How long can an iMac last?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by BlindSoul, Jun 13, 2011.

  1. BlindSoul macrumors 6502

    May 30, 2010

    I'm gonna order today the iMac for $1200 USD. And people keep telling me it doesn't worth a buy because the fact that it has everything in one box doesn't make it last long.

    How long do you guys think an iMac can actually last without replacing any Hard Drive or anything to it?

    Thank you very much! :)
  2. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
    I know people who still use G5 iMacs which haven't been repaired at all.
  3. seandavid010 macrumors newbie

    Jun 28, 2006
    I used my G5 iMac for nearly 6 years until I replaced it last month with a current iMac. Towards the end I couldn't really do any processor-intensive tasks, but it was still fine for poking around on the internet and some word processing.

    Take care of your tools, and they'll take care of you.
  4. kalsta macrumors 68000


    May 17, 2010
    Are you sure you haven't misunderstood what people are saying? Some people simply make the point that it's easier to replace one component of a system when they're separate. For example, if you have a Mac mini with a separate display, and the display bites the dust, your Mac isn't affected. You can choose to buy a new display (since the cost and inconvenience of repairs probably isn't worth it) and you're on your way again. You can also upgrade each component separately if you so choose. With an all-in-one machine, you don't have this same flexibility.

    On the other hand, you have the benefits of less cables and less clutter on your desk, not to mention pretty decent value for money on your purchase. With care, and a bit of luck, your iMac will work just fine for many years to come.
  5. mrzeigler macrumors regular

    Oct 15, 2005
    Once the back-to-school incentive starts, I'm replacing a 2003 G3 that has never had a problem (and, other than speed issues, still works fine).

    Of course, the iLamp models had the guts of the computer in a base with the screen attached with a swivel arm, so although we're comparing iMacs to iMacs it's not exactly apples to apples.
  6. timtom33 macrumors member

    Mar 30, 2011
    With Apple care, its guaranteed to last at a minimum of 3 years, after that depends on luck, if something fails, what it is, and what you can afford to repair.

    The main downsides obviously is its not easy to access and repair anything yourself. So parts and labor will cost you.

    The things mostly likely to fail would probably be HDD, graphics card, PSU, and sometimes the screen can get problems (burns, flickering etc).

    But as people have said, it could run like a dream for 5, 6 years.
  7. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
    But it still worked ;) All computers will become slow at some point, that is inevitable. OP was specifically asking how long the iMac can last without requiring new hardware. How long iMac can last in terms of usability is a different question and totally up to one's usage.
  8. pawtracks macrumors regular

    Dec 11, 2009
    Seattle, WA
    Mine usually lasts until the next one is announced, then it needs to be replaced ;)

    Seriously though, your question is not easily answered. Some, like me have never had an issue with any of my iMacs (happy, satisfied people don't usually post praise about a product "millions" while a few may have issues, they complain readily and often) so it's hard to determine failure rates.

    You are going to eventually have a hard drive failure, not if - but when, always do a backup, search CCC, carbon copy cloner. That being said, I have only had 1 failure in over 30 yrs of countless computers.

    Get applecare for piece of mind and 3yrs of warranty or change a drive out yourself, really not that hard if it comes to it.

    Like most electronics if you have a lemon for some reason, it will show itself during the first yr warranty and should last a long times if you treat it right and protect it from dirt, dust, moisture and power surges.

    Good luck :D
  9. BlindSoul thread starter macrumors 6502

    May 30, 2010
    How much an Apple care in America costs?
    Cause here in Israel it's about $250 USD, And i'm quite sure I'm gonna buy a new computer in the next 2 years so I don't think I might take it...
    Anyways, Thanks guys. As most of you said it lasts for longer than 3 Years which is toally enough for me.
    I really can't wait till it arrives. :)
  10. iMaccore2, Jun 13, 2011
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2011

    iMaccore2 macrumors regular

    Mar 2, 2008
    Boston, MA
    I have the base iMac from late 2007. It will be hitting the four year mark in a couple months. I have not had one problem.

    Edit: In the US, applecare is 170 USD for the iMac. I'm inclined to say that is would be worth it, just in case, but I bought it and didn't use it once.
  11. plumosa macrumors regular


    Mar 17, 2007
    My imac is from 2007 as well, and no problems here whatsoever. I did not buy applecare myself. You have up to a year to purchase applecare and so I just waited to see if there were any problems before purchasing. Now I'm nearly a year out of what the extended applecare would have been and still no issues, so I'm glad I saved the extra cash.

    If my harddrive would fail, I would just grab some suction cups and follow along to ifixit. I've done enough computer repair on other machines to know that I can handle it.

    In the end, the imac is a great, sleek machine that will last for years to come!
  12. Bozola macrumors regular

    Jul 18, 2002
    So close to Redmond, I can smell it!
    I have a blue g3 500mhz iMac that works just as good as when I bought it.
  13. ratzzo macrumors 6502a


    Apr 20, 2011
    I had an iMac G5 but failed a year ago due to a known issue regarding capacitors. Modern iMacs are built from the best materials in the market, their only real issue is tinting which has apparently been fixed. The latest iMac released can last you 6+ years easily, it's a beast. The only downside is software-wise, when something inside it becomes unsupported (ie. PPC->Intel transition and app incompatibility).

    It can last you for years to come if you treat it well from day one. If it ever needs to be replaced, it might just be because Apple tempted you again or there's been a significant change in hardware-software.

    It is a great purchase.
  14. ExnomenDei macrumors regular

    Mar 2, 2010
    An iMac from late 2006 can still get the Lion update, making it current in terms of software at least for at least another year or maybe even two.

    This year's iMacs are the top-of-the-line in terms of tech, with chipsets that other computer builders don't have proper access to yet, and high-end graphics cards for anything that's not custom-built. The 6990M is basically a beast.

    Thunderbolt, if it catches on, will be a great way to futureproof a Mac.

    I say this is a great time to get a long-lasting iMac.
  15. Fried Chicken macrumors 6502

    Fried Chicken

    Jun 11, 2011
    I still have the original rev. 1 core duo iMac... Alas I just upgraded the processor to a 2.0 GHz core 2 duo, but it's still running strong.

    In terms of issues.... none. I want to upgrade to the newer iMac, but I just can't get myself to do it, there is no need for it.

    This iMac can do anything I need it to, including any iLife app. Anything the internet can throw at me, photoshop, movie editing, Civilization IV BTS gaming, it does it all.
  16. MacHamster68 macrumors 68040


    Sep 17, 2009
    this is something nobody can predict really :confused: ... as even these iMac's all look the same and have parts inside that come from the same sources there is always the possibility like with everything you buy that one part fails eventually premature , but with Apple care your cost of part replacement is zero ...and always remember you cant have to many backups ;)
  17. seandavid010 macrumors newbie

    Jun 28, 2006
    Oh, absolutely. In fact, that was the exact point I was making. It was a great little machine, and served its purpose well.
  18. Bear macrumors G3

    Jul 23, 2002
    Sol III - Terra
    Also to help the system last longer, you need at the very least a decent surge suppressor. Although a UPS would be a better idea.
  19. coop macrumors member

    Mar 2, 2006
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    Depending on what you need it for, it should last ypu as long as you want it. My parents still use their G5. My office still uses 5 yr old 20" and 24" imacs- these all use combos of fulemaker, CS4, and office. They still run snappy and have had bo hardware upgrades or failures since we bought them.

    There does come a time where your computer still runs great, but you really need a new one. It is nowhere as soon as a PC. My old imac G3 still runs great, but can't run the latest OS and does not have Airport.

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