Do MacBook Pro's last longer than a standard PC laptop?

Ktdhc

macrumors member
Jul 9, 2010
72
3
Apple generally makes durable products. I've had my MacBook Air for about 4 years and it practically still runs like new. My family members and I have used Sony VAIOs, HPs, and Dells, and they have all turned into sluggish garbage in less than 3 years. And no, formatting and reinstalling OS didn't really help either.

Also, the resale value on any Apple product is significantly higher than other brands.
 

brdeveloper

macrumors 68030
Apr 21, 2010
2,545
197
Brasil
Upgradeable Macs used to last longer. In the Retina era, I don't know.

There are early Mac Mini models that allowed upgrading the CPU and some of them are running modern versions of OSX like Snow Leopard or even Lion (with some tricks) today. My late-2009 Macbook is running Mavericks smooth after I have installed more RAM and a SSD.

My current early-2013 rMBP has only room for upgrading its storage. Maybe in two or three years we'll have options that fills up the entire SATAIII bandwidth, so I'll get an extra I/O speed of about 100MB/s and that's all -- a 20% bump on I/O.
 

meson

macrumors regular
Apr 29, 2014
160
55
I'm on my 3rd Mac notebook since 2003. My first was a 12" Powerbook G4 that was replaced in 2008 when the display started to go out, but was still serviceable and worked great with an external display in clamshell mode.

The second was an early 2008 MacBook (last before unibody). I never regretted not waiting another month for a purchase more, but not because of poor performance. It was the poor design where the top and bottom cases met that lead to a ton of chipping that drove me nuts. It was running great. I actually rolled back to Snow Leopard this spring and it felt as snappy as any new machine with a spinning HDD. Unfortunately my 1yr. old spilled a glass of tea on it, and that was its demise.

In March, I picked up a new cMBP base model with intentions on upgrading to SSD and more RAM when the budget allows. Had my MB not died a sudden death, I would still be on my second machine for likely another year or so. I fully expect my cMPB to remain relevant for at least as long, as my usage pattern doesn't require a top specced machine.

Also, keep in mind that these machines were not babied, I transported them to and from the office/school almost daily as a student and adjunct in a messenger bag with books, and spend countless hours doing my work on them.
 

yinz

macrumors 6502a
Apr 12, 2012
641
5
This question really depends on your usage. Not just how you handle your machine, but also what software you use.

Personally, I don't tax my machines a lot, so my Windows laptops usually last 5-6 years. Using a macbook doesn't really affect the longevity of my machines.

If you want to justify the premium price, I'd say your justification comes from the unique OS experience, the intuitive fluid UI, the warranty, the customer service, the feel of the build material and the aesthetics.

If you drop it, it'll still break. If you poor water on it, it'll still stop working. If you need intensive graphics, processor or RAM use, then you probably won't last 5-6 years with a macbook any more than you would a Windows laptop. If you want a physically durable machine, I'd try Lenovo. I hear you can throw your soup at the keyboard and it'll survive. I can't say a macbook would.
 
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12dylan34

macrumors 6502a
Sep 3, 2009
877
3
Still using a 2008 MacBook Pro, and it runs Mavericks perfectly fine. It's not the fastest thing in the world, and I'm upgrading after WWDC this year, but it's not because the machine stopped working.
 

Hieveryone

macrumors 603
Apr 11, 2014
5,072
2,034
USA
This question really depends on your usage. Not just how you handle your machine, but also what software you use.

Personally, I don't tax my machines a lot, so my Windows laptops usually last 5-6 years. Using a macbook doesn't really affect the longevity of my machines.

If you want to justify the premium price, I'd say your justification comes from the unique OS experience, the intuitive fluid UI, the warranty, the customer service, the feel of the build material and the aesthetics.

