How much would you spend to fix a 2009 iMac?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by jazzer15, Nov 10, 2014.

  1. jazzer15 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2010
    #1
    I have a 27 inch late 2009 i7 2.8 ghz w/ 12 gig of Ram and a 2 Tb hard drive running Mavericks. GPU is only 512k but it does the job. I started to have some issues with faint vertical lines on part of the screen that are visible only on certain colored backgrounds but can be annoying when doing photo editing (which I do as a hobby).

    I took the.computer to an Apple store and they are replacing video cables first as that is the cheapest option. If that doesn't work, they would next consider replacing the screen, which would cost about $550. The computer is otherwise great.

    It seems like a lot to put into a 5 year old computer, but where can you find a computer with those specs for the money? I figure if I gave the computer to my wife (she does very basic things like email and internet), that would probably be more than she needs for several years -- she is currently happy with an 8 year old Dell AMD Dual Core.

    Would you spend the money if it comes to that?
     
  2. nrubenstein macrumors 6502

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    Washington, DC
    #2
    I'd look at picking up the part used and installing it yourself for $1-200. Look at craigslist pricing for 27" iMacs to determine how much you are willing to spend. I would not go past 65%.
     
  3. senseless macrumors 68000

    senseless

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    #3
    I wouldn't put more than $300 into fixing a 5 year old computer. It'll be obsolete in a few years.

    If the video card is ok, get a mini display port adapter and run an external monitor.
     
  4. nrubenstein macrumors 6502

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    #4
    Also don't forget that people will pay a surprising amount of money to buy these things when they aren't fully functional.
     
  5. jazzer15 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Oct 8, 2010
    #5
    Thanks for your replies. If the video cables don't fix the problem, i may just use it as it is or pass it on to my wife to use for awhile. It isn't noticeable most of the time and she doesn't really do anything where it would be an issue.

    The external monitor isn't a bad idea except for the space it would take up. Of course as you said I would need to make sure the video card is not the issue. Hopefully the Apple store will hook the computer up to another monitor to test it.
     
  6. sharon22 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2014
    #6
    My mindset is part of the "never get rid of anything" generation. If the soles are falling off my shoes, I fix them! I will spend MORE on the soles than it would cost to buy new shoes.

    Why? Because I get really comfortable with the "way things are," and I imagine the absolute HASSLE it is to get something new and have to spend weeks configuring it.

    So.... where am I going with this? If you REALLY LIKE the way things are, then by all means spend whatever you can afford to spend to KEEP things the way they are! There's no shame in that! Let everybody else buy a new Retina iMac and deal with all the "modern troubles" that all new stuff brings.

    People keep telling me "Quit putting money into your car, with all the money you put into it, you could have bought a NEW car."

    Well, I say "NOTTTT!" Um, $500 is a whole lot less than $25000.00, and what will the $25000.00 get me? A whole new laundry-list of troubles. So you go buy a brand new computer, don't assume it will work perfectly flawlessly, without a hitch and you won't miss a beat LOL

    All that being said (isn't it fun to get advice from some grumpy stranger going off on several tangents? hahahahah), that being said, if you are finding more and more things in your CURRENT system that are inadequate (e.g. darn it, I just don't have the processing power to do what I want to do, etc.), and the newer computers have exactly what you want, then start saving up NOW and get yourself a brand new computer (I have my mind set on the new 21.5 inch i7 3.1GHZ with 500gb SSD!).

    So, rather than focus on MONEY, and PERCENTAGES, and MATH, I'm wanting you to consider HASSLE FACTOR instead. Think "how much hassle will it be to get a brand new computer." "How much hassle will it be to have some dude muck around with the innards of my computer in attempt to fix the vertical lines." "how much hassle will it be to spend configuring a new computer." "How much hassle will it be to keep things the way they are and put up with the vertical lines."

    Now, when you add up hassle factors, you can make a decision NOT solely based on money. You'll have a decision based on hassle. THEN port that decision over to How much money you can live without.

    See how that helps? That brings your own personality into the mix, and will give you a MORE SATISFYING result. For example, if you're a tinkerer, then the PERFECT thing for you to do would be what the other poster suggested -- go on craigslist, and get your own part, and fix your own computer. The "satisfaction factor" would be off the charts, you'll have saved a ton of money, and you'll be really, really happy.

    Good luck on whatever you decide!
     
  7. jazzer15 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Oct 8, 2010
    #7
    I like your thought process! I agree that sometimes the value of an item to its owner exceeds the "fair market value".

