How Old is too Old for an iMac????

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Mikebike125, Mar 17, 2018.


How old its your Mac?

  1. 0-3 years old?

    26 vote(s)
  2. 3-6 years old?

    26 vote(s)
  3. 6-9 years old?

    65 vote(s)
  4. 9-12 years old?

    34 vote(s)
  5. 12-15 years old?

    7 vote(s)
  6. 15-20 years old and STILL kicking!!!

    8 vote(s)
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. Mikebike125 macrumors 6502


    Mar 25, 2007
    I am inheriting an old Core 2 Duo 1.83 17" iMac 5,2 with 2GB of RAM. It is functioning but very slow at the moment probably because of all the garbage loaded on it.

    What I would like: My wife would like to be able to get on the internet and get recipes and look at news and maybe some email. Nothing more.

    What I plan on doing: I would like to wipe the hard drive clean and then reload OSX. Not sure which version would run the best or if I should just get the latest that it can take.

    Is this reasonable to do? Will it work and be relatively useful? Do you have any suggestions? How old a Mac do you have and does it still run well?
  2. BornAgainMac macrumors 603


    Feb 4, 2004
    Florida Resident
    I have an iMac from 2001 that still works. As long as I run OS 9 software from that era including games it runs great. Having said that, to me it isn't the age of the iMac but if it is running traditional 5400/7200 rpm drives. I would never go back to those again for my main Mac.
  3. TyWahn macrumors 6502


    Oct 25, 2003
    I JUST laid to rest a working (but slow) 2008 iMac running Sierra. It did everything I needed, it was just limping along. SO I got a good 10 years out of it with a 2.6GHz (I think) Core 2 Duo with 4 GB of RAM and a 750 GB 7200 RPM HDD. The SuperDrive died long ago.
  4. EugW, Mar 18, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2018

    EugW macrumors 603


    Jun 18, 2017
    With 2 GB RAM and hard drive it will still be slow after a clean install of 10.7.5, Plus 10.7.5 is problematic even just for surfing since no modern mainstream browser supports it. And I wouldn’t even consider running anything older than 10.7.5. 10.7.5 is already bad but 10.6.8 is even worse for support.

    Honestly, I’d consider installing CloudReady Chrome OS on it. That’s pretty limited but at least it includes the latest version of Chrome browser and it will make that machine feel fast.

    To do this you’d want to get a copy of the 10.7 installer just in case you want to go back to OS X, and save that. Then create the CloudReady single-boot 64-bit installer on a USB drive then boot off the USB drive to perform the install. That will wipe the Mac and install Chrome OS. The easiest way to create the installer is on a Windows machine though since it’s all automatic. On a Mac you need to manually create the installer.

    I was in a similar situation with my MacBook4,1 since that too is limited to 10.7.5. I replaced it with a MacBook5,1 to run a modern version of macOS and then put Chrome OS on the MacBook4,1 as an additional surfing machine.
  5. Cox Orange macrumors 68000

    Jan 1, 2010
    So he has this one (sure its not the Cor Duo without the "2"?)

    Before I try anything, I would first delete unneeded stuff or move personal folders etc. to an external or USB-stick, then delete those personal folders, shut down and restart and then save the current install of your 10.7.5 with Super Duper (preferred by myself, since still free) or carbon copy cloner to an external HDD, that has to have a seperate volume for this or be alone for that use.

    (at) all:
    I assume, when he does the recovery/internet installation (not sure if they added that to those machines or will he have to start off with the 10.4 DVDs?) he will be offered the latest Update, which of course is not supported, right? or will he be ofered the last supported one (i.e. 10.7.5)?

    If he gets offered 10.7.5 maybe someone can guide him along how to keep the install pkg.

    RE no supported browsers:
    there is icab, which got its last update 3/2017 but is still under support by the author

    what about firefox in its last available version plus some addons/plugins an extra messures that start at the LAN/Wifi-router? (I don't know how much you can trust the user not to click on scam wen searching for recipes, especially "make your mac faster" or "clean your mac" scams).

    Maybe would also have to search for the latest compatible adobe flash plugin / player.

