Used iMac - is it worth it?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Alt941, Aug 14, 2017.

  1. Alt941 macrumors newbie

    Aug 14, 2017

    I don't know much about computers so I am hoping someone can help me out! Be gentle :)

    I am thinking about buying a used iMac from someone for $300. Just to surf the internet, write documents and organize my iPhoto, etc.

    My only concern is if the computer is outdated or too "slow" for me to do these pretty basic things.

    Here's the details on the unit:

    24" iMac Apple Computer.
    Bought in summer of 2007.
    Great little desktop computer - everything is in the screen, no extra stuff on or under your desk. Runs great for simple use
    Here's the specs:
    - 2.8GHz Core 2 Duo T7700
    - 64-Bit
    - 4GB DDR2 SDRAM
    - This model has a 24.0" "glossy" TFT widescreen active matrix display with a native resolution of 1920x1200.
    - ATI Radeon HD 2600 PRO 256MB
    - Superdrive (CD-R, CD-RW, DVD-R, DVD+R, etc.)
    - 750GB SATA Hard Drive
    - 3 USB 2.0 ports
    - 1 Firewire 400 port
    - 1 Firewire 800 port
    - Gigabit Ethernet
    - 1 Mini-DVI
    - Airport 802.11g
    - Bluetooth 2.0
    - Audio in / out
    - MacOS Sierra installed
    - USB Keyboard
    - USB Mouse
    - Includes Original Box

    If you have any advice I'd appreciate it! Just don't want to waste $300 :)
  2. EugW macrumors 601


    Jun 18, 2017
    How well does this machine run Sierra? Cuz it doesn't actually officially support Sierra. Sierra would have been installed using a hacked installer.

    Also, there is no h.264 hardware decode acceleration. What this means is that while 1080p h.264 playback would work, it would all be done in software, meaning the fan could ramp up to annoying levels during some HD video playback. Same thing with YouTube HD video.

    The other three factors that would also become irritating:

    1) 4 GB RAM is not really enough if you want to do any multitasking.
    2) USB 2 is slow.
    3) The hard drive is slow.
  3. jlseattle macrumors 6502


    Jan 9, 2007
    Seattle WA
    With your budget I would go with a iPad. I don't think you can even get an update on that PC. Sorry for the bad news. My recommendation is look at an iPad.
  4. EugW macrumors 601


    Jun 18, 2017
    iPads are not very good for writing documents.

    <-- Owns several iPads and external keyboards.
  5. Alt941 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 14, 2017
    Thanks so much for the response and information! I think I'll pass on buying it, it was too good to be true :)
    --- Post Merged, Aug 14, 2017 ---
    Thanks for the response! I do have an iPad and a MacBook Air already. I just wanted a desktop with a nice big screen at my desk to sort through iPhoto, surf the net and update documents! Thanks for the suggestion though, I appreciate the response!
  6. _Kiki_ macrumors 6502a

    Aug 13, 2017
    $300 it's too much for iMac 24" 2007

    I'm pretty sure for little more like $400 you can buy iMac 21.5" 2012 i5 8GB 1TB fusion but you need some patience with online auctions
  7. Raz0rEdge macrumors member


    Jun 13, 2016
    Wise decision to skip the purchase, that iMac at $300 is ridiculously overpriced. It is 10 years old and will not "officially" run the latest version of macOS and will be "obsolete" from the day you buy it..

    If you want a desktop, the Mac Mini's with whatever display you want to throw at it is a great way of getting a desktop that is "portable" and modern.

  8. sboychuck macrumors regular

    Sep 19, 2014
    Thousand Oaks, CA
    I would also be a bit leery about this machine and running on Sierra. Someone has done things to it, to make that happen. I have a 2008 24-inch with a 3.06 chip and it works great for my 10-year old daughter, running El Capitan. The RAM is maxed out and I just took it apart and installed a 525GB Crucial SSD. That really brought it back to life. If it dies, I can take the SSD out and use it somewhere else. $300 is a bit steep though.
  9. EugW, Aug 17, 2017
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2017

    EugW macrumors 601


    Jun 18, 2017
    You don't have to do anything to it other than running a modified installer, although I don't know how well it works on that specific machine. (EDIT: See below.)

