How long do they last?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by Artimus, Jul 14, 2004.

  1. Artimus macrumors newbie

    Jul 11, 2004
    If I get an apple it'll have to last me a long time. It worries me the way Apple likes to outdate stuff constantly. How long do Apples usually stay up-to-date on the market?

    I'll be getting a 15" Powerbook with max everything (except just 1GB of ram) and can always do some small upgrades (such as more ram in the future). PCs are very good about working for long times. What about Macs?
  2. patrick0brien macrumors 68040


    Oct 24, 2002
    The West Loop

    The typical design lifetime for Macs is about 5 years, wherease your typical PC is two (that bell curve is influenced most by Dell).

    That being said - that was hardware. You concern about sotware is mighty valid too, bit due to the big adoptions of a few years ago, Firewire ports, USB, and OS X, it will be a long time before we see another sea change - but your machine may well still be in use when that happens.
  3. Dr. Dastardly macrumors 65816

    Dr. Dastardly

    Jun 26, 2004
    I live in a giant bucket!
    I know people who still Run a 300mhz Mac with todays software and it runs relatively smooth despite its "shortcommings". I think you will have no problem.
  4. Horrortaxi macrumors 68020


    Jul 6, 2003
    Los Angeles
    There have been 2 big shifts in the last few years that made the older machines obsolete. The biggest was the move away from the old architecture that started with the iMac in 1998. ADB and serial ports are gone. USB and Firewire are in. That's 6 years ago, by the way--it's already a long time ago. The other move was OS X, which has been around for a few years too. So it's not that Apple is "constantly" switching things around and making the old stuff obsolete. They're not. They just made a big shift a few years ago and you can really see a clear difference between old and new Macs. That's all. You don't have to worry about anything changing in the next few years.

    So how long to Macs last? Probably anything newer than a 1st gen iMac is still viable and supported. The Macs in my house range in age from 1.5 years to 7 years old. The 5 year old G4 still runs all the Adobe and Macromedia apps as well as it needs to.

    Where do you get your information that PCs last a long time? I haven't observed that. I've seen the need for major upgrades in the 2nd year pretty much as a rule. Complete replacement after about 3 years seems pretty common as well.
  5. Artimus thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 11, 2004
    I should ask at a PC forum and see the exact answers reversed ;)

    My PC is currently 3 and 1/2 years old and while it could use 512 ram (has 258) it runs perfectly fine. It's not too slow, and does pretty much everything. I'd add a firewire port and the ram and other than that it'd be fine. My mother will probably use it for another 4 or 5 years without much trouble.

    But if there will be no huge changes then I guess it's not an issue. Though I'm still not entirely sold. What are the 3 biggest benefits to a Mac besides their physical coolness?
  6. PlaceofDis macrumors Core

    Jan 6, 2004
    1. OS X - rock solid operation system
    2. Ease of Use
    3. safe & secure
  7. Euthyphro macrumors newbie

    Jul 2, 2004
    Well, I'm finally upgrading from our 6-yr-old 233 rev.B iMac this year. :eek: We used it for basic tasks: web, email, word processing, quicken, etc. With 384MB ram, it even ran Photoshop 7.x decently. It was on OS 10.1.x

    I did upgrade the RAM, HD, and added an iPort to it during its lifetime.

    It will now be delegated as a web server/guest computer.
  8. flyfish29 macrumors 68020


    Feb 4, 2003
    New HAMpshire
    I would add to the Ease of Use- fully integrated applications built right into the os or come free with the os.

    But really, what are you wanting to do with the mac? that is the only way we can tell you macs are for you or not. You will (for the most part) get honest feedback about whether they are or aren't for you (minus a few posters with too much of a bias). :rolleyes:

    I have always used my macs for at least four years and then I have sold them for quite a bit of cash and upgraded. I am not a full on power user- I have used QuarkXpress desktop publishing software, various web design programs, etc on these machines no problem for the four year. It just depends on what you want to do with it whether it is best for you, and there are major differences between the "consumer" and "pro" machines (ie. the consumer ships with much more software that most typcial non-power users would want).
  9. Timelessblur macrumors 65816


    Jun 26, 2004
    I think the biggest problem is people think mac out last PCs but not by as much as people think they do. Dell really messed up the market selling 300-400 buck computers. Those will have a shorter life span but if you go up to about 1200 *desent emac and PC price now you just up there full useble age to about 4+ years before software starts coming out that they can not run. From there they still have another few years left in them.
    Here at home we have a gateway computer that is 4-4.5 years old and software just started coming out that it could not really run. All of it being games for the most part. Now I exact that computer to be used until it run into the ground and starts having major hardwarefailures. It needs a ram upgrade up to 512 (currently 256 uprgraded from 128) but those are pretty cheap upgrades. and it may be needing a new harddrive due to age and the 40 gig is getting kind of full. It just getting in to that age range where harddrives start failing and there is a lot of stuff on there we dont want to loose. But hardware wise both apple and PC have about the same hardware life. Processors have about and mobo have a 10 year lifespan. Harddrive 5 years. Ram just does not go bad or it general trashed by the time it does already.

    general speaking computer now if you get pay a desent price (1200+) they will be fine with out any major upgrades for 4 years after that they will need a some upgrade. after 5-6 the need to be replaced with something new. But also as it stands hardware devolment is out running the software devoloment so that age may increase even more. Unless of coarse the 64 bit revolutoin going on moves even faster than I expect and that can really mess people up.
  10. Sheebahawk macrumors member

    Apr 2, 2003
    Long Beach California
    Apples last a long ass time

    been using apples all my life, and my four year old imac has only gotten faster with each OSX upgrade. I can do anything on my mac as fast as my brother can on his new top of the line PC (well not games, but other than that

    Longevity is definately one of the advantages of buying an Apple computer, I still have macs on 68030 processors that run the same as they did ten years ago. I can probably get another 4 years out of my 450mhz imac DV. its beeen turned on relatively nonstop since I got it.

