Question about Apple Reliability

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by mrratburn, Jun 28, 2014.

  1. mrratburn macrumors newbie

    Jun 24, 2014

    I've owned several PC's of all kinds over the years and the only problems I've ever had have been:

    1 Graphics Card Death
    2 Dead Hard Drives

    All of these were after years of usage and these are components that are expected to die sooner or later. Yet, I've heard horror stories (online of course) of people and their Macs having to replace the logic board, or the screen, etc.

    I use my computers a lot, that said, I take very good care of them. Never once dropped a laptop. Personally, what attracts me to Macs are their build quality and reliability (both hardware and software wise). Hearing about something like a motherboard going bad on its own worries me, especially given the quantity of sob stories out there. I'd like to ask some of you longtime Apple guys, should I be worried? Am I just hearing the vocal minority? Are Macs more, less, or the same as any computer out there in terms of the life of the hardware? Thanks!
  2. Trvlngnrs macrumors 6502


    Jun 8, 2010
    My last 4 laptops:

    Sony - no problems

    Toshiba - motherboard - trash

    Dell - multiple problems - trash

    2010 MBP - no problem 4+ years
  3. pragmatous macrumors 65816

    May 23, 2012
    So from my experience using the mid2012 classic macbook pro I have not had a single issue. It even fell 4 feet off the ground and works great still. No scratches or anything. Believe me I almost had a heart attack because it was brand new. If it was my old HP plastic crap it would have broke.

    I had to call apple once before. I forget what it was about as it was 2 years ago. It was probably my best customer support experience ever.

    So the mac is more than just the hardware it's also the user experience. It is something PC people won't understand until they actually use a mac.

    General rule of thumb with apple though is to always get the applecare + extended warranty. You'll be taken care of even after the warranty expires. At least that is what I hear.

  4. mrratburn thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 24, 2014
    I've been using a Hackintosh OS X Mavericks on my desktop PC for over a year and while I love OS X, it being better than Windows is simply user preference. I couldn't care less about the extra Apple gimmicks or "hip" factor. To me, paying the extra $$$ for a Mac means top-of-the line design, quality and reliability.

    Over the last few years with the introduction of Ultrabooks, PC makers have finally produced premium laptops that are only just starting to get into the realm of the build quality of Macs. That being said I thought Apple still has a significant lead in this regard. I just wanted to see if that is still true from you guys' experience.
  5. Cubytus macrumors 65816

    Mar 2, 2007
    Rule of thumb: you get what you pay for. PCs tend to be reliable when bought above $1k. Anything less and you're gambling, but there are exceptions

    I had:
    Sager: multiple problems, stolen by UPS on its way back to the factory for the 6th repair. Lasted barely 2 years, $1800.
    Asus: multiple problems, but still runs, 6yrs+
    Sony: no problem. $900
    HP: multiple problems, crapped out at 18 months approximately. $200, used, after 6 months.
    Toshiba: no problems. 1998 vintage, originally $4000. Got it free in 2014.
    LG: no problems except a physically broken USB port. 2009. Fell twice and got burnt by a hot soldering iron. Got it for $300 in 2011.
    White MacBook, pre-unibody: 2009, fan problem. Got a massive hard drive corruption after the SATA cable came loose.
    MBP: late 2011 model. No problem. The power brick, though, is my third one.
  6. klinic macrumors member

    Apr 7, 2011
    I'm just about to make a post on this matter actually. I am currently typing this on a $700 Asus notebook from 5 years ago. It's been through all kinds of abuse and still runs like the day we bought it.

    My top off the line with all add-ons MacBook Pro however. Graphics card death a few months out of warranty. Basically told to go and buy a new computer. Repair would cost more than this notebook, plus I could have bought 5 of them within that timespan, have a better computer at the end of it and sill have a machine that actually works.

    Not too happy with Apple at the moment. :/
  7. mrratburn thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 24, 2014
    I've owned almost as many computers as you have. So you (and others) are basically saying I've been lucky?


    I know enough about Apple and the world of pain that comes with their dedicated graphics (2011 never forget lol) so I know to stay away. I was wondering outside of that though. My current laptop, a 3-year old Asus i5 should work well in theory. Except it doesn't. Even basic things like browsing the web and typing up a document are laggy, freeze up, fail to respond, etc. This is after wiping the hard drive, and reinstalling windows along with drivers. Even more absurd is that I get the same crappy experience running Ubuntu on it!
  8. klinic macrumors member

    Apr 7, 2011
    Eh, one experience with them shrugging me off after a purchase that large is enough to sour my experience.
  9. mrratburn thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 24, 2014
    I don't blame you at all. Was it 3 months after the 1 year warranty or after AppleCare?
  10. klinic macrumors member

    Apr 7, 2011
    After the extended Apple Care. :/ Over $350 right there for nothing.
  11. Cubytus macrumors 65816

    Mar 2, 2007
    I would say you had, though it seems to be dependent on your computer lifestyle. A laptop that never leaves home takes much less a beating than their traveling counterparts, and even a $500 machine could last a while in that setting. But laptops are made to be mobile and transported.

