Refurbished iMac – Am I Mad?
I really fancy an iMac, for no other reason than I need a new (to me) PC and an all-in-one suits where I do all my PCing. It’ll mostly be used for surfing and streaming, with the streaming viewed on a separate screen, and a bit of GoPro video editing.
I like the look of this;
Both with 16Gb and 1TB Fusion Drive
I am well aware I can buy new for similar money, what are the potential pitfalls of an iMac? Do I really need 16Gb RAM for my intended use?
What are the best alternatives?Posted 1 month ago
For your use I’d buy a new Macbook Air – now below £900.00…
I guess there’s a premium with those you linked to as 27″ screens are no longer available for iMacs (which is mad!). Personally I’d not spend that amount on a refurbed unit.Posted 1 month ago
If you’re going for a separate screen for streaming I’d suggest a secondhand 13″ M1 MacBook Air or Pro. Note that muffinman’s suggestion is only 256Gb. 1Tb would be £1449 new, though some people swear by using cheap external drives for data. As for memory see this excellent comparison by a proper user:
EDIT I too have had excellent refurbed stuff from Apple in the past though the savings aren’t huge.Posted 1 month ago
Have a look at the refurbished ones Apple have on their site –
I picked one up a 27in iMac from Apple when I started my business about 15 years ago, was indistinguishable from a new machine and is somehow still going though not often used any more as using a MacBook Pro with a Apple display works better for me these days (might be worth considering).
Lovely bits of kit, screens are especially good. I’d go with the newest option you can justify the cost of as it’s the newer OS that seems to kill the performance of older machines.Posted 1 month ago
Or just get a new iMac?
By the time you’d added a decent keyboard and mouse to those refurbed ones you won’t be far off new price.Posted 1 month ago
I bought a refurb Macbook Air from Hoxton Macs. Very helpful and the item was actually in “As New” condition.
Very happy.Posted 1 month ago
Personally I would pay the extra and get the M1 24″ iMac- the price differential is not that great from those 2019 i5 machines and you will future proof it for a few more years.Posted 1 month ago
I have an Intel MacBook Pro and my wife has the (much cheaper, but newer) M1 MacBook Air. The difference in speed is staggering – the new chips are insanely good.
As much as I’d like to preserve the value of my MacBook Pro, there’s no way I’d buy an Intel Mac in 2022 unless you REALLY needed that bigger screen or it was very cheap.Posted 1 month ago
Those refurbs are intel processors which Apple is phasing out in favour of its own silicon.
It’s absolutely fine for your use case but something to consider if you might use it for more meaty tasks.
You might be better off looking at a Mac mini if you want a couple of nice screens. Mine can drive a 4K + a qhd with no issues.Posted 1 month ago
id second the M1 chip suggestions, I’d go that way if the number make sense.Posted 1 month ago
the 24″ M1 iMacs are ace.
I’ve been an iMac user since 2007.
I’m at a point where I “need” to look at replacing my current iMac. The new iMacs with the M1 chipsets are lovely but I’m drawn to a Mac mini and a separate screen. Almost as compact but with the advantage of going for a larger display if you can fit it in. Going this route you could upgrade in stages.Posted 1 month ago
I’d jump at those ^ Apple refurbished M1 24″‘s over an intel one ANY day.
I have one, and I’m a very heavy power user
The smaller screen still has the ~same resolution as those 27″ so you don’t lose real estatePosted 1 month ago
Here to join in saying that if your budget can stretch to a M1 model, do it. My work laptop was a maxed out Intel 13″ MBP, replaced with a mid-spec M1 MBP, the performance increase is genuinely shocking and I’ve not actually heard the fan run for months.Posted 1 month ago
M1 all the way – the differnce between a 7 year old iMac (maxed out RAM and SSD) and the basic model Macbook Air was astounding.Posted 1 month ago
I just plug it into a nice 23″ monitor for bigger/double screen action.
