How long will iMac last?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Cyborg21, Oct 19, 2013.

  1. Cyborg21 macrumors 6502


    Sep 2, 2013
    First of all sorry for my bad english, it's not my natvie language. I'm going to buy an iMac 27 inch in march. I'm going to use it for 4-5 years. Will it run without any problems for 4-5 years? How long will an iMac last?. Will programs and apps run on iMac after 4-5 years? Or should I get a Macbook Pro instead? I can't change my computer every 2-3 years if I buy an iMac, so will it still work smooth after 4-5 years. Thank you.
  2. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    It all depends on how well you take care of it. Like any Apple computer, it can easily last 5 or more years if treated properly.
  3. ijlakw macrumors member

    Oct 19, 2013
    well.... I lost my Mid-2011 iMac this week. Only thing unique about my iMac was that it had 32 GB of RAM. I was casually browsing the web... the screen "wiggled" and froze. I reboot.... and I get the vertical green bars over a grey screen. Instantly I think ... graphics board. But... not so fast....

    Off to see a blue shirt technician the next day and he can't pinpoint the problem because it could be caused by either the graphics board, the logic board, or the display itself. There's no way to know which repair to try first and I run the risk of picking the wrong one and significantly driving up the cost of repair.

    So.... I'm rethinking the iMac altogether because not only have I lost the computer but also the display. I'll either wait on the Mac Pro or go with the Mac Mini for now and most likely a Dell Ultrasharp.
  4. MacScott macrumors regular


    Jan 27, 2012
    My current desktop is a mid 2010 and still runs fine.
  5. Cyborg21 thread starter macrumors 6502


    Sep 2, 2013
    What do you mean by ''taking care of it''?. What should I do to make my iMac last longer? Also What is the Max life span of an iMac if I take care of it?
  6. ijlakw macrumors member

    Oct 19, 2013
    I have iMacs last a long time.... but they were all entry level iMacs. I paid up for my Mid-2011 and it's the one that failed. Once you past Apple Care and the Warranty.... you run the risk of losing your entire computer system because. Alex Lindsey has mentioned many times and now I know and can appreciate why it would be impossible to run a business with iMacs.
  7. benwiggy macrumors 68020

    Jun 15, 2012
    Hardware lifetime is not an exact science. Some people have 10-year-old Macs; some get hardware faults after a year or two.

    You can expect a mechanical hard drive to last around 5 years. That's probably the average failure rate. However, my Mum still uses my G3 iBook, c. 2003 with the original hard drive.

    Screens, graphics cards and logic boards are the usual causes of failure. Power surges (from variable power supply) can stress the components. (Again, I turned my 2006 iMac on and off every day, which some people say "stresses the components", and only last year did it develop some minor screen faults.)

    Dust, background radiation, humidity, impacts -- things like this can all have an effect. Or just bad luck.

    In short: you should expect a Mac normally to last for 4-5 years on average. You may find that you need a newer computer (new interfaces, faster CPU, more RAM/storage, other new technologies) before your old one breaks.

    What? I know hundreds of companies with hundreds of iMacs. They're doing OK.:p
  8. Erphern macrumors 6502

    Mar 6, 2013
    Would you explain this, please? Isn't an iMac fundamentally a big-ass MacBook with external keyboard and pointing devices? People run businesses with laptops all the time (not including datacenters).
  9. GGJstudios, Oct 19, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2013

    GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    There's nothing special involved in taking care of a computer. Just don't knock it around, drop it, spill liquids on it, etc. It should last longer than you'll probably need it, as you will probably replace it with something less obsolete before it breaks down. There is no fixed maximum lifespan of any computer.

    You are sadly misinformed. iMacs are not entry-level computers. They work quite well in many business settings. If you walk into many graphic design firms or other such creative organizations, you'll see nothing but iMacs. They can continue to work quite well for many years after after AppleCare has expired. Just because you may have gotten a rare defective unit doesn't mean that iMacs in general are not reliable.
  10. MrGimper macrumors 603


    Sep 22, 2012
    Andover, UK
    Wasn't there an apple program to repair faulty GFX cards on these models? If I'm right, get them to replace the GFX under this program for free first
  11. kazmac macrumors 603


    Mar 24, 2010
    On the silver scream

    Same here, knock on fake wood.
  12. Xerotech macrumors 6502

    Jul 22, 2011
    There are always defects. It should last quite awhile if you take care of it. Be sure to purchase Apple Care. :)
  13. 53kyle macrumors 65816


    Mar 27, 2012
    Sebastopol, CA
    Let's see... I had an original G3 for until the G4 came out, then that until the intel one came out, that one lasted for 4 years, and my current mid-2010 is going on 3 years, and all of my previous iMacs work fine still, which means my G3 has been working for about 13 years, g4 for 11 years, original intel for 7 years.
  14. bobr1952 macrumors 68020


    Jan 21, 2008
    Melbourne, FL
    If nothing else, your post is a good reason to purchase Apple Care--mid-2011 would bring warranty service into 2014. Not much help to you, but something to think about for new purchases.
  15. rkaufmann87 macrumors 68000


    Dec 17, 2009
    Folsom, CA

    My late 2007 iMac still runs perfectly. If you take proper care, i.e. let it sleep instead of power cycling it, keep it plugged into a UPS to ensure power stays constant and follow Apple's instructions for maintaining it (which is to basically use it and don't download software from questionable sites and don't start poking around inside the hardware) it should last quite a long time.

    iMacs are quite reliable, however like any computer moving parts can fail. These are items like mechanical hard drives, keyboards, mice etc..