    The hassle factor is going to be there no matter what I do. The least hassle, but most expensive, is just having it fixed (assuming the video cables aren't the issue). It is already at the Apple store.

    I suppose one way to think about it is to ask myself if I would consider buying an equivalently configured computer for the amount of money they want to fix it. I have the added advantage of having it set up already and knowing its history. I guess that is just another way of saying the same thing that you did.

    I might consider trying to fix it myself also, but I'm not sure how I feel about messing around with it and possibly making matters worse by introducing dust into the screen (although I suspect the same could happen if Apple makes the repair). It's times like this that I miss having a computer tower and separate monitor. Repairs and upgrades were so simple.
     
  8. leman, Nov 11, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2014

    leman macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2008
    #8
    With any tool, there is a point where maintaining it does not make much economical sense. If you pay $500 to fix it now, you will end up paying $2000 anyway in 2-3 for a new one. I'd sell it for parts (it will easily net $500 or more) and use it as a downpayment for a new machine, with warranty and everything.

    P.S. I tend to view my computers as a subscription service. I pay around 50 euro per month for my phone bill and 70 for internet. In comparison, a 2500 computer every 3 years is 70 euro per month for something very essential. Of course, I don't pay for my computers — that pleasure belongs to the Swiss taxpayer :p
     
  9. diipii macrumors 6502a

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    UK
    #9
    Drop it and claim on your household insurance. Tell 'em the cat knocked it off the table.
     
  10. JPamplin macrumors 6502

    JPamplin

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    Mar 12, 2009
    Location:
    Nashville, TN
    #10
    Aha!

    I have EXACTLY the same issue with my 2009 27" - I bought it used on CL for $450, but then spent WAY too much buying a new logic board, hard drive, VSYNC cable, and SSD.

    So I've got everything put together, and now I'm seeing the exact same thing - a barely perceptible vertical line about every half-inch that shows up more on solid darker backgrounds (not white or brighter). I've also got some kind of darker streaks in the LCD panel itself.

    This is with the glass cover pulled off - I've tried an alcohol solution to try to clean this. It seems embedded in the LCD glass somehow. Anyone have this or know how to get rid of the lines, or the dark streaks? I'd rather not spend another $300 on a replacement LCD.

    [​IMG]
     
  11. nrubenstein macrumors 6502

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    Washington, DC
    #11
    Hassle factor of a new computer: 1 hour to set it up. (Or less.)

    It's not like in the bad old days when it took a day or two of watching installer bars creep slowly across the screen. It just doesn't take much time at all to do a clean install of the OS and get all your software on. Likewise, copying files off the old machine doesn't require much interaction, even if it takes a bit longer.

    Hassle factor of an old, cranky computer that is starting to fail: A lot more.

    If you fix the computer yourself, it's probably economically viable to fix it - there is a reason why people pay so much for them used. (And the only iMac that I have that I have not taken apart is the brand new one - every other one has been opened.) But if you are relying on the Apple Store to fix your computer out of warranty for anything more than minimal issues, the answer is craigslist or eBay it and be done.
     
  12. jazzer15 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Oct 8, 2010
    #13
    Well, that suggests to me that changing the vsync cables is not going to help. Fortunately there is no charge if it doesn't fix the problem. I suspect I will be picking the computer up and will live with the faint vertical lines for a bit. If I decide to replace the LCD myself, where is a reputable place to get one?
     
  13. JPamplin macrumors 6502

    JPamplin

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    #14
    eBay has several of them. I'm bidding on one now, I'm afraid.
     
  14. Gav Mack, Nov 11, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2014

    Gav Mack macrumors 68020

    Gav Mack

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    #15
    If the video cable doesn't fix it sell it. Nothing worse for photoshop user than a glitchy screen, I change my monitor at the first sign of one.

    The buyer probably won't even notice if it's one of those really hard ones to spot. Do 100% RGB images of each colour full screen to see which one causes the glitch. Green I find is more common than the other two. Make sure you wear powder free gloves taking the glass on and off, using a nice glass polish like iKlear both sides cos I don't like calls from clients moaning saying there's a print on the inside of my glass :D
     
  15. jazzer15 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Oct 8, 2010
    #16
    Well, I'll see what Apple tells me after they change out the vsync cables. My wife told me I should just take the computer back in either case, pass it on to her and buy a new one. It would be a win win. She has an 8 year old PC, so the iMac would be a big step up. She doesn't do photo editing (only email, internet, etc.) and wouldn't even notice the issue unless it got a lot worse. I, of course, wind up with a new machine.
     
  16. roberthallin macrumors member

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    Stockholm, Sweden
    #17

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