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amgff84

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Sep 22, 2019
303
254
So, I have had this iMac in my ownership for a while and I finally got around to using it...

In 2016 I purchased an early 09 iMac (24" with the 3.06 GHz CPU) with a graphics card issue. I discovered that adjusting the resolution to 720p can give better results by causing less strain on the GPU. This worked well for my mother because everything is larger on the display, so I gave this machine to my mother. It worked well until a month ago when the GPU completely failed so I took it back and gave her a laptop and hopped on eBay to find a good deal on the HD4850 card (known to fail) to replace my failed Nvidia GT 130.

Any patched OS creates graphical error, so the latest I can run on it is El Capitan. It has 4GB RAM, and a 240 GB laptop HDD. This machine is aged but has good Geekbench results when compared to my 2010 i7 MBP. There are 3 wires, power, keyboard, and mouse. The display is reasonably good... I just can't find anything to hate about this machine, even with the low specs. I might upgrade the RAM by swapping it with something I have lying around, maybe.

Am I crazy that I would want to use this machine in place of my more powerful Hackintosh (comparable to 2013 Mac Pro) running the latest software?

Safari still works, Shadow works, other apps I use still work... Is there a reason I shouldn't run El Capitan, apart from security?

As a side note, this Hackintosh is flawless in function and runs the latest Catalina (10.15.7?) It's obvious that I am not a power user.
 

uller6

macrumors 6502
May 14, 2010
347
264
Macs last a long time! I've had a ton over the years and have never had one totally fail - they always get retired due to old age and software incompatibility (or something way faster comes along). Even my old IIcx from 1990 still works. I'm actively using a late 2009 iMac, but mine is the 27" i7 model running dosdude1's patched 10.14. The 24" iMacs were great machines, so if you can get your work done on your 2009, then by all means keep using it! Save your money for the 2024 iMac.
 
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retta283

macrumors 68020
Jun 8, 2018
2,188
1,994
Victoria, British Columbia
If I recall, getting a replacement GPU for these older 24" iMacs is expensive enough that it would be more cost-effective to buy a newer used iMac, maybe look for a good deal on a 2009-10 27"? 24" iMacs are notorious for GPU failures and screen issues, so I don't trust buying them especially after 10+ years have passed, it may just die again.

In terms of OS support, El Capitan is fine now, but it's always getting more out of date. Safari hasn't been updated since 2018, Firefox has just dropped support this summer, Chrome IIRC is still supporting but it's hard to say for how long. Many App Store apps have dropped support. It is hard to predict what changes to the web will come in the future, so it's a toss-up for how long it will work good online.
 
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amgff84

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Sep 22, 2019
303
254
If I recall, getting a replacement GPU for these older 24" iMacs is expensive enough that it would be more cost-effective to buy a newer used iMac, maybe look for a good deal on a 2009-10 27"? 24" iMacs are notorious for GPU failures and screen issues, so I don't trust buying them especially after 10+ years have passed, it may just die again.

In terms of OS support, El Capitan is fine now, but it's always getting more out of date. Safari hasn't been updated since 2018, Firefox has just dropped support this summer, Chrome IIRC is still supporting but it's hard to say for how long. Many App Store apps have dropped support. It is hard to predict what changes to the web will come in the future, so it's a toss-up for how long it will work good online.

As of now this iMac is working. I did spend a few bucks on a few different MXM cards because I am a tinkerer, but only the HD 4850 ended up working as the GT 130 was beyond dead. At the most, I am browsing eBay or YouTube or running a Slicer program for my 3D printer, and it seems fine for that. My main computer is is up to date, but this iMac makes a good ManCave machine.

I haven't tried High Sierra, but Mojave will not run on this machine without serious graphical issues with this GPU, and the last one was on the way out but would run it.

I don't see a point in spending more money on this machine, but I think I might run it for as long as I can until I am able to buy a newer iMac.
 
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retta283

macrumors 68020
Jun 8, 2018
2,188
1,994
Victoria, British Columbia
As of now this iMac is working. I did spend a few bucks on a few different MXM cards because I am a tinkerer, but only the HD 4850 ended up working as the GT 130 was beyond dead. At the most, I am browsing eBay or YouTube or running a Slicer program for my 3D printer, and it seems fine for that. My main computer is is up to date, but this iMac makes a good ManCave machine.

I haven't tried High Sierra, but Mojave will not run on this machine without serious graphical issues with this GPU, and the last one was on the way out but would run it.

I don't see a point in spending more money on this machine, but I think I might run it for as long as I can until I am able to buy a newer iMac.
Ah, if you've already replaced the GPU then you're good to go. Speed wise I'd put in an SSD if you haven't already, it will make the experience much more enjoyable. With an SSD and maxed out RAM it feels fairly quick and quite modern. C2D is a bottleneck still, but it's good enough for basic things. If the machine lasts for a long time, more power to you. I have a 2008 iMac that works flawlessly and is still fun to use. I did fill up the internal drive though so I may swap it for a 1TB SSD soon.
 
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Nguyen Duc Hieu

macrumors 6502
Jul 5, 2020
440
104
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
So, I have had this iMac in my ownership for a while and I finally got around to using it...

Safari still works, Shadow works, other apps I use still work... Is there a reason I shouldn't run El Capitan, apart from security?

Catalina looks much cooler, dude. !

Screen Shot 2020-10-20 at 00.12.00.png
 
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amgff84

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Sep 22, 2019
303
254
So The update to this machine is;

Runs El Capitan great.
Runs High Sierra great, but you are better off running El Cap with it's most recent update because HS updates don't work well.
Crashes during Mojave Install... actually just turns itself off as if to say, "not today!".
It ran Catalina. That was the OS that did in the last GPU somehow. Too much work I suspect.

I guess I'll return her to El Cap and use her for YouTube like I only do anyways.
 
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Nguyen Duc Hieu

macrumors 6502
Jul 5, 2020
440
104
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
My machine has the dedicated GPU and 3.06 Ghz C2D. Your machine will run the patchers better as my older MacBook did and had similar specs as your iMac. I don't know why, maybe my CPU and GPU just create too much heat.

Maybe Dosdude1 patcher was tested only on the basic configuration of iMac 24in 2009.
It's the GPU that caused trouble.
 
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amgff84

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Sep 22, 2019
303
254
Maybe Dosdude1 patcher was tested only on the basic configuration of iMac 24in 2009.
It's the GPU that caused trouble.

It's possible but it just might be a quark of this machine itself. Due to it's screen size, and audio quality, it makes a great computer to use for content consumption and light use. It even runs Shadow fine, so I can technically game on it. However, anything important is done on my Hackintosh or MacBook.
 
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