2009 iMac worth it?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by bobsaget123, Dec 17, 2012.

  1. bobsaget123, Dec 17, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2012

    bobsaget123 macrumors member

    Dec 17, 2012
    Right now I have the option to buy a late 2009 27'' iMac (newer design) in pristine condition, comes will all boxes, and receipt. There is no more apple care, it has a 3.06 dual core processor, 1 TB HDD, 4 GB RAM. Everything sounded like the basic configuration from what I remember. The guy said it runs and looks great, and obviously I would test it before I fork over the $750.

    The reason I am in the market for a new iMac is because my older MacBook Pro is essentially bricked now, and I don't have nearly the money for the new iMac. I found I never moved my Macbook Pro, so that's why I'm going for the larger screen, as it will just sit on my desk. My limit is pretty much $750 (in reality $0, but I can't live without a computer...), and I personally feel it is a decent deal based on what I've seen on eBay (~$800+ for comparable models), but wanted to see what you guys think. Want to make sure the 2009 model didn't have major flaws, etc, and just if it's worth buying a computer that old in general (ie. will it be bricked within a year?)

    Appreciate the advice!
  2. bobsaget123 thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 17, 2012
    nobody has any opinion? Does anybody still have an older iMac that runs well? My MacBook Pro from 2009 started running slower with Mountain Lion, but doesn't have as fast of a processor as the iMac.

  3. BSoares macrumors regular

    Jun 22, 2012
    I have an early 2009 iMac that I'll try to sell soon (I got the 2012 model). It still runs great, never had any issues with it.
  4. bobsaget123 thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 17, 2012
    thanks a lot! The 2012 would be sweet, but like I said this was an unexpected expense and cash is low...
  5. dinggus macrumors 65816

    Jan 17, 2012
    I have a late 2009 iMac with same specs but a 2.66ghz processor. I love it, best computer I've bought.
  6. bobsaget123 thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 17, 2012
    glad it's still going strong. A general question to you, and anybody else with an older model iMac:

    When you upgraded to Mountain Lion, did it become noticeably slower and more unresponsive? When I upgraded my late 2009 MacBook Pro, it absolutely became noticeably slower, especially in multitasking, video watching, and the MAIL APP.

    Any input would be great. Also, if anybody is good at appraising used Mac values, if you could give your opinion on the price of $750.

    Like I said I want a computer that can last me a good 3, 4, 5 years, and don't want to sink $750 into a machine that's going to be slow and useless within a year. Also don't want to get ripped off and am not an expert in pricing.

    Thanks for all the help.

  7. dinggus macrumors 65816

    Jan 17, 2012
    To be honest I haven't noticed anything. I run VMware every once in a blue moon and that's the only time I notice anything.

    If anything just upgrade the RAM.
  8. mactmaster macrumors 6502

    Jun 16, 2010
    $750 seems like a good price for a 27" mac. After 3 years you might have to do some tuning to it to get it to run really well.

    I just did an SSD upgrade on mine and it's running like new. It might need some cleaning on the inside as well. After 3 years it could be pretty dusty inside which will make the fans run loud and the computer run hot.

    For sure you'll need more RAM and if it still has the original HDD you'll want to replace it maybe with an SSD. Some late 2009 iMacs are eligible for a hard drive replacement if they had bad seagate drives. This can be done even if it's out of warranty so check on this if you buy it.
  9. C62008 macrumors newbie

    Jul 31, 2008
    I have a 2008 24" with the 3.06 and the memory is maxed at 4GB. I have the 750 GB HD with a 300MB on it. I don't know if 4GB is maxed on the 2009 but if it is and you want to use software more modern than circa 2009 than I would definitely not buy it at any price. My 2008 has been hobbled by the transition to Snow Leopard and then Lion (I knew better than to upgrade to Mountain Lion). No doubt the issue is RAM so I would be very wary of a 4GB-8GB vintage iMac unless you are strictly using it for email and light web browsing. And $750 is delusional.
  10. dinggus macrumors 65816

    Jan 17, 2012
    He can upgrade the RAM to 16GB.
  11. C62008 macrumors newbie

    Jul 31, 2008
    Ahhh...that should make a world of difference. Still, I think $750 is too much. $500 would be a good deal then you can immediately upgrade the hard drive and RAM.
  12. bobsaget123 thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 17, 2012
    I would have to say, $500 would seem like the steal of the century. On ebay they are going for about $800+, and while that might not be worth it, that's what it is. In fact, the negotiations for this computer started at $1,000!

  13. Wrathwitch macrumors 65816

    Dec 4, 2009
    I still have mine and I bought it in 2009. You should ask the guy selling it if he got the hard drive replaced. I just recently (even with the warranty expired) got the 1TB Seagate hard drive replaced because Apple identified a probability of the HD failing. Even though I had no problem, they replaced it free.

