Do MBP's really out last comparable Win PC's?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by marc55, Nov 21, 2013.

  1. marc55 macrumors 6502a


    Oct 14, 2011
    One of the drivers pushing me towards a rMBP is the overall build quality and customer support. We have a couple of iPads and an iPhone and really like the quality.

    I've always been a Win PC user, and my last two Win PC's have had motherboard issues at the 3 year mark, which is frustrating to say the least; both were better grade consumer PC's in the $1,000- $1,200K range.

    So, before I spend $2.5K on a rMBP, are they really better made, and do they really outlast comparably priced Win PC's?

    Please don't misconstrue, I'm, not looking for a Apple vs Windows PC war; I'm only seeking constructive comments from folks who have some good background experience.

    Thank you guys again!
  2. PDFierro macrumors 68040

    Sep 8, 2009
    Definitely. You can easily use a Mac for a good 5-6 years. They are recommended if you want to keep a single machine for a long time.
  3. sixrom macrumors 6502a

    Nov 13, 2013
    If you buy a high quality laptop like a ThinkPad, then the two are similar and equals when it comes to long term reliability. Using both brands together for over a decade, I've had terrific service from them. My favorite is OS X, so if I could only have one my personal choice is Mac.
  4. Count Blah macrumors 68040

    Count Blah

    Jan 6, 2004
    US of A
    You used to be able to use it longer with upgradeable RAM and HDD/SSD in the cMBP. But Apple didn't like that model. So now it's all glued in and non-user upgradeable. So if you want it to last that long, you must map out what you think you will need at that time. If you get a 4gig of RAM, 128Gig SSD 13" rMBP, that is not going to meet your computing requirements in 5+ years.
  5. case2001 macrumors 6502

    Sep 9, 2010
    I agree with above. Have been loyal Thinkpad user for 15+ years. Every one built like a tank. One had a motherboard issue while in warranty. IBM (when they were owned by IBM) shipped me a fed ex overnight box. Sent it in and had it back in 48 hours. No questions asked. Laptop worked for 5 more years until I retired it.

    My current retina Macbook Pro has the same build quality if not better. Apple is known for there customer support for a good reason. My wife has a current generation ThinkPad and it is still great.

    You can't go wrong with either. I really like Mac OS X.
  6. PDFierro macrumors 68040

    Sep 8, 2009
    Exactly. I guess that's the only downside these days, you have to buy an expensive machine from the get-go. But the OP also mentioned spending $2,500 on a Mac purchase.
  7. TechZeke macrumors 68020


    Jul 29, 2012
    Rialto, CA
    When it comes to laptops, you get what you pay for especially when it comes to build quality. Components like the processor, RAM, and GPU are fixed costs. However, to reach a certain price point, manufacturers compromise the laptop itself.

    Apple products are actually a good benchmark because they always make quality hardware. Notice how comparable Win PCs with the same design a build quality costs as much as any mac with similar specs.

    If I was to buy a windows notebook, it would definitely be the ASUS Zenbook. However, notice how it costs just as much as any Macbook Air.

    If you are paying $1000 for a 4700QM i7, 8GB of RAM, 1080p screen, and a GT 750M, there was definitely a compromise in build quality, as a 4700QM is a $400 chip alone.

    Windows manufacturers know that the average joe only cares about specs. All joe knows is that for $1000 he can get a quad i7, 8GB of Ram, and GT 750M in the crap HP while a mac for the same price range has only a dual i5, 4GB of ram, and iGPU. This of course, gives this common illusion that Macs are overpriced.(although some of the BTO options are, the computers themselves are not)

    Anyway, the point is that if you spend the money, a Win PC will last just as long as any Mac.

