I want to buy a new Mac every year and sell the old one

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by superspiffy, May 25, 2010.

  1. superspiffy macrumors 6502a

    Feb 6, 2007
    What do you guys think about this system of upgrading...

    Buy a Mac, sell it next year to pay for the upgraded model and doing it all over again every year.

    How much would I be spending every year towards the cost of a new Mac minus the resell value of my old Mac? $1000 more or less? I'll definitely keep the Mac in mint condition if that helps. If I'm going to buy a Mac it would be the i7 iMac and upgrade from there.

    Here's a little context: I'm entertaining the idea of building a Hackintosh so I could upgrade one or two components every year instead of buying a brand new Mac. But stability and high maintenance is making me have second thoughts (I use ProApps). I also game so periodically upgrading video cards is a ritual.
  2. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    Mostly pointless?

    Almost certainly less than $1000, but it depends on what the year-to-year upgrades are.

    I don't really see why anyone would do this mostly because of the usual headaches that accompany transferring everything, getting certain settings to work exactly as they were before, dealing with the problems of a new generation, etc. C2D-to-i* is significant upgrade for the "pro" user, but subsequent speed bumps for the i* processors probably won't be.
  3. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
    I wouldn't upgrade along every update, only with the ones that actually are count as updates, i.e. ones that provide something significant. Depends on what comes out of course I would say less than 500$ per upgrade, even less if you have edu discount

    As for Hackintosh, they aren't unstable and don't need much maintenance, it's like real Mac when everything is running, only updating takes time but no need to update if everything is fine
  4. Sequin macrumors regular

    Mar 21, 2010
    Maybe you need to get a computer whose parts you can upgrade yourself... o_o;
  5. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    Sounds like you like to chase technology which is fine if your wallet supports it. It is dumb, but it's fine.
  6. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    This sounds like the reasoning of someone who doesn't have a productive need for a computer, but just wants to play with the newest gadgets out there. :rolleyes:
  7. 7thMac macrumors 6502

    May 10, 2010
    This is not necessarily a terrible idea but I think another interval is better, possibly 2 years. That way you get more of an upgrade and have less hassle with the transfer of your life to the new computer. As to cost, go on Ebay or CL and do the math. As many have observed, Macs seem to depreciate slowly compared to nearly all other brands. You can benefit from that in upgrading.
  8. mscriv macrumors 601


    Aug 14, 2008
    Dallas, Texas
    Super, why don't you tell us a little bit more about your computer use. You say you use ProApps, but don't tell us exactly what or why you feel the annual upgrade would be needed? If you bought an i7 iMac maxed out right now then I couldn't see a need for upgrade until 2 or 3 years down the road depending on your needs. If you like to tinker and customize then the iMac might not be the best choice for you since upgrades can be difficult and are limited. Maybe you should consider the Mac Pro.
  9. superspiffy thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Feb 6, 2007
    I gotcha but every two years might be a little too long for me. Remember, I game.

    I bought the top of the line 15'' MacBook Pro on April 2008 and the 8600m gt ran Battlefield 2142 well. Then it started running out of HDD space in 2009, not to mention the gfx card was already mediocre running Modern Warfare 1 on 1440x900 but add a 22'' display, forget about it. But if I had the 9600m gt at that time on the 2009 MBPs, I guess it would have not been so bad. Imagine how bad MW 2 would run now. I'm putting everything on low-medium when playing the SC 2 beta as it is.

    Plus, the value of the Mac I'm reselling would depreciate twice as much in two years versus one year right?

    It's cool I'll restore my User folder from Time Machine. Plus I don't mind reinstalling apps and settings like once a year on new hardware.
  10. vaderhater245 macrumors 6502

    Mar 4, 2008
    Flagstaff, AZ
  11. superspiffy thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Feb 6, 2007
    Not really. I use Final Cut Studio and the Adobe Suite. Not everyday but enough to warrant a stable computer when I do. I want to update my system once a year (specifically the gfx card) because I play games and not necessarily because I use ProApps. But I also want it stable because I run ProApps and not necessarily because I play games. Get it?

    Ideally I want the upgreadability of a hackintosh with the stability and hassle free of a real Mac. If I can't have both I'd rather have stability than upgreadability and buy a new Mac every year with the updated video card as long as it won't cost me a fortune to do that. Somewhere around $500-700 would be ok. I just have to make sure I can sell my old Mac so I can pay that much of a difference for a new Mac.

    Also before anyone suggests it: no, a Mac Pro will not be an option because of the steep price and sorry gfx offering plus you can't upgrade the mobo/CPU. And yes I know I should just buy an xbox and I have. I want to play computer games not xbox games.
  12. iMav macrumors 6502


    Jun 20, 2008
    Columbus, WI
    Do what you want. I upgrade much more frequently then I "need" to. I enjoy indulging in the latest/greatest.
  13. alexbates macrumors 65816


    Nov 24, 2008
    Georgia, USA
    If you need a decent graphics, just build a Hackintosh. I built a quad-core Hacktintosh with a GeForce 9800 GTX+ a few months back for around $700. Following the tutorial on Lifehacker gives you a rig where updates are hassle free :)

    It plays Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 amazingly (On the Windows Hard Drive). Haven't tried any games in OS X, but I'm sure they run just as well.

