What is the life expectancy of a Mac

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by kuntryklucker, Mar 8, 2013.

  1. kuntryklucker macrumors member

    kuntryklucker

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2013
    Location:
    The Funny Farm
    #1
    Hi All,

    My brother gave me his old mac that he used during college. It is a 2006 white MacBook. He took really good care of it and had a new hard drive and an OS upgrade done to it before he gave it to me.

    I use it for mostly e-mail, word processing, and web surfing.

    This is my first experience with a mac. For those who have been long users of mac, how long can I expect this machine to last?

    I treat it like a fine piece of china and take good care of it as my brother did. Just wondering how long it will last.

    Thanks.
     
  2. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #2
    It very much depends on how well you care for it. My primary Mac is a 5 year old MBP that still looks and runs like it did out of the box.
     
  3. ConCat macrumors 6502a

    ConCat

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2012
    Location:
    In an ethereal plane of existence.
    #3
    It's really difficult to tell how long a computer that old is going to last, but macs do tend to last a very long time. The first component to die is usually the hard drive, but since you have a new one, it may very well last you at least a few years.
     
  4. kuntryklucker thread starter macrumors member

    kuntryklucker

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2013
    Location:
    The Funny Farm
    #4
    Ok, so I can expect to get some good use out of it still, right?

    I replaced the battery a few days ago, the apple store still had them on the shelf for this model. They said it was a vintage model and that they might have
    the batteries for this model another year of so.

    I am currently saving for a new one. Do you think this mac might last me at least another year or so?
     
  5. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #5
    Most likely. And then some.
     
  6. kuntryklucker thread starter macrumors member

    kuntryklucker

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2013
    Location:
    The Funny Farm
    #6
    Ok, thanks, that is good to know. This is my first experience with a mac so I don't know the durability of them well. Good to know that it has a good track record.
     
  7. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #7
  8. Attonine macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2006
    Location:
    Kent. UK
    #8
    I find that generally I need to replace my Macs because of software rather than hardware. That is, when I need to upgrade some software package that requires higher hardware specs than the Mac I am using.

    Other than this, I tend to upgrade my hardware if there is a fault out of warranty that I deem costs too much to fix and buying a new Mac is a better use of the money.

    I seem to remember reading somewhere that PC users on average buy a new machine every 3 years, whereas a Mac user would on average upgrade every 5 yrs. Can't remember where I read this though, and have no idea how accurate it is or if it even still holds true.

    My parents have a 2006 iMac that has only ever needed a replacement optical drive (last year). It's still going fine and they have no plans to replace until it fails catastrophically!

    I think the Macbook you have inherited will be fine for a while yet!
     
  9. kuntryklucker thread starter macrumors member

    kuntryklucker

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2013
    Location:
    The Funny Farm
    #9
    Thank you so much for the link. I took a look at it and found many things that are helpful. Thanks Again.

    ----------

    Ok, thank you, that is encouraging. It is working just fine, and I take good care of it. I hope that it will lat me at least two years longer. By then I should be able to get a new mac.

    I came from the PC world and cannot go back. I know that the mac's cost more than a PC but I am willing to pay the price. Just hope this machine holds out for me.
     
  10. notjustjay macrumors 603

    notjustjay

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2003
    Location:
    Canada, eh?
    #10
    Typically, a computer (any computer, any brand) lifetime ends when one of two things happens:

    1 - hardware failure, like a hard drive crash, motherboard or CPU failure, dropped the laptop and cracked the screen, etc. Sometimes this is fixable (replace the failed hard drive or RAM), sometimes not.

    2 - the software you want to use with it either will not work (e.g. most recent versions of OS X simply will not install on older hardware) or has become so unbearably slow that you decide to buy a faster machine. Note that this only happens if you keep updating/upgrading software over time; if you never update, then the software that's on it runs just as well now as it ever did.

    Barring these two things, a computer could last theoretically indefinitely. However, often something new gets released that is so exciting that you decide you'd rather sell and buy new.

