iMac dilemma


macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 6, 2008
I am in the process of upgrading my old G5 PowerPC Power Mac. I have done a lot of reading with regards to the new MacBook Pro line. Although I will be using it for Photoshop, hopefully get into using Final Cut Pro and probably some GarageBand, I'm not convinced that I will benefit from splashing out for the latest i7 Quad Core model. For example will the quad core capability actually be utilised (multi-threading) or will I only be using a fraction of it's capability? Another issue is to get the big screen MacBook Pros it seems you have to pay for the top processor spec, which I'm questioning. You can't have a big screen , retina screen but lower spec'd MacBook Pro.

So as an alternative to the above, I am thinking of buying my friend's old iMac from him. It's a 3.06 GHz Core 2 Duo 4GB RAM 24" (from 2009) which would be a quarter of the price of an MacBook Pro (and I could then easily afford an iPad for portable 'around the house' family use). I would also easily be able to up the RAM to 8GB of this iMac.

My question is, is this a shrewd move i.e. will this do the job for what I need it for and how long will it last? My current PowerPC (which ironically still performs brilliantly) is fast becoming obsolete with regards to software and I don't want this problem with my next computer.

Many thanks.
Last edited:


Staff member
May 3, 2009
Personally, I'd not look to purchase a 2009 machine, especially if longevity is one of your goals. Its not a bad machine but I'm sure its close to where it will not longer be part of the specifications for OSX upgrades.

My recommendation is take the plunge and get a current iMac (since you posted this in the iMac forum) or a current MBP. You'll get more years of usage out of this then a 2009 computer imo


macrumors P6
Feb 20, 2009
[[ My question is, is this a shrewd move i.e. will this do the job for what I need it for and how long will it last? ]]

It will run ok -- for now.
But remember, a 2009 iMac is already approaching 5 years old.
It will be faster than the g5, but won't be the "best move forward" vis-a-vis buying something newer.

I recently faced a similar decision regarding my 2004 PowerMac g4/MDD. After nine years of -heavy- use, it was just growing a little "too long in the tooth". Time for a replacement.

My choice was a "late 2012" i7/2.3ghz Mac Mini, and it's worked out great. 'Way faster and very easy on the pocketbook (cost about 1/2 of what I paid for the g4).

I realize this is the iMac forum, but have you given consideration to the Mini line, particularly the i7 model? If you're pressed budget-wise, you might try waiting until an Apple-refurbished model shows up.

One VERY important feature you could get on the Mini that you can't on a 2009 iMac is USB3. This is singularly the most important technical upgrade in Macs in recent years. It makes USB2 pale by comparison.

With the Mini, just plug in your existing display, mouse, keyboard -- and keep going.

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