Hold old a used iMac is safe to buy?

I was a bit suprised (nay, upset!) when I realised my 2011 iMac wouldn’t be able to upgrade to Mojave. It flies along with an SSD in the old CD bay, 2.5ghz i5 and 12 Mb RAM.

So I need to replace it with another used machine, but don’t want to buy something that will not be upgradeable soon.

What model is safe to buy that will last for a few years? Is 7 years standardish? Have there been changes in recent hardware architecture that makes it more or less likely that, say a particular year may be not upgradable soon?


I’d suggest that you first look strongly at Mojave to decide if you really anything new it offers. Maybe you don’t need to upgrade at this time at all. High Sierra will get security updates for another two years. I’m running El Capitan, Sierra, High Sierra, and Mojave on different systems here limited (except in the Mojave case) either by Hardware too old or the need to run software that won’t work in Mojave. I’m not throwing any of those systems out.

But if you insist, all you need is a late 2012 or newer iMac to run Mojave.

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I would not recommend that. Tech and processor speeds advance quickly enough that - especially with increased loads imposed by new version of the macOS - such a long wait can make using the machine unpleasant for most non-basic apps. And the residual resale value of the the machine is negligible.

The advice I have tended to give is to (1) buy Applecare, and (2) sell your Mac 3 years later when Applecare expires. Doing so gives you a machine that is always under (and excellent) warranty, and is a short enough period so that you can still get a reasonable price for the machine, which reduces the cost of the new machine.

But my 2011 iMac is functioning fine after 7 years - it’s only the inability to upgrade OS which is the issue. Do you think 2014 iMc will likely get upgrade until 2021?

Thanks - you know I really hadn’t appreciated that was the case, hence my concern to get a new machine straight away.

I know, but the issue is how long will it be able to - is it in any way vaguely predictable?

Didn’t say it wouldn’t be functioning, but it depends on what you use it for. Lightroom? Final Cut Pro? Ableton Live? Your machine would be terribly painful to use.

I guarantee if you’d bought a new machine yesterday and used it for more than basic web browsing you’d wonder why you didn’t make the purchase sooner.

No good way to predict. The next hurdle might be requiring the T2 security chip, but that won’t come about until at least all models have it. The worst case of quick lockout from updates that happened to me was we bought an original iPad. No iOS updates after 2 ½ years, 1 ½ years if bought right before the iPad 2 was released.

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