    Maybe there are undiagnosed hardware faults underneath? My Asus displayed a lot of them.
  12. 53kyle macrumors 65816


    Mar 27, 2012
    Sebastopol, CA
    All of the computers I have had ever:

    Macintosh Performa 6320 - still works perfectly after 17-18 years.

    Really old dell - CD drive died, and it was old when I got it, so I built another PC.

    Custom built PC 1 - Hard drive and GPU died.

    PowerBook G3 - PRAM battery died last year and I am far too lazy to fix a 16 year old brick.

    2x 2003 iBooks - One is still working with a dying battery, the other is dead with a bad GPU.

    2x 2006 MacBooks - still work, no component failures other than hard drives, but that isn't apple's fault, batteries are totally dead.

    Custom built PC 2 - has countless fails including a broken GPU, loud fan (didn't use to be), dying PSU, and basically because of those things it barely even boots windows 7.

    2008 MacBook aluminum - still works, nothing has ever failed.

    Custom built PC 3 - over the years it has been constantly updated so parts barely have time today, although the old GPU died after I put it in custom PC 2.

    Asus gaming laptop - still works but the graphics card has...issues.

    2010 MacBook Pro - still works, except the hard drive had to be replaced, again not apple's fault.

    2012 MacBook Pro - still works, nothing has ever failed.

    Basically, the macs in the past 10 years are unbreakable (for me at least) and almost every PC I have owned has died.
  13. pragmatous macrumors 65816

    May 23, 2012
    Go to an Apple store and check them out. Honestly it's really hard to explain but once you go mac you just don't want a PC anymore.

    If apple made a gaming machine I'd buy one. Just they don't so I have to have that PC still for gaming.

    I think I can speak for all mac users it's just a different better user experience. There's also no issues with the hardware. If there is just call customer support. They're really friendly and they speak english.


  14. KUguardgrl13 macrumors 68020


    May 16, 2013
    Kansas, USA
    My experience:

    2009 MBP 13": Got through almost two years with no issues before an unexplainable sleep/wake issue led to a lot of hard restarts. Nothing more than an annoyance until it started causing problems with the hard drive cable. Took it in both during AppleCare and after. Replaced several cables and the hard drive twice. After getting my new rMBP and replacing the battery, it works perfectly fine as a secondary media machine. One Genius thought it was due to transporting it while in sleep mode. Something about the design squishing the hard drive cable when it's in a backpack.

    2013 rMBP: No issues so far :). I don't expect to have the same issues as my older machine since the insides are very different. I also haven't seen any of the display issues that often get posted about.

    Between Apple's use of premium materials and their customer service, macs are definitely worh the investment. I'd hate to deal with any other company's service dept. I've observed friends dealing with Dell and Lenovo and was not impressed.
  15. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Apr 23, 2011
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    As long as there aren't any manufacturing flaws, an MBP should last for quite a good period of time.

    In 2008, there was NVIDIAgate (the 8600GT), which was NVIDIA's fault. An extended repair programme was launched.

    In 2010, there was also another NVIDIAgate (GT330M in 15"/17" MBPs). An extended repair programme was also launched.

    In 2011, there was the massive Radeongate issue (6490M/6750M/6770M in 15"/17" MBPs). No extended repair programme was ever announced. The flaw here was the poor application of thermal paste. The increased temperatures caused the unleaded solder to eventually break.

    The NVIDIA GT 650M/750M in the Ivy Bridge and Haswell 15" MBPs had the thermal paste applied properly (go search for iFixit's teardown), so I don't expect to see any more GPU failures.
  16. TechGod macrumors 68040


    Feb 25, 2014
    New Zealand
    Sorry but yes you got unlucky, but my 2011 model runs great!
  17. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    The thing I'm worried about is that the 2008, 2010, and 2011 MBPs all have dGPU issues. Will my 2012 MBP and of course newer dGPU equipped macs as well?

    I've not had too much problems with my laptops from apple, they have a great track record. I think the biggest problem I had to deal with is the Aluminum Powerbook - white spots on the screen (due to manufacturing issues and the clips were too tight). After a fairly long delay, Apple finally came around and offered a repair program for those affect. That's quite a while ago, and so I've had a really good run of solid machines.
  18. Cubytus macrumors 65816

    Mar 2, 2007
    Beware if your native language isn't English, they're not always speaking the local languages.

    Weird. I had the same problem with a 2008 aluminum MacBook (forgot to mention that one). A real lemon. He kept on waking up in my bag as I was biking or walking, but would never do it at rest on a table. The code in the Console always referred to the magnetic sensor being triggered, which resulted in overheating and emptying battery. They replaced the top case, then the display, then the logic board, but the same issue continued. They never found out was was wrong, and I ended up getting a new one.

    I forgot a small issue with my current one late-2011 model: on dark backgrounds, I can clearly see a paler, crescent-shaped smudge in the middle.

    Would it be a case of display replacement?

