Dead 10 Month Old Mac Pro

dgm

macrumors member
Original poster
Nov 20, 2008
37
0
... Mac Pro apparently has a completely dead power supply after 10 months. This is quite alarming to me. I do use my mac pro for editing wedding and portrait photos and I'd maybe qualify it as getting moderate use. Certainly not heavy video editing or extensive gaming or anything like that. So, it concerns me that this $4000 "Workstation" has failed after 10 months. Of course, it's warranty work this time, but... still. The nearest Apple store is 2 hours drive away and I'm w/out my "workstation" for 7 days while they install a new power supply. Quite frustrating to say the least.

I am trying to be proactive and positive about the whole thing though and wondering if anyone might have ideas as to what might have caused this and how I might be proactive in preventing it from happening again?

Additionally, I haven't yet purchased AppleCare for this machine, but now assuming that I should. Opinions?

thank you!
 

seadragon

Contributor
Mar 10, 2009
1,416
1,467
Well, you may have just had bad luck. My G5 iMac logic board fried and I had it replaced under warranty. Having a UPS is really all you can do as far as protection goes.

I'd never buy a Mac without Applecare. It's worth the extra few hundred bucks. They just don't build them like they did back in the early 90s which is when I believe they were at the pinnacle of build and component quality (think VX, LCIII etc.)
 

dgm

macrumors member
Original poster
Nov 20, 2008
37
0
So, by having a UPS, are you thinking that the power coming out of my wall into my macpro's power supply is irregular or somehow damaging? I've considered this, but really don't have much knowledge on the issue.
 

seadragon

Contributor
Mar 10, 2009
1,416
1,467
So, by having a UPS, are you thinking that the power coming out of my wall into my macpro's power supply is irregular or somehow damaging? I've considered this, but really don't have much knowledge on the issue.
What I meant was that using a UPS is always recommended to help protect the power supply. But if your Mac Pro is plugged directly into the wall outlet, then power fluctuations could be a culprit. When it comes to UPS units, there are different types that offer different levels of protection.

However, your power supply may have just been defective and went out. This unfortunately is the reality of mass produced electronics. If your machine is a production machine and you really can't afford any downtime, then having a spare power supply on hand is wise. We have a few X-Serves here at work and we have extra parts for them sitting in a box "just in case".
 

dgm

macrumors member
Original poster
Nov 20, 2008
37
0
I agree... I'm fairly new to the mac world though and have lots of PC parts laying around. I wouldn't know where to begin or have the guts to start pulling the PS out of my 10 month old Mac Pro. :)

So, is what you're referring to also called, "power conditioning?" I'm becoming more interested in this as I've had another Power Supply (on and old PC) also fail using this same outlet on the wall. This was long ago. But, now it has me thinking.

Might you be able to recommend a couple places to start looking online to purchase some sort of power conditioner?

thanks for all your help!
 

seadragon

Contributor
Mar 10, 2009
1,416
1,467
Well, one of the most common brands of UPS units is APC.

http://www.apc.com/

They make a whole range of units from small personal ones up to large server room units.

I've attached a white paper to this post from their site that explains the different types of UPS's.

The one I bought for my own Mac Pro is the BR1500LCD model. It was about $240 Cdn. and gives good basic protection.
 

Attachments

GoCubsGo

macrumors Nehalem
Feb 19, 2005
35,743
141
It is likely bad luck but you have 2 months left of your AC now, get it fixed and buy AC to extend that time an additional 2 years. I had a machine fail out of the box and while I was unaware that it was an issue (I am as stupid as I sound), I let it go for 8 months. It was later replaced with a new machine and apple care was purchased to ensure I get at least 3 years out of my machine.
 

goodcow

macrumors 6502a
Aug 4, 2007
620
298
The nearest Apple store is 2 hours drive away and I'm w/out my "workstation" for 7 days while they install a new power supply. Quite frustrating to say the least.
Call AppleCare and have them do an on-site repair. You don't have to drag your machine in and they'll repair it on the spot.
 

dgm

macrumors member
Original poster
Nov 20, 2008
37
0
Call AppleCare and have them do an on-site repair. You don't have to drag your machine in and they'll repair it on the spot.
Seriously? Even on the original 12 month warranty (I haven't purchased extended Apple Care yet).
 

goodcow

macrumors 6502a
Aug 4, 2007
620
298
Seriously? Even on the original 12 month warranty (I haven't purchased extended Apple Care yet).
http://images.apple.com/legal/applecare/docs/AppleCare_Protect_Plan_NA_en.pdf

(ii) Onsite service is available for many desktop computers if the location of the Covered Equipment is within 50 miles/80 kilometers radius of an Apple authorized onsite service provider located in the United States or Canada. Apple will dispatch a service technician to the location of the Covered Equipment. Service will be performed at the location, or the service technician will transport the Covered Equipment to an Apple Authorized Service Provider or Apple repair service location for repair. If the Covered Equipment is repaired at an Apple Authorized Service Provider or Apple repair service location, Apple will arrange for transportation of the Covered Equipment to your location following service. If the service technician is not granted access to the Covered Equipment at the appointed time, any further onsite visits may be subject to an additional charge.
Since AppleCare just extends the standard warranty from one year to three (or optionally four or five for educational markets), there should be no problem having them come to you even if you haven't purchased AppleCare yet.
 

