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  • #2141574

    Is the late 2015 iMac still worth it in 2021


    by dexworthy ·


    Im starting to get more into apple and want to start editing videos and producing music. With using apple’s software like final cut pro and Logic pro, Is a late 2015 imac 27 5k still a good purchase.
    My company gives us “at cost” discounts on our in house products. Recently we got a trade in for a Late2015, 27inch 5k retina, 3.2 Quad i5, 1TB Fusion. 8GB Memory iMac. 
    My cost to purchase since I work for the company would be $600. Is that a steal? Also how would the longevity be? I was also going to upgrade it by putting in 16Gb of more Ram and eventually putting a full SSD in it, instead of the fusion.
    Let me know what you think!

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    • #2412945
      Avatar photo

      I have to write no.

      by rproffitt ·

      In reply to Is the late 2015 iMac still worth it in 2021

      This is too old in my view. Your plan is good as to RAM but the SSD, even a 1TB is right about 100USD here so I would change the drive first, not second. The payoff is big compared to more RAM.

      As I read my no is now NOOoo… NO SCHEMATIC so it appears that if there is ever a problem you are S.O.L!

      The price is far too high for this machine IMO that is a pain to replace that drive.


      Final answer: No. Don’t do it.

      • #2412940
        Avatar photo

        Replacing the drive in any iMac

        by mrmacfixit ·

        In reply to I have to write no.

        since 2012 has been a pain.
        That was the first year they started using glue to hold the screen cover in place.
        This 2015 could have either a 5400rpm hard drive or a Fusion drive which is a combination of SSD and HDD.
        It is still supported by Apple and, according to them, is capable of running the latest version of the MacOS (Big Sur). That said, I probably would not take it further than 10.14.xx (Mojave)
        Maximum RAM is 64GB and is user replaceable.
        As to price, I have seen them go from the high $500’s to $1200 and change.
        Final Cut Pro, current version, requires MacOS 10.14, 8GB of RAM and 16GB of VRAM, the 2015 machine has either 2GB or 4GB of VRAM That “might” be sufficient for non-4K editing
        While the price may be OK, the specs are way below what you would need for anything but the simplest of editing and sound producing.
        iMovie, which comes with the Mac, is fairly capable of video editing but not on a par with FCP.
        If you have $600 to spare, it would be worth it to dip your toe into the Apple world but not really for your stated objectives.

    • #3949066

      I still work on a 3.2 GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i5, late 2015

      by Cristie850 ·

      In reply to Is the late 2015 iMac still worth it in 2021

      I love my 2015 iMac. Bought it brand new.

      2022 — I just upgraded RAM to 32 GB. I have the graphics AMD Radeon R9 M390 2 GB. I will probably keep for about 1-2 more years then donate resell it or donate it. I’ve never had any technical issues except upgrading to Catalina and started getting blue screen. I can fix it by rebooting or let it fall asleep on its own, for some reason when I manually put it to sleep the screen turns blue. I’ve also backed my desktop using Dropbox. It’s in near mint condition, no scratches, etc. The only thing is you can see some black area in the back where it seems that note enough air flow near the vent.

      I am a designer and I do a lot of social media and graphics on it from Camtasia, Canva to Adobe Premiere Rush. I don’t have issues and it works just the same as day I got it (now with the RAM upgrade).

      I find Mac outlasts so much worth the investment before I have to upgrade.

      Hope this helps.

    • #3959823

      Reply To: Is the late 2015 iMac still worth it in 2021

      by Tim W. ·

      In reply to Is the late 2015 iMac still worth it in 2021

      Although the question seems to be 10 months old, here is an answer in 2022. I run an iMac Late 2015 with 16 GB RAM, 4 GHZ i7, and an R9 Video Card with 4 GB RAM, the “maximum” you could buy during the days. The system is working fine and is good for most “modern” Applications, which are:
      – Monterey
      – Sidecar with iPad
      – Universal Control
      All work fine.
      There are two things to keep in mind:
      – The set of interfaces is “old”, i.e. we are talking about Thunderbolt 2, which has 20 GBit/s Bus Speed and the “old” Miniport Cables. They can be made compatible with Thunderbolt 3, but you need adaptors (and maybe a Hub due to the fact TB 2 does not support Power over TB). If you can live with that, you are just fine.
      – Obviously, the processor is not the newest, so for workloads such as 4K Video Editing the system may reach limits. Editing Videos below 4K is just fine, the same is true for Audio and Logic, depending on how many Tracks and Plugins you are running. For my purposes it’s just lightning fast.

      One last thing: the system is based in PCI Express 3, i.e. if you need ultrafast HDD with 3 GB/s and more, look for a newer system. However, the HD Performance can be optimised with a fast HDD and an adapter, and practically has similar performance to say an M1 Macbook Pro. Yes, you read that right.

      Given the price of less than 1K and a good 27″ 5K monitor the question is clearly not whether the system still makes sense, but only, whether your individual workloads might require something newer. In case of all the little “features” the system does indeed support all of Apples newer innovations as long as they are not exclusively bound to Apple Silicon.

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