iMac longevity

Discussion in 'iMac' started by vojislavsh, Aug 19, 2018.

  1. vojislavsh macrumors member

    vojislavsh

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2018
    Location:
    Podgorica, Montenegro
    #1
    Hi guys. I’m on the verge of buying entry level iMac 5k mid-2017. I’ve heard that refresh is expected till the end of year, but I can’t wait anymore. So I’d like to know your expirience with these machines, how do they perform after 4 or 5 years. I’m not a pro user and I’m planning to stick with this mac for 7-8 years.
    I’m new to macOS , was windows user before. Thanks for any suggestion.
     
  2. TyWahn macrumors 6502

    TyWahn

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2003
    #2
    I just put my 2008 iMac to bed. It still works fine, but a little slow. And the 2017 4k iMac was calling my name.
    10 years I think is great (and maybe a little rare?)
     
  3. bbnck, Aug 19, 2018
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2018

    bbnck macrumors 6502a

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    Mar 19, 2009
    #3
    No one can tell you with any kind of certainty how long your new iMac will last you. If longetivity is important to you, I would recommend upgrading the memory to 16 GB and doing a build-to-order upgrade on the drive to an SSD. While the Fusion Drive isn't bad (my 27-inch iMac has the 1 TB Fusion Drive), mechanical drives in general tend to become slower as they age, and I'd imagine you would start noticing this after five or six years. For the 27-inch iMac, you can actually upgrade the memory yourself with the RAM access door located on the back of the machine. If you're not comfortable with that, you can also build-to-order your iMac with 16 GB memory via the Apple Online Store for an extra $200 USD / £180 GBP / $240 CAD / $320 AUD, but do know this costs more than buying the right memory from Crucial or OWC and doing it yourself (memory upgrade instructions can be found here).
     
  4. vojislavsh thread starter macrumors member

    vojislavsh

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    Aug 5, 2018
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    #4
    My current pc build, which was respectable when bought 7 years ago, is almost useless last 2 years. So that is great news to hear.
     
  5. vojislavsh thread starter macrumors member

    vojislavsh

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    #5
    I’ll do the RAM upgrade myself. I live in Montenegro, so we can’t order anything than usual configs. So fusion drive is only option in my country.
     
  6. MagicBoy macrumors 68040

    MagicBoy

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    May 28, 2006
    Location:
    Manchester, UK
    #6
    Hang on a minute, need to go find my crystal ball...

    Just buy the best you can afford now.
     
  7. TyWahn macrumors 6502

    TyWahn

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2003
    #7
    So far, I've been very pleased with the 1TB Fusion drive. From shut-down to log in screen is about 15 seconds.
    While I don't do any real heavy lifting, I haven't noticed any super slow moments until I load Windows 10 in Boot Camp. Your milage may vary. :)
     
  8. Apple fanboy macrumors Nehalem

    Apple fanboy

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    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    Behind the Lens, UK
    #8
    My 2012 fusion drive iMac is still doing okay.
    I use it for LR and PS mostly. It's not the quickest, but it's alright.
    Struggles on video which is why I'm looking to upgrade. But I'm waiting for a decent Mac mini/Mac pro refresh as an all in one doesn't suit my requirements any more.
     
  9. vojislavsh thread starter macrumors member

    vojislavsh

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    Podgorica, Montenegro
    #9
    I will do that (here entry level imac 5k costs 2400€ which is about 2750$- so options are pretty scarce) . I wanted to know experiences of people who have their macs 5+ years.
     
  10. bbnck, Aug 19, 2018
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2018

    bbnck macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2009
    #10
    OK, well certainly you don't need to upgrade the iMac to 16 GB memory until you need it then, given that you are happy to do it yourself.

    The 1 TB Fusion Drive pairs a 1 TB mechanical drive with a 32 GB SSD. It's fine for most uses (I have the same iMac you are about to buy and it's certainly a lot more responsive compared to an iMac with only a hard drive – I have a 2013 iMac at work to compare against). However, mechanical drives in general tend to become slower as they age, and it's possible you would start noticing this after five or six years, if not before. With SSDs, they remain fast until the day they die.
     
  11. stillcrazyman macrumors 68020

    stillcrazyman

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    In Exile
    #11
    I have a Late 2012 27" iMac that has served me well these last 6+ years. I've upgraded the memory (easy enough) and replaced the internal 3TB HD with a 1TB SSD. That SSD is probably the best upgrade one could do for an older machine.

    That said, my iMac is starting to get a little flaky at times. It's got a few issues that have me starting to think it might be time for a replacement. I'm just waiting to see what, if any, updates are coming this year.

    I'd have no problem buying a 2017 iMac though if the need was there.
     
  12. vojislavsh thread starter macrumors member

    vojislavsh

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    #12
    Thanks, this is pretty useful to know.
     
