Is this typical? Was switching from PC to Mac a Bad Idea?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Ptyger, Sep 14, 2009.

  1. Ptyger macrumors member


    Nov 20, 2008
    Knoxville, TN
    My Early '08 15" MBP is in for the third repair in a two week period. First, it was the logic board due to the nvidia 8600M GT problem. Then, a bad battery. Now, the superdrive is being replaced.

    I switched late last year from PC to Apple, but now I'm questioning whether I made the right choice. I have no fault with Apple's customer service, they've been great up to this point as far as that goes. But I'm getting extremely frustrated that this thing just seems to be falling apart.

    Is it just this model that has so many problems, or is it all Apple products in general? I never had so much go wrong on any PC laptop/notebook product that I've owned in the past. I switched to Macs because I wanted assurance that what I was buying was superior in build quality and workmanship, but my experience so far has been far from that.

    I'm half tempted to complete this repair and sell ALL of my Apple products and start again with PCs. It's true that you get what you pay for, but to be perfectly honest, I expected much more than this for the price I paid for this computer.

    I've even been experiencing difficulties with my brand new mini. If I let it sleep for more than a couple of hours, the display refuses to reinitialize and I have to hold the power button down to get it to reboot. Keyboard shortcuts don't even work. This is with and without ANY peripherals hooked up, except monitor, keyboard, and mouse.

    I want to scream, I'm so completely frustrated. Can anyone recommend a course of action or sage advice?

    (incidentally, I'm sorry for the rant)
  2. barkomatic macrumors 68040

    Aug 8, 2008
    I'd say you got a lemon. Frankly, after so many repairs in such a short amount of time I'd make a case for a new machine entirely if there is one more issue. I wouldn't sell your mac as you'd likely lose significant money in the transaction.

    My 2006 mbp had multiple problems as well. The superdrive failed, then the logic board, and the battery. After the last repair about a year ago I no longer have any issues but I'm keeping my fingers crossed. I'm a bit crazy, but despite those issues I still like my macbook pro and will likely replace it with a new one when its time--if Apple catches up with the rest of the world and adds a blu-ray drive.

    If there is another lame update to the mbp line in February I'll consider a PC myself at that point. I will not pay $2500 for 2 year old technology.
  3. kryptonianjorel macrumors 6502

    Jul 3, 2009
    Ok. You're not happy, sell it.

    What do you expect people to tell you? There's nothing that anyone can say here to fix your problems. If you want to go back to the world of PCs, go for it
  4. michael.lauden macrumors 68020


    Dec 25, 2008
    There isn't really something to say, or a discussion to start.

    if you enjoy PC's more, use them

    if you enjoy Apple Computer's more, then use those instead.

    I enjoy my MacBook, and other higher end Macs out there, so I won't switch.

    if you are having nothing but troubles, then what reason do you have to NOT switch?
  5. ethical macrumors 68000

    Dec 22, 2007
    No, all those problems aren't typical. As already said... if you get another problem make a case for a new machine.

    There's no point in staying with a Mac if it's frustrating you so much. Go with whatever machine suits your needs best... be it a mac, pc or linux machine if you want!
  6. Ptyger thread starter macrumors member


    Nov 20, 2008
    Knoxville, TN
    I'm sorry, I'm not trying to get anyone worked up here. I like the IDEA put forth by Apple in their Mac line, and I'm curious/worried that if I try to remain with these products, the problems I've experienced will just be the beginning.

    Ideally, what I'd like to hear is that not all Apple products are beset by such numerous problems. That Apple does make a quality product and stands by it. I'd like to hear your experience with Macs, those that worked and those that didn't. For those that didn't, how you coped with the problems and how they were eventually resolved. Not in detail, but in a way that I can make use of in my specific case. In short: help, please. Not with technical support, but perhaps with commiseration to a problem you know yourself. I know a web forum cannot magically repair my notebook.

