How long do you keep your Mac for?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Faize, Jan 9, 2013.

  1. Faize macrumors member

    Sep 23, 2011
    ...And what are your reasons for upgrading?

    The reason I ask is because in the PC world, it's not uncommon for people to still be using Pentium 4 machines. As an example, a lot of companies have been using the bad economy excuse to hold off on upgrading anything these past few years, and yet hardly anybody bats an eye.

    On the other hand, in the Mac world, telling someone you use a Core 2-era Mac will cause a "what cave have you been living in for the past few years?" kind of look to momentarily flash across their face.
  2. Nermal Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 7, 2002
    New Zealand
    I got my current Mac two years ago. My previous system was 4.5 years old when I replaced it.

    Historically I've found that I can keep a "Pro" system for several years, whereas I tend to chew through "consumer" systems (iBook, iMac) quickly. The hardware itself tends to last a long time if you don't need to run new software though; my Power Mac (which I use for running classic games) is 14 years old and it finally failed a couple of days ago :(
  3. throAU macrumors 603


    Feb 13, 2012
    Perth, Western Australia
    I upgrade roughly every 3 years mac or PC.

    It gives best bang for buck...
  4. marc11 macrumors 68000

    Mar 30, 2011
    NY USA
    Bought my 2010 as a refurb in 2011 two months before the 2011 came out. So far there hasn't been a compelling enough reason to upgrade for my uses. With 8 gigs or ram and an SSD it is as fast as I need now.

    Hard to say when I will upgrade, probably once the battery needs replacing and I cannot run the software I want to use. I have stopped following the elitist Apple mantra of upgrading every year all my devices; I learned the biggest bang for my buck is to use my devices for as long as I can or until they EOL.
  5. M5RahuL macrumors 68030


    Aug 1, 2009
    I upgrade when the current system can no longer perform to my expectations.

    Therefore, no fixed time frame when I upgrade. :)
  6. gngan macrumors 68000


    Jan 1, 2009
    I kept my PC for 2 years but the last year is struggling. I keep my Mac for 3 years and it still goes strong but I just want something better.
  7. bcburrows macrumors 6502


    Mar 25, 2009
    I have traditionally upgraded every two years, using the previous very high residual of the Mac along with the Applecare I got free as a student purchaser to sell my Mac for only a small loss. I would frequently get £1000 for a two year old Mac, which was maybe £1700 new.

    My current Mac was purchased in April 2011, it is an i7 2.2Ghz, 16Gb Ram, 256SSD and a 750 hybrid optibay, it has the AMD 1Gb Graphics card and the integral Intel 3000.

    At the moment however the price of a second hand Mac has come down a little too much and I have been offered around £750 for my current 2011 top of the range, upgraded MBP 2.2 i7 with an upgraded SSD. I think looking at, what to me seem minor upgrades, coupled with the inability to upgrade the mac once purchased, have ruled out the new line of MBP. I had hoped that disquiet with the inability to upgrade RAM, HDD etc would force apple to review this new policy, but I suspect that with the slimmer form factor and the new wave of purchasers (those going for aesthetics over function) that this policy will continue.

    So I now suspect I will not be upgrading for a while and when I do I think it will likely be in a new manner. I will probably go for either an imac or mac mini and then rely on the ipad for portable computing......or maybe even, go to a new system altogether......
  8. Mrbobb macrumors 601

    Aug 27, 2012
    U can hold off upgrading if you resist the temptation to upgrade the software.
  9. CocoSS macrumors member

    Aug 30, 2011
    IMO you can keep it till the specs are not good anymore for you. I don't think it's a fashion to change your MBP every new version comes out.
  10. tillsbury macrumors 65816

    Dec 24, 2007
    I always run computers down the line, my old PC went to the wife, then hers to the boy, his to a media server, maybe a fax server, and so on. By the time my computers stop being switched on they are often five or more years old, really dead in the water technologically. And, with PCs, you can keep certain elements or pass them around the network (large hard drives, monitors and so on). I don't know how that'll work out in the Mac world -- presumably I will pass my machine down eventually but I don't know how much it'll be needed. The local school still buys refurbished white plastic Macbooks, which do everything they need...
  11. Vladddy macrumors newbie

    Jan 10, 2013
    Newport Beach, CA
    I had my early 08 MacBook Pro until New Year's Day when it decided it was moving on lol. So 4.5 years for me. Hopefully my new retina one lasts that long...
  12. OllyW Moderator


    Staff Member

    Oct 11, 2005
    The Black Country, England
    I've just upgraded my 4.5 year old 24" iMac with a new high end Mac mini because it was starting to show it's age.

