My Mac - How Old Is Old?

Updated: Nov 6, 2020

When should I upgrade or replace my Mac?

Signs your computer might be getting old.

  • Startup and shut down is slow.

  • Loading applications take a long time.

  • Current operating systems are no longer supported.

  • Computer is getting louder.

  • Multitasking issues.

  • Spinning pinwheel.

  • Running out of storage room.

  • No longer supports online security settings.

Laptops 3-5 years

A typical laptop's lifespan is between 3 to 5 years. Some laptops still run efficiently longer than five years, but their range of tasks and ability to keep up with online security requirements may be limited. Most laptops will come with smaller hard drives for storage which may be a limiting factor. Consider starting out with a larger drive when purchasing a Mac laptop. Keep in mind that there is a wide range of laptops from entry level to top-end power houses.

iMac 3-8 years

A typical iMac’s lifespan can vary a bit more than a laptop, mostly due to it being moved much less over its lifespan and runs less risk of being physically damaged. iMacs are also a bit more upgradable. Adding memory or faster and larger hard drives may make your iMac last longer. iMacs typically last between 3 to 8 years depending on how they are configured. Most iMacs will come with larger hard drives as a standard configuration.

Mac Mini 3-5 years

A Mac Mini is usually more of an entry level Mac, but can be configured with faster processors, expanded memory and larger hard drives that will extend the life span. This makes their effective life span 3 to 5 years.

Mac Pros and iMac Pros 3-8 years

A typical Pro can have a useful life of 3 to 8 years depending on the configuration and use. Most Mac Pros are for power users. Depending on how it's used, will be a determining factor in it's useful life. The more the user depends on speed and performance for high end use, the more quickly they will want to trade it in and replace it. Every 3 to 4 years is a more realistic life span when it comes to a production computer.

Operating Systems Support 4-6 years

System hardware requirements to run new operating systems vary. Apple will generally upgrade the MacOS once per year. Most Macs will be able to be upgraded to the current operating system for about 4 to 6 years. Apple provides system requirements with each new MacOS release. Apple guidelines.

To find out what operating systems your Mac will support click here.


Upgrades like RAM or switching to a solid-state drive

SATA hard drive and Sold State Drives


  • Typically found in older computers.

  • Less expensive per gigabyte.

  • SATA drives have moving components and tend to have a higher failure rate.

  • Slower read/write and data transfer times.

  • Larger profile.

  • Older, but reliable technology.

SSD - Sold State Drives and Flash Drives

  • Typically found in newer computers.

  • More expensive per gigabyte.

  • Operates with flash storage and no moving components make these more reliable.

  • Produces less heat.

  • Much faster read/write and data transfer times.

  • Slimmer profile.

  • Newer technology and is what the industry is moving towards.

  • Price is coming down which makes this a great upgrade option.

RAM Memory

  • 4GB - Light use, can not open many applications at once.

  • 8GB - Standard use, can open a few applications at once. Todays base amount of ram.

  • 16GB - Good for most users based on number of applications opened at once and for use with applications with higher memory requirements. Better for applications such as iPhoto, iMovie, etc. Makes your Mac run more smoothly.

  • 32GB to 40GB - Better for users that open multiple applications at once and for applications with higher memory requirements. If you are working with graphic applications, such as Adobe, or a number of applications at once, you will want at least 32GB of ram.

  • 64GB and higher - Best for users that open a lot of applications at once and for applications with high memory requirements. If you’re running demanding applications such as, CAD, Graphic Design, Photo Retouching, Video Editing, 3D Modeling or Gaming, you will want the extra memory for sure.

What does this all mean?

Talk to us. If your Mac is 3 to 5 years old the effective performance will start to decrease. You should consider your options.

  • Upgrade to boost performance.

  • Trade-in advantage - reduces the amount needed to purchase a new Mac.

  • Giving Mac Program - used to donate to K-12 students and their families.

  • Keep until it's time to recycle.

Upgrade options may be:

  • Adding RAM memory

  • Changing to a SSD or Flash Drive

  • Upgrading the operating system if the hardware will support it.

Replacement options

Stay up-to-date. There are many options for replacing your older Mac. MacMan has been making recommendations and supplying Macs and Apple based solutions since early 90's. Contact us for your free consultation on finding the right Mac for you.

Things to consider when buy a new Mac:

  • Why buy from MacMan - Learn More

  • What you use your Mac for.

  • How often you switch out your Mac.

  • Is this your primary Mac or a secondary Mac.

  • Will you be sharing your Mac.

  • What type of applications do you use.

  • How much data do you have now.

  • How much data will you be creating - photos, graphics, spreadsheets, text documents, movies, music, etc.

  • How do you need to access your data.

  • How do you backup your data.

  • Budget range.

  • Data transfer and setup needs.

Payment options:

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Eau Claire, WI. 54701

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