How much longer is my iMac G5 going to be useful for?

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by smwatson, Jan 14, 2007.

  1. smwatson macrumors 6502a


    Sep 30, 2005
    London, England
    Its now a year since I purchased my first ever Mac, the Rev.C G5 in my sig. Turns out it was probably the wrong time to buy it, just before the intel updates, but I dont care, I love it.

    However, with the switch to Intel now complete, how long will my hardware continue to be a useful computer for? How long until developers give up developing for PPC and make either Intel-only programmes, or worse still, dont bother with OSX ports now that Windows is available on Macs.

    I wont be buying another computer for at least a year or so, probably longer. And that will most likely be a laptop for use in Uni, so my iMac will be my primary desktop for at least 2-4 years. Is this possible? Will Leopard be the last version of OSX that can be run on PPC?

    Just thought this might make an interesting discussion.
  2. Queso macrumors G4

    Mar 4, 2006
    I also bought a rev C iMac G5, but in my case it was purposefully done to avoid the early adoption pains of the Intel transition. Apple have surprised me with how well it's gone though, at least on the desktop side, so maybe I jumped the gun a bit.

    I'm planning on keeping my iMac G5 at least for another three years or so. I reckon we'll have one more OSX after Leopard that will be PPC compatible, so we should be looking at three to four years after Leopard gets released before it's successor is replaced.
  3. adrianblaine macrumors 65816


    Oct 12, 2006
    Pasadena, CA
    I personally don't think they will cut you off in the near future. They just now cut off OS 9 with the Intel update. That was 5 years. I'm sure at least the next two OS X updates will still have a PPC version. You have to remember there are a ton of people out there with G5 PowerMacs that were a ton of money and most of them can't upgrade everytime something new comes out.
  4. emptyCup macrumors 65816


    Jan 5, 2005
    As the owner of a 1984 Macintosh that still works I can tell you that it will not stop doing anything you currently do on it. Since the tools Apple supplies to developers produce Universal code there is no reason to stop producing programs for it. At some point technology will have moved beyond what your machine can handle but you will have moved to a newer machine long before that.
  5. eXan macrumors 601


    Jan 10, 2005
    My iMac is even older than yours - its 1y3m old now. Still as fast as it was when I first got it. If it will not be replaced my a laptop soon (my birthday in mid-February), I think it will last another 3 years just fine.

    Apple has decreased the rate they release new OSes, so I think we;ll have Leopard for 2.5-3 years, so even if the 10.6 OS would not work in PPC chips, PPC computers will be pretty old by that time.

    Also, you can just keep using the last available OS/app version when the hardware will not be supported, unless of course new version has feature/s that you may need :)
  6. calculus Guest


    Dec 12, 2005
    As well as a year old G5 we also use a G3 iMac which is god knows how old - it still does all that's asked of it.
  7. gavd macrumors 6502a

    Jan 30, 2006
    I've got the exact same iMac and think it will be absolutely fine for a few years yet. I'd expect at least one more version of OS X after Leopard that will run on PPC.

    And as long as you've got all the apps now that you need they'll still be fine a bit further down the line.
  8. TraceyS/FL macrumors 601

    Jan 11, 2007
    North Central Florida
    Sort of.

    I have a 3 year old iBook - 12" 800mhz G4 and a 2 year old eMac - 1.25" G4.

    Neither machine will run Aperture. So while i'm not excited about HAVING to buy a new computer, my needs have outgrown my hardware. I could handle it running SLOW, but it won't even install.

    Otherwise, i'm not in bad shape - but I expect this year to see me needing more and more - and have plans to get a new Mac.
  9. tdhurst macrumors 601


    Dec 27, 2003
    Phoenix, AZ

    Your iMac G5 is "useful" until it no longer turns on. Whenever Apple stops making OSes specifically for it (I'm thinking 10.7 here) no one is forcing you to upgrade.

    I still own and use a 266mhz G3 from 1997 running Jaguar. While it's not a speed demon, it's more than "useful."
  10. TheBrazilianGuy macrumors regular

    Jul 26, 2006

    My wife has a Rev B.

    Your computer will be old when the software you need
    does not run anymore. That's what I thought when I decided
    to buy my wife's iMac. Actually, in the very worst scenario,
    when OS does not run anymore in your computer, it can
    still be used as a server, firewall, etc.

    As others have said, Leopard will run on PPCs which will guarantee
    some extra time for us. I intend to buy another computer only
    in 2008/2009. Portables will finally have flash based HD
    and software will take advantage of multi-core technology.


  11. yoak macrumors 65816


    Oct 4, 2004
    Oslo, Norway
    My ibook is now 2,5 years old and it´s in use everyday. I expect it to be for quire some time. I have my new iMac that I use for more intensive tasks, and for the screen estate. I´ll still expect my ibook to last us another couple of years. Perfect for travelling, as I usually don´t need to do any intensive tasks then.
    It runs OSX 10.3.9
  12. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604


    May 28, 2005
    My Laptop (running XP) is going on 4 years old now and it still works great, and my mac mini runs great too, and it's ~2 years old now... I think. I got it in early March just before Tiger was released, so whenever that was...

    So far, the only things I wish that I could do, but can't, are burn DVD's on my mac, but I had the option to get a DVD burner and chose not to, and play games on my Laptop, but that's due to the horrendous graphics card it has.

    What I'm trying to say is, as long as the hardware can keep up with the software you'll be okay.

    So how long until the software needs more then your G5 can deliver? Well, I've got a G4 that can still do everything... and that's some old technology.

    What about the switch to intel? Well, I wouldn't worry about it. Some of the newer professional apps (new adobe apps for instance) don't run on PPC chips, but chances are you won't need them. If you look around at all the indie developers who around, they're all going to keep working to support PPC and intel for a long time yet.

    10.5, Adium, Firefox, handbrake, growl, all the good stuff will probably PPC for a long time still, and if it's not just don't upgrade. It may not be the latest and greatest, but it's not like it'll ever stop working over night.

    The guy with the mac from 1984 is living proof. Sure it can't run OS X, but the functionality of the computer itself will never go down from when you purchased it, it'll just stop going up after a (long) while..
  13. smwatson thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Sep 30, 2005
    London, England

    Thought I would be safe in the hands of Apple :p

    Well it wont be replaced for a good few years then.

    Thanks :)
  14. disconap macrumors 68000


    Oct 29, 2005
    Portland, OR
    Your imac will likely be useful for as long as you choose to end sentences with prepositions. ;)
  15. vancejohns macrumors newbie

    Nov 27, 2006
    My main home computer is a 450mhz iMac G3 running OSX Panther (10.3.9). . I've upgraded to an 80g internal drive & upped the memory to 512meg. I've also added a 250g external drive.... iTunes got too big :) I use it for web surfing, iTunes, Quicken & Turbotax and it suits me fine. Yeah something faster would be nice but I've got other things to spend my money on. A G5 would probably last me forever :D
  16. ToddW macrumors 6502a

    Feb 26, 2004
    my rev A imac G5 runs great and haven't had any problems. i don't plan on upgrading until the thing breaks (after applecare has expired) and it cost so much to fix that buying a new computer will be the only thing i can do.

Share This Page