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How long does a Mac usually last?

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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:

  1. Listen to music (iTunes library, radio streams, etc.)
  2. Watch videos (DVDs, on-line streams)
  3. Photo editing with iPhoto '08 (considering purchasing Aperture 2 for my computer in the weeks ahead)
  4. Image editing (currently using Pixelmator 1.2, which I feel is a great piece of software for the price)
  5. Recording and editing audio using GarageBand (this also includes podcasts)
  6. Browsing the internet (using Safari 3.1.1 currently)
  7. 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)
  8. Managing contacts, appointments, and e-mail (as you guessed it, Address Book, iCal, and Mail are working away perfectly for these tasks)
  9. 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. :)

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

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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.

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

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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.

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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?

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

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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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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.

You do video editing with 1gb ram? :blink:

What kind of video editing?

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I definitely find the quality of the hardware greater than any other computer I've owned (mind you, I'm only comparing a MacBook Pro and Mac Mini to a Toshiba Satellite a70 which broke once every 3 months, and a crappy HP Pavilion a300n). Still, my MacBook Pro has lasted me a year and a half so far, and my Mac Mini is going to be 2 years old this month. My MacBook Pro is still a joy to use, and with Linux on the Mini, it's a beautiful machine too (since I can minimize what runs on it. I love OS X, but it was never meant to run on a core solo with 512MB of ram and a 60GB hard drive).

I'd say Macs last longer than regular PC's, just because PC users always feel a compulsion to upgrade, while Mac users only feel that way when there's a major revision (once every 2-3 years, and not even required then).

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You do video editing with 1gb ram? :blink:

What kind of video editing?

I transfer my or whoever s video tapes to drive and then manipulate them. Cut, splice..whatever. Nothing professional. Things like that. About the same kind of stuff anyone outside of the business would do with thier computer.

So you think people didn't do video editing with a gig of ram???

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I transfer my or whoever s video tapes to drive and then manipulate them. Cut, splice..whatever. Nothing professional. Things like that. About the same kind of stuff anyone outside of the business would do with thier computer.

So you think people didn't do video editing with a gig of ram???

Of course they did. I know people who do video edition with Amiga computers.

Its just that I immediately thought about HD video, my mistake :)

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I'd say Macs last longer than regular PC's, just because PC users always feel a compulsion to upgrade, while Mac users only feel that way when there's a major revision (once every 2-3 years, and not even required then).

That's the real reason. Hardware overall between a mac and a pc are very similar anymore. pc users just like to know they can (and do) upgrade their machines.

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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.

No, it doesn't. My late 2004 iBook is "not worthy".

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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.

nonsense, the only response trolling like that deserves is the Report button.

--------------------------

Honestly, since the switch was still relatively recent, it's difficult to tell.

But now that Macs are being built on x86 their life cycles will probably fall right in line with most PCs.

When macs were PPC they lasted a bit longer just because there were fewer PPC release cycles.

Software is written to the hardware, and the newer updates will probably be comparatively more demanding than previous one may have been.

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Aww, the answer was totally hilarious :p

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I bought my iMac in February 2007 and am still using it right now. Other than increasing the RAM from 1 GB to 2 GB, it is still using the stock components, although over time, I have added multiple USB ports, external hard drives, etc. The Macintosh hardware may not be as easily upgradable as generic PC hardware, but I've always felt that with USB 2 (and the upcoming USB 3), the best way to upgrade is to do it externally, not internally.

From past memory, I recall upgrading my PC hardware every 3-4 years. The first computer I can recall owning, a Packard Bell that ran Win95, was bought in late 1995 and lasted until early 2000. And that computer I bought in 2000 was just replaced late last year.

No matter your hardware, if you upgrade it periodically and generally keep it in good shape, it will last a long time.

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