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Repair or Replace 4 year old iMac


macrumors newbie
Original poster
Aug 22, 2012
Hi Guys!

I'm a newbie so please be gentle! lol!

I have a dilemma: I have a 4 year old iMac that runs OSX Leopard 10.5.8 and has worked like a dream for the last 3.5 years. I use my computer primarily for music production and it has coped well with the software that I install i.e Logic 8 etc.

What I started to notice when I turned on the computer was that the fans went crazy and my computer sounded like a jumbo jet. I did the system reset like Apple advised and things went quiet about a week ago, the fans went mental again and no matter what I did (and I have went on all the forums) the fans won't quiet down.

Following the advice from Apple, I did a Hardware test and the iMac said that my temperature sensor has malfunctioned. I downloaded iStats and it stated that my CPU fan was going 4x the normal rate.

Because I am out of warranty, I have rang a number of Apple Repair Shops and they told me that it could be many things but chances are either the fan needs replacing or it could be something to do with the logicboard, but they will need open it up to find out which will cost me minimum £40 (roughly $70). I checked the value of my current iMac and the best I could get for it if I sold it was £250 - £300 ( roughly $480 - $550) so if I have to replace the Logicboard it may not be worth the cost.

Also, a lot of new software will not run on Leopard anymore but with these problems, I'm thinking it won't be worth it & once you get 1 problem, chances are that the repairs will be more frequent.

Guys please let me know what you think.




macrumors member
Nov 20, 2010
Might just be a bad temperature sensor that thinks something's really hot when it's not really. You could download smcfancontrol which allows you to control your fan speeds manually. Only downside is that if it's NOT the sensor and something is actually overheating, you might not cool it down enough by lowering your fan speeds. Kind of a gamble, but the worst case scenario is that something fries and it has to get replaced, which is where you are right now anyway. Opening it up is going to cost you some coin, so it's just a matter of if you think it's worth it.

If it were me I would look at it this way. The machine is approaching the end of it's life when it comes to performance, so I would be happy that this is the first time it's had issues. I would use smcfancontrol to make it not sound like a jet engine and hope nothing blows up. You may extend the life of the computer significantly without having to put anything else into it. If something does blow up, then you just have to compare the cost of replacement with the cost of repair. At 4 years old it's up to you and your money situation, obviously the better investment would be to sell it and put your money into new technology at that point.


macrumors 65816
Nov 17, 2007
It sounds like you a least need to take it into a shop and get it diagnosed. If it's something simple then get it repaired. If it needs a new logic board recycle it.

If it's a simple repair and it's doing the job for you why not keep using it until it doesn't.


macrumors 6502a
Jul 1, 2010
Is that price you quoted for your iMac including the fact that it is broken right now? I just can't see someone paying that much for an old iMac that has issues.

But, back on topic, I think it's time for an upgrade. :)
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