Bad time to buy new iMac?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by imanidiot, Oct 17, 2013.

  1. imanidiot, Oct 17, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2013

    imanidiot Suspended

    May 1, 2011
    Denver, CO
    I have a mid-2010 iMac, 21.5. It was my first Mac, and it's been fantastic, never a moment's worry or trouble. However, it IS a little over 3 years old, and AppleCare expired the end of July.

    Coming from years of using Windows machines (HP laptops, primarily), I know that 3 years out seems to represent something of a watershed point for hard drives. Which is why I'm considering a new machine, not because I'm having any problems, but because I'm starting to anticipate them.

    I have an outboard Time Machine drive, and an outboard, bootable Carbon Copy Cloner drive, so I think I should be ok if my hard drive does fail, but I'm not sure I want to wait that long. I'm wondering if I'm being a bit paranoid? And, about the timing thing, I understand that, next week, an event will be held in SF, and among other things, there will probably be some sort of announcement about Mavericks going live, soon. So, if I were to buy a new iMac now, it would ship with ML (i'm still running SL, because it's incredibly stable and does everything I need to do). What are the odds that I'd be be given a complimentary upgrade to Mavericks if I bought a new machine a couple of weeks before the release date?

    I know, I know; nobody knows. I was actually thinking about upgrading to ML, before I realized that it would be a sort of dumb thing to do now. I was going to upgrade because I had an Apple rep suggest that my real worry was losing data, rather than the performance of my existing computer, and that, rather than getting a new machine, perhaps I should replace my existing Time Machine drive and router with a Time Capsule, and then seeing how long I could ride my current iMac.

    One of the reasons I went to a Mac was because of the reputed quality factor, and the fact that Apple machines, typically, enjoyed a longer usable life-span that let's say your average Dell or HP machine. And now that I have to opportunity to find out, I'm afraid to.

    Sorry to be so long-winded, but if anyone has any words of wisdom, please voice them.

  2. SteelBlueTJ macrumors 6502

    Apr 2, 2012
    As long as you have your stuff backed up and a bootable clone drive as you say you do, I wouldn't worry. If your machine is suiting your needs just fine then stick with it. My first Mac was a 2005 Powerbook G4 which is still going strong after 8 years. Never gave me any trouble or had to replaced a thing in it. My parents now use it for web browsing. My second Mac was a 2007 iMac and it was also a great machine with no trouble. I sold it last year for a Macbook Air. So getting 5+ years out of a Mac or a HDD is not unheard of. I have a new iMac on order right now with a 256GB SSD instead of a HDD. I plan to keep my files on an external drive and only the OS and Apps on the internal SSD. That way if anything would ever go wrong with the machine or the SSD, I don't loose everything. Might be something to think about if you upgrade. Also, If you did buy a new iMac now, it's speculated that Apple will offer some sort of free upgrade to Mavericks like they did with Mountain Lion. But nobody knows for sure yet. Goodluck with whatever you decide.
  3. MacRum2011 macrumors regular

    Jul 14, 2011
    I had a 2008 iMac 20-Inch Core 2 Duo, exactly 6 months after Apple Care expired the machine died. It was my first ever Mac. I was without a mac for 12 months while i saved up for another one, that was annoying.

    A relative had a 2009 iMac 27-Inch Core i5, whose machine has died approx 6 months after AppleCare expired.

    I was given the impression that people get long life out of Mac's, but my experience wasn't so, nor was it for my relative. Especially for the price you pay for them. Like most things these days they aren't really made to last much after the warranty/apple care period.

    Guess it kinda comes down to user experience.

    I now have a 27-Inch Core i7 late 2012 model (skinny one) that I got in June 2013. I will say that these ones do not get no where near as hot as a 2007-2011 iMac.

    I think every machine is different, there's no way to really tell how long it will last. As long as you have a backup of everything that is important to you then don't worry, don't have one backup on one external hard drive have a second one, in case one of those decides to die, you just never know with technology.

    For buying a iMac now, well, if your machine is fine for the minute, then just wait until the October 2013 Event and then see if they announce the date for Mavericks and then you can get one with Mavericks. Like anything new, it won't be perfect, and probably never will be. For the price you pay for the new one, you may as well get the latest as possible at the time you buy, as they become obsolete very quickly.
  4. roland.g macrumors 603


    Apr 11, 2005
    One mile up and soaring
    I had a G4 PowerMac that lasted 6 years. I sold it an the new owner has been using it for the last 6 years. It went through multiple OS revisions and the only thing that ever failed was the optical drive while under Applecare.

    I had a 2007 24" iMac that I sold in 2011 to my brother-in-law and his family is still using it 2 years later as their primary machine and nothing has failed on it.

    I had a 2008 unibody 13" MacBook that I sold in 2012 to a family friend and they are still using it without any problems.

    I had a 2011 27" iMac that was working perfectly until it was stolen in a home burglary this summer.

