How often do you upgrade your iMac and how do you afford to upgrade so often?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Kendo, Apr 4, 2011.

  1. Kendo macrumors 68000

    Apr 4, 2011
    Before this turns into a thread full of "I'm a lawyer and I make $100,000 a year" type of posts, I want to clarify that I am not asking what you do for a living. In the same way that 95% of the strangers you come across every day are not trust fund babies, I would imagine that the majority of the users here are just like me. I make a moderate amount of income where I am not living paycheck to paycheck and can afford a few luxuries (HDTV, Xbox 360, iPhone, iPad), but cannot purchase an iMac every refresh and cannot afford to be unemployed for more than 6 months.

    I often see members who have the latest and greatest iMacs and MacBook Pros in their signatures. For example in one thread, I saw a user with a 17" MacBook Pro, 27" Apple Cinema Display, and a 13" MacBook Air. In another thread, I saw a user clinging onto an iMac G3 waiting for the 2011 iMac refresh. I plan on purchasing a base 27" iMac as soon as the refresh hits and hope to use it for a good 5 years.

    Which brings me to 2 questions:

    1) How often do you upgrade your iMac or MacBook Pro? I'd like to limit this to the computers as the iPad and iPhone are significantly easier to keep up with the current models.

    2) How do you finance it? Do you purchase it on credit and make monthly payments? Do you sell your current model and use that money towards the latest refresh? Are Apple products your main vice so you will sacrifice money elsewhere (such as dining out, traveling during vacations, shopping for clothes)? Are your parents rich and buy you what you please? No shame in that by the way. We strive to work hard and gain wealth so we can afford more luxuries to ourselves and our loved ones.

    2011 will be the year I officially make the leap to OSX and I can't wait. After owning an iPhone 3GS for two years and an iPad for one, the hardware design and iOS are the reasons why I am blindly dropping $1700 on a new 27" iMac. Expose and Spaces have already tickled my fancy at the Apple Store and I can't wait to jump into OSX.
  2. antman2x2 macrumors 6502a

    Mar 1, 2011
    New YAWK
    :O I feel left out!

    What about my category? "The teenager"

    For me, its not mommy and daddys money like most of the kids I know... well it is there money. But I have to make sure that I do well in school, and do EVERYTHING that is expected of me. No I dont have to be a 99 average student but I must pass all my classes and stay out of trouble.

    As for refreshing goes, since I dont have a job, its RARE.

    The computers I get as birthday gifts and stuff have to last me maybe about 3 years. And if I mess up, its no new computer for me.
  3. velocityg4 macrumors 601


    Dec 19, 2004
    I use to replace my Mac's every year but broke that habit a long time ago. Mainly due to how slowly speed went up in the 2000's vs the 1990's.

    Anyways what most people do who keep up with the latest and greatest. They buy the new Mac and then sell off the previous year model. Usually you would expect to lose maybe 10% to 20% of the purchase price. By doing so you can keep up with the latest tech.

    If you think about it you will end up spending the same amount of money doing the yearly update. Rather than replacing every five years and selling the old Mac for very little.

    This is a small group of people that keep up with the latest. Most people just want their computer to work and use it until it is hopelessly obsolete.
  4. flopticalcube macrumors G4


    Sep 7, 2006
    In the velcro closure of America's Hat
    I only replace a machine if it's broken or unable to run the software in what I would consider an acceptable manner. My daughter had a mini but I had to swap that out for an iMac a year later because it was woefully underpowered but the iMac has been going well for 3 years now. My iMac (mid 2007) is still able to do what I need it for so it will be with me for probably another year. I sell the old machine to help pay for the new one. This makes economic sense regardless of one's financial position.
  5. QCassidy352 macrumors G4


    Mar 20, 2003
    Bay Area
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_3_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8G4 Safari/6533.18.5)

    I too used to upgrade just about every year but have broken that trend, mostly because my 2008 iMac worked so darn well. I did just sell it and bought a MBA because I needed the portability. But it was so great that I miss it already and will be tempted by the new one.

