Mac Pro and AppleCare, worth it?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Aljovido, Jun 6, 2010.

  1. Aljovido macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2008
    Location:
    Brooklyn
    #1
    So almost a year ago I purchased a 2008 Mac Pro, without Applecare. I told myself I would decide on whether or not to get it when the time comes... but I still can't make a choice! Before this machine, I used a 2006 MacBook, and it easily survived without AppleCare for longer than three years. However, I feel this decision for a Mac Pro is a much more difficult choice; you have the incredible reliability of a workstation, but a decent amount of money to lose should something fail.

    I've read plenty of stories about the few of these machines which do have problems, and Apple bending over backwards to help the out-of-warranty customers of their ultimate Mac (even beyond the 3-year AppleCare). Of course I shouldn't expect service like this, but something tells me you have quite a bit of leverage with Apple when you purchase a top-end machine.

    Anyways, I could regret my decision either way. What would you do? Any amazing out-of-warranty stories :D ?


    ---If its worth mentioning, this Mac Pro (3.2GHz 2008 8-Core) was purchased from Powermax.com, brand new at an insane discount (which is why I jumped on it, I didn't have a huge budget). It qualified for the $10 Snow Leopard Upgrade at the end of last year, so it is legit. Also, looking around online I found this site, just in case: http://www.marketwarehouse.com/mb586ll-a.html
     
  2. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2005
    #2
    My rule of thumb is anything that was over $2500 or has a display attached should have it. For me that means my 2008 MP has it and it has already been used once. They ended up replacing the entire machine when the problem could not be fixed. It was not out of warranty but I assure you what appeared to be a simple fan issue turned out to be something that could not be fixed.

    The reasoning behind the price is that $2500 to me is a fair sum of money to have to spend again on a machine that may not have been past it's prime but it needed to be repaired or replaced. I don't make a great deal of money from my MP any longer so replacing it with another MP may not be in the cards right away.

    It's food for thought but may not apply to you.
     
  3. Techhie macrumors 65816

    Techhie

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2008
    Location:
    The hub of stupidity
    #3
    The workstation isn't reliable if there is no support to back it up. Considering the massive price of repairs on this type of machine and the modest price of AppleCare, it is worth it. I wouldn't leave your financial cards in the hands of the sometimes-temperamental Apple Store staff.

    It may seem like a waste of money, but considering the current failure statistics on Apple machines, you will likely be glad you bought it at some point.
     
  4. kellen macrumors 68020

    kellen

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2006
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #4
    I did buy AppleCare after going through the same thing you did.

    I bought it because I didn't want to worry about this computer for the next two years. Also the repair and purchase price warrant AppleCare in my mind. The student discount also helped with the decision.
     
  5. iSpoody 1243 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2008
    Location:
    Australia
    #5
    you have an 8core 3.2Ghz mac pro and can not decide wether to get applecare?

    GET IT NOW!!!
     
  6. ncc1701d macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2008
    #6
    I didn't even have to read your post. In my experience it's saved me a lot of money - get it.
     
  7. student_trap macrumors 68000

    student_trap

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2005
    Location:
    'Ol Smokey, UK
    #7
    what happened? My 08 Mac pro's fans have been acting weird for a while now
     
  8. the editor macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2010
    #8
    say if i by a MP today without apple care...this means i have a 1 year warranty anyway...how about me waiting till the last week of the 1 year warranty and then buy the Applecare. this would mean i would have a 3 year warranty because i didn't purchase the applecare plan at the same time i purchased the MP...o,nly question is: can this be done? or are you obliged to buy at the same time
     
  9. kirreip macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2009
    #9
    Actually Apple Care is only a 2 year extension to your first year. It doesn't matter wether you buy it together with your mac or within the first year. It's always 2 years after your first year. Just be sure to buy it within the first year. Have a look at this:

    http://www.apple.com/support/products/mac.html
    (scroll down to the "important notes" box)
     
  10. kellen macrumors 68020

    kellen

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2006
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #10
    Either way, it's the same. AppleCare is an extra 2 years added to the end of your warranty, so if you buy it day one or day 364 it still just adds 2 years to the end, making a total of 3. Only difference is you only get 90 days of phone support with the regular warranty, which is changed to a full 3 years if you get AppleCare.

