How long should A Mac last???

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Rd1000, Aug 29, 2012.

  1. Rd1000 macrumors newbie


    Aug 29, 2012
    Georgia U.S.A
    Hey, I'm new here and I wanted to start with A question. I Own A Mac Osx 10.5.8, which I bought in mid-2008, and recently I have been having a few problems with it. Just to clarify A possible cause of some of the problems that I have. (I am running Blender, Sketchup Pro, and several other design programs that might be responsible for the issues.)

    Let's get to the issues now. The computer is very slow. Around two years ago I put extra memory in, and that seemed to save it for A while. Now, programs become unresponsive and crashing is a major problem with Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Sketchup and about everything else. Finder has become slow and I get the Spinning beach ball more than most of my search results. Restarts are also A developing problem. It is a serious pain having to restart or Force quit.

    The main question here, is with the work I do, what is the expected life span of my Mac, and what should I do about it??? :apple::apple::apple:
  2. roxxette macrumors 68000


    Aug 9, 2011
    Well i still have a toshiba tecra from way back to windows 98 :) still kicking
  3. Dave Braine macrumors 68040

    Dave Braine

    Mar 19, 2008
    Warrington, UK
    You may wish to consider an clean erase and install of Leopard, assuming that you still have the original grey discs that came with your Mac.

    You will need to backup all your files and apps that you've installed since you bought it, as an Erase and Install will erase your hard drive.

    You'll then need to download and install the 10.5.8 combo updater.
  4. bdj33ranch macrumors regular

    Apr 19, 2005
    I have a late 2007 White MacBook (2Gb RAM) and a late 2007 iMac (4Gb RAM). Both are running Snow Leopard 10.6.8
    They both run fine.
    I do have a strategy that seems to have worked well for me over the years.

    About once a month
    I run a "back up now" time machine backup then shut it off.
    I do a full clone to an external USB drive. Carbon Copy Cloner (CCC) or SuperDuper will do this.
    I then boot from the clone drive. I test to make sure the boot drive is working and that my files are there. I surf the internet a little and open some critical files.
    Then, while running from the clone, I go into Utilities > Disk Utility > select the main HD.
    Repair Disk. (Usually doesn't take too long and seldom finds any problems)
    Repair Disk Permissions. (This can take quite awhile - be patient. Go to lunch - be frustrated it's taking so long - be patient)
    When it finally finishes reboot into the main HD. See if you're happy. Are all your critical files still there (you can still clone back from your external or use your time machine backup). Is it running faster? If not - maybe now do the reinstall.
    Also check Utilities > Activity Monitor and see if there is some program running there that is hogging CPU resources.
  5. Liquinn Suspended

    Apr 10, 2011
    Years. I have a PowermacG5 working fine. I'm using Mac OS X 10.5.8 on it. :)
  6. rien333 macrumors regular

    Jun 29, 2010
    The Netherlands
    Upgrade to Snow Leopard. It's like a faster Leopard. Or even better, upgrade with a clean install.
  7. Rd1000 thread starter macrumors newbie


    Aug 29, 2012
    Georgia U.S.A

    Thanks for all the helpfull replies, I will try your advice... :apple::apple::apple:
  8. gnasher729 macrumors P6


    Nov 25, 2005
    There is no exact time span that a Mac should last; it depends on how much it is used, how it is treated, and how lucky or unlucky you are. If a mid 2008 with reasonable use and no mistreatment stops working _and cannot be fixed_, that's slightly unlucky.

    In my experience the hard drive is often the weakest component, but depending on the Mac model it is easily and cheaply replaced. You can take these steps:

    1. Buy an external hard drive. Use Disk Utiity to copy the contents of the external hard drive to the external one, then in System Preferences->Startup Disk tell your Mac to start from the external drive.

    2. See if the problem goes away. Remember that an external drive will be a bit slower, so don't worry about speed, just whether it all works.

    3. If your problems are gone, the hard drive was probably the cause. If it is a MacBook, you can easily swap the internal and external drive.
  9. Nermal Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 7, 2002
    New Zealand
    My G3's onboard sound partially died after 12 years (it now only plays out the left speaker, IIRC) and the battery is flat so I need to reset the clock if I unplug it. Other than that, it still works (although it doesn't have the original 6 GB hard drive anymore).
  10. Dark Void macrumors 68030

    Dark Void

    Jun 1, 2011
    The "life expectancy" of a computer is directly related to how well you take care of it - as far as your usage having a negative effect on how long it will last, well it's designed to be used, no worries. If you are finding that it is sluggish, try upgrading some of the components such as the RAM and HDD (higher RPM or SSD) if your computer is expandable.
  11. r0k macrumors 68040


    Mar 3, 2008
    My 2008 Macbook is feeling a little slow. I'd really like to be able to put 8 gig in but it only holds 4. The main culprit seems to be Chrome with a couple hundred tabs open.