The iMac screens really are excellent, you’ll need to spend a lot of money to get something equivalent as a second screen / external screen for a laptop.Posted 1 month ago
Another one for the get apple silicon it is such a big improvement on the intel ones. Also you can pretty much guarantee that all the new OS that come in the future are going to more and more optimised for M chips with work rounds for intel chips until Apple decide they can just ditch supporting non M chip productsPosted 1 month ago
I bought a refurb for music production.
No reason not to go for it – from my experiencePosted 1 month ago
I bought a 2017 iMac from the apple refurb store. gave me 5 years good service. Currently –> over there as my Zwift mule which is brilliant (if a little over-spec’d) for.
Replaced it with an M1 with 24inch screen (also have a second 32in screen as well). It’s a lovely bit of kit and I do notice it’s quicker when editing very large video files. Screen is lovely. Also replaced by 4 year old MacBook Pro with a M1 air. Honestly I could just pipe the video to my second screen and for 99% of what I do it’d be fine.Posted 1 month ago
I’ve had a couple of referb Macs over the years. Absolutely indistinguishable from a new one, other than the price
I was just having a look at the new ones now, even though my present iMac is only 18 months old. Hmmmmmmm…Posted 1 month ago
I wouldn’t buy any intel mac now.Posted 1 month ago
I would buy a refurb but only from the Apple refurb store, they are indistinguishable from new, i have bought a lot of new and refurb macs over the years and the only problem i ever had was with a brand new MacBook pro that crashed every time i picked it up, (turns out that finger pressure on the rear casing when picking up one handed was pushing the ram which had a dodgy connection) replaced under warranty.
just got a new mac studio with the M1 max and it’s way quicker than my intel MacBook pro but this is with huge multi layer PS files (5-20gb) or processing many 16bit tiffs in capture one etc.
I wouldn’t buy an intel mac.
I got a refurb from the apple store, base level m1 macbook air for 850 a year ago. it’s a class computer, and not a mark on it for a refurb. If you are doing anything intensive on it get 16gb though, the 8gb is the bottleneck on this machine, just means I need to shut down apps every now and then, but still should have got 16gb. I pair it with a 27in 4k monitor and it’s sound as a main machine that way too.
Will probably sell and upgrade when the new macbook airs come out.Posted 1 month ago
I went down the route of a Mac mini with the M1 chip and separate screen (because I already had a keyboard, mouse etc). I’m very impressed with it – I wanted the M1 chip and SSD storage so it was fairly future-proof. I’d recommend that route (and it’s quite cost-effective, by Apple standards).Posted 1 month ago
Very happy with the MacBook Pro M1 that I swapped a gaming laptop for. If you need more external storage then budget for an external SSD – with Thunderbolt 4 it’s going to be as fast as having it inside the computer anyway.
It’s weird to be able to do work on a computer without fans humming away in the background.Posted 1 month ago
those refurbs do look good, but I fear it may be daft not to go for an M1 Mac now. MacBook Air would do all you need and more without breaking sweat. (refurb from apple if available)Posted 1 month ago
To add to that, I’m sure the MacBook air would be faster than any Intel Mac. You can look up benchmarks if you like.Posted 1 month ago
We’ve got 2 Macbook Air’s at home (2014 & 2017) – both on Intel chips and work well for what we want.
I’m looking to upgrade mine to something with an M1 chipset and pass my i5 onto my daughter.Posted 1 month ago
Interesting that the Apple refurb prices aren’t too dissimilar to the other outlets- and gives you the option for Apple Care too.
Every refurb I’ve had direct from Apple has been perfect and indistinguishable from new. Having said that are you already a MacOS user, use Mac only applications or do you just fancy a Mac for a change? FWIW I personally wouldn’t bother with another Mac instead of a Windows/Chrome Device. If you are up for spending Mac money you’d getba stupendous Windows device as well.Posted 1 month ago
Just to re-iterate what’s been said, you’d have to be certifiable to buy an Intel Mac now refurb M1s are available!Posted 1 month ago
Neither of those refurbs look very good value for money. And the fusion drives are utter garbage – really slow in general. Definitely not what you want for video editing.
