27” IMac questions and/or advice

My 2013 21.5” iMac spends most of its time “beachballing” than doing what I would like it to.

I have been wanting to take the leap to a 27” iMac and upgrade. I am thinking 3 GHz, 1 TB Fusion Drive.

1st question: Do I upgrade to 16 GB ram from the stock 8?

2nd question: would a 1 TB SSD be worth the money, or is that something I can worry about later.

I have had my 21.5” iMac for 6 years. I have not had any issues with it. The price is the same from Apple as it is at the Apple Authorized Retailer. I will shop locally and support the hometown store. Something that is needed in times like this.

I also thought about adding memory to my old iMac the cost of having them do an upgrade is fairly prohibitive for what I have, IMO. For the money it would go a long ways to a new machine.

1 Like

I bought a refurbished 27” iMac with 8GB RAM and upgraded to 16GB for about $25 buying used Apple RAM from OWC. It made a noticeable difference and saved me a ton of money compared to the other options. Upgrading RAM on the 27” is super simple.

I have a 1TB fusion drive. I figure I will replace it myself in a couple years. It will not be as simple as the RAM replacement, but I try to be frugal.

1 Like

Do not get the 1tb fusion drive. It has a small SSD compared to the 2 and 3tb models. It’s ability to cache data will be minimized. My wife has one with a 3tb drive and it’s barely slower than an all SSD for her needs. If price and space needs are not an issue going with just a SSD will be better but hard to afford the larger models.


I would like to suggest the 27" iMac be built with 16gb of RAM and the 1tb SSD. I’m not a fan of the Fusion Drive setup. Great in theory but not in practice.

This way you get Apple coverage right out of the box for at least one year (three years if you add AppleCare+) giving you great piece of mind. Your usage shows a long term life span. Should you wish to increase RAM later, it will be a DYI project since the 27" model still can be user upgradable. Choose the 2 sticks of 8gb memory option to give you the open slots in the future.


Avoid the fusion drive like the Coronavirus!


I believe the smartest move is to spec the largest SSD that is in your budget, go with the base RAM, and then upgrade the RAM day one with sticks from OWC. Installing new RAM in the 27” iMac is extremely easy – it is built and designed for anyone to be able to do it.

This way you save a lot of money on RAM that you can put towards an SSD which will age much nicer than the Fusion Drive!

(This is exactly what I did with my 2017 27” iMac)


Singing same tune as others here. Buy the biggest SSD you can afford at purchase. Get 16 gb memory on the build or 8gb if a budget constraint. Then in time add as much memory as fits your budget and whim. “Sweet spot” for how much memory you need clearly depends on what you do.


Thank you, all! Confirmed most of my thoughts.

100% this! All SSD is the way to go for long-term performance and reliability.


I am a month in with this new machine. It is outstanding. I still have my 2013 iMac that I used Friday for a zoom meeting, in a nicer room for that sort of thing.

The lack of port in the front of an iMac is about the only thing I do not like. I ordered from Amazon a dock that clamps to the bottom of the iMac. It covers some of the cooling ports on the bottom. Is that something I need to be concerned about? Is it a good or even an okay idea to use something like that?

What dock/hub did you order? I am using the Satechi Hub. @MacSparky recommended the hub in the last holiday gift guide episode back in November. The fact that the hub covers up some of the openings of the iMac’s case was being discussed in the episode.

It is just great and no, I did not experience any issues. :slight_smile:

I am using a variation of that one. It mounts in the same way. It has an SD card reader and a MicroSD card reader. Okay, good. Thank you.