New to Macs Advice please!

johnpateley

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jun 10, 2012
11
0
Yorkshire Dales England
Hello
I am hoping to purchase a used imac (can't afford a new one!)
Perhaps 2008 or thereabouts. I would want to upgrade the HD because my main use would be photos so bigger the better.
I have built and upgraded pc's for years but never touched a mac.
Should I upgrade the operating system or stick with the original? Would this effect performance on an older machine?
How does one buy a new operating system are cd's available or do you have to download and make a cd / dvd are they self booting like windows?
Would the latest OS work on a 4 year old machine?
Any info greatfully received Thanks John
 

SandboxGeneral

Moderator emeritus
Sep 8, 2010
25,844
8,935
Detroit
Hello
I am hoping to purchase a used imac (can't afford a new one!)
Perhaps 2008 or thereabouts. I would want to upgrade the HD because my main use would be photos so bigger the better.
I have built and upgraded pc's for years but never touched a mac.
Should I upgrade the operating system or stick with the original? Would this effect performance on an older machine?
How does one buy a new operating system are cd's available or do you have to download and make a cd / dvd are they self booting like windows?
Would the latest OS work on a 4 year old machine?
Any info greatfully received Thanks John
Upgrading the OS would be dependent on the CPU and RAM specs, but if you get anything with at least a C2D and 4GB RAM, you can run Lion easily. However, I'd recommend staying with or upgrading to Snow Leopard as there isn't any real advantages to going with Lion.

You can still get Snow Leopard on disc for $29 here. Upgrading to Lion is done through the Mac App Store in Snow Leopard and done over the Internet. The Snow Leopard disc is self-loading just like Windows.

Edit: Also, once you get your iMac, check out our Guides on OS X and various other Apple topics on this page. Look for the small section called Guides near the top of the listed forums. There are lot's of valuable information there.

 
Last edited:

balamw

Moderator
Staff member
Aug 16, 2005
19,368
978
New England
Note also that unlike Windows, you can easily run OS X from an external do you can see which runs better. A 2008 or later should have FW800 and will run well.

I typically do this when trying out the new OS, install on external first until I am ready to upgrade.

B
 

snberk103

macrumors 603
Oct 22, 2007
5,503
87
An Island in the Salish Sea
And... of course if you are doing photos you will want RAM - lots and lots of RAM.

I too recommend staying with Snow Leopard, I think it's currently at 10.6.8. It is, imo, the most stable version of the OS at the moment and it will work really well on older machines.
 
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