If you drop it, it'll still break. If you poor water on it, it'll still stop working. If you need intensive graphics, processor or RAM use, then you probably won't last 5-6 years with a macbook any more than you would a Windows laptop. If you want a physically durable machine, I'd try Lenovo. I hear you can throw your soup at the keyboard and it'll survive. I can't say a macbook would.
Also, he should remember that comparable Dell models aren't that much cheaper

The dell precision m3800 is a comparable to the mbpr and not much cheaper!
 

mtneer

macrumors 68030
Sep 15, 2012
2,890
2,053
While a lot of this has to do with how you take care of your machine, I would agree that on the aggregate Mac's do tend to hold it together longer than their PC brethren. I still have an early 2007 C2D Thinkpad T60 still running strong - I can still use it for basic email/ surfing/ media storage purposes very well.
 

hftvhftv

macrumors member
May 18, 2014
89
30
This question really depends on your usage. Not just how you handle your machine, but also what software you use.

Personally, I don't tax my machines a lot, so my Windows laptops usually last 5-6 years. Using a macbook doesn't really affect the longevity of my machines.

If you want to justify the premium price, I'd say your justification comes from the unique OS experience, the intuitive fluid UI, the warranty, the customer service, the feel of the build material and the aesthetics.

If you drop it, it'll still break. If you poor water on it, it'll still stop working. If you need intensive graphics, processor or RAM use, then you probably won't last 5-6 years with a macbook any more than you would a Windows laptop. If you want a physically durable machine, I'd try Lenovo. I hear you can throw your soup at the keyboard and it'll survive. I can't say a macbook would.
OMG that scares the S-you-know-the-rest-it out of me. My early 2011 15" MacBook Pro as I've just realized has seen a bit of abuse. I've recently gotten SMC fan control due to it sometimes hiking up to 90C while playing Minecraft before the fans crank. So now while playing games while it is on my MStand with the fans cranked is 70C. Although thank the Lord that Apple decided to use metal instead of plastic as the heat issue is helped heavily. Although my home is nowhere near ideal for a computer as it is dusty and my window is quite hard to open and there is a furnace in the winter which doesn't help with dust either. I think I'm going to dust it out soon here before it goes into death mode (100C) one day. I'm seriously debating about getting a gaming PC so my Mac lives another 3 years. But with this Mac being my first, I've only been happy with it and if I had some old Dell. It probably would either be plagued with viruses, or melted from the inside. Sometime I'll send you a pic of a Dell Latitude 2100 that had it's internal plastic shift and melt from the inside.
 

yinz

macrumors 6502a
Apr 12, 2012
641
5
Also, he should remember that comparable Dell models aren't that much cheaper

The dell precision m3800 is a comparable to the mbpr and not much cheaper!
Quoted for truth. Sure, many Windows laptops are cheaper, but they are built cheaper. If you want something of a similar build quality and specifications, the price difference is not great at all. I'd choose OS X all day!

OMG that scares the S-you-know-the-rest-it out of me. My early 2011 15" MacBook Pro as I've just realized has seen a bit of abuse. I've recently gotten SMC fan control due to it sometimes hiking up to 90C while playing Minecraft before the fans crank. So now while playing games while it is on my MStand with the fans cranked is 70C. Although thank the Lord that Apple decided to use metal instead of plastic as the heat issue is helped heavily. Although my home is nowhere near ideal for a computer as it is dusty and my window is quite hard to open and there is a furnace in the winter which doesn't help with dust either. I think I'm going to dust it out soon here before it goes into death mode (100C) one day. I'm seriously debating about getting a gaming PC so my Mac lives another 3 years. But with this Mac being my first, I've only been happy with it and if I had some old Dell. It probably would either be plagued with viruses, or melted from the inside. Sometime I'll send you a pic of a Dell Latitude 2100 that had it's internal plastic shift and melt from the inside.
Cool story bro.
 

