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27" iMacs: Which Would You Choose (2014 vs. Oct 2015)?
Posted by: mrlynn
Date: November 27, 2017 09:09AM
I've been stewing about the upgrade path from my late-2009 iMac 27" with the failing 2TB drive:

[forums.macresource.com]

For a while I've been considering just replacing the drive (with either a big HDD or a small SSD) and keeping the '09 going for a couple of years. But I'm moving toward replacing the machine with a newer iMac, and 'future-proofing' for the next half decade or so. Two reasonably cost-effective options:

(1) OWC has late-2014 27" factory-refurbished iMacs:

[eshop.macsales.com]

These are Model 15,1. The one with 24GB of RAM and a 1TB Fusion drive is $1,600:

Quote

Apple 27-inch iMac with Retina 5K display:
24GB Memory | 1.0TB Fusion Drive
3.5GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i5 Processor

Would OWC substitute a larger drive (say 3 or 4 TB) for fairly short money? Then I'd have a ready replacement for my '09.

(2) Apple has 'October 2015' 27" refurbs available. This one is comparable:

Quote

Refurbished 27-inch iMac 3.3GHz Quad-core Intel Core i5 with Retina 5K display
Originally released October 2015
27-inch (diagonal) Retina 5K display with IPS technology; 5120x2880 resolution
8GB memory
2TB Fusion Drive
AMD Radeon R9 M395

Apple doesn't list the model number.

It's $1,700. To that I'd have to add 6.25% sales tax (technically true for OWC, too, as MA wants a 'use' tax) plus some RAM from OWC. 2TB is what I have now, so this one would do for internal storage, and of course I could add an external to either machine. I do like the idea of keeping my main data together and inside.

According to EveryMac, there are some significant differences between the late-2014 and the late-2015 iMacs, perhaps mostly an improved 'color gamut' in the 2015s:

[everymac.com]

So as between the two, considering mainly the putative improvements in 2015, which would you choose?

/Mr Lynn



"Hillbilly at Harvard"
Honky-tonk Country and Bluegrass
Founded in 1948 by Pappy Ben Minnich
Saturdays 9am - 1pm Eastern
WHRB-FM, Cambridge, MA
Streaming at [www.WHRB.org]
Be there!

The HAH weblog: [hillbillyatharvard.wordpress.com]

Topical weblog: [walkingcreekworld.wordpress.com]

On the river in Saxonville.
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Re: 27" iMacs: Which Would You Choose (2014 vs. Oct 2015)?
Posted by: freeradical
Date: November 27, 2017 09:41AM
I would get the one with the better graphics card, which is the M395. I think it benchmarks about 25% faster than the M290X. I think that a better graphics card will give you better future proofing than any difference between the CPU's of those machines.
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Re: 27" iMacs: Which Would You Choose (2014 vs. Oct 2015)?
Posted by: modelamac
Date: November 27, 2017 09:54AM
Mr Lynn,

I would (and did) get the 2015 unit, in a heartbeat. I paid $1500 for the refurb unit and then bought Apple Care. Assuming it performs as all of the previous Macs I have owned and continues to run, I am now future-proofed until ....... (I am 78).



Mr. Curmudgeon, on Mav/EC/Sierra/blood thinner & some other "old people pills".
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Re: 27" iMacs: Which Would You Choose (2014 vs. Oct 2015)?
Posted by: jdc
Date: November 27, 2017 10:53AM
$1400.

[www.ebay.com]

Applecare anytime in the next 365 days, watch for a sale. I paid $130 for mine.



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Edited 999 time(s). Last edit at 12:08PM by jdc.
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Re: 27" iMacs: Which Would You Choose (2014 vs. Oct 2015)?
Posted by: WHiiP
Date: November 27, 2017 10:59AM
agree smiley

Excellent catch, jdc

This one has a 2TB fusion drive.



Bill
Flagler Beach, FL 32136

Carpe Vino!

Fermentation may have been a greater discovery than fire.
— David Rains Wallace



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/27/2017 11:00AM by WHiiP.
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Re: 27" iMacs: Which Would You Choose (2014 vs. Oct 2015)?
Posted by: jdc
Date: November 27, 2017 11:28AM
IMHO, you really want to stay far away from the $2000 mark with any older model.

If you are gonna go all the way to $2000, or close to it, and want something that will last... then I would say bite the bullet and go with a 2017 model.

adorama or BH for no tax ($100 savings right there) and get the base model.

3.8 i5, 8 GB Radeon 580 and 2 TB fusion, $2100.

As an experiment, Id probably run these with 8 GB of ram to see how they perform -- especially since you have been using a platter based 2009 iMac. Im willing to bet $5 you wouldnt know the difference if I put 2 side by side and said one has 8 GB, the other 32 GB, and had you use them for a day...



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Edited 999 time(s). Last edit at 12:08PM by jdc.
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Re: 27" iMacs: Which Would You Choose (2014 vs. Oct 2015)?
Posted by: mrlynn
Date: November 27, 2017 11:32AM
Quote
jdc
$1400.