    I have a 2012 MacBook Air that I have had no issues with.

    I also had a Mac Mini for a year between my PowerMac and my first iMac and my father-in-law still has that and is using it. And it is a Core Solo!

    I have never known of a Mac that anyone I knew had die on them out of warranty. But it can and does happen.

    I just ordered a new 27" iMac to replace my stolen unit and I expect it next week. I also expect to be eligible for a free Mavericks upgrade as I believe any machine bought in October will be included in the up-to-date program.

    If you are worried about it, get a new one and sell yours. But you do have backups. While drives fail, they also last for years, so there is no reason to think that yours will go soon. And you will have the option of having it repaired by a third party or Apple and it won't necessarily cost a bunch.

    If you do need your machine fixed at some point, check out The Mac Spa downtown at 17th and Wynkoop and ask for Amy McKnight. She used to work at Apple Cherry Creek before opening her own Mac repair shop.
  5. firedept macrumors 603


    Jul 8, 2011
    I currently have a 2007 20" C2D iMac that still is running as good as when it was new. Also have an iBook G4 that I still occasionally use, but mostly when I travel. Only for email and a little browsing. Never had anything fixed on either. 2007 iMac is slower than my late 2012 27" iMac, but technology has progressed quite a bit since 2007.

    You have a couple of options possible. You can sell your current iMac and use the money towards a new iMac. The other is, if you are satisfied with your current iMac, keep it and get a couple more years out of it. Unless you are looking for more speed as you use it for business.

    I have no intention of buying a newer iMac to replace my 2007 or iBook until they start to give me real problems or are going to cost me money. It is not worth spending money on machines that old.
  6. dcving macrumors newbie

    May 24, 2012
    I also have a 2010 21.5" imac. I replaced the original 500gb seagate hd with a 1tb seagate hd a few months ago. The new hard drive cost 60 dollars and took less than an hour to do the replacement. Turned out great. IIRC the only catch is that if you have to use the same hard drive manufacturer due to the thermal sensor.

    I also replaced the dvd drive with an ssd and fused them together into a fusion drive, but that's another story.
  7. imanidiot, Oct 18, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2013

    imanidiot thread starter Suspended

    May 1, 2011
    Denver, CO
    Thanks for the info, I didn't know about The Mac Spa.


    I very much appreciate all of you sharing your experience and insights. I think I'll wait to see what happens on the 22nd before deciding what to do.
  8. old-wiz macrumors G3

    Mar 26, 2008
    West Suburban Boston Ma
    I have a 2008 24" iMac. I do not use time machine as I prefer to use SuperDuper clones. For me, time machine is overkill.

    I do, however, have multiple Superduper clones which I rotate so I can go back in limited fashion. I don't worry about the HDD on the iMac going kaput since I have plenty of backup and can simply boot from a clone (no more than 4 days old) and I'm back.
  9. Cory5412 macrumors member

    May 14, 2004
    I think that any time your current machine isn't doing what you want it to do, and you can afford a new one, is a good time to buy a new machine.

    That having been said, if your current machine does what you want it to do and you either have some cash to throw at it or you're worried that the hard disk may be on its way out, what I would consider doing is...

    1. Upgrade the memory (maybe to 8GB)
    2. Install Mac OS X 10.8 or 10.9 (when it comes out)
    3. Buy either a Time Capsule or one or more new external hard disk

    Mac OS X 10.8 and 10.9 can do time machine onto rotating disks, so you can have as many external disks doing backup as you'd like, say you have your iMac and three external disks called backup_a, backup_b, and backup_c.

    You can then swap these in and out from your machine and (if you care this much) an off-site location such as a safety deposit box, a friend's house, or a desk drawer at work, if you have that particular luxury.

    If you have and use Time Machine as your primary backup, using CCC or SuperDuper to create a bootable clone to an external disk is another layer and another type of backup which is good to have on hand. In the case that your internal disk does die, you really could keep using the system using a USB 2.0 or Firewire 800 disk for the forseeable future as well. (On a system that only has USB 2 and Firewire 800, FW800 will be preferable for a boot disk.)

    One thing to note is that after a few generations, you can pretty reasonably expect a lot of CPU heavy tasks to be improved on the newer systems. If you do decide that it's time to get a newer system, my recommendation would be to get a model with solid state/flash storage. It's kind of a spendy upgrade, but I suspect it's one of the few things that'll really make a new iMac feel faster than your current one in "average" tasks like web browsing, editing documents in Office/iWork, and opening applications.
  10. roland.g macrumors 603


    Apr 11, 2005
    One mile up and soaring
    This. My 2011 iMac I spent the extra for a SSD + HDD setup and on my 2013 machine I am getting a Fusion drive, which should really be the base config. Having your OS and apps as well as some data on an SSD is a huge performance improvement. Boot, launch, load, access, write times all benefit.

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