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macrumors newbie
Original poster
Feb 20, 2011
I think I'm going to get a used iMac and was just wondering if there is a particular year and version of imac that is a particularly good deal. Any suggestions appreciated.


macrumors 6502a
Jan 2, 2019
Don't buy 16gb ram from Apple as suggested in the thread. Buy the 8gb and add your own ram, it's extremely simple and much cheaper.

Also, maybe even 256gb ssd would be enough for you, and you can then use an external hard drive or ssd. Depends on what you use it for. But definitely buy the SSD, don't go for the fusion drive.

If you need a good deal, maybe go for the 2017 models, but the 4k 21.5 inch ones?


macrumors 6502
May 13, 2005
I would say the late 2014 27” iMac is the best bang for the buck. It has the 5K retina screen and was the first iMac to offer Thunderbolt 2. Obviously an SSD would be ideal, but they’re hard to find in the wild. Instead look for at least a 1 TB fusion drive. The 2014 iMac still included a 128GB SSD with the Fusion drive. As far as ram, since it’s easily upgradable in the 27” iMac I wouldn’t worry about a machine with only 8GB.


macrumors 6502
Nov 10, 2016
What features do you value?

For basic use the 2010 21.5" models are hard to beat in terms of value. Sure they only have a couple years of life left, but they also have a cheap market value and the 2011 and older 21.5" models share the same user upgradable ram as the 27".

Speaking of which, if want a quad-core i5 and are ok with older bluetooth/USB standards then a 21.5" 2011 is a value year.

On the other hand if you want full-features you are probably looking at a 2013 27" (missing only Retina and TB3/USB-C), and if you want GPU performance value or longevity you probably want to find a refurb/used 2017.


macrumors Penryn
Feb 20, 2009
"what's best bang for buck used iMac?"

That depends on how many "bucks" you have.

Best bet --- buy from Apple's online refurbished store.

Zelda Chestnut

macrumors member
Dec 4, 2018
I just bought from Apple's online refurbished store -- a 2017, 21.5" 4K -- and I love it! And it was a few hundred cheaper than buying new. And it looks, operates, and feels brand new!

Edit: removed a couple words
Last edited:


macrumors 68000
Feb 21, 2011
I just sold my late 2015 27” 3.3ghz 2TB Fusion M395 GPU 32GB Ram OWC. For $1000 on Monday.

Almost 3 years old purchased with AppleCare for $2300.

I have 2 MBP in the home just using the money to pick up a decent thunderbolt monitor

Looking at a 38” Dell 4K


macrumors 68030
Jan 8, 2008
Tampa, Florida
I have a 2010 21.5" iMac in my classroom as my main computer. 3.06GHz i3, 16GB RAM, 256GB SSD, all for around $250 last year. It's quite the snappy, baller computer for a killer price!
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