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Old Dec 3, 2012, 11:34 AM   #1
2010madone
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cannot pull the trigger on '12 imac due to repairability. . .what are my options

i have been waiting to pull the trigger on a new 27" imac. after reading the teardown report and poor repairability. . .i cannot pull the trigger. i own i believe 6 imacs and have had 2 of those 6 fail within 4 years of purchase to due to power supply or hard drive or logic board issues. i have no interest in customizing the computer myself, but my history with the quality control here is so poor i cannot see buying one that will be that difficult to repair

what are my realistic options as an alternative ? fully loaded mac mini + a monitor (and which one ). actually look at dell all in ones (cannot even believe i actually typed that)

any suggestions greatly appreciated.
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Old Dec 3, 2012, 11:35 AM   #2
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what are my realistic options as an alternative ?
Buy the iMac and buy AppleCare. If anything fails, let Apple fix it.
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Old Dec 3, 2012, 11:40 AM   #3
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Have you been doing the repairs yourself? Although iFixit say that they're difficult to repair, if you've got AppleCare or you're getting someone else to fix it, that difficulty is not your problem.
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Old Dec 3, 2012, 11:43 AM   #4
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Only solutions I see are early 2012 iMac refurb or take a leap to the dark side and build a hackintosh, incredibly easy compared to just a few short years ago.
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Old Dec 3, 2012, 11:43 AM   #5
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what are my realistic options as an alternative ? fully loaded mac mini + a monitor (and which one ). actually look at dell all in ones (cannot even believe i actually typed that)

any suggestions greatly appreciated.
You could get a Mini like you mentioned and add a Apple wireless KB and mouse plus a Thunderbolt Display. That adds up to pretty close to the same price as the 27" iMac and would be more amenable to user repairs. Although the Mini is not designed to be "user serviceable", it is pretty easy to do.
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Old Dec 3, 2012, 11:51 AM   #6
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Did you buy iMacs originally because of the small footprint? If no, and you want something you can service, what about the Mac Pro?
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Old Dec 3, 2012, 11:54 AM   #7
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AppleCare, or wait till June-ish for 2013 Mac Pro.
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Old Dec 3, 2012, 11:55 AM   #8
2010madone
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i am not a do it yourself computer guy. . both of my other imacs failed after applecare expired. i do not view 3 years as the useful life of a top of the line pc for 2500-3000 bucks. evidently apple does

mac pro doesn't really interest me. not looking to go back to the old desktop format. love the form factor of the imac which is why i bought 6 of them
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Old Dec 3, 2012, 12:21 PM   #9
forty2j
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i am not a do it yourself computer guy. . both of my other imacs failed after applecare expired. i do not view 3 years as the useful life of a top of the line pc for 2500-3000 bucks. evidently apple does
When you factor in resale value, you end up doing very well when you upgrade at that frequency. My 2007 was worth a whole lot more last year (when it was working) than this year (selling for parts).
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Old Dec 3, 2012, 01:11 PM   #10
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Isn't the 27" fairly repairable with the magnetic front? I thought iFixits score was based solely on the 21", and they just assumed the 27" would be the same (when in fact, the first tear down picture showed the screen attached with magnets).
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Old Dec 3, 2012, 01:31 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by 2010madone View Post
i have been waiting to pull the trigger on a new 27" imac. after reading the teardown report and poor repairability. . .i cannot pull the trigger. i own i believe 6 imacs and have had 2 of those 6 fail within 4 years of purchase to due to power supply or hard drive or logic board issues. i have no interest in customizing the computer myself, but my history with the quality control here is so poor i cannot see buying one that will be that difficult to repair

what are my realistic options as an alternative ? fully loaded mac mini + a monitor (and which one ). actually look at dell all in ones (cannot even believe i actually typed that)

