Comparing different Mac models: reliability/repair history?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by nhcowboy1, Mar 8, 2008.

  1. nhcowboy1 macrumors 6502

    Feb 5, 2008
    I'm sure that if I spent enough time doing research, I could eventually figure this out for myself, but aI was hoping that those of you who have been here for awhile might be able to save me some time . . . .

    What I'd like to know is which makes have a history of being more reliable and requiring fewer repairs. What I've seen in recent posts here suggests that people are having a variety of different issues with MBs and MBPs, lots of issues with certain (but not all) iMacs, fewer issues with PBs, almost no issues with iBooks, and no issues with Mac minis - new or old.

    Now, the reason for some of what I've seen is obvious - the iBooks and PBs were purchased ages ago. So, clearly, no one is going to be posting today about problems they're experiencing with their "new" iBook! That's where I was hoping those of you who'd been here longer could help me out. Did the iBooks (and PBs) also have lots of different failures when they first came out? Were the problems resolved with later revisions? And are there other common repair issues with the older machines that people don't even bother to mention anymore because it's "old news"?

  2. dmmcintyre3 macrumors 68020

    Mar 4, 2007
    No iBook

    I have 2 iBook G4's a 14 and a 12 inch one and they both died of the same issue

    This person has 2 that died of the same issue as mine
  3. chipz macrumors member

    May 4, 2005
    Voorhees, NJ
    Comparing different Mac models: reliability/repair history

    I have a 12" G4 1.5 GHz PB and have had no problems in the 4 years I have had it. I also had a G4 iMac 17" and never had any problems with it. I have also used a G5 20" iMac 2.o GHz and loved it. I also own an Intel 2.0GHz 2-" White iMac which has run perfectly for the 2 years I've had it so far. I have a 15.4" 2.16 GHz MBP which I absolutely hate. I hasn't worked well from day 1!
  4. ihabime macrumors 6502

    Jan 12, 2005
    Very little research time is necessary as the ibook page on wikipedia has a rundown of the ibook problems, from the lawsuits over motherboard failures to the heat related problems causing the GPU and other chips to come loose. Both the g3 and g4 variants were affected.
  5. portent macrumors 6502a

    Feb 17, 2004

    That's kind of old, and all the data was self-reported, but adding up the results seems to jive pretty well with Apple's overall repair rates in other surveys, so they might be on to something.

    My general impressions, mostly from reading but also from personal experience are that:
    1. The old iBook models, particularly but not exclusively the iBook G3 models, was very failure prone. The extended repair program for those models only covered some of the issues.

    2. The old PowerBook models were more reliable, but often suffered from failures that did not completely disable the machines.

    3. MacBooks and MacBook Pros seem to be generally no more or less reliable than other Intel (Windows) laptops from other manufacturers

    4. Desktops are much more reliable than laptops as a group.

    See also,2817,2184103,00.asp
    which does not break down by model, but does break down "home" and "office" usage.
  6. AppleGuy1980 macrumors member

    Jun 7, 2008
    This may not be entirely what you're looking for, but here's my two cents. Essentially, the cost of an AppleCare for a product represents how failure prone a product is.

    When you buy AppleCare, Apple is betting that it will cost less to repair any problems with you computer than the cost of the AppleCare (otherwise Apple would lose money selling AppleCare). So, the cost tells you how reliable Apple thinks the product is.

    The MacBook Pro and the PowerBook had the most expensive AppleCare (349) versus only 249 for the MacBook and iBook. The iMac is 169 and the Mac Mini is 149 so I would say that represents how reliable the products are.

    Caveat: Of course, this really takes into account the cost of repairing something, not necessarily how often it will fail.
  7. noodle654 macrumors 68020


    Jun 2, 2005
    Never Ender
    I kinda agree with what you are saying, but how about how hard it is to take apart a computer like a MBP? Laptops are very hard to repair, its not like the Mini where I can open it in about 5 minutes and change the HDD. The iMac is a different story. The MacPro is the easiest. But, also take into account of the shipping (Apple uses DHL Next Day), the workers, and the parts. It also has to do with consumer vs. professional, Apples favorite pricing scheme.

    Anyways...when I had my PowerBook 15" it failed from the Lower RAM Slot thing. Apple covered the repair, but I wound up selling it. My iBook had a bad Superdrive and Logic Board and then had numerous problems with the mouse pad. After 3 failed repairs and Apple damaging my computer (cosmetically) they gave me a 2.16GHz MacBook in August 2007.
  8. portent macrumors 6502a

    Feb 17, 2004
    Obviously, that is the primary determining factor. The price of AppleCare rises with the cost of the computer. Thus the mini has the lowest AppleCare cost, and the XServe has the highest ($950) although it is almost certainly more reliable.
  9. Le Big Mac macrumors 68030

    Le Big Mac

    Jan 7, 2003
    Washington, DC
    It also differs between laptops and desktops. It is certainly reasonable to assume that laptops are more prone to problems.

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