    I waited until the day before my warranty ran out to register AppleCare. This was to see if I had any problems and if I sold it, I didn't want to have purchased the extra warranty.
     
  11. Murray M macrumors regular

    Murray M

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2010
    #11
    Get it.

    It's only a couple hundted. The chances of needing a fix that would otherwise be a couple of hundred within 3 years is in your favor--these machines are complex with many moving parts, gizmos, etc.
     
  12. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2005
    #12
    Without trying to hijack the OP's thread, I'm a bit of a doofus really. Out of the box the MP sounded like a jet engine. Even though the fans weren't even running at a higher RPM than their "idle" RPM it was pretty loud. Having never had a MP before and the ones in store are hard to hear because the stores I go to are always busy, I thought this was normal. Then eventually someone said it wasn't normal so I took it in. They replaced the fans, then the MLB, then one processor and then the other. They then gave me 8 gigs of their ram as opposed to 2 gigs theirs and 6 gigs mine (OWC). Then they replaced the hard drive. Once they had done that they gave me a new 8800 video card. Finally they replaced the PSU.

    Basically they replaced everything and the issue never went away so they gave me a new machine. It's best that way as they scratched the old one all to hell.

    But back to the OP: you're looking at a $2500 machine easy. 10% of that cost for AC ... you should get it.
     
  13. Keniff macrumors 6502a

    Keniff

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2008
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #13
    My experience of 'Apple Care' was rubbish (although this was 9 years ago).
    I think their call centre (for the UK) moved from Ireland to India, I was put on hold to wait for just as long, and when I finally got through, I could just hear them working off a script, maybe they have some user program that they have to work from.

    It would always start with "OK, let's reset the PRAM"
    Or reinstalling the Operating System (by inserting the disks).

    After a while, they started running this automated message before speaking to a real person, that would say something like "Did you know, if you go to http://discussions.apple.com/index.jspa, you may find the answer to your problem there!"

    It left me thinking, why am I paying this money to you, when you are now telling me to go to a website forum and ask the public Mac users for FREE.

    There's only so much that can go wrong with your Mac, and most of it is replaceable, and with the help of a few sites I can even do that myself now.

    I'd say, save your money, you have 12 months retail sales guarantee, and you can buy Apple Care at anytime if you're not too confident.

    And any other issues, just go to http://discussions.apple.com/index.jspa or come on here and ask the question, most people are friendly and there's always somebody out there whom is willing to help, for FREE!
     
  14. dazey macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2005
    #14
    I think this boils down to whether you believe in insurance or not and if you don't, whether you feel able to deal with whatever may crop up yourself. I am not a great believer, if something goes wrong I am prepared to diagnose and fix myself and take on the financial risk. Generally I find this works out cheaper over time (principal applied to phone insurance, contents, roadside cover etc.)
     
  15. telequest macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2010
    Location:
    NJ
    #15
    What are the stats?

    Are the stats on Mac Pro failures available anywhere? I'd be interested to see the frequency of serious repairs, especially in years 2 and 3 when AppleCare would make the difference.

    Over the past 15 years, I've never gotten AppleCare for desktop Macs, and have always gotten it for laptops. That's worked out to be the right choice in both cases - never a desktop repair, almost always a serious laptop need.

    But I've not purchased a Mac Pro post-Intel, so wondering if the stats will prove AppleCare to be the right choice on my next desktop (to be announced today? tomorrow? someday?). Does the failure rate of Mac Pros exceed that of the PowerMac G3/G4/G5 era?
     
  16. jeremy h macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #16
    I suppose it's worth it - but - I recently had to get the Video Card replaced in my two year old machine and to be honest I wasn't exactly overwhelmed by the Applecare experience.

    Dealt initially with a call centre who were polite and were trying to be helpful but wanted me to take the machine (MacPro) into Regent street genius bar in Central London for fault diagnosis. I'm just south of London - and I pointed out just how difficult it was going to be to just drive into central London, park up(!!!) and walk into Regent street carrying a Mac Pro as if it was an iPad! So I can be told that yes you're right the Video Card is actually shot. Can't I have some of that wonderful Applecare service you brag about? I have paid for it! It says on the box you will send someone out for towers. OK - they say and then find a closer 'approved service centre' that can collect if need be.