any suggestions greatly appreciated.
I find it ironic that the complaints about the new iMacs mostly fall into 2 categories:
  1. Apple's technology is too old and too expensive for today's market. Storage, CPUs, graphics are "outdated".
  2. Apple's mechanical technology is too modern. People aren't up to working with modern assembly methods like unibody enclosures and -- gasp -- adhesive tape. These people are unwilling to abandon centuries-old, labor-intensive, high-cost technology like screws.
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Old Dec 3, 2012, 01:38 PM   #12
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^^^ Yep, in a nutshell you nailed it.
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Old Dec 3, 2012, 01:41 PM   #13
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Isn't the 27" fairly repairable with the magnetic front? I thought iFixits score was based solely on the 21", and they just assumed the 27" would be the same (when in fact, the first tear down picture showed the screen attached with magnets).
Wow, I didn't know this. It's good news for 27" repair-ability.
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Old Dec 3, 2012, 01:44 PM   #14
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Isn't the 27" fairly repairable with the magnetic front? I thought iFixits score was based solely on the 21", and they just assumed the 27" would be the same (when in fact, the first tear down picture showed the screen attached with magnets).
Given that the first teardown was in Japanese, and had hardly any description besides, I don't think we should draw any conclusions about the 27" yet. iFixit will get their hands on it and then we will know for certain.
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Old Dec 3, 2012, 01:45 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by 2010madone View Post
i have been waiting to pull the trigger on a new 27" imac. after reading the teardown report and poor repairability. . .i cannot pull the trigger. i own i believe 6 imacs and have had 2 of those 6 fail within 4 years of purchase to due to power supply or hard drive or logic board issues. i have no interest in customizing the computer myself, but my history with the quality control here is so poor i cannot see buying one that will be that difficult to repair

what are my realistic options as an alternative ? fully loaded mac mini + a monitor (and which one ). actually look at dell all in ones (cannot even believe i actually typed that)

any suggestions greatly appreciated.
Buy AppleCare.

Problem solved.

Once it's out of AppleCare you can move back to manual repair - I watched OWC open a 21" in a few minutes with a guitar pick. Then all you need to seal it back up is some very common foam adhesive tape (the same stuff used to seal it at the factory in the first place).

Once you're inside it's pretty easy to replace the various bits - PSU, logic board, HD, SSD blade etc.
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Old Dec 3, 2012, 01:50 PM   #16
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Given that the first teardown was in Japanese, and had hardly any description besides, I don't think we should draw any conclusions about the 27" yet. iFixit will get their hands on it and then we will know for certain.
Ah, thanks for the clarification. I was one of the crazies on here waiting for the launch, so once I saw people buzzing about the magnetic screen, I took it as gospel.

Hopefully, the report will be accurate. It seems as though Apple is trying to phase out its smaller screen option by forcing its buyers into some uncomfortable upgrade pricing. Non user-upgradeable RAM seems like more of a business decision than design decision.

Just my opinion
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Old Dec 3, 2012, 01:58 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by 2010madone View Post
what are my realistic options as an alternative ? fully loaded mac mini + a monitor (and which one ). actually look at dell all in ones (cannot even believe i actually typed that)

any suggestions greatly appreciated.
How's the video performance of the Mini vs. a high-end MBP? Maybe you could go with the MBP and a Thunderbolt display (or monitor of your choosing). This gives you a form-factor closer to the iMac without a big tower on the floor - with the added advantage of getting a laptop. Even if it never leaves your desk, it'd be an alternative to the iMac in a more-serviceable package if you go with the non-retina version.
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Old Dec 3, 2012, 02:01 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by 2010madone View Post
i have been waiting to pull the trigger on a new 27" imac. after reading the teardown report and poor repairability. . .i cannot pull the trigger. i own i believe 6 imacs and have had 2 of those 6 fail within 4 years of purchase to due to power supply or hard drive or logic board issues. i have no interest in customizing the computer myself, but my history with the quality control here is so poor i cannot see buying one that will be that difficult to repair

what are my realistic options as an alternative ? fully loaded mac mini + a monitor (and which one ). actually look at dell all in ones (cannot even believe i actually typed that)

any suggestions greatly appreciated.
approach this with a different mindset. buy the machine that you like say the 27 inch get one upgrade the best gpu. COST 2149. keep the machine for 10 months at this point decide to a buy apple care or b sell it.

I buy and sell a lot of gear so you sell at 10 months play up the still good gpu and tell people they can add apple care. you will clear 2/3 or 1400. against the 2149 = 750 your cost for a good machine 75 a month.

next option at 10 months buy the apple care if you shop around it can be had for 130 you are out 2279. sell the machine in the 30th month you will get at least 1000 clear cost . against the 2279 1279 or 42 a month. the top of the line machine can run t-bolt ssd as a booter so the booter moves to your next machine.

the 27 inch is easy to add ram so diy it and max the machine. it is always covered.

of course if you don't sell on the bay or craigs list this advice is still good as there are still some people that will do the selling for you . drives the cost up a bit but not much.


