How do I test a new MBP?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Crovax, Jul 23, 2008.

  1. Crovax macrumors member

    Crovax

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2008
    Location:
    Kyiv, Ukraine
    #1
    Hello everyone,


    I am a PC user and I am really sick of hardware and Windows problems. So I am going to switch to Mac. I've heared lots of stories about its great OS and much more reliable hardware. I work as a web-developer and I spend lots of time near my comp so things like this really matter for me. The product I like is
    MacBook Pro 17" 2.5GHz Core 2 Duo /2GB /250GB /SD /AP /BT (MB166)

    I live in Ukraine and it costs 4000 USD here so you can't imagine how disappointed I'll be if this laptop is the same piece of sh*t as the PCs I usually deal with :)

    That's why I need your advice. I've found lots of spooky stories about kernel panic, dead pixels, etc. Could you give me some tips on how do I test all that stuff in the store? May be some methods exist that can cause the known crashes if the laptop has defects. I'll be very glad if you share anything you know with me and I appreciate all your advices very much.


    Thanks,
    Eugene
     
  2. soberbrain macrumors 65816

    soberbrain

    Joined:
    May 9, 2008
    #2
    Remember that people will post bad stories or issues more because they need help or just need to vent. Regarding testing, I would say just go to the store and do what you would normally do (and then open up more apps) to see how the machine handles your workload and more.

    Once you get your machine, do everything you normally do again and more. Try out the hardware too, check the screen on red/blue/green/white/black backgrounds, burn a DVD/CD, plug in speakers/headphones, bluetooth, wi-fi, etc. If you come across an issue call Apple or check the forums.

    I still have my first mac, a 15" Aluminum PowerBook G4, that I got when they came out in Sep 2003. It had an issue with the screen so I sent it to Apple. It was tough to have to send a new machine back, but it came back great and I've been happy with it since. In close to 5 years, I've gotten 2 kernal panics, 1 was due to beta software that I installed and the other was at random.

    I was a PC user, too, and switched after reading a lot about the simplicity and ease of use of Macs. I'm a very happy switcher and I'm looking forward to getting a new mac in the coming year.

    Good luck on your switch :)
     
  3. lordthistle macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 29, 2008
    Location:
    Italy
    #3
    Mac OS is great and the overall quality of mac applications is higher than windows ones. I think it's a mistake to believe that Vista is a lot worse than MacOS X, but I understand what you say. MacOS is stable and offer a good user exerience.

    Anyway you need to consider that nowadays there are no differences in hardware between the two platforms. The problems with apple hw are as common as with other producers. If not more frequent: my experience with apple hw (based on several purchases after the intel transitions) can be summarized as a bad nightmare.

    thistle.
     
  4. ionlygreat macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2008
    #4
    I just checked for dead pixels, as that is one thing that many people have talkd about - so I would suggest that you get that done (I cant' really remember what software I used, a simple google search will pull up some good results - that's what i did)
    Another thing you can do is a GeekBench test and see where your computer fares ( I didn't do this, but I know some people have on these forums and they could perhaps tell you more)
     
  5. Crovax thread starter macrumors member

    Crovax

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2008
    Location:
    Kyiv, Ukraine
    #5
    soberbrain, thanks for your reply. Afterall I think that I'll try their product.

    lordthistle, I've read you thread and yeah, it really sounds like a nightmare. I've been to their store once and was quesioning shop assistants. Well, I haven't received a clear answer why their hardware is better. All they managed to tell me is that they buy it from common manufacturers and assemble that in China but then test it very very hard in the USA :D
     
  6. Crovax thread starter macrumors member

    Crovax

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2008
    Location:
    Kyiv, Ukraine
    #6
    ionlygreat, thanks for the exact names of that programmes. I'll find them with google and will make shop assistants run that tests.
     
  7. Crovax thread starter macrumors member

    Crovax

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2008
    Location:
    Kyiv, Ukraine
    #7
    I understand that mistakes happen and well it will be OK if I first get a bad Mac because as I far as I know they'll replace it with a normal one. But I WILL be disappointed if after all replacements, I'll have a bad product on my hands.
    My experience with PC is following: each year one of its parts gets broken and I have to replace it. Also I have to reinstall windows 1-2 times a year. And that's what I am trying to avoid buying Mac. So it won't be a tragedy if I find myself in soberbrain's or lordthistle's situation. But after I replace it (one or more times) and I get a "good" Mac, I'll be expecting many years of stable work.
     
  8. Salavat23 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2008
    #8
    That's probably because you have a $h!t PC.

