How long will Core 2 Duo Macs be supported by new OS X releases?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by icemantx, Jul 24, 2013.

  1. macrumors regular

    Mar 16, 2009
    I have an Early 2009 24" iMac C2D 2.93 MHz and was wondering how long Apple will continue to support Macs with the C2D processor with new releases of OS X? Thankfully Mavericks is supported on my iMac, but I am thinking this may be the last major release to support my iMac. The Core 2 Duo was last released by Intel in 2009 (best I can research) and the last Apple products introduced with C2D were in mid-2010 (MacBook/MacBook Pro).

    Possibly one more release after Mavericks then that's it?

  2. macrumors 6502

    Aug 27, 2010
    Sell that p.o.s. Honestly that's the best answer anyone can give you. Even a simple i3 would be faster than your computer and that's like almost 3 years old. Core 2 Duo processors is dinosaur technology....... I could never imagine doing the work I do with such old tech. Editing, Photoshop, I mean anything current from the past 2+ years would rain at snail pace.

    Your best bet is to sell asap and replace with a new model.
  3. macrumors 6502

    Nov 12, 2012
    If you are running a recent version of OSX on it ... yikes! My 2009 iMac (maxed out) is running 10.6 ... even lion was too much of a resource hog!

    Will later versions of OSX run on it? Maybe. Maybe not. The real question is why would you want to unless you really enjoy spinning pizza wheels.
  4. macrumors 68000


    Sep 19, 2006
    Millis, Massachusetts
    I have a 13" June - July 2009 MacBook Pro running 10.8.4. Runs great. The only improvements I made over the years was 8 GB of memory and a 1 TB disk drive. The machine is not slow and it runs just fine. Are the current 2012 - 2013 machines faster? Yes they are. But I expect the machines put out in 2015 - 2016 to make the current machines look slow and obsolete.

    If your iMac is getting the job done for you don't let anyone tell you it is no good.

    I don't know if Mavericks will be the last OSX that Apple supports on our machines. That is really up to Apple and we won't know the answer for at least another year when 10.10 is due out. Enjoy your machine. I'm enjoying mine.
  5. macrumors member


    Mar 29, 2003
    Toronto, Canada
    My Early 2008 (pre-unibody) 15-inch MacBook Pro (2.5 GHz Core 2 Duo, 6 GB of RAM, 500 GB 7200 RPM hard drive, 512 MB graphics card) ran Snow Leopard beautifully. As for Mountain Lion, it's faster than Lion and still an enjoyable experience for most things performance wise. The only things that are oddly slow are startup time and the time it takes everything to load after logging in. Using 21 MB RAW images is also a bit of a task for it, but that's understandable.

    Is it a speed demon? No. Can I get Creative Suite running at non-frustrating speeds? Yes.

    I plan on upgrading it to 10.9.
  6. macrumors member

    Oct 21, 2005
    My wife's 24" mid 2007 with a 2.4 Core 2 duo and 6 GB ram runs fine with 10.8.4. Admittedly, all she does is email, web browsing and a little iPhoto work. No reason to get rid of it yet. I did put an SSD in it a year ago, that seems to make it run faster.
  7. macrumors regular

    Jun 12, 2010
    Ya, I have a 3.06 IMAC running ML and it runs fine. Admittedly I don't do graphics or video editing but with 4 G of memory I usually have 5 or 6 programs open along with XP on Parallels and it runs well.
  8. macrumors newbie

    Dec 29, 2011
    It will be supported for as long as they use Intel processors. The only time they quit supporting a processor is when they change architecture, such as when they switched from power processor to Intel. Now speed wise you are talking something different. I would say max out ram, maybe put in an SSD and you will be fine for several more years for most tasks.
  9. macrumors G3

    Jul 23, 2002
    Sol III - Terra
    Ahh not true. They dropped support for various Power PC systems with almost every OS X release (before they dropped support totally for PowerPC). And they have dropped support for some Intel based systems already.

    I expect the Core Duo systems that are still supported will wind up losing support within a couple of years.

    It could happen with the release after Mavericks, or it could happen after that. It's a tough call. In any case, I suggest you start putting aside money for a new iMac so you will have it when you need it.
  10. macrumors 68030


    Sep 8, 2011
    Eureka Springs, Arkansas
    I have a C2D 2.33GHz with 4GB RAM and SSD running OS X Lion. With SSD it runs office applications just fine, but I have no illusions that it's immortal. I've pushed that machine as far as it's going to go, and I won't be updating it any further.

    If you want to put Mavericks on your C2D definitely look at an SSD upgrade first, I think it would be intolerable without that.
  11. macrumors 6502

    Nov 20, 2012
    Well, considering that any machine that supports 10.8 will also be able to support 10.9, I'd speculate that your 2009 iMac will probably support one further release (10.10?). This is based on a little research of the iMac models and processors that support 10.8, namely, a 2007 iMac with a Merom (65nm) processor, while your machine contains a newer, faster Penryn (45nm). So if Merom processors will handle Mavericks, I would guess that they'll be able to handle the next release too. In fact, it won't surprise me if the 2008 iMacs will handle OS X 10.10 too (given the processors they have).


    I'll echo the SSD comments: by far the best way to breathe new life into an old machine. I got an extra 2 years out of my first gen 2006 17" MBP with an SSD upgrade, and that same SSD now sits in my 2010 iMac. I'll never go back to a spinner.
  12. macrumors 65816

    Jul 7, 2008
    I don't know, but I don't see why it matters. Almost no one needs to run the latest operating system available.
  13. macrumors 68020

    T'hain Esh Kelch

    Aug 5, 2001
    My 2006 MBP with Lion is faster than my 2011 iMac in most things, due to its SSD. Get one.
  14. macrumors 601


    Oct 26, 2009
    Now the earliest Intel Macs have been obsoleted (those that won't run 64-bit OSes) what remains should have a good, long run with support for the graphics processor being what will keep them from being upgraded some time in the future.

