Experiences With Applecare and 2013 Mac Pro

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by beerstine, Mar 17, 2017.

  1. beerstine macrumors member

    Jul 18, 2002
    Does anybody have any experience with getting a 2013 Mac Pro fixed through Applecare and their local Apple Store?

    My machine started to freeze and eventually refused to start up just over a week ago. Applecare directed me to the nearest Apple Store as it was the closest provider and they've had the machine for a week and still haven't fixed the problem. So far they've swapped out the cables connecting the video cards to the logic board, the I/O board, replaced one video card and the logic board to no effect and am now waiting for a replacement SSD for that to be tested. It takes 2-3 days every time they need a new part since they don't stock many for the Mac Pro It may be another 3-5 days before the SSD arrives and is tested. My video production business is dead in the water.

    I know the Mac Pro is a niche product for Apple at this point, but are there better service alternatives for pro users than their retail service departments that don't stock the parts or don't necessarily have the experience to troubleshoot this model.

    I do think Applecare is a good value, the repairs are being done under warranty and won't cost me any cash, but I just wonder if there's a service option that better suits this unit for future reference.
  2. AidenShaw, Mar 17, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2017

    AidenShaw macrumors P6


    Feb 8, 2003
    The Peninsula
    If you really want "I depend on this computer for my income" support, you might want to look outside of Apple.

    For my home PC I bought a Dell Precision Workstation (same CPU/chipset as the hex-core MP6,1) with 4 years of next business day at home service. For work, everything is Dell workstations and HP servers with 4 year NBD service. Our laptops have NBD service onsite.

    I've had one HP server service call (out of a hundred or so servers) for a bad DIMM - and they just overnighted the DIMM to me and didn't send anyone. No Dell workstation failures. One Dell laptop failed (it had the Nvidia mobile GPU with the solder issue), and one Lenovo laptop needed a new screen (after falling out of my daypack onto concrete - covered by warranty - we get the 'accidental damage' option).

    Correction: I just remembered that I had a ProLiant DL360G3 in 2005 that went wonky. HP was there the next day with a new motherboard, new processors, and new RAM. It worked fine until it was ewasted.
  3. jeff7117 macrumors regular

    Jul 22, 2009
    About 10 years ago the company I worked for had a Mac Pro go in the shop for warranty repairs. It ended up taking almost a month to get it fixed. We had to end up renting a machine so we wouldn't lose production time.

    I have a backup system just for occasions like these. It's not a full blown workstation, but more of a bare bones setup, just enough to get work done. Yes, it's an added expense, and I don't use it that often except for rendering but I can't shut down for several days at a time waiting on hardware repairs.
  4. thefredelement macrumors 65816


    Apr 10, 2012
    New York
    Check out the program called Joint Venture, someone on this forum directed me to it, it says you need a qualifying purchase but you don't (they can just let you sing up at your local Apple Store). If they give you a hard time signing up, email Tim Cook and say how you need to be able to work as a team with Apple because you depend on them and hopefully you hear back from someone in a few days who you can then ask to talk to the business manager at your local Apple Store to let you sign up without a purchase.

    It won't speed up your machine's repair but you'll walk out of the Apple Store with an iMac or Mac Pro to continue to work in the meantime so it's not so hard to deal with.
  5. linuxcooldude macrumors 68020

    Mar 1, 2010
    Telling a person to switch brands does not fix his current pradicament or get his computer fixed.

    I learned long ago that having a backup machine is invaluable, usually an older machine. While slower, its better than nothing while your waiting for your other one to get repaired.
  6. deconstruct60 macrumors 604

    Mar 10, 2009

    If you look in the terms the loaner is some "similar" Mac. If pushing the envelope on config it likely won't be the same.

    About $500/yr is "cheaper" only if don't already have a back-up system to fail over to. For a "one man, one machine" shop this is pretty steep. However, it might be cheaper than a short term lease if have to go on extended depot trips back.
    --- Post Merged, Mar 17, 2017 ---

    You can search for all of the Apple service providers for a given area by zip code or city/state/provice/etc.

