G5 iMac - horror stories. A risky purchase?

Runaway

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jun 14, 2005
20
0
I have read countless threads on many Apple discussion boards about G5 iMacs breaking down, going weird, screwing up and all needing various repairs from midplane (logic board) replacements, to shoddy RAM needing replacing and various noise and display issues due to failing capacitors.

I was going to buy one, but I've been frightened off like you wouldn't believe.

Is there anyone here who can put my mind at rest, or is it common knowledge now to steer clear of the G5 iMac until Apple addresses the problem?
 

aldo

macrumors regular
Oct 26, 2003
242
0
England, UK
The quality of Apple's goods in the last 3-5 years is exceptionally shoddy. I know of no other computer manufacturer that has _4_ legal settlements/recalls on the ir homepage.

Don't bother buying an iMac yet. Wait until the intel switchover -- you'll regret spending $1000s on a obselete machine otherwise.
 

Josh

macrumors 68000
Mar 4, 2004
1,640
1
State College, PA
I don't know about the majority of them, or if the problem is common knowledge or anything, but I did indeed have a horrible experience with mine.

I had to personally replace the power supply twice, and the midplane once (each with about 1 week wait for parts, and lots of busy work (aka wasted time).

That never did anything. It was insanely loud (apple engineer on the phone asked if there was an air conditioner running).

They refused to replace it no matter how polite, angry, or the number of times I called.

3 months into owning it, the screen went out, and Apple themselves replaced the midpane and LCD. Fixed the screen, but this time it was even louder.

I took it to the store, and showed them first hand the noise - they even took me into the back to a quieter room, and the mac was buzzing like mad. They said "Well, it's within spec, so there is nothing we can do."

I have a thread about it somewhere that got really big and shocked a lot of people.

I'd never buy an iMac G5 again, but that's just me. I'm sure my problem was not the norm at all, but that seriously made me madder than anything in the world.

I want a new iBook soon, but after dealing with Apple from the iMac, I'm scared to buy another apple product again :(
 

Runaway

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jun 14, 2005
20
0
I thought I might be safe with a REV B machine, but how do I tell if the shop is selling me a REV B and not a REV A they couldn't shift earlier? :)

Also, I have still read about a few logic board problems on new REV Bs on the Apple discussion board which is weird.
 

Runaway

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jun 14, 2005
20
0
Josh said:
I don't know about the majority of them, or if the problem is common knowledge or anything, but I did indeed have a horrible experience with mine.

I had to personally replace the power supply twice, and the midplane once (each with about 1 week wait for parts, and lots of busy work (aka wasted time).

That never did anything. It was insanely loud (apple engineer on the phone asked if there was an air conditioner running).

They refused to replace it no matter how polite, angry, or the number of times I called.

3 months into owning it, the screen went out, and Apple themselves replaced the midpane and LCD. Fixed the screen, but this time it was even louder.

I took it to the store, and showed them first hand the noise - they even took me into the back to a quieter room, and the mac was buzzing like mad. They said "Well, it's within spec, so there is nothing we can do."

I have a thread about it somewhere that got really big and shocked a lot of people.

I'd never buy an iMac G5 again, but that's just me. I'm sure my problem was not the norm at all, but that seriously made me madder than anything in the world.

I want a new iBook soon, but after dealing with Apple from the iMac, I'm scared to buy another apple product again :(
Yeah, I'm reading LOTS of these stories... it seems very common, and I don't understand why Apple haven't done a product recall!
 

Savage Henry

macrumors 65816
Buy the Rev B. It's the best machine my fingers have ever graced.

As for wait until Intel?? PAH !!! iMacs won't see the chips for a long while. Obsolescence is relative to the your own requirements.

I can understand reluctance based on faulty units being quoted, but threads tend to be based on that .... how many times do you see a thread saying "My iMac is Lovely"?
 

slu

macrumors 68000
Sep 15, 2004
1,636
106
Buffalo
Meh. This again.

If you need/want it buy it. What types of posts do you think would be on a support message board?

There are such things as a warranty and Apple Care to put your mind at ease.
 

wordmunger

macrumors 603
Sep 3, 2003
5,125
2
North Carolina
Runaway said:
Yeah, I'm reading LOTS of these stories... it seems very common, and I don't understand why Apple haven't done a product recall!
That's because no one is going to post to MR saying "My IMAC is working FINE! NEED TO KNOW WHAT TO DO ASAP!!!!!!!!!
 

topgunn

macrumors 65816
Nov 5, 2004
1,454
1,236
Houston
On a related note, I was over at barefeats.com and noticed this.
June 13th, 2005 -- Hot Running iMac G5 Drives -- One of my remote mad scientists is reporting temperatures of 189F on his 400G internal hard drive. He measuring the surface near the spindle. By comparison, using our new infrared temperature gun, we measured 116F on our G5/2.5 Power Mac's boot drive spindle during operation.

There is a drive temperature sensor built into the iMac G5 that you can sample with software (like ThermographX) but the sensor isn't touching the drive and measures only ambient air temperature -- which gives you a lower reading -- and is therefore misleading.

