Shall I buy used 20" iMac 2007 (Aliu) now?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by iancflam, Jul 23, 2013.

  1. iancflam, Jul 23, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2013

    iancflam macrumors member

    Mar 16, 2013
    Hi all,
    Got a offer of a used 20" iMac Aluminimum C2D 2.0Ghz (2007 model), 2G ram and 500G Harddisk w/ wireless keyboard and mighty mouse. What is a good price to get it?

    Anyone is still using this here and going strong? Anything I should watch out/ check before buying?

    I recently bought a 15" rmbp for work and love how easy it's on OS X.
    I want to buy it for my parents to use as they love viewing photos on iPhone but the screen is too small... (btw, they love watching videos taken on iPhone, any way to view them on iMac like AirPlay?)

    What program can be used on this old model? I suppose they would need only basic programs, like iTunes, perhaps web surfing, playing some CD/DVD's as they are not good in computer.
    Anyway my dad tried to learn how to use XP few years ago and gave up in days lol

    I think it's worthwhile to give them another try if it's a good price....worth to throw an SSD into it?

    Or should I stay away from this deal and look for a better one/ newer model?
    Thank you for your reading and welcome any opinions :)
  2. Intell macrumors P6


    Jan 24, 2010
    While they're old, they're still working well and make good daily use Macs. They can run anything from 10.4.9 to 10.9.X, making them still up to date and modern. You can put Windows XP through 8 on them as well. With a slight ram upgrade to 4GB or 6GB, they perk up well. A SSD would be a nice upgrade, just keep in mind they have a SATA II bus not SATA III. If you're feeling adventurous, you can upgrade the CPU to a Intell X7900 @ 2.8Ghz. A nice upgrade if the CPU starts to slow things down.
  3. firedept macrumors 603


    Jul 8, 2011
    Good machine. Have the exact machine here at home. It is our family computer and still runs great. I have all kinds of programs on it and can still download virtually anything out there now. I have Adobe CS5.5 Master Collection on the iMac and it still runs it just fine. It is definitely slower than the new iMacs, but still capable of getting things done.

    Even I occasionally use it to do some PS, AI or AE work on, but since I do have a new iMac it is not often. But as i previously stated, it can still get the work done.

    As it can still run anything out there, I would be surprised if you could find it for under $200 if I am reading your post correctly. It will also be able to run 10.9 so still upgradable. It has been a great machine and we will continue to use it till it can no longer be upgraded.

    If your parents are just going to use it for the basics and you can find it cheap, then I would go for it. The 20" screen is good for video & photo viewing. And I would not bother with an SSD for what your parents will be using it for. You could always upgrade the RAM for a little more speed. I have 4 GB in mine and it works fine.
  4. fa8362 macrumors 65816

    Jul 7, 2008
    I wouldn't buy a 6 year old computer. I usually replace my computers after 6-7 years.
  5. talmy macrumors 601


    Oct 26, 2009
    I'd make sure the display looks good (bright, evenly lit) and since they will be playing CD/DVDs test out the Superdrive. Get an additional 2GB of RAM and upgrade it to Mountain Lion for best results, but neither is required. Don't consider any other upgrades as they would not be worth it on such an old machine.
  6. RedCroissant Suspended

    Aug 13, 2011
    I wouldn't offer more than $350 for it. Yes it still runs the most modern iteration of OS X, but it won't be as quick as newer machines, the VRAM is also lower, and OS X 10.9 is probably the last version of OS X that it will be able to run. If keeping it up to date is not that important to you, then that's also fine.

    It would still be a great machine but I would be sure to test every port and especially the superdrive to make sure it's still working.

    It's an Intel model iMac so most applications that are out now will run just fine on it.

    And no there's no way to Airplay to the iMac, but you could get an AppleTV2 and do it that way as long as they have an HD TV.

    It's always worth it to put an SSD in it or even a faster standard HDD as well. I plan on doing that with my machine whenever I have the money for it.

    As others have advised, upgrade the RAM. I would even go as far as reinstalling the OS to make it almost like new.
  7. iancflam thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 16, 2013
    Thanks all!

    Thank you for all the great inputs and suggestions! You:apple: guys rock:)

    I'm pretty amazed that The 2007 iMac seems to be able to do all the works like playing Hd video, given a year of 6 since its debut. Btw, can it play Full HD video on another monitor? (1920x1080 dual mon, good enough with 128ddr3 ram?)

    Surprised that I read from the web, that even more magical it's like with a new OS the iMacs might be more snappier than before ( mt lion> lion). imagine the fate of my pc/ laptop... lol

    It comes with Snow Leopard...should I wait and buy mavericks and install on it??
    Or perhaps mountain lion? (any developer here, or ideas?)

    Checked on Geekbench it has 2764/3104 score(32/64 bit). X7900 will bring to (3718/4146)...50% up, but the upgrade may cost> $100 (eBay). How good does that mean? Is the current spec enough to cope with basic iTunes, iPhoto, iMovie, GarageBand? Read that even CS 5.5 can be handled and shocked:eek: how about aperture, logic and fcpx? :D

    In case if it's really sluggish I may put a SSD 128 on it, I suggest with $100 it's better on SSD than CPU? But then the storage may be a bit low coz they need SuperDrive for DVD/CD and I wouldn't put HDD there and do fusion drive.
    Let me check the speed first when I get it on hand. If it's good I may even use it as web server lol

    The price would be under $240 and given the claimed condition is good, I think it's too good to let it go, right?