    He could then try how it runs. If that isn't satisfying, then he could think whether it is worth it for him to buy an SSD (don't know if that would help in this scenario, but I remembered back then, that it helped with the OS performance of 10.10).
  6. EugW macrumors 603


    Jun 18, 2017
    He mentioned he will be receiving the Core 2 Duo model.

    BTW, the Core Duo version is utterly useless in 2018. It can't run any OS X version past 10.6.8, and it can't run CloudReady Chrome OS either.
  7. Cox Orange macrumors 68000

    Jan 1, 2010
    I know hence I wanted to get sure, if he really has the C2D iMac with the for the eye similar specs to the CD-iMac.
  8. MechaSpanky macrumors 6502


    Sep 11, 2007
    I use a late 2009 iMac running High Sierra as my regular computer and it runs just fine. I believe that High Sierra is the last Mac OS that I'll be able to run on it so I'll have to move to a newer model sometime in the next couple of years but for now it continues to be capable enough for my uses.

    Like BornAgainMac I too have an old iMac that runs an older version of the classic OS (mine came with OS 8.1 or 8.5 but I don't remember which one) and it still works. It is slow but it works fine with old PowerPC software (and I don't go online with it).
  9. Woodstockie macrumors member


    Aug 12, 2015
    Just this week I got my new 2015 5K 27" iMac with 2TB to replace my 2008 24" iMac. It was still working, but had more often regular freeze ups. I had already replaced the HD with an SSD and the superdrive for a second HD, maxed out on the RAM, but when I saw a good deal for the 27" I jumped on it. The difference in speed and screen is remarkable. So much brighter and overall much faster. I will clean the 24' up and put it on Craigslist soon.
  10. EugW macrumors 603


    Jun 18, 2017
    The OPs iMac can't run anything beyond 10.7.5 Lion, which IMO is almost unusable in 2018. Even just logging into some websites (financial, institutional) sometimes won't work properly because there is no modern browser support on that OS.
  11. Cox Orange macrumors 68000

    Jan 1, 2010
    Well, if someone has a PowerPC-era Mac already "laying" around, I'd say try it, because there is TenFourFox browser which still gets security updates of the modern FireFox and depending on the CPU 320p youtube is watchable, too, but... for other people I would strongly hestitate to sugguest a PowerPC, if someone doesn't do it from a collector's and hobby perspective, too. I still have PowerPCs and very rarly use my ibook G4 for webbrowsing still, but when I have spend a lot of time in front of my Intel Mac brwosing on the PowerPC Mac feels like walking through grease; you have to get accustomed to it. (OK, in the PowerPC section of this forum, there is a tweaks-Guide for TenFour Fox that I haven't applied to my install, maybe that would do wonders, but Users get very differing experiences with TFFx anyway).
  12. EugW macrumors 603


    Jun 18, 2017
    I gave up on trying to use TenFourFox on PowerPC something like 5 years ago.

    I have retired all of my PowerPC Macs from active use, even as guest machines.

    BTW, I currently still have 5 PowerPC Macs in this house. They are all in my Mac retirement room. I recently added a 2006 Core Duo iMac there too, as I consider it pretty much unusable now.
  13. Mikebike125 thread starter macrumors 6502


    Mar 25, 2007
    It is a 1.83 GHz Core 2 Duo.

    I am currently just removing all of my parents old photos before I take the next steps. It currently has 10.6.8 on it. I forgot which OS that is.... Snow Leopard? I have the disc for that.
  14. eric89074 macrumors regular

    Sep 19, 2012
    Put cloudready on it. It will be fine for web surfing and low res video.
  15. Cox Orange macrumors 68000

    Jan 1, 2010
    Yes. Well, then there would be Leopard Webkit, as an up-to-date brwoser on PowerPC, but probably still not as save as the slower TFFx.

    Sorry, this was my last comment on PowerPCs, it is sort of off topic to the Threadstarter, I know.
  16. Mikebike125 thread starter macrumors 6502


    Mar 25, 2007
    So, to get things running as quickly as they can, should I just delete all unnecessary programs and then leave things alone? Is re-installing the operating system going to help or would it just be the same?