    For comparison, my now 6 years old Sony VAIO 17" laptop is still running, but my father payed $2500 for it. see what I mean?
  8. yinz macrumors 6502a

    Apr 12, 2012
    I bought a $600 netbook from Asus in 2008. That still works. I'm using it right now, as my MacBook doesn't turn on after 3 days of use.
  9. yangchewren macrumors regular

    Dec 1, 2012
    Aside from the OS, the next best thing I find on any macbook pro (since the start of the line) is the screen. If you check out notebook review websites like notebookcheck, you can see that equivalent performing screens are only put on higher end gaming laptops, OEM made laptops (Clevo) and mobile workstations.

    As for how long it takes various brands of notebooks to fail, Lifehacker posted something recently on this:

    The source of their article:

    It is difficult to say this outright, as there would be plenty of people who enjoy nitpicking at that which is anecdotal despite it being a way of understanding how things work, but I fancy as Apple continues to integrate more parts into the motherboard and as technology advances in general- macbooks seem to be getting more reliable.

    I've had a 2006 macbook which had its (then CCFL) LCD replaced 4 times, imagine the e-waste cause by it, its inverter swapped once, its motherboard twice and palm rests once, screen bezel twice. Basically all that remained at the end of its service, in 2009, was the original bottom case. More parts gave more room to failure.*

    My 2009 macbook pro required a motherboard change due to an outright failure of the 9400m, and, another, a DoA 9600m.

    But my recent Apple laptops, a 2010 MBP, a 2011 MBA had almost no fault and I would say I did not get my money's worth on warranty!

    *but less user replaceable parts may lead to one entering into a state of catastrophic failure should a single component fail.
  10. Uliman macrumors member

    Mar 23, 2010
    For approximately 12 years I owned quite a few Windows laptops (Dell, Sony, Fujitsu) and then the last 3 years I've been a MBP/MBA owner with soon to purchase the new rMBP.

    All of my Win lappies lasted during my usage/ownership period (2-3 years) but there are at least 2 things that I noticed that are different. The quality of the Win lappies is generally far inferior to those of the Apple machines so what happens at the end of the usage/ownership period these laptops just seem to be practically falling apart whereas after several years of owning the MBP/MBA they seem to be like new. This, of course, also affects resale value which is very much higher than with the Win lappies.

    I run Win 7 on my MBA via Parallels and I ran it via Bootcamp on my MBP so I use Windows quite a bit (mostly for my job). I have to say that I will never again purchase a Windows laptop not so much because I prefer OSX over Windows (although that is also the truth) but really because of the very high quality of the computers that Apple produces. Yes, you pay a premium for that but I deem that to be very much worth it.
  11. Count Blah macrumors 68040

    Count Blah

    Jan 6, 2004
    US of A
    I saw that. I just wanted to give the extreme example of how NOT to buy for the long haul.

    Personally, I'm going to enjoy see how long I can make my mid-2012 cMBP last. Each day will be another tear rolling down Tim's/Ive's cheeks. :D

    Hopefully, by the time I need to replace this cMBP, the options/value are more in-line with my expectations. They certainly are not there now, IMHO.


    Unfortunately, you have to put Apple's vaunted Customer Service to the test.
  12. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604


    May 28, 2005
    Not at all. The components of a PC are the exact same as a mac, there's no special sauce that makes an Intel CPU last longer in a mac than a PC.

    Where you will notice a difference is in build quality, if you're comparing a $300 PC to a $1200 Mac. Obviously the mac will last longer, but if you start comparing a $1000 PC to a Mac, you'll find the build quality to be reasonably similar.

    The other area where you'll notice issues are with the OS itself. OS X tends to not get as muddled over time than Windows - this is called bitrot. However, Windows 7 made great strides in preventing bitrot, and Windows 8 looks like it's even better, although it's so new really it'll take another year or two before people can tell.
  13. RedRaven571 macrumors 65816


    Mar 13, 2009
    My personal laptp is a late 2008 15" MBP that I purchased used on eBay about 3 years ago, I love it and it continues to do everything I need it to do. Having said that, I also agree with the posters above regarding upgradability, I have upgraded the RAM to 8GB and the HDD to a 1TB Seagate hybrid; Apple's new direction of completely sealed units don't really thrill me because a few hundred dollars in easy upgrades can extend the like of a computer for several years.

