What's your oldest iMac still in service?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by rambo47, Jun 23, 2014.

  1. rambo47 macrumors 6502a

    rambo47

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2010
    Location:
    Denville, NJ
    #1
    I got the original iMac G2 233 MHz for my kids back in the day, but it's long gone. My mother in law, however, is still using my old iMac G4/800 (Flat Panel) "Luxo" model. Running strong with Jaguar (OS X 10.2) and a whopping 512 MB RAM.
    So what's everybody else running? My day to day machine is an iMac Late 2010 27" with the 2.93 GHz processor and 12 GB RAM. But the old PPC-based Luxo iMac is still seeing service!
     

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  2. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2010
    Location:
    Inside
    #2
    There's an old G3 iMac in the server room where I work. It's a 350Mhz slot loading model from 2000 with 1GB of ram and a 120GB hard drive. All it does is share an iTunes library on the intranet. Most of the time it's on and blasting music in the server room with an iSub. Pretty neat little thing. I don't think it's been restarted or serviced in over 6 years. Don't even know of the CRT still works in it. I really should get around to VMing it...
     
  3. Thermonuclear macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 23, 2009
    #3
    I have a year 2000 Ruby slot load iMac that is still in use once a week for backups and compatibility building and testing. It has 1 GB RAM, a 120 GB disk, and an AirPort card. The machine runs OS/X 10.4.11 Tiger and uses DropBox to help synchronize files.

    Compared to my Core i7 3.4 GHz quad Linux box, the iMac runs my C++ applications at 1/182 the speed -- but always gets the same results.

    The old iMac does have some advantages over Apple's latest iMac models. The power switch is handily mounted on the front of the machine and it also serves as an run/sleep indicator lamp. The iMac also has two headphone jacks, not just one, and they're also front mounted. The twin speakers are good sized and aimed directly at the user. The USB ports are placed conveniently on the right side of the iMac for easy access. There are two FireWire ports, also on the right with the Ethernet port for easy access. There's an audio input jack in addition to the integrated microphone. There's an optical drive, also mounted on the front. The optical drive, the disk drive, the RAM, and the lithium battery can all be serviced with little difficulty or a return to Apple. The iMac keyboard has easily removed key caps for those like me who prefer a Dvorak key map. There's a built-in modem, a very handy feature in the Old Days and which can still be used today. With no fan, the machine is absolutely silent. A VGA port lets me mirror the display to a second monitor without the need for an adapter. And the iMac has a nice integrated handle for moving the machine. So Apple can do a good job when they want.

    The hockey puck roller ball mouse was poor, but you can't have everything.
     
  4. YanniDepp macrumors 6502

    YanniDepp

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    #4
    Here's two that I use.

    The 600Mhz G3 in my spare bedroom. It's an alarm clock/jukebox.

    I've also got a 2006 Core (not 2) Duo in the kitchen, for watching Netflix. It's only capable of running Snow Leopard. It's worth mentioning because it's as "vintage" now as the G3 was when I got it!
     
  5. kitsunestudios, Jun 24, 2014
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2014

    kitsunestudios macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2012
    #5
    Edit: derp, iMac.

    Oldest iMac is the 17" Core Duo. Still have it, still works (screen's almost completely dead though).

    I use it as a wireless hotspot for my Nintendo DS. :D
     
  6. LOLZpersonok macrumors 6502a

    LOLZpersonok

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2012
    Location:
    Calgary, Canada
    #6
    My late 2006, 20" Intel Core 2 Duo iMac. I have the GPU disabled because the damn thing has issues, but it still works, and for a lot of things, it works quite admirably.
     
  7. thesimplelogic macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2014
    #7
    I have the same iMac! Well, probably quite similar. Except it isn't my GPU that has issues, it's my HDD :D Ahh well. It's been failing for the past year, according to Disk Utility and other programs. It's given me 8 fantastic years... I'll keep it, but my next iMac will be the 27 inch ;)
     
  8. rambo47 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    rambo47

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2010
    Location:
    Denville, NJ
    #8
    That hockey puck mouse is one of those Steve Jobs decisions that leaves you scratching your head. Simple, sure. And that was the point of the original iMac. But it just sucked so bad! At least you can plug in a Logitech USB mouse and bin the puck.
     
  9. LOLZpersonok macrumors 6502a

    LOLZpersonok

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2012
    Location:
    Calgary, Canada
    #9
    You are very lucky. I've heard of people having issues with these iMacs a few years after purchase brand new. I'm surprised mine isn't totally dead, I was able to disable the GPU before it totally failed, so I could still run the iMac with the GPU but I'd have some issues with it. With the GPU disabled, it pretty much runs as it should, albeit a little slower and not being able to run programs like iMovie. Also some UI animations (Especially larger animations, like Launch Pad or entering full screen applications) are slow.