    If I need to reload the OS, since I have the Snow Leopard disc, that is 10.6. Should I load that and then check for an update from Apple to get the latest version of 10.6?
  17. Altis macrumors 68030

    Sep 10, 2013
    If you want the best performance on that hardware, your best bet will be Linux -- which should be perfectly fine for your intended use.

    I have a 2010 MBP (17") that runs pretty poorly in OSX, but Windows 7 and Linux both run absolutely beautifully on it. If it weren't for those, I'd have had to replace it by now.
  18. kschendel macrumors 65816

    Dec 9, 2014
    If you're willing to put $40 or so into the machine, you can get 120 Gb SSD's for that price if you look around. The disk drive that's in there is probably on its last legs, unless the computer has been powered off for most of the last decade.
  19. Fishrrman macrumors P6


    Feb 20, 2009
    I'm coming to the conclusion that the best way to "revive" old Macs (say, 9-10 years old) is to install a copy of Linux onto them and run them that way.

    Apple abandons old hardware, but many up-to-date Linux distributions will still run on them!
  20. EugW macrumors 603


    Jun 18, 2017
    I prefer Chrome, mainly because of the ease of install and ease of use.

    The Chrome OS platform is also surprisingly robust in some aspects, although not so much in others.
  21. WabbalaFlumpkin macrumors member


    Feb 26, 2018
    Las Vegas
    1999 ibook Blueberry
    Original parts & still working
  22. Fishrrman macrumors P6


    Feb 20, 2009
    EugW wrote:
    "I prefer Chrome, mainly because of the ease of install and ease of use.
    The Chrome OS platform is also surprisingly robust in some aspects, although not so much in others."

    Interesting, I hadn't thought of that.
    But... does the Chrome OS have the same data-gathering hooks that the Chrome browser has (being a google product)?

    Does it have as many applications available as does Linux?
  23. EugW, Mar 20, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2018

    EugW macrumors 603


    Jun 18, 2017
    Yes. But I don't really care.

    No, but then again, macOS doesn't have as many applications available as Windows, and I prefer macOS.

    I prefer the implementation on Chrome OS as compared to Linux, and Chrome OS actually has MS Office. And the MS Office on Chrome is even free in some instances.

    Basically, if you can get a good install on a supported Linux distribution then great, but the times I've tried installing Linux on a Mac it was a real PITA, not just for the primary install, but also for the component support. CloudReady Chrome isn't perfect either, and creating an installer on a Mac is also a few steps, but if you have access to a Windows PC, creating a USB installer of Chrome for the Mac is actually just a one step process. The installer is universal and supports Windows machines and all supported 64-bit Macs.

    You can boot off the installer and test it out right there, but if you want to install the OS, it's really easy from the installer. It too is a one-step process. No 3rd party drivers to find. The components/accessories either work or don't work. For example, they tell you ahead of time that the iSight camera won't work, so no fumbling around trying different drivers to see if you can get it to work, only to find out 2 hours later it still doesn't work.

    Here is the certified compatibility list for my MacBook4,1 for example:
  24. Cox Orange macrumors 68000

    Jan 1, 2010
    Yes, it is not the same. Reinstalling will make things a bit faster. A reinstall is referred, but if you want to go the lazy road, you can use SuperDuper. Backup your current OS install to an external HDD with it and then play it back to the internal disk again. SuperDuper copies file by file wich results in a defragmentation (which is why it takes longer than CCC btw.). Yes, OS X has it's own defragmentation algorithms every time one starts the OS, but people have found out, that over years the build in cleaning/defrag doesn't fix everything anymore. Still, a clean install will be best.
    --- Post Merged, Mar 20, 2018 ---
    You will be offered this or you can tip the apple symbol in the upper left hand corner and go to softwareupdates. You shold be offered the latest version of 10.6. (which should be 10.6.8). With more modern Macs the Mac will offer you to update to the latest OS (like from 10.8. to 10.12.), I don't think, they had that back then.

    What about trying to find a 10.7. license on ebay?
  25. meddow macrumors member


    Nov 18, 2017
    iMac (27-inch, Late 2009
    2.66 GHz Intel Core i5
    16 GB 1067 MHz DDR3

    still going strong with og hdd!, most likely the last year due to not being able to update to new os :-(

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