    I'm still computing on a 2007-era MacBook Pro. I've replaced the hard drive and upgraded the RAM but otherwise it is still going strong and I have no intention yet of getting rid of it. I might, however, buy a MacBook Air to complement it.

    Previous to this, I had a 12" PowerBook G4 that I kept for over 5 years. It might have been even longer, but that's about when Apple switched to intel chips and I wanted to stay current.

    Bottom line: Macs will last a long time if you take care of them and if they still do what you need them to do!
     
  11. kuntryklucker thread starter macrumors member

    kuntryklucker

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2013
    Location:
    The Funny Farm
    #11
    Wow!! thank you so much for your post. I did get a new hard drive and an OS update about a year ago. Got a new battery this past week and so far the machine is running fine. I am glad to know that you are still using an older mac. Gives me some hope that this one will hold out another year or two till I can buy a new mac.

    It does everything that I want it to do, e-mail, word processing, and web surfing. I do not tax it much with any other programs. I might watch netflix once in a while but it seems to do okay with that.

    Thanks for your input, it was very helpful.
     
  12. smithrh macrumors 68020

    smithrh

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2009
    #12
    For the most part, Apple hardware is long-lived.

    Within the last year I gave away a "pedestal" or "lampshade" style G4 iMac circa 2002 or so to a very happy recipient. I hadn't been using it at all, so I'd rather see it in the hands of someone who would be. Not the fastest machine any more, but it surfed the web and read email fine.

    Just a couple of weeks ago I gave away a G5 iMac, circa 2004, also working just fine to a different person, they're happy as well.

    For grins, I just opened up and booted a PowerBook laptop, circa 1995 or so, it's working fine as well.

    I have more examples, but I think you get the drift. I've had many a PC just die on me, so far, no Mac ever has. Not saying Macs don't die - they do - but it's less common than for non-Apple hardware.
     
  13. kuntryklucker thread starter macrumors member

    kuntryklucker

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2013
    Location:
    The Funny Farm
    #13
    Wow!! that is impressive. Mine is a 2006 white macbook. I am glad to know that the apple hardware does tend to have a longer life span than the PC stuff that is shipped from China. The computers that you gave/sold were up there in years and working fine. This is a huge encouragment to me. All I really want out of my machine right now is to do word processing and surf the web. Maybe watch Netflix once in a while but nothing that would be too taking on it. Hopefully this machine will last me till I can get a new fancy one.

    Thanks again, your post was very helpful.
     
  14. Gregg2 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    May 22, 2008
    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    #14
    The functionality of the hardware may very well outlast the usefulness of the software it will run.
     
  15. kuntryklucker thread starter macrumors member

    kuntryklucker

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2013
    Location:
    The Funny Farm
    #15
    Ok, that is good to know. I don't plan on installing any new software. I mainly need it to just process word documents, check e-mail, and surf the web. I watch netflix on it from time to time but that is about all. If the hardware holds out, that will be a blessing for me.
     
  16. benwiggy macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2012
    #16
    As Gregg2 implies, you may find that newer versions of browsers, Flash plug-ins, or other software is required to use sites like Netflix as time goes by. The real problem is if those newer versions are supported on your older OS/hardware.

    That having been said, I have a G3 iBook, c. 2003, which has had two new batteries in its time. It still works fine, running Tiger, though it is limited. I've also just replaced a 2006 iMac which still works well.

    I would suggest that six years is about the useful lifetime of a Mac, though it may well last longer than that. But enjoy using your MacBook, and welcome to the Mac experience!
     
  17. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #17
    Its not being used so that's probably the qualifying statement but I have a G4 Cube that is over 13 years old at this point and its works very well. No problems at all (knocks on wood).

    I think Macs can generally last a long time.
     