    A failed hard drive is something that wouldn't bother me. They're cheap and depending on the computer they're relatively easy to replace. I know on my HP Envy I just remove one screw on the bottom and pull off a plastic cover and I instantly have access to the hard drive, RAM and the Wi-Fi adapter.
     
  10. Jessica Lares macrumors G3

    Jessica Lares

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2009
    Location:
    Near Dallas, Texas, USA
    #10
    I have an original G3 model that still works. I keep it under my desk. Second is my 17" iMac G4.
     
  11. thesimplelogic macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2014
    #11
    Yes, I feel quite blessed that I didn't have the GPU issues. The hard drive doesn't really bother me either, but for the cost of buying a new one and replacing it I am just putting it towards a new iMac :)
    Unfortunately most Mac products don't have that ability - I guess that's an even more important reason as to why they have to be reliable.
     
  12. iF34R macrumors 6502a

    iF34R

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    South Carolina
  13. LOLZpersonok macrumors 6502a

    LOLZpersonok

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2012
    Location:
    Calgary, Canada
    #13
    When you say that you are putting the cost of a new hard drive to a new iMac, it sounds like the drive would be expensive. Unless it's quite a high capacity (1TB+) I don't think it should be too costly. It could be just me though; any hard drive I have that could possibly need replacing would cost me less than $75.

    And it's not just most Macintosh computers that only have RAM accessible, or nothing accessible. There are plenty of PC machines that are just as difficult to service, mostly ultrabooks though. Even though I can easily get at the hard drive, RAM and Wi-Fi adapter in my HP laptop (It's about 1 and a half years old) pretty much anything else in it is impossible to access. I tried opening the top cover but I couldn't, even when I followed the HP documentation.

    I think that for the most part the older a machine is, the easier it could be to access the internals.
     
  14. Thermonuclear macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 23, 2009
    #14
    In addition to the year 2000 400 MHz Ruby iMac mentioned above,

    http://www.everymac.com/systems/apple/imac/specs/imac_dv_400_indigo.html

    I also had a year 2000 500 MHz Graphite iMac DV SE:

    http://www.everymac.com/systems/apple/imac/specs/imac_dv_se_500.html

    A couple of years after I bought it, I started having some eyesight problems and couldn't use a CRT monitor very well any more. So I gave that iMac to a friend and on last report a few years ago, it was still up and running. Its replacement, a year 2002 800 MHz G4 15 inch LCD iMac is in use on a weekly basis for compatibility testing and back-ups:

    http://www.everymac.com/systems/apple/imac/specs/imac_800_fp.html

    I've upgraded the RAM on this one to 1 GB (two different size 512 MB modules), the hard drive to 120 GB, and added an AirPort card. It runs OS/X 10.4.11 Tiger, but I may switch it to Linux one of these days. The unit is in good shape although the monitor support arm has developed a small lateral tilt of about five degrees. The fan pushes a lot of air, so the Mac needs to be opened once every few years to blow out the dust bunnies. It has the same extensive port set as the other G3 iMacs plus a powered stereo audio port for the supplied external speaker pair; the internal monophonic speaker is good only for the occasional beeps and toots.

    Although the G3 and G4 iMacs used older tech and had more ports and features to go bad, they appear to have been more reliable than their G5 and Intel descendants. The only real problem I recall with an older iMac was one with an early compact keyboard: too many presses on the space bar caused its underlying contact nipple to give up the ghost.
     
  15. 128keaton macrumors 68020

    128keaton

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2013
    #15
    2003 iMac G4. Woo PPC. I came here, expecting to see 2008 iMacs and people whining about how slow webpages are. Instead, I see loyal PPC users! Yay.
     
  16. thesimplelogic macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2014
    #16
    You're right - the drive wouldn't cost too much, but it would probably be more the trouble of having it done, or DIYing it. That is very true, and I agree with you for all of that.
     
  17. LOLZpersonok macrumors 6502a

    LOLZpersonok

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2012
    Location:
    Calgary, Canada
    #17
    If you do, however, plan on replacing the hard drive in your Core 2 Duo iMac, I would strongly suggest using an SSD to replace it with. Sure, it will be more expensive, but not only will it be faster, but it will also be more reliable.
     
  18. thesimplelogic macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2014
    #18
    If I was going to, that's exactly what I would do. However, since the iMac can't run Mavericks or run as fast as I need it, I'm going to retire it and get a new 27''. Can't wait!
     