High operating temperatures can cause permature drive failure. Someone suggested moving the iMac's temp sensor closer to the drive, but warned that fan speeds (and noise levels) would go up. One of our remote mad scientists created his own heatsink for the iMac G5's hard drive which brought the drive surface temperature down to 105F.
 

thedude110

macrumors 68020
Jun 13, 2005
2,479
2
I use a Rev B 20'' iMac at work and have had only two problems (neither of which are hardware problems, as far as I know!):

1. Too much blue screening. Can't tell you how many times the thing hangs on shut down.

2. The (formerly) white keyboard (I know, I know -- my dirty fingers are a topic for another thread).

Otherwise, it's a sweet machine. Buy a Rev B iMac now and wait for the Rev B Intel machines before diving into that water ...
 

CanadaRAM

macrumors G5
aldo said:
The quality of Apple's goods in the last 3-5 years is exceptionally shoddy. I know of no other computer manufacturer that has _4_ legal settlements/recalls on the ir homepage.
Your lack of awareness does not constitute fact. Try Googling Packard-Bell, NEC, eMachines, Toshiba, IBM for high standards of quality and lawsuits.

Don't bother buying an iMac yet. Wait until the intel switchover -- you'll regret spending $1000s on a obselete machine otherwise
I disagree almost completely. The iMac G5 is the best bang-for-buck machine out there. Fast, inexpensive, beautiful screen, good software.

The entire premise that the forthcoming Intel based Macs makes all current PPC based Macs obsolete and undesirable is so wrongheaded, and based on a series of flawed assumptions (Apple dropping support for OS10.4 PPC and OS10.5PPC within 2-4 years, Intel based machines being absurdly inexpensive, software companies somehow missing the message and producing x86 only binaries) The primary assumption is that the OP is willing and able to do without their new machine for 1 -2 years while they wait as per your advice.

Get the iMac. It's a great machine now, it will run the software you put on it today INDEFINITELY, and it's entirely your choice whether or not the machine is ever obsoleted -- that only happens (with any computer platform BTW) when YOU decide you have to have a new program that demands more than the computer has to offer.

And what if you decide in 2 years that the intel Mac is the one for you? Then you sell the iMac, buy the new whatever, and you've had the use of a beautiful machine that has cost you net $300 - $500 per year. Good return by any measure.
 

lopresmb

macrumors 6502
Apr 29, 2005
289
0
Runaway said:
I thought I might be safe with a REV B machine, but how do I tell if the shop is selling me a REV B and not a REV A they couldn't shift earlier? :)

Also, I have still read about a few logic board problems on new REV Bs on the Apple discussion board which is weird.
--the Rev B has a Radeon Graphics card with 128 mb Video RAM most notably, and this is true of all REV B iMacs, regardless of other specs...
 

killuminati

macrumors 68020
Dec 6, 2004
2,405
0
iGary said:
Give me a break with this "obsolete machine" BS.

God, I wish this Intel thing would go away.
I know, I kind of wish that Apple didn't even make it public until right before the new Macs were released. They should have just secretly told the developers what to do but not actually made any public announcement. I am so damn sick of people talking about.
 

paulypants

macrumors 6502a
Jun 17, 2003
519
0
Buffalo, NY
aldo said:
The quality of Apple's goods in the last 3-5 years is exceptionally shoddy. I know of no other computer manufacturer that has _4_ legal settlements/recalls on the ir homepage.

Don't bother buying an iMac yet. Wait until the intel switchover -- you'll regret spending $1000s on a obselete machine otherwise.
A totally irresponsible comment, 3-5 yrs? Are you sure? Define exceptionally shoddy. I know of many issues with PC vendors does that mean they are also exceptionally shoddy? Only a fool would consider it an obsolete machine, in a year or so the G6 could have come out, would that have meant G5 purchases now would have been obsolete purchases is you had known? Nope. It's noy obsolete unless the newer version is out RIGHT NOW. It's not, so disconnect your keyboard so you won't be able to spread anymore of your FUD.
 

Eidorian

macrumors Penryn
Mar 23, 2005
29,081
287
Indianapolis
I'm keeping my iMac G5 until it dies. It does get a little noisy when importing music off of CD's in iTunes but otherwise it's quiet.
 

Xenious

macrumors 6502a
Mar 22, 2004
674
41
Texas, USA
topgunn said:
On a related note, I was over at barefeats.com and noticed this.
My wife's 3 month old 20" G5 1.8GHz iMac (rev A) just lost a drive. I learned the powerful backup lesson that one nasty event teaches us. SMART status said the drive was fine when we powered it off to go on holiday, but when we came back it wouldn't recognize the drive on boot.
 

Cooknn

macrumors 68020
Aug 23, 2003
2,111
0
Fort Myers, FL
I have setup and currently support 3 - 20" iMac G5 rev A's for my son, his grandmother (on the ex's side) and my bosses daughter. No problems whatsoever. No support necessary either. It's a beautiful thing :D
 

yoda13

macrumors 65816
Sep 26, 2003
1,460
0
Texas
paulypants said:
A totally irresponsible comment, 3-5 yrs? Are you sure? Define exceptionally shoddy. I know of many issues with PC vendors does that mean they are also exceptionally shoddy? Only a fool would consider it an obsolete machine, in a year or so the G6 could have come out, would that have meant G5 purchases now would have been obsolete purchases is you had known? Nope. It's noy obsolete unless the newer version is out RIGHT NOW. It's not, so disconnect your keyboard so you won't be able to spread anymore of your FUD.
Thank you
:D