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macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jun 20, 2017

i'm getting a 27 imac with ssd.

however: if it's the 4,2 i7 or the 3,4 i5 i don't care. (will be using it mainly for audio production without lots of plugins).

so i was thinking: if i'd ever need/want to sell it, which one loses more $ in worth in the next years? (seeing it more as an investement)

should i get the most basic 27 or the totally maxed out version? (capital is there)

thank you!


macrumors G3
Nov 23, 2011
Almost impossible to say. Most can't even guarantee how much they'll weigh in 5 years and that's something they have exclusive control over...

Certainly the i7 is a big jump over the i5. RAM is inconsequential as that's upgradable on the 27". SSD is a must for longevity and resell IMO, especially in an iMac.

So if I had to hazard a guess, I'd say the best specs you can afford, minus the RAM.


macrumors 6502
May 20, 2011
From my experience they usually lose value at the same rate. So whichever computer costs more to build from Apple, in 5 years it'll have more resale but it's not like it will hold 90% of its value while other models lose 70% of their value. There may be some cases, such as a 256gb ssd in 5 years might not hold as much value compared to the same model with a 512 or 1gb ssd, but I think those cases are fairly limited. In my experience, most people looking to buy a 5 year old computer are going to look at the specs, see what it was new, and then determine what percentage of the original value they'll pay for it. I don't think many people go looking for a 5 year old computer and then get picky about things spec wise to deduct from the cost.

EDIT: In my area, 5-6 year old computers are going for 400 (base model) all the way up through 900-1000 for a fully maxed out. So both computers lose about 75% despite their performance differences.
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macrumors 68040
Sep 2, 2006
United States
The higher the specs, the more it'll be worth.

But, as for which one will lose the least percentage of its value (as in recouping the money you invested), they'll likely lose approximately the same percentage of your invested dollars.

But, the lower end model will naturally sell for less.

Never look at computers as a financial investment. It's not going to get you much of your invested money back after a few years.

The only way computers make sense as a financial investment, is when they serve to make you money by performing a task that generates money (or a task which minimizes loss of money).


macrumors regular
Sep 27, 2007
The base model will get you the most of your money back after 5 years.
You are better of keeping that upgrade money in your bank account.
People who buy 5 year old computers don't care about specs.
They just want to buy a pretty iMac.

Computers are a bad investments but computer upgrades are even worse ;)
If you don't need the extra power yourself don't buy it.
A 2000$ imac in 2017 will get you back maybe around 1000$ in 5 years. A 3000$ imac will get you back maybe 200$ more if you are lucky. Never any more because otherwise that person might as well buy a 2022 iMac.


macrumors Core
Feb 20, 2009
After 5 years, they're ALL going to lose significant value.

Just buy what you like and want NOW and use it.

Worry about what happens in 2022 when it gets here… ;)


macrumors regular
May 24, 2017
Electronic devices are to help you generate profit such as editing or programming or other business related, or in other forms such as media consumption. The residual value of any devices is depending on the usefulness in that year. For example in 2020, a 1TB SSD maybe as cheap as $50, your 2017 iMac with 256 SSD is going to be very cheap. So, don't worry to much and buy the spec you can afford and enjoy the ride. Btw, make sure you keep your iMac box, you will find your life much easier when you are done with your Mac. :cool:
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