Install Big Sur on 2014 iMac?

I was looking at Apple’s requirements page for installing Big Sur on its various platforms. They recommend that the last viable piece of hardware for installing ir on is the 2014 iMac, model no. 14,4. The 2013 model (listed below it on raw page and incapable of running Big Sur) is 14,2. I purchased my iMac around April or June of 2014 and it is model 14,3 (probably built late 2013). But Apple says nothing about my particular model, which has a 1 TB internal mechanical drive and an Nvidia video card, 8 GB RAM, Intel core i5, etc. However, I’m running it all from an external Samsung T5, which is a lot faster than the mechanical contraption inside. Is this a go or a no go? I’m quite happy with Catalina but there won’t be any future security updates for this version of the OS unfortunately.

An iMac 14,3 is the iMac 21.5 Late 2013 model with either a Core I5 or I7 CPU (thanks to

That Mac isn’t supported by Apple for Big Sur. The earliest model supported according to macOS Big Sur is compatible with these computers - Apple Support is the Mid 2014 model. That’s the one that reports its model as iMac 14,4. And that’s not a “recommendation” - in all likelihood, the Big Sur installer will check the hardware and refuse to install itself.

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Oh, thanks for that. Well, that answers my question. The problem is on that Apple page you link to (which I checked before I posted), it lists the 2014 iMac: * iMac (21.5-inch, Mid 2014). And that’s when I bought the machine. So, although that’s when I bought it from Apple, it’s not a 2014 model?

From everything you’ve said, that’s what seems to have happened. In the middle of 2014 all of the 21.5” iMacs with decent speed CPUs were 2013 models. The mid-2014 Mac had an anemic 1.4GHz i5 CPU - I suspect that was either for a lower price point and/or catering to the education market for that model.

The late-2013 iMacs were sold between Sep 2013 and Oct 2015, whereas the mid-2014 iMac was first sold in Jun 2014 around the time you purchased your earlier model.

OK. Makes sense. I may have bought this before June 2014. I would have to check the purchase date though. Thanks. So, it’s Catalina for the foreseeable future.

Keep in mind that you may also be able to use OpenCore Legacy Patcher to update this older iMac. Whether or not you want to take the risks associated with running a newer MacOS on officially unsupported hardware is up to you. I will say that it has been very successful for me so far.