    Then, about every year, you can simply pop in a new graphics card.
  14. superspiffy thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Feb 6, 2007
    Yea most likely this is the only way. Even the graphics card on current macs like the 4850 on the i7 iMac is pretty mediocre anyway. How's the stability on your build? Do you run Final Cut Studio? And aside from point OS X releases, what do you do when there's a security update, iLife, ProApps, firmware, or drivers update?
  15. alexbates macrumors 65816


    Nov 24, 2008
    Georgia, USA
    I built it for a relative, so it's not really mine. I do use it pretty often though...

    It is incredibly stable. Uses a 2.66GHz Intel Quad Core with 4GB or RAM. I don't have Final Cut, but it runs the Adobe Suite very well. The rig is very similar to the low-end $2500 Mac Pro. So basically, any OS X software that runs on the Mac Pro will run on this Hackintosh equally or better.

    With a Hacktintosh, the only update you have to worry about is what appears as "Mac OS X Update" in Software Update. All other updates will work without a problem. In this case, even that update is nothing to worry about. I recently updated it to 10.6.3 directly from 10.6.0, without any problems.

    Used most of these parts: http://lifehacker.com/5351485/how-to-build-a-hackintosh-with-snow-leopard-start-to-finish
  16. racer1441 macrumors 68000

    Jul 3, 2009
    I do that every six months. Usually running with upgrades, laptop one time, desktop the next.

    I usually only loose about 100 - 200, my record is a MBP that I actually got about $400 more than I paid for it....thank goodness for ebayers who don't research!
  17. flyfish29 macrumors 68020


    Feb 4, 2003
    New HAMpshire
    It isn't all that bad of idea. I have decided to take the 2-3 year upgrade right now only because I just bought the applecare....discounted due to being an educator.

    But if you think about it- if you did it every year you would ALWAYS have a warranty on your equipment- so there is piece of mind as well as a potential cost savings right there. Even if you take a hit of $3-500 a year at the most....after the initial investment you end up paying about $1800 every four years which is about the price of a good Mac....and probably never have to pay for repairs. So I say if you can afford the initial investment and the yearly cost then go for it!
  18. rjphoto macrumors 6502a


    Mar 7, 2005
    Interesting philosophy

    I've been using hand-me-down / second hand computers since 2001.

    So, guys like me may be interested when you get ready to sell.

    I'm using a 2006 MacBook Intel Core 2 Duo 2 GHz that I bought a year ago. (It beats the heck out of the 12" 867Mhz PowerBook I was using.) There are some things that bog it down every now and then. I've been lucky so far. If I need super speed for a major edit I have friends with MacPros.
  19. Guiguiga macrumors regular


    Jul 22, 2009
    Ft. Lauderdale - FL
    Well, I'd say if you're willing to go through setting up a new machine, transferring files, and tuning the machine every year, go for it!

    I do it too because I travel to South America more than twice a year. Every time I go back I sell my computer, cellphone, and any other device I can sell for more than 100% profit.

    You can definitely sell your computer every year losing about 20% of it's original value in the U.S. or sell it to someone overseas and use UPS or DHL to deliver it.

    If you can, do the same with your car. For me it's not mainly for keeping up with the latest and greatest, it's truly about NOT losing much money when reselling anything. Just pay a little premium for having the best and than move on to a better thing when it comes out.
  20. bartzilla macrumors 6502a

    Aug 11, 2008
    If you're prepared to lose the money each year on re-sale, for what will mostly be a minimal gain, you're prepared to waste your time doing the migration from a new machine to an old one, etc then hey, it's your money and time you're wasting. But I think it's an insane idea.
  21. allmIne macrumors 6502a


    Sep 17, 2008
    United Kingdom
    The horror!
  22. Cinnabar macrumors member

    Oct 13, 2009
    United Kingdom
  23. mscriv macrumors 601


    Aug 14, 2008
    Dallas, Texas
    Well super after listening to your uses and goals then it sounds like the hackintosh route is probably the best for you since the Mac Pro is a definite no. Best of luck.
  24. duky macrumors 6502

    Jun 25, 2007
    North Carolina
    Do what you want with your computer. I don't buy the environment argument because it's not like you're tossing these computers out, you're "recycling them" to people who would have bought a computer anyway.

    I probably upgrade my computers/mobile devices every 6 months and have probably lost about $100 (some of my computers I bought heavily discounted through our old university store) on average per computer. It's costly and annoying sometimes having to deal with many B.S. Craigslist people but I like trying out new stuff. Oddly enough, the easiest part about it is the setting up of the new computer. Between MobileMe, and my own minimalism (everything I need on my computer is either in my Music, Documents, Pictures, Sites folders or on an external hard drive so no need to restore; the rest is easily re-installable). I've become so efficient at it that it takes probably about an hour to set up the new computer to be exactly the way my old one was.

    To those who say this is dumb, to each his own. If you're happy with your older hardware, that's cool but I'm not and might as well let someone else get a good deal on the tech I don't want
  25. shoppy macrumors 6502a

    Mar 4, 2007
    I buy every revision pretty much as I get an itch. I know it makes no sense but what the heck you live once. I am in the process of selling my 13" in signature and have just brought a new 13" base. Do I need it? No not really just want HDMI output for audio and video.

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