    I've also still got an original 2006 MBP which has got a new lease of life since I replaced the HD with a SSD. :)
  13. crammedberry macrumors regular

    Jan 5, 2011
    The Golden State
    I think it largely depends on your needs. I have decade old macs that I keep around and they still work great, though they aren't my main computer.

    When the intel switch happened I had a white macbook which was ok but it really didn't provide much of a boost, especially since I needed graphics acceleration so I moved onto a Pro which has been enough for the past few years.

    Typically it really depends on your needs, again most people really don't need an 8 core machine with 32 gigs of ram if all you're doing is web browsing with the occasional photoshop edit and games. For the most part I think most individuals probably just want something for the sake of wanting it, and it isn't necessarily a "need." Core 2 Duo machines should cover the needs of the majority of individuals for a quite a while.
  14. el-John-o macrumors 65816

    Nov 29, 2010
    Scroll down to the PowerPC section. You'll see a LOT of people still using PowerPC macs. Some collectors yet, but a LOT of people using them every day, some even in corporate environments or having PowerPC based servers.

    No PowerPC based Macintosh has been produced since 2006! (I think, there may have been some scragglers in '07).

    Lots of people upgrade their Macintoshes often for two main reasons;

    1) Apple continues to release awesome new technologies on their products, more than just the latest CPU and RAM, but new features, designs, etc. A notable example as of late has been the Retina display, unibody notebooks, and Thunderbolt. All things present only on Macs of the last couple of years. Necessary? Not for everyone. But a reason for many to upgrade.

    2) More than 80% of all creative professionals use a Mac. These people demand performance because the software they use is constantly being updated. They will upgrade often because the software they use demands it.

    So, if you aren't in either of those two categories, then you should be fine for a long time. It's always been my experience that I've been able to hang on to an Apple computer longer than any Windows machine. Even if it isn't true for you that you won't keep it LONGER, I would SERIOUSLY challenge anyone who says a Mac becomes unusably obsolete BEFORE a PC. 'Obsolete' in one sense of the word, yes, but it will continue to perform the majority of tasks the majority of users do for years to come.

    3-5 years or more I don't think is at all unreasonable unless, again, you're in one of those two categories (willing to pay for the latest features and designs, OR using software that demands cutting edge performance all the time.)

    Obviously it would be BETTER if you could upgrade with each new iteration, but that's not always feasible is it?

    Again, the proof is in the pudding, look at all of the people still using PowerPC macs 6+ years later. Those machines are by every definition, obsolete. Not only are they old, but they run an older OS (because newer versions of OS X were not released for PowerPC), software is no longer produced for it because it's NOT compatible with Intel Macs, etc. etc. etc.

    As for me? I upgrade for either of the two reasons. Either I'm using software that has become sluggish or unproductive, prompting me to upgrade the hardware or replace the machine altogether, OR Apple has released some new feature or technology that I might find useful.
  15. TheBSDGuy, Jan 10, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2013

    TheBSDGuy macrumors 6502

    Jan 24, 2012
    I know people that are still using Titaniums and 500MHz iBooks!

    It depends on what you want to use the system for. People that use a computer for simple tasks like checking e-mail and very basic web searches have no problems with old systems. Why should they upgrade to something costing typically over a thousand dollars if all they want is basic functionality?

    Another thing I've found extraordinarily interesting is how Apple can change some of the interface components, and some people don't even notice it. I was on the phone with a customer (a Google employee, believe it or not) and she didn't know how to determine what OS was on her PPC based iMac vs. her newer MacBook. I asked her what OS she was running on the iMac and she didn't know. I asked her what the dock looked like (reflecting tray vs. icons on a solid background) and only then did she realize that the appearance of the two was different ... and that's presumably after she had been using the two different systems for years. The iMac was running Tiger, the MacBook was running Snow Leopard.

    How often should you update it? Update it when you research the topic and think the changes are worth doing. A lot of people really hate Lion and Mountain Lion. I don't have a problem with either, but on the other hand I have no problems at all running a Snow Leopard or Leopard system. As for Tiger and its predecessor, IMHO, forget it!

    Regarding Windoze, have your tried Windows 8? I tried it at a local office store, and maybe it was "limited" for store usage, but it seemed like a really obscure operating system to me. I've never liked Windoze but that thing seemed to be off on a tangent all by itself. It wasn't, IMHO, even remotely intuitive. Quite strange, really. I have to wonder if some people won't upgrade their hardware on those systems because they don't want to commit to anything other than earlier Windows versions.

