Setting up at home

Hi, Im currently setting up to work from home for the first time (I’ve always worked in an office where all the computers/systems have been supplied).
I want to buy a second hand 27" imac. does the operating system need to be the latest Big Sur? or is catalina ok?
They are asking for $2000 for a late 2014 model thats been internally cleaned and upgraded to Big Sur. Does this sound reasonable?
Anything else I should be wary of?
Thanks Felicity :slight_smile:

That entirely depends on the spec, but it does seem steep to me.

Given that when it comes to new ones, they tend to be a bit more costly here (UK) than in the US, I would imagine second hand would follow suit. I had a friend recently bought a 2013 27” here with 16gb ram for under £500. Look at this site. I am sure there will be something comparable there. $2k seems steep, unless it is really loaded. Even then…

To give you some idea, I can get a 27” 2015 with 16gb ram for under £1k and a 2013 for under £300. I’d do some more hunting.

You can definitely find a better deal for a 27" iMac. Second hand is OK if you know how to deep clean the hard disk. Reconditioned would be better. I replaced my iMac a couple of years ago and I couldn’t afford a second hand one let alone a reconditioned one, but I could afford a brand new one with 0% financing.

I am still running Catalina so I can say it’s ok for current the Adobe Suite, but to future proof as much as possible make sure what you buy can run the latest OS.

I wouldn’t buy a second hand machine without getting a new hard drive installed.
Considering Adobe software will now not run on anything below Catalina, that would be the most base OS you can get and still be operable. I wouldn’t count on the compatibility holding out for 5 years though. Be sure the machine can upgrade to Big Sur. Do not do Monterey yet, but check the specs and be sure Monterey will load on a machine that old. Monterey is still buggy and we are losing valuable time to the crashes and freezes on a 2013 soda coozie test unit running it.

Don’t buy it.

First off, it’s way to expensive for an 8 years old piece of hardware.

Moreover, Apple is in the process of swithching from Intel to ARM processors, so there’s no telling for how much longer they will support such old hardware.

I hope that $2000 price is a typo. You can buy a brand new, current model version of the 27" iMac for $1800.

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Perhaps it has sentimental value. :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

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No, it’s entirely unreasonable to the point of me wondering why you’re even asking. A quick online search indicates that, depending on how it’s configured, it’s probably worth less than $500, if that much.

Hi guys, thank you all for your feedback. I should’ve mentioned this is in Australian Dollars.
New macs here cost closer to $4000. Also the guy selling it to me is a mac operator and says he will give me a 5 year warranty and other details are…

“27” iMac (Late 2014) Retina 5K with 4GHz Intel Core i7 processor, 1 TB NEW SSD Drive, 32GB Memory and very rare 4GB Graphics Card. iMac is in Excellent Like-New Condition with no faults, the display is in perfect A1 condition.

iMac has had full internal clean from dust during SSD Hard drive upgrade. This means all the air vents, fan, fan blades, logic board, power supply and ports have been cleaned from internal dust.


  • 1 TB Solid-State Drive (Brand NEW)
  • 32 GB Memory (Normally 8GB)
  • 4 GHz Intel Core i7 Processor (Normally i5)
  • 4 GB Graphics Card (Normally 2GB)

Comes with Genuine Magic 2 Apple Wireless Keyboard and Mouse and iMac box for transport.

Can be installed with Mojave, Catalina or Big Sur operating system (buyers preference).

This iMac is amazing for photo, video editing or music production or even day trading machine with the option to connect up to 2 additional displays. I have several monitors I can also sell if you need a dual or triple display setup.

I just looked and the exchange rate is 0.$73 AUD to 1.00 USD. In other words, a basic 2014 iMac be worth about $700 AUD. Then again, maybe Macs just cost a bit more in Australia; I haven’t checked into it.

The 32 GB of memory is worth something but is somewhat wasted on an old 2014 iMac with older processors. A new SSD is also good, but if it were me, I’d much rather have it in a newer Mac. The rarity of the graphics card adds nothing to the price and might speak to it being a product that didn’t sell well when it was originally released.

The iMac might look like it’s new, but it’s not. It’s seven years old. It’s nice that the inside has been vacuumed, but that adds little to nothing to the price.

If this is the machine you really want, fine. It’ll run and probably get the job done, but it’s seven years old. You’re buying a Mac that would normally be reaching the end of its useful lifespan. If it were me, I wouldn’t consider it.

I just checked Apple’s website and, yes, Big Sur should run on a 2014 iMac, but it’s the oldest iMac that Big Sur supports. This is a warning sign. As @Jakub_Trybowski, mentioned. it’s anyone’s guess how long Apple will continue to support a 2014 computer. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if the next Mac OS or the one after that is incompatible. To me, it wouldn’t be worth the risk.

The display may look OK, but it might actually be too worn out for color-critical work.

It’s condition should be checked using a colorimeter.

Still, even if the display is OK, that old iMac is definitely not worth the money:

A few months ago I payed the equivalent of 2500 AUD for a brand new HP Envy X360 laptop with a 15,6", 4K AMOLED display, a four-core Intel Core i7 1165G7 Processor + an integrated Iris GPU, 32GB or RAM, a 1TB SSD drive and Windows 10 Professional.

The display has a 95-96% coverage of the Adobe RGB color space and an average delta E of 0.7, which means that its color accuracy is excellent.

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