When Is the Right Time To Buy a New Mac?

What to consider when you are thinking of buying a new Mac. Should you buy when you need a new Mac, or when Apple comes out with a new model? How do you know when Apple is about to release something new?

Comments: 18 Responses to “When Is the Right Time To Buy a New Mac?”

    Chris in CT
    4 months ago

    Gary, How important is it to have the latest operating system?
    It is rumored that my iPhone 6s and 2015 MacBook Air will not be able to run the next generation of iOS and macOS. Although both devices are slowing down and running out of storage, they still meet my needs. What are your thoughts?

    4 months ago

    Chris: That completely depends on your needs and wants. Eventually you'll need something in the new version of each OS (or simply "want" it). But if you aren't using them for work and would rather stay with the old, then you can certainly do that.

    Lisa in FL
    4 months ago

    I thought when you could not update any longer to the current version then you wouldn’t get security updates. That is a concern

    4 months ago

    Lisa: Apple typically provides security updates for 1-2 years more than system updates. So you can go a little longer if you have no other reason to update. Past that, if security is a concern for you, then yes, you'd want to update.

    Paul Gardner
    4 months ago

    I’m 88 and a Patreon contributor. My Mac is mid-2011 running High Sierra. When the hard drive failed, I had a 1T SSD installed. Everything works perfectly. I am a typical casual user, not even a gamer. My only concern is the inability to update the OS. Based on my type of use, do you think I need to purchase a new Mac?

    4 months ago

    Paul: If your current Mac does everything you need and you have no complaints, then you are fine sticking with it. Security is my only concern, but if you don't install anything new or outside of the Mac App Store, then it isn't too much of a worry.

    Alan Youngblood
    4 months ago

    I am a fan of buying what could be called "new old stock" Buying a brand new Mac that is a year or two old. I do a lot of video and just bought a new 2020 machine that was loaded up with RAM and a Large SSD. I paid less then a new 2022 mac and the performance is better. Its new so the same warranty applies. Yes, I realize I may be shortening my service life a year or two because Apple will stop supporting it sooner then a 2022 model but the 2014 Imac I moved from was running the current OS.

    John Robinson
    4 months ago

    I have a second Mac:
    17,1 iMac, Mojave, 2TB SSD:
    I don’t plan on going past Mojave on this Mac for Steam gaming. Since Apple will stop updating Mojave, should I carry something like Symantec? Or will that still leave the processor vulnerable?

    4 months ago

    John: Not sure what you mean by "leave the processor vulnerable" -- are you simply afraid of getting malware? I would just be very careful of what you install on that machine. Are you planning to keep everything you do stuck in Mojave-era just for some discontinued Steam games (I assume they are discontinued if they are 32-bit still in 2022). If security is important to you, maybe keep this old Mac for just those old games, and a new Mac for everything else.

    Tim Woolmer
    4 months ago

    One other thing to keep in mind is compatibility with other devices.
    I have a mid 2010 iMac which I replaced the graphics card and added a 2TB SSD. It works fine and does everything I want.
    However, Reminders do not transfer to the old Mac . Even though they are iCloud reminders. True I can log on to iCloud in safari and use reminders that way but it lacks some of the features.
    Likewise with sharing numbers spread sheets.

    Robert Mitton
    4 months ago

    Gary, when people ask about keeping their Mac protected after the Apple Security Updates stop for their OS, why are you not offering up great software ideas that can protect them regardless of whether they get Apple's downloads? Using something like Objective-See's "KnockKnock" and "BlockBlock" could help immensely. https://objective-see.org

    I'm using both of these with my Mac running Mojave.

    4 months ago

    Robert: Good question! Basically it comes down to that I have very little confidence in any of that software. I think it is a better strategy to learn how to protect yourself by not downloading things from sites you shouldn't trust than to have false confidence that some third-party app is going to protect you. Plus, I have seen so many times anti-malware software misbehaving and causing problems on its own, like slowing things down, false positive panicking, and websites not functioning.

    Dave Norris
    4 months ago

    Maybe this is off topic, but I would also suggest that a person think about their needs (as you suggest) and evaluate an iPad as a replacement for a Mac, when it’s time to consider an upgrade. I think of two points with this decision: Positive-portability and apps; Negative-possible workflow change.

    Alan Youngblood
    4 months ago

    Dave. I totally agree. There are so many people that would be better served with an iPad. When your computer use consists of web browsing, social media and email, an iPad is easier, less expensive and more portable. Apple has done a poor job pointing that out.
    But, I know, people don't want to change. The different form factor is scary - even if they don't know anything about a the old form factor.

    Carlos Ramos
    4 months ago

    I have an iMac late 2013 running OS Catalina 10.15.7. Most of my work is word processing (for publishing) with Pages; Numbers spreadsheets (home use); and sometimes Keynote (for school). My Mac has been going horribly slow at times, it seems like it is keeping my local files also in iCloud (although I don't see them there) and every time I open a file there is a lapse of time before opening. Sometimes I think there is a conflict between my Pages version and my OS version. Thanks for your comment

    Hubert
    4 months ago

    Hi Gary. From another angle: I, retired, have a MacBook Pro 15" mid 2015 with 16GB mem and a 256SSD. Don't want to spend money on iCloud but SSD os getting too small. Migrated a heap of files to external drive as a solution. However, eventually will not be practical anymore. Do I buy a new MAc or do I get a larger SSD and upgrade the memory. Thans for your advice.

    Hubert
    4 months ago

    PS: Forgot to mention that I am running Monterey.

    4 months ago

    Hubert: This is very subjective and it is up to you, but I would never throw money at a 7-year-old machine that won't even be able to run Ventura in the fall. I'd put the money toward a new machine instead. And make sure you get a large enough hard drive.

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