    My Vista Ultimate 32-bit PC has been running like a champ since March 8th, 2007. No crashes, bsods, or any other problems. After almost 18 months, no Vista re-installs, and it still runs just as fast as it did when I assembled it. This is mainly due to the fact that Vista defrags the hard drive by itself automatically.

    The truth is that when you have any computer that is assembled out of high quality components, and you don't mess around too much with it, it will run great for years.
     
  9. Crovax thread starter macrumors member

    Crovax

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2008
    Location:
    Kyiv, Ukraine
    #9
    Yeah, may be you're right. But how the hell am I supposed to distinguish good hardware from bad hardware. :) I am not a specialist here at all. I come to the shop and they tell me "That's one of the best motherbords we have and it will last for ages" and then it breaks down in two years. And I spent a week trying to understand what's going on because the comp was acting very weird and I was not sure what was broken. And the same goes for my video card. When I was working a condenser just fall off the card. Etc etc etc :) The only parts that make me happy are my HDDs.

    And Windows is a seperate matter. I can write a book "Why I hate it" :D
     
  10. Salavat23 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2008
    #10
    Thats why you go to PC forums like [H]ardforum or 3DGameMan. PC shops will tell you anything just to sell a product. It is all about reputable manufacturers and the common sense of knowing which product is right for you.

    And Windows is not bad at all. It just doesn't like when you mess with it, or when you are trying to run $h!t hardware. If you don't do any of those things, you will have a very pleasant experience with the OS despite what others may say.
     
  11. EV0LUTION macrumors 6502

    EV0LUTION

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2008
    Location:
    Florida
    #11
    I was having the same issues with my old pc, my laptop running vista is fine but my desktop's drivers just decided to leave my computer (its a 4 year old desktop things like this are expected), after doing a restore and finally getting my desktop running the motherboard died. I did some research and figured I can still do all of my work (web design and dev) and school work on a mac and not have to worry about all the shortfalls that windows brings to the table.

    With what I have done so far on a mbp (including developing a cms with a friend) only affirms my opinion that you can do more from a development standpoint and exceed the limitations that are put on you with a windows OS

    I would say go for it but make sure you know someone/ or know of a great forum (this one) that has a lot of experience with the mac to minimize the learning curve.
     
  12. PDE macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2005
    #12
    Here's my new mac laptop checklist:

    1. Take it out of the box, inspect it all around to look for any physical damage, dents or anything out of the ordinary

    2. Open the display, checking for any sounds from the hinge to make sure it's smooth.

    3. Press the Power button and pay attention to the startup screen to look for backlight probelms such as yellowing and uneven illumination. If there are any major issues, you'll see them immediately.

    4. Once you've set up an account and are logged in:
    a) put in a DVD to make sure the player is working
    b) test the various ports to make sure they all work.
    c) Check the backlit keyboard to make sure the keys light up
    d) Play a online HD movie clip to check the speakers
    e) Run LcdTest to check for dead pixels, yellowing and uneven backlight (this has been the main achilles heel in my experience, but more so on the 15" than the 17").

    Good luck!



    It's VERY difficult to test these things in a store - the lighting prevents proper examination of the LCD and noise stops you from hearing problems with the audio. All the other stuff can be checked though. Try to buy from somewhere that will stand by the computer and replace if necessary. That's all I can think of...
     
  13. lordthistle macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 29, 2008
    Location:
    Italy
    #13
    And also because not everyone's living in the States :)
    If you did that in Italy, the clerks would hunt you down and call the police ;-)

    thistle
     
  14. lordthistle macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 29, 2008
    Location:
    Italy
    #14
    Thanks for your support. Usually people living in places where customers are "powerful" do not understand how frustrating a defective unit can be when living in other countries, like, for example, Italy.

    thistle

    PS. Sorry for the double post.
     
  15. PDE macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2005
    #15
    Well, don't think consumers have much power in the U.S. -they don't. there's a lot of lip service to customer service, but that's often all it is. Apple happens to be good IF you buy your Apple products from them, but much less cooperative if you got your apple product from another seller. By and large, however, they're good. Apple service in Europe is abysmal in comparison, but at least there are some pretty strong EU consumer protection laws that deal with inherent defects, minimum warranty periods etc. and you can always fall back on those if need be.

    By the way, you cannot inspect your Apple computer BEFORE you pay here. You need to pay first, then you can open it up to inspect and there's a two week period where they are flexible in terms of returns and exchanges. But it's not like they'll let you just come in and exchange it anytime you want in that period. They'll make you meet with a stupid genius who will do his/her best to persuade you that 'everything is within specifications' and who will deny all defects and issues. In short: it's a hassle wherever you are and there's little you can do to avoid that hassle.
     