    However to ensure your investment ALWAYS get AppleCare, this extends the warranty to 3 years and provides 3 years of telephone support. Just one repair will pay for itself, while they are generally reliable its just smart ownership IMHO.
  16. MacDarcy macrumors 65816

    Jul 21, 2011
    As long as you don't throw it out the window, you're iMac should last you a good long time. ;^)
  17. bobright macrumors 601

    Jun 29, 2010
    As in what are some critical steps in maintaining it? I was under the impression macs didn't need CCleaner and registry cleaners etc like PC's is there some tools out there that are good to run on it?
  18. Ddyracer macrumors 68000


    Nov 24, 2009
  19. ctucci macrumors regular

    Dec 16, 2008
    Yer Mom's basement.
    You're English is just fine, first.

    Second, an iMac is great computer, but like other brands it's comprised of components that can fail. I have a 09 27inch, and the optical drive, HD and monitor failed. But Applecare covered the repair, and Time Machine recovered everything nicely.

    So my point is I think it might be unrealistic to expect a hardware failure rate of zero over 4-5 years for any individual computer in a group of mass produced devices assembled from mass produced components in numbers this great. But at least Apple's warranty and built in utilities provide repair and recovery for at least 3 years (in the US, at any rate).

    Now, after Applecare: Repairing Imacs without coverage is very expensive.
    So, if 4-5 years is a must, have you considered a Mac Pro, current revision? You can replace typically failure prone components far more easily and cheaply after applecare expires.
  20. cocky jeremy macrumors 68040

    cocky jeremy

    Jul 12, 2008
    Columbus, OH
    I'm at 4 years on my 2009 iMac. Replaced a graphics card, but other than that, good to go.
  21. Mainsail macrumors 6502a

    Sep 19, 2010
    In general, I think desktops last longer than laptops, since they are not carried around and they get less abuse. I don't have an iMac, but I would think 4-5 years would not be a problem.

    In my case, I opted for the Mac Mini, since I already had a decent monitor, apple keyboard, and mouse. I got the base model Mini $570 (at BB) vs $1,300 for the base iMac. I have since added some RAM, which was stupidly easy to do on the Mini and impossible to do on the base iMac. Also, as others have stated, I was worried about repairability of the iMac in the event of a failure. With an iMac, one component failure and the whole investment may be at risk. This is the nature of an all-in-one computer.

    Don't get me wrong. I really like the looks of the iMac and the minalmist design. I just had some practical concerns. Overall, I would guess most iMac owners have very few problems and are very happy with these machines.
  22. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    See my response in post #9.

    As far as software is concerned, You don't need "cleaner" or "maintenance" apps to keep your Mac running well, and some of these apps can do more harm than good. Most only remove files/folders or unused languages or architectures, which does nothing more than free up some drive space, with the risk of deleting something important in the process.
    These apps will not make your Mac run faster or more efficiently, since having stuff stored on a drive does not impact performance, unless you're running out of drive space. In fact, deleting some caches can hurt performance, rather than help it, since more system resources are used and performance suffers while each cache is being rebuilt.
    Many of these tasks should only be done selectively to troubleshoot specific problems, not en masse as routine maintenance. OS X does a good job of taking care of itself, without the need for 3rd party software. Among other things, it has its own maintenance scripts that run silently in the background on a daily, weekly and monthly basis, without user intervention.
  23. propower macrumors 6502a

    Jul 23, 2010
    How long will it last?

    With applecare at least 3 years. Sell at year 2.5 and repeat...

  24. bobright macrumors 601

    Jun 29, 2010
    Good stuff to know thanks!


    Huh, so if I browse say in the mornings and don't use it throughout the rest of the day until the next morning. Would you say it's better to let it sleep for a few days on end instead of powering it down for the day? Or should I let it sleep only if I'm using it randomly ALL through the day?
  25. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    There are dozens of "sleep or shutdown" threads where you'll find many Mac users run months at a time without shutting down. Either is perfectly fine. One thing to consider is that there are maintenance scripts that run on a daily, weekly and monthly schedule. If your Mac is in sleep mode at the scheduled time, the scripts will run the next time your Mac is awake. If your Mac is shut down at the scheduled time, the scripts won't run until the next scheduled time. If your Mac is always shut down at those times, the scripts will never run, unless you manually run them or change the default schedule. You can manually run the scripts using the Maintidgit widget.

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