BUY and HOLD is not the way to think

Last edited by philipma1957; Dec 3, 2012 at 02:11 PM.
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Old Dec 3, 2012, 02:09 PM   #19
bjewett
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iMac repairability (etc)

I have the same concerns and am waiting for a real disassembly report of the 27". I tend to keep computers forever (hence the 2005 Mac Pro in my home) so I want more than 3 years. With heat a heightened concern in the new form factor of the 2012 iMac, I want to see someone test it and report how difficult it is to repair - and how hot it runs with things running flat out for awhile, as it would with extended video rendering.

My option is pretty much sit with my '05 Mac Pro (it won't handle newer video, and it is PPC not Intel) or go for a refurbished iMac (and look for a Thunderbolt-to-everything-else hub). The prior generation 27" looks pretty nice, apart from the sea of USB2 ports.

All I wanted from Apple this go 'round was USB3 instead of USB2, and a bump in speed. The move in apple *desktops* to being difficult to repair is way off the deep end. It may sell ... but not to me.

Still suspect windows (Windows 9?) or linux is in my future. I don't like the lack of repairability in new macs. And applecare, by itself, doesn't fix it.
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Old Dec 3, 2012, 05:50 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by 2010madone View Post
i have been waiting to pull the trigger on a new 27" imac. after reading the teardown report and poor repairability. . .i cannot pull the trigger. i own i believe 6 imacs and have had 2 of those 6 fail within 4 years of purchase to due to power supply or hard drive or logic board issues. i have no interest in customizing the computer myself, but my history with the quality control here is so poor i cannot see buying one that will be that difficult to repair

what are my realistic options as an alternative ? fully loaded mac mini + a monitor (and which one ). actually look at dell all in ones (cannot even believe i actually typed that)

any suggestions greatly appreciated.
Buy the 27'' incher with Apple care, sell it 2.5 years into it and go for another one.
Or, wait for the MacPro, likely more powerful, more customizable, more repairable, and for sure more expensive.
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Old Dec 3, 2012, 06:04 PM   #21
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That's a pretty terrible mortality rate on the ones you've purchased. If that was my experience, I'd look at other machines. Minis don't have to be fully loaded. If you're focused on the cpu, the major point of improvement is the quad core option found at $800. I don't generally spend a lot more for the option of hard drive upgrades as I view drives as expendable parts. They're one of the most likely things to fail. You also have a pretty wide range of displays outside of the thunderbolt display. It's really designed more as a docking station for a notebook than anything. Without that there are better options at that price or options of comparable quality for less. People get too hung up on aesthetics.
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Old Dec 3, 2012, 06:23 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by 2010madone View Post
i have been waiting to pull the trigger on a new 27" imac. after reading the teardown report and poor repairability. . .i cannot pull the trigger. i own i believe 6 imacs and have had 2 of those 6 fail within 4 years of purchase to due to power supply or hard drive or logic board issues. i have no interest in customizing the computer myself, but my history with the quality control here is so poor i cannot see buying one that will be that difficult to repair

what are my realistic options as an alternative ? fully loaded mac mini + a monitor (and which one ). actually look at dell all in ones (cannot even believe i actually typed that)

any suggestions greatly appreciated.
I feel your pain...I have been hesitant to pull the trigger too...
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Old Dec 3, 2012, 06:24 PM   #23
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Wow, I didn't know this. It's good news for 27" repair-ability.
might be true because the 27 inches will probably use 3.5 hard drives and have more problems and failures the laptop drives.... but who really know.
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Old Dec 3, 2012, 06:35 PM   #24
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Isn't the 27" fairly repairable with the magnetic front? I thought iFixits score was based solely on the 21", and they just assumed the 27" would be the same (when in fact, the first tear down picture showed the screen attached with magnets).
If this is true it would be the green light for me. Where can we find this please?
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Old Dec 3, 2012, 06:40 PM   #25
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Isn't the 27" fairly repairable with the magnetic front? I thought iFixits score was based solely on the 21", and they just assumed the 27" would be the same (when in fact, the first tear down picture showed the screen attached with magnets).
I am not aware of any teardown pictures of the new 27" setup. The initial japanese site was for the 21.5" only.
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