Intel iMac Reliability

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by bursty, Jan 10, 2006.

  1. bursty macrumors 65816


    Jan 31, 2004
    Ok so I know there are a ton of threads floating around about the new iMacs but I have a question about reliability. I was planning on purchasing a new iMac last week, but just never got around to it. Now that the Intels are out, one would assume that I should opt to buy the Intel Rev A iMac. However, I have heard horror stories about the reliability of RevA Apple hardware. Can anyone offer any insight on their reliability? Obviously, I realize no one has any first hand experience, given the fact they were JUST released. Any other help or suggestions?
  2. nagromme macrumors G5


    May 2, 2002
    If both models seem like they might meet your needs, then go for the Intel one for sure!

    Looking at a forum about any product (Macs in this case) you'd think there were FAR more problems than there really are. That's because it's human nature to seek solutions (or simply vent) when you have a problem. There's no incentive to post a topic "My Mac still works great!"

    Don't let the squeaky wheel syndrome worry you: most Macs, even rev A's, are just great.

    At the same time, a revision A of ANY product, from ANY manufacturer will have a higher failure rate than a later model that has the benefit of heavy public testing. So it's no myth when people say waiting for a rev B is better. Waiting DOES improve your odds of a flawless machine. It's just that rev A's aren't actually bad either.

    Consider also that Apple has the lowest desktop failure rate in the industry. I'd much rather have a rev A Mac than a rev A from any other company! The failure rate from ANY company is higher than I think it should be--but at least Apple's the best of the bunch.

    Last but not least, the newest G5 iMacs were heavily redesigned--they're more than just a refinement of the old design. So in a sense, those G5s are like rev A's all over again.

    In fact, for many components (not the CPU/motherboard) the Intel iMacs are like rev B's: they are based on the same iMac design as the new G5s.

    In the end, you can NEVER be certain there won't be a failure or a faulty part--and that's what a warranty is for. You're protected that way, despite the inconvenience.

    So if you can't be certain, all you can do is take your best guess about the most reliable model, try to judge just HOW much better it is, and weigh that against your needs and what the machine will DO for you.

    I don't know if the Intel Macs will be more or less reliable than the G5s, but history tells us that EITHER choice will probably get you a reliable machine. So if it were me I'd get the more powerful model, using the next generation platform, which will serve you far into the future. Go with Intel unless you have an urgent short-term need for PowerPC-only applications.

    (If you want to be just a little cautious, go ahead with a rev A Intel, but wait a few weeks to hear about any early problems or bad components. If Apple gets a bad batch of some component, they'll fix that ASAP rather than wait for the next big revision. So I like to avoid the VERY first units off the assembly line, even if it means a few weeks wait. It's all just playing the odds of course.)
  3. iMeowbot macrumors G3


    Aug 30, 2003
    I'm really kind of optimistic about this particular set of machines, because Apple and Intel apparently worked so closely together. Ideally, the Intel engineering discipline will have tempered the Apple tendency not to let engineering get in the way of a good design.
  4. bursty thread starter macrumors 65816


    Jan 31, 2004
    Thanks for the reply. Would you recommend that I get Applecare for the RevA Intel iMac? I probably will just to be safe.
  5. mikemodena macrumors 6502a


    May 30, 2005
    I think it's definately worth it, and then you will have no qualms about buying the intel iMac. If something happens to it, it's covered.
  6. kretzy macrumors 604


    Sep 11, 2004
    Canberra, Australia
    I think go with the Intel. If there are any major problems Apple should replace/fix them under AppleCare
  7. Mechcozmo macrumors 603


    Jul 17, 2004
    I'd get AppleCare.

    Personally, I'm holding off on my MacBook Pro purchase because I don't need one right now and in a year is when I really do need an upgrade. Same for the iMac-- it is tempting, but I see no reason not to upgrade unless you don't need it. It is a tried and true design, and also those Intel Developer Transition kits have been out for a while so Apple probably has gotten some bugfix ideas from those....
  8. nagromme macrumors G5


    May 2, 2002

    One good option: don't get it... but mark your calendar and 11 months later (when the 1-year warranty is nearly up) make your decision then. You don't need to get it ahead of time (unless you just want the extra phone support during the first year).

    When it comes time to decide, a year from now (don't forget!) you have to ask yourself one question. Do you feel lucky, punk?

    I've owned 3 Macs, and I got AppleCare on the first one. I didn't NEED it, but I did USE it to fix a loose hinge problem after almost 3 years. I was very happy with the service I received. For my latest 2 Macs... I just felt lucky! And sure enough they've given me no trouble after the warranty ended. (Plus when you have more than one Mac, losing one is a little less critical.)

    In general, conventional wisdom is that extended warranties are overprices. Also, some say laptops need them more--because of the harsh usage conditions. It's your call. AppleCare is a good package, I just hate "betting against myself." My insurance bills are high enough :) But for my next Mac... I don't think I feel so lucky... I might go for the Care...
  9. bursty thread starter macrumors 65816


    Jan 31, 2004
    Oh, so you can get AppleCare anytime within the first year of purchase? How long does it cover the product once you get it? 3 years from date of purchase or 3 years from the date you bought AppleCare?
  10. twoodcc macrumors P6


    Feb 3, 2005
    Right side of wrong
    3 years from date of purchase. so technically you'd be paying for 3 years and only getting 2 years if you wait until the first year is up. i personally would wait, but that's me. i have faith in apple
  11. LGRW3919 macrumors regular

    Mar 6, 2005
    cupertino (no joke)
    waiting a few months down the road is a good plan. my philosophy is is that if there is something defective inside my mac, it will probably identify itself within the first year, which i believe is covered.

    ooo i am so jealous yet again of these new imacs :cool: :)
  12. nagromme macrumors G5


    May 2, 2002
    Right. AppleCare is always three years from the date you bought the machine, and buying late doesn't extend it. But you are ALLOWED to buy late as long as you are still within the 1-year warranty. (Actually I talked my way into it a day later than that, but don't try this at home :) )

    AppleCare is basically two components:

    1. Extra technical help from Apple. I don't care about this, I've always gotten all the help I need easily and freely in other ways--mainly just by looking online.

    2. Extended warranty (adds 2 years).

    Buying AppleCare late takes away from #1 (if that matters to you) but #2 is not harmed--nor helped.

    (You could always buy AppleCare late the moment you NEED #1, anyway.)
  13. Bubbasteve macrumors 65816


    Dec 23, 2004
    Charleston, IL
    Just buy it and if it breaks it breaks... just buy applecare and you're safe for 3(?) years

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