Mid-2007 iMac. Is it time for a new one?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Jack Parker, Jan 14, 2015.

  1. Jack Parker macrumors member

    Jan 14, 2015
    I bought my current (and first) iMac on 1/1/08. It’s a 24”, mid-2007 model. I added the maximum memory allowed - 4GB. I’ve never had a problem with it and I’ve never been happier with a computer. The only “issue” I’ve noticed, is that when my computer is off, instead of a fully black screen as usual, there is some gray sweeping coming diagonally down from the upper left hand corner. It doesn’t affect the screen when it’s on though. At least I don’t notice it. (And I assume there’s nothing that can be done about it.)

    I’m a basic user. I don’t even use email, except to register for sites like this. All I do online is your basic browsing, reading the news, watching TV/Movies on sites like Primewire, use one forum, and watching YouTube videos. I’ve also made a few YouTube videos using iMovie and iPhoto. So, my needs are really, really basic.

    With this said, will I be needing a new iMac soon? How much longer will my Mid-2007 model be supported by software? Is this the time to consider getting a new one? From what I’ve seen, I’d get the 27” iMac (non-retina), because I don’t want to go down to a 21” screen. (And I don't like laptops.) I don’t own a smart phone or i-Anything else I need/want it to sync with.

    I wouldn’t mind better speed. My ISP is GREAT! I’ve experienced some slowing down on my computer for a few years though. Even going page to page (on both Safari and Firefox) can get slow. In the store, screen to screen action is always instant and I can’t figure out why mine isn’t. Speed is the most important feature for me, especially when watching videos. (Speed and security/privacy from info-mining companies.) I use my computer about eight hours a day and I usually leave it in sleep mode, which, after a few days, the speed slows even more and I have to reboot to fix it.

    So, given the condition of my current iMac, should I consider buying a new one? How long until it won’t be supported by software anymore? Suggestions and advice would be greatly appreciated!
  2. T'hain Esh Kelch macrumors 601

    T'hain Esh Kelch

    Aug 5, 2001
    Only you can tell if the machine lives up to your needs. We can't.
    It will most likely not be getting any more updates.

    You could add an older SSD model to your machine, that will give it a minor but noteticable speed boost.
    Again, only you can tell if you think your machine needs upgrading.
  3. Alesc, Jan 15, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2015

    Alesc macrumors 6502


    Nov 11, 2014
    Just for information, athough it is not mentionned by Apple, your iMac can take 6 GB RAM (4+2).


    I gave mine two mounths ago to my step mother for a non Retina 27". ;)
    Before gaving it, I have performed a clean install of Yosemite. The machine was really faster than before, with the old installation and the almost full HDD!
    Maybe more RAM, a SSD and a clean install will boost your old Mac. :)
  4. tyche macrumors 6502

    Jul 30, 2010
    If you have the money and want to treat yourself, get a 27". You got a good 7 years out of your iMac and it's still going strong. You could probably sell it for $300-400 to offset your new one. I'd only suggest you get a SSD. And as already mentioned if you don't want to spend the $2,000ish for a new iMac, just getting an SSD in your current one would probably make it feel like a new machine.

    Now you said you don't want a 5k iMac but I see them in the refurb store for me and there are about $500 off a base model. For someone who reads on a screen for 8 hours a day it's worth considering. Go to an Apple store and look at one to see how the screen compares.
  5. MistrSynistr macrumors 65816

    May 15, 2014
    Grab yourself a 2012 or 2013 refurb. It'll be most cost-effective and feel like you've entered a new realm of speed and power.
  6. Jack Parker thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 14, 2015
    I'm sorry I haven't been back to respond. I got sick after I posted and spent a couple of days just resting.

    @T'hain Esh Kelch - I do understand what you've said. It's common sense. I knew I couldn't receive a definitive answer because every person, and their computer needs are different. But, the reason I switched to Apple in the first place was because of Mac users. In the past, going onto PC Forums for help, I would be met with ego and impatience because I'm a basic user with limited knowledge of the lingo. At that point, I didn't care if I ever got another computer again! But, when someone recommended switching to Mac, I went to a Mac forum and could not believe how kind, intelligent, and eager to help people were. Not to mention patient. What I found most helpful were getting everyone's personal opinions, from their experience. I should have been more clear about that in my original post. Thanks for replying!

    @Alesc - Very helpful! Thank you! The research I did said only 4GB could be installed. THIS is why I love experienced Mac techies - you get the real story. My situation is similar to yours. I have a friend who needs a computer, also for basic needs, and would give her my current iMac, and buy a new 27" one.