  16. lordthistle macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 29, 2008
    Location:
    Italy
    #16
    Believe me. I have been in the USA several times. Once I spent there 6 months and I bought a lot of electronics. Concerning customer protection and satisfaction, USA is a much better world.

    In EU we have laws, yes. But, in many EU countries (I would say all, but I am not that confident), it is not simple to defend your rights. Just to give you an example about the fallback you cited: in EU a 2-year warranty is compulsory. Apple ignores this law, applecare lasts 1 year only. Customers (the one with a lot of free time) win their lawsuits, but after months. Italian magazines focused on apple producs tell these stories. But Apple keeps ignoring the law. That's it. Motorola respects that law, Sony does. Apple doesn't.

    thistle
     
  17. Crovax thread starter macrumors member

    Crovax

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2008
    Location:
    Kyiv, Ukraine
    #17
    Yes, I am sure that this is a good method. But in this case my question "How do I test a new MBP?" will turn into a set of question concerning video card, RAM, motherboard, etc :)

    LOL, I am not sure what does "messing with Windows" mean but you know I told that I am a web-dev not just for bragging. :) Apache is not very stable here and I remember how my funny PHP script put Win down. Also I remember how a simple request caused MYSQL to start eating 100% of processor and I had to restart. And my version control often does the same just because it tries to change the icons of files (it puts a green mark on the file if it is not changed, yellow one if I have version conflict, etc.). Sometimes when I kill something via CTRL+ALT+DEL, my keabord and mouse get disconnected. So comp works fine but these devices don't respond untill I restart. After about 6-12 months Win starts working slowly and everybody gives me a very smart advice "Oh don't do that sad face, just reinstall your Win". I don't like reinstalling Win because it takes one day to return all my stuff up and running. And so on. As I told you I can write a book about this.

    Well in Ukraine everything works in a little different way. Usually companies do whatever they can before you give them money and absolutely ignore you after you gave money. I hope that Apple works in a different way.

    LOL I've just been to their shop and they told me that before I pay, I can look at my new laptop, turn it on and look ath the soft, connect it with their 30" display, etc. :)
    May be that's because expensive stuff like that is not very popular in Ukraine. Frankly speaking I've never seen anybody in that shop (except of shop assistants and security). And I always wonder what that 5 shop assistants do during their working day in their empty shop :D


    Everybody thanks for your answers. In about 1 month I'll buy that thing and will tell you the end of this story. :)
     
  18. SchneiderMan macrumors G3

    SchneiderMan

    Joined:
    May 25, 2008
    Location:
    Apple state
    #18
    yeah and while you wait drink some vodka :D
     
  19. Crovax thread starter macrumors member

    Crovax

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2008
    Location:
    Kyiv, Ukraine
    #19
    Ha-ha SchneiderMan, you're so ignorant. :D "Vodka" is used in Russia and Ukrainians use "Gorilka". And thanks for your care but I like my brains too much so I'll skip this advice :)
     
  20. Crovax thread starter macrumors member

    Crovax

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2008
    Location:
    Kyiv, Ukraine
    #20
    So I've been lurking around and found this article
    http://www.theinquirer.net/gb/inquirer/news/2008/07/09/nvidia-g84-g86-bad
    It says that
    It sounds very sad and now I am thinking of buying some other laptop. Then I'll be waiting for the next MacBook Pro release and buy their newest model. Does anyone know when they are going to do this?
     
  21. PDE macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2005
    #21
    I grew up in 'Europe' (the north part) and went to graduate school on some little island that used to have large colonies all over the place, and now live in the U.S. and buy lots of stupid electronics everywhere I go. I'm talking about consumer rights and protection, not about what individual companies do arbitrarily. In the U.S. companies may or may not provide good service, but there's little that will force them to adhere to anything. As a consumer that means you're on your own and have to rely on the good will of the company. Apple happens to be good over here, but really not very good elsewhere in the world. I've had many encounters with Apple in Europe and it was always mediocre and slow. In the EU you not only have the two-year warranty thing, but also the 3-year rule that says that if a product has an inherent fault that popped up early on (like the Nvidia GPUs), the manufacturer is required to repair/replace for three years from date of purchase - here in the U.S. we have to rely on the good will and professional conduct of Apple and, when it comes to recalls and spending lots of money, Apple is just like any other company: very reluctant to admit fault and spend money.

    Italy is of course different from many other places in Europe and it doesn't really surprise me that Apple operates in the way it pleases. However, I'm sure a lawsuit is not necessary to get Apple to comply with EU/Italian law - perhaps trying the consumer affairs helpline would be a good start?

    the grass is ALWAYS greener on the other side....but once you jump over, it's just a dried up and brown as where you came from.
     

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