Oldest Mac you would buy today?

Digital Skunk

macrumors 604
Dec 23, 2006
7,852
421
In my imagination
If I were buying it just for nostalgia, then the 17" or 12" PowerBook G4 1.67 GHz, or the Quicksilver G4 with the 22" Studio Display .... or two. All running Panther.

Ancient, but probably the most stable and versatile machines I've yet to use.
 

cyberdocwi

macrumors newbie
Jan 2, 2018
22
40
Wisconsin
Hello,

My primary computer is still the MacBook Pro 15" 2013. I have done a battery replacement (pain in ass), and also upgraded the hard drive. Otherwise still works well, with dual graphics cards, HDMI slot, traditional USB3, and a happy keyboard. I also use a Mid 2010 27" iMac, having added RAM, and SSD hard disk. Rather easy to do.

If my laptop died today, I would either try to get the band new 16" MBP, or a 2015 MBP. I would skip the years with lack of ports, and crappy keyboards. Apple truly disappointed during that time frame.

Also consider the highly portable MacMini. Fits in your lunchbox, and wire it up to some display at your destination. We have a few older models on the TV sets where we stream television using MythTV. The MacMini also doesn't require Dongles in Paradise.

Note that some of the older MacBook Pros, before 2009, were limited in RAM. The batteries in these modules are Lego Block easy to replace, and a few screws out you may replace the hard drive. This is also right around when the external display port changed from the big DVI jack to the MiniDisplay port.
 

topcat001

macrumors regular
Nov 17, 2019
144
60
I wouldn't buy a laptop used. So a new 2019 Air for laptop, or a (possibly used) mini for desktop would be my recommendation.
 

naerct

macrumors member
Mar 19, 2019
80
12
Southern NH
doubt it. it's still listed as "supported" on Mactracker rather than Vintage, and it was sold from 2012 to 2016, so a long long time. I doubt Apple will drop it, since it's one of the most popular MacBooks of all time.
I don't doubt your reasoning, just your conclusion. I reviewed multiple sources concerning my cMPs demise for current OS usability. Nobody knew for sure until Apple announced it, and I believe that was just last fall. I even saw, on this site, the "About this Mac" screenshot of a cMP with the current beta of Catalina... And so it is... at least until somebody finds a workaround. With all the flashROM upgrades in the last couple years (bootable NVMe as the most important fix) many of us thought they would give us one more OS. I believe that decision was based primarily on the release of the new MPs.
At that time there was much speculation about the dropping of OS for all the other Macs. 2012 MBPs were mentioned several times as probable rejects from 10.16. But certainly they will be used far into the future with Catalina. It's not surprising that Apple would discontinue a computer that doesn't need Apple RAM or SSDs...
 

rosyapple

macrumors member
Mar 25, 2018
85
53
The oldest Mac I would buy today would be any iMac with Thunderbolt 3 just so that I can attach an eGPU to it when the graphics card becomes obsolete.

I did not include MacBook Pro because of the keyboard issues, but if it's fixed I would also include MacBook Pros with good keyboard and Thunderbolt 3.

I find that the only time I've had to replace my computer is when the graphics card no longer supports the games I play (i.e. World of Warcraft) or when the graphics card dies.

I have a 2014 iMac which I can still use to play, but I think it's the last model with Thunderbolt 2. If I had just waited a bit longer, I'd have gotten a Thunderbolt 3 version. This iMac will have to be replaced in about 2-3 years time, since the graphics card had just barely made it into the list of supported graphics card for WoW Shadowlands.
 
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bigfatipod

macrumors 6502
Sep 22, 2011
252
100
I'd be pretty open to many things for the sake of nostalgia. The original G4 cube is one of those things that would be nice... but for a working machine, it would probably be only machines made since 2018.
 

Nermal

Moderator
Staff member
Dec 7, 2002
18,734
1,205
New Zealand
I'd be pretty open to many things for the sake of nostalgia. The original G4 cube is one of those things that would be nice... but for a working machine, it would probably be only machines made since 2018.
I still want a Quadra so I can play with A/UX :p
 

MultiFinder17

macrumors 68020
Jan 8, 2008
2,062
752
Tampa, Florida
I use four Macs on a daily basis as my primary computers, and looking at them, 2010 was a pretty solid year for Macs in my world.

HOME:
2010 Mac Pro
3.2GHz 6-core Xeon
48GB RAM
5TB storage
MacOS Mojave

2015 11" MacBook Air
1.6GHz Core i5
8GB RAM
256GB SSD
MacOS Mojave

WORK:
2010 21" iMac
3.06GHz Core i3
16GB RAM
256GB SSD
MacOS High Sierra

2010 13" White MacBook
2.4GHz Core 2 Duo
16GB RAM
256GB SSD
MacOS High Sierra

I've been using these Macs for years now, and they continue to be solid, dependable machines. If you're looking for a cheap beater MacBook, you can't beat the 2010 white MacBook. You can get 'em for around $150 on eBay, they take up to 16GB of RAM, and are excellent machines for basic usage.

I see that you're a teacher. I'm a middle school teacher myself, and my 2010 MacBook does everything I need at school. Plus, if something happens to it, it's not a big deal to replace it.
 

Mainsail

macrumors 65816
Sep 19, 2010
1,354
1,225
2017 MBA. You can probably find one new with one year warranty on sale for about $600. More than you wanted to spend but it will last a solid 4-5 years.
 

bigfatipod

macrumors 6502
Sep 22, 2011
252
100
I still want a Quadra so I can play with A/UX :p
I just reviewed A/UX and wow, that's pretty neat stuff they were working on back then. It's still impressive then (and now w next/macos) they were able to vision an amazing gui on top of a unix based environment.
 

Burebista

macrumors member
Oct 8, 2019
86
62
I’m kinda in the same boat as OP. Very curious to experience MacOS. Contemplating getting used pre-2015 15” Macbook Pros.

But what exactly happens when software support drops, which for those models won’t be long at this point? From iOS experience I know it’s not a big deal to be 2-3, sometimes even 4 versions behind, as the apps would still work, even if sometimes only older versions of them. Is the same true for Macs?
 

bigfatipod

macrumors 6502
Sep 22, 2011
252
100
I’m kinda in the same boat as OP. Very curious to experience MacOS. Contemplating getting used pre-2015 15” Macbook Pros.

But what exactly happens when software support drops, which for those models won’t be long at this point? From iOS experience I know it’s not a big deal to be 2-3, sometimes even 4 versions behind, as the apps would still work, even if sometimes only older versions of them. Is the same true for Macs?
Often, you may have to find an alternative for some software. safari stands out in my mind as one that needs to be kept up to date either security patches etc. some sites, like financial ones, won’t support very old versions. In that case, we use Firefox.