Thinking about a new iMac. How often do you replace yours?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by richard13, Mar 18, 2013.

  1. richard13 macrumors 6502a

    Aug 1, 2008
    Mill Creek, WA
    I generally replace my computer every 3 years. This usually yields good life from the existing computer and a nice little performance boost from the new one. How often do you replace yours?

    The reason I ask is my Mid-2010 iMac (which I got in Nov. 2010) still looks and works awesome but gaming, specifically World of Warcraft, I'm now getting FPS in the low teens. Since it's almost 3 years I thought I'd pick up a late-2012 iMac since they are finally in good supply.

    Since the late-2012 is actually now several months old, should I wait until end of this year for a possible upgrade?

    Or if I buy this computer now and it is in mid cycle, any bugs would have been worked out and would be a better buy?

  2. phoenixsan macrumors 65816


    Oct 19, 2012
    Maybe you need....

    some real world benchmark running WoW in the 2010 and 2012 iMac editions. In this way, you can make an informed decission. Or any advice of WoWers with similar hardware....

  3. Ice-Cube macrumors 6502a


    Jul 27, 2006
    Somewhere over the rainbow
    I generally buy every 3 years too. Usually indicated by my Applecare warranty period.

    My current iMac was bought in '09, my new one is coming in next week. :)
  4. Andrew*Debbie macrumors member

    Nov 6, 2010
    North Wales, United Kingdom
    We are usually on a 5-year cycle. Went 6 this time.
  5. zedsdead macrumors 68040

    Jun 20, 2007
    I buy on the redesigns, which is every 3 models basically. Usually 2-3 years.

    The only reason I would upgrade sooner at this point would be because of a Retina screen which is unlikely to happen for two to three years anyway because of cost. At this time six-core processors hopefully will be out also.
  6. benwiggy macrumors 68020

    Jun 15, 2012
    I don't work to a time limit. It's not Logan's Run. I keep my Macs until such time as they are unable to do useful work productively.

    I just binned my 2006 iMac, because it wouldn't run ML, and it's 3Gb RAM and small hard drive were becoming a limitation on newer software and larger file sizes. I then had to assemble the cash for a new one, and decide whether to wait for a refresh or not.

    If your current Mac doesn't do what you want to do well (play WoW), and newer machines do, then it makes sense to get a new one, if you've got the money.
  7. OT2000 macrumors regular


    Apr 12, 2007
    I'm on the 6th year with my current iMac, but I just ordered a new one.
  8. Brian Y macrumors 68040

    Oct 21, 2012
    Roughly 3 years, but I want my maxed out 2011 to last longer.

    I went from mid 2007 (Core 2 Extreme) to mid 2011 (i7).
  9. AppleFan360 macrumors 68020

    Jan 26, 2008
    I update my iMac usually every 2-3 years or on major revisions. The 2012 iMac I would consider major only because of the Fusion drive. It's a huge speed boost. Also 2 or 3 year old iMacs still hold a good resale value.
  10. talmy macrumors 601


    Oct 26, 2009
    I'm on my second. My first I kept for 3 1/2 years. The second, bought November 2009 in the first wave of 27" i7 models, I'm reluctant to give up because I use the DVD drive and FW800 port. It's also fast enough for what I do (which includes FCP X).
  11. bembol macrumors 65816


    Jul 29, 2006
    I can't believe I didn't upgrade earlier, had a 24" Base Mid-2008.

    This is the first time I bought Apple Care, didn't have luck with 3 of 4 the iMac we bought (2 HDD failed, 1 Logic Board). So I will keep current for at least 3 years.

    Also, unless Apple gives us a 30"+ iMac and/or Retina I don't think I will upgrade.
  12. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009
    I bought my last Apple desktop (PowerMac g4/1.25ghz MDD) in 2004 and used it 9 years. Just replaced it a month ago with a new Mac Mini.

    I bought my iMac (white 24" Intel) in 2007. Still using it, runs fine, no plans to replace it.
  13. shiekh macrumors member

    Sep 26, 2006
    I'm still using a G5 iMac at home; it still does what I need.

    Like many, mine had failed capacitors, but after they were replaced it still works great.
  14. deconstruct60 macrumors 604

    Mar 10, 2009
    If gaming is your primary driver for upgrades then you should probably wait for your "normal" Nov. 2013 anniversary to upgrade. Most likely there will be either an incrementally faster GPU available at your price points or at worse announced one that is coming in December (again).

    It is unlikely Apple will have the same degree of supply production problems this year as last. There is a pretty high incentive for Apple to cover most of Q4 with a new iMac so they can crow about record Mac sales in that quarter's results and they clearly erased the previous year's "pothole".

    Bugs come as much from software as hardware. Software is somewhat of a coin toss. It depends upon whether Apple's 10.9 leans more so to quality improvements or just volume of new APIs and gadgets.

    Except for some incremental changes ( tweaked motherboard for new CPU package socket , newer CPU package , newer GPU ) there probably won't be as large of a difference between 2012->2013 iMac as there was between 2011->2012 one. If there is anything fundamentally wrong with the board, fans , major infrastructure it would more likely be fixed in the 2013 model. It should be a "second pass" design where lessons learned are weaved in. In short, it is about as likely to have improvements as it will previously unknown defects.

