Intel for a now, since I do some work in bootcamp.

You're definitely at the inflexion point, where an argument could be made either way.

If you're on the prosumer side, who is maxing out tasks, like to have all the best gear to remain on the razor's edge, I'd say go for it. It looks to be a great machine and early benchmarks are promising. This could be the pinnacle of the intel/Apple tech.

If you're content with your current setup, but are intrigued with the latest & greatest from Apple, but are otherwise set, you might want to hold off. There could be some pleasant surprises with Apple's internal chip technology, maybe a sexier redesign, plus, they're always advancing something.
 
Comment

CheesePuff

macrumors 65816
Sep 3, 2008
1,081
805
Southwest Florida, USA
The fact he has a working Mac, the performance gap will ne negligible, and he surely can wait a year more.

Unless he truly wants to keep Bootcamp and Windows, better wait.

A quad-core CPU vs an 8-core CPU with more L3 cache, latest generation AMD graphics, 1080p webcam, T2 co-processor, 3-mic array, TrueTone display, Bluetooth 5.0... many improvements
 
Comment

pldelisle

macrumors 68000
May 4, 2020
1,791
1,217
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
A quad-core CPU vs an 8-core CPU with more L3 cache, latest generation AMD graphics, 1080p webcam, T2 co-processor, 3-mic array, TrueTone display, Bluetooth 5.0... many improvements
Yes, sure. It’s a lot of improvements. Do he need all of them for his workflow ?
Nobody will tell you « wooow I got Bluetooth 5.0 it works sooooo much better than 4.whatever I had before » or « I *really* needed a true tone display *all* my life. My life changed. »

I doubt.

Even less with L3 cache.99% of people on this forum doesn’t even know there is cache on a CPU.

If it’s working fine for what he does,then keep it.
 
Comment

filmgirl

macrumors 6502
May 16, 2007
324
198
Seattle, WA
I have the same 2017 iMac (mine has the 580 8GB GPU and I assume you do too), except mine has 48GB of RAM (aftermarket upgraded) and only a 1TB SSD. I pegged the value I could get at around $2000 but am selling way for less ($1500) just because I want to get rid of it and make room for my new 2020 machine. But I'm totally prioritizing getting rid of it over how much money I could get. I’ve already amortized the cost so I’m not worried about getting the most I can for it, which I recognize isn’t how most people work.

But local sales, Craigslist. FB, Offerup, are going to be best.

If you’re someone who can wait to see what Apple Silicon specs are, it’s not a bad idea. But if you’re like me and you have use cases (containers, virtualization, the ability to easily boot an alternative OS, OBS (which runs far better under Windows but needs a beefy graphics card for macOS)) that AS isn’t going to reliably address for probably 18 months, this is an ideal machine that is at its best value prop right now.
 
Comment

CheesePuff

macrumors 65816
Sep 3, 2008
1,081
805
Southwest Florida, USA
Yes, sure. It’s a lot of improvements. Do he need all of them for his workflow ?
Nobody will tell you « wooow I got Bluetooth 5.0 it works sooooo much better than 4.whatever I had before » or « I *really* needed a true tone display *all* my life. My life changed. »

I doubt.

Even less with L3 cache.99% of people on this forum doesn’t even know there is cache on a CPU.

If it’s working fine for what he does,then keep it.

You're talking about someone who has a BTO machine, uses Boot Camp, and knows about Apple Silicon coming (this is referring to the OP of this post who posed the initial question). So I think its fair to say they are well aware of what L3 cache is, the advantages of Bluetooth 5.0, and True Tone. I never said a single feature here is life changing, I think its silly to try to compare anything on a desktop computer to be life saving. The simple fact is, compared to the machine he has now, yes there is fairly significant improvements, the biggest jump we've seen since the initial 5K iMac was released.
 
Comment

pldelisle

macrumors 68000
May 4, 2020
1,791
1,217
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
You're talking about someone who has a BTO machine, uses Boot Camp, and knows about Apple Silicon coming (this is referring to the OP of this post who posed the initial question). So I think its fair to say they are well aware of what L3 cache is, the advantages of Bluetooth 5.0, and True Tone. I never said a single feature here is life changing, I think its silly to try to compare anything on a desktop computer to be life saving. The simple fact is, compared to the machine he has now, yes there is fairly significant improvements, the biggest jump we've seen since the initial 5K iMac was released.

If your argument is only "there are improvements", then yes, you are right. Just like every newer model a computer manufacturer releases.

My argument is that these improvements might not be necessary. If OP thinks it is, then fine. He will probably get it. But none of these features are required/necessary/life changing. They are "nice to have" in my opinion. L3 cache has never, ever been a decision making aspect for any home user buying a computer in the last 2 decades the L3 cache existed.

If he uses its Mac for business and see a rentability aspect for it, then fine again. Maybe having a 5-10 min faster video rendering can worth it at the end of a year. I don't know, I don't do that.

For a normal home user, I doubt it really worths the upgrade.
 