    QUESTION: You performed a clean install of Yosemite. How do I do that? When I give her this iMac, I would like it to be wiped securely of my personal information, but I had to buy Lion (or was it Mountain Lion?) Since I downloaded it, I don't have any disks. I don't know how to wipe this computer clean and give it to my friend with a clean Yosemite install.

    I don't know what an SSD is either. I will have to look that up. I still don't know how long this model would be able to receive updates, or how long it will continue to be used without those updates. Thanks for the great idea!

    @tyche - Hmmm... there's that SSD again. I need to learn about that. Thanks. I'm going to take your advice and go check out the retinal display. I can do that today, since it's my day off. I'd like to spend as little as possible, actually. It will be coming out of my tax refund when I get that (usually the first two weeks of February). I'd rather use the money to help folks who are struggling, but, I'm at the point where I think a new computer is going to be necessary soon.

    @MistrSynistr - Thanks for the advice. I'll seriously consider buying a refurbished one. I have to overcome my aversion to doing that with electronic devices though. I've never heard good stories about it working out without problems, first. (And I don't have a car so I can just drive it back to the store anytime.) I'm going to the Apple Store today, so I'll ask the salesperson about this while I'm there. Thanks for the suggestion!

    Thank you EVERYONE! I appreciate everyone's advice and opinions. I'm open to more and will consider them all.
  7. DaveNinja macrumors 6502


    Oct 18, 2005
    My wife has a 2007 24" iMac that is showing its age. I looked into the possible upgrades (4->6gb ram and SSD*) and found in my case its not really worth it, its better to just put the money toward a new 27inch iMac.
    The cheapest 27inch iMac on the refurb site is $1489. The ram upgrade is like $100 and a decent sized SSD is probably around the same. Also, if you dont know what an SSD is, you're likely not going to want to tackle the steps you have to go through to install one. :) Even with the upgrades, a new iMac would run circles around the 7 year old computer.

    * Solid State Harddrive - no moving parts, has faster read/write times
  8. Jack Parker, Jan 16, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2015

    Jack Parker thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 14, 2015
    I decided to go to Apple tomorrow, instead.

    I learned what a SSD is, but I'm still unsure what it's for. More memory equals faster speed? But, is this a smart purchase for a mid-2007 model if it stops being supported with software updates?

    I hope this isn't a stupid question, but, since I live very simply, I just want to know if I'm missing out on anything when it comes to laptops. Are they still just a convenience to be able to take with you or are there other benefits? I generally don't have to take a computer with me, but there are times it would be nice.

    Which browsers do you like and why? I've only ever used Safari and Firefox. I refuse to use Chrome because I despise Google. It kills me that they own YouTube as it is.

    Last question: Which extensions/add-ons do you recommend for privacy and security? How many of this type of extension should you have? And is AdBlock Plus still the best one for blocking ads? (Pop-unders drive me nuts.) I heard you should download as few as possible.

    Here's what I have:

    AdBlock Edge (or should I just use AdBlock Plus?)

    Does anyone use NoScript?

    Do I have too many? Not enough? Are any redundant? Any Mac cleaning downloads that you highly recommend (and that are user friendly for basic users)?

    I know you folks must be more interested in more intelligent and detailed topics, so I do appreciate your patience with me.
  9. Natzoo macrumors 65816


    Sep 16, 2014
    Not sure where i am
    Yes, i have a 2003 i mac and it runs slow, don't get me wrong it lives up to his requirments but it takes forever to go on google, so last year i got a 27 inch i mac fully upgrade on ram and fusion drive. And its amazing, but i kinda recommend to get a MacBook Pro because you can just take it wherever you go. I have one and i barely use my mac even with software that can let me do work on mac and then switch over to my iMac. But in terms i feel like you can get a new upgrade only if its really slow
  10. Alesc macrumors 6502


    Nov 11, 2014
    Hi! To clean install Yosemite, you must download Yosemite (free) in the Mac App Store and create an USB installation key with it (type "clean instal' Yosemite" in Google to find tutorials).
  11. Alesc macrumors 6502


    Nov 11, 2014
    I use Firefox (because it's free and open) and AdBlock Edge. Do not use AdBlock Plus: advertisers can now pay the développer to be whitelisted... Google do that...
  12. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009
    After 7 years, it's probably time to think about something new.

    The new retina iMac is beautiful to look at but very pricey. You might be happy with the non-retina 27" iMac, in one of its various configurations.

    You might consider an Apple-refurbished iMac -- you can get more for the same amount of $$$.