    I wouldn't replace on 3 year cycle, but I'm not buying with high value emphasis on gaming. You'd need to find the folks with a very high overlap/intersection in overall workload to get a good comparison number.
  15. kazmac macrumors 603


    Mar 24, 2010
    On the silver scream

    3 years, but I am trying to push my mid 2010 til next year.

    I do not game or really do anything that requires these upgrades (slowing down on dvd burning/etc. so...)

    Not sure if I will stick with iMacs because of the retina screen rMBP which would really help me for long periods of writing etc.
  16. flynz4 macrumors 68040

    Aug 9, 2009
    Portland, OR
    Our plan is to buy a new iMac every 2-3 years... but to keep them for about 5-6 years.

    My wife does not push her machines very hard... so I'll keep the new one every time, and she gets the hand me downs. She now has the late 2009 27", and I have the 2012 27".

    If there is a major failure (after Apple Care has expired)... then we may replace more frequently if it is financially favorable.

    We do the same with MacBook Airs. I buy a new one every year (for myself)... and hand my 1 year old machine to spouse and kids... depending who's machine is oldest.

    I find that this behavior helps me rationalize my addiction.

  17. AppleFan360 macrumors 68020

    Jan 26, 2008
    Same here. My family loves my hand me downs especially with the iPhones and iPads.
  18. richard13 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Aug 1, 2008
    Mill Creek, WA
    I just wanted to say thanks to everyone who replied to this thread. Your diverse opinions have given me some food for thought. I think no matter what I do there are pros and cons. So there's probably no wrong decision here, just an informed one.

    I'm pretty happy with my current iMac other than gaming performance so I think the first thing I'm going to do so experimentation. I recall way back when I got my current iMac I set up Boot Camp with Windows 7 and was getting better FPS than running WoW in OS X. I believe the theory here was that the drivers for Windows were more mature and tweaked for that platform even on the Mac hardware. If I can go back to this model and squeeze enough out of my current iMac I can probably wait until end of year. If not, I'll have to consider my other options.
  19. davidb367 macrumors member

    Feb 13, 2007
    A left field suggestion...

    I tried gaming on the Mac but gave up. The graphics cards evolve so fast that newer games don't do so hot on a two year old iMac GPU. I built a Windows gaming pc for a modest $600.00 and I can upgrade the graphics card and play most new games reasonably well every couple of years.

    The funny thing is that the processor and RAM have very little impact. A good core2duo processor and 4 gigs of RAM pretty much runs all the games very well. My current gaming PC is 4 years old and I replaced the GPU about a year ago with a 6870. I should be able to get another 2 years before the PCIe evolution will obsolete the motherboard.
  20. cosmicjoke macrumors 6502

    Oct 3, 2011
    Portland, OR
    prediction - > you wait for the next imac, but it doesn't come out when you anticipate it... then you come cry on these forums every day for no less than 2/3rds of a year... then the new one finally does come out, but the changes were fairly marginal, so you end up buying a refurb of the 2012.
  21. Georgio macrumors 6502


    Apr 30, 2008
    Essex, UK
    I tend to upgrade every couple of years as I find there is a sweet spot where a Mac is still worth a decent amount on EBay.

    On average I tend to get 50% of the value of a new Mac, so add in another 50% and it's new Mac time. :D

    I used to be a heavy WoW user and also found that bootcamp and Win7 64bit gave the best performance; with my 2011 Mac (2GB 6970 GPU) I was getting 60-80 fps in Ogrimmar with high settings.
    By comparison I was barely getting 40fps in OSX in the same location at the same time.
  22. richard13 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Aug 1, 2008
    Mill Creek, WA
    This is definitely a possibility. One of my options would be to build a PC. I haven't done it in a few years and it might be fun. The one major problem here is that I'm now used to the 27" screen and the only PC monitor I see going with is the Samsung 9 Series which is $1000 all by itself! So then we are back in Apple prices when added to a decent PC.

    I also do remember never being able to really upgrade my PCs back then. By the time I was due for a new video card they they had already created a new standard which required a new motherboard, which would need new RAM, CPU... etc. etc. I don't know if this is still the case though.


    Yea, this might be a way for me to go. My current iMac might be a little past prime but maybe I could recover some money from it by selling on eBay. I mean, what other option would I have besides having another iMac around the house? LOL. I guess I could give it to someone in my family as well.

    I seem to recall my Boot Camp experience being similar... something like 15+ FPS over OS X. I'm going to try this probably next weekend.
  23. mellofello macrumors 65816

    Feb 1, 2011
    I don't keep macs past apple care so 3 years. My mac air is still working flawlessly but rules, are rules so new 2013 is in the cards:D
  24. richard13 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Aug 1, 2008
    Mill Creek, WA
    So, I tried using BootCamp with Windows 7 (never, ever, again... it took the better part of a day to download everything) and Windows 8 (pretty quick).

    In World of Warcraft:

    Windows 7: I got roughly 8 FPS better than in OSX. But the sound quality seemed pretty bad.

    Windows 8: I got about 8-10 FPS better than in OSX. Sound seemed better but still not as good as OSX.

    So, obviously things have changed as I'm not getting a 15 FPS bump by using Windows in BootCamp anymore. It's probably just as well anyway.


    Aww shucks... well, if you have to. ;)
  25. The Norseman macrumors newbie

    Feb 15, 2013
    6 years. Got a new iMac in February. My January 2007 iMac is still working perfectly. I'll keep it as a backup.

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