What to look for with older Mac's

bmxracer

macrumors member
Original poster
Apr 19, 2014
75
1
What key things should I look at when considering older refurbished Macs? Are there certain models that have more issues than others? The Macs I am looking at are in the 2004 to late 2006 range. I plan on using it for word, general internet browsing, and basic photo software.
 

thekev

macrumors 604
Aug 5, 2010
6,673
1,765
Don't pay too much for one of that age. Common points of failure vary by model. It's likely that the hard drive is old. You will want to at least figure it may need to be replaced at some point. If it's the original drive, I would probably replace it upon purchase. Some of the 2006 ones were intel. Nothing prior to that is intel (powerpc). Even the intel ones won't run the newest versions of software due to lack of support. You will have to obtain older versions that run. It will come down to hardware and operating system as far as what can run.
 

bmxracer

macrumors member
Original poster
Apr 19, 2014
75
1
The one I was leaning towards had these specs;
17-inch antiglare widescreen TFT LCD display, 1440x900 resolution
1.83GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor
1.0GB (2x512MB) PC2-5300 (667MHz) DDR2 SO-DIMM, supports up to 2.0GB
160GB Serial ATA hard disk drive @ 7200RPM
DVD-R/CD-RW Combo Drive
Intel Graphics Media Accelerator (GMA) 950 950 graphics with 64MB DDR2 shared memory
AirPort Extreme card (802.11b/g)
No Bluetooth
Bulit-in iSight camera
1- Mini-DVI port
3- USB 2.0 ports
2- FireWire 400 ports
1- Ethernet port
 

mrcheezit

macrumors member
Jun 11, 2012
40
0
The one I was leaning towards had these specs;
17-inch antiglare widescreen TFT LCD display, 1440x900 resolution
1.83GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor
1.0GB (2x512MB) PC2-5300 (667MHz) DDR2 SO-DIMM, supports up to 2.0GB
160GB Serial ATA hard disk drive @ 7200RPM
DVD-R/CD-RW Combo Drive
Intel Graphics Media Accelerator (GMA) 950 950 graphics with 64MB DDR2 shared memory
AirPort Extreme card (802.11b/g)
No Bluetooth
Bulit-in iSight camera
1- Mini-DVI port
3- USB 2.0 ports
2- FireWire 400 ports
1- Ethernet port
You should be okay but like the other person said get the hard drive tested and before you purchase run a diagnostic test (http://support.apple.com/kb/ht1509) to see any possible issues. If all you're doing is the basic photo software + word/internet it should be great. Good luck!! :)
 

thekev

macrumors 604
Aug 5, 2010
6,673
1,765
I found one for under 150 even.
That's a 17" imac according to the specs you posted a bit earlier in the thread. It's difficult to know how much life is left in that. Do note that it was a low end model even back in 2006. Ram is going to be extremely tight, even on Leopard/Snow Leopard. If it still has the 160GB drive, that may be a 7+ year old drive. Considering the cost to bump ram and replace a drive, I don't think I would pay over $100 for one. There's no way to know how much life is left in it.
 

Fishrrman

macrumors P6
Feb 20, 2009
17,405
5,637
Whatever you buy, it should have an Intel CPU inside.

Otherwise, you are going to find it very limited.

I would look for something no earlier than 2007, 2008 would be better.

If you have to pay a little more, try to pay it.
 

bmxracer

macrumors member
Original poster
Apr 19, 2014
75
1
Thank you all for all of the help. Will I notice a lot of difference between 1 and 2 gb of ram? I am thinking I will try for a little newer.
 

thekev

macrumors 604
Aug 5, 2010
6,673
1,765
It depends on the installed OS and applications. For Snow Leopard, 1GB would be unbearable. 2GB is still barely tolerable. if you're going with that I would probably stick to something like Leopard, which is more limiting in terms of what can be installed.
 

p3ntyne

macrumors 6502
Jan 10, 2014
406
3
Sydney, Australia
Thank you all for all of the help. Will I notice a lot of difference between 1 and 2 gb of ram? I am thinking I will try for a little newer.
I know this is an Apple forum but if all you are concerned about is office apps, web browsing and photo editing and you want a desktop, why don't you go for an Asus Chromebox?

The base model is $180 and has specs better than the iMac's you are looking at.