    If in an area with a relatively high Mac Pro and/or iMac density one of the 3rd parties may have a loaner/lease program similar to Apple's for an additional fee. I highly doubt you are going to find service providers that have full arrays of spare parts. Apple tends to keep tight control over their spare/replacement parts to both keep inventory costs down and as to not enable grey service market.

    If "local" folks seem to have trouble getting the diagnosis right you may want to consider send it directly off the an Apple repair depot/center.


    There should be deeper diagnosis skill levels at the centers, but not necessarily true. Smaller Apple Store ship stuff of to these too for certain classes of repairs.
  7. beerstine thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 18, 2002
    I admit I became fairly complacent because before this, my Macs have been pretty reliable with few major repairs needed and I've held on to my machines usually 4-6 years. My backup Mac Pro just won't handle my most recent jobs due to incompatibility with recent software upgrades and the inability to access my Thunderbolt RAID. My older Macbook has the same problem and was really only used for office and casual work.

    I did talk to an independent Apple Certified Tech who I've used in the past, and he didn't have any experience with the trashcans either, but did seem to think the Apple folks were approaching this backwards, thinking they should have started with the SSD. I imagine the parts issue would have been as big a problem, if not worse, working through him.

    Windows isn't really an option for me, I have over 25 years on the Mac and while I could learn Windows, it would be a great disruption. I'd only consider it if Apple completely vacated the Mac or Pro market.

    I will look into the Joint Venture thing.
  8. bopajuice Suspended


    Mar 22, 2016
    Dark side of the moon
    At this point sounds like you are at the mercy of Apple. If this were strictly a business decision I would look for a way to avoid this happening again. If you need to buy another trashcan to keep up and running, might have to do it. The only other option is to move to a PC environment, which you could learn while you are sitting around "dead in the water" waiting for Apple to get parts.
  9. tomvos macrumors 6502


    Jul 7, 2005
    In the Nexus.
    Buy a Mac Pro Online and return it within 14 days. Hopefully your tech shop should be able to fix the system within these 14 days.

    Usually, I don't like this "buy something with the intention to return it within 14 days" attitude. However, it really should not be your problem that Apple can't supply adequate repair service.
  10. jeff7117 macrumors regular

    Jul 22, 2009
    Sometimes disruptions are necessary to create change.

    Unless you are using FCPX it is possible to switch to PC. I work in Post Production and I also had 20+ years of Mac use under my belt. My frustration with Apples secrecy and lack of updates let me to switch to PC at the beginning of the year. It's not as difficult a transition as you think.

    So far, my only regret is not switching sooner. I waited too long on Apple.
  11. flyinmac macrumors 68040


    Sep 2, 2006
    United States
    I'm curious which older Mac Pro you have besides the 2013.

    I can't think of any software that wouldn't work on the oldest of Mac Pros if you did the little tweaks to get El Capitan on it.

    You should be able to run anything on El Capitan at this point. Unless you have a title that requires Sierra.

    Granted the original Mac Pro would need a few updates (video card) to get El Capitan running smoothly. But compared to being unable to do any work, it's a fairly inexpensive option.

    As for the thunderbolt issue, that may take some work to find a solution. I don't know if there are any pci-e cards that could add thunderbolt to the classic Mac Pro, but there may be some.

    Otherwise, the classic Mac Pro is still surprisingly capable. Mine's still chugging along and tackling all my projects.

