Pointless to get top of the line to future proof your iMac?

JayLenochiniMac

macrumors G5
Original poster
Nov 7, 2007
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New Sanfrakota
Back in 2007, I got the full boat (2.8GHz Core 2 Extreme 24") in order to extend the life of it as much as possible. Now it barely made the cutoff for running Mountain Lion (requires Mid 2007 or newer iMac) and I expect that I won't be able to run the next OS on it.

It used to be that OS system requirements were based on the capability of your machines (at least 2.8GHz, etc.) but now it's based on the year regardless whether it's a screamer with 3.4GHz i7 or a slower poke with 2.7GHz i5.

Unless you require the extra power, I assume more of you are going to get the least capable machine you need due to Apple's dumbing down of OS system requirements.
 

xgman

macrumors 601
Aug 6, 2007
4,850
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You can't future proof anything really. Best bet on things like this is to buy a bit over what you can afford and call it a day.
 
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GGJstudios

macrumors Westmere
May 16, 2008
44,427
763
There is no such thing as "future-proof" when it comes to computers. I recommend you buy what you need, when you need it. It's a pointless effort to chase the "next update", since you don't know for certain what it will include or when it will be, and there will always be a "next update" coming, no matter when you buy.
 
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Chupa Chupa

macrumors G5
Jul 16, 2002
14,834
7,394
Yes, I think as you discovered, the concept of "future proof" is a fallacy. Technology moves on, and Apple always designs for current product, and if it works on past product, that's great.

The best plan I've found is to get only what you need. When you need more sell the old HW and buy new. Just don't hold onto your machine too long or it will lose too much value. I have a lot of success selling 1 to 1.5 year old machines on eBay for top dollar -- tad less than Apple refurbs.
 
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Le Big Mac

macrumors 68030
Jan 7, 2003
2,592
168
Washington, DC
You can't totally future proof computers, but I think it's a good observation that Apple has shortened the ongoing support time period by making new system software not compatible with much less old models than it once did.
 
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fa8362

macrumors 65816
Jul 7, 2008
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After overbuying a few times, I now buy the least expensive that will get the job done.
 
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talmy

macrumors 601
Oct 26, 2009
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Oregon
It used to be that OS system requirements were based on the capability of your machines (at least 2.8GHz, etc.) but now it's based on the year regardless whether it's a screamer with 3.4GHz i7 or a slower poke with 2.7GHz i5.
It's still based on the capability of the machines. CPU speed isn't the only metric. There's also the ability to boot/run 64-bit code and have suitable GPUs.

Unless you require the extra power, I assume more of you are going to get the least capable machine you need due to Apple's dumbing down of OS system requirements.
It always makes sense to buy the least capable machine that has sufficient power. Otherwise you are wasting money. The lower end systems are better buys (best cost/performance ratios) and tend to hold their value better. People who buy used computers are most interested in something that works rather than something that is fast.
 
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JayLenochiniMac

macrumors G5
Original poster
Nov 7, 2007
12,819
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New Sanfrakota
By "future proofing," I meant extend the life of it as much as possible. This used to be easier to do by getting top of the line but not anymore now that system requirements are based on the year.

Today's iMac can't really do more than a 2007 iMac running the latest OS except for being faster, hence why it's a good idea to go several years between upgrades (unlike the iPhone/iPad).

----------

It always makes sense to buy the least capable machine that has sufficient power. Otherwise you are wasting money. The lower end systems are better buys (best cost/performance ratios) and tend to hold their value better. People who buy used computers are most interested in something that works rather than something that is fast.
Always? In the past, you'd be cut off based your machine's capability but now it's the year that counts regardless of how much power it has.
 
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aneftp

macrumors 601
Jul 28, 2007
4,263
470
After overbuying a few times, I now buy the least expensive that will get the job done.
I agree. For most people the top of line iMac is over kill. I got top of line late 2009 27 inch iMac core i7. Than added 4GB more ram and apple care. Ended up costing me over $2600 I think.

Probably save myself about $500 this time around although I am seriously considering the new dell $1999 27 inch xps all in one with the multi touch screen. Cause I sold my 27 inch iMac and don't think I can wait 2 months for new iMac
 
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tdhurst

macrumors 601
Dec 27, 2003
4,167
271
Phoenix, AZ
Sigh

A) There's no such thing as future proofing technology.

B) If you're in a business that requires up-to-date tech, you should be charging enough to replace your computers every or every other cycle.
 
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