    Meanwhile, all those posts about C2D machines being worthless and not able to run Mountain Lion -- I hope they were tongue-in-cheek!

    We've got three Mac minis, an iMac, and a MacBook Air with C2Ds and they are all running Mountain Lion just fine. The MacBook Air even has just 2GB of RAM.
  15. macrumors 6502a


    Nov 16, 2010
    Good to know my parents have a 2008 base model iMac and I was wondering if I should try and sell it and just buy them a refurbished base iMac from Apple. It works perfectly it's just I am afraid it will be obsolete and I won't be able to get them any money for it. I have seen people selling 07s for 500-600 bucks. It just shocks me how much people would spend on a 6 year old computer because it's an apple. Haha HP can't give away their iMac clones with touch frees for 700 haha.
  16. macrumors 68040

    Feb 13, 2012
    Perth, Western Australia
    As with previously phased out hardware - until apple implement a new feature that requires hardware support or third party hardware vendor support to work flawlessly that the machine does not have.
  17. thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 16, 2009
    I would not call it a p.o.s... At least for my needs. I swapped out the 1TB HD for 2TB and created a fusion with the 256GB SSD in the Optical Drive location. The speed with the fusion setup is much better than it was and was a definite improvement in performance.

    Occasionally I do get the spinning pinwheel of death when using iPhoto, but that is generally the only time. I have about 40,000 photos in my iPhoto library and for the most part the iMac still handles photo editing quite well. I do not edit videos as I really do not have the amount of time that requires.

    Once my iMac no longer can get OS updates is about when I will buy a new one. I am thinking after the iMac reaches 5 yrs old next spring or possibly the refresh after this fall whenever that is in 2014.
  18. macrumors 6502

    Nov 20, 2012
    That pinwheeling is most likely due to the photos being stored on the HD portion of the fusion drive, so I doubt a newer machine would make a difference. A larger SSD might, but those get pricey. You're right, it's not a POS at all.
  19. macrumors 68040

    cocky jeremy

    Jul 12, 2008
    Huntington, WV
    Something is wrong with your Mac then. My early 2009 iMac runs OS X 10.8 just fine. It's not even that slow running LR5 and editing huge RAW files.
  20. macrumors demi-god


    Jul 8, 2011
    Have an 2007 C2D 20" and it is running 10.8.4 with ease and will be able to upgrade to 10.9 and still run it with ease. So ignore the POS comments. Still run CS 5.5 occasionally on it as well and again no problems. I also know that the next OS upgrade after 10.9, it will be soon time to consider a new machine.
  21. macrumors 6502

    Nov 12, 2012
    The *minimum* specs for 10.7 were 4 GB. You could do with less (yes, I have tried) but that left less for your applications. I tend to run resource hogs. If I recall, the specs got better in 10.8 than 10.7.

    It is a moot point anyway. Some of my needed applications were never upgraded to lion.
  22. macrumors regular

    Feb 5, 2013
    My early 2010 mbp on mountain lion runs awesome
  23. macrumors G3

    Jul 23, 2002
    Sol III - Terra
    Except that people tend to code new software to the latest OS X. Or at best they go back 1 or 2 major versions. I'm running at least one piece of software that requires 10.8.x. How soon before someone makes software that is 10.9.x only?

    I'm also running a few iOS apps that require 6.0 or 6.1 - that was part of what caused me to replace my 3rd gen iPod Touch. The other part of the iPod touch upgrade was that it was time for a new battery and how much I was able to get for it even needing a new battery.
  24. macrumors 68040

    cocky jeremy

    Jul 12, 2008
    Huntington, WV
    I can't really speak for Lion too much, my iMac had a dying video card that entire year and Apple told me multiple times (Incorrectly) that it was a software problem. Surprise, surprise.. a new video card fixed it. Lion is nothing but bad memories for me, even though it had nothing to do with my issue. lol.
  25. comatory, Jul 27, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2013

    macrumors 6502a


    Apr 10, 2012
    Hmm. I have 2009 15" MBP with C2D running on newest OS X (10.8.4), I have CS5 loaded onto it. It works just fine. I maxed the RAM at 8gigs which helped a lot, since then, it runs perfectly.

    Of course its not super speedy, I have to wait a little longer for Apps to load etc. I do video editing and some light work in AE and its OK so I wouldnt call this "dinosaur technology" - I think PowerPC macs are becoming that.

    Being on low end is sometimes hard but I always found pleasure in using my computers for bit longer - I dont think its really good if you buy new one every year unless you're a pro (in that case it makes biggest sense to sell your gear at good price and pay small difference for newest tech).

    I'd say hunt down some cheap RAM sticks, stay on Snow Leopard - if you want to go Lion, I'd get SSD for fast swapping. Put your old drive in USB enclosure and use that for some data. That is the cheapest solution that will probably squeeze another 2-3 years out of that machine.


    on the other hand if the OP feels adventurous, there is a certainly advantage in going mackintosh way. actually if i were to be satisfied with having a machine for basic use (internet, email, iPhoto, ocassional video editing, games on mid settings), i'd get i3 CPU+8G of RAM, integrated GPU on IvyBridge chipsets should be fine, pop your old harddrive in it. You could use migration assistant to transfer your operating system to new SSD drive.
    I also think these old iMacs can be used as a screen so you wouldnt have to purchase additional display. there are prebuilt $200 IvyBridge i3 boxes (excluding the SSD of course) that might be good for you.

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