    As for how I afford it, I have a good job. But even when I didn't, I found it wasn't that hard to upgrade every year because if you sell the old one only a year later, it covers maybe 3/4 the cost of the new one (say, get $900 for last year's $1200 model). So the new one is a few hundred, depending on what model. That's a lot of money, but a few hundred once a year hardly requires you to be wealthy.
  6. B.A.T macrumors 6502a

    Oct 16, 2009
    When I had pcs they lasted me a little over 5 years. I switched back to mac in 2009 with a 24" iMac. Six weeks later out came the 27" iMac. Once the new models come out and after lion comes out I will buy a high end 27" refub. I'll sell the 24" to help pay for it. After that I hope to get back on the 5 year plan.
  7. MTI macrumors 65816

    Feb 17, 2009
    Scottsdale, AZ
    Computers are tools, some more expensive than the other. Tools are useful if they can do the job in an efficient manner. When that stops, it's time to upgrade. Otherwise, everything else is "just showin' off." :cool:
  8. omyard macrumors regular

    Jul 26, 2010
    Normally I'm an every few year at best upgrader. I usually only get a mid-range model because I don't want to over spend because I'm not a power user, but I want something that'll go for about 5 years at least. The only reason I'm getting a new one this year is because my ex stole my 2010 model.

    I usually do some sort of financing deal if I can get one.
  9. vidoc2 macrumors newbie

    Dec 1, 2010
    I was in the same situation you describe. I loved my iPhone 4, which brought me to the iPad. Having a great experience with both, and in need of a replacement for my Dell laptop, I read all the posts and asked a lot of questions. I ended up going with an iMac since I have an iPad and my wife got a laptop for Christmas. My original plan was to get the i3, but a friend convinced me to pay the extra and go right to the i7 since I was going to be doing a lot of photo and video editing. I ended up paying cash for it since I had it, and I was able to take advantage of the military discount. Apple has great discounts if you are a student or in the education field, as well as military and health care. Apple products seem to become an addiction, therefore I can see how users are drawn to upgrade or want to upgrade every year. I think timing is important, as some updates are more then a few hardware improvements, such as major cosmetic changes. It's kind of like buying a new car, it's difficult to upgrade each year, instead wait until there is a major overhaul...even then, I'd give it a year to work out any kinks!
  10. BigDukeSix, Apr 4, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2011

    BigDukeSix macrumors 6502a


    Sep 22, 2010
    34.6700N 118.1590W
    I pretty much only upgrade when my computer breaks. I had a G4 lampshade for 5 years, then it died about 18 months ago. In order to save money I got the 1.6 G5 Powermac to replace the G4, which is still running, but was obviously slow. After a little more than a year, I was able to swing the Mini from the refurb store. Since I live away from home due to work, I needed a laptop, so I got the MacBook and will keep it till it quits. I never feel the need to update just when something comes out.
  11. falsecathedrals macrumors member

    May 16, 2007
    I have averaged 4 years with laptops. I have a late 2002 powerbook g4 (still runs), a mid 2007 macbook pro (also still runs fine but not enough ram or hard drive space for what I need now) and I just upgraded to a 2011 macbook pro. The powerbook was for college, and I paid for half with my own money from my high school job. The 2007 macbook pro was a college graduation present from my mom who had made a lot of money in apple stock (bought right before they announced the first iphone), so I guess apple bought me that computer. The new macbook pro I paid mostly with my tax return, and the rest from savings. I am a phd student, so I do get paid, but its not a lot. My plan is to keep this one for 4 years also.

    I never sold any of my old computers because they come in handy if I ever need to send the current one in for repairs. They are old enough that I wouldn't get much for them anyway.
  12. nasty devil macrumors member

    Apr 9, 2008
    West Jleeb, Kuwait
    I really like the way you started your post :)

    I'm a college student, and I do not work yet I've owned every single iPhone, and have the 3 gaming consoles, a DSi and the i7 iMac. How? I have a monthly grant from college of 100kd (around 360$), my parents help and we have a lot of celebrations here :D.
    So I save, and get whatever I want.

    But, that doesn't mean I'll buy a new Mac with every refresh.

    Believe me, almost anyone here can get a good machine, but it just depends on what you do with the money before you buy. Do you save a little? Or do you spend it?

    As for upgrades, I think I'll be adding more RAM for the time being.
  13. Shivetya macrumors 65816

    Jan 16, 2008
    1. When I want to. Specifically, if the new generation offers a significant upgrade over what I am currently using and that upgrade affects what I need the machine to do.

