Buying First Mac - How long before it gets outdated?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by quentoncassidy, Oct 31, 2010.

  1. quentoncassidy macrumors newbie

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    Oct 31, 2010
    #1
    How long do you think it would be before the low end iMac (4gb ram, 500gb harddrive) is out of date? I don't want to invest in this computer and then come to realize that in 2 years, it will be completely outdated. Currently, I have a 5 year old Dell Inspiron 2400 with 512mb ram and a 70 gb harddrive. Is it worth upgrading to a higher end one, or should I be fine with the one I'm looking at?
     
  2. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

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    #2
    What do you mean by outdated? It will be "outdated" when iMacs get updated but it should satisfy your needs for the next few years. Upgrading to higher end model is not worth it unless you need the speed NOW.

    There will always be newer and faster tech
     
  3. aristobrat macrumors G4

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    Oct 14, 2005
    #3
    Towards the top of MacRumors is a row of tabs. Look for "Buyer's Guide". It will show you Apple's history for releasing hardware updates for each specific model.
     
  4. SandboxGeneral Moderator

    SandboxGeneral

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    #4
    I think you'll be fine for the most part. As far as being outdated, that will come every year as Apple updates their lineups annually. But usually they are just incremental updates which won't necessarily revolutionize you from what you currently have.

    I have a MacBook Pro from early 2007 and I am still using it today. In fact with just about $200 last week I upgraded the RAM and hard drive. I feel as though I just added another 3-5 years to the life of this wonderful machine. I think it was a better investment than spending a few thousand dollars more for a new MacBook Pro.

    I bought a fully maxed out iMac 24" in early 2009, prior to the new iCore Intel processors and I still feel good about the purchase as it should last me quite a long time.
     
  5. quentoncassidy thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Oct 31, 2010
    #5
    I think I meant like when do you think there would be noticeably slower performance on the lower end iMac? A year, 2 years?

    But then again, I think anything is a step up from what I have now...
     
  6. spinnerlys Guest

    spinnerlys

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    #6
    I still use my 2007 C2D 2GHz iMac and it still as fast as it was when I bought it, even faster as I doubled the RAM to 4GB. The only downside is the internal HDD, if it would be an SSD, the machine would be faster.
     
  7. quentoncassidy thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Oct 31, 2010
    #7
    Aren't SSD's extremely expensive in comparison though?
     
  8. spinnerlys Guest

    spinnerlys

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    #8
    SSDs are more expensive when considering the €/GB or $/GB or £/GB, but they might be worth it, as they are up to four times faster than regular HDDs, and my HDD is slowly getting older and slower (60 to 70 MB/s).

    And the "outdated" concept also depends on what you want from that machine and what you use it for. My 2GHz C2D is definitely "outdated" when it comes to modern complex applications like Color or Avid Media Composer, but it will still run those two, though it sometimes gets slow.
     
  9. JayX macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2007
    #9
    You can be safe in the knowledge that if you get an i3/i5/i7 based iMac that OS revisions, as well as first party software, should support your machine for quite a few years to come. One key difference between Apple and MS is that Apple take pride in getting the most out of your machine, and new versions of the OS tend to run better not worse than the previous ones. Naturally, new versions of software might include more complex processes that won't be as quick on your machine as a new store bought one, but that's to be expected.

    While Apple doesn't support the PowerPC based systems anymore, there's still a fair few people using them for their tasks as they don't need anything newer. The iMacs are easy to expand RAM on (up to 16gb officially supported) and you can always swap out the HDD/Optical for an SSD which is a common bottleneck at the moment. The CPU isn't swappable, but in the 2010s it's less about pure grunt of the CPU than it is combination of CPU/RAM/HDD/OS. My MacBook Pro is from 2007, I've swapped out the HDD for a larger model and upgraded it to 4GB RAM and it still handles the 20+ applications I constantly have running and bazillion webpages I leave open just fine. My 27" i7 iMac will undoubtedly floor it in terms of performance, but I could easily live on the laptop alone... I'm just greedy :D
     
  10. raysfan81 macrumors 6502a

    raysfan81

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    Oct 6, 2009
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    North Carolina
    #10
    Outdated is really all relative. Some people think they need a 27" i7 iMac just for web browsing because their old G4, or G5 is a few years old when in reality their old computer can do it just as well without needing to pay $2,000+. In technology as soon as something is released it is outdated because of the fast advances in technology these days. But, if you think that you can get 4+ years of service out of it then I would say its a fine purchase.
     
  11. Apple OC macrumors 68040

    Apple OC

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    Oct 14, 2010
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    Hogtown
    #11
    to answer your question?

    in about 5 years

    Too many people think a refresh will outdate the previous model.

    wait until Sandy Bridge comes out ... the market will be flooded with outdated Macs:cool:
     
  12. quentoncassidy thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Oct 31, 2010
    #12
    Ok, thanks a lot. I think I'm gonna stick with the low-end one. It's not like I'm going to be doing hardcore gaming or anything like that on it. 4-5 years is definitely good enough for me.
     
  13. JayX macrumors member

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    Aug 31, 2007
    #13
    While I agree with the concept that a G4/G5 is more than capable of performing the tasks of most users, the fact that Apple have moved these machines into 'legacy' and out of active support means they should be classed as outdated. Doesn't necessarily mean bad, but it's an important distinction that needs to be advised to people moving into Apple hardware for the first time.
     
  14. Fishrrman macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #14
    "How long before it gets outdated?"

    I'm typing this on a g4/1.25ghz dual-processor PowerMac I got in April of 2004 (the last of its kind).

    It's still going along fine after upgrades (also replaced a cooling fan). In fact, I only recently switched over from 10.3.9 to 10.4.11!

    No plans to retire it. I see at least 2-3 more years of use. It can run Classic and even boot into OS 9 if I had reason to do so.

    I do have an Intel (white) iMac and a MacBook Pro for travelling. But most of the time at home, this old g4 does just what I need!
     

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