    You might even take a look at the Mini (in combination with an external display).
    WARNING: DO NOT consider the "base model" Mini. Look ONLY at the midrange model, and I would not buy one UNLESS it had the fusion drive option.
    You will hear some folks denigrate the 2014 Mini as being hobbled because it doesn't have a quad-core CPU choice, but the midrange model, properly equipped, is a decent performer if your apps don't require quad-core capability.

    If you're thinking about a Mini, I recommend this page as a starting point when shopping for a new display:

    You mentioned "laptops" in a post above.
    Of course, nice for portability.
    But before you give up the desktop for a laptop, BE SURE you're going to be comfortable with the "reduced screen real estate".
    Then again, you could plug in an external display for more "space"...
  13. Jack Parker thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 14, 2015
    @DaveNinja - I really appreciate your post. I was hoping to hear from folks in the same situation. Your post just cemented the fact that I just need to get a new one. I don't want to good money fixing up something that's still going to need replacing in another year or two anyway.

    If my current iMac only has 4GB Memory and I get the 27" with 8GB, I doubt I'll even need a Memory Upgrade, would I? Memory hasn't been an issue for me. I download precious little, I don't play games, use iTunes, etc., I watch videos online but never download them. I'm sure an SSD would be unnecessary with my needs.

    @Natzoo - Your 2003 model still runs? That gives me some hope then that my mid-2007 model will still work for awhile when I give it to my single mom friend. Since she's a very basic user, even a bit more basic than me (if that's possible), it will do what she needs it to. Thanks.


    @Alesc - That was my thought with Firefox, too. The only thing I've seen on Firefox that I don't like is how the Bookmark system works. It could be simplified, like it is in Safari.

    As for a clean install, I should have been more clear. I know how to do a clean install of Yosemite by itself, but I need to know:

    How do I wipe my mid-2007 iMac completely clean and THEN reinstall Yosemite. Once it's wiped clean, isn't it only going to allow Snow Leopard to be installed? (The original OS.)

    There was an OS that I had to BUY in-between free installs, too. (Lion or Mountain Lion, I forget which.) Will I have to install Snow Leopard and then each OS in succession again? Or can I wipe it clean, do the install by the original disks, and then upgrade directly to Yosemite?
  14. Jack Parker thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 14, 2015
    @Fishrrman - Thanks for replying. I've decided to take your, and everyone else's, advice and just get a new 27" iMac. The retinal display is nice, but I never thought the original display was subpar in any way either. For me and my usage, I'll stick to the original. For my simple needs, I don't want to get into buying multiple pieces, so the Mini isn't really an option for me. I'm not a laptop kind of guy, but I tend to be out of the loop on advances in technology, so I was just wondering if I was missing something!

    But, that brings up another question. For the price difference of $200, do I get the 3.2GHz or 3.4GHz? What difference could .2GHz make for someone like me to spend the extra $200?

    I'll look into a refurbished iMac, but they just make me nervous because of all the horror stories. I realize folks don't usually get online to brag about how perfect their refurbished computers were, so it's natural to only hear the bad.

    Do people here buy the extended warranty when they buy new computers? When I bought PCs, I did. I was always glad I did because I had tons of problems. But, with this iMac, I bought it and didn't need it. So, I'm torn as to whether or not spend the money on it again.
  15. Jack Parker thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 14, 2015
    Actually, for what I started this thread for, everyone's replies have given me exactly the information I needed. I'll be buying a new 27" iMac.

    I know this is simple stuff to everyone here, but for us casual users, your time, patience and advice is invaluable and appreciated!
  16. Dartanian77 macrumors newbie

    Jan 17, 2015
    If yours is an iMac7,1 model then it should go to 6GB. Of course if you go with a new 27" then 32GB is your limit.
    And as mentioned, an SSD will really help your 2007 machine lots
  17. talmy macrumors 601


    Oct 26, 2009
    Your 2007 iMac rates 3199 on Geekbench. The latest 3.2GHz iMac (which is over a year old, BTW) rates 10031 while the 3.4GHz rates 10773. So the 3.2GHz will be 3.1x faster for processor bound programs. A speed increase you will see. The 3.4 gives an additional 7% speed improvement, which you would never see without a stopwatch. Save your money.

    You are looking in the wrong places. Plenty of people, myself included, say buy refurbs if you can. Ironically, I've never bought a refurbished iMac because I either needed a BTO model or needed one quickly (there are two Apple Stores within 5 miles from here). But I've bought 3 out of 5 Mac portables and 4 out of 5 Mac minis refurbished. They have been every bit as good in appearance and reliability. The only differences are they come in plain boxes and they have different serial numbers.