    Hopefully it'll continue to do so for several years. I'm not currently impressed by the new Mac Pro, so still waiting for a machine to upgrade to. My other Macs have long since passed (except for my trusty G4 Mini). So I'd be stuck too if my classic Mac Pro 1,1 died. I'd likely just move to Windows. I have several PC's around. It'd just be a matter of moving my video workflow to Windows.
  12. Auggie, Mar 18, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2017

    Auggie macrumors 6502


    Jan 21, 2017
    I used to own a commercial print shop with 5 employees and 4 Mac Pros in the graphics design studio (though one was a dedicated RIP server to my negative film printer). On occasion I would have a Mac Pro go down for whatever reason so the others picked up the slack. Most were covered under AppleCare and I usually got same day or within a couple days turn-around service. I also had 4 PCs handling POS, billing, accounting, and shipping. Again, if one went down, I could swap out another in its place temporarily. None of the PCs had any warranty, but I would buy used PC's with newer and better specs as needed if one went dead and the cost of its repair would warrant just replacing it outright; I didn't need the fastest and latest for the types of jobs my PCs were tasked for, though I did setup one with Microsoft Works (a little blast from the past) and other seldom-used PC-only software that I needed now and then to convert the occasional customer files to at least PDF that could be then processed by my Macs.

    For a business, I definitely recommended having redundancy in all of your business-critical workflows, because even with next-day repair service, sometimes that's just not fast enough when I have a print deadline due that day or the following day and the customer absolutely can't afford any delays.
  13. kschendel macrumors 65816

    Dec 9, 2014
    Maybe consider getting a recent model, refurbished iMac as a backup; it ought to be able to get at your RAID. I too an curious as to what software you can't run, though. Is your older Mac Pro a 1,1 or 3,1 perhaps? I can't think of anything that a 4,1 or 5,1 (suitably tweaked) wouldn't run, although I'm not sure how you would handle the Thunderbolt issue.
  14. beerstine thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 18, 2002
    It's a first generation Mac Pro tower, which maxes out at Lion for OS support and definitely isn't going to work with anything Thunderbolt or modern video cards. I'll be looking for a decent used Macbook Pro locally soon. Don't need latest and greatest for a machine that gets used only occasionally but have never really trusted buying used hardware without having the chance to really inspect it first.
  15. Kcetech1 macrumors regular

    Nov 24, 2016
    Alberta Canada
    Hopefully you get yours fixed faster than one of mine, up here in the great white north it seems to take then anywhere from 6 to 19 weeks to fix a trashcan and get parts. I keep a spare unit and like Aiden have moved 90% of my work to workstations and workstation laptops with NBD/Accidental warranties.
  16. Average Pro macrumors regular

    Jul 16, 2013
    Apple has a business division. There's an annual fee, but if a work computer goes down, they provide you with a loaner until the computer is fixed. I utilized this service for a few years. If you income absolutely relies on your computer, I highly suggest looking into this.

    I did have the 2013 in for a bad video card. It took 2 days to get the part(s) and I had it back on the 3rd day. I also had the stuck power button fixed while it was in the shop.

    Best of luck.
  17. Kcetech1 macrumors regular

    Nov 24, 2016
    Alberta Canada
    Depending on where you are, loaners are not available for a few days especially if it is a Mac Pro, Laptops tend to be quick to get a loaner but the headaches of restoring a huge time machine backup or cloning back and forth is still a major time eater as is the phone calls and trips to the Apple Store to get a unit.
  18. AidenShaw macrumors P6


    Feb 8, 2003
    The Peninsula
    Please - I very clearly did not tell the OP to "switch brands".

    I said "If you really want "I depend on this computer for my income" support, you might want to look outside of Apple.", and then pointed out the NBD support commonly available from the other x64 vendors.
  19. beerstine thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 18, 2002
    It sounds like the repair schedules vary depending on the issue and availability of parts. Not sure a loaner is going to do me much good a week and a half in unless this is going to drag out much longer, I'll be looking for a longer term solution. My main concern going forward is will this issue pop up again after Applecare expires and then be I'll left with a huge repair bill or an unsellable unit to replace. The repairs are only a 90 day warranty.
  20. Yahooligan macrumors 6502a


    Aug 7, 2011
    There aren't, it's not something like USB3 where you can just toss a card in and install some drivers.

    Unless Dell, HP, or other OEMs provide NBD support contracts for Apple machines (they don't) that's exactly what you're telling the OP to do. These are not vendors. Perhaps you're talking about non-OEM support contracts from vendors like CDW?

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19 March 17, 2017