Intel 27" iMac — will 2019 model be much better than 2015 model for longevity?

My wife uses a 2015 27" iMac. She needs to continue using an Intel iMac for the foreseeable future due to a software requirement.

I have been thinking that it would make sense, probably sooner rather than later, to get the ‘last of the line’ 27" iMac so that would last as long as possible as a supported system in terms of OS upgrades.

I’ve found a second hand, near new 2019 model with nearly identical config (newer CPU/GPU of course) for what I believe to be a good price.

So… my question to the hive mind here… is my initial thinking correct? Will the 2019 model significantly outlast the 2015 one in terms of OS support? It’s four years newer, but also already four years old and on the wrong side of an architecture change.

The 2015 has already topped out at Monterey, where the 2019 is still “latest” so there is at least some difference. I just worry about spending the money and then macOS 14 Cupertino ditches it in a few months. Then again… if stuck on Intel, it’s the newest I can possibly go unless…

I also looked at a new (or refurb) Mac mini but that’s over twice the price of the aforementioned iMac when factoring in a Studio Display. Yes I could go for a cheaper display, but that’s not a lottery I want to enter, really.

Edit: Oh… and the Intel requirement is to run a VirtualBox instance of Windows 8.1 — which is also a hard requirement. No future tech is going to run Win8.1 on anything other than an Intel CPU sitting on her desk. (Please don’t make me/her buy a PC.)

It should last longer. They announced a 2020 iMac after announcing Apple Silicon, which was taken to be a commitment to first class macOS compatibility for Intel Macs.

You should be able to rely on OpenCore to squeeze out a couple more years of compatibility after official support ends, too.

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Thanks. I just stumbled on the fact there was a 2020 model.

Better still, for not much more than the 2019 one I was looking at, I found a store-new clearance model!

It’s a wee bit tight on storage, but it’s SSD rather than fusion and that’s very easily addressed.

It also has only 8GB RAM but I guess I can buy after-market RAM, too. A concept I had forgotten existed. :laughing:

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Nice find! I almost got a 2020 earlier this year as well, but settled on a discounted Mac Pro (a machine which is another reason I think Intel support won’t be cut short.)

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Yeah, I don’t think it being Intel will be a concern, as they are still selling Intel Mac Pros, and an Intel Mac Mini.
If/when they do drop support, you can install Linux and run Win 8 in a VM.

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I hadn’t considered that angle. She does use the Mac for all the usual other stuff, too, so would still need macOS every day. I just don’t want to have to sell her on using two different computers. Especially since we could be downsizing our house soon.

I’ve ordered the 2020 model. Now to figure out the RAM.

The RAM is of course depending, on what your wife is going to do with the Mac.
If she is running a VM, it might be a good idea, to not save on the RAM. As you could not add RAM later on, I always take the most I could get for my configuration, and I never regret it.
I rather save on the HDD/SSD, as you could later add unlimited external space, than going short into the RAM decision.

To clarify, it’s a clearance stock item that had 256 GB SSD and 8 GB RAM. So no choice in the matter, unfortunately.

However, the 256 GB should be enough (she’s got my old 2TB iMac and is using 196 GB of it. :laughing: If needs be, I can throw on some external storage.

Meanwhile, being an Intel device, the RAM is user-upgradable, so I have just figured out which exact RAM to order and have ordered 2 x 8 GB to add to the 2 x 4 GB it already has. The current one only has 16 GB total so it’s an improvement. I just need to remember to assign some more of it to the VM when I have migrated it.

According to Crucial it needs DDR4-2666 SODIMMs.

Another option, if necessary, is to use a larger external thunderbolt SSD as the main drive. I’m about to do that with my 2017 iMac which has a fusion drive that’s starting to show it’s age.

Hmm. I hadn’t heard of Open-Core before.

I have an imac 14.2, late 2013 at home. It stopped at Catalina. Also, at the end of last year, Microsoft stopped supporting Office. I would like to upgrade but the iMac 27" screen - even 9 years old - is just so good and I don’t want to “downgrade” to a 24" screen.

According to the Open-Core website, it should be able to run up to Ventura.

I have to confess though to being rather nervous. I did try a similar exercise to run a version of MacOS on a laptop beyond the officially supported version and that wound up bricking the device as it turned out some diode or capacitor or something in the internals had to be removed.