    It's insurance. Buy insurance to protect against losses that would be debilitating. But in the long term, over many systems, insurance is a losing proposition for the customer and a win for the provider.

    So in this case, if you can afford repairs, don't buy it. If a major repair might cause you to go without, buy it. Keep in mind that Applecare only covers the second and third year of ownership, the years least likely to need repairs, at least from my experience. With about a dozen computers purchased since 2000, there has only been one for which coverage in the second and third year would have paid off.
  18. Jack Parker thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 14, 2015
    @Dartanian77 - Thanks. I've decided to go with a new 27" and let a friend get the remaining time left with this computer.

    @talmy - I figured the 3.2GHz would be fine for my purposes. I'll save the $200 and apply it towards Apple Care if I decide to go with it. I'm inclined not to since I've never had a single issue with my current iMac. But, that's about when Murphy's Law would kick in for me! As for refurbished... I'll look, but I don't really lean in that direction. Looking certainly can't hurt, though.
  19. jamesdmc macrumors 6502

    Oct 17, 2007
    Like you, my first mac was also a 24" 2007 model (and, like you, I'm contemplating upgrading). The iMac was my "gateway drug" into Mac OS. Within a year of getting the iMac brand new, I got a 2008 macbook pro and a 2008 Mac Pro. Both were refurbs, indistinguishable from new other than the boxes they arrived in, neither had any issues, and they're both going strong.

    I realize that you've decided to get a new machine (congratulations, by the way), but wanted to put your mind at ease about buying from the Apple refurb store should it become an option in the future. There have been many threads on this forum with people questioning if refurbs are worth the risk, and the majority of the responses (that I've read, at least) have echoed my experience. Food for thought.
  20. Jack Parker thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 14, 2015
    Thanks, I appreciate that. I haven't completely ruled it out yet. It would be ignorant not to at least check them out and see what's available.
  21. Ledgem macrumors 65816


    Jan 18, 2008
    Hawaii, USA
    I'm sure they're there if you go looking, but I've heard far more horror stories about buying new Apple products than their refurbished products. That doesn't say anything about Apple, it's simply a matter of how anal many of the people posting here are. (Seriously, look at some of the posts where people exchange an iPad ten times before getting one that they're satisfied with...)

    Many refurbished products carry a shortened warranty compared to the warranty offered when buying the same product new. In my experience, it's very clear why companies do that: the refurbished products, despite being "factory tested," are more likely to fail. Yet Apple offers the exact same warranty on their refurbished products as they do the new ones, with the same option to buy AppleCare and extend the warranty period. That's a showing of confidence. I've only purchased one computer through their refurbished store so far, but it's been a good experience. I will very likely do so again in the future, and I'd recommend that anyone who sees a computer with their desired configuration listed in the refurbished section of the online store make the purchase.

    There are a few methods to go about this. If you follow the Apple guide to creating a Yosemite USB boot disk, you should be able to run Disk Utility from the installer. Use Disk Utility to erase your hard disk, using the secure erase options if you want to (which basically writes garbage data over the entire disk, multiple times if desired, to make data recovery difficult to impossible). Then install OS X 10.10.

    You asked the question with regard to upgrading your current system, which is now a moot point because you've decided to buy a new system. Yet because Apple still sells systems with HDD and SSD options, understanding more about the SSD is important.

    The SSD serves the exact same function as the HDD: it stores your applications and files. The difference is in how they function. The HDD has multiple magnetic platters that spin around, and little arms that move over the spinning platters. Your data is stored on the platters, and the little arms must move to find the data that you want when it is requested. By comparison, a SSD is based on flash memory. There are no moving parts. The "seek times" to read and write random data is thus much faster on a SSD, because there is none of the delay caused by waiting for the mechanical arms to move into position.

    Getting into whether or not you'd benefit might require some more in-depth technical discussion. Suffice it to say, any operation that requires reading from or writing to your "hard drive" receives a speed boost in using a SSD. Starting up the computer (loading the operating system) receives a tremendous boost. Loading programs, copying files or loading files into a program, searching the hard disk, background operating system functions that can affect the perceived responsiveness of the computer... all of these operations are sped up, potentially quite dramatically. I suspect it may be one of those things where you don't think you need it, but once you use it, you'll never be able to go back. That's certainly how I feel.
  22. Jack Parker thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 14, 2015
    If I were to buy a refurbished iMac, it would bother me to NOT know WHY it was refurbished. Was it a store model that was used for few months? Was it previously owned and had a problem with the display, or something else? There are a lot of different reasons for it to be refurbished. Some I would be okay buying. Some I definitely wouldn't.