AlexxRyzhkov

macrumors regular
May 17, 2014
133
3
Personally, in my situation, I bought a Macbook in 2006 and a friend bought a Dell laptop in 2007-ish. They both cost about the same, and now, my macbook after a ram upgrade, runs great. While my friend's laptop developed loads of issues, it slowed down, and now it basically useless as it overheats very often. So i think that Macbooks do last longer.
 

thekev

macrumors 604
Aug 5, 2010
6,783
2,073
It varies. They do experience component failures like any other notebook, so there is no way for you to guarantee that the machine will be running years from now. You can purchase Applecare if you want somewhat of a guarantee. Note that it still doesn't cover accidental damage. It extends the warranty to three years. I would not budget it out with the assumption that it will last for 5-6 years. That said people are often incorrect on repair costs. Out of warranty without signs of abuse, you'll often be offered depot repair. Figure if you're out of warranty, you're probably out $350 for non - expendable parts. If you need battery service, it's $200 for a rmbp. Chargers sometimes fail. They're around $90.
 

hftvhftv

macrumors member
May 18, 2014
89
30
Quoted for truth. Sure, many Windows laptops are cheaper, but they are built cheaper. If you want something of a similar build quality and specifications, the price difference is not great at all. I'd choose OS X all day!



Cool story bro.
You want to go all blunt on me? I'll be blunt too: MAC FTW! :D
 

leman

macrumors G4
Oct 14, 2008
10,760
5,256
I do not believe they do, actually. And yes, 5-6 years are reasonable with a battery replacement (and most likely an SSD replacement as well) in-between. But than again, that is what I would expect of a well-treated standard PC laptop, even the cheapest one.
 

JoelTheSuperior

macrumors 6502
Feb 10, 2014
381
277
London, UK
If you're looking at high end PC's, no. If you're going to compare a rMBP to a $250 Dell, well, in that case you get what you pay for.
I would say this is very true - most people do compare Macs to vastly cheaper laptops and of course the MacBook will be a considerably better machine.

With that said, when I was in the market for my MacBook Pro it was essentially between the Mac and a Lenovo ThinkPad W series - the MacBook won because of the OS and honestly I'm glad I went that way, just because the idea of running a POSIX compliant OS is fantastic - as a web application developer it's nice to see that rails for example runs well (plus having a decent terminal is nice, not a fan of powershell).

That and I enjoy making bad music in my free time, and Logic Pro is fantastic (and an absolute bargain on the App Store for what it is).

I do not believe they do, actually. And yes, 5-6 years are reasonable with a battery replacement (and most likely an SSD replacement as well) in-between. But than again, that is what I would expect of a well-treated standard PC laptop, even the cheapest one.
To be honest, so long as the SSD doesn't fail (and it really shouldn't do), I can't see why an SSD replacement would be necessary.

Regarding the cheapest PC laptops heh, have you ever tried using a HP 255 series or similar? They're wonderful plasticy laptops that like to die the moment the warranty expires. With that said, you can get a fairly decent HP ProBook still for a lot less than a MacBook. Where I work we have somewhere around 100 of them and well, they've had their fair share of motherboard failures (to a point where an entire batch had to be returned) but on the whole they've been alright (if you can turn a blind eye to that issue ><). In all fairness to them, when you buy that many laptops you're bound to have some bad luck.
 

leman

macrumors G4
Oct 14, 2008
10,760
5,256
To be honest, so long as the SSD doesn't fail (and it really shouldn't do), I can't see why an SSD replacement would be necessary.
I agree, but unfortunately, SSDs do seem to fail after timeframes comparable to the HDDs

Regarding the cheapest PC laptops heh, have you ever tried using a HP 255 series or similar? They're wonderful plasticy laptops that like to die the moment the warranty expires. With that said, you can get a fairly decent HP ProBook still for a lot less than a MacBook. Where I work we have somewhere around 100 of them and well, they've had their fair share of motherboard failures (to a point where an entire batch had to be returned) but on the whole they've been alright (if you can turn a blind eye to that issue ><). In all fairness to them, when you buy that many laptops you're bound to have some bad luck.
Well, I have had my share of experience with plenty of cheap plastic laptops, and they break, look ugly and are overall horrible to use. I really can't say though that they die earlier than MacBooks. The first gen EeePC I bough back in 2007 is still working like a charm; and my ex had that ugly 7 years old Asus which was still doing fine last year (although it did need a fan dusting every quarter). And I think its advisable to be as cautious with these general statements as possible; because all we have here is anecdotal evidence. I'd like to see some believable statistics on this.

