Lack of Product Reliability and Longevity

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Creteway, Apr 26, 2013.

  1. Creteway macrumors newbie

    Apr 26, 2013
    I am the not so proud owner of an early 2009 24" iMAC with a Logic Board that has failed, and am now facing a HUGE bill should I decide to have it replaced.

    Considering how much I paid for the machine, which was the top of the range at the time, I am bitterly disappointed that my Apple turned out to be a rotten one.

    Is reliability and longevity too much to ask for?

    Also is a cost effective fix for what is clearly a serious design fault, as evidence on this forum and Apple forums suggest I am not alone, again too much to ask for.

    Dam it, I have a aged 486 dating back to 1995 that is still going strong as an ox.

    My iMAC went as strong as a Mayfly, a brief existence.

    Shame on Apple.
  2. benwiggy macrumors 68020

    Jun 15, 2012
    It's tough when hardware breaks down. But sometimes, the production line will spit out a batch that's not quite up to scratch, and sometimes that gets through QA and out to the shops, if the problem is just within tolerance. A failed logic board is not necessarily a design fault -- it could be a substandard component, or something put together in production just at the bottom end of the spec.

    You can find some people who have bought and returned several different Macs with hardware faults in a short time, and others who have run the same Mac for many years. I still see beige Macs running OS 9, and I've had Macs last 7 to 10 years. I dare say there are people who have had crappy experiences with high-quality Windows PC hardware, too.

    So I don't think you can blame Apple, necessarily.

    Four years is not a long time by hardware standards, but it is at the start of the range when you can expect hardware problems to materialize. There's a reason that AppleCare is 3 years.

    If the cost of repair is really astronomical, then maybe it's time for a replacement, as a better investment. May be you'll have better luck with that one.
    Alternatively, see if you can buy a replacement logic board and replace it yourself. There are detailed breakdowns of how to do things like this on sites like If it goes wrong, you haven't spent a lot.
  3. SMDBill macrumors 6502

    Apr 12, 2013
    It's very frustrating and justifiably maddening to go through that. The money you invest in an iMac is high so longevity is sort of expected.

    I went the other route with computers over the years. I've bought the $500 laptops from Dell, Acer and HP. I know yours is a desktop, just making reference to longevity. While the machines that were more costly (Dells mostly) were "nicer", the additional cost I paid for that higher end Dell gave me zero longevity gain. In fact, the ONLY machine that lasted more than a few years was the Acer. It ran strong for 9 years as a daily driver. The Dells I have owned have maximum lives of 18 months. That's all I got from them before I had screen, hard drive and other failures (RAM, keyboard, etc.).

    What I'm saying is we sometimes go cheap and get poor quality that is to be expected. Sometimes we lean more toward higher end and still end up in that position. With Apple products we tend to have higher expectations to go along with that higher price point and it sucks when we don't get what we feel we should from our investment. Identically produced hardware isn't always necessarily identical in quality and yours is proof that even high end hardware fails early sometimes. Out of warranty makes it hard to swallow, but you've been backed into a corner by an early failure. If it were me, I'd pay for a new iMac, even if it's a lower end than you are accustomed to in the iMac line because even the low end will out perform your 2009 machine and can be had significantly cheaper than a top of the line iMac, unless of course your workload requires the extra horsepower.
  4. dakhein macrumors member

    Aug 24, 2011
    NorCal, USA
    As a PC tech I can tell you hardware randomly dies whether Mac or PC, expensive or inexpensive...sometimes out of the box, sometimes right after the warranty ends, some still run. I've only had two Macs die on me in my lifetime. Both happen to be iMacs (G5 with the notorious bad capacitors) and a C2D but both died well outside the range of Apple Care and the dozens of other Macs I've had or work with last beyond five years.

    If you prioritize replacement costs over features such as ease of use, software availability, aesthetics, perhaps you should be a Windows user. But if you appreciate the total package Apple provides that most of us in this forum are satisfied with, just mark this hardware failure as just dumb luck.
  5. mslide macrumors 6502a

    Sep 17, 2007
    Why shame on apple? They use a lot of the same chips/components that all the other computer manufacturers use. What caused your logic board to fail could just as well have happened with a Dell, HP, etc. Electronics die for all sorts of reasons that are beyond Apple's control.

    You should have known that when you buy an iMac, you're basically buying a throw away computer. It's like buying a TV. If it dies, chances are it becomes a door stop unless you're willing to pay a lot to get it fixed. That's the price you pay for that fancy all-in-one design.

    That's why I don't buy all-in-one computers.

    That doesn't mean anything. I bet there are lots of people who had your exact same 486 that died within a few years and I bet there will be tons of people with your current iMac and it will be running strong for many years to come.
  6. old-wiz macrumors G3

    Mar 26, 2008
    West Suburban Boston Ma
    I have a 2008 24" iMac that has been on pretty much 24/7 and not a single issue.