    I plan on doing that with my 2009 MacBook Pro, with High Sierra. Actually, I had already tried that on Sierra and it worked fine. But I didn't want to have to do this every time with each Sierra update, and I didn't feel there was that much benefit to do on that machine so I reverted to El Capitan. However, I will do it with High Sierra because of other benefits that High Sierra has that Sierra doesn't.

    However, my 2009 MBP is more capable machine than that 2007 iMac, mainly because of the h.264 hardware decode support.


    Here we go - potentially no WiFi:

  10. elf69 macrumors 68020


    Jun 2, 2016
    Cornwall UK
    I bought a 2007 20" imac with similar specs for £140 ($182) little over a year ago.
    It came with 1 year warranty.

    It does what I want although an SSD upgrade is coming soon.
    It can run several tabs in safari and run itunes at same time which is about all I need really.

    Yes I want a newer machine but do not have funds at moment.
    I have 6GB of ram (max for this model) and other than a couple of crashes lately it is all good.

    yes usb2 lets it down but not a big issue.
    I got a 2nd apple cinema screen hooked up to it too and all runs well.

    In UK the 20" 2007 imac still sells at £150 plus.
    So tempted sell mine and buy a newer model.

    @EugW You should not have to run patcher after every update as it worked fine for my friend even after updates on sierra. I patched his 2008 20" Imac and he loves it.
  11. Marshall73 macrumors 65816


    Apr 20, 2015
    Common issues with these raging models:
    Overheating (tend to get clogged up with dust, not easy to clean out, worse if the previous user was a smoker, and smoked near it)
    Screen burn out, either LCD, backlight or both
    4GB is not a lot of RAM, can't be upgraded further
    No SSD, no USB 3 so you can't use an SSD externally in a UASP compatible caddy.
    Only Wireless G
  12. elf69 macrumors 68020


    Jun 2, 2016
    Cornwall UK
    my 2007 has a/b/g/n wifi and supports 6GB ram

    agree with everything else though
  13. EugW macrumors 601


    Jun 18, 2017
    Good to know. I think the initial patchers may not have survived updates, but perhaps that changed. Or maybe it was only with specific machines.
  14. elf69 macrumors 68020


    Jun 2, 2016
    Cornwall UK
    I got a later patcher tool from "lowendmac" website.
  15. sboychuck macrumors regular

    Sep 19, 2014
    Thousand Oaks, CA
    EuqW, i just saw your edit.

    The chart is what I was referring to. I was never interested in changing out other hardware to run Sierra. El Capitan is just fine on the older machines. I am not a fan of buying machines that have been altered to make things work, unless the seller is a friend, and I am confident in their abilities.

    I would buy this machine for $100 just for parts if needed. If the screen and power supply are good, that will be a good parts machine, but not for $300, unless I really needed them. Thanks...
  16. elf69 macrumors 68020


    Jun 2, 2016
    Cornwall UK
    i bought CPU and wifi card for my 2007 imac from china cost £30 for both.
    I can fool patcher into thinking I have 2008/2008 imac once swapped parts out.

    I like to tinker and work as computer repair shop so it ok for me.

    el capitan is fine but I like some the features that sierra has so will upgrade mine soon.
    just I keep using it so not got round to stripping it and upgrading.
  17. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009
    A 2007 iMac is just too old. Does it happen to be a "white" one? In that case, it's a 2006 model.

    You need something newer.

    You're going to have to spend a little more $$$.
  18. elf69 macrumors 68020


    Jun 2, 2016
    Cornwall UK
    never buy a white one as they are too limited.

    2007 imac are passable for limited/low end use.
    my budget is very very low but I like to tinker.

    for those who dont then yes save and buy 2009 or newer.
    the newer the better!
  19. MultiFinder17 macrumors 68000


    Jan 8, 2008
    Tampa, Florida
    I use that exact same iMac as my primary computer in my classroom (2008 24" 2.8/6GB/256SSD). It runs like a champ under El Cap. I got mine for free as a hand-me-down from the in-laws, and it works brilliantly for my needs, primarily productivity and running Engineering applications (I teach technology and robotics in middle school).
  20. EugW macrumors 601


    Jun 18, 2017
    The one in the original post is a 2007.

    Your 2008 has a different CPU and is much easier to upgrade to High Sierra.

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