iMac going to die, want an upgradable mac

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by macmee, Feb 10, 2014.

  1. macmee Suspended


    Dec 13, 2008
    2010 iMac monitor has been flickering and is in a sorry state.

    If it dies I want a Mac that's more upgradable. It annoys me that I cannot upgrade easily to an SSD.

    Which Mac is the most upgradable?
  2. simsaladimbamba

    Nov 28, 2010
  3. macs4nw macrumors 601


    As Simsaladimbamba said, the Mini, or I would add, check the refurb store for pre-Dec 2012 iMacs. If you are inclined to go with OWC, their website states: "There's an OWC SSD for almost any Mac or PC from the last decade!"
  4. blanka macrumors 68000

    Jul 30, 2012
    Mac Mini package is also cheaper than similar iMac configs nowadays. 00
  5. Macman45 macrumors G5


    Jul 29, 2011
    Somewhere Back In The Long Ago
    If you really want something you can take apart and upgrade easily, I'd look at the older but still very powerful Mac Pros....a 5.1 hex or similar should give you ample power, and you just slide it open and it's all there, graphics card, HDD RAM etc. etc. I like the design of the new MP but it's not the easiest tool to upgrade meaning you need to think carefully about specs at purchase time.
  6. robgendreau macrumors 68040

    Jul 13, 2008
    I had the same frustration with my iMac, although it was one that was relatively fixable.

    The newest Macs have Thunderbolt, and with that you have certain upgrade options that are realistic since now there isn't such a penalty for using an external. Pretty fast even with a SSD.

    There is, of course, the Mac Pro. Lots of upgrades for the older ones, but some of their technology is really dated. The new ones are almost too far in the other direction: if you just need a lot of hard drives inside it's overkill.

    I think the best answer, and the one I adopted, was a hackintosh. Affordable, expandable, customizable. And easy on the wallet. Wound up using my funky iMac as a 27" monitor with it in TDM. Very happy.
  7. rhp2424 macrumors regular


    Jul 23, 2008
    I just went from a 2009 iMac to a 5,1 Mac Pro. I'm very glad I did. Such a noticeable difference!

    I completely agree with Macman45, look into the Mac Pros. You can generally find refurbished through OWC or Apple directly.
  8. MacLC macrumors 6502

    Oct 18, 2013
    I fully agree. You can actually find really good refurbished Mac Pros online. You may want to get extra RAM and perhaps new GPU separately and given that it's refurbished, extended warranty too, but you can get a base system and warranty for seemingly $900. Add $40 for more RAM, $90 for a low end GPU (still better than the Iris Pro in baseline iMac), and $130 for 1080p display, and you're looking at about $1200 w/ tax and shipping included.

    I do not know if MacRumors condones Hackintoshes even if you have a legal OSX disc from your current iMac, but that is another potential option.

    Current Mac Minis are dreadfully outdated. At least the iGPUs are. If possible, could you get an external monitor (for future Mac Mini) to use as stand in for the built-in iMac display? Then when new Minis are announced use that instead? Your iMac has one of 3 GPUs, ATI Radeon HD 4670, 5670, or 5750, all of which are significantly faster than the Intel HD 4000 in the 2012 Mac Mini. CPU speeds likely won't be much better if at all with the 2012 Mac Mini. It would seem rather painful to spend $600+monitor+tax to get a machine slower than what you have now.

  9. Macman45 macrumors G5


    Jul 29, 2011
    Somewhere Back In The Long Ago
    They are very very flexible....we had SSD's upgraded RAM etc etc. such a joy to work on, everything is modular and easy to access. I've got nothing against the nMP but I honestly wouldn't buy one.
  10. macstatic macrumors 65816


    Oct 21, 2005
    I also have a Mac Pro 5.1 which I've had about a year. I'm very happy with it, not least because I have multiple drives in it: an SSD for OSX and my apps, a separate hard drive for my files, another hard drive for a daily automatic bootable cloning of all my data (using Chronosync), a different hard drive for hourly Time Machine backups, and finally a second SSD as a cache for Photoshop. Lightroom, Bridge and for Lightroom library files. Less hassle than external drives (no need to switch them on/off and mount/unmount them) and all the backups are done automatically.
    I do have external hard drives as well for backing up (in case of theft/fire etc.) -this is also done automatically with Chronosync whenever the external drive(s) in question are mounted, but for daily use I have everything I need inside the Mac Pro.
  11. eRondeau macrumors 6502a


    Mar 3, 2004
    Canada's South Coast
    I replaced a failed HD on my mid-2007 24" iMac a few months ago very easily. I'm no computer technician, I just spread a white sheet on top of my bed and took it all apart right there. Easy instructions posted online. Replaced the old 500GB HD with a shiny new 1TB WD Blue HD. Faster access times, larger cache, etc. Runs like new again. Seriously, even if you think you can't replace a failed iMac HD yourself -- you probably can!

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