    2. I pay for it in whole or use a zero interest CC offer. I do not borrow money to buy a computer. If your doing that then your just stupid. Stupid, stupid, stupid. Simple as that, if you cannot save up for something as simple as a computer you are either buying too much computer or one you truly cannot afford.

    I know response number 2 is going to get a rise out of people, but damn, if you can't save the money for the purchase then you lack financial discipline are going to keep on the road of always being on the wrong side of your financial well being. If you cannot exercise the discipline to save for the things you want how do you think you will do in retirement? A computer is not an expensive purchase, if you think it is then you need to hold off. That should be the first clue that your spending too much. As in, your first reaction is usually right.

    I have multiple savings accounts for different reasons. I put money in them as I can in order to use them when I want to. One is an automatic deduction. Its my "computer fund". If I don't have enough in there I don't buy. Even if I have the money elsewhere.

    Plus, the majority of users can make a killing off buying refurb or some other persons previous used computer when that person just has to have the latest thing.
  14. kfscoll macrumors 65816


    Nov 3, 2009
    I usually upgrade every other generation. For example, I have a mid-'09 C2D MacBook Pro that I recently upgraded to a quad-core '11 MBP and I have a late '09 iMac Core i7 that I plan to upgrade once the new ones are released. I usually pay outright for the upgrades but I'll also typically sell my old equipment to help pay for the new stuff.

    My wife and I both have good jobs and no kids so fueling this silly upgrade cycle isn't much of a stretch. The problem is also paying for gaming PC upgrades! ;)
  15. iPodgamer1016, Apr 5, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2011

    iPodgamer1016 macrumors newbie

    Dec 28, 2010
    I'm one of those people who doesn't get rid of something if it still works. I have an iMac G5 that broke (won't turn on, HD broke too :confused: ). So, I went out and bought a 21.5" one. I paid for like 700 and my mom paid 5. It is awesome! I hope it lasts forever, but with macs, you never know. Anyway, i say you at least get an intel (so u can update to lion) and chill with it until it breaks.
    17" iMac G5,1.9 GHz,1GB Ram,250GB HD (Broken);21.5" iMac Intel Core i3,4GB Ram,3.06 GHz,500GB HD
  16. duky macrumors 6502

    Jun 25, 2007
    North Carolina
    Upgrade all my Apple products every year before the 1st year of AppleCare expires. I keep my equipment in perfect condition with the original box and all accessories so I sell them as though they just walked out of an Apple store (wrapping around the computer and everything). In this manner I usually get everything except about $100 or $200 back. For instance I just sold my 2.8 GHz Core i7 iMac with 16GB RAM (not added by Apple) for $2300 which is the list price for a brand new one. So basically I will spend about 100 to 300 max upgrading a computer, which isn't very expensive. But when you consider that I'm upgrading a desktop, laptop, Mac mini (home theater - don't really need to upgrade this) iPad and iPhone it can get to be like a $1000 per year thing total. But yeah, Apple products are my vice. I love them, I love new designs and I love when they work like new so I have to get em. Most people think it's stupid, and it is a waste of money but there's not much else worth the money to me. And it's not like I'm going broke off buying the stuff anyway.
  17. CHSeifert macrumors 6502


    Dec 28, 2010
    Copenhagen, Denmark - Scandinavia
    My plan is to keep my MBP and MBA for 2 years.

    I buy new MBA & iPad in 2012, new MBP in 2013 and so forth.

    This way I will sell when there is still one year left of the Apple Care - and hopefully get a better price.

    I financed my first Apple purchase, because I am supposed to sell some stocks in July/August to finance my Apple purchase, but couldn't wait - so had to finance my first Apple products :eek:

    From now on - I will buy all my Apple products with ca$h - sell the old one and then pay for new one with cool ca$h :cool:

    If you use your computer professionally, I can't see anything wrong with financing it, as long as it earns you more money than you paid for the Apple through financing. It's as simple as that in my view :)
  18. harcosparky macrumors 68020

    Jan 14, 2008
    Every three yours, lately though stretching that out.

    All machines are purchased with Apple Care, I like to replace them just before the Apple Care expires.

    However the Apple Care on this iMac expired January 2011, I am now waiting to see if a refresh comes along. If I like it, I'll buy it and give this one to someone down the list.

  19. bizzle macrumors 6502a

    Jun 29, 2008
    I'm a lawyer and I make $100,000 a year.