    "Great!" say I and then talk directly to the service centre only to be told it will take a week to change a video card - "Argh! Can't it be done any quicker? How can I speed it up?" I say - they suggest I deliver it to them and pick it up when fixed. That'll shave a couple of days off.

    I deliver it to them and undertake to pick it up but it still takes them a whole week to change the card despite me doing all the running around. I suspect it would have been a couple of weeks had they been doing the collection / drop off.

    So - they did change the card without any arguing but it's a simple job that took them a week to do. A long time to lose you main work machine. It seemed very much a 'stick it on the pile and we'll get round to it when we can type' service.

    In the future I'll probably just get it for Laptops (too fiddly for me) and try and fix any desktop issues by swopping out the bits myself.
     
  17. Techhie macrumors 65816

    Techhie

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2008
    Location:
    The hub of stupidity
    #17
    By far. I don't have exact numbers, but the transition to Intel marked a degradation in the average lifespan of both laptop and desktop Mac alike. Wether this is Apple purposely utilizing cheap components to maximize profits or the industry as a whole focusing on the 2-3 year upgrade window is up for debate, but my guess is that it's a little of both.

    Most people who still use PPC machines find that they are still trucking, 10 years later. I don't know that I can say the same for the current lineup of machines even 5 years ahead, let alone 10 :rolleyes:
     
  18. mism macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 25, 2010
    #19
    I've read about getting Apple Care on ebay before, how does the seller do it, is it legit?

    I plan on getting it for my Mac Pro, either full price or via ebay, depending on people's thoughts re the above question ;)
     
  19. VirtualRain macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2008
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    #20
    I purchased the code from the seller above... got it emailed to me, registered it with Apple, and within a few minutes had confirmation from Apple of my Applecare from Apple. The one I purchased for my MacBook Air using this method was honored without question and got me a new display/hinge assembly which is a questionable warranty repair in the first place. I haven't had any issues with my Mac Pro yet.

    I honestly don't know how the codes are obtained, maybe as some kind of bulk licensing? At any rate, I'm sure if they were pirated, hacked, etc. Apple wouldn't validate the code when you registered it like they did with the one I purchased, and these operators wouldn't be around long if the codes they were selling were bunk.
     
  20. 300D macrumors 65816

    300D

    Joined:
    May 2, 2009
    Location:
    Tulsa
    #21
    Only if you receive a physical package as proof of purchase. E-mailing the code is always from a fraudulent source.
     
  21. jennb macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2009
    #22
    Worth it

    I bought it for my 2008 MP & 23 ACD.

    My graphics card failed last week. I would have paid $400+ for a replacement. Replacement was free w/AppleCare.

    I've had exceptional support from AppleCare the two times I've used it.

    In both my cases, I provided log errors and troubleshooting steps already taken via web form. When reps called me back, they had all available info about the issue at hand. I requested DIY replacement. Parts were shipped out same day and arrived the next day. Returning damaged parts was wonderfully simple without any cost or hassle. That kind of service and attention to detail is refreshing.

    I had easy issues to fix, so maybe others with more serious issues can share their experiences. Also, my repairs have never been with an authorized service/repair provider, so I can't speak to their service or the hassles of waiting for replacements/repairs.

    I'll buy it for all my bigger purchases. Phone support is partially what you make it. Don't expect troubleshooting an issue to be resolved in one phone call. Be open to the troubleshooting process.
     
  22. jeremy h macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #23
    Hmmm... interesting. I did ask Apple if they would do that for me but they said no. It does sound as if there's a difference between the US and the UK service / experience?
     
  23. jennb macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2009
    #24
    DIY option appears on AppleCare FAQ for US but not on UK's FAQ, so I guess it isn't extended to AppleCare users in the UK.

    Too bad. I wonder what prevents this from being offered there. Off to investigate further.

    Best of luck!
     
  24. PeterQVenkman macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2005
    #25
    The G4's and G3's were/are unstoppable!

    Our office G5's (5 of them), my own G5, and my co-worker's G5's (of which she has had 3) did not last long at all. Given my experience with failing computers and cheaper components, I say Apple care is worth it.

    Like all insurance, it's never truly worth it until you have to use it. ;)
     

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