Is the 21.5" 3.06GHz Intel Core i3 iMac a pandora's box?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by DewGuy1999, Nov 26, 2010.

  1. DewGuy1999, Nov 26, 2010
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2010

    DewGuy1999 macrumors 68040


    Jan 25, 2009
    A relative asked about the 21.5" 3.06GHz Intel Core i3 iMac, so I've been researching it on the net and I'm a bit surprised by the amount of problems being exhibited by these iMacs. Some of the discussions I've read weren't specific if the problem was only effecting the 21.5" models or the 27" models or both sizes of iMac, but following is a pretty good list of what I've run across:
    • Display exhibits area(s) of yellow (or some other color) discoloration
    • Display exhibits dark area(s) discoloration
    • Display exhibits area(s) of backlight bleed
    • Display backlight exhibits high pitched (dog whistle) noise(s) when brightness is turned down
    • Hard Drive exhibits loud noise(s)
    • Hard Drive exhibits mooing or burping noise(s)
    • Aluminum slot surrounding optical drive scratches discs
    • Energy Saver exhibits wake from sleep issues
    • SD cards exhibits only being able to be read once without rebooting iMac

    Are they really this bad? Comments welcome. Thanks is advance.
  2. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
    All consumer grade products have issues. When you come to forums like this, you will mostly hear people posting about their issues. However, most of the products are completely fine and have no issues at all.

    Don't scare yourself by looking at the issues, go and get one and enjoy. If it turns out to be a bad one, then rethink but I'd still get a replacement.
  3. DewGuy1999 thread starter macrumors 68040


    Jan 25, 2009
    I do understand that consumer electronics have issues, it just seems that this last generation (since the last overhaul on October 20, 2009) is plagued by problems. I've been a Mac user since '93 and I can't recall a previous Apple model lineup suffering so many different issues. Maybe it's because the iMac is an all-in-one. :confused:
  4. nOw2 macrumors regular

    Sep 1, 2009
    Be careful reading this forum, accuracy is not a strong point.

    Many of the threads regarding problems are self-enforcing, such as this very thread. You went from asking 'if 21.5" machines have problems' to stating that they are "suffering so many different issues".

    A self-reinforcing viewpoint.
  5. DewGuy1999 thread starter macrumors 68040


    Jan 25, 2009
    Well they do SEEM to be suffering a great deal of problems.
  6. B.winkle macrumors member

    Aug 3, 2010
  7. lcseds macrumors 6502a

    Jun 20, 2006
    NC, USA
    My new 27 has only a slightly loud hard drive. Since it is nearly in my face, I expected to hear something. I always have TV, iTunes, or a movie going at the same time I'm on it so it is not noticeable by me.
    Some folks want perfection. It does not exists in this industry.
  8. weckart macrumors 601

    Nov 7, 2004
    The one I bought for my sister has wake from sleep issues - that is, it wakes before it is prompted. The only way we can keep it from waking spontaneously is to hit the on/off switch to put the iMac to sleep. Selecting sleep from the menu is an exercise in frustration.

    Otherwise, we haven't looked too closely for yellowing etc. If something like that is not immediately obvious, then I don't particularly want to go looking for it.

    Most of my Macs have had some blemish or other.

    The hinge on my Wallstreet couldn't hold up a feather.
    The battery on my iBook never sat flush (or did on any other iBook for that matter),
    My Macbook Pro 2.33GHz pre Santa Rosa had the worst screen I have ever had on a notebook - thanks to an overgenerous antiglare coating.
    My current Macbook Pro has yellowing on the bottom third of the screen and eats batteries for breakfast.
    My Macbook is the proverbial crackbook with every part of the casing showing some distress or other and bits missing.
    My Mac Mini has the memory bank 1 "empty" problem.

    I kept them all.

    But then I never subscribed to the nonsense that Apple hardware uses superior parts, is better designed or 'just works'. It has never been the case.
  9. rkaufmann87 macrumors 68000


    Dec 17, 2009
    Folsom, CA
    Then by all means lock yourself in your house, turn on the tv and don't look at any forums.

    Apple sales has grown in orders of magnitude over the past 4-5 years, I don't know when the last time you researched a computer was but of course you're going to see more complaints that's because more computers are being sold than ever before. In the past year iMac sales alone have increase over 25%!
  10. MacHamster68, Nov 28, 2010
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2010

    MacHamster68 macrumors 68040


    Sep 17, 2009
    the problem is the consumer wants cheaper iMac and compare to other manufacturers who offer all in one computers ,its still a bit pricey , but if you look closer on the spec sheet the iMac is not really expensive if you compare to the top of the range all in ones from sony, dell,.....
    but like those with high numbers sold , higher numbers of faults are only natural as the manufacturer cant physically test every system that comes of the line

    and most noise issues are only existent in the mind of people who think a all in one computer has to be totally silent , while they forget that they sit direct in front of a all in one computer , a normal desktop sits usually under the desk so the noise is shielded from the user by the desk , thats why a lot of pc users who switch to a iMac find noises they never heard before and are irritated and think of a fault

    harddrives have moving parts inside and moving parts have a tendency to create noise ,
    fans have moving parts too and moving parts create noise , and if you have fairly good hearing you will hear a harddrive and fans inside the iMac

    i mean there are people who find a needle dropping on their carpet as extremely loud and disturbing and others who would not even hear a starting concorde standing next to the runway

    same for the eyesight some see things others dont
  11. TheZA macrumors regular

    Sep 14, 2007
    Well, I got the base model I3 from the Apple refurbished store about a month ago and have had absolutely no problems. I was a bit worried at first reading those same reviews, but went ahead and did it and the computer exceeds my expectations.
  12. Phil A. Moderator

    Phil A.

    Staff Member

    Apr 2, 2006
    Shropshire, UK
    Wirelessly posted (iPhone 4: Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_2_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8C148 Safari/6533.18.5)

    No problems at all here with my 21.5" i3: build quality is superb and the machine is fast, quiet and reliable :)
  13. talmy macrumors 601


    Oct 26, 2009
    The amount of problems seem to be related to how finicky the purchaser is. I bought a 27" shortly after they were announced, which I've now had for slightly over a year. Being early production, it would tend to have more problems than later units. However...

    Very slight yellow tint at bottom of display that I don't even notice unless I try real hard! Basically if I hadn't read about the problem I would never have known it were there. None of the other problems. I consider the display amazing.

    The most quiet iMac I've heard, and we've had five now since the G5 -- now that was really loud. The hard drive can be heard but it is quieter than the external drives on my Mac mini server 10 feet away.

    Yes on the aluminum slot, but the solution is to insert and remove the disks straight without tilting. I've run hundreds through and have only destroyed one. I haven't experienced the other problems.

    Bottom line is it is the best computer I've ever owned, and it's my 8th main home system.
  14. Zildog macrumors newbie

    Nov 28, 2010
    Well, I'm on my second one in a month and this one also looks to have a problem with its hardware.

    Not too happy about it as I thought this was an all in one solution for Mac people - I guess trying to make the Mac cheaper has lowered the quality of the product...

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