emt377

macrumors member
Oct 12, 2008
65
0
It should only take a day for an authorized repair shop to swap out the power supply. They're independent of Apple, compete with one another, and have an incentive to keep their customers happy. Nothing makes a customer as happy as getting a warranty repair done in a timely manner, especially if you explicitly schedule the repair in advance, but it can safely be assumed that a Mac Pro is used for work and is more or less indispensable. I had my favorite repair center swap out a Mac Pro logic board in one day, as a warranty repair to fix a dead port. (Probably was DOA, but I didn't notice until I plugged something into it.)
 

dgm

macrumors member
Original poster
Nov 20, 2008
37
0
Well, the closest apple store is about 85 miles from me. The closest Authorized Service place is about 55 miles. However, the repair center is only open M-F and I needed to take mine in on Saturday. I will keep that info in mind for future though.
 

nanofrog

macrumors G4
May 6, 2008
11,718
2
So, by having a UPS, are you thinking that the power coming out of my wall into my macpro's power supply is irregular or somehow damaging? I've considered this, but really don't have much knowledge on the issue.
Yes.

Wall power fluctuates. Most everyone is aware of the dangers of a surge (very high voltages, such as a lightning strike), but a low voltage situation also exists (called a brown out), and causes damage as well. It's far more common than a surge situation, and typically occurs multiple times a day, depending on where you are on the power grid. A UPS solves this issue, as the battery kicks in during a low voltage period.
 

chrono1081

macrumors 604
Jan 26, 2008
7,432
1,401
Isla Nublar
+1 for a UPS. Essential IMO.

Unfortunately power supplies can go at any time. (On my desk is a dead power supply from a brand new HP workstation.) In most cases I've seen (which is many) its an external cause (power surge, etc) but it can be internal as well.
 

tofagerl

macrumors 6502a
May 16, 2006
952
389
Do NOT switch out the PSU on your own. Firstly, you're letting Apple off the hook - they should have to pay for this! Secondly, you're actually getting close to voiding your own warranty - for something Apple is responsible for!

Nah, just go to the applestore on a saturday, bring the wife/girlfriend and take her to a restaurant or something. Make a trip out of it so that the Applestore visit isn't the whole reason for the long car ride ;) (And then do it all over again the following week I guess...)
 

MikeDTyke

macrumors 6502a
Sep 7, 2005
662
0
London
Do NOT switch out the PSU on your own. Firstly, you're letting Apple off the hook - they should have to pay for this! Secondly, you're actually getting close to voiding your own warranty - for something Apple is responsible for!

Nah, just go to the applestore on a saturday, bring the wife/girlfriend and take her to a restaurant or something. Make a trip out of it so that the Applestore visit isn't the whole reason for the long car ride ;) (And then do it all over again the following week I guess...)
Phone in advance, Apple stores do not carry parts for Mac Pro's at least in my experience with a faulty graphics card and then motherboard.

On both occasions i had to wait for them to be ordered in.
 

dgm

macrumors member
Original poster
Nov 20, 2008
37
0

dwd3885

macrumors 68020
Dec 10, 2004
2,106
90
http://images.apple.com/legal/applecare/docs/AppleCare_Protect_Plan_NA_en.pdf



Since AppleCare just extends the standard warranty from one year to three (or optionally four or five for educational markets), there should be no problem having them come to you even if you haven't purchased AppleCare yet.
If you read the text, you have to be within 50 miles of the nearest Apple Authorized Service Center for them to go on-site. But it's an option if that's the case for you.
 

electroshock

macrumors 6502a
Sep 7, 2009
647
0
Please excuse my ignorance on this topic, but I'm trying to learn.

That Cyberpower Intelligent UPS looks great and the price doesn't seem unreasonable. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16842102048

BUT...why not just go with something like this for 1/4 of the price? Am I missing something or is it just the 'battery' component that drives the price of the cyberpower unit up? http://www.apc.com/products/family/index.cfm?id=67
The Cyberpower model you listed is a traditional UPS which includes a battery for backup power if wall power is lost. It also has more outlets (8) and has monitoring for health, as well as 1500VA capacity.

The APC model you listed aren't really UPSes; they just merely condition the incoming AC power from the wall to ensure it stays at a steady 120V with some protection against brownouts (where the line voltage drops from 120V +/- 0.1V), but offers no protection against where you lose wall power. The 1200VA model only has 4 outlets, too.

I can't speak as to your area, but whereever I live and work, power has been a steady 120V (plus or minus 0.1V) even when the grid is a little stressed on high demand days. But I could see it as being useful some places to have something conditioning the power because I once saw a buddy's UPS report crazy fluctuations between 114-117V AC when his utility company had a few key substations fail on hot days in the desert, and says this regularly occurs where he lives.

Getting a device that strictly conditions without providing uninterruptible power isn't generally as useful as having a true UPS, IMO. The true UPS allows one to cleanly shut down the computer without risk of damaging filesystems or losing data even when wall power goes out -- its true value, IMO. And to some extent, they can also condition the line and provide some surge suppression protection.

I'm hesitant to suggest counting on the average household UPS to provide true lightning protection when suddenly confronted by billions of joules of energy. Some components in UPSes are pretty cheaply made and low quality. Or over time, they may degrade providing less protection than expected. Then there's other things about how they're designed such as amount of time elapses before it stops the surge.