    Hardware is very unpredictable; some will fail within a year, others will last for 20 years. It's not Apple's fault - they don't build the parts.
  7. iSayuSay macrumors 68040


    Feb 6, 2011
    Buy the new computer. If you don't feel to trust another iMac, get another form of Mac; Mac Mini or Macbook lines could be worth a shot. This time, get the AppleCare. I don't know whether you get one or not with this failed iMac, but if you didn't .. well sorry but shame on you.

    The AppleCare gives you 3 years peace of mind from manufacturer defect, especially on a sealed and non user-repairable computer like iMac. I know your 2009 iMac has no more warranty whatsoever, it's passed its 3 year mark anyway, but I wish you didn't let it off without one?

    Or if you simply don't trust Mac anymore, build your own Windows system. That way you can manage to maintain your computer more safely. Separated desktop component = easiest and cheapest way to handle hardware failure.

    IMO, Apple is excellent on their iToys nowadays, nothing more than that. Mac is just simply closer to a "hobby".
  8. Tanax macrumors 6502a

    Jun 15, 2011
    Stockholm, Sweden
    Why would he even bring up if he has Apple Care or not when it's of no relevancy whatsoever to his issue? :confused:
  9. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    Computer component manufacturers all over the world usually give 3 years warranty on their products. The chance of hardware failure is a very small one even after 5 years - but it can happen to any computer - no matter if Apple or Dell. In your case you just got unlucky. Apple computers are just as reliable and long-living as any other computers. And besides, your evidence is anecdotal at best.
  10. Bear macrumors G3

    Jul 23, 2002
    Sol III - Terra
    What is a huge bill? A late 2009 27" logic board replacement would cost about $600 in the US at an Apple Store.

    Might I suggest that the speed improvement you would get by buying a new iMac would be worth it? And then if you want to you could try and sell your old iMac as a parts machine.
  11. lexvo, Apr 28, 2013
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2013

    lexvo macrumors 65816

    Nov 11, 2009
    The Netherlands
    Last year, according to CR, compared to other PC makers Apple seems to do quite well with a failure rate of 7% while others are 10% or higher.

    Here's a link to another report, with even higher failure rates:

    However, I don't think 7% (or 10%) is a small number regarding serious repairs. Compared to for instance cars, I think it is pretty high. And we are talking major repairs here. I can't imagine car customers would be happy if they had a 7% or 10% chance that their engine or gearbox broke after 3-4 years.
  12. G4DP macrumors 65816

    Mar 28, 2007
    So why don't Apple offer a standard 3 year warranty then? Answer, because they know they use cheap low quality parts. Using known faulty GPU's is the best one.

    When ever this topic comes up, the same old carp off Apple being good quality and better than other gets spouted. It's complete BS.

    They have no confidence in their products. If they did they wouldn't screw you over with rip off warranties and lie about your consumer rights in store.
  13. scottsjack macrumors 68000

    Aug 25, 2010
    Having just replaced both the hard drive and optical drive in 2009 iMac I feel your pain. The HD was a piece-of-dung, cheapo Seagate. I've read about high optical drive failures on iMacs. If only the stuff on the inside was as high quality as the stuff on the outside!
  14. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    Oh come on... it is well known that the quality of the components they use is actually above average. The faulty GPUs were a bug on Nvidia's side and every laptop manufacturer that used that particular chip was affected. As to why Apple does not offer 3 years warranty - because they can get away with it.

    No idea what you are talking about. Apple's customer service is still voted to be one of the best in class.
  15. Nuke61 macrumors 6502

    Jan 18, 2013
    Columbia, SC
    Because they can make more money by offering it as extended coverage.

    Really? Then how do you explain the following?
    Furthermore, this is the result year after year.
  16. G4DP macrumors 65816

    Mar 28, 2007
    Who said anything about Laptops? I sure as hell didn't.

    They used faulty ATi 2600 in the 2008 MacPro. They even continued to send out faulty GPU's as replacements. I know I went through 3 of the damn things. Or how about the faulty 8800 from Nvidia, that they continued to sell at rip off prices even though they were well aware of faults with the production.

    Not to mention the cheapest possible DVD drives they use. Had 1 go on the MacPro and two fail on the MacBook Pro.

    They don'y use above average quality. What planet are you lot on.

    As for those consumer reports they aren't worth the paper they are scribbled on.

    As for not having a clue about Apple lying about your consumer rights I guess you live in the US.
  17. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    Yeah, right, and that's why they acknowledge the issue and extend the warranty time :rolleyes:

    I never seen a DVD drive failure on any Macs in our department. What does this mean? Nothing. Anecdotal evidence is anecdotal.

    Than go look at some teardowns and read reviews from people who actually understand something about electrical engineering.


    If you deny the existence of a benchmark, there is no point for discussion. We would be just making unfounded claims.
  18. Brian Y macrumors 68040

    Oct 21, 2012
    Read his signature, and then decide whether it's worth arguing.

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