    Perhaps, as the poster before you said, I just ended up with a lemon. Perhaps I'm being too picky, or expecting too much. I'd like to honestly know what this community thinks, an overall impression gleaned from many separate voices.

    For venting my frustration the way I did in my original post, I apologize. Perhaps I was too openly emotional in expressing my frustrations. Just seemed as good a place as any, where others have felt the same pain.
  7. michael.lauden macrumors 68020


    Dec 25, 2008
    when i switched to Macs, my MacBook had a screen flicker and i was so sick to my stomach. i was able to take it back the next day (even though the store was ~1 hour 45 mins away) on christmas eve and get a replacement in less time than it took to get me my original computer.

    i have been happy since.
  8. vant macrumors 65816

    Jul 1, 2009
    Every product has it's lemons.

    PCs or Mac, no one is invulnerable.
  9. Captain Planet macrumors 6502a

    Captain Planet

    Mar 24, 2007
    Like everyone said, you weren't lucky and got yourself a "lemon". No one's perfect, even Apple. But still, give it another chance... I've made the switch from PC to Mac about two and a half years ago when I purchased my first iMac. So far, I haven't had one single problem. Don't give up on your Mac yet!;)
  10. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604


    May 28, 2005
    One or two issues isn't something to warrant selling all of your Apple products over. However, if you switched to Apple because you thought you were going to get stuff that always "just works", and never gives you problems, you came to the wrong company.
  11. optophobia macrumors 6502a


    Oct 26, 2007
    Hudson MA
    I have the same model MBP as yours.
    My superdrive needs replacing but I dont use it, so I am just living with it. I have it under Applecare and will probably wait until right at the last minute to get it replaced, That way, they may just give me a new MBP instead :)

    Crossed fingers, my logic board hasn't needed replacement yet.
  12. 7even macrumors 6502a

    Jan 11, 2008
    I've seen lemons of both Mac and PC variety. Not every machine is perfect...
  13. chaosbunny macrumors 68000


    Mar 11, 2005
    down to earth, far away from any clouds
    Yes this is perfectly normal, every Apple computer sold has at least 3 failures. :rolleyes:

    No seriously, my 2008 non-unibody mbp has been trouble free so far. So have been almost all Apple products me and some friends have bought. I also do freelance work for various agencies that mostly use Macs. I'd estimate that out of the approximately 50 Macs I have personally encountered over the past years maybe 2-3 had problems.

    So yes, you got a lemon. I hope you get a (newer model) replacement.

    As for your mini, how is your display connected? vga, dvi, via mini-displayport adaptor? Could you try if it happens with a different monitor/connection too?
  14. MattZani macrumors 68030


    Apr 20, 2008
    My '08 15" MBP is still fine, slugging along like a champ. Had the battery replaced but that was my fault.
  15. Shiner macrumors 6502

    Oct 1, 2007
    I think your problems are more typical than people on this forum want to believe (apple kool-aid). Anyways, in my current setup I am seeing close to 40% fail rate on new apple products. I think they are cutting even more corners than usual with their production. I had a new 13" MBP that was returned for service 4 times in the first month. I eventually got my money back. I then decided to throw caution to the wind and get another 15" MBP, when the matte screen was released. I will simply say I am writing this post from my PC desktop. My laptop has been in for repairs for that last 4 days. Motherboard failed one week after taking the damn thing home. It just goes to show the hardware is the same in both PCs and Macs. There is no special sauce apple uses. They just have better marketing in the end.
  16. mrboult macrumors 6502


    Jul 29, 2008
    London, England
    I've owned 4 apple laptops and all have been fine apart from an old G4 iBook that needed a drive replacing. Applecare picked it up fixed it and returned within one week. Have never owned a mbp before the unibody design though.
  17. jzuena macrumors 6502a


    Feb 21, 2007
    Lexington, MA, USA
    The closest I can get to your setup is a late '07 15" MBP. My coworker had the logic board 8600M GT problem and had it replaced, and mine is still running fine. I did have a battery that went down to around 50% capacity with less than 50 charges, but since this is a work machine I have a second battery that is holding up fine and have also inherited another good battery when someone left the company. I know I don't exercise the batteries enough, since it mainly sits on my desk, but when needed they work as long as I've ever really needed them to.