    I checked the store just now and it's a little confusing to me since I'm not familiar with what all the specs mean. Why do some seem to be decked out and have more memory? I thought refurbished meant restored to the original specs and features. And there are some iMacs that have less memory and are priced higher than some that have more memory. Clearly I shouldn't buy a refurbished computer unless I had someone with me who could explain the differences for me. And, if I bought refurbished, I would absolutely buy the extended warranty.

    Sounds simple enough. Thanks.

    I appreciate the explanation. I understand it better now. But, with my very basic needs, I just don't see the need for myself. When I bought my current, mid-2007 iMac, I "over-bought" on purpose. I figured I would either grow into everything the iMac could do or, if I remained a basic user, that the power in it would always be more than I needed and I wouldn't run into the problem of needing an upgrade just for that reason. The latter turned out to be the case. So, I'm sure it will be the same with the current 27" iMac, too. It's more computer than I'll ever use, but will support what I want to do until, like this computer, it's time to upgrade only after many years.
  23. Ledgem macrumors 65816


    Jan 18, 2008
    Hawaii, USA
    The systems listed include systems that people special-ordered, which explains some of the memory differences that you're seeing. The differences in cost have a lot more to do than simply the memory, though. Differences in the processors and graphics chipsets (basically, the year of the system) are probably the primary differentiator. Remember that the refurbished store doesn't only carry the current generation of products; you may find products from two or three previous generations listed there. A maxed-out system from one generation ago may be more powerful than a mid-range system from the current generation, but because it's one generation old it takes a hit to its price, and it may be listed for the same or less as the less powerful but newer system.

    I'd agree that it can be a bit confusing if you're trying to use only one or two metrics (one of which may be price) to rank the systems and figure out which is the best purchase.

    I'm glad that you found the explanation useful. I just want to emphasize that the SSD isn't about power, but speed and responsiveness. It's about not having to wait for your computer before you move on to the next task. I can't say that everything is instant, but by way of a few examples, programs load within two bounces on the dock (usually less than two), and I can reboot in less than a minute. With a traditional HDD, I used to watch some applications bounce multiple times before the program window would even appear - and even then, there would be more waiting before it was fully responsive. I used to have to wait multiple minutes after rebooting for the operating system and then all of my programs to load and be ready to use. I used to get up to get a drink or use the bathroom during some of those wait periods, but now I don't have to. I don't find myself waiting on the computer anymore.

    As I mentioned previously, it may be one of those things where you have to experience it to fully grasp it. We've always waited on our computers, whether we realized it or not, and we always assumed that it had something to do with the memory or the processor. In fact, the memory, processor, and graphics have been more than we needed for quite some time now; the hard drive has been the bottleneck for a very, very long time. The rise of SSDs is a large step toward rectifying that. There's a very good reason why people who use SSDs claim that they'll never again purchase a computer that doesn't use a SSD. It's also the reason why many people who add a SSD to their old computer excitedly exclaim that their computer feels as if it's new and cutting-edge all over again.

    You don't have to be a power user to appreciate what a SSD does for you. Everyone, from casual users to working professionals, turn their computer on, access their files, and load their programs. Unless you find some sort of peace and solace from being forced to wait a few seconds to a few minutes with each of those actions, you stand to gain from using a SSD over a HDD.

    Ultimately, it's up to you whether you can afford it and whether the cost seems worthwhile to you. Whether you go with a SSD or HDD, a new computer will likely still feel like an improvement to you. You're likely to feel much more of a boost with the SSD, though. After all, you can have the fastest processor the world has ever seen, but what good does it do you if the processor is stuck waiting for the HDD to find files and feed it data?
  24. Jack Parker, Jan 18, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2015

    Jack Parker thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 14, 2015
    Ledgem - That's the point I'm at now, watching the icon bounce a bit, and then waiting for the program to open and get ready. Then again, I only have 8GB right now.

    After reading more threads, I'm feeling even more basic than ever. I thought you had to buy your Apple Products from Apple and that, even if you didn't, all of Apple's prices are set in stone and don't fluctuate when you go elsewhere. But, I'm reading that people are buying on Amazon, even if it's only a $50 discount. One person even said he got the 3 year AppleCare free.

    Where ARE the best places to get the best deals, not only on the computer, but on extra memory, too?
  25. Alesc macrumors 6502


    Nov 11, 2014
    For memory, go on crucial.com or take Crucial RAM on amazon.com : Crucial is not very expensive and it is really good quality.
    They sell guaranteed Mac memory and their shipment and after-sale service are really good.

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