Are older macs a good buy?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by johnpateley, Jun 10, 2012.

  1. johnpateley macrumors newbie

    Jun 10, 2012
    Yorkshire Dales England
    Hello everyone I am a pc user for the last 10 years. I am very keen to try a mac but cannot afford anew one £1000!
    So the question I would like answering is.
    1 Are macs from 2007-8 still capable machines?
    2 can you upgrade the operating system and what would this cost?
    3 can the hd be upgraded easily?
    My main interest is photo editing.
    Any information greatfully received.
    Many thanks John
  2. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    Yes, very capable. I'm running an Early 2008 MBP that runs just as well as it did right out of the box. There's nothing I need or want it to do that it doesn't handle quite well.
    Yes, you can upgrade to Lion (the most current OS) for $29.
    Yes, except the MacBook Air.
  3. r0k macrumors 68040


    Mar 3, 2008
    I'm running a 2008 White MB and it works fine. I've upgraded the RAM to 4GB and the HDD to a 500 GB hybrid SSD. There is one caveat however. I can't run Mountain Lion when it comes out. For this reason, you might want to avoid older low-end Macs. A 2008 or later MBP might run ML just fine, but a Black or White Macbook or Mac Mini from that era will not.

    When ML developer preview came out, I picked up a $469 refurb 2010 Mini and upgraded it to 8GB of RAM. It is not my main machine right now because ML is beta but it might become my main machine. A 2010 Mini might be an excellent opportunity for you to give OSX a try. BTW, make sure you allow a little extra for an Apple Keyboard. You can use a windows keyboard but it's not something I would recommend. The reason I suggest the 2010 Mini is it still had an optical drive and it also has HDMI out. Of course the newer minis are a lot faster but they took away the optical drive. If the absence of an optical drive is not important to you, consider a newer mini. BTW another older machine to avoid is the older Macbook Air. The early ones were severely underpowered. They had a refurb offered in the Apple store for $699 and it wasn't at all worth it for the model they were selling.

    If you're interested in staying up with the current OS, newer is better or not-so-new-but-higher-end is better.
  4. thekev macrumors 604


    Aug 5, 2010
    I would suggest checking out any used computer thoroughly. If it's an imac, look over the display carefully. In terms of power, no one can give you a perfect answer there. Macs are roughly comparable in computing power to what you could expect from a Windows PC with similar hardware. While some things run a little better on one or the other, you should look for hardware that you'd be happy with under Windows. Also keep in mind that Apple guarantees you 4-5 years of support on a given system. Beyond a certain age, they reserve the right to stop updating them. Because of this I'd go with something newer if you can, as many of the 2008 models are officially (they might still run) being cut from Mountain Lion.
  5. Drew017 macrumors 65816


    May 29, 2011
    East coast, USA
    definitely depends on the computer (MacBook, iMac, MacBook Pro etc), and its condition! My first Mac was from 2003, and it still works! You'll be fine :D
  6. rei101 macrumors 6502a

    Dec 24, 2011
    The only thing I would change from an used Mac is the hard drive. You do not know when is going to die.

    The rest of the components never give problems, and if they do, the mac just wont start up. Basically what can go wrong is the mother board or the video card. If is the mother board the machine just die right away. If is the video card the screen wont look right. The other thing is the hard drive and just get a new one. OR get an external one and back up all your files there.

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