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Most reliable Mac ever?

canny

Suspended
Original poster
Jun 11, 2009
141
524
I've got a an 24" iMac mid-2007 which had it's HD replaced with an SSD. Apart from the HD failing earlier this year, it's amazingly reliable. And with the SSD, it's pretty fast for the non-intensive stuff. Basically, it's a browsing machine, but it can still handle lots of other stuff. I'm not doing 3D or video, or anything. And it runs 10.11 El Capitan perfectly, better than 10.10 Mavericks. (I think it's the oldest machine to be able to run El Cap)

8 years is amazing as as a lifespan for a modern computer, and I think it has at least 5 more years in it. It's really solid.

In contrast, my 13" MacBook Air mid-2011 overheats all the time and spontaneously restarts (to be fair, my girlfriend watching flash content doesn't help)

So what is the most reliable Mac in the current range? That will last 10 years? I'm a bit wary of the newer iMacs because of their laptop components, and I'm even more way of the laptops because of my experience with my MacBook Air.
 

Gav2k

macrumors G3
Jul 24, 2009
9,216
1,606
2008 unibody Macbook I still have one with ram and ssd upgrade. It's a great machine and still viable for most tasks
 
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pastrychef

macrumors 601
Sep 15, 2006
4,520
1,029
New York City, NY
My 2008 aluminum MacBook 5,1 has also proven to be extremely reliable. Other than a few swollen batteries over the years, it has just kept on ticking away.

My 2010 Mac Pro 5,1 seems to be holding up great as well. Nothing about it has caused me to believe it won't continue to go strong indefinitely.

At the beginning of the year, my old 2007 Mac Mini 2.1 bit the dust. I think due to lack of good air circulation and the fact that I ran it 24/7 for much of its life. I replaced it with a used 2009 Mac Mini 3,1. Hopefully, this one fares better.

I saw quite a few MacBook Pro 1,1s and 2,1s fail for various reasons. Power board, HD cable, X1600.
 
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Denmac1

macrumors 6502a
Apr 22, 2007
667
727
Lost in Space
My G5 I bought in 2006 still functions todays as a 'side' computer as I still have some apps that I still need to use that I didn't want to pay for on my Mac Mini. The only reason I went to Mini was for Intel and other functions I needed to stay in the real world.
I'm disappointed that I feel Apple is going towards too many 'disposable ' units, just to have additional sales upgrades to add to their bottom line.
From what I've seen on these forums, older Macs have a longer life span. Don't think we may have that in the future. Tech may move forward, but I don't think at the pace that Apple is pushing. After purchasing a G3 AIO, I will never go in that direction again.
 
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velocityg4

macrumors 603
Dec 19, 2004
5,274
1,741
Georgia
Not a Mac. But the Apple IIe was an incredibly reliable computer. Many were still in service in schools 20 years after they came out. Just think of the abuse they took from all those students and kept on chugging. Heck they may still be in use. That's just the last I've seen of them.
 
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Kebabselector

macrumors 68030
May 25, 2007
2,884
1,224
Birmingham, UK
My Mac Mini has been switched on (running as a web/itunes server) since I bought it in August 2006 - I've upgraded the memory and HDD, but so far it's been fine. Must add my Macbook (Oct 2006) has been a complete nightmare, the battery died last month!
 
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tibas92013

macrumors 6502
Jun 2, 2013
468
83
Costa Rica
As I recall the Mac LC 2 which I bought at COMP USA in San Bruno, CA around 1991 or 1992! I think I paid around $3000 "smackers" for this new beast.
 
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sarge

macrumors 6502a
Jul 20, 2003
593
130
Brooklyn
With the exception of my 2011 MacBook pro, which is currently enrolled in the logic board/GPU replacement program, every single Apple laptop I ever purchased is still bootable. Outside of PRAM batteries they are all fully functional going all the way back to my first computer in 1996. Up until now I had a great track record with Apple.
 
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Les Kern

macrumors 68040
Apr 26, 2002
3,063
76
Alabama
Well, my original 1984 128k Macintosh still works great. I think that's a hard question because of the 30 Macs I've had over the years from the 128k to the LCII to the Macbook Airs, I have yet to have one fail. Luck I guess, and happy for that. SO to answer your question: All of them?
 
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pastrychef

macrumors 601
Sep 15, 2006
4,520
1,029
New York City, NY
The old classic 68K-G3 desktop Macs were really build to last forever as well.

I still have a PowerBook Pismo that is fully functional too.

Some Macs that failed on me:

iBook G4: Radeon 7500 eventually needed a reflow.
MacBook Pro 1,1: Radeon X1600 died.
Mac Pro 1,1: Radeon X1900 died.
Mac Mini 2,1: GMA950 eventually began to fail.

