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How long does a Mac usually last?


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#1 Cadium

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Posted 02 June 2008 - 22:32

I have a question for all you Mac fanatics out there, and that is how long do you usually keep your Mac (hardware) before upgrading to a newer model?

In the "PC" world, I have found myself upgrading hardware every 6 months to 1 year, however I am not certain of how such an upgrade cycle works when it comes to the Apple platform due to different system requirements by software applications and such.

The specifications to my Mac are in my forum signature. Also, here is some background particulars as to what I do with my Mac:

  • Listen to music (iTunes library, radio streams, etc.)
  • Watch videos (DVDs, on-line streams)
  • Photo editing with iPhoto '08 (considering purchasing Aperture 2 for my computer in the weeks ahead)
  • Image editing (currently using Pixelmator 1.2, which I feel is a great piece of software for the price)
  • Recording and editing audio using GarageBand (this also includes podcasts)
  • Browsing the internet (using Safari 3.1.1 currently)
  • Instant Messaging (I use Adium 1.2.5, which seems to be a fairly solid release and includes all of the features that I need in a client)
  • Managing contacts, appointments, and e-mail (as you guessed it, Address Book, iCal, and Mail are working away perfectly for these tasks)
  • Programming (currently learning the UNIX terminal and all of the associated commands, I use TextWrangler for any shell scripts, etc. that I have created)

I would really like to know how long my MacBook Pro will last me for these tasks and for handling upcoming software releases.

Thank you everyone in advance for taking the time to read this thread (and hopefully, reply!) and I hope you all have a great day ahead. :)


#2 +StevoFC

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Posted 02 June 2008 - 22:38

it could easily last 4-5 years. I would just max out the ram though.

#3 Fahim S.

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Posted 02 June 2008 - 22:42

The Mac upgrade cycle is little longer than the average PC, and with the exception of a possible RAm upgrade I would imagine that you could get a good 3 years out of your machine.

Having said that, if the list is also what you did on your PC, you could have done it on at worst a 2 year upgrade cycle, and I struggle to see what you were upgrading every 6-12 months. I have had my PC for close to 18 months, and whilst it isn't as fast as the latest and greatest, I reckon I will keep it until at least mid-end 2009.

#4 Slimy

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Posted 02 June 2008 - 22:46

Such a question is completely unrelated to whether it is a Mac or PC. It all depends on what you use your computer for.

#5 Elliot B.

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Posted 02 June 2008 - 22:52

Such a question is completely unrelated to whether it is a Mac or PC. It all depends on what you use your computer for.

+1

The only exception is in gaming. Graphics cards can last the two years too, but every year is what is required to play the latest and greatest at high framerates in max. detail.

#6 OP Cadium

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Posted 02 June 2008 - 23:00

Such a question is completely unrelated to whether it is a Mac or PC. It all depends on what you use your computer for.

Software system requirements on the Mac do not seem to be as 'steep' with new versions compared to on Windows-based systems, however. This would have an effect on the upgrade cycle, wouldn't it?

#7 ThehAWKs

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Posted 02 June 2008 - 23:06

I got a power mac G4 cube runs 10.4.11 still works and its like 8yrs old

#8 Guest_jgrodri_*

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Posted 02 June 2008 - 23:15

I think that when 10.7 comes out it will be the ideal time for you to trade macs dont get slower over time so you won't feel the need to buy unless you outgrow your hardware.

in any case, a year from now or so max out your ram. That is like getting yourself a new mac by itself.

#9 LTD

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Posted 02 June 2008 - 23:21

The upgrade cycle is generally not as steep for Macs. Leopard runs well on really old systems too, i.e., an old blueberry iMac G3/400Mhz/192MB RAM circa 1999 with nearly all of the meaningful Aqua graphics intact. And we're talking the highest iteration of an OS here.

#10 mk1990

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Posted 02 June 2008 - 23:34

Picking up an iMac 24" 3.06 ghz 4gb ram nvidia geforce 8800 GS 512mb gddr3 today at next byte ^^ hopefully will last 3 years

#11 Shadrack

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Posted 02 June 2008 - 23:36

My Mac Mini's CD Burner/DVD combo drive stopped burning CDs after about 15 months and stopped reading CD/DVDs shortly after. The rest of it still works after about 2 and a half years, but I hope I don't have to reinstall the OS or something.

#12 Shadrack

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Posted 02 June 2008 - 23:42

The upgrade cycle is generally not as steep for Macs. Leopard runs well on really old systems too, i.e., an old blueberry iMac G3/400Mhz/192MB RAM circa 1999 with nearly all of the meaningful Aqua graphics intact. And we're talking the highest iteration of an OS here.



Note to OP. Please do not go to eBay and buy an "iMac G3/400Mhz/192MB RAM". Trust me, Leopard will run but it will run like utter **** compared to what is expected from today's machines.

A similarly spec'd PC would be a ~500-600MHz P3 which would run Windows XP at 192MB Ram, but I'm afraid Vista requires a minimum of 512BM. So there is some truth to your point that the newest OS will run on those older machines.

#13 CHALE

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Posted 02 June 2008 - 23:43

I got my first ibook a G3 back in 2000 or 2001 don't remember, and since then I've had 4. Right now I'm running a 16 month old macbook pro. I usually change them every 2 to 3 years. except for my last, a powerbook G4 last generation of the G4 and exchanged it with a little over a year of use. Because of the change to Intel so I got one of the first Intel core 2 duo feb 07.

Edited by CHALE, 02 June 2008 - 23:50.


#14 vetsanctified

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Posted 03 June 2008 - 00:39

Thanks to the unified hardware control and how its managed the need to upgrade its lesser than in Non-Apple computers. That is why still many people are using G3, G4 and G5 Macs.

I can see myself using my Macbook Pro for about 5 years.

<snipped>


I normally dont support wars based on fanboyism but I cant deny that he deserved that answer :p His comments are mostly uncalled and annoying.

Edited by John S., 03 June 2008 - 02:22.


#15 teleprompt

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Posted 03 June 2008 - 00:41

what are you upgrading every 6-12 months?
I've been using the same hardware with the exception of video card since 2001. P4 2.0 and 1 Gig memory. I haven't seen any reason to do any further upgrades. From photoshop to video editing, it hasn't missed a beat.



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