  19. MultiFinder17 macrumors 68000

    MultiFinder17

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2008
    Location:
    Tampa, Florida
    #19
    I have a 15" 800MHz iMac G4 in service as a kitchen computer and jukebox, paired with a pair of Apple Pro Speakers. It's a gorgeous machine, and runs Leopard quite well, sharing my iTunes library from my home server (which itself is a G4 mini!).

    On my desk, I have a late 2006 2.16GHz/4GB 20" C2D iMac running Lion and Win7 as a secondary machine to my primary iMac, a 2011 2.5GHz/26GB 21.5" model.
     
  20. LOLZpersonok macrumors 6502a

    LOLZpersonok

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2012
    Location:
    Calgary, Canada
    #20
    If I had the money, there's three things I'd buy:
    • A 15" Retina MacBook Pro w/16GB of RAM and the best Core i7 so I will have no problems running the Adobe Creative Cloud Suite and Logic Pro X
    • A very high end (8 core +) Windows desktop to play my games and future games on
    • And a Surface Pro 3. I have recently become very interested in it, and after seeing one in person I absolutely must have one. What really draws me in is the pen and how it could be used as a design tablet.

    I don't blame you for not wanting to upgrade your current iMac. I wouldn't either because this iMac isn't worth a whole lot because of the issues it has.
     
  21. Thermonuclear macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 23, 2009
    #21
    I once installed OS/X 10.5 Panther on my G4 iMac, but the resulting slow down and no real need for Panther's new features made me switch back to OS/X 10.4 Tiger.

    Tiger was the first really usable version of OS/X, for it at last had all of the really serious bugs removed from the C++ development tool chain. Few of the features added since Tiger have been worth their extra space and time resource requirements.

    The earliest iMacs couldn't easily handle a hard drive with more than 8 GB capacity without careful partitioning and placement of the system boot files. Later iMacs which still used an IDE interface have problems with drives of greater than 120 GB.

    I've seen kits for attaching a SATA drive to an IDE interface, but these by themselves will not increase the upper storage limit, nor will they allow SATA data rate transfers. But using one of these kits to attach a SATA SSD drive can dramatically reduce seek latency time.

    By the way, iTunes on my ancient iMacs can still connect to the iTunes store to purchase music. Apple may drop support for just about everything for outdated hardware, but if there's a way to get revenue from a fourteen year old computer, then Apple will make it happen.
     
  22. thesimplelogic macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2014
    #22
    A 15" Retina... They are gorgeous machines aren't they? I'm planning to get a 13" at the end of this year (My school requires us to buy a laptop at the start of next year - I already have a MacBook but it won't quite be powerful enough I think, especially for what I will be using it for)
    The Surface Pro 3 is a much better machine than the previous Surfaces, in my opinion. The pen looks great.

    If I couldn't afford a new computer for a long time (like, 2 years or so), I would replace the HDD with an SSD like you said, so that then it would have a speed boost and run better :)
     
  23. BBC B 32k macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2005
    Location:
    London
    #23
    iPhone and iPads have taken over in our house.
    My late 2006 24" iMac is still in regular use as the main proper computer though. All good except for a failing hdd.
    I also have a Bondi blue imac slot loading but that is not used anymore - still works though.
     
  24. roadbloc macrumors G3

    roadbloc

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    Aug 24, 2009
    Location:
    UK
    #24
    I use my iMac G4 to write on and complete office tasks.
     
  25. LOLZpersonok macrumors 6502a

    LOLZpersonok

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2012
    Location:
    Calgary, Canada
    #25
    I wouldn't get a 13" MacBook Pro if I was going to use it as my primary portable. The screen is too small for my liking. Plus they don't have dedicated GPUs, correct me if I'm wrong. I'd much rather have a 15" because they do have the dedicated graphics option. The dedicated graphics would work for me because I want to run Final Cut Pro X, Logic Pro X and the Adobe Creative Cloud Suite on it. Also, when I want to play a game, I can. And I can do it well. There's a lot of attractive stuff on the Mac App Store but I can't really use any of it because it either won't work on my iMac because the application requires at least 10.8 or 10.9 or because my GPU is disabled and doesn't do anything now.

    My HP Envy is a 15" laptop and with dedicated GPUs (It actually has two, but one is integrated) I would really be missing out on performance if I got something with an integrated GPU. It plays all my games very well, but I'd rather have a desktop for that expandability and the fact that it won't get nearly as hot as my HP laptop.

    Yes, you said right when you said that the Surface Pro 3 is much improved from the previous Surface Pro devices. The screen is awesome, it feels really good to hold and drawing on it is really awesome, it's almost like pencil on paper. Even though MS says it can replace a laptop, and while it can, it can't replace mine because it won't have the same graphics capability that my laptop has.
     

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