What is the average lifespan of an iMac?

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I'm getting mixed answers all over the internet so I just want to know from people who've had experience with owning iMacs. Basically I want a computer that lasts and is fast (I don't care much about the ability to run the same amount of games that Windows PCs can)
 
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Well mine is 9 years old and still as fast as it ever was. My son has a ten year old model that's going strong as well.
 

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There is no one answer to this question. Think of it like cars. There are those who happily drive their 1970's and 1980's cars today without a worry, whereas there are those that switch out their cars every couple of years or so..

I know people on both end of the Mac owning spectrum. Macs tend to retain their value very well, so one of my friends purchases the latest generation and keeps it for about 2 years before selling it for about 75% of the original cost and then purchasing the latest model. So he basically pays 25% of the cost of the Mac to own it for 2 years or so. He's done this for many years and it works for him. On the other hand, I know people who have various flavors of Macs that are 9-10+ years old and still function for what they need to do.

I have a 2009 iMac that has been performing admirably through all the upgrades and fits my use perfectly. At some point in time, the software updates will leave this Mac behind and force me to upgrade to a newer machine, but I don't envision that happening for a few more years, so getting 10+ years out of a computer is quite good..
 

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To me…a better way of phrasing things is "useful lifespan". There really is no hard & fast rule on how long (lifespan) a computer has. It really depends on what an individual user's needs are…and if those needs change over time. The useful lifespan of a computer is much longer if a person has fewer demands. The useful lifespan of a computer is shorter if a person has extreme demands.

I've seen it stated that the average person gets a new computer every 3-5 years.

For you…who knows. We really cannot predict what the future will bring. Just use it…and enjoy it.:)

- Nick
 
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BUT - the very best thing about a mac is if you keep your iMac up to date and only move on to a newer model when it can no longer handle the newest OS version, it can all be moved flawlessly to a new iMac!

That can not be said of a Windows PC - says the IT person who has spent the last several weeks updating PCs to Windows 10. You can not pull a hard drive/SSD out of a Windows PC and more it to a new PC. And not all PCs are able to update to W10! I could write pages on how much fun it has been .... :Smirk:

I have a 2011 iMac going strong. The hard drive was replaced with an SSD which really helped speed her up.

As Nick said, "useful lifespan" is based on the needs of the user. If you want to give your iMac the longest lifespan potential and if you plan to purchase new, get as much memory as possible, the fastest processor, and as large an SSD as you can get - or can afford. This will offer the longest lifespan as technology needs continue to change.

Lisa
 

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That can not be said of a Windows PC - says the IT person who has spent the last several weeks updating PCs to Windows 10. You can not pull a hard drive/SSD out of a Windows PC and more it to a new PC. And not all PCs are able to update to W10! I could write pages on how much fun it has been ....

All those PCs obviously were Male machines. Everyone knows that Females outlive Males and since all your Macs are Female...... ;P
 
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BUT - the very best thing about a mac is if you keep your iMac up to date and only move on to a newer model when it can no longer handle the newest OS version, it can all be moved flawlessly to a new iMac!

That can not be said of a Windows PC - says the IT person who has spent the last several weeks updating PCs to Windows 10. You can not pull a hard drive/SSD out of a Windows PC and more it to a new PC. And not all PCs are able to update to W10! I could write pages on how much fun it has been .... :Smirk:
Can you really do that with a Mac? That is, will my Carbon Copy Cloner backup of my Mini work to boot my MacBook Pro? Or vice versa?

I have never tried to do that, but perhaps I should give it a shot.
 
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Can you really do that with a Mac? That is, will my Carbon Copy Cloner backup of my Mini work to boot my MacBook Pro? Or vice versa?

I have never tried to do that, but perhaps I should give it a shot.

I would be interested to know that as well.

I believe, that if the machine will support the OS X version, then it should work, but I have been told otherwise. People seem to think (and may know) that the drivers are not part of the OS X install if it is not in the machine when the OS is installed. I think OS X loads the drivers, for all supported macs, during OS X installation, so it should work. At least Target Disk Mode works like that.
 
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All those PCs obviously were Male machines. Everyone knows that Females outlive Males and since all your Macs are Female...... ;P

Most PCs are male and some are female. The long lived temperamental ones are female. The slow stodgy ones that die early are male. ;D But ALL my macs are definately female. They are ong lived and not temperamental - not to say they don't have personality because they do, but they have a much sweeter disposition. :*

Can you really do that with a Mac? That is, will my Carbon Copy Cloner backup of my Mini work to boot my MacBook Pro? Or vice versa?

I have never tried to do that, but perhaps I should give it a shot.

I was referring to downloading the latest OS and migration assistant. I will give it a try with CCC.