    I also have two minis at home, one of which is the new one. It goes into sleep mode all day while I am at work and wakes just fine every night. I didn't really use the sleep function on the older one.

    These are just a few data points to add in, but so far a weak battery is all I've experienced, and logic board problem is all I've seen from others.
  18. electroshock macrumors 6502a


    Sep 7, 2009
    Sorry to hear about the bad experience -- anything I/we can do to help?

    Wow, Ptyger, I'm really sorry to hear about the horrible experience you've had so far. I don't know what to tell you except that it's nowhere near normal for 99% of people. I say this having owned Macs since 1987 and administered hundreds of them over the years so I feel I have a better big-picture view of overall hardware reliability than the average person with a few Macs does. I've also administered many PCs since 1983, so I'm also comfortable there, too.

    Apple will usually replace a machine entirely by the 4th time it's having issues or sometimes the 3rd. But if you write a really nice and polite letter via postal mail to Steve Jobs that's short, to the point, explaining you're a new switcher from PCs and am dismayed by <list specific issues you've called Apple support about>, and was wondering if there was anything Apple could do to resolve all the issues seen with the hardware?

    Be sure to include your name, phone number, mailing address, email address, and if you have one, an Apple ID (username) in the letter somewhere. Steve Jobs probably won't read that letter, but they have a team who does and usually refers it to someone who can help cut through all the BS and get problems solved. It helps a lot if you write it in a polite, nice, non-threatening way so try to write it when not in an angry or frustrated mood if possible.

    Steve Jobs
    CEO, Apple, Inc.
    1 Infinite Loop
    Cupertino, CA 95014

    The hope is that in doing this, they may agree to replace or fix for once-and-all any and every issue seen. Macs aren't problem-free, but they're usually built pretty well. So it honestly looks like you got the rare lemon. Does sound like Apple could do a better job of more quickly resolving your issues one way or another, even if that means a replacement machine at their expense.

    The way you wrote your post, boy, well... understandable for being frustrated, but it didn't come over such so well to most. Please be understanding of their sensitivities as much as we try to understand yours. If there is anything I can personally do to help out with a better Mac experience, I'll do my very best.
  19. Wotan31 macrumors 6502

    Jun 5, 2008
    That does seem like a lot of repairs. Although the logic board / nvidia 8600m problem is not "Apple's fault". ALL the laptop manufacturers who used this nvidia chip have been replacing logic boards. I have two friends both with HP laptops and both had to send theirs in for logic board replacement due to 8600m failure.

    The bad battery and superdrive? Well, just bad luck I suppose. My 2006 MBP hasn't had a single hardware problem.
  20. chaosbunny macrumors 68000


    Mar 11, 2005
    down to earth, far away from any clouds
    Wow, 2 faulty Apple laptops! You know what that proves? Nothing.

    I can understand your frustration but seriously, you can't make a general conclusion out of 2 machines.

    I can't even make one with many more than that.

    Personal machines:

    iBook G3 Clamshell - 0 issues, still working
    PowerBook G3 - 0 issues, sold to a friend many years ago, still working
    12" PowerBook G4 - 0 issues, now used by my father
    15" PowerBook G4 - logic board replaced once, working since then, now used by my girlfriend
    iBook G4 - former girlfriend computer, logic board replaced once, sold to a friend, working ever since
    15" MacBook Pro - 0 issues

    Others (from friends or other designers I know or agencies I work for):

    1 17" PowerBook G4, 3 15" PowerBook G4, 5 15" MacBook Pros, 8 MacBooks - 0 issues
    1 17" MacBook Pro - logic board replaced once

    These are the ones I can rougly remember right now, and I counted only the laptops. And you know what that proves? Nothing.

