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Old 10th June 2020
Here for the gear
knadles's Avatar

Some of us were around for the transition from PPC to Intel:'...tel_processors

June 6, 2005 - Announcement
January 10, 2006 - First Intel models released
August 7, 2006 - “Transition complete”
October 26, 2007 - Last version of OSX with PPC support
August 28, 2009 - OSX Intel only; PPC applications compatible through Rosetta
July 20, 2011 - Formal end of support for PPC hardware

So if you bought a PPC Mac in May 2005, prior to the announcement, you could no longer run the latest OS starting in August 2009, just over four years later. Your computer still worked of course, but application/driver/developer support started dropping off not long after the Intel Macs came out (it costs $ to maintain and support two systems), and really fell away with the release of Snow Leopard in 2009.

That’s not to say the timeframe will be identical this time, but I wouldn’t count on a good 10 years out of any MAC purchased today. Not if you want to run current software. I just bought a Mac Mini for my studio, but knowing this I’ll probably hold off on replacing my laptop till the ARM models come out. YMMV