iMac longevity

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Melkorr, Jan 18, 2008.

  1. Melkorr macrumors member

    Jan 18, 2008
    In a house
    I was thinking of converting to :apple: and buying a top of the line iMac when they are updated with the penryn chips.
    However I am concerned about the iMac's longevity as I keep my computers about 5-6 years. I don't mean in terms of the parts breaking down but being able to handle the next OS X 10.6 and other applications down the line.

    Should I just buy the recently updated MP and be done with it?
    Or will the iMac last that long?

    I not concerned about the high price of the MP. I know the MP will be overkill and a half, but I just don't want to be forced to update HW early.

    Also where would be the best place to buy RAM if I'm in Australia?
  2. clevin macrumors G3


    Aug 6, 2006
  3. treehorn macrumors 6502


    Aug 21, 2007
    I've never had one useable for that long. Actually, I seem to replace them every two years (I've had three in the past 6 or 7 years), as either the system software or other software slows down to an unbearable crawl.

    Which is why I just broke down and bought a MacPro last week.
  4. emptyCup macrumors 65816


    Jan 5, 2005
    How long you will find the computer useful depends on how demanding your needs are. Most non-gamers with average needs keep their machine for 3-5 years. A new machine should be able to be handle OS upgrades for 6 years (I believe Leopard is the first revision not to support the G3 computers). What do you use your computer for and how much upgrading have you done in the past?
  5. Queso Suspended

    Mar 4, 2006
    My iMac G3 lasted six years before I sold it, and my PowerBook is five years old next month. The hardware seems to either break down really fast or last for ages with no middle ground. In terms of longevity, the reason I sold that iMac in the end was that it became simply too slow for my needs, which is pretty much what is happening to the PowerBook now.
  6. wightstraker macrumors regular

    Dec 18, 2007
    In my experience macs remain useful for up to five years.

    You might want to reconsider the iMac, however, if longevity is your priority. By nature of its own design, the iMac is poised to shoot itself in the foot: what happens if your screen fails, or your optical drive, or even your hard drive? It's nearly impossible to replace your screen without throwing more money at Apple, and replacing even basic components like a drive is quite difficult.

    While the MP may be overkill initially, in the long run you'll get more for your money - a single component failure won't cripple it, and you'll be able to upgrade it easily.
  7. craig1410 macrumors 65816


    Mar 22, 2007
    As an iMac user and electronics engineer, my intention is to buy Applecare to cover the first three years and then just "hope" that it lasts for another 2 or 3 years thereafter. If it doesn't then by that time there are bound to be second hand iMac's appearing on Ebay with "complimentary" faults. For example if my screen goes then I'll buy a machine with a faulty logic board or vice versa. Of course once it's getting towards 5/6 years old and develops a fault, then the right move will probably be to just buy a new one and sell mine on Ebay for parts.

    For those who don't want to repair their own machines there will also be people around who will. Hell, I might even offer a repair service in my spare time if it comes down to it! ;)

  8. RBMaraman macrumors 65816


    Jul 25, 2002
    Prospect, KY
    My 17" iMac G4 800mhz, purchased in December of 2002, is running 10.4 and operates just as great today as it did when I first got it. This machine only gets shut down when I go on vacation, and only gets a restart when a software update requires it.

    This Mac has far exceeded my expectations. At this rate, I don't plan on replacing it for at least another 2 years, and I don't believe I'll have too. With iMac's, longevity is nothing to worry about.
  9. cmcbridejr macrumors 6502a


    Sep 28, 2007
    Alpharetta, GA
    There are too many variables to give you a concrete answer (software upgrades, gaming, "pro" vs "consumer" apps, etc.).

    I have an iMac G5 that is already a few years old and it still does quite well, mind you I don't have the most up to date software on it (Adobe CS2, Reason 2, Ableton Live 5, Final Cut Studio HD). However, the Intel iMacs will certainly last longer, now that everyone is making software for them instead of the G5 chips.

    I also have a Intel Core 2 duo MacBook, and even thought the graphics card and hard drive are nowhere near the same as the iMac G5, I can certainly tell the difference between using the two because those dual core Intel chips scream compared to the single core G5 and certainly make up for the shortcomings.

    Much like you, a few years ago I was undecided about whether to purchase the iMac G5 or PowerMac G5, but when I saw one of my favorite deejays (Sasha) using an iMac G5 with Ableton Live at a live venue, I knew that the iMac G5 had enough power for what I wanted to do with it.

    I still make feature-length documentaries with Final Cut on the iMac G5 and the power is still there, but I am not doing HD.

    You have to think about what you are going to do with the computer.

    1) Are you making money with it? What is the ROI?
    2) Do you have to have the most up to date applications?
    3) How much money will you have leftover for software?
    4) What do you want it for (gaming, filmmaking, audio recording, graphic arts, or just surfing the web and checking emails)?

    Let me know if you need more help.
  10. m1stake macrumors 68000

    Jan 17, 2008
    I bought an iMac for Christmas 2004, and I thought it was a great machine (After 512MB more ram anyway), but it aged very quickly. It had a hard time playing Halo. I didn't know much about computers at the time, but it turned out to be totally in-upgradeable. It does not have that much longevity.

    This is partially because it was the last Mac before the switch to intel, so perhaps they are better now.

    I have a G4 from 2001 also, and besides a horrible dial up connection it is still running strong. I would recommend a Mac Pro if you need this thing to last and not become outdated. A GREAT machine, that will really come into it's own when more multi-threaded apps are produced.
  11. Melkorr thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 18, 2008
    In a house
    1) No just personal use.
    2) I don't have any applications for it.
    3) About $300. But I was only planning on buying Toast and either VMWare or Parallels. For the office apps I was planning to give NeoOffice and the iWork trial a go first.
    4) Web surfing, checking emails, office apps, some DVD recording, games I can't get on 360/Wii. Mainly turn based games, RTS's and RPG's, no FPS's.

    I've currently got a P4 (northwood chip) 2.66, 1GB RAM, 1x80GB HD, 1x160GB HD, 1 DVD ROM, 1 CD-RW, 1 DL DVD burner, 9600XT-VIO. I only added the DVD burner, 160GB HD and upgraded the video card as the old one died last year.

    Thanks for your posts everyone it has helped alot.
  12. m1stake macrumors 68000

    Jan 17, 2008
    Actually, the $1499 one is pretty solid. I think I just got short changed with the G5 model.
  13. Macky-Mac macrumors 68030


    May 18, 2004
    my previous G3 imac lasted 6 years and my current G5 imac is almost 3 years old now....and I expect it will last a bit longer

    barring bad luck, i would think you could get 5 to 6 years out of an intel imac if you're just using it for personal use and can live with the fact that it wont be the fastest thing around

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