  13. bbnck macrumors 6502a

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    Mar 19, 2009
    #13
    What issues are you having with your 2012 iMac?
     
  14. vojislavsh thread starter macrumors member

    vojislavsh

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    #14
    Can I use external ssd? Would it be useful to bypass fusion drive. I suppose I can’t put ssd in iMac if there is fusion drive already.
     
  15. bbnck macrumors 6502a

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    Mar 19, 2009
    #15
    Sure, you can do that. You can set an external SSD (connected via a Thunderbolt 3 port) as the startup disk in System Preferences > Startup Disk.
     
  16. vojislavsh thread starter macrumors member

    vojislavsh

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    #16
    Wow ,great I didn’t know that. Thanks very much.
     
  17. Southern Dad macrumors 68000

    Southern Dad

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    May 23, 2010
    Location:
    Shady Dale, Georgia
    #17
    I work for a chain of newspapers, the primary computer used in our graphics and advertising layout departments is the iMac. Many of those computers are 2011 iMacs with the 27" display. Some designers have newer models but those with the earlier models are still happily using them.
     
  18. bbnck macrumors 6502a

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    Mar 19, 2009
    #18
    I've never done this myself but you should be able to use Carbon Copy Cloner (CCC) to clone the internal drive onto an external SSD and then set it up as the startup disk in System Preferences. You'll simply need to erase and format the external SSD as Mac OS Extended (Journaled) in Disk Utility first. Just make sure you backup any data on the external SSD before you erase and format it.
     
  19. stillcrazyman macrumors 68020

    stillcrazyman

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    Oct 10, 2014
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    In Exile
    #19
    Three times in the last year or so, the boot volume would just disappear. Boot up to recovery partition and fix it. Sometimes. I've also had to do an internet restore twice.
    It works for a few months and happens again. I also get some video memory artifacts from time to time - usually in the midst of editing photos - the main use for this machine. It's likely a heat issue. These i7's do run a little hot.
    I'm good with keeping multiple backups so losing my drive isn't as terrifying as it could be.
     
  20. bbnck macrumors 6502a

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    Mar 19, 2009
    #20
    Ouch, sorry to hear that :(
     
  21. ApfelKuchen macrumors 68030

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    Aug 28, 2012
    Location:
    Between the coasts
    #21
    I have an Early 2008 that's still working well enough for web browsing and the like. It could definitely benefit from having an SSD, but since it can't run any OS higher than El Capitan, still not sure I'd invest the time and money.

    My Late 2013 27" w/3 TB Fusion is running as well, or better than it did when new. Mojave is running beautifully - the Fusion drive conversion to APFS was trouble-free, and I haven't encountered a serious bug since the second public beta release.
     
  22. Coloratura macrumors member

    Coloratura

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    Jul 6, 2018
    Location:
    United States
    #22
    A few months ago, I bought an early 2009 20" iMac because I needed a computer, I was on a *very* tight budget, and I wanted to get away from Microsoft quite badly. I saw what I believed to be a great deal, and I bought it. I've since upgraded the RAM to 8GB (its maximum), and I use it for internet, CD and DVD authoring, photo editing, and writing, all running OS X El Cap (which is fine by me). Everything runs smoothly, applications load quickly, and for now I know I'm in good shape. In a few years? I'll likely be buying a newer iMac, but as long as this one's running, I'm keeping it. I'll make it the family computer or something.

    I think as long as you take care of it, your iMac will last for many, many years to come.
     
  23. iTurbo macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2008
    #23
    I have a 'late 2012' iMac that I bought new. It is BTO machine with 3.4Ghz quad-core i7, upgraded graphics (Nvidia 680MX 2GB) and a 1TB Fusion drive. It's been flawless since the day I bought it almost 6 years ago. I can't imagine replacing it till 2020 at least. I have upgraded it to the max of 32GB RAM though. It runs 10.13.6 now but I am looking forward to Mojave.
     
  24. stillcrazyman macrumors 68020

    stillcrazyman

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    Oct 10, 2014
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    In Exile
    #24
    Same here. I’d like to keep mine until it’s no longer able to function. That’s the tricky part.
     
  25. sartrekid macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2014
    Location:
    Germany
    #25
    I've had a Mac Pro (the old alu tower) as my main working machine for about 8 years. I retired it in 2015 but it's still working and I could still use it for most of the things I need to do, even for work.

    I own a Macbook Pro Retina 2012, 15", yet another machine that is still as good as it was on the day I bought it six years ago. It's my secondary machine and I do everything with it except for some of the more heavy-duty task for which I prefer my 2017 5k iMac.

    My scenario is a very common one, you'll find. There are many people here who use their computers for at least five years, often longer.

    It all depends on what you need your machine to do. From what you describe I don't see why you shouldn't be fine in a few years down the road with a 2017 computer, unless something drastically changes in terms of requirements from either you or the hardware/software side.
     

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66 August 19, 2018