    I have a powerbook 190 with the original battery that still holds a charge for 45+ minutes, I think it has 4 greytone colors, and Ive used it as a placemat, doorstop, and stepping stool. The shift key is sticky though. Macs age very gracefully, at least if its only used by one person or one family, and not being used by a student lab, though I dont think those ibm jr's I used way back took much abuse either.

    Oh yeah ive taken this imac 1000+ miles on the road sitting in a trunk, I could play volleyball with this thing.

    if I listed the three best things about macs, they'd be

    1. Ease of use, I never have to fight the computer, the OS works for me, it makes my life easier when compared to when I use windows, which I find I constantly have to fight the system to get it to actually do what I want. OSX runs multiple programs VERY sleekly, when in windows, you cant always tell what is running in the background even with the Cntrl alt del, window opened, and any little program can take over your system for its own designs. XP is not nearly as stable as I thought it was when it first came out.

    2. Reliability, Its not something I even have to think about, it works connstantly and consistantly. Apples dont degenerate over time, they might have mechanical failures, but all machines do, its part of life, and Apple has always used the highest quality components so even that is as limited as is practical

    3. Im ahead of the pack as far as features, my computer can do things 98% of computers wont be able to consider doing for four more years, if I started listing them, this post would be even longer.

    The worst thing about macs is that they are expensive, but Ive never purchased one I regretted, I think my Imac DV may have been the smartest product I ever bought. Gaming on a mac is particularly expensive. I wish I could afford a 6 thousand dollar system just to play call of duty on a 30 inch screen. im rambling, but im sure i madce my point somewhere
  11. PlaceofDis macrumors Core

    Jan 6, 2004
    i wouldnt say macs are expensive, they may seem more expensive when compared to the 'cheap' PCs, but a comparable PC is just as much as a mac, there are just no extremely low end macs, but i will totally agree that macs are not a gamer's machine at all - there just are not as many games, nor can it be done cheaply
  12. solvs macrumors 603


    Jun 25, 2002
    LaLaLand, CA
    Well, I guess if you're talking upgrade-ability, I guess PCs can be thought of as better. You can take the same case, most of the time the same power supply - sometimes even the same drives, RAM, motherboard - and upgrade the heck out of it with off the shelf parts. You can do the same with Macs with RAM, drives, etc. CPU upgrades are a bit more expensive, other parts even worse. But it's still possible.

    The best thing is that most of the latest upgrades to the Mac OS have made systems faster. And although some older computers have been left by the wayside, say if they don't have built-in USB or firewire, most of them can still run the latest stuff.

    If you're looking at notebooks, they aren't too upgradable on either side. Hard drives and RAM mostly.

    If you get a PowerBook now with a 1.5 G4, 128 MB video card, big fast Hard Drive, DVD burner, and lotsa RAM it should do you for years. I know people who still use 5 year old PowerBooks had have no trouble with them You can even get G4 upgrades for them and video upgrades that fit in the PC Card slots. The may not be able to run the newest stuff as fast as a new G5, but most of the time they can still run.

    I don't see that changing on either side.
  13. Horrortaxi macrumors 68020


    Jul 6, 2003
    Los Angeles
    Unless there's a new Windows release in that time. Have you seen the system requirements for Longhorn? The computer that'll run it doesn't even exist yet.

    What you're really ignoring is the collusion between Microsoft and Intel. They work together to push up system requirements so that people need to buy new hardware in order to run new software. This back scratching is great for them but unfair for the consumer. On the Mac side you don't have that. You have technological advances and computers become slow and obsolete with time, but there's not a guy in a suit making it happen faster than it should.
  14. Artimus thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 11, 2004
    That's not a fair statement, it's very Microsucks biased. Apple is just as greedy when it comes to milking money. Look at the iPod battery situation...
  15. parrothead macrumors 6502a


    Sep 24, 2003
    Edmonds, WA
    It is an absolute guarantee that whatever computer you buy, be it a Mac or PC, it is not going to be the fastest and best for long. However, like others have said a Mac will last you as long as you want it to. I had a 233 mhz Powerbook that up until the time I sold it recently was working fine using OS 9.2.
  16. Timelessblur macrumors 65816


    Jun 26, 2004
    yeah I have seen them. Those system requirment are bogus since they are having the lastest beta reliease of longhorn running fine on a computer weaker than the family computer. Also those numbers are bogus because there will be a 32 bit and a 64 bit release of it. Lets face the 32 bit chips are going to be dead in a few years. by the time system have that high of a requirement there will not be a 32 bit chip being made any more.

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