How much longer will I get?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Ravenbrook, Apr 17, 2019.

  1. Ravenbrook macrumors newbie

    Ravenbrook

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2015
    #1
    Looking at getting my first iMac (27" model). Uses will be general surfing, some QuickBooks stuff for work, and VERY MILD Gaming (Nothing a cheap video card can't handle). My question is: If I order my iMac with the 9th Gen chip set and 580X video card, upgrade the RAM after I get it to 24 Gigs by adding an additional 16, and get a decent sized SSD how much longer would I get out of this machine down the road versus buying the entry level 27" iMac with 8th Gen processor and an SSD? Would the nicer chipset and video card now get me an extra year or two or more at the end of it's usable life? I can justify the extra $$$ needed now if it will get me a few extra years later on.
     
  2. nambuccaheadsau macrumors 68000

    nambuccaheadsau

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2007
    Location:
    Nambucca Heads Australia
    #2
    That is a 'how long is a piece of string' question. No definitive answer possible.
     
  3. mj_ macrumors 6502

    mj_

    Joined:
    May 18, 2017
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    #3
    220 days 7 hours 58 minutes 19 seconds. Give or take.

    Kidding aside, nobody can tell you in advance how much longer you'll get or whether you'll get anything at all. It might be a feature (or rather lack thereof) that will drive you to upgrade, which means you won't get a single second out of the more expensive model.
     
  4. iF34R macrumors 65816

    iF34R

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2011
    Location:
    South Carolina
    #4
    I'm still using my late 2012 27" iMac, the only upgrade being the RAM a week after purchase in early 2013. I don't see a necessity to upgrade to a newer model at this point. I can do what you've listed just fine.
     
  5. macduke macrumors G4

    macduke

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    Location:
    Central U.S.
    #5
    My build is in my signature and I'm expecting 6-8 years.

    Two big questions:

    Will the hardware fail? Impossible to know. SSDs are less likely to have issues, and if you leave the machine on all the time it's more prone to failure.

    Will Apple move away from Intel with their own chips and then stop supporting Intel in a future version of macOS? Impossible to know for sure but we can look at the rumors and the history.

    Rumors point to yes, sometime in the 2020-2021 timeframe. Rumors say it will start on the lower end MacBooks and things like that before moving up to the Pro machines. This especially makes sense if the Mac Pro is coming out this year and there are no rumors about it using Apple CPUs. The other reason it makes sense to start on the lower end is because it gives professional app developers time to adjust for the new architecture.

    Historically, Apple supported PowerPC for only about four years of new OS X updates after transitioning to Intel (I think it was only two versions though, because back then Apple updated less frequently). But Apple also has a lot more Macs on the market today, more resources at their disposal, and a higher expectation for longevity. So given those things I figure if they move to Apple CPUs next year at the earliest, that's one year, then four years for macOS updates, and then one year until macOS gets updated again and the machine is officially out of date. But even in this case you can still expect security updates for a while, so the machine just won't stop working unless something hardware related fails—you just won't get the new features. So for me I figure 6-8 years seems reasonable and given the work I do will be adequate. I might do 6 years if it's starting to feel slow because, say, I got a crazy new camera setup that shoots 8K60 12bit or something nuts with 120MP stills. And 8 years would be if it still seems like it's running fine for my workload, which I doubt will actually be that crazy by then, but I will be doing more video production work later this year on the iMac Pro my new boss just ordered me, so who knows where that will take me. I also might get the itch to get that 31.6" 6K display after it comes to the iMac Pro and upgrade on the lower end of my time frame.

    Now this is all speculation on my part, but I'm deeply analytical and this is exactly what my thinking process was before I decided to pull the trigger. Just make sure you don't sink yourself. Only buy enough Mac that you could replace it if something goes wrong after a year. There's also AppleCare, but that only goes for three years and personally I wouldn't buy it on a desktop. I've owned a lot of Apple hardware and in my experience if something doesn't go wrong in the first year then it's probably good to last you until it's no longer relevant and becomes slow and needs an upgrade anyway. For desktops this is even more true because they just stay on your desk and don't go with you so they're less likely to break than a mobile device or laptop. Anyway, hope this helps, but don't take it as an absolute.
     