    Just kidding, I actually make $500,000 a year.
  20. TrollToddington macrumors 6502

    Feb 27, 2011
    1) It's my first iMac. It's light speed fast compared to anything I've had before. For home usage it's perfect, I run Aperture, iTunes, internet browsing, composing music, playing the piano (though I haven't got a digital piano yet, nor the software, but I intend to use the computer that way, too).

    So far the most resource consuming task I've put my iMac through was exporting a slideshow from Aperture. It takes 30 minutes to export e 3 minute slideshow, though it shows only 20% CPU usage). I'd be happier if it could do the same export in 10 minutes @ 60% CPU usage. But anyway. I do not export every day so it's not a problem.

    I plan to get rid of this computer and get a new one when SSD become mainstream.

    2) I financed my iMac from my salary. I earn a fair amount of trolldollars here in Trollingland. There are other trolls who earn much more. I am just happy i can afford a mac. Now I want an MBA but am waiting for their refresh. I am not into iPhones, iPods and stuff like this.
  21. slu macrumors 68000


    Sep 15, 2004
    I have never updated my rev A iMac G5. I did buy a white MacBook in late 2008 (I think. It was right after the aluminum MacBooks came out.) that I got a great deal on as a clearance item at the campus bookstore of the university for which I worked at the time.

    The iMac just recently started to make some strange noises, so it might be dying. I don't really have a need to upgrade from the MacBook yet. I just put in a 750GB HDD and maxed out the RAM. I'll probably upgrade when the MacBook can't run some software or do some task that I want it to do. I expect that in a year or two.

    Basically I use my machines as long as they get the job done for me. That seems to be at least 5 years for a Mac for me. I generally pay with cash/debit card. I can afford to buy a computer every 4 years or so.
  22. dwarnecke11 macrumors 6502

    Nov 29, 2009
    I owned my Mac mini G4 for over 5 years and replaced it last fall with this 2.93 Ghz i7 iMac. I expect it to last me at least six years. It was a financial stretch to afford this beastly iMac, but if I can make it last a while it will be well worth it.
  23. Wang Foolio macrumors regular

    Jan 11, 2010
    My 27" i7 iMac is ~15 months old. I haven't thrown anything at it that it couldn't handle, so no need to replace any time soon. I took extremely good care of my last PC and got 5 years out of it. The iMac should be able to match that, although I may buy a Macbook Air at some point in the next few updates once I finally convince myself I will use a laptop more than once in a blue moon.

    For other shiny things, I have all the consoles and a 46" Aquos to watch on. Brand new Pioneer VSX1020 and recently upgraded 5.1 system. I also drive a 3.8L Genesis Coupe that I bought in October.

    All that said, I am a fairly recent university graduate, I have no debt aside from car payments (worked my ass off during school to pay for it), I make a bit over 50k a year and manage my money well. I do have expensive tastes and I do love shiny electronic toys, but I pick my purchases very carefully and don't flush money down the toilet in other areas (ie. no smoking, don't spend more than $20 at the bar when I occasionally go, etc.). It also doesn't hurt that I am currently single. No wife/kids to spend money on :cool:
  24. Frankydan100 macrumors regular


    Dec 5, 2010
    Birmingham UK
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_3_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8G4 Safari/6533.18.5)

    I bought my MacBook pro with last April when they first came out, don't really feel the need to update again now, it's still pretty darn awesome, what I am doing though is replacing the SuperDrive with an SSD and adding more Ram!
    With these extra mods it will still be a kick-ass system for years to come!
  25. dubAdub, Apr 5, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2011

    dubAdub macrumors member


    Mar 31, 2011
    Bray, Ireland
    I upgraded from my 2004 iMac G5 after 3 years in 2007 because it was too slow to play HD video. My 2007 core 2 duo extreme is still fast enough but parts are starting to fail, the disk broke recently and the screen has developed yellow banding. I've got away without Applecare but will probably get it on the next one as I'm going to spec it to the nines except for Apple RAM.

    In general I like to skip a major refresh or two so that most of the specs go up by a decent multiple. I'm not buying a computer that's only marginally better than the previous one.

    I paid for the 2007 iMac from savings and "repaid" myself monthly from salary over the next 2 years. Since then I've been saving the same amount towards the next one. If they release a 30" iMac I'll borrow the extra from my other savings again and then repay it.

Share This Page