    My only concern is the 20" TN display. I found out on the web, that 2007 20" used TN panel and there are some wash-out problems and color shift...6 bit display and only 0.226 M color there? Anyone heard of this? How about your 2007 one, Firedept?
  8. talmy macrumors 601


    Oct 26, 2009
    Why all the talk about upgrades when the system will only get light use? Save your money.

    I said to check that display carefully. Apple used to use TN displays in their small screen size iMacs (the 17" when the had that, and in the 20" when the 17" size was dropped in the Aluminum models). They are noticeably inferior to the IPS displays of the other models, but most people are happy with TN unless they are doing something that is color critical. And I have seen faded displays on older models.
  9. iancflam thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 16, 2013
    Yes I had a second thought whether I should buy this old Mac. But it seems to be the cheapest Mac I can get for my parents as they never use one. ( in fact I just got my first 2 months ago:D)
    I hope they like it, and it'd be great if they can use it to view all family photos/videos on the library with bigger display.

    If they don't like it/ use it I would use it for server.....but high hope that my dad will love:)
  10. iancflam thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 16, 2013
    Thanks. Since I checked from YouTube earlier it takes 1'30"to boot and only 25" with SSD, in case they use it a lot I'd certainly upgrade it for them....

    So do I only check the display is evenly lit and bright/ SuperDrive...?
    Is this: good enough?
    (never bought used)

    Faded display means dimly-lit?

    Btw, is this happened on every 20" iMac?

    Thanks again for your help and advice!!
  11. RedCroissant Suspended

    Aug 13, 2011
    I honestly wouldn't go above Lion for that machine; if you can even find it anywhere. Lucky for me I burned a copy of it when it was still available for download on the app store along with the 10.7.5 update. So if I ever do get an Intel machine again, I'll at least have that available.

    And yes it should support an external 1080 display. You could even set it up to where the display is directly in front of the iMac.

    A SSD upgrade would be nice, but simply increasing the RAM and performing a fresh install of Snow Leopard(which is a great operating system) will really do wonders for that machine.

    For that price, it is a great deal for the longest supported machine line. So go ahead and get it!
  12. talmy macrumors 601


    Oct 26, 2009
    The system can be slept. Gives almost instant on and consumes only a watt or two. Extra power is much less expensive than an SSD.

    Nice site, I'll have to bookmark it! There are obvious electrical failures of the panel (rows or columns of pixels are dark), but power supply problems can give low contrast (which appears faded) and worn out backlights can cause flickering or dim display or uneven display lighting.

    Doing any display repair will easily cost more than the computer is worth.

    Link is not correct. But whatever it is, it's unlikely to have happened on every 20" iMac!
  13. Intell macrumors P6


    Jan 24, 2010
    I have run a very large external screen >1080p with my iMac, same model as yours, without a problem. Even with the internal screen on as well. They run 10.8 very well, despite being the slowest system it runs on. Much better than 10.7, but not as well as 10.6. For light use, the stock CPU is adequate. While it may be old and slow compared to newer CPUs, it can still do plenty of work. The stock hard drives aren't all that bad, but they're a pain to replace. For starters, maybe just upgrade the ram and see how well it performs.
  14. iancflam thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 16, 2013
    iMac deal breaker

    Thank you very much for all our sincere help. Unfortunately there is a problem with iMac concerned and I have to pass this deal. However I'm keeping an eye and there is another offer around.... here you go and is it a good deal? should I pull the trigger?

    2012 Mac mini for $580
    2.3 i7 /4G/1Tb warranty till May2014
    w/ wired apple keyboard, might mouse (??), Apple hdmi cable

    Does it sound good or fishy at all? Just wonder how to check it without monitor at the spot :confused: any idea?

    So this is the other cheap(2x) alternative if not go for iMac...sad
    I have spare old Eizo monitor(19" 1280x1024) and keyboard, mouse at home. .....does it support 5:4 scale?

    Thanks a lot for any suggestions!
  15. talmy macrumors 601


    Oct 26, 2009
    Sounds reasonable to me. Only 2 months old. The "might mouse" is probably a "Mighty Mouse" which I found to be one of the worst mice Apple ever made. You can test it by bringing your monitor.

    1280x1024 won't be a problem.
  16. LostSoul80 macrumors 68020


    Jan 25, 2009
    The iMac will work smoothly, it's a great machine. I'd suggest keeping 10.6.8 on it, it's an almost flawless OS. It can handle everything you want just fine.
    However, older models' HDD's tend to fail after that many years, so before buying a diagnostic of the hard disk would be a good idea. Don't just rely on that hard disk, be aware it can go anytime, so replacing it beforehand if needed would be desirable.
    It can handle 1080p on an external monitor.

    As for the Mini, the deal sounds fair to me. Its processor is 2 generations ahead of the one in the iMac, and it's still under warranty. I'd go for it.

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