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PostPosted: 27 Sep 2016, 00:19 
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Joined: 02 Sep 2015, 10:19
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Just had to share this one.

Searching around as I frequently do mostly for old Macs I recently came up trumps.

In this case a Late 2009 21.5" iMac. It was complete minus Display, Front Glass Panel and Hard Drive. Sold As Seen. Looked as though it could be an interesting project. Paid £65 which was a steal.

Plugged it in upon getting it back to my workshop expecting nothing but it powered up complete with the bong. Things were looking promising.

Not knowing the history of the iMac I decided to strip it right down apply new thermal paste to the Intel Core 2 Duo 3.06 GHz CPU, clean everything up and do a rebuild. Following which I delved around in my spares and turned up 12GB 1067MHz DDR3 RAM and a 1TB 5400 rpm Western Digital Caviar Green Hard Drive (not the fastest I know) but had the makings of a half decent system.

Still lacking the native display I hooked it up to a BENQ 21.5" 1920x1080 Monitor via the Mini Display Port. Fortunately I had a chipped Front Glass Panel from a mid 2011 21.5" iMac kicking around to protect the interior components.

Opted to install macOS Sierra using an 8 GB USB installation stick I had prepared earlier. It was time to power it up. The moment of truth had arrived. Suffice to say I now have a fully functional iMac which currently lives under my workshop desk running superbly on the BENQ Monitor. The NVIDIA GeForce 9400 256 MB Graphics are crisp and with the 12GB RAM the performance is excellent and handles Parallels Desktop virtualisation with ease.

Next stop an SSHD perhaps? But a fully functional 21.5" iMac for £65 can't be sniffed at.

UPDATE.....

Project completed. Picked up an iMac Display for a little over £100 and fitted a Seagate 1TB SSHD for £65.

Result Fully rebuilt iMac £230 which equates to a saving of £100-£150.


Last edited by 5735guy on 20 Nov 2016, 17:12, edited 3 times in total.

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PostPosted: 29 Sep 2016, 04:32 
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Joined: 10 Aug 2015, 16:03
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Wow. I wonder if I can get one in the States. I've never tried an iMAC or any Apple computer after Apple II> What makes it better? Serious question, as I'll never use Win10, as you well know.


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PostPosted: 29 Sep 2016, 08:33 
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Searches on eBay for iMac spares and iMac repair and it is possible to bag a real bargain. Avoid Buy It Now and stick to Auctions and preferably those with a low start. The very least you should expect the Logic Board to be included in the package (the more the better) as it saves the cost of purchasing additional spares.

Intel (Aluminium) iMacs from 2009 - 2011 are the best to look out for. From 2012 - present they are not so accessible due to the revised slimline profile. Avoid the 2008 model as they are prone to Graphics issues. Far too many times have I had to remove and re ball the Graphics Card for customers from 2008 machines. iFixit offer excellent easy to follow tutorials for repairing and replacing components on Macs
https://www.ifixit.com/Device/Mac

The older Intel Core Duo White iMacs are pretty good but are restricted to OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard. To run more recent OS X (macOS) releases you need an iMac with an Intel Core 2 Duo chip. Models with Intel (Sandy Bridge) i3 and i5 chips are also available but with these the cost is generally higher.

Used Macs with an Intel Core 2 Duo chip or higher can be made in to powerful and productive machines.

Never Buy New.


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PostPosted: 29 Sep 2016, 17:31 
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What would be your own favorite model and year among those choices, if you never wanted to futz with its innards?
I ask, as there are no iMAC service reps near me, and I don't want to learn thermal paste, graphic cards, etc.
Assume regular office use, not graphic-intensive beyond HD video making.

Thank you SO much for your effort and time in all this!


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PostPosted: 30 Sep 2016, 00:38 
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Joined: 02 Sep 2015, 10:19
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I thoroughly recommend the Late 2009 21.5" iMac which is the earliest release that will run macOS Sierra. Expect to pay around 350-400 dollars for a working one but shop around and it is possible to grab a bargain. Also look at those up for auction. I understand the US is huge but if you can find one local to your area you have the option to see it working prior to purchase. As always if you are purchasing from eBay check the sellers feedback first.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/iMac-21-5-Late- ... SwnNBXXFaj

Only wish you were in the UK as I could knock a considerable amount off the cost as I refurbish iMacs.


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PostPosted: 30 Sep 2016, 03:45 
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I wish I were in the UK as well, would definitely want one from you! Thank you!


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PostPosted: 03 Oct 2016, 23:11 
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Joined: 02 Sep 2015, 10:19
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brainout wrote:
I wish I were in the UK as well, would definitely want one from you! Thank you!


This Late 2009 21.5" iMac has popped up on eBay for 250 dollars
http://www.ebay.com/itm/IMac-21-5-Late- ... 2361770866


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PostPosted: 04 Oct 2016, 09:40 
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Great, thank you! I added it to my watch list. I've less than $100 in the bank right now, cuz I haven't billed my clients in 3 years. Will be billing them this week, lol. (Don't worry, I prepay all my expenses, including rent and insurance, so am in no trouble.)


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PostPosted: 20 Nov 2016, 17:15 
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Joined: 02 Sep 2015, 10:19
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UPDATE.....

Project completed. Picked up an iMac Display for a little over £100 and fitted a Seagate 1TB SSHD for £65.

Result Fully rebuilt iMac £230 which equates to a saving of £100-£150.


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