Newsletter Issue #631: Just When is Your Mac Too Old?

January 2nd, 2012

Over the years, I’ve tended to acquire Macs on two-year cycles, since that’s usually how long it takes for the newest model to be substantially faster and more productive than the older machine. The intermediate updates, each year, tend to be far more incremental, although Apple’s upmarket approach version of the iMac, which debuted in late 2009, was a far more significant upgrade. Indeed, the high-end quad-core Intel i7 on an iMac gave a Mac Pro a run for its money.

Although my financial situation had begun to seriously suffer from the recession in 2009, I had the credit line to sustain the purchase of a fairly well equipped and customized 27-inch iMac, with the 2.8GHz Intel i7 and 8GB of RAM. Even better, I sold my Mac Pro and a 30-inch display for enough to actually zero the credit card invoice, and leave me a few hundred dollars change with which to pay other bills. This was a tremendous deal.

After reading the reviews about the new iMac, particularly the benchmarks, it was clear that very few apps would afford the Mac Pro a performance advantage. Sure, I could add more memory to the Mac Pro, and fill the internal PCI slots with some intriguing expansion possibilities, but none of those extras fit into my workflow. But I still felt I was taking a bit of a chance, even though it was one that, in the end, cost me nothing.

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