All these failures were due to GPUs running too hot. The majority were ATI (now known as AMD) GPUs. Hence, I now try my best to stick with Nvidia GPUs. My current Mac Pro 5,1 has a GTX 980 and both my MacBook and Mac Mini have Nvidia 9400Ms.
 
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robeddie

Suspended
Jul 21, 2003
1,777
1,732
Atlanta
With the exception of my 2011 MacBook pro, which is currently enrolled in the logic board/GPU replacement program....

What do you mean 'currently enrolled'? Has it failed or not? If it fails, you get it fixed for free, if not ... you get nothing.

Unless I'm mistaken, you can't 'enroll' your 2011 macbook pro - thus guaranteeing a fix in the unforeseen future when it may have the graphics card problem.

Can you clarify?
 
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MacRazySwe

macrumors 6502a
Aug 7, 2007
975
719
My old iMac G5 from 2004 still works, although its terribly loud and slow. 11 years old!

My grandparents iMac G5 from 2005 works perfectly.

My MacBook from 2009 works perfectly.

The only Mac I've owned which has failed was the 2007 MacBook Pro. "Nvidiagate".


Anyway, I'd guess the most reliable Macs are the desktops, followed by the laptops without dedicated GPUs.
 
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Riwam

macrumors 65816
Jan 7, 2014
1,084
244
Basel, Switzerland
My Early 2008 black MB 4.1 still has a very bright display and looks nice.
It seems to work OK until now.
Just the push fields ("mouse buttons") below the trackpad are quite hard to push.
Since I bought it second hand, don't know if that difficulty existed when new.
I am not aware if it that can be improved but if someone has a way,I am very willing to hear about it :) ???
I installed through BootCamp Windows 8.1 although according to Apple only Windows 7 should work, but the Apple Support Windows drivers were still good for 8.1.
Using MCPF, Mavericks can be installed and upgraded to 10.9.5 in spite of the fact that according to Apple, Lion should be the last OSX för the MB 4.1.
I had it for just a month so cannot judge its future life span but from 2008 to end 2015 is a long life a Windows notebook will hardly endure.
Ed
 
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pastrychef

macrumors 601
Sep 15, 2006
4,520
1,029
New York City, NY
Just the push fields ("mouse buttons") below the trackpad are quite hard to push.

Take out the battery and place it on a flat surface to see if it wobbles. I suspect that the battery may have begun to swell. This can cause the battery to push up against the trackpad and cause anomalies with the trackpad button. If it continues to swell, it can even cause the top case of the MacBook to crack.
 
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sarge

macrumors 6502a
Jul 20, 2003
593
130
Brooklyn
What do you mean 'currently enrolled'? Has it failed or not? If it fails, you get it fixed for free, if not ... you get nothing.

Unless I'm mistaken, you can't 'enroll' your 2011 macbook pro - thus guaranteeing a fix in the unforeseen future when it may have the graphics card problem.

Can you clarify?

Yes, it failed and it's currently in the shop. It actually began failing within the first year but since I dinged the corner (while carrying it in a messenger bag while going thru the subway turnstyle) they told me 'sorry, you're out of warranty, no can fix'. So I lived with periodic screen failures and system crashes for 4 years. Finally STB last week. I ran AHT on it and everything was fine but I could not get the system to boot for more than 5 min so I made an appointment w/Apple Store. In the meantime I took it to Tekserve and they ran diagnostics on video, it passed. Spent countless hours over the weekend trying to re-format drives, install different operation systems, cleaned fans yadda yadda. Long story short GPU test failed at Apple store, so I'm waiting to get it back.

2011 MacBook unibody was the first machine that I have been disappointed in. My PowerPC machine would make casual contact on the turnstyles all the time and it never dented like the unibody design did - in my opinion that's a design flaw in comparison to the build quality of the earlier model. The graphics card issue is just another irritation. I would say at least Apple is resolving it but it did take a class action suit to do so. Next time you hear some bozo harp on about the need for Tort Reform and limiting consumers ability to bring class action lawsuits, just be glad that we used to have a justice system in this country - the machine will be repaired today but from here on out the fix is in:

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/01/b...-everywhere-stacking-the-deck-of-justice.html
 
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sahnwts

macrumors newbie
Sep 26, 2014
3
0
I've got a an 24" iMac mid-2007 which had it's HD replaced with an SSD. Apart from the HD failing earlier this year, it's amazingly reliable. And with the SSD, it's pretty fast for the non-intensive stuff. Basically, it's a browsing machine, but it can still handle lots of other stuff. I'm not doing 3D or video, or anything. And it runs 10.11 El Capitan perfectly, better than 10.10 Mavericks. (I think it's the oldest machine to be able to run El Cap)

8 years is amazing as as a lifespan for a modern computer, and I think it has at least 5 more years in it. It's really solid.