[www.ebay.com]

Applecare anytime in the next 365 days, watch for a sale. I paid $130 for mine.

jdc, is this for real? It says 'New'. Not a refurb, not open-box? It's two years old; how can it be?

If there's a problem, will Apple honor the warranty?

/Mr Lynn
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Re: 27" iMacs: Which Would You Choose (2014 vs. Oct 2015)?
Posted by: hal
Date: November 27, 2017 12:01PM
Jump on it! I got my 2015 imac in a similar ebay deal 6 months ago.

Quote
mrlynn
Quote
jdc
$1400.

[www.ebay.com]

Applecare anytime in the next 365 days, watch for a sale. I paid $130 for mine.

jdc, is this for real? It says 'New'. Not a refurb, not open-box? It's two years old; how can it be?

If there's a problem, will Apple honor the warranty?

/Mr Lynn
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Re: 27" iMacs: Which Would You Choose (2014 vs. Oct 2015)?
Posted by: jdc
Date: November 27, 2017 12:08PM
Quote
hal
Jump on it! I got my 2015 imac in a similar ebay deal 6 months ago.
Quote
mrlynn
Quote
jdc
$1400.
[www.ebay.com]
Applecare anytime in the next 365 days, watch for a sale. I paid $130 for mine.

jdc, is this for real? It says 'New'. Not a refurb, not open-box? It's two years old; how can it be?

If there's a problem, will Apple honor the warranty?

/Mr Lynn

hal has a 10th degree blackbelt in ebay, so if he says its good, then Im good.

Applecare it if you are worried -- then 3 years of no worries.



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Edited 999 time(s). Last edit at 12:08PM by jdc.
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Re: 27" iMacs: Which Would You Choose (2014 vs. Oct 2015)?
Posted by: sekker
Date: November 27, 2017 01:43PM
Assurant 2 year extended warranty is only $77 too
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Re: 27" iMacs: Which Would You Choose (2014 vs. Oct 2015)?
Posted by: hal
Date: November 27, 2017 02:14PM
Quote
sekker
Assurant 2 year extended warranty is only $77 too

what is that? and is it trustworthy?
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Re: 27" iMacs: Which Would You Choose (2014 vs. Oct 2015)?
Posted by: mrlynn
Date: November 27, 2017 02:37PM
Quote
sekker
Assurant 2 year extended warranty is only $77 too

I would normally buy Applecare when the first year is up.

/Mr Lynn
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Re: 27" iMacs: Which Would You Choose (2014 vs. Oct 2015)?
Posted by: mrlynn
Date: November 27, 2017 04:05PM
Quote
hal
Jump on it! I got my 2015 imac in a similar ebay deal 6 months ago.

So Hal, could it really be new? Not refurb, nor open-box, nor grey market, nor hot?

Was yours?

/Mr Lynn

EDIT: I sent a message to the seller, and got a response:

Quote

Thank you for your email. We can confirm this item is brand new in the box and comes with its standard 1 year manufacturer warranty.
Please let us know if there is anything else we can help you with.

Thank you,
abby
Customer Support



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/27/2017 04:46PM by mrlynn.
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Re: 27" iMacs: Which Would You Choose (2014 vs. Oct 2015)?
Posted by: jdc
Date: November 27, 2017 05:17PM
Buy it before they run out. 1350 is a great desl



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Edited 999 time(s). Last edit at 12:08PM by jdc.
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Re: 27" iMacs: Which Would You Choose (2014 vs. Oct 2015)?
Posted by: hal
Date: November 27, 2017 07:11PM
I understand your fears, but I've been doing this for years. Mine was an apple refurb and was advertised as such. The serial number is valid and recognized by apples system. A screaming deal at $1400 7 months ago while it was still the current model.

On ebay YOU ARE SAFE - I've gone after incredibly shady deals many times. 99% of them were scams (but oh.... that 1% sure was SWEET) and ebay refunded my money EVERY TIME. The only hitch is that you might have to wait 2-3 for the process to work it's way out, but I'm 99% confident that this is a real deal.

It SHOULD be new - not a refurb - it is being sold as such. If it is NOT NEW (or if it's damaged in any way), you can whine at ebay and they will force the seller to pay for return shipping. You won't be out a penny - just some inconvenience.

Ebay is paradise for buyers, treacherous for sellers.

grab while you can!

Quote
mrlynn
Quote
hal
Jump on it! I got my 2015 imac in a similar ebay deal 6 months ago.

So Hal, could it really be new? Not refurb, nor open-box, nor grey market, nor hot?

Was yours?

/Mr Lynn

EDIT: I sent a message to the seller, and got a response:

Quote

Thank you for your email. We can confirm this item is brand new in the box and comes with its standard 1 year manufacturer warranty.
Please let us know if there is anything else we can help you with.

Thank you,
abby
Customer Support
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Re: 27" iMacs: Which Would You Choose (2014 vs. Oct 2015)?
Posted by: mrlynn
Date: November 27, 2017 07:24PM
Quote
jdc
Buy it before they run out. 1350 is a great deal

OK, I did it. Actually pulled the trigger before I saw Hal's reassuring note--thanks Hal!