    In addition, my work laptop (my company's purchase/choice) is a HP EliteBook (model 6930p) that I have had since 2007; it's still chugging along as well. Only issues are the latches to keep the lid closed, well, don't latch anymore and the little rubber feet are gone. Otherwise, the laptop performs well for my needs.

    As far as OS, I'll take OS X over any version of Windows......
  14. KUguardgrl13 macrumors 68020


    May 16, 2013
    Kansas, USA
    I find that the first models of redesigns have their share of issues. My mid-2009 13" MBP (the first 13" MBP as opposed to the 2008 aluminum MacBook) has had a sleep/wake issue since probably 2010 and started frying SATA cables in 2011. I had AppleCare and took it in a number of times, but those issues still persist.

    I'm hoping that my new late-2013 rMBP will have less issues because it is the second run of a redesign. I try not to think about how everything is glued and soldered. I got AppleCare again just in case.
  15. TechZeke macrumors 68020


    Jul 29, 2012
    Rialto, CA
    Three problems with post:

    -$600 was hefty for a netbook. Net books used cheaper underpowered hardware like an Intel Atom and often had very small amounts of ram and tiny hard drive. Compare that to a full sized $500-600 laptop that has a core i3, 4gb of Ram and 500 gb hd.

    -Every machine, regardless of price, has at least some defective units during manufacturing. The fact that you are using one experience to judge an entire line of computer furthers discredits your post. FYI - the PC I said would buy- the ASUS zen book - I first saw it when a dormmate bought one. It came with a few keys falling off. It was obviously a manufacturing defect. I didn't discredit the zen book simply because of this one unit. His replacement was perfect, just as I as expected.

    -It's call AppleCare. Maybe you should look into it.
  16. wiredup72 macrumors regular


    Mar 22, 2011
    I am posting with my '06 MBP. The only upgrades were RAM, to 3gb - most I could do - and I swapped out the hard drive for an OWC SSD about 3 years ago and it runs faster than the day I bought it.
    Only problem now is I can't run Mavericks. Oh well.
    My wife's '07 MB is still a work horse. She uses the $h!t out of it for work and graduate school and it can still run SPSS (which isn't easy).

    Good luck.
  17. btownguy macrumors 6502a

    Jun 18, 2009
    If you buy new, depending on your use cases, the hardware may well outlast the functionally you wish to do. For example, my mid-2009 MBP still does pretty much all tasks I need it to do very well. That's an almost 5 year old machine. Unheard of. However, Apple may debut some new functionality that only new machines can do. For example, a generation or two ago Apple introduced the ability to AirPlay your laptop display to an AppleTV. It's not that my computer can't handle that task. That functionality is simply not extended to a laptop as old as mine. You could buy a top-of-the-line MBP today and next generation they may add some new functionality that you can't do on your still extremely capable MBP.
  18. GoingDark macrumors 6502

    Nov 2, 2013
    There is nothing inherently inferior about Windows PCs - however, there are thousands of different models and manufacturers, so the laws of probability alone mean that there will be more problems in the world with Windows PCs than with Apple PCs.

    A well-made Windows PC from a reputable company like Lenovo will last just as long as a Mac if cared for properly.

    Over time, Apple computers do have an advantage in two areas:

    1) Resale Value
    Depreciation on a Windows PC is near-instant and enormous. Apple PCs retain much better resale value years down the road. This has more to do with market perception than with the product's actual longevity, but regardless of why it happens, it's an undisputed fact.

    2) Retail Support
    Apple has a distinct advantage if and when you do run into issues - they have Apple stores all over the world that can take care of you. No other computer manufacturer has this, and it beats the hell out of dealing with a call centre and having to ship out your device for repairs.
  19. yinz macrumors 6502a

    Apr 12, 2012
    Three problems with your post

    1. i3 did not exist in 2008. My hard drive was 160gb which is more than some MacBooks in 2011. You are comparing current generation $600 computer compared to one of 2008.

