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nyoung314 10-08-2012 01:00 AM

new iMac worth upgrading?
 
I have an old iMac (20" late 2006, with 2.16GHz Core 2 Duo, upgraded to max 4 GB RAM, 250GB hard drive, OS X 10.7.5). Have been toying with the idea of upgrading to a new iMac (seems the low-end would be just as good as any for our needs). Just kind of realized I've had this for 6 years now. Still runs great, upgraded the RAM from 2 GB to 4 GB a couple of years ago which gave it new life as we were getting frustrated with click/processing delays after upgrading either to 10.6 or 10.7.

I read that 10.8 is not supported on my model (although in the App Store it offers me to upgrade, haven't tried going through the purchase yet...), just wondering what else I might be missing out on? Per Craigslist looks like I can probably sell this one for $400 locally and if it's $1168 on Amazon, wouldn't be such a big jump.

Thoughts? I don't use it as much now that we have an iPad 2, two iPhone 5s (have had iPhone 4 and 3G in past as well), etc. Mostly use the iMac for managing photos, occasional emails to family with photos/videos of the kids, some Excel/Word work a few times a month, and a Fujitsu ScanSnap to manage a paperless life. Also use Quicken to manage finances. My wife may be using it more once she quits her job to stay home when we have our next child in about 6 months.

The only bother I have is sometimes it does "think" a lot when trying to work in iPhoto (while syncing pics with an iPhone, and sometimes just getting from album to album or sorting/searching), especially if I also have an Excel spreadsheet up and Mail and iTunes running.

Space is not an issue as I have an external 1 TB drive via USB as well as a 500 GB drive plugged into the Airport Express. My iPhoto and iTunes libraries are stored on the 1 TB via USB. Internet speed is fine, no complaints there.

Will a new iMac (21.5 inch) give me a big boost in performance or does the fact I keep my iPhoto and iTunes libraries on the external USB 2.0 drive have more to do with the slowness? What other gains might I get? Checked one out in the Apple Store today and the display seems very crisp, looks a lot bigger even though it's only 1.5 inches. Very fast but I realize those store display machines don't have a 30 GB photo library and a 20 GB music library. Is there much of a difference in the HD camera versus the one I have? We do use Skype or FaceTime from time to time but honestly use it on my iPhone or iPad more since they are more mobile (can go to the kids' rooms etc).

Thanks for any input!
Nick

harryb2448 10-08-2012 04:59 PM

G'day and welcome to the forums.

Do not overlook Apple Refurbished computers - just do a Google on iMac Refurbished. They come in a couple of hundred dollars cheaper than new, with the current operating system and a full twelve month warranty. One can then, if considered necessary, purchase the additional two year AppleCare warranty.

A current model iMac will give you a huge boost with improved graphics, memory and faster hard drives. Suggest switching to a Firewire 800 external case for your photos etc. When Thunderbolt becomes more common, that will be the go but the $200 is a bit steep at the moment for me.

If you can hold out it ns rumoured a new iMac will be released in the first half of 2013. Who knows ~~ USB3 etc?


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