Making an eMac last for longer

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Joined: Jun 12 2007
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I have a three year old eMac (1.25Ghz, 512Mb RAM, 40Gb HDD).

It'll be a year before I can afford a new Mac, so I'll looking to improve my eMac to improve its longevity. Don't have an enormous amount of money to spend though (otherwise I'd have an Intel iMac by now Wink ) but enough I guess for reasonable upgrades. Not able myself to upgrade the computer physically but I have the help of my father who is an electronics expert and could handle things.

Any suggestions? I think the HDD is the main one as I have to use the disk repair tool once a month.

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iantm's picture
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Joined: Apr 2 2005
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Upgrade the ram and hard driv

Upgrade the ram and hard drive, and you should be set for another year. The only real worry you have is the dreaded crt flyback issues. Between ram and hard drive, provided you're willing to be brave enough to do the work yourself and are willing to buy online from a reputable place like newegg.com - you should be able to see a good improvement in performance for around $200.

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Oelmuvun's picture
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Re: Upgrade the ram and hard driv

iantm wrote:

The only real worry you have is the dreaded crt flyback issues.

Wasn't that a G3 iMac issue mostly? IIRC the eMacs have more issues with IVAD cables, though I might be wrong.

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olikicksmacs's picture
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if it was me, i would keep th

if it was me, i would keep the money that i was going to spend on upgrading the emac, put up with it for another year, maybe a fresh install of the os, and then put the $200 towards added extras on the new mac.

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iantm's picture
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The early eMacs had the IVAD

The early eMacs had the IVAD cable problems, but later eMacs had problems with the flyback boards. Frankly, just about every CRT product Apple made after 1997 had problems with the flyback. Average life expectancy for the analog board/flyback on a machine is about 3-7 years. Machines that never get turned off tend to live longer lives, while devices that get turned on and turned off see shorter life spans. (this is based on my experiences with the slot and tray load iMacs, as well as the G5 iMacs - the capacitors don't swell and pop on machines that stay turned on 24/7 nearly as frequently as they do on machines that get turned on and turned off on a semi frequent basis.

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GEOS's picture
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I totally agree with the new

I totally agree with the new hard drive and RAM. Especially the RAM if you are running 10.4 and use Microsoft Office and Dashboard. One thing I do swear by is new hard drives. I honestly think a faster (not necessarily bigger) hard drive makes more difference than RAM a lot of the time. If you have a combo drive in yours, you could also grab a new superdrive for $70 and put it in there too. My mom owns the same model eMac and I just put one in hers. You can't burn in the Finder anymore, but it doesn't matter since she uses Toast all the time anyway.

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Blessed Cheesemaker's picture
Joined: Mar 19 2007
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Upgrade RAM and HDD--why not external?

I had the same model eMac, 'cept I bought the 80gb drive.

Putting in an extra 512MB (for 1gig total RAM) was a *big* improvement.

Taking apart any computer, esp. an eMac is not a simple task. You back up regularly right? ;^)

Why not take this time to buy an external HD, like a Newer ministack type model? Plop in a huge PATA drive (300 gigs go for under $100), and boot from it via Firewire. I don't think you will notice any speed difference.

There you are...no need to upgrade for at least another 3 years (yeah, right).