  6. BluefinTuna macrumors member

    BluefinTuna

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2019
    #6
    I have to disagree with the notion that buying AppleCare for a desktop is a mistake. I’ve owned mostly iMac’s, MacBook Pro’s and iPhone’s. Out of those, my iMacs almost always crapped out on me. They do get pushed a lot but Apple also tends to choose hardware with defects. Google pretty much any iMac year and you’ll see screen, graphics card, motherboard, or some other expensive hardware issue.

    My current late 2015 21.5” iMac is on its 8th week of repairs covered by AppleCare. Anybody who doesn’t buy AppleCare for an iMac is a madman in my book especially considering how cheap it is. I’ll probably skip buying AppleCare for the iPhone X that I just got at BestBuy because I’ll upgrade before I need to use it.

    However, you spend 2-3 times as much on a piece of hardware and expect it to last longer than an iPhone, you’d better be buying that extended warranty. Not only because it lasts for 3 years rather than the 2 on an iPhone but also because it’s $169 for the iMac. You’d have to be really bad at math not to take that deal.
     
  7. iF34R macrumors 65816

    iF34R

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2011
    Location:
    South Carolina
    #7
    Maybe I lucked out. I haven't had a single issue with my late 2012 27" iMac hardware.
     
  8. TimJohn macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2018
    Location:
    Vancouver
    #8
    I have a 2009 27" iMac and it still works fine. Apple replaced the Seagate HD because of a bad batch of drives and the computer was about 6 years old at the time they did it. It still worked but they took the time and effort to contact me and get the computer into their facility for replacement. I was very, very impressed so when Apple stopped updating the late 2009 models to Mojave then I purchased a 2017 27". So that's 9 years! One of the main reasons for updating for me was the gorgeous retinal display. Its a beautiful piece of hardware.
     
  9. mantler macrumors newbie

    mantler

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2017
    #9
    I would buy only with upgrades for whatever features you need in the foreseeable future, but "investing" in CTO upgrades to make the computer "last longer" will only give you psychological security, I think. That security will shatter the moment something major in the machine fails and it is out of warranty.
    Imagine for a moment, that you've invested in those CTO upgrades for the machine and the power supply blows sometime down the line, frying other components like the logic board. You're probably better off buying a new computer at that point, and all of those "investments" you paid for wouldn't make it hurt any less.
    Your computer's usable life should be long and will be longer, IMO, if you take care of it and upgrade HD/RAM as needed somewhere down the line, and I think Applecare is a great idea if you want the security of having it last for the first few years. My 2011 MBP had the widely-known graphics chip failure sometime around the 3-4 year mark, and I had to fight tooth and nail to get Apple to cover it (a month later they released the repair extension program,) and then last year the same thing happened with my "repaired" machine, which was well beyond the repair extension at that point. If it hadn't been for that crappy graphics issue I might have expected a few more years out of it, but as another poster has said here, there are plenty of defects in Apple's machines (and electronics in general) and you may end up with one of those models, or you might be problem-free on a stock machine for a decade.
     
  10. mikehalloran macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2018
    Location:
    The Sillie Con Valley
    #10
    I take care of quite a few iMacs. Other than a few hundred failed HDDs— all now replaced by SSDs, I've yet to retire one because it no longer works. The long answer is in this thread.

    https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/how-long-has-your-imac-lasted-you.2178053/

    When did you replace the HDD — or did you?
     
  11. mantler macrumors newbie

    mantler

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2017
    #11
    I replaced the stock 500GB HDD preemptively as my machine was slowing down more and more getting to about 75% full, although first I upgraded RAM from 4GB to 10GB, about two years after I got it; I put in the 1TB hybrid drive in 2015. This was around 6 months after the first MLB graphics failure that Apple fixed. Unfortunately that drive crapped out after a few months of use, though the warranty replacement still runs fine... knock on wood.
    I put the stock HDD in a case to use for portable storage, for the odd occasion where I needed something bigger than a USB stick, and that failed about a year or two ago, but at least it had a good four years of constant use on it. That’s about as long as I’d want to trust anything that isn’t SSD.
    On that note, the only things I would consider investing in for a machine’s “longevity” would be as much SSD storage as I could reasonably afford, as well as RAM.
     
  12. rpmurray macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2017
    Location:
    Back End of Beyond
    #12
    How much longer will I get?

    Don't believe those ads for male enhancement drugs.
     

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11 April 17, 2019