    2. The fact that you are responding in such a presumptuous manner discredits you. In no way, fact or form have I displayed any judgment on the entire MacBook line. I'm simply stating fact that I'm using a $600 netbook right now as my MacBook is out of commission. Stating fact does not discredit me from anything. On the contrary, it does the opposite. Your presumptuous-FYI attitude does well to discredit you.

    3. I don't see how apple care is applicable to me. My computer is 3 days old so it is still under warranty. Again, your lack of knowledge (of my situation) really shines here.
  20. g.t. rags macrumors 6502

    Nov 25, 2010
    Long Island
    a 600 netbook is considered top of the line netbook though.... most can be had for the 150-300 range.... and yes i'm going back to 2008.... my buddy uses an asus with an atom pro with 60 gig hd he paid 200 for in 2008.... mind you he's probably only turned it on 100 times.... but a 600 netbook 5 years ago must have had some serious hardware in it....
  21. priitv8 macrumors 68040

    Jan 13, 2011
    Your MBP will AirPlay just fine. It's the AirPlay Mirroring your MBP is missing. Despite the name, totally different thing and it indeed requires hardware support (realtime video compression). At least for the way Apple chose to implement it (unlike eg AirParrot, which will steal your main CPU's cycles for the same task). Not that it's been left out for older Macs on purpose.
  22. Ryan1524 macrumors 68000


    Apr 9, 2003
    Canada GTA
    I kept my MBP for 7 years as my friends went through 2-3 PC laptops.

    I'm sure it's do-able on the PC side if you get a comparably well built machine.
  23. yangchewren, Nov 21, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2013

    yangchewren macrumors regular

    Dec 1, 2012
    Bro I can see why you are getting frustrated, there's lots of people that are grossly misinformed here. $600 was roughly the price of a standard netbook in 2008. I actually bought an MSI Wind (N270, 2GB ram, 160GB) at SGD$859, which works out to USD$600+ with distributors fees in July of 2008. I bought it for the sole purpose of creating a tiny hackintosh. I succeeded with full driver support by end 2008.

    And it seemed somehow difficult to discredit the quality of these machines too.
  24. nateo200 macrumors 68030


    Feb 4, 2009
    Northern District NY
    While that may be a new factor I see 5-6 year old MacBooks in use where the user didn't even know what RAM or an SSD was let alone know to upgrade it. I think if you look at the percentage of people who upgrade RAM, HDD's, etc. on Mac's its low, obviously not on this forum but overall, couple that with Macs not being the major selling force for Apple and they made an executive decision. Sure I enjoyed buying my own 8GB RAM upgrade for $50~ but oh well. SSD should be replacable but just harder, that said I care more about RAM than internal storage since you can't exactly plug in external RAM. I wouldn't draw conclusions, rMBP's aren't old enough to assume anything so be careful what you say.

    But to answer the original question...well yes generally but its hard to say as often times people compare a $2000 Mac to a $600 netbook or whatever. I had a ThinkPad that lasted FOREVER, that thing never once broke down, it was a tank and if I needed a windows machine I would look that direction without a doubt.
  25. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    I never had any substantial problem neither with my PCs nor with my Macs. I don't have much experience with PC laptops though. Generally, expect a MBP last longer then a cheaply build Windows laptop - the emphasis on cheaply, not on Windows. But that has been already said by many people here. Bottomline: a Mac is a premium, very well-built product with good customer support. It will lust just as long as any other product in that category (with some luck). There are also plenty of PC models of similar quality - and ultimately, also price.

    In 5+ years, your cMBP won't have any more RAM or faster storage than my rMBP. Just saying. And yes, you should plan what you are going to do with your computer. So your criticisms do not make much sense. I'd take a light and portable machine over the one where you can upgrade RAM any time of the day. Storage upgrades are much more interesting and meaningful, granted; but again, 256GB is more then enough for what I do.

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