Buy a Mac today, how long will it last you?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by mac000, Feb 9, 2007.

  1. mac000 macrumors 6502a

    Sep 6, 2005
    The difference in computer tech. today compared to 5 years ago ( G4 chips) is a gigantic difference. So how long will a Core 2 Duo Laptop that you buy today last? Will it last the same amount of time as the G4/G5 chip computer? Since tech. is always changing and getting better is it only expected to have a certain life span or have we gotten to a state where technology will last longer since its so advanced?
  2. Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

    May 7, 2004
    Sod off
    Starting with my Apple II, every Apple computer I've owned has lasted around 5 years. I don't expect my next Mac to be any different.
  3. bbergie macrumors regular


    Jul 3, 2006
    My old G4 is still going strong, and it is nearing 5 years.
  4. biturbomunkie macrumors 6502a

    Jul 30, 2006
    "last" is rather ambiguous, and varies from user to user.

    i guess we will see updates more frequently with intel. however, that doesn't mean an intel-based mac has a shorter life span.
  5. QCassidy352 macrumors G4


    Mar 20, 2003
    Bay Area
    right. some people still use their G3's all the time and say they work great. Others feel that their dual G5's are "starting to feel slow." If all you want to do is keep running the same OS and apps you run now, it will last until the components fail (i.e. a long time). If by "last" you mean how long will it run the latest software and OS at "full speed," then maybe 3 years?
  6. Umbongo macrumors 601


    Sep 14, 2006
    I think it is hard to say. It depends on how powerful people need their software to be. Number crunching and rendering are likely always going to be able to use the increases in power and cores, but a quad core 3Ghz mobile chip isn't going to help you type an essay faster or refresh macrumors any faster. Baring any revolutionary breakthroughs I would imagine them having the same lifespan as computers have tended to have until now. I think the future of mobile computing is more in powersaving, function and form rather than raw power so it's harder to say than perhaps dekstop/workstation computing.
  7. mac000 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Sep 6, 2005
    to go along with what some other people said, and for myself, when u say 5 years - did the compenents tend to fail after 5 yrs or did you just upgrade hardware after 5 years
  8. iBookG4user macrumors 604


    Jun 27, 2006
    Seattle, WA
    Right now I have an insane period of time that my computers last. First laptop I got lasted 3 months before I got a new one, second one lasted 3 months, third one lasted nine months, and now I'm on my fourth. If you mean last as in how long will I use it, this one will last me two years hopefully (until I graduate high school). But if you mean until I buy a new Mac, then I'm going to be getting a Mac Mini very soon (and a Cube case :D)
  9. iW00t macrumors 68040


    Nov 7, 2006
    Defenders of Apple Guild
    A lot shorter than it used to.

    The trouble with this myth of "Oh I have used my Mac for 20 years" grandpa stories is when Macs were with PowerPC, advances in processor technology come sooooooo slowly. With today's more rapidly updating tech, developers will be able to come up with more creative ways to burn those clock cycles and before you need it, you just need more and more horsepower to keep up with the times.

    Of course you can always keep using that 300mhz G4 for email and web, nobody is saying you can't, but new software will always require more and more juice.
  10. emptyCup macrumors 65816


    Jan 5, 2005
    Although I am not a grandpa, my 1984 Mac still runs, and if I wanted to use it in the same way I did 20 years ago it would be fine. But, as iWoot says, at some point you will want to do new things. You will most likely give up on your machine before it gives up on you. How quickly depends on what you like to do. Gaming is always on the cutting edge but with average pursuits 5 years seems reasonable.
  11. Lovesong macrumors 65816


    Sep 15, 2006
    Stuck beween a rock and a hard place
    I think I'd have to agree with the other posters. It really depends on what the machine is being use for. In the lab I work, we have a 400MHz TiBook that's alive and well, running iTunes daily, and being great for internet/small tasks/whatever. I'm sure that thing will be there for another 3-4 years or so.
    On the other hand, the computer I use at work (a dual 2.5 G5) is starting to show it's age with all the rendering algorithms we're throwing at it. From simple estimations the C2D MBP that I bought in November is about 10-15 times faster.
    I guess the point is that the more demanding your tasks, the more likely you'll need to upgrade sooner.
  12. TheBrazilianGuy macrumors regular

    Jul 26, 2006
    In a Mac centric world, psychology speaking, as soon as Apple release something new.

    In the real non-distorced field world, it will last as much as your real needs.
    Someone surely argued before that calculators should be death by the
    advent of modern computation but this did not happened. Actually,
    another good example is this : ask people who still develops AmigaOS
    systems. They will defend the longevity of AmigaOS forever.

  13. neyoung macrumors member

    Jan 15, 2007
    There are 3 aspects in how long a computer will last in my opinion.

    Build Quality: When will the components fail? Hopefully never :) But nothings perfect and there are always lemons. If you get Apple Care extended warranty then you'll be covered for any repairs for a few years. I usually go by the rule of thumb that components will fail within the first few days of use or years down the road. As long as you take care of your machine your hardware should see a long prosperous life!

    Same Apps: If you run the same programs from day one and don't download updates, your computer should last forever. For most people this isn't practical. But if all you do is check email, surf the web, and write a few documents here and there then you're computer will last a long time baring the hardware doesn't fail. There are some people, my grandparents are an example, that could be running a 10 year old 200 mhz machine and it would do all they need it to.