    If I were to retain just one reason for choosing a Mac, I would say customer service. Everything can be done in store (with the added advantage they speak the local language most of the time instead of English-only, as is the case with their phone service), meaning fast turnover rate. You don't have to send back your machine and be without it for two weeks or more as with the other manufacturers. They hold the parts for machines that are up to 5 years old.
  19. MagicBoy macrumors 68040


    May 28, 2006
    Manchester, UK
    My Apple laptop history :
    2006 MBP - still going with it's third owner. Logic board replaced in 2007 due to Bluetooth/Audio issue with the Rev A machines. Faultless since. Used a couple of batteries.
    2008 uMB - still going with it's second owner. Utterly faultless.
    2011 MBP - Radeongate victim. Faultless for 2.5 years, then succumbed to Radeongate in April. The replacement refurbished logic boards lasted 3 weeks and 2 weeks! Apple are replacing it with an rMBP.

    My desktop Mac mini has been run 24x7 for 5 years. HDD started to give errors a few weeks ago which isn't unexpected. Otherwise it's never missed a beat. Best £400 I ever spent on a computer.

    Would I buy another Apple laptop? Sure.

    That's just speculation, there's no proof its the thermal paste application. Perhaps a contributing factor, but not the single cause.
  20. Freyqq macrumors 601

    Dec 13, 2004
    Apple buys the same SSDs and other internal components from the same vendors as PCs. So, you're going to have the same potential risks.

    However, Apple's build quality is good. By that, I mean the case, keyboard, trackpad, and display are all well designed and sourced from top-quality components.
  21. macjunk(ie) macrumors 6502a

    Aug 12, 2009
    Not worth it anymore in my opinion

    the 2007 MBP I have is dead cause of the graphics card issue.
    I invested in a 2011 MBP which is now dying because of the graphics card issue.

    So yes, no more Apple for me now. Anyway, I should have resisted the temptation to dig in my roots in Apple's walled garden. If I want to buy a 15" Apple laptop, what are my choices ? Only 1 - Retina MBP - which now feels like buying a disposable razor blade going by Apple's track record of reliability.

    Yeah I said it....the Retina MBP is just like a disposable razor blade.
    How is that for all you car-analogy loving folks ? :D

    On a serious note, I will now have to begin the arduous process of getting my laptop repaired by Apple. From the reports I have read across the web, even a loci board replacement will not cut it and I believe 2007 MBP died after a logic board replacement that was supposed to fix 8600GT Nvidia.
  22. Felasco Guest

    Oct 19, 2012
    If you want to have a Mac experience totally free of worry and trips to the repair shop, buy used Macs at a big discount, toss them if they die, and fire up the next used Mac.

    If you buy new you are playing the lemon lottery. It might work out great for you, or maybe not, there's no way to know ahead of time, or even calculate your odds. You cross your fingers, pray to whatever gods you recognize, and then they ring the cash register.
  23. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Apr 23, 2011
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    It is not speculation. It is a confirmed fact, confirmed by iFixit's teardown of the 2011 15"/17" MBPs.
  24. SMDBill macrumors 6502

    Apr 12, 2013
    My experience with Apple has been great, but not perfect. Here's my status on machines over the last 4 years (I've owned many so I'll limit to this):

    -2 Dell Inspiron 15 laptops - both junk. Hard drive failures (both), 1 keyboard lost functionality (self replaced), both overheated even after cleaning and reinstallation of the OS, and one dead charger.

    -2 Acer laptops. One was flawless and still in operation 4 years later. Battery will not hold a charge but otherwise perfect. The other had power brick failure, hard drive failure, heat issues, screen failure. Pretty much junk.

    - 3 Macbook Pros from 2012. 2 were flawless except one had power charger failure covered under warranty. 1 had a HDD fail, replaced myself. All 3 still working today.

    -1 2014 Macbook Air - new but had a power charger fail after 1 week, replaced under warranty.

    Failures I've had on Macs were charger and HDD failures but I always had another on hand to verify the charger itself failed and I was not out of commission while waiting on the new one. The machines themselves have been wonderful and operate today just like when new. Keyboards still work like new, which I cannot say for any laptop I've had (PC) more than 1-2 yrs. Cases don't flex on the Macbooks and the rigidity must help durability. No heat issues on any Mac. I won't own another PC because I've had many fail over the last 15 yrs, and more frustrations with Windows than I care to think about.
  25. RainCityMacFan macrumors 6502a

    Jun 10, 2007
    I love Apple and they are pretty reliable.

    Power Mac G4 (died in 2007, power supplied died).

    Macbook Pro Early 2011. Two logic board replacements. One under Applecare, another just yesterday, billed $310. This one kind of pissed me off but I'm hoping to get it rectified by emailing Apple support/etc.

    iMac 2007, still lasting to this day :)

    I feel very wary about buy any laptop which heavy computing power since the heat will kill it. It's like having an engine in a sardine can. So my next laptop will probably be an Air, once I get my MBP back from the shop.

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