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How long will this iMac last?

2074 Views 1 Reply Latest reply: Sep 25, 2006 10:49 AM by Kenichi Watanabe RSS
Zorzo Calculating status...
Currently Being Moderated
Sep 25, 2006 10:20 AM
Hi there!

I have an iMac DV SE 500 (Summer 2000) that I use as a work desktop. My employer provides us with Dull laptops, but I prefer working on a desktop for ergonomic and OS reasons.

The iMac has been a steady performer for 6 years, never giving me any trouble. But I've started to wonder how much longer I can expect it to keep running. Any ideas?

I do daily backups of my data on an external firewire drive, so even if it died, it wouldn't be a huge deal. Basically, I'm curious as to the lifespan of these computers.

As far as upgrades go, the iMac is running 10.3.9, has 1gig of RAM, and has an airport card. I keep it relatively clean and in an environment without temperature extremes.

I guess my questions are:

(1) What is MOST likely to go wrong with my computer?
(2) I'm considering upgrading this machine to 10.4 - I've resisted doing it so far because some posts included complaints about speed after the upgrade. What do you recommend?
(3) I know there is an uneconomic G4 CPU upgrade for this model iMac. Obviously it doesn't make sense in terms of price versus just buying a new computer, but I am rather attached to this iMac. Would getting the processor upgrade improve the computer's lifespan or decrease it due to possible problems any time you muck around inside an iMac?

Also, any tips to keep it running in top shape would be much appreciated.


iMac FP G4 (1ghz), Mac Mini (1.4ghz), iBook G3 (800mhz), iMac G3 DV SE 500, Mac OS X (10.4.7)
  • Kenichi Watanabe Level 7 Level 7 (30,005 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 25, 2006 10:49 AM (in response to Zorzo)
    (1) The first thing that often fails is the analog video board. This is the part that feeds the CRT display. I think heat contributes to failure, so keeping the vents clear of obstruction may help.

    (2) These are the key new features of 10.4, according to Apple

    Of these, iChat AV will be of limited use (the "AV" part). QuickTime 7 can be installed in 10.3 for free. Safari RSS and Mail are new versions not available to 10.3 users, but great alternatives exist for web browser and email. The other features may or may not be of value to you. If you think they are worth the upgrade cost, you should get 10.4. If not, don't upgrade for the sake of upgrading, because 10.3.9 is a solid release. With 1GB of RAM, you should be able to use either one without performance issues.

    (3) I don't think the processor upgrade would change the iMac's lifespan. The recent G4's probably put out about the same heat as the old G3's. You wouldn't get too much more clock speed, so it would mostly help performance if you deal with graghics, audio, or video content. I think you have to send in the motherboard, or the whole iMac, so if everything is working great, you may not want to risk damage from shipping, plus you won't be able to "put the G3 back" if you have problems with the upgrade.


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