    Bleeding Edge Apps: If you are constantly upgrading to the latest and greatest software it'll likely be about 2-3 years till you start to notice a slowdown. This doesn't mean that you can't still use the computer. It just means that if you want everything to be blazing fast then you'll want to upgrade at this point. When I was a PC user I'd upgrade components every 1.5 years to stay ahead of the slowdown. Depending on your use you'll want/need to upgrade at different times.

    When someone tells me that they want to upgrade or buy a new computer my first question is what do you do with and/or want to do with your computer. If its nothing different from what they are doing now and have been doing for the past 2-3 years I'll usually just recommend a fresh OS install. There is no reason to spend 3 grand on a computer upgrade when your old machine will accomplish what it needs to. I've saved so many 'internet/email' only type people thousands of dollars with this philosophy. It doesn't work for everyone since a lot of people want to do new things video/music/pictures/etc with their computer. But a great deal of people do the same thing day in and day out and the clowns at bestbuy that would love to make some commission off of you!
  14. Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

    May 7, 2004
    Sod off
    I upgraded after 5 years. As a matter of fact, every Mac I've ever owned is still in my posession and still works.
  15. stainlessliquid macrumors 68000

    Sep 22, 2006
    A computer used for games will last about 2 years at the most before you are forced to upgrade something in it.

    A computer used for the internet can last until a new OS with exclusive web features comes out that isnt compatible with your computer which could be any amount of time. A PC from 1999 is still just as capable at email and web browsing as a top of the line Mac Pro.

    I think as far as a computer used for web is concerned, there wont be any need to upgrade until we start streaming HD video, which is a long ways away.
  16. flyfish29 macrumors 68020


    Feb 4, 2003
    New HAMpshire
    Here is another vote for five years. I have had all mine be my primary computer for five year...except when my school bought me an iBook which I use primarily, but I still use my iMac for pictures, bills, etc. All of those computers though have been very useful for more than five years...I still have my son use my old purple iMac from long ago- there are only a few web sites it can't run- although it is slow on some, it still runs most web sites and is fine for a six year old.
  17. Grakkle macrumors 6502a


    Oct 6, 2006
    I'd go with about five years for average use - not cutting-edge, but running at least some new software.

    Make it two years or less if you really push your machine.
  18. xUKHCx Administrator emeritus


    Jan 15, 2006
    The Kop
    Depends how long you will power will last.

    For me it will probably be about 3 years, had an iMac G5 bought the day it was released, now i am on a Core 2 Duo iMac (my G5 actually was refunded by apple after 2 years due to technical problems).

    So coming up in August is my 3 years of the current iMac design, i will probably buy a new Mac (hopefully a Mac Pro mini if they ever release one or a mac tablet, but if not a new iMac) in about 14 months as i am due to finishing my degree around then and so will no longer be eligible for student discount. My girlfriend/fiancée (may be then, we have already been going out for 4 1/2 years now) will get this iMac.

    Sorry for the few tangents.
  19. Eric Lewis macrumors 68020

    Eric Lewis

    Feb 4, 2007
    CANADA? eh?

    i get a new pc/mac every 2 years..sometimes sooner...

    now..its all macs i buy!
  20. mashinhead macrumors 68030

    Oct 7, 2003
    i concure.

    2yrs Moores law.

    Hard to believe my Macbook is already 8 months old! :eek: where does the time go.
  21. Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

    May 7, 2004
    Sod off
    I agree with 2 years maximum for a power user - especially with games.

    In reality, only a handful of users actually need that currency, and for mainstream use you should be able to go 4-6 years.
  22. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus


    Jan 9, 2004
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    This is a very important aspect... part of the reason that, up until this year's release of Vista, PCs even 2-3 years old looked very good, is that XP was relatively static while OS X went through several revisions. There may or may not be build-quality issues with the new Macs above and beyond the level at which there always have been, but your take on how long a computer will last you will depend on how current you want to be software wise.

    For instance, hardware-wise, my iBook runs like a champ. It doesn't run Tiger outstandingly -- for instance I had to stop using with my 1-2 gigs of mail because it was too much for my poor baby, and I disable Dashboard. So now it's pretty much just carrying documents, running Office, Safari, Adium, iTunes, and recently, the Groupwise client. But it works wonderfully.

    On the other hand, I don't expect Leopard to be pretty on this computer without at least going from 640MB to >1 gig.
  23. TraceyS/FL macrumors 601

    Jan 11, 2007
    North Central Florida
    My 3 yo iBook won't run what I need it to run (Aperture).


    I plan on replacing it with a MacBookPro - which i need to last me 3-4 years. Although hopefully at some point 1/2 way into that lifespan i'll get a desktop, and the pressure won't be on the MBP as much.
  24. dllavaneras macrumors 68000


    Feb 12, 2005
    Caracas, Venezuela
    Put another vote down for 5 years if you're doing basic stuff. I'm approaching 5 years, so there should be a Duo/Quad/Whatever coming this year :)
  25. QCassidy352 macrumors G4


    Mar 20, 2003
    Bay Area
    Your C2D MBP is 10-15x faster than a dual 2.5 G5? You must have gotten one of those top secret octo-core 4 Ghz macbook pros! :rolleyes:

Share This Page