Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by esaleris, Mar 12, 2006.


Mac Servicability

  1. Consumer Macs will be becoming more user-servicable.

    1 vote(s)
  2. Consumer Macs will be becoming less user-servicable.

    17 vote(s)
  3. Don't know.

    6 vote(s)
  1. macrumors 6502

    Oct 18, 2005
    Hi all,

    I don't know my Mac history, but is there a trend towards Apple making machines more (or less) user-servicable? Back in the day, I seem to remember people raving about how the new iMac G5s were well-designed in terms of the user opening the machine. They could easily replace the hard drive, the RAM and the G4 Mac minis also spoke to this.

    However, nowadays, it's obviously that the current Intel iMacs and Mac minis are harder to safely open up; the iMac looks really daunting to take apart, and the mini had its ram slots moved deeper in the machine, making it a much more involving task.

    So is this a trend? Is it just that Apple is more interested in pumping out Intel-hardware Macs, than making a Mac user-servicable at this point? Or is it a strategic move to keep users buying new units directly from them and leaving no path for upgrades?
  2. macrumors 601


    Feb 22, 2005
    Gah! Plymouth
    Well seeing as the iMac and Mac mini now can have their processor user changed, i think it is the opposite of what your saying.
  3. macrumors 65816


    Dec 24, 2005
    aren't the new imacs and mac minis equipped with socketed chips. Even if they are harder to open, you could get merom in it.

    I think with intel chips, they are going to have to compete more, and make it more user-servicable.

    just my opinion though…

    eva got to it before me…
  4. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Oct 18, 2005
    No, there's a difference betwen user-servicability and socketable CPUs. Yes, you could swap out the CPU on the iMac or the Mini. But if you've read the sites that have done dissections, it doesn't seem to be a particularly easy job. And then you've heard that poor guy who tore the ribbon cable on his Mac mini so that his machine's completely kaput.

    Just because it's socketed, doesn't mean it's easy for us to get to. Same with the HDs. The Intel iMac's HD is much harder to get at than the older G5 iMacs. So, no, I think it's pretty clear that the new Intel Macs aren't as user-servicable as the old G5 iMacs.

    I'm wondering more about the future; is this current batch of Intel Macs hard to open because of design/time issues? Or is Apple against us opening machines post-Intel transition?
  5. macrumors 68000

    After G

    Aug 27, 2003
    Well, I think they are getting more user serviceable.

    It's just that you have to be a power user. :D
  6. macrumors G3


    Aug 30, 2003
    Apple support for user serviceability is a yo yo. Apple II? Wide open. First Macs? Practically hermetically sealed. Mac II? Open again. LC-derived Macs? Somewhere in between. And on and on up to the present. The non-iSight G5 iMac was kind of an aberration, Apple haven't done much of that on compact machines in a long time.
  7. macrumors 6502a


    Oct 26, 2004
    The only design change that I wish Apple would make is with their notebooks. All I want is a user accessible hard drive.
  8. macrumors regular

    Apr 30, 2002
    I fear Apple is not paying attention on this one. The iSight iMacs -- both G5 and Intel -- are much tougher to open than earlier G5 iMacs. Yet the G4 iLamp was a bear too.

    I think the hard drive should be user accessible in any case. Simply going from two hours of labor on the Aluminum PowerBook G4 to a half an hour on the MacBook Pro (my guesstimates) isn't adequate. The TiBook was not only a half an hour or so, but also user installable, but that isn't as good as many PC laptops that have hard drives that are just as easy to get at as RAM.

    I wish Apple would take notes from their own Digital Audio G4 PowerMac. Now there was true user servicability.
  9. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Oct 18, 2005
    That's not the point, is it? A user-servicable machine means that it's designed to be opened and therefore may be covered by the warranty.
  10. macrumors 601


    Mar 20, 2005
    Oneida, NY
    The TiBooks' HD was user installable? I never knew that!
  11. Moderator emeritus


    Jan 9, 2004
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    I think Apple has the demographic for most buyers of the iBook, iMac, and Mac Mini pegged right...that they really don't want / need to make upgrades. I think it'll basically stay the way it is...with RAM being the only user-upgradeable / serviceable internal component, but with continued value-added base content (AE, BT2, etc, etc).
  12. macrumors 6502a

    Maxx Power

    Apr 29, 2003
    Remember the Pismo and Wallstreet powerbook's ? People really liked those because they are rugged, and I mean not looking rugged, but are rugged. If you break a piece of plastic, replace it, everything down to the CPU was replacable and more on, the system was upgradable, to as fast as a G4 1.2. That all changed when Titanium was introduced because Apple needed to change its image radically at the time toward form and away from function for the end user. Since then, they've learned that if you can't repair something yourself, you'd have to spend more money for apple to do it for you, and if you integrate everything, it would make more money for apple per repair, this is fundamental stuff every technician knows, which is why IBM designed computers have numerous parts that are interchangable and replaceable. Also if you do attempt personal servicing, you void the warrenty, which transfers the responsibility from Apple to the end user, a result of externalization under corporate function, nothing more. To the top exec's at apple, who typically understands nothing of the common man's needs or wallets, this is win-win per their logic.

    Since the iPod, Apple's fate in this direction in market has only sealed itself, since the company is currently surviving on simple elegant "appeal". Per January 2006, apple's computer market share is at 2.1%, all time high was 1996's 10%, i didn't know that it was this low, perhaps if you count it differently somehow, but since the 10% figure in 1996 sounds correct, i'll assume 2.1% is correct also by the same method. Apple needs to diversify its products, which is why the iBoombox and new video ipods are produced, they are leveraging the image of "musician's computers" to become a force in the new digital music scene, which has a market so big that if Apple dug into it, there would be more coins than in computers, an already crowded market (see the 1/2, 1/2 profits from music and computers from last quarter for Apple). Aestheticism in computers is becoming a profitable market as Apple certainly see it this way with their incessant marketing in movies that portrays Apple computers as the computer of decoration of a successful individual (usually the protagonist of the movie).

    Anyway.... Seeing as these are the trends, good or bad, the end result is that they will continue to make computers less user serviceable if they choose aetheticism since the technology base only grows so fast for the entire industry.
  13. macrumors 68020


    Mar 22, 2005
    Unless you are an insider at Apple I think none of us will know.

    However we can make assumptions and comment on trends and such.

    But then the options of what you can vote on includes a 'Don't know' implying that if you do not use that option that you do actually know that Macs (in the future see "becoming").

    Mr. Picky
  14. macrumors 65816


    Jul 26, 2005
    iMeowbot speaks the truth. It's always a matter of the amount of wool that the engineers are able to pull over Steve "**** Expandability" Jobs' eyes.
  15. macrumors 68020


    Dec 24, 2004
    Finally I have arrived.....
    User serviceability is the area Apple can learn a thing or two from the rest of PC makers. Current notebook lines from Apple are assembled in such as a way it is very difficult to easy hard drive or other component replacements.

    I hope Apple will re-think their assembly process of their upcoming new intel notebooks to make them more serviceable by the users. But, I am not optimistic on this as I look at the recent trend of Apple's products.
  16. macrumors 65816

    Jan 4, 2005
    true apple should take a page from the pc market there. Come on how hard would it be to allow the hard drive to be taken off from the out side like on pc. only change to the design is to the case and that just having a port for it to slide out of. looks wise it would just be few lines of where the cover is. everything else is unchanged.

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