I did find this article that says a CCC backup will work to boot and move your complete system to a new mac:

http://www.appducate.com/2013/02/duplicate-your-mac-with-carbon-copy-cloner/

Lisa
 
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I would be interested to know that as well.

I believe, that if the machine will support the OS X version, then it should work, but I have been told otherwise. People seem to think (and may know) that the drivers are not part of the OS X install if it is not in the machine when the OS is installed. I think OS X loads the drivers, for all supported macs, during OS X installation, so it should work. At least Target Disk Mode works like that.
Well, that was interesting.

I took the backup from my Mini, connected it to my MBP and booted from it. The result was "Yes, it worked", but also "Sort of". That is, the MBP booted from the CCC backup and appeared to function normally. The screen displayed properly, the desktop icons were there and the touchpad worked. However not all of the apps worked. Some of my photo editors worked, some did not and one went into "trial" mode. I am not sure why since all of the information should be on the boot disc, but there could be software verification going on that I am not aware of and, while the disc is valid, perhaps the machine id is also being checked. I will see if I can get any further information but I am surprised that it booted at all.

Live and learn.
 
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I know when I have used CCC to clone to a new disk I had to input my product key for Office again. Once I input the key in, Office worked fine. Given the number of macs for sale on eBay that come "completely loaded" with all kinds of apps that are illegally installed (Office, Adobe apps etc) I can see why companies would try to make sure that when there apps are moved to a new machine the copy is legitimate.

Lisa
 
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Average life span of a mac.

I'm getting mixed answers all over the internet so I just want to know from people who've had experience with owning iMacs. Basically I want a computer that lasts and is fast (I don't care much about the ability to run the same amount of games that Windows PCs can)

I bought my Imac and Macbook 10 years ago, And to this date my Macbook still has it's original battery, Both mac's have never been in for repairs. The only thing i have done to my Imac was to increase the memory, And do all the updates that were available, Both still operate as they did when new, Would i buy another Mac, absolutely.
 
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I'm still using my old 32-bit Macbook which has to be at least 10 years old or so. Can't upgrade beyond Snow Leopard (10.6.8), but it's doing everything I need it to as an auxiliary computer. My iMac is also about 10 years old and still running like a top. I do about everything but gaming so they both keep up with everything I need them to. Can't update Chrome anymore and Safari hasn't worked since Snow Leopard, but Chrome still works well on both and still syncs beautifully. Everything is working so well I would hate to mess with it, anyway. At any rate, Macs last virtually forever.
 
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I have 2: one is from 2007 that my wife uses (my old one) and the one I use everyday is Mid-2011 and no problems. I had 3 of the original iMacs (various models) and one eMac. They were all still working when I sold them.
 
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We own a MacBook Pro and an iMac bought in late 2009 and early 2010 respectively. As others have indicated about their machines, ours are used everyday and left on from morning to night (or, in the case of the MacBook Pro, rarely turned off), they are still going strong. Both continue to run well and regularly update to the latest versions of OSX and the various applications used without ill effect. The only hardware changes have been to increase the memory to the maximum using third party memory (easily done) and to swap out the hard drives for SSDs (easy on the MacBook Pro but not for the faint-hearted on an iMac). Not sure if SSD capacity is upgradeable on the latest MacBooks and iMacs; check this out before buying since this may be hardwired into the machine.
 
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I bought an iMac in the summer of 2008. It died late 2014. The video card kicked the bucket. I tried a Mac Store, and they couldn't fix it.
 

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I bought an iMac in the summer of 2008. It died late 2014. The video card kicked the bucket. I tried a Mac Store, and they couldn't fix it.

And you really wouldn't have wanted Apple to fix it…since the repair would have been very expensive.

- Nick
 
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I learned the hard way. I had two 2007 iMacs and a 2008 Macbook Pro. When I needed a new battery for the Macbook Pro a couple of years ago, I was told by the Apple store that they no longer made that battery. I did find one after market. It seems that Apple has taken to make their hardware "obsolete" after about 5 or 6 years. When one of my iMacs blew a power supply in 2015, I was told that Apple had no parts. Furthermore, they advised me that the part was proprietary and there were no "specs" for substitution. Went to the recycler. A few months later, the second iMac blew a video card. Same thing. Off to the recycler. During a recent visit to the Apple store, one of their technicians told me that he sells off his Mac stuff after about 3 years and buys new. The old stuff is still working but by doing this, he doesn't have to worry about any unrepairable catastrophic failures that create absolute nightmares.
 
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I have an early 2008 iMac and have kept it upgraded thru the years. I am still happy with it. It is fast enough for me. I clean it at the end of every day using CleanMyMac3.
 

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