Comment

madeirabhoy

macrumors 65816
Oct 26, 2012
1,126
257
You're talking about someone who has a BTO machine, uses Boot Camp, and knows about Apple Silicon coming (this is referring to the OP of this post who posed the initial question). So I think its fair to say they are well aware of what L3 cache is, the advantages of Bluetooth 5.0, and True Tone. I never said a single feature here is life changing, I think its silly to try to compare anything on a desktop computer to be life saving. The simple fact is, compared to the machine he has now, yes there is fairly significant improvements, the biggest jump we've seen since the initial 5K iMac was released.

just being honest, I've had a BTO machine, use bootcamp, know about apple silicon, but I don't know what an L3 cache is or what the advantage of bluetooth 5 is or indeed True Tone, although im guessing its better.

im also in the position of having a 2017 iMac and wouldnt be selling mine at a loss to fund a 2020 one. it's predecessor was a 2011 iMac and tbh I only got rid of that coz it died.
 
  • Like
Reactions: pldelisle
Comment

CheesePuff

macrumors 65816
Sep 3, 2008
1,081
805
Southwest Florida, USA
If your argument is only "there are improvements", then yes, you are right. Just like every newer model a computer manufacturer releases.

My argument is that these improvements might not be necessary. If OP thinks it is, then fine. He will probably get it. But none of these features are required/necessary/life changing. They are "nice to have" in my opinion. L3 cache has never, ever been a decision making aspect for any home user buying a computer in the last 2 decades the L3 cache existed.

If he uses its Mac for business and see a rentability aspect for it, then fine again. Maybe having a 5-10 min faster video rendering can worth it at the end of a year. I don't know, I don't do that.

For a normal home user, I doubt it really worths the upgrade.

The point I'm making is, from 2017 to 2019 models, there was zero change except for the CPUs. From 2015 to 2017, they replaced Thunderbolt 2 with 3, and improved the CPUs and GPUs (and removed one of the mics).

This is the first model since the initial 5K release that has substantial improvements all around.
 
Comment

||\||

macrumors 6502
Nov 21, 2019
286
550
A quad-core CPU vs an 8-core CPU with more L3 cache, latest generation AMD graphics, 1080p webcam, T2 co-processor, 3-mic array, TrueTone display, Bluetooth 5.0... many improvements
Most of this won't matter to non-professionals.

Any Intel Mac bought now will be almost worthless in a few years. These are soon-to-be-obsolete machines on a timeline that everyone knows about. If you must have Intel, I would wait until the very last moment - either the working machine breaks or Intel Macs are discontinued (or soon to be) and cheap refurbs are for sale.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: pldelisle
Comment

CheesePuff

macrumors 65816
Sep 3, 2008
1,081
805
Southwest Florida, USA
Most of this won't matter to non-professionals.

Any Intel Mac bought now will be almost worthless in a few years. These are soon-to-be-obsolete machines on a timeline that everyone knows about. If you must have Intel, I would wait until the very last moment - either the working machine breaks or Intel Macs are discontinued (or soon to be) and cheap refurbs are for sale.

I highly doubt that they will be almost worthless in a few years. Users who need Intel for either running Windows or older software that won't be ported to Apple Silicon will continue using them, and my guess is Apple will be continuing to support them for at minimum 5 years form today.

Also, I do not agree that improved performance, a drastically better webcam, microphone, speakers do not matter to non-professionals. Most 5K iMac buyers are using it for photo/video editing, music creation, software development, not browsing Facebook.
 
Comment

||\||

macrumors 6502
Nov 21, 2019
286
550
I highly doubt that they will be almost worthless in a few years. Users who need Intel for either running Windows or older software that won't be ported to Apple Silicon will continue using them, and my guess is Apple will be continuing to support them for at minimum 5 years form today.

Also, I do not agree that improved performance, a drastically better webcam, microphone, speakers do not matter to non-professionals. Most 5K iMac buyers are using it for photo/video editing, music creation, software development, not browsing Facebook.
Web cams, mics, and speakers generally don’t mean a thing to creative professionals. I mean, it’s nice to have, but if I am making music on the machine, I am not using the internal speakers and certainly not the mic. None of that really applies to our work.
 
Comment

CheesePuff

macrumors 65816
Sep 3, 2008
1,081
805
Southwest Florida, USA
Web cams, mics, and speakers generally don’t mean a thing to creative professionals. I mean, it’s nice to have, but if I am making music on the machine, I am not using the internal speakers and certainly not the mic. None of that really applies to our work.

As a software developer and entrepreneur, it makes a huge difference to have quality looking and sounding presentations when dealing with anyone from team members to pitching an idea to a VC firm.
 
Comment

||\||

macrumors 6502
Nov 21, 2019
286
550
As a software developer and entrepreneur, it makes a huge difference to have quality looking and sounding presentations when dealing with anyone from team members to pitching an idea to a VC firm.
Presentations on your 27” iMac? 😬Sounds like a niche scenario.
 
Comment
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.