In contrast, my 13" MacBook Air mid-2011 overheats all the time and spontaneously restarts (to be fair, my girlfriend watching flash content doesn't help)

So what is the most reliable Mac in the current range? That will last 10 years? I'm a bit wary of the newer iMacs because of their laptop components, and I'm even more way of the laptops because of my experience with my MacBook Air.

FWIW, my PowerBook G4 12" (bought when it was released) is still chugging along, despite the fact I can't get the battery for it anymore. These computers are built to last.
 
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sarge

macrumors 6502a
Jul 20, 2003
593
130
Brooklyn
FWIW, my PowerBook G4 12" (bought when it was released) is still chugging along, despite the fact I can't get the battery for it anymore. These computers are built to last.

Yep, my dad was using that one up until 2 years ago when I gave him my 15"G4, which he is still using.
 
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robeddie

Suspended
Jul 21, 2003
1,777
1,732
Atlanta
Yes, it failed and it's currently in the shop. It actually began failing within the first year but since I dinged the corner (while carrying it in a messenger bag while going thru the subway turnstyle) they told me 'sorry, you're out of warranty, no can fix'. So I lived with periodic screen failures and system crashes for 4 years. Finally STB last week. I ran AHT on it and everything was fine but I could not get the system to boot for more than 5 min so I made an appointment w/Apple Store. In the meantime I took it to Tekserve and they ran diagnostics on video, it passed. Spent countless hours over the weekend trying to re-format drives, install different operation systems, cleaned fans yadda yadda. Long story short GPU test failed at Apple store, so I'm waiting to get it back.

2011 MacBook unibody was the first machine that I have been disappointed in. My PowerPC machine would make casual contact on the turnstyles all the time and it never dented like the unibody design did - in my opinion that's a design flaw in comparison to the build quality of the earlier model. The graphics card issue is just another irritation. I would say at least Apple is resolving it but it did take a class action suit to do so. Next time you hear some bozo harp on about the need for Tort Reform and limiting consumers ability to bring class action lawsuits, just be glad that we used to have a justice system in this country - the machine will be repaired today but from here on out the fix is in:

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/01/b...-everywhere-stacking-the-deck-of-justice.html

Good to hear it's getting fixed. Good timing too, since that special video card warranty for the 2011 mbp's runs out in February of next year.
 
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sarge

macrumors 6502a
Jul 20, 2003
593
130
Brooklyn
Good to hear it's getting fixed. Good timing too, since that special video card warranty for the 2011 mbp's runs out in February of next year.

Yeah, I'm a little worried that the repair will mean I'll have to put this out to pasture before it's time. I always like to have a backup running in case something goes wrong. I'm really worried I won't be able to rely on it for that purpose for future Skylake backup duty.
 
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iTurbo

macrumors 6502
Sep 9, 2008
311
372
As I recall the Mac LC 2 which I bought at COMP USA in San Bruno, CA around 1991 or 1992! I think I paid around $3000 "smackers" for this new beast.

The LC II was my first experience on a Mac as well. My Mom worked for the county school district and got it through the Educator Advantage program or something like that. It was so much better than the few Mac SE30 machines that were put in a few of my classes in junior high. I did TONS of homework on that machine, and loved playing Lunatic Fringe (After Dark module). I even upgraded it to 10 MB RAM and installed a LC PDS audio card, but alas, it was a little too slow for that or playing Marathon. It would do simple MIDI sequencing though.

Later in '97 I bought a Power Mac 6500. I used that machine every day for 7 years! I upgraded EVERYTHING on that machine. In the end it had a Sonnet 300 Mhz G3, maxed out RAM (I forget how much) Apple TV/Video/FM radio card, Sonnet PCI USB card, MOTU 'Audiowire' PCI card/2408 digital audio interface, 60 GB hard drive, CD/CDRW burner, and an Emu rack mounted sampler hooked up via the stock SCSI port, and an Opcode MIDI interface on the serial port.

Then around '04 I upgraded to a dual 1 Ghz 'Quicksilver' G4. I upgraded it a ATI Radeon PCI video card, transferred the MOTU stuff over, maxed out the RAM, upgraded the HD etc..

FINALLY in '13 I bought a new iMac. It was a 27" build-to-order model with 3.4 Ghz quad-core i7, upgraded graphics (Nvidia GForce GTX 680 w/2GB VRAM), fusion drive etc...

I also bought an 11" MacBook Air in '13 for portability. It was also build-to-order, but only upgraded with 8GB RAM.