Have to wonder where this 6th Ave. outfit is getting brand-new 2015 iMacs--maybe overstock from somewhere?

Anyway, this new computer sells at the Apple refurb store for $340 more, so that makes it a great deal indeed!

And now I can schmool around with my old iMac, putting a new drive in, at my leisure, and not worry if I screw it up.

Thanks for all the advice, guys!

/Mr Lynn
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Re: 27" iMacs: Which Would You Choose (2014 vs. Oct 2015)?
Posted by: N-OS X-tasy!
Date: November 27, 2017 07:45PM
Quote
freeradical
I would get the one with the better graphics card, which is the M395. I think it benchmarks about 25% faster than the M290X. I think that a better graphics card will give you better future proofing than any difference between the CPU's of those machines.

This, and go with an SSD model if possible.



It is what it is.
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Re: 27" iMacs: Which Would You Choose (2014 vs. Oct 2015)?
Posted by: jdc
Date: November 27, 2017 08:30PM
Its a great unit, and what 27" iMacs should really sell for, not the $2300 it originally came out at.

its the fastest Skylake i5 you could get in a 2015 model, with brighter than 2014 5K screen, fusion drive with the 128 GB flash drive (smaller in 1 TB fusion) and M395 GPU.

You would have to BTO to get a faster i7 CPU and 4 GB 395X GPU in a 2015 model.

Its a great rig, if I didnt buy last year, would have bought it today.

Im holding out for a 2017 or 2018 model....



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Edited 999 time(s). Last edit at 12:08PM by jdc.
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Re: 27" iMacs: Which Would You Choose (2014 vs. Oct 2015)?
Posted by: Gilbert
Date: November 27, 2017 10:25PM
Well, I am in for one also. Will be replacing a 2011 27" i7 that has been a solid machine for me.

Thanks for the posting of the eBay ad, jdc!



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/27/2017 10:25PM by Gilbert.
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Re: 27" iMacs: Which Would You Choose (2014 vs. Oct 2015)?
Posted by: N-OS X-tasy!
Date: November 28, 2017 12:42AM
Quote
mrlynn
Have to wonder where this 6th Ave. outfit is getting brand-new 2015 iMacs--maybe overstock from somewhere?

6th Ave Electronics is a legit outfit. I purchased a high end Onkyo A/V receiver from them some years ago - had zero issues with transaction and the gear was in perfect condition.



It is what it is.
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Re: 27" iMacs: Which Would You Choose (2014 vs. Oct 2015)?
Posted by: jdc
Date: November 28, 2017 01:32AM
Quote
Gilbert
Well, I am in for one also. Will be replacing a 2011 27" i7 that has been a solid machine for me.

Thanks for the posting of the eBay ad, jdc!

If you have a SSD in your 2011, the 5K screen will be the biggest thing you notice. And USB 3 if you run externals.

Going from my 2010 2.93 i7 (with 500 GB SSD and 32 GB of ram) to my 2014 3.5 i5 (1 TB fusion and 32 GB of ram) wasnt as big of a speed up as I thought it might be. Only seems a bit faster -- although it allowed for better use of 3 screens and a large USB 3 RAID -- just not earth shattering faster. I dunno, maybe Im off base some.

The screen tho. Crystal. Clear. Especially with small type.



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Edited 999 time(s). Last edit at 12:08PM by jdc.
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Re: 27" iMacs: Which Would You Choose (2014 vs. Oct 2015)?
Posted by: Gilbert
Date: November 28, 2017 12:45PM
I have a homegrown 4.25TB Fusion drive in my 2011. I agree that the screen will be the biggest change. Will also have to bump the memory in the new machine. My current machine has 16GB and that is enough for my needs.

Just got the tracking number and it should be here Saturday!

Quote
jdc
Quote
Gilbert
Well, I am in for one also. Will be replacing a 2011 27" i7 that has been a solid machine for me.

Thanks for the posting of the eBay ad, jdc!

If you have a SSD in your 2011, the 5K screen will be the biggest thing you notice. And USB 3 if you run externals.

Going from my 2010 2.93 i7 (with 500 GB SSD and 32 GB of ram) to my 2014 3.5 i5 (1 TB fusion and 32 GB of ram) wasnt as big of a speed up as I thought it might be. Only seems a bit faster -- although it allowed for better use of 3 screens and a large USB 3 RAID -- just not earth shattering faster. I dunno, maybe Im off base some.

The screen tho. Crystal. Clear. Especially with small type.
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Re: 27" iMacs: Which Would You Choose (2014 vs. Oct 2015)?
Posted by: jdc
Date: November 28, 2017 02:57PM
Best bang for the buck is to add 16 more (2 x 8), for a total of 24. If for whatever reason you decide to go to 32, then only swapping out the original 8.

Going past 32 gets wildly super expensive...



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Edited 999 time(s). Last edit at 12:08PM by jdc.
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