Unless you’re doing lots of video editing 8gb ram would be ok, but 16gb would be nicer. And I would use external SSD drive over the internal drive as they are easier to replace if they die. Plus a lot cheaper.
As others have said the new iMac would be better buy. And have a real warrenty. John Lewis do 2 years as standard.Posted 1 month ago
But macrumors.com reckons there’s a new one coming out soon (probably September).
Don’t buy Intel. They are going to be dumped by Apple and 3rd party software developers in favour of M1 pretty quickly… Like the powerpc to intel switch a few years back…Posted 1 month ago
I don’t really want a laptop, it wont work with the way my desk is laid out and the screen is too small. An all-in-one will clean up my work area nicely and it doesn’t have to be a Mac.
My current PC is a venerable Lenovo ThinkCentre with a 3.2GHz i5, 4GB RAM and an SSD. Current monitor is a 19″ Benq Senseye that’s at least 5 years old.
A new/refurbished M1 iMac is out of my price range, but a Mac Mini would work financially but not aesthetically (SWMBO wants something nice looking).Posted 1 month ago
…Posted 1 month ago
It has been said, but go with an M1 chip. For your current use an Intel one would be fine, but you want to future proof yourself. At the cost Apple charge you want to make sure it’ll last.
I had a 2010 iMac for 12 years. Upgraded with some RAM and SSD in that time. In the end the Wi-Fi started tripping out so replaced with a Mini M1. Got two Dell screens to go with it and looks neat on my desk. The box is small so really it’s the screens that determine the aesthetics.Posted 1 month ago
They’re great. But get an M1 Mac. The comparison even with a fairly good i7 is night and day. M1s turn up on the Apple refurb store.Posted 1 month ago
what are the potential pitfalls of an iMac?
None, they are great (for surfing and streaming)
Do I really need 16Gb RAM for my intended use?
No, not for for surfing and streaming
I have had Macs for 20 years and only just bought my third one. I kept the last one for 12 years and the only reason I changed was because I couldn’t get latest OS around 2 years ago so was not getting any updates at all (security being main concern).Posted 1 month ago
It was getting very slow but after I wiped it and reinstalled the OS (ready to sell) it is now running almost as fast as the new one!
Intel Mac will be ok as long as you’re not planning on needing bleeding edge tech in the future. I expect that there will be around 5 years more support for the machines with OS updates before they are cut loose. The machine will then run happily for another 5 or more years before things become dog slow. Just under 30 years experience of Macs at home and the fourth family machine is due to arrive today or tomorrow.
If you go for the Mac mini wait until WWDC has been and gone early in June and get your name down ASAP for a new box. There are supply problems due to China’s approach to coping with COVID and if you miss the first release it will be a couple of months before delivery (more if you go with a bespoke build).Posted 1 month ago
Intel Mac will be ok
is that just you trying to convince yourself because you’ve just bought one rather than an M1? 🤣 Yes, it’d be fine. But why would you? (Especially at the prices in the OP links!)
I’ve got an old, top-spec i7 iMac with 32 Gb RAM. My new 14″ M1 MBP blows it out of the water! I’ve also just got the new Studio – that is on another planet as far as performance goes (and that’s not even the Ultra version).Posted 1 month ago
A new/refurbished M1 iMac is out of my price range,
The one’s you are linking too are £999.00 at the spec you’ve mentioned and don’t come with keyboard or mouse (or just generic mouse in one case).
If aesthetics are important they you won’t be popping down to PC World for a black Logitec Keyboard and Mouse, then you’ll have to find a keyboard with a Mac layout.
If you buy a new Apple Keyboard and Mouse they cost ££££££s and you won’t be far off the cost of a new base-model iMac.
I just wouldn’t spend a grand on old-tech when new is nearly in reach.
^^^ don’t forget there’s Quidco on Apple Refurb & KRCS (worth about £26 for that one!)Posted 1 month ago
You must be logged in to reply to this topic.
Sign up as a Singletrack Member and you can leave comments on stories, use the classified ads, and post in our forums, do quizzes and more.
Join us, join in, it’s free, and fun.