What to look for with older Mac's

Discussion in 'iMac' started by bmxracer, Apr 19, 2014.

  1. bmxracer macrumors member

    bmxracer

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2014
    #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.
     
  2. thekev macrumors 604

    thekev

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2010
    #2
    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.
     
  3. bmxracer thread starter macrumors member

    bmxracer

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2014
    #3
    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
     
  4. mrcheezit macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2012
    #4
    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!! :)
     
  5. definitive macrumors 68000

    definitive

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2008
  6. bmxracer thread starter macrumors member

    bmxracer

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2014
    #6
    I found one for under 150 even.
     
  7. thekev macrumors 604

    thekev

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2010
    #7
    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.
     
  8. Fishrrman macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #8
    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.
     
  9. bmxracer thread starter macrumors member

    bmxracer

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2014
    #9
    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.
     
  10. thekev macrumors 604

    thekev

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2010
    #10
    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.
     
  11. p3ntyne macrumors 6502

    p3ntyne

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2014
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    #11
    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.
     

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