My G3 iMac is 14 years old.
I have other Macs twice that old, and portables that have been handled a hundred or more times by airport security. I have dropped and dented them, I have had to replace a couple of optical drives (they're cheap), completely worn out several mice (ditto), but none of my Macs have ever completely died.
I'm wondering how often you should by a new imac computer.
By a new Mac when the one you have no longer does what you need it to do.
The shortest life from any Mac we have (and that is about 18 in a family of five) was 5.5 years for a Macbook Pro, whose particiular model had a bad video chipset component sold to Apple by another firm. Affected a lot of Mac notebooks but also other brands.
We have replaced most of our Macs because they were older PowerPC (pre-2006) models and were no longer supported by software we needed to run, typically tax and bookkeeping programs.
The first Mac I bought was a G3 iMac DV "Graphite". It was new in 1998 (May 15 to be precise), and I got it in 2003 for $400. I sold it in 2006 for $350. The guy who bought it sold it and the most recent owner is STILL using it as an iTunes jukebox and DVD player in his rec room. It's old enough to vote now, and still "kicking".
OK, here is a family history of my Macs. My 24" iMac, a 2007 model bought new in July, 2008, is still doing a great job going into the new year of 2014. I use it 7 days a week, at least 12-15 hours per day, as it is also my "television." It has never had any hardware issues. Software issues casued the Superdrive to stop working recently but that was fixed with a reinstall of Mavericks. As a designer/photographer/video producer, I use Adobe CS4 and Final Cut Pro and have no complaints as to its performance.
That being said, I bought a new iBook G3 in 2002 to go with my G4 desktop tower system and it completely died in 2008, the reason for the iMac purchase. The G4 was sold back in 2006 and the owner still uses it. The 2009 13" Macbook a friend gave me 2 years when he upgraded to a 15" Macbook Pro, completely died a couple of months ago. All of my efforst to revive it have failed but I plan to take it to a service center for a final verdict. I know he's a bit rough on his computers so I didn't expect it to last too long.
My son has a 2009 17" Macbook Pro he bought new. He spent $600 to bring it back to life in mid 2013. Not sure of the problems but he really wanted the 17" screen and opted to repair rather than buy new.
2014 has brought me video projects which will require additional hardware. I'm budgeting for the new Mac Pro but waiting until the 2nd or 3rd generation production since I don't want to lay out a lot of money until the ghosts in the machine have been exorcised. After the upgrade, my 24" iMac will still be a huge part of the production process.
Hope this helps! Here's to a prosperous 2014!
Quick response to my post. I do carry my iMac in an iLugger case. The third time I used the case a strap broke and my iMac ended up with a nasty ding on the upper left corner. Fortunately, the ding was just on the casing and didn't affect the computer's performance. Had a friend who does leatherwork sew and reinforce the straps on the case.
Message was edited by: johnbp123
johnbp123<--- ONLY other person I know of who EVER used an iLugger.
True story. In 2005, before the actually made iLuggers, I got a 1st gen G5 iMac, and I wanted to be able to "lug it around", so I made my own.
Machine sewn from "130lb" canvas, it had pockets for my mouse, keyboard, and webcam.
Sadly, my iMac died in 2008, but I used the lugger I made as a carrying case, for my new MacBook.