Can you upgrade a Mac?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by zoebaggins, Dec 31, 2011.

  1. zoebaggins macrumors member

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    Dec 31, 2011
    #1
    I'll be purchasing my first iMac soon (first Apple computer in general, really); I was originally going to get the last model since I'm in dire need of a desktop, but since we're already in the new year, I decided to just wait it out for the new one. I'll most likely be getting the cheaper entry-level model. My question is, is an iMac upgrade-able should what I get not satisfy my needs? I understand that RAM is upgrade-able but that's all I know.
     
  2. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    May 16, 2008
    #2
    From the iMac User Guide:
     
  3. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

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    #3
    Warranty voiding upgrades include; hard drive/ssd, CPU (some models), and GPU/video card (some models).
     
  4. zoebaggins thread starter macrumors member

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    Dec 31, 2011
    #4
    So in terms of most hardware what I originally get is what I'm stuck with, basically?
     
  5. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    May 16, 2008
    #5
    Other than RAM, yes, unless you want to risk voiding the warranty. Some may tell you that you can swap out drives with no warranty problems, but it's not guaranteed.
     
  6. Macman45 macrumors demi-god

    Macman45

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    #6
    The Moral Is

    Go for the top end or the best you can afford. Having said that, many people happily upgrade macs, just search the threads here.

    I have upgraded my 2011 27" iMac to 16GB it came with top spec graphichs 2GB so I really don't need to upgrade it.

    I often point people in the direction of refurbished mac stuff too, it's good value, and all covered by Apple in the usual manner.
     
  7. zoebaggins thread starter macrumors member

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    Dec 31, 2011
    #7
    I was leaning towards refurbished myself, actually. I saw the latest model on Amazon refurbished for $950 or so and I thought that wasn't bad for the base model! I doubt the new one will have any refurbished models though. Probably not till a month after its release.

    But thank you all for your help! Haven't decided if I want the 21" or 27" (assuming they even still have them); I'm afraid 27" might be too big and 21" too small.
     
  8. whjoyjr macrumors newbie

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    Dec 23, 2011
    #8
    Refurb on Amazon?????
     
  9. boy-better-know macrumors 65816

    boy-better-know

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    #9
    Wasn't there talk not so long ago of the iMac and Pro product lines joining which would mean more user serviceable parts in the next apple desktop. If you are waiting for the next gen of iMac, then you may be pleasantly surprised.
    It is all speculation though. I am using my Air for everything productive at the moment so will be getting the next iMac, really excited about it.
     
  10. Lucianrider, Jan 1, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 1, 2012

    Lucianrider macrumors member

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    St. Lucia, West Indies
    #10
    I just purchased a 21.5" and decided to spend the extra money on an i7 upgrade and 1 TB drive rather than go with a base model 27". I also added 8 gigs of ram from Amazon for 40 bucks and I am very happy with my purchase.
    What really made me go with the smaller iMac is that I already had a decent 22" HP monitor from my PC so I have it hooked up and I am running Windows 7 via Parallels on that monitor as I can't cut the Win 7 umbilical just yet.

    To me having two similar sized monitors beats out a 27" anyday. My wife has a 2009 24" so I do have experience with a bigger model.

    Here is what my iMac and the monitor look like:

    [​IMG]
     
  11. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    #11
    Apple Certified Refurbished Products are only available from the online Apple Refurb Store. They are not available elsewhere.
     
  12. robgendreau macrumors 68030

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    Jul 13, 2008
    #12
    Pretty much only the RAM on new iMacs is user replaceable.

    On older iMacs it was relatively easy, if you were super careful, to replace other parts. Not so much now; even hard drive replacement is a pain. Mac stores can do it, but even then it's expensive. And hard drives fail.

    Take a look at ifixit.com and see if any of the models you are interested in are listed, and what it takes to make upgrades. Not trivial on any of them, and if you bust a part you may be in for a big financial hurt.

    Unfortunate, really. At least the drives should be user-replaceable.

    Rob
     
  13. WardC macrumors 68030

    WardC

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    Fort Worth, TX
    #13
    I sent my iMac into OWC (macsales.com) and they added an SSD to the unit, so yes, they are upgradeable, but not user-upgradadeable (other than RAM), and I would not recommend anyone cracking open their display for these drive upgrades. I was not willing to do the upgrade myself so I sent it to OWC.
     
  14. James Craner macrumors 68000

    James Craner

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    Bristol, UK
    #14
    While the iMac is not that upgradeable one factor that is often overlooked by people switching from PC's is the resale value of a Mac is usually much higher in % terms than if you had bought a PC, So if you need to upgrade to a newer model after 2 or 3 years, you will be able to get a pretty good price on EBay, just make sure you keep the original packaging as this helps the resale value.
     