    Maybe if someone would admin 100++ Apple laptops he could make a statement on their general reliability. In the absence of someone like this, I can only mention that Apples always ranks very good in custumer satisfaction surveys.

    As for the op, I think he wrote a good and legit complain without hurting anyones feelings. Again, I hope he gets a newer machine for his troubles and has no problems with it.
  21. jfyrfytr25 macrumors 6502a


    Dec 6, 2008
    Why not try Apple customer service first. try calling them and pleading your case. If you have escalate to a supervisor.

    I just dont believe in the have a problem, call Steve Jobs motto.

    in fact if you do write a letter to him, it will not be read by him, but by a higher end customer service supervisor. It will also take some time as they get so many as it is.

    where as if not every one jumped straight to maybe when people do have such a horrible experience, that is not being solved in any other avenue that is available, could then use this outlet and get an answer ASAP. and Maybe just maybe it would the big guy himself.
  22. Ptyger thread starter macrumors member


    Nov 20, 2008
    Knoxville, TN
    I've tried with both mini-DVI -> DVI and mini Displayport -> DVI and the same issue occurs. Talked with Applecare about it, and the most they can recommend is that I bring it into the store and leave it for a few days so they can run diagnostics.

    Everything works otherwise, I think while my MBP is being sorted out, I'll just hold on to the mini. I just won't let it sleep. These new ones are supposed to use less power while idle, yes?

    That's helpful, thank you. I think I will save something like this as a last resort, though. I'm not against giving Apple a chance to make it right, I've just never seen problems cascade like this.

    Yes, I'm terribly sorry if I came across the wrong way. It was not my intent to (inadvertently, I assure you) raise anyone's hackles. I am in no way trying to demean anyone else's choices or decisions. I seek only to revisit my own, with the advice of those who have been users longer than myself.

    Thank you all for your responses and support. Again, I'm sorry for how my original post may have sounded. I live in a household where everyone but myself uses PCs, and the sympathy for a broken Mac is pretty much non-existent. No one wants to hear about any difficulties, and I desperately needed some outlet for this frustration. I'm sorry if I came across harsh or judgmental.
  23. electroshock macrumors 6502a


    Sep 7, 2009
    Er, notice what the OP said about third issue in two weeks involving Apple's attention? I'm pretty sure he's already been through Customer Service a few times by now. :D

    I see you also tl;dr'd my post -- thanks, so let me point out I mentioned that Steve Jobs wasn't likely to read it but someone else would and usually refers it to problem-solvers with a reputation for taking care of it real fast. I wouldn't recommend this approach for someone with a single issue or two, but for issues involving the same machine three or four times in 2-3 weeks seems like a reasonable candidate.

    Don't know if you've seen past MR reports but I've seen others going this route personally getting a call from Cupertino just two days after sending a letter to Steve Jobs with an offer to directly solve their issue super-quick.
  24. panzer06 macrumors 68030


    Sep 23, 2006
    I personally think that whole nvidia 8600-based batch is cursed. :(

    Everyone I know who has heavily used one has had issues, while many who have the older ATI x1600-based MBPs are still going strong. I despise nvidia for what they did to so many users across so many manufacturers it could just be clouding my perception!

  25. Shiner macrumors 6502

    Oct 1, 2007
    Thanks for your post it really helps the OP!!! Anyways, I personally have been in charge of well over 100 apple computers in the last 5 years. My lab has probably gone through 20-30 alone. The older apple computers just seemed to work much better than the newer laptops IN MY PERSONAL OPINION. Many times people come on the forums and act like apple is the best thing since sliced bread and do not have the same fail rates as every other company. Statistically speaking the fail rate is the EXACT same as other laptop companies. The number is simply smaller because apple only sells 5-10% the volume. All I wanted to say to the OP was apple makes bad laptops just like everyone else. Do not chose a good fit based off of failure rates from this forum. Decided if the OS and computer specs meet your demands and then you will not be let down when it breaks and gets fixed eventually.

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