Concerns about iMac Reliability

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Photography, Sep 4, 2012.

  1. Photography macrumors 65816


    Apr 10, 2007
    I have some concerns about iMac reliability in general based upon the various threads in this iMac forum. I have a 2009 17" MacBook Pro, and plan on eventually upgrading to the new iMac when it is released. My MBP has been rock-solid for the past three and a half years (knock on wood), but I'm seeing people are having many problems with iMacs on this forum after just one year. I have noticed many threads in this iMac forum about crashes, kernel panics, freezes, etc., and it has caused some legitimate concern for me.

    Anyone wish to comment regarding iMac reliability?
  2. fa8362 macrumors 65816

    Jul 7, 2008
    A forum is not a good place to assess reliability. That said, an all in one like an iMac or a laptop is always going to be less reliable than a traditional design like a mac mini or a mac pro. There's less to go wrong because they don't have a monitor, and they stay cooler.
  3. tuxon86 macrumors 65816

    May 22, 2012
    Internet forums are mostly used by people who are in search of a solution to a problem that they have or by people who aren't satisfied. People who don't have any problem in need of a solution, or those who prefer to enjoy their system are to busy to hang around Internet forum much.

    You have to keep this in mind when you are using forums like this in trying to find out if a piece of gear is reliable or not. Forums like this are a prime example of the silent majority being drown out by the scrap of the screaming minority.
  4. pdjudd macrumors 601

    Jun 19, 2007
    Plymouth, MN
    Agreed, you shouldn't go to a forum like this to discern anything about Apple product reliability any more than you should gauge the health of a country by going to the local hospital - you care going to leave both places being quite worried about their well being.
  5. Photography thread starter macrumors 65816


    Apr 10, 2007
    Thanks for those reminders everyone regarding judging experiences based on forums, it certainly is a good idea to keep in mind. However, I still would like to hear from others regarding iMac reliability.
  6. TopB macrumors member

    Apr 19, 2012
    I have a 2010, 27inch I5, 2.8ghz IMac, its been rock solid. I installed an SSD myself and upgraded the RAM to 16gb. It still runs as good as the day I bought it.
  7. Comeagain? macrumors 68020


    Feb 17, 2011
    Spokane, WA
    Its very reliable. I've still got a 2007 iMac that runs ML just fine. I also use new iMacs at school, where they are run all day every day, with high school students.
  8. Catonow macrumors regular

    Jun 7, 2007
    An iMac is more reliable than a laptop. If you've been satisfied with your MBP, then you will be more than pleased with an iMac. I'm on my second iMac, my first being the G3 form (the translucent egg shape). Most reliable computers I've ever owned. Get it, you won't regret it.
  9. chevalier433 macrumors 6502a


    Mar 30, 2011
    The issues that you referred are software related.The iMacs are good and reliable if you dont start to open them to put other disks e.t.c the internal parts (not hardware) are low quality and very sensitive and you can damage it very easy.
  10. TC400 macrumors 6502a


    Apr 20, 2010
    Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
    I have a 2010 21.5 inch iMac NO MAJOR ISSUES. Best computer I ever owned. My compaq had a failed hdd after 2 years I know its not compaqs fault but the company who made and my hp laptop had a battery issues where it ran on battery power it would lock up and the fans kicked on. No issues with my iMac hard ware wise. I had one software issues where I turned on my iMac and Apps and things were missing so I just restored it. It's a great machine and I plan to get many more years out of it. As of the other day it just turned two years old and is still under Apple care until next year. I don;t think the iMac ahs any reliability issues.
  11. marzer macrumors 65816


    Nov 14, 2009
    I've owned several iMacs over the years and they've been very reliable:

    2003 eMac - sold after 4 years, no issues
    2005 20" G5 - sold after 3.5 years, no issues
    2006 20" Intel - sold after 4 years, no issues
    2008 24" - still running after 4 years, HD & GPU replaced under Applecare
    2009 27" i7 - still running after 2.5 years, no issues

    Any rare occurance of a kernel panic is typically associated with some 3d party app. In my case, its usually when I'm screwing around with VM's.
  12. cytherian macrumors newbie

    Jun 8, 2012
    NY Metro area
    The iMac G5 had a number of problems, one of the more glaring being the leaky capacitors. The trouble with the design is that there isn't adequate air flow through the machine, so the capacitors get exposed to extreme heat. Over time this erodes their functionality, to the point where they leak and damage other circuitry. If you were lucky, the problem was spotted early enough for Apple to take care of it under their warranty program. Unfortunately many slipped past this. It's not a herculean effort to replace the capacitors, but would be much more expensive than the G5 is worth to pay for the service.

    I think Apple learned from this mistake and has a better design in the newer all-in-one units. But for those older models, it's important to be aware of this shortcoming.
  13. Michaelgtrusa macrumors 604

    Oct 13, 2008
    I agree with you but Apple should have taken more time to design the iMac right.
  14. zhenya macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2005
    You want to justify that statement?

    iMac's are not statistically less reliable than any other computer - in fact, given Apple's consistently high consumer ratings in both the desktop and laptop categories, they are likely more reliable than most other brands. If you are concerned, purchase an extended warranty - but I'd suggest that of any brand.
  15. fig macrumors 6502a


    Jun 13, 2012
    Austin, TX
    Posting from my late '06 iMac...seems to have been designed ok ;)
  16. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009
    I don't see any reason why asking about "iMac reliability" isn't pertinent to a forum like this. Indeed, it's a very -good- topic -- and a sore point for Apple as of late.

