iMac durability

Discussion in 'iMac' started by M0esmac, Aug 6, 2012.

  1. M0esmac macrumors 6502a


    Apr 25, 2012
    Hi guys,

    Do those last gen iMac's have good durability?
    I mean no hard drive dying or something like that?\

    And If for example I'm buying iMac not from Apple store, because it's far away and I can buy it only by cash, so If some HDD dies, can I bring it in Apple Store if HDD dies or something like that without Apple Care?

  2. Mister Bumbo macrumors 6502

    Apr 30, 2012
    The iMac itself, its form factor and the fact that it is an iMac does not change the fact (unfortunately) that the components inside are no better than components in any other computer. Hard drives break, graphic cards fry and other things blow - not because it's an iMac, but because that's what a certain percentage of computer components do.

    Where you got your iMac from won't matter to an Apple Store if you need it serviced, as long as it's an genuine Apple iMac. However, due to the iMac's form factor and how the innards are consctructed, any repair without Apple Care could be very costly, ridiculously so.

    Not sure how stable and breakage-prone the 2011 iMac is, but I'm sure people will fill in with their experiences.
  3. iSayuSay, Aug 6, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2012

    iSayuSay macrumors 68030


    Feb 6, 2011
    As overall, iMac had been quite durable. At least no less durable than your typical PCs. But in my experience there were a few components that more prone to failure/damage. Which are:

    1. The screen: For some reason iMac LCDs fail more easily, possibly caused by excessive heat and airflow behind. It had several problems ranging from smudged clouding/dirty display (which I had several times), up to producing weird lines, colors, dead pixels, or won't turn up at all.

    Those are normal lcd problems, but I can safely conclude iMac suffers higher risk to have it. If you're out of warranty/AppleCare, it's better to get external display instead. Way cheaper or costs the same as Apple's replacement, but you get another warranty with it. Plus iMac built-in display problems could come back anytime. And by that time comes again, you're screwed.

    2. HDD: For same heat reason, iMac HDD tend to lives shorter than average PC's. I've had several PCs and it usually takes a long time (3 years or more) for my HDD to start failing and slow down. Some not even fail at all during ownership. But I've seen most of iMac in my office need HDD replacement just under 2 years.

    3. GPU: A lot of failures happened on iMac with nVidia GPUs back then (pre 2009). Being a 4+ years old machines, Apple would cost you a ludicrous $300 - $500 for replacing those antiquated cards. Might as well buy a new machine instead. But statistics changed with Radeon chips since 2009 iMac. There were less failure reports since then.

    And so I worried about next gen iMac GPUs which most likely will cycle back to nVidia. Maybe it's better to wait until Radeon again? But it could be 3 years, and it could be nVidia chips are getting more reliable nowadays? Nobody knows for sure.

    Conclusion: iMac is a quite nice machine when its flaws ruled out, but I do feel it's not for me, too much failures and hassles for the price. LCD + hot components behind is not exactly a perfect combination. Yes, I'm a bit feel sorry to have purchased it. But lesson learned and I will hold on to this machine for several years, enjoy my AppleCare claims and when the time comes, I plan to switch back to regular tower + Macbook Air combo, and possibly with Apple display in the future.
  4. Roy G Biv macrumors 6502

    Roy G Biv

    Dec 26, 2010
    Yo, yo

    No dobt, iSayusay, but should Macbook Pro's or Airs be expected to have better longevity? That doesn't seem intuitively correct, and then we're left with Mini's and Mac Pro's.
  5. iSayuSay macrumors 68030


    Feb 6, 2011

    Many people get an iMac (especially the high end 27") in hope you can have a reasonably powerful Mac workstation + decent Windows gaming box in one package. Sounds perfect, huh?
    But in my case, I might say it doesn't work that well. It certainly has adequate grunt but the thinness, heat, and power just don't get along well in the same sentence. Technical problems/failures may catch up along the way.

    By getting a PC + MBP/A + ATD I didn't assure that Macbooks must have better durability. But I simply enjoy Mac and Apple products for what they're getting better at now .. mobile computers. And so I have two computers specialized on their own field. One being mobile, and the other is powerful. Another bonus is I can use spare computer when one of them is in trouble.

    Now if MacPro getting a proper nice boost next year, that would be tempting.
  6. lexvo macrumors 65816

    Nov 11, 2009
    The Netherlands
    I think durability of iMac's is about the same as PC's nowadays.

    With my 2009 iMac I had
    - failing Magic Mouse after 1 year
    - defect ethernet-port after 1.5 years
    - defect HDD (temperature sensor) after 2 years

    I have had more problems with my iMac than all my previous PC's. Thankfully, I have AppleCare.

    But I am thinking what I will do if my AppleCare expires in a few months. I can keep this iMac with the risc of a new repair or buy a new iMac and have 3 year AppleCare again.
  7. Nightarchaon macrumors 65816


    Sep 1, 2010
    I will say, Apple care IS NEEDED with an iMac purchase, solely for the screen, i don't know why apple seems unable to source a decent sealed LCD display after all these years, im assuming the profit margin in them is high enough that they would rather replace them annually for three years life of an apple care warranty than have a decent sealed screen in the first place.