    I think there is absolutely nothing wrong with the iMac. I have the same kind you are considering buying. Sure I would love the sleek new baby, but I am also kind of fond of the optical drive.

    Best of luck to you.

    Edit: I got an email from Apple telling me that my HD qualified for a replacement. And I have never really upgraded to Lion. Quite happy with SNow Leopard tbh.
  14. bbydon macrumors 6502a

    May 18, 2005
    I love my 2009 iMac but the 2011's have thunderbolt. Might be worth considering.
  15. RedCroissant Suspended

    Aug 13, 2011
    My machine is the 2009 20" iMac 2.66GHz model and it is still awesome. I haven't upgraded to ML yet, but I maxed out the RAM to 8GB and installed a 3TB HDD as well. I use Virtual Box to run Windows XP and Vista, Ubuntu, and Linux Mint. I even installed a 3rd party app to be able to use Front Row on it and I couldn't be happier with how it has performed. I think $750 is very reasonable and the machine is well worth it. If I could have a 27" iMac now, I would buy one, but no money so I'll have to wait until I decide my current machine is no longer up to the task.

    With 3 iterations of OS X so far and the fourth waiting for when I can justify the expense to get ML, I am still impressed. Definitely buy it.

    I know someone mentioned a 2011 because of Thunderbolt, but you could also(if you felt like it) send it to OWC and they can install an eSATA port on it(only available for the 27" models) and then you can pick up an eSATA external HDD and have fun with those transfer speeds.
  16. bobsaget123 thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 17, 2012
    Wow, thanks for the great info... To be quite honest I have no use for Thunderbolt, so I'm not too worried about that. I have been very busy lately, but I think I am going to get the computer this weekend. I will let you all know how it goes!

  17. FuriousGreg macrumors member

    Nov 11, 2011
    I have a 2008 24/3.06 with 4GB and it's still running great. I've kept it at Snow Leopard though and I'd recomend that OS if you can find it.

    I would be wary of EBay computers and instead check your city for a store that repairs and sells used Macs (theres a couple in Toronto where I am form example) and buy from them. You'll likely get a fair price and they'll fix any problems that come up within a few months.
  18. Drharrington macrumors member

    Jan 1, 2012
    I own 2 27 imac 3.06 late 2009

    750 is a great price. If it checks out - I wouldn't hesitate. The monitor alone is worth that as it can be used in target display easily with a mini to mini display cable. I threw 16 gb of ram in them. They work great on lion. No issues. It's like your getting the computer for free. Great price.
  19. Drharrington macrumors member

    Jan 1, 2012
    Price to pay for that model

    IMHO anything close to a grand - buy it !!
  20. mmomega macrumors demi-god


    Dec 30, 2009
    DFW, TX
    I have an '09 27" 2.66GHz i5 in my home office that my wife uses and it runs great and has since I bought it new. I changed out the HDD with an Intel X25M SSD in early 2010 and I haven't had to touch it since, it has been powered up practically 24/7 since I got it.
  21. WilliamG macrumors G3

    Mar 29, 2008
    I sold my 2009 27" i7 iMac, and it worked great from day one. I upgraded it with an SSD soon after purchase in late 2009, and it served me perfectly well with 16GB RAM until late 2012 when I replaced it with... the 2012 model.

    Honestly, that price sounds great. You get a great machine, with no worries about image persistence that the 2012s experience, and you get better viewing angles (especially on blacks). I miss the 2009 model for that reason, and I used 5 or 6 of them over the years. All were excellent in regards to the screen, which - let's face it - is one of the main reasons to buy an iMac.
  22. smoking monkey macrumors 65816

    smoking monkey

    Mar 5, 2008
    You Only Live Twice

    Yes. 2008 3.06 4gram 750GB 24inch. It was fine on SL, but when I upgraded to ML (for iCloud reasons), it behaved exactly as you describe above. That's not to say it couldn't be used, but it wasn't as smooth as I'd like either.
  23. Drharrington macrumors member

    Jan 1, 2012
    I own two 27 3.06 late 2009 with 16 GB. Stock drive. On lion - work great.
  24. Dav1boy macrumors member

    Mar 12, 2011
    for 750 that is a deal considering it comes with pretty much everything. i was in the same boat as you. my MBPs logic board recently took a crap on me. i didn't find myself transporting it much anymore so i picked up a 2010 i5 just a few days ago off of craigslist. luckily for me it was brand spankin new, out of warranty though.... not to worried about it since ive good luck with macs throughout the years. besides the recent MBP incident. :eek: i say go for it.
  25. WhiteIphone5 macrumors 65816


    May 27, 2011
    Lima, Peru
    I have a mid 2010 iMac got it for $700. Check amazon bro

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