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Apple Desktops Discussion of Apple's desktop machines including Mac Pro, iMac, Power Mac, and mini

iMac - iMac Longevity


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JustinRiney

 
Member Since: Jan 23, 2008
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Hello all,
I would just like to re-introduce myself. For the past few years, I have had the internal debate on whether to switch from Windows to Mac. I am a big fan of Apple, and I've heard such great things about Macs. It's obvious Mac users are passionate about the operating system and Apple as a whole. After years of sporadic research and scouring these forums, I'm ready to make the switch.

I'm ordering from the Apple Store and here are my specs:
iMac 24" 3.06 GHz
4 MB memory
1 TB hard drive
Wireless Mighty Mouse and Keyboard
AppleCare 3-Year Protection

I will also be purchasing CS3 for graphics design and web development.

My question:
I've seen quite a few of you with multiple computers and older setups that you've integrated with newer ones. My question to you all is will this setup maintain its longevity and will I be able to purchase a MacBook Pro down the road and still be able to utilize the iMac? I know there will be tons of upgrades in the years to come, but I'd like to rely on this computer for a very long time and simply add new computers to the artillery. Are parts easy to come by to replace wear and tear? How long of a shelf life do you suspect I'll get out of this computer? A perfect example would be if/when Apple does away with these optical drives or replaces them with a Blu-Ray equivalent. What happens if my SuperDrive blows a few years down the road? Can I replace it? If so, will parts be easy to come by?

Thanks in advance, and I'm looking forward to being a devoted Mac user and forum member.
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the8thark

 
Member Since: Jan 27, 2007
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Firstly thanks for giving us a well thought out question with a lot of back up info.

Next I want to talk about my old imac. It came out in 1999. And I was still using it till early in 2007. And it still suited me well for most things I do. And getting parts for it is still relatively easy. 7 and a bit years as my main computer and now it runs very well as my 2nd computer.

And to answer your question. I think you'd get at least 5 years out of it, if not a few more. Sure by the end it might not be able to do all the latest things whatever they may be. But it will still serve you well for everything now and most things in the future.

I'd give it a shelf life of 5-7 years as a main computer and a few more after that as a 2nd computer.
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JustinRiney

 
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Excellent. Thank you for your insight.

What are the typical problems you have faced in the past as far as maintenance and prolonging the life of your computer? My example with the disc drive applies here, as mine blew on my last computer about four years after purchase. I had a very tough time trying to replace it and eventually couldn't.

I'm curious to hear what problems or regular wear and tear that you guys have come across - at least those that either 1) continue to use their older Mac as their main computer, or 2) integrate an older Mac in addition to their newer toys.
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Tahiti1028

 
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I don't think Apple computers last nearly as long as the user would expect for the price. I've had my iMac G5 for only three years, and lately there have been nothing but problems with it. Apple replaced my logic board for free because I made such a stink about it (which is something that I don't normally do with computer stuff) but when I got it back, it was in worse condition than when I reported the problem (random shutdowns, fans running at the maximum, loud clicking sounds, etc.) and now it is back in the shop and I am awaiting a phone call from Apple. Because of the multiple problems I have experienced with my computer, I am not sure that I will be a return Apple customer...

My iMac: 1.6 GHz PowerPC G5, 2 GB (2x1GB) Kingston RAM, 80 GB ATA Hard Drive, DVD-ROM/CD-RW Combo Drive, 17" LCD Display, NVIDIA GeForce FX5200, Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard
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Alexis

 
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On the other hand, we have a 7200 Mac from 1992 in the office which is still going.

The iMac should last 15 years before having problems, in theory.

They'll always be failures for people, but there's nothing to suggest you'll have any problems.
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JustinRiney

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tahiti1028 View Post
I don't think Apple computers last nearly as long as the user would expect for the price. I've had my iMac G5 for only three years, and lately there have been nothing but problems with it. Apple replaced my logic board for free because I made such a stink about it (which is something that I don't normally do with computer stuff) but when I got it back, it was in worse condition than when I reported the problem (random shutdowns, fans running at the maximum, loud clicking sounds, etc.) and now it is back in the shop and I am awaiting a phone call from Apple. Because of the multiple problems I have experienced with my computer, I am not sure that I will be a return Apple customer...
On that note, I was doing some homework on Leopard last night and noticed there were some comments about how it does not accomodate G5s in certain areas, such as restarting functions. I don't know how much truth there is to this point, as I don't have a G5, but it is relevant to this topic because issues like this make it difficult to maintain an older computer with current software or operating systems. In addition to hardware maintenance, software struggles would be welcomed on this topic, as well.