    My last 24" iMac had 4 screens replaced in three years due to "smudging/dust" between the LCD display and backlight due to "insufficient sealing around the LCD unit itself" My 21" iMac bought last november is already on screen number 2 for the same reason.

    I would say apples products are like buying a high end porche 911 turbo, only to find out its a pretty body shell on a 3 year old Volkswagen Beetle.

    AS for failure rate of PCs, ive got an old AMD , with its original components, thats been running as a media server for over 8 years..not a peep out of it, ive got Fujitsu laptops around the same age being used with no problems, my Macbook pro, died after 14 months, my time capsule, 16 months, Apples products have been getting steadily less and less reliable over time since they moved to intel, the old G4s will run forever, the intel based ones, well, i think apples internal mantra is "Built in obsolesce = annual revenue stream"
  8. Michaelgtrusa macrumors 604

    Oct 13, 2008
    Never again will I buy one. I heard of someone here state that they had 14 iMacs replaced.
  9. M0esmac thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Apr 25, 2012
    Thanks for the feedback guys!

    I was going to wait til 2012 models, but now I'm thinking...

    So okay, I'm getting Apple Care with it.

    My screen/hdd fails just simply, I haven't done anything. They will replace free of charge again, if I have Apple Care?

    Now I have 13" MBP 2.7GHz, I was thinking to buy Thunderbolt Display, but whats the point, if you add extra ~£400, you are getting the same size screen and + now you have two machines...
  10. sm8159 macrumors newbie

    Aug 7, 2012
    I dont agree with the above comments - as common

    We have 6 MACs at home. One is a 24" iMac - and worked flawlessly since day 1 for past 5 years. All 6 have never had anything replaced on them. I did not buy AppleCare on any also.

    Just ordered a iMac 27" fully loaded from Apple, with SSD etc. I did get AppleCare for it, a nominal cost on such a machine when you think about percent of original cost. And while I am handy with most types of work like HD replacement, I dont want to muck with insides of a iMac.

    I think like any forum, 1% or less may post, and of those 1% - a small number have issues. And of total customers, a very small number have had issues.

    I also didnt want to wait any longer for a new Ivy Bridge iMac. I dont care what they come out with - I am very satisfied with the design/performance/build of current gen iMac. Plan to keep it for 5 years +.
  11. sebi247 macrumors member

    May 7, 2012
    Never had any problem with my old 2008 24inch iMac, but with my 2010 MBP 13inch: system crashes, freezes, superdrive and display problems etc.

    BUT: After my MBP issues, Apple contacted me (!) and replaced the laptop with the brand new model.

    As already mentioned: Always get an ACPP with your new Apple product! ;)
  12. jji7skyline macrumors 6502


    Aug 10, 2011
    iMacs are very durable. Many years with no trouble :)
  13. M0esmac thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Apr 25, 2012
    Okay so you all now are confusing me. :D

    What would you reccomend for me? Base iMac
    27" and 32/16GB RAM upgrade or stay with my 2011 Early MBP 8gm ram (maybe will be upgrading to 16gb) 2.7GHz i7 and Thunderbolt Display.

    I have £900, bur extra £400 may be added for iMac. If I'm buying TBD - I don't have that extra money.

    This year in september I'll be starting studying computing in College. Bootcamp I think will be needed.

  14. sm8159 macrumors newbie

    Aug 7, 2012

    Depends on your needs. I too have a MBP 15" i7 with 16GB memory which I use for portability.

    And my new iMac is for heavy lifting - i.e. lots of VM work, VPN to work, iTunes, iDVD, iMovie, and basically a very capable home base machine - including streaming to several Apple TVs in the home. I got it with 16GB of memory.

    And also TONS of photo work - Photoshop CS6, Aperture, iPhoto - with a library of 10 thousand + photos. I attach a FW800 external G-Drive disk that is 4TB.

    If you need a iMac, get a base i7, drop in 16GB of memory and you have a lot of power to last 5 years.
  15. Photography macrumors 65816


    Apr 10, 2007
    I've also noticed many threads about people experiencing issues with their new iMacs (less than 2 years old). It worries me somewhat. I've never had a problem with my 2009 MBP, and I still have a 2005 iMac that works fine, just collecting dust. However, it seems the newer models bring a lot of technical issues to many people on these forums. Makes me think a little longer about whether I should get a new iMac when they release it...
  16. iSayuSay macrumors 68030


    Feb 6, 2011
    Well don't be confused. Just buy what you want or need. iMac certainly is a competent machine. It's a fully loaded (well, almost) desktop with a huge nice screen.

    But it's not without problems. You may have problem with the screen or HDD along the way, but could be not too, if you're that lucky.

    So get one if you'd like to try. Just don't hold onto your wallet and get an AppleCare with it. It's a must. That way Apple would make sure your machine works at least within 3 years.

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