All of the machines served me well for many many years. I had a couple problems with upgrading the HD in the Quicksilver G4, but that was my fault for buying a used eBay unit. The ONLY Mac I've had to have repaired yet was the 11" MBA, and that was my fault for spilling coffee on it. It's as good as new ever since being fixed though. I REALLY love the 27" iMac though....I don't think it has ever crashed EVER, and takes anything/everything I can throw at it.
 
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Wild-Bill

macrumors 68030
Jan 10, 2007
2,539
617
bleep
My 2005 12" Powerbook G4 still works, a few dings and dents aside. Don't really use it anymore though.

But, the prize goes to the 2008 8-core Mac Pro. Still have the original nVidia 8800GT video card. That computer has been a tank.
After seven years, (knock wood) she's never let me down.
 
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robeddie

Suspended
Jul 21, 2003
1,777
1,732
Atlanta
Yeah, I'm a little worried that the repair will mean I'll have to put this out to pasture before it's time. I always like to have a backup running in case something goes wrong. I'm really worried I won't be able to rely on it for that purpose for future Skylake backup duty.

I don't think you should be too concerned. You're essentially getting a whole new computer (on the inside). When I put one through the warranty repair for the video card issue, they went through the whole computer and fixed a bunch of other things that were showin signs of wear and tear. In Apple jargon, that's called the flat-rate fix - they examine every aspect with a fine tooth comb and fix whatever is failing. So in mine, besides replacing the motherboard (for the video card issue) they also put in a new hard drive, replaced the power connector, and some other stuff that I can't recall - all for free.

All I'm saying is the computer you get back will likely be more reliable than when it was new. Assuming you take care of it (keep in a sleeve when not in use to reduce dust collecting on the inside - don't drop it, etc) , you should have nothing to worry about for another 4-5 years.
 
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sarge

macrumors 6502a
Jul 20, 2003
593
130
Brooklyn
I don't think you should be too concerned. You're essentially getting a whole new computer (on the inside). When I put one through the warranty repair for the video card issue, they went through the whole computer and fixed a bunch of other things that were showin signs of wear and tear. In Apple jargon, that's called the flat-rate fix - they examine every aspect with a fine tooth comb and fix whatever is failing. So in mine, besides replacing the motherboard (for the video card issue) they also put in a new hard drive, replaced the power connector, and some other stuff that I can't recall - all for free.

All I'm saying is the computer you get back will likely be more reliable than when it was new. Assuming you take care of it (keep in a sleeve when not in use to reduce dust collecting on the inside - don't drop it, etc) , you should have nothing to worry about for another 4-5 years.

Yep, just got it back a couple of hours ago. They replaced the RAM (although I'm pretty sure it was O.K. -at least they returned my 2 x 8GB). They also replaced the Clutch Barrel for the display hinge I guess and installed a clean version of El Cap (even though I was told I could get, and indeed specified I would prefer 10.6.8). Overall I am impressed with the quick turnaround and service. If it lasts another 4 years I'm happy with that.
 
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inkswamp

macrumors 68030
Jan 26, 2003
2,761
846
I've got a an 24" iMac mid-2007 which had it's HD replaced with an SSD. Apart from the HD failing earlier this year, it's amazingly reliable. And with the SSD, it's pretty fast for the non-intensive stuff. Basically, it's a browsing machine, but it can still handle lots of other stuff. I'm not doing 3D or video, or anything. And it runs 10.11 El Capitan perfectly, better than 10.10 Mavericks. (I think it's the oldest machine to be able to run El Cap)

8 years is amazing as as a lifespan for a modern computer, and I think it has at least 5 more years in it. It's really solid.

In contrast, my 13" MacBook Air mid-2011 overheats all the time and spontaneously restarts (to be fair, my girlfriend watching flash content doesn't help)

So what is the most reliable Mac in the current range? That will last 10 years? I'm a bit wary of the newer iMacs because of their laptop components, and I'm even more way of the laptops because of my experience with my MacBook Air.

Similarly, the most reliable Mac I've ever owned was a 2008 24" iMac. Absolutely beautiful machine with a killer display. The mobo died earlier this year so I had to haul it off to recycling but I think 6+ years of use from a Mac (a refurb, in fact) is amazing. It was showing absolutely no signs of its age and could have continued being my main machine for several more years had it not failed.

It really hurt to haul such a great display off to recycling which is why I haven't yet bought another iMac. I don't want to have to throw the baby out with the bathwater next time. The display could have, theoretically, continued on long past the machine itself were it not all bound together with the computer. I don't want to do that again so my next machine will not be an all-in-one, and right now, the Mac Minis are awful. So I'm torn. There's no desktop option from Apple that I like. I'm hoping that the next revision to the Mac Minis (soon, Apple?) will bring some pleasant surprises like upgradeable RAM, video card option, etc. but I'm not holding my breath. Not sure what to buy next.
 
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