I'd like to know any issues I will have with keeping my iMac anywhere from 5-10 years?

Thanks for all your help.
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todd51
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I would expect it to last 6-7 years. Of course you may run into hardware problems down the road, maybe not. You never can tell.

I will say that I'm proud of how well my MBP is holding up (except for the SECOND battery!) after 2 years. Still as fast as ever!
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Chilbear

 
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I currently do Graphic Design/Prepress using a Mac and have since the mid 80's.

My last, and still running, Mac was a G4 and it lasted in prepress as the main machine for over 5 years. I recently bought an Aluminum iMac like you are planning and now it runs CS3 Suite and is terrific. I bought Applecare and as mentioned I expect 5 years of service and will continue Applecare just to cover off the what if scenario. If it is covered, they will fix or replace the machine so keep a current backup in case things fall off the rails and they have to replace it.

I also run Parallels so you can install Windows and problem solve any of the issues in any platform that we as Designers get all day long from Clients.

I also suggest you look at the clearance list for your store to see if anything fits your bill. Last is to take the machine and buy the RAM at Crucial or any other terrific vendor other than Apple - the savings will pay for your copy of Parallels.
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MacGenius24

 
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I don't think you run into any promblems. I currently own a iMac G3 from in 2001 and it run like a chram with os x 10.4 and also i own a iBook G4 from back in 2005. If you do run into problems, I think they'll be minor. All the best with your new iMac

G4 1.33 GHz, 1.5 GB RAM, 60 GB Hard Disk, Slot-load SuperDrive (DVD-R/CD-RW). Mac OS X 10.5.6
G3 400 MHz, 512 MB RAM, 120 GB Hard Drive, Combo Drive (CD-RW/DVD-ROM), Mac OS X 10.4.10
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Sherman Homan

 
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Seriously, get a UPS. Doesn't have to have to be huge, but UPSs have the ability to clean the electricity your iMac needs to eat. Static, brown outs, black outs, surges, spikes, stray current. All those things like to fry the itsy bitsy circuits and connections on board.
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Tahiti1028

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JustinRiney View Post
On that note, I was doing some homework on Leopard last night and noticed there were some comments about how it does not accomodate G5s in certain areas, such as restarting functions. I don't know how much truth there is to this point, as I don't have a G5, but it is relevant to this topic because issues like this make it difficult to maintain an older computer with current software or operating systems. In addition to hardware maintenance, software struggles would be welcomed on this topic, as well.

I'd like to know any issues I will have with keeping my iMac anywhere from 5-10 years?

Thanks for all your help.
Well, I called Apple a week or so before I bought Leopard asking if I would be able to run it on my G5. The CR said I would definitely be able to run it, and it would work excellently, only if I added some RAM which I did (upgraded 256mb to 2gb)

My iMac: 1.6 GHz PowerPC G5, 2 GB (2x1GB) Kingston RAM, 80 GB ATA Hard Drive, DVD-ROM/CD-RW Combo Drive, 17" LCD Display, NVIDIA GeForce FX5200, Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard
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Dragonlance1561

 
Member Since: Jul 20, 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chilbear View Post
Last is to take the machine and buy the RAM at Crucial or any other terrific vendor other than Apple - the savings will pay for your copy of Parallels.
As with so many people, I'm am also thinking about a Mac, an iMac to be exact. You said that it's cheaper to buy the extra RAM elsewhere and not from apple... I checked that out, and yes for crucial it's about $100 cheaper. The only question I have is how you install the RAM. Are Mac's as easy to open up and stick in new hardwarde as PC's are? Because from what I have heard they are not.

also
These are the specs for the iMac i'm looking at:

24-inch Display
2.8GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
4 GB 800MHz DDR2 SDRAM - 2x2 GB
NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GS w/512MB GDDR3
500GB Serial ATA Drive

I plan to use this computer, mostly for gamming so I'm wondering also, if I get the cheaper RAM, is the money better spent on increasing the processor from 2.8 to 3.06 or getting +250Gb on the hard drive for a total of 750Gb. Alternatly should I get niether of those upgrades and instead buy some software like parrallel, as metioned by Chillbear, so i can easliy run windows only games?

Any or all suggestion/answers would be apreciated!
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