    Interestingly, the last time I checked a few weeks ago, you can still order a copy of Snow Leopard from Apple. This is for them odd because they typically drop support after a 1+ OS iteration. The link is currently as follows:

    I'm sure you've heard that a lot of people are now calling Snow Leopard Apple's "Windows XP." Some people just don't like the newer OSes, and apparently the fact that they're still offering it should tell you something.

    Just my opinions and nothing more - please don't beat me up!
  16. Brian Y macrumors 68040

    Oct 21, 2012
    I believe they only do that since it's needed for whatever version of iTunes is needed for iPhones.

    As for the Macs, mine's a mixed bag - I keep them until it's financially economic to replace them given the performance increase.

    I had a refurb 2007 24" iMac, sold it in 2011 for £850 (it was the Core 2 Extreme one so held it's value nicely), and replaced it with a 2011 27", which I've upgraded quite a bit (i7 CPU, 32GB RAM, two SSDs in sw Raid 0). I expect that to last me a bloody long time - it's a workhorse.

    As for laptops, similar story. Had a 2008 1st rev unibody MacBook, which I sold after 8 months due to the horrible screen and bought a refurb unibody 15" (first/same gen again). This was replaced by Apple in 2010 due to the sheer number of problems it had, and I sold that 2010 one this year to buy a 15" retina, which I want to get at least 3 years out of (it is, after all, a first gen, so possibly being quite optimistic :p).
  17. torana355 macrumors 68030

    Dec 8, 2009
    Sydney, Australia
    I keep my Macs for about 4-5 years. My old 2008 iMac still flies along with the Samsung 830 SSD i installed in it, i still upgraded to the 2012 model :p
  18. tmanto02 macrumors 65816


    Jun 5, 2011
    Generally every 3 years once warranty runs out. I must say i'm a sucker for new toys so if something special came out earlier I wouldn't hold back. :D
  19. skysailing macrumors regular


    Jun 26, 2012
    Do you all feel that the new rMBP has a longevity of 4+ years?
  20. Spikeywan macrumors 6502

    Dec 11, 2012
    Ask me again in 10 years. ;) I reckon I'll still be loving my rMBP.
  21. DayVe3000 macrumors member

    Jun 28, 2012
    Since switching to Mac, I've actually owned several machines in a fairly short space of time.

    However this has mostly been down to cost and wanting warranty, rather than the machines no longer being fit for purpose.

    I couldnt afford to purchase a new mac when I switched, so toyed with several second hand machines . . .

    Now I've been able to purchase a new Mac - I plan on keeping it for the atleast a good few years.

    My only worry, I do have concerns that my new purchase was not the right model for me - But once I decide and settled, Im thinking atleast three years.
  22. mslide macrumors 6502a

    Sep 17, 2007
    I don't get that impression at all. If anything, I see the opposite. You'll see people all the time on here say they're still using a PPC-era Mac (did you not notice the PowerPC Mac section on this site :) ). Heck, using a really old Mac is almost like a badge of honor to some enthusiasts. You won't find that kind of thinking in the PC world. It's also cheaper to upgrade a PC than it is to upgrade a Mac.

    As for how long I keep my Macs? I like to keep them for at least 5 years. My last MacBook lasted me 6 years and it's still good enough for an average consumer (web, email, iTunes, etc).
  23. Faize, Jan 11, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2013

    Faize thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 23, 2011
    Thanks for the info, everyone. There's a much wider range of views on this issue than I had originally thought. Maybe I just hang out with way too many rich Mac owners :rolleyes:

    Perhaps I overexaggerated in my initial post, so allow me to explain...

    Until very recently, I was using a mid-2007 white MacBook.

    When Apple released the first unibody Macs, people asked me if I would be upgrading.

    Later on when unibody had become ubiquitous, people frequently compared my Mac to theirs and said things like "so heavy".

    Much later on, people started outright asking me if I ever felt that my Mac was slow.

    And here's the kicker: Shortly after New Years, my MacBook finally died, so I decided to pick up a Retina MBP. Every single one of the aforementioned people who has seen it so far has given me a "wow, so you finally decided to upgrade!" reaction.

    Given how my Mac is primarily my UNIX development/testing machine (Apache, RoR, and Safari just aren't the same on Windows...), I've never felt much of an urge to upgrade.
  24. xShane macrumors 6502a


    Nov 2, 2012
    United States
    My MacBook lasted me 4 years.

    Now that I have a new MacBook Pro, I intend on it lasting me 4 years, maybe 5 :)
  25. makaveli559m macrumors 6502

    Apr 30, 2012
    I recently got a 2010 model I plan to keep for a while, I still have warrenty on it, I rather save up and later on skip the 2011 and eventually get a 2012 model. I am skipping the Retina I have no use for it, I still use cds and dvds and burn both.

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