I do firmly believe that get what you pay for with many more expensive computer brands, and I would never even think about moving away from Apple (because their products just fit my line of work so perfectly). But I don't think that you get higher longevity with more expensive laptops — rather, you get higher-quality components, much better finish and a more convenient package.
Then again, longevity is maybe the last thing I care for in a computer; I don't need them last longer than 2 years anyway.
 

Cloudsurfer

macrumors 65816
Apr 12, 2007
1,297
332
Netherlands
The iMac that I bought in 2006 still runs strong. Sure it doesn't run the latest OS but the fact that an 8 year old computer still runs like new says something about the build quality of these machines.

At the moment I'm running a 2010 MBP which still runs fantastic, however the C2D chip sucks at Final Cut so I'm looking at a new 15" quad core model to better suit my needs. If it wasn't for Final Cut I would probably just wait until the machine is no longer supported and then buy a new one.

They are usually supported around 7 years.
 

maflynn

Moderator
Staff member
May 3, 2009
66,690
33,576
Boston
My expectation is that its going to last beyond 4 years and I don't think that's an unrealistic expectation.
 

TB07-NJ

macrumors 68020
Jul 7, 2008
2,324
135
FORMERLY NJ now FL
Personally, in my situation, I bought a Macbook in 2006 and a friend bought a Dell laptop in 2007-ish. They both cost about the same, and now, my macbook after a ram upgrade, runs great. While my friend's laptop developed loads of issues, it slowed down, and now it basically useless as it overheats very often. So i think that Macbooks do last longer.

My friends 2009 Rolls Royce had an engine problem after 2 years, my 1981 Buick is still running so from those statistics all Buicks hold up much better than all Rolls Royce's. I took statistics in Kollidge so I must be right because my sample is very accurate. :D
 

yjchua95

macrumors 604
Apr 23, 2011
6,725
231
GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
Given that there's no manufacturing flaws, a Mac should last around 5-6 years on average.

The 15"/17" 2011 MBPs all had a manufacturing flaw with the Radeon GPU, so most failed after the 3-year mark.
 

JoelTheSuperior

macrumors 6502
Feb 10, 2014
381
277
London, UK
I can confirm I have a 2006 iMac that still works perfectly. That said, at my place of work we still have a few RM machines from 2003-2004 that just about work (if by work you mean as heaters). That said, we also have a bunch of PCs from 2011 that have dodgy power supplies that like to kill motherboards. Somehow the creative arts department manage to justify having brand new shiny iMacs haha.

Given that there's no manufacturing flaws, a Mac should last around 5-6 years on average.

The 15"/17" 2011 MBPs all had a manufacturing flaw with the Radeon GPU, so most failed after the 3-year mark.
Remember the 2007 MacBook Pros? Those things died after around 10 minutes.

I'm definitely a fan of my MacBook though - honestly the amount of use it gets imho justifies the price quite comfortably. The quality is fantastic and honestly whilst you may find a cheaper machine that looks just as good or even better on paper, what you'll often find is that they're lacking in build quality, have screens with poor contrast / low resolutions and are generally lacking in other areas. That and the trackpads on MacBooks are absolutely fantastic.
 

alphaod

macrumors Core
Feb 9, 2008
22,173
1,216
NYC
Yes and no.

It's really the luck of the draw. For the most part, Macs are very reliable. However you may get a bad apple.

I have many non-Mac laptops that are old and still work great. And I don't even take care of them. Granted when I bought them they were top of the line machines, so perhaps that's why.

If you buy cheap, expect the manufacturers to cut corners somewhere.
 

Trvlngnrs

macrumors 6502
Jun 8, 2010
339
26
My 2010 MBP is still going strong!

I had a Dell prior to my MBP. Had to take it to a shop 3 times in 3 years then it died.

My wife's 1.5 year old Asus crashed last night. Maybe I'll have to give her my MBP and get a new one :)
 
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