  15. scoobydoo99 macrumors 6502a

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    Mar 11, 2003
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    so cal
    #15
    ^^ this ^^

    There is not really any reason to ever upgrade a Mac. Just sell the old one and get a new one every two years. The resale value is so high, it really is very inexpensive and you are getting ALL new technology - latest motherboard, processor, bus speed, cache size, RAM speed, hard drive size, interfaces, newest version of iLife, etc.

    Don't ever upgrade a Mac.
     
  16. WardC macrumors 68030

    WardC

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    #16
    Well, I bought my iMac at the Apple Store local location, and they did not offer one with an SSD in the store, so I purchased there and opted for the OWC turnkey program to install a 120GB 6G SATA-III Solid State drive in my unit for $399. Now the machine is a lightning fast speed demon and I am sure I have added to the future resale value of the unit. It's also the 3.4GHz i7 model. Very very fast machine indeed. I'm now using my Mac Pro as my work machine at the office.
     
  17. zoebaggins thread starter macrumors member

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    Dec 31, 2011
    #17
    That's what I read in other forums that if the newer models satisfied them more, they sold their old ones instead. My thing is that I plan on keeping this till I'm finished with college (I'm a sophomore but plan on getting my masters) and I'm very firm about things I buy; I don't want any second guessing. It is something to consider but I doubt I'd have the patience for it.
     
  18. doktordoris macrumors 6502a

    doktordoris

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    #18
    I am with these chaps. buy a windows PC and a year later you loose about 70 or 80% of its purchase price, buy a mac and a year later its worth about 70 or 80% of its purchase price.
     
  19. QuantumLo0p macrumors 6502a

    QuantumLo0p

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    #19

    IMO 70-80% is a bit optimistic. Sure there are exceptions; there are always exceptions. Other than resale, and back to the OP, NOT REALLY. Other than ram, in any mac and perhaps maybe a vid card in a Pro, you can't really upgrade anything. OS upgrades, which are totally expected, can be done but don't expect to be loading the latest and greatest version on fairly old hardware. I encourage you to look at the hardware requirements of Snow Leopard and Lion. Of course if you never hang onto hardware long then then that's of no consequence.
     
  20. doktordoris macrumors 6502a

    doktordoris

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    Mar 14, 2009
    #20
    mayhap I was a little optimistic, but I wasn't terribly far off the mark. Perhaps I should have said a year old windows PC is worth about 20% of its purchase price, and a year old mac is worth about 60% or 70%. A lot depends on the cost and type of machine. WHen I spent 2 and a half K on a wintel games machine I lost loads of cash when selling it just under 2 years later. but when a POS stole my 8 month old MBP and I used ebay to work out its value for my insurance company and i told them it was worth 90% of the SRP. They didn't quibble. Top end machines loose cash faster than lower end ones, usually. BUt lets face it apple don't make peasant PCs. SO there are lots of factors to consider when pondering PC depreciation.

    And regarding the OPs original question-No, a normal person will not normally be able to upgrade a mac (other than RAM) If you find you want a beefier machine Just sell it and buy a new one.
     
  21. philipma1957 macrumors 603

    philipma1957

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    Apr 13, 2010
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    Howell, New Jersey
    #21
    here is a 2009 iMac that I sold with snow osx and 16gb ram as the one and only upgrade



    http://www.ebay.com/itm/15069263991...X:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1559.l2649#ht_2115wt_1371


    this is good resale really good. I purchased a 2011 mac mini and a 32 inch jvc tv cost me about 935 .

    So I ended up with more then 300 in my pocket .



    note to mods that machine was sold in nov and I am not selling any iMac on ebay as I no longer own one.
     
  22. MrNomNoms macrumors 65816

    MrNomNoms

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    Jan 25, 2011
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    Wellington, New Zealand
    #22
    CPU's are not upgradeable iirc they're soldiered onto the board - iirc the iMac uses the lo power mobile Intel CPU. Regarding the hard disk, you can upgrade it but you'll need to take it into an authorised Apple repairer to get it done.
     
  23. leman macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2008
    #23
    Please, if you are going to reply on the forums, at least get your facts right... Posts like your's just add to the confusion, and quite unnecessarily so. What you said was true for iMac models years ago, but things change. The correct answers would be:

    1. CPUs are not soldered, they use the normal Intel socket and can - in theiry - be upgraded. However, this is akin to manually "upgrading" the transmission of your car - a rather complicated and delicate procedure where you need special tools and computer-building experience.

    2. iMacs use the regular desktop CPUs and mobile GPUs
     

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