Upgrading from 2009 24" iMac

DonP

macrumors member
Original poster
May 19, 2005
33
2
Socal
My 24" iMac is "obsolete" according to Apple so I can't upgrade beyond El Capitan (10.11.6). Other than replacing the HD this iMac has been completely reliable for the past ten years. I only web surf, email, Quicken, etc so performance is still completely adequate for my purposes. But with the 2019 iMac available now it looks like time to finally upgrade.

In a new iMac I would want user expandable RAM and a 512 SSD, so likely a 27" model. Pricing goes roughly $2200, $2400, $2500 for the three levels of 27" iMac, so I'd probably go with the top model for the extra few hundred.

Anything else I should be considering in my ten year upgrade? Thanks for any advice.
 

Andres Cantu

macrumors 68030
May 31, 2015
2,903
5,369
Rio Grande Valley in South Texas
If you will use the new Mac for 10 years like the old one, then it might be worth waiting for the inevitable redesign. You don't want to be stuck on what is essentially a 7-year old design at this point for another 10 years.

If you can't wait too long, I would at least wait for a good deal. Definitely don't buy at full price if you can help it.
 

DonP

macrumors member
Original poster
May 19, 2005
33
2
Socal
Thanks Andres. I'm concerned about using my old iMac on the internet when I can't update the OS any longer. Is that a security issue?
 

Crash Davis

macrumors member
Feb 23, 2008
75
18
Austin, Texas
If you will use the new Mac for 10 years like the old one, then it might be worth waiting for the inevitable redesign. You don't want to be stuck on what is essentially a 7-year old design at this point for another 10 years.

If you can't wait too long, I would at least wait for a good deal. Definitely don't buy at full price if you can help it.
How long might he be waiting for a good deal though??
 

flyinmac

macrumors 68040
Sep 2, 2006
3,582
2,410
United States
I’m still using my Early 2009 20-inch iMac as my daily machine with Mojave 10.14.3 installed. I did upgrade the memory to 8 GB. But, otherwise, it is factory original. It actually performs really well all considered.

There is the thread here to discuss how to accomplish the task. Everything you really need to know is in the first post.

https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/macos-10-14-mojave-on-unsupported-macs-thread.2121473/

For the record, I don’t have any of the “potential” side effects or problems that are stated as possible on my machine.

So, definitely get a new machine if you feel the need. But... if it’s only for the security updates, you might consider just updating the operating system.
 
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Fishrrman

macrumors P6
Feb 20, 2009
17,425
5,647
If a 2009 iMac remains "completely adequate for [your] purposes", then all you really need is a base model 27" 5k iMac. Even the base model will be several times "faster than" what you have now.

Buying the top model would be overkill.
The "best compromise" might be the "mid-level" model -- best blend of price and power.

We don't yet know "how hot" the new "high-end" iMacs will run.
In the 2017 design, the i7 was hotter (and louder) than the i5 "midrange" model.

Get 8gb of RAM (if you ever find yourself needing more, you can add it yourself).

Of course, THE IMPORTANT THING:
Get an SSD
(DON'T get a fusion drive).
512gb if you don't mind spending the money.
Even 256 can do the job (you'll want to plug in USB3 external storage).

The 1tb SSD costs too much to be worth it (my opinion only).
 

droobage

macrumors newbie
May 27, 2009
8
1
Of course, THE IMPORTANT THING:
Get an SSD
(DON'T get a fusion drive).
Can you explain why you say this? I'm in the exact same situation as OP, and am trying to figure out what to do next. I was planning on the 2TB fusion drive (lots of pics and video on my existing machine). I understand that SSD is faster... but it's also $100 more than the 2TB, (+$300 of the base, already expensive machine), and it's 1/4 of the storage space... So hard to justify.
 
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igloorex

macrumors newbie
Jul 14, 2009
4
0
Can you explain why you say this? I'm in the exact same situation as OP, and am trying to figure out what to do next. I was planning on the 2TB fusion drive (lots of pics and video on my existing machine). I understand that SSD is faster... but it's also $100 more than the 2TB, (+$300 of the base, already expensive machine), and it's 1/4 of the storage space... So hard to justify.
I can't speak for Fishrman, but I am apparently a very similar user to you and the OP -- currently still running a 2008 24" with a core2 Duo. I surf, VPN to work, run MS Office, play a few games, and manage a photo library.

I was ready to squeeze the trigger on a replacement a few years back, but instead cracked the case and replaced the HDD with a 1TB SSD. I can't say enough what a difference this made - it was like getting a brand new computer. I'd keep my current machine as-is (with SSD and "maxed" 6GB RAM) another few years, but it's stuck 10.11, and I'm starting to see applications I want that won't run on it. It's time.

But as I try to spec my new machine, there's no way can I go back to a spinner. I really want to believe the 2TB Fusion drive (with 128GB SSD) would be good enough, but I have visions of buying a brand-new $2500+ machine that feels slower than the 11 year old one I have now once I am working with any files not on the SSD part of the fusion drive.

Last thought - those who say "you've waited this long, just wait for the refresh/redesign" have apparently forgotten that the last two updates to the iMac (neither of which included a redesign) each were over 600 days. I don't want to be in a position in early 2021 when my current machine truly becomes obsolete and I wind up having to buy the same upgrade that's available to me now (and since Apple never cuts its prices... it'll be no cheaper). And that's before you consider that the new redesign might actually be worse and may be "breaking in" an entirely new Apple-designed processor. If the downside of upgrading now is that I am "stuck" with the last great intel iMac and the current iMac design, I can live with that.
 

pwm86

macrumors member
Oct 23, 2016
30
43
Austria
I can't speak for Fishrman, but I am apparently a very similar user to you and the OP -- currently still running a 2008 24" with a core2 Duo. I surf, VPN to work, run MS Office, play a few games, and manage a photo library.

I was ready to squeeze the trigger on a replacement a few years back, but instead cracked the case and replaced the HDD with a 1TB SSD. I can't say enough what a difference this made - it was like getting a brand new computer. I'd keep my current machine as-is (with SSD and "maxed" 6GB RAM) another few years, but it's stuck 10.11, and I'm starting to see applications I want that won't run on it. It's time.

But as I try to spec my new machine, there's no way can I go back to a spinner. I really want to believe the 2TB Fusion drive (with 128GB SSD) would be good enough, but I have visions of buying a brand-new $2500+ machine that feels slower than the 11 year old one I have now once I am working with any files not on the SSD part of the fusion drive.

Last thought - those who say "you've waited this long, just wait for the refresh/redesign" have apparently forgotten that the last two updates to the iMac (neither of which included a redesign) each were over 600 days. I don't want to be in a position in early 2021 when my current machine truly becomes obsolete and I wind up having to buy the same upgrade that's available to me now (and since Apple never cuts its prices... it'll be no cheaper). And that's before you consider that the new redesign might actually be worse and may be "breaking in" an entirely new Apple-designed processor. If the downside of upgrading now is that I am "stuck" with the last great intel iMac and the current iMac design, I can live with that.
You could try to put Mojave on the 2008 iMac using the dosdude1's patcher: see the first message on
https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/macos-10-14-mojave-on-unsupported-macs-thread.2121473/