  18. kuntryklucker thread starter macrumors member

    kuntryklucker

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2013
    Location:
    The Funny Farm
    #18
    Hi, thanks! I love my macbook, this is my first experience with mac and I can say that I don't think I could ever go back to PC. The macbook that I have is 7 years old now, and so far working just fine. I just do simple things on it though.

    I had an OS upgrade done to it about a year ago, I am not sure which OS it is using. I have heard lots of names thrown out but I am not sure. It is doing fine, and doing all that I really need it to do and well.

    To be honest it is working better than my husbands new Toshiba that he just bought with windows 8. So I guess that says a lot for Mac.

    ----------

    Nice, good to know that Apple products do make it long past their expiration date.
     
  19. MisterKeeks macrumors 68000

    MisterKeeks

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2012
    #19
    Apple products are built in China.

    I still use a Dual 2.7 G5 from early 2005 as my main machine. I have many computers that are older, including an iMac G4 800MHz that I used from October 2010-April 2012, and a Dual 1.8 G5 that I used for April to December.
     
  20. kuntryklucker thread starter macrumors member

    kuntryklucker

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2013
    Location:
    The Funny Farm
    #20
    Ok, I found the OS X that I have in my 2006 laptop, not sure what it was upgraded from.

    It is Leopard 10.5.6.

    I am not sure what that means in the Apple world since this is my first experience with a Mac.

    Any thoughts??

    ----------

    Ok, I was under the impression that they were made in California. At least that was what I was told.

    Thanks for your post, very informative.
     
  21. James Craner macrumors 68000

    James Craner

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2002
    Location:
    Bristol, UK
    #21
    I am still using my Mac Pro which is the original 1,1 version that I bought in 2006. It will be seven years old this year. Still a very quick machine. However The OS can't be upgraded from Lion 10.7, and there are a growing number of Apps that I have to run on my rMBP that I can't install on my Mac Pro, the latest version of Motion for example. Also keep trying to run Messages on the machine and get frustrated the Apple disabled the beta version.

    Mac Pro still gets used a lot every day though, and has been the best desktop mac I have every bought. Very quiet in use and never let me down.
     
  22. kuntryklucker thread starter macrumors member

    kuntryklucker

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2013
    Location:
    The Funny Farm
    #22
    Thanks for your post. It is good to know that I am no the only person using a 5+ year old machine. I wonder how many out there still use the older machines. Hmmm, might be a good idea for a thread.

    Anyway, I am glad that it is still running well for you. I am very impressed with my first experience with a mac. I always knew they were out there but never really understood all the hype. Now I get it!
     
  23. James Craner macrumors 68000

    James Craner

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2002
    Location:
    Bristol, UK
    #23
    The Laptop was originally shipped with Leopard in 2006, so apart from maintenance updates that Apple releases on a regular basis, the operating system (OS) has not been updated. The OS can be updated to Snow Leopard (10.6) or Lion (10.7), depending on model. If you want to update the OS, it is available direct from Apple. I would only recommend that you update it to Snow Leopard - which is regarded as one of the best versions of OS X Apple have released. Lion is likely to slow your machine down and is not a recommended upgrade (IMO).

    You are missing a couple of free updates to Leopard though - the last update was 10.5.8. Click  and then choose Software Update... to make sure your software and Apple Apps are up to date.
     
  24. thehustleman macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2013
    #24
    Actually MOST PC's (PC only means personal computer, not windows) including Apple's are made in China.

    They don't have to pay decent wages to the Chinese as they would here.

    But relax, you have a great system and a great format.

    MAC is the best format of PC and the hardware will last add long as you need it to
     
  25. kuntryklucker thread starter macrumors member

    kuntryklucker

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2013
    Location:
    The Funny Farm
    #25
    Before my brother gave this laptop to me he upgraded it with snow leopard. I was digging through all the stuff that came with the laptop when he gave it to me and found the upgrade reciept.

    It is good to know that I have a good OS X that will hopefully last me a while.

    Is Lion the new OS X?

    ----------

    Ok, thanks. I appreciate your input.
     

Share This Page