    There have been more than a few complaints about iMacs in the past few years, and many of the problems seem to be about the display (the "yellow stripe" problem) or long-term damage to the LCD panel caused by heat from the internal components behind the panel (usually evidenced as "hazy" or "clouded" area of the display, often towards the upper-right).

    I believe the heat problems are a result of design considerations, that is, Apple has chosen to try to make the machine stylish and visually appealing, and in doing so has accepted compromises in internal heat dissipation. They could get more heat out more rapidly, but it would require more "room" so as to make the rear panel unsightly, or more fans as to make the computer more noisy.

    Another factor with long-term reliability on the iMac is that it's difficult to replace the internal hard drive, a component which can fail unexpectedly (because of the nature of hard drives and their moving components, not Apple's fault). Replacing a hard drive in an iMac isn't trivial as it is in a "tower-type" enclosure. But this isn't something one would normally worry about, -unless- the drive fails. The coming move to SSD storage will all-but eliminate this problem.

    Having written that, I have a 2007 white Intel iMac that has run flawlessly since I bought it. Nice computer!

    But when it's time to replace the 2004-vintage PowerMac g4 I'm typing this on, I'll probably go with the next release of the Mac Mini. Just a little easier to "get into"...
  17. Paulywauly macrumors 6502a


    Sep 26, 2009
    Durham, UK
    As already said, never try to figure out the reliability of any product from a forum. The minority of people having issues are usually the most vocal. Remember the iPhone 4 antennagate? Or the issue with the late 2009 iMacs having dodgy screens? Macrumours was flooded with posts of people having problems, so many that people were questioning product recalls etc

    When Apple responded to the iPhone 4 antenna problems the return rate on the phones was tiny (under 1% I think)

    I've had 4 iMacs, and my experience with them:

    - late 2009 iMac - powered on for nearly 3 years without problems or yellow screen
    - late 2006 iMac - same as above, but hard drive failure after 3 years
    - iMac G4 - same as above
    - iMac G3 - same as above

    12 years of computing here, and only real issue was ONE bad hard drive (which I think was my fault anyway) I still have them and they all still work fine :D
  18. ihuman:D macrumors 6502a

    Jul 11, 2012
    I'm still running an iMac G4 with no problems.
  19. JustMartin macrumors 6502a

    Feb 28, 2012
    2007 iMac, one hard drive failure, but apart from that it's been very reliable. In fact, hardly been turned off in that time. Does that make it any more or less reliable than its windows predecessors (desktops)? Probably about the same, but I couldn't have a windows machine running for weeks or months without some form osystem crash.
  20. Macman45 macrumors G5


    Jul 29, 2011
    Somewhere Back In The Long Ago
    I have been using top spec. iMacs for years now...Never had a claim or a fault ever.

    AC is your peace of mind there too. I wouldn't hesitate to buy a new one if I was in the market for one now.

    My 27" Max spec current iMac, 16GB RAM 2GB Vram eats everything I throw at it. And has never had any hardware fail at all.
  21. thewitt macrumors 68020


    Sep 13, 2011
    Had a hard drive failure, graphics card failure, and ultimately required a motherboard swap... I would always buy Appplecare
  22. Photography thread starter macrumors 65816


    Apr 10, 2007
    Bumping this since there seems to be a lot of new threads with iMac issues that various users are experiencing.
  23. CWallace macrumors 603


    Aug 17, 2007
    Seattle, WA
    I've owned a 2007 24", 2009 27" and 2011 27" all with the maximum specs you can stuff in them and they've been bulletproof.
  24. bflowers macrumors 6502a

    Jul 19, 2006
    I have a decade old 17inch 800MHz G4 floating screen iMac :D I've taken it apart to upgrade both sticks of RAM, upgrade the HDD and add an Airport Card. The second RAM slot and HDD are not considered user upgradeable. It now has 768 MB RAM and a 250 Gig HDD.

    The thing still works fine, though it doesn't get daily use anymore. Modest web surfing, email, banking and some classic games still work just fine on it.

    I'm running whichever OS is the one that eliminated support for the machine, but was installable using Target Disc Mode.

    I know this is only one person's experience, but talk about longevity! :D

    Oh, and there is a Bondi Blue iMac sitting in the basement with OSX something on it and Alpha Baby for the toddler to bang on.
  25. motrek macrumors 68020

    Sep 14, 2012
    No, the problem was a well-published case of industrial espionage where the Chinese copied a Japanese manufacturing process for capacitors except they missed a step and the capacitors they made would start leaking after a year or two.

    This affected an untold number of electronic products around ~2004. Personally I had a TV and a computer motherboard stop working and I'm sure it was because of this problem.

    Anyway, it had nothing to do with shoddy engineering on Apple's part.

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