    I recently got a refurb 2010 Mac mini. I'm in the process of cloning my files over to it. It has 8 gig. I also have an old G4 Mac mini. I think I've had that thing for about 7 years. It's still going. How long can any computer last? Almost forever. How long does a typical Mac last? Almost forever. How long does a typical Windows box last. In my experience, about a year. But part of that was my fault. I bought a lot of bottom of the line closeouts and they came loaded with crapware and after a while they would crap out. I also built a few of my own machines over the years. They were better, especially if I put Linux on them. But my favorite user experience and longest lasting machines have all been Macs.
  12. dreamof3d macrumors regular


    Oct 22, 2007
    Chicago area
    My mothers 2008 iMac was acting similar, hard drive change and it was a brand new beast...
  13. n8mac macrumors 6502

    Jun 25, 2006
    For me Macs get out dated for my needs before they need any major repairs/replaced. I have a G4 tower still laying around but I don't know what to do with it since my now aging G5 tower does everything it did and more. When I go intel (hopefully soon) I can keep my G5 around for classic gaming. I trust old Macs so much I just buy used and save $$.
  14. Meyvn macrumors 6502

    Feb 3, 2005
    Which machine is it? Did you buy it brand new in 2008? If so, you can probably put Mountain Lion on it. I would make sure the RAM is maxed out, buy a new SSD to swap out for the internal drive, and load Mountain Lion (10.8), Lion (10.7), or at the very least Snow Leopard (10.6) on it.
  15. thekev macrumors 604


    Aug 5, 2010
    Bad ram, failing hard drive, corrupt file system, too little ram + somewhat full hard drive (making access slower) can all do this. OS corruption problems can do it too. If it was a specific program I'd mention that sometimes newer versions are just more demanding. If it's program specific, look into the recommended specs for the version you're running. To check for memory problems, use memtest or something similar that can run in single user mode and check as much memory as possible. Run several cycles. Prime 95 has a torture test that is decent for testing machine stability too. Also use the Apple hardware test on your original installation disks. Slow doesn't definitively point to major hardware failure. It's just sometimes hard to determine. Problems with finder + beachballs are very common if your file system or hard drive has issues. OSX has a terrible file system, which Apple did attempt to remedy once. I can't remember why the project failed.
  16. Dave Braine macrumors 68040

    Dave Braine

    Mar 19, 2008
    Warrington, UK
    Close a few tabs? How can you keep track of 200??
  17. riciad macrumors 6502

    Oct 10, 2005
    You really are asking two questions.
    How long will my Mac continue to function and how long will it continue to meet the requirements of the software I will be using on it?
    For example the system requirements for blender state-
    Minimal specs for Hardware

    1 GHZ Single Core CPU
    512 MB RAM
    1024 x 768 px Display with 16 bit color
    3 Button Mouse
    Open GL Graphics Card with 64 MB RAM
    Good specs for Hardware

    2 GHZ Quad Core CPU
    4 GB RAM
    Full HD Display with 24 bit color
    3 Button Mouse
    Open GL Graphics Card with 1 GB RAM
    Production specs for Hardware

    Multi Core CPU
    8-16 GB RAM
    Two times Full HD Display with 24 bit color
    3 Button Mouse + tablet
    Open GL Graphics Card with 2 GB RAM, Nvidia GTX or Quadro, or AMD FireGL.
    I used SU Pro for many years and was in the habit of upgrading my Mac about every two years even though the computers were still operating perfectly, the continuing development of the software and increasing complexity of the model I was working with inevitably sloed down the process. The same would happen the development of the 3D renderer I used.
    So basically if you want to continue to be productive you have to upgrade your computer.
    Saying that every mac I've owned in the past 20 years is still functioning perfectly and in everyday use, just not able to handle the increased demands of certain software.
  18. Marcoie1 macrumors newbie

    Sep 7, 2012
    My iMac, which I bought in 2006, was doing the same thing. I bought a new hard drive and that didn't really fix the problem. I upgraded to snow leopard and it still have the same problems that the original post was saying. When my computer would get the beachball spinning, i would shut it down and when I would restart I would get a white screen with film strip black vertical lines. What could the problem be?
  19. swingin t's macrumors newbie

    Sep 8, 2012
    planned obsolescence :(
  20. Quad5Ny macrumors 6502a


    Sep 13, 2009
    New York, USA
    5 years, 22 days, 13 hours, 6 minutes, 43 seconds, 33 millisec...


    Sorry Sir.
  21. Gav2k macrumors G3


    Jul 24, 2009
    My 2008 unibody Ali MacBook flys along but the memory is maxed at 8gb and I slapped an ssd in there
  22. ppcg4mac macrumors 6502


    Feb 13, 2012
    Northwest Kansas
    a mac, like any computer will last as long as it does what it needs to do for you, after that, it is replacement time
  23. rwdds macrumors member

    Jan 5, 2005
    How's this...

    I still have a 1985 Mac Plus (originally a Macintosh 512k that was upgraded) that booted up about 6 months ago. Requires floppies to startup (which will eventually die).
  24. DaCurmudgen macrumors regular

    Aug 5, 2012
    Still have my G5 iMac ...

    which I bought in 2005. Still works fine, but I can't upgrade past 10.5.8, nor can I use things like Chrome or other newer versions of software, including Pro Tools, which is why I bought the computer in the first place. I decided to upgrade to a cMBP so that I could get the latest software versions, use Chrome, and experience what the rest of the world is doing with computers these days. I can't tell you how often I find myself saying, "I love this computer." So much so, that I ended up buying an MBA for my wife, too. But I do look at my old iMac with a little nostalgia. My 5 year old has inherited it now, and it still gets used every day. Much slower than our new MacBooks, but it still works and I imagine it will until the hard drive or some other component finally kicks the bucket.
  25. RipeRetina macrumors regular


    Mar 26, 2009
    I have a late 2008 model that came with Leopard. I upgraded it with a shiny 256gb ssd & upgraded it to 10.8. Now boots up in about 20 secs (6 apps startup at launch).

    I don't do design work or use the fancy design apps you use but i'm sure upgrading it would help out alot.

    The reason for me telling you this, is because I HAD slowness on my macbook. I really think the ssd helped considerably.

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