Reasons why the G5s have such a high failure rate?

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by InuNacho, May 13, 2012.

  1. InuNacho macrumors 65816

    InuNacho

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    #1
    Well higher than the G3s and 4s anyways.

    Back in 2007 when the Intels had been around for a year I was in the market for a newer Mac and was eying various PM G5s for a while looking at a replacement for my G4. Browsing through Craiglist at the time I remember seeing dozens of dead G5s people were trying to offload and most of these weren't the liquid cooled G5s, they were iMacs and air cooled PMs.

    I know the G5s ran way hotter than the G4s but were there any other reasons that their failure rate was significantly higher than earlier Macs? I don't think I've ever heard of a PM G4 dying.
     
  2. SuperJudge macrumors 6502

    SuperJudge

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    #2
    There are a number of factors at play that I am aware of. Poor quality control seems to be the recurring theme, probably related to pushing out tech that really wasn't quite ready for prime time in order to keep up in the Megahertz Wars.

    Also of note, a lot of Wintel machines of the same vintage have similar problems with soldered video cards and bad capacitors. There was apparently a gigantic batch of bad capacitors that worked its way through the Chinese/Taiwanese factory ecosystem between late 2004 and late 2006/early 2007.
     
  3. Whargoul macrumors member

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    #3
    The fact more people had internet access in 2003-2006 than in 1997-2002 is the only cause for the higher number reported failures.
     
  4. Hrududu macrumors 68020

    Hrududu

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    Many of the iMac G5 failures are due to blown capacitors and bad GPU soldering jobs on the later models. As for the PowerMacs, that's a little tougher to say. They didn't use all the caps the iMacs did, but were such complex systems other things failed. I really can't say I feel the G5 era of systems were really that much more prone to failures than early Intel systems and many generations of Apple laptops. Think of all the bad GPUs in iBook G3s, faulty RAM slots in PowerBook G4s, the 8600M GT insanity in the MacBook Pro's a few years back along with the Video analog boards in iMac G3 computers and failed HDD's in white MacBooks. The G5 really just got a lot of nasty press.
     
  5. drorpheus macrumors regular

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    the main generic reason for the overheating is lack of cleaning it out, they need to be taken apart to clean correctly not blow canned air at the fans and heatsinks,no one was daring and brave enough to figure how to take out the little pin on top of the g5 logos, I took out my original power supply after 6 years of nothing, in a carpeted room with mostly fresh air, and there was about two human fists worth of dust bunnies trapped in there, more than enough reason for any electronic to fail from overheating and static discharged from the carpet fibers.

    then the dual 2.5, dual 2.7, had leaks from faulty $.20 o-rings (typical GM quality and design) with no gasket sealant just a vaseline style jelly. Apple had Panasonic revise the Cooling for those two models which have yet to fail it looks like a mini nuclear heat-exchanger. the Quad 2.5 had 2 delphi systems that were epoxyed shut to prevent leaking, but the end result was the coolant heating up to where it crystalizes and either clogs or burns off the coolant, the same as a car, you cant drive a car and never have the radiator/coolant flushed, otherwise you get the same end result.
     
  6. Jethryn Freyman macrumors 68020

    Jethryn Freyman

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    #6
    1. Billions of defective capacitors that affected other manufacturers than Apple and later blew. They were on logic boards, in the power supply, etc.

    2. A crappy liquid cooling system that had some kind of defective O-ring that leaked.

    Later G4 Power Macs also had some problems, though to to the extent of the G5.

    ----------

    Mine is going strong, 11 years later. But I've seen a few dead ones, specifically a few a couple that were just sitting around in an old Apple repair centre.

    Also: The MBP NVIDIA 8600M GPU problem was kind of similar to the capacitor plague, as in both of them were manufactured in a defective manner from the start and were therefore going to die with 99% certainty (in affected ones) at a later date. It was a matter of when, not in.
     
  7. Wardenski macrumors 6502

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    #7
    I had three problems on my PowerMac G5:
    (a) Annoying fan noise, went away if computer tilted a bit
    (b) Logic board failure
    (c) Logic board and CPU failure 1 year later

    Though I am still skeptical about (c), I feel that the repair shop at the time were milking the fact that they were the only authorised repair shop around at the time. I suppose the faulty capacitors could explain the reliability issue though.

    This is now a confession post: the G5 is probably the worst computer I've ever owned. I should have got a PC at the time upon reflection.
     
  8. InuNacho thread starter macrumors 65816

    InuNacho

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    #8
    You're right the G5s did get a fair more bad press since it seems the entire line was full of issues instead of isolated issues like the iBook G4 random shutdowns or the notorious 8600M. I wasn't fully aware that there was another capacitor plague during the early 2000's like in the early-mid 90's.

    Yea, I remember Jobs' saying that there would be 3GHz G5s soon. He probably put a fair amount of pressure on IBM to put out faster CPUs out the door like you said.
     
  9. thekev macrumors 604

    thekev

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    #9
    I disagree with this completely in that people who budgeted $2k+ for a computer most likely had internet access prior to 2003. Also it seemed like every mac owner I knew experienced at least one G5 logic board issue.

    Just on the cleaning issue, they seemed to change the last generation to fix this somewhat. They didn't collect as much dust, yet failure rates were still up there. It's also not like Apple provided any kind of maintenance instructions for dealing with something like this. They just remained silent the whole time.
     
  10. G51989 macrumors 68030

    G51989

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    #10
    I can't say Ive had any problem with my Dual 1.8gzh. Tho Ive only had it a few months.

    When I got it, I pulled it apart and dusted the crap out of it with Air Compressor, including the power supply, runs nice and well...hot... lol.

    I think heat is the big killer for G5s, and all computers really. A system that runs hot is a system that won't last.
     
  11. drorpheus macrumors regular

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    #11
    I don't know if you've done this or not but try cleaning off the cpus and reapplying new thermal grease, I've used Shin-Etsu X23-7783D only because at college we had a lab of over 200 g5's in just one building probably 500+ if you count the video prod and audio regardless we were our own certified apple service people and the shin etsu is what apple sent us in like big paint buckets, on my dual 2.7 when I got it the cpus idled at like 150-155*F and peaked at 200% to like 190-200*F, after cleaning them with the new grease applied and thermal calibration they idle at 130-135*F and peak out at 170-175*F, my dual 2.3 (early 2005) went from 145*F to 122-126*F, the compound drys out after a while.
     
  12. vohdoun macrumors 65816

    vohdoun

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    #12
    But did they feel the need to start a hate campaign the way social media is now today? there's hardly anywhere there's a loud mouth venting because something broke on them. That didn't happen before 2006.

    Shin-Etsu is what Corsair uses on their sealed water coolers. I've read from PC enthusiasts Shin-Etsu is the best. Problem is there's quite a number of them. I'm using Shin-Etsu X23-7762 on my x6. Also have a syringe of Shin-Etsu G751 to try.

    That's where I am at the moment. It's the same paste from the day it was new in mid 2005.
     
  13. zen.state macrumors 68020

    zen.state

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    #13
    The main fundamental issues with the PowerMac G5 has always been far too many logic board versions equaled an inability to make one truly sound design. Even within one revision and 3 models they would have 3 different boards. Other issues are obviously liquid cooled models and also several PSU die with no real pattern.

    The G5 tech in general was a lot of great intent with a lack of good engineering and proper testing. The only truly sound hardware in any of the G5 Macs was the CPU itself. It's the only part that had a near 100% reliability.
     
  14. vohdoun macrumors 65816

    vohdoun

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    What were the symptoms for the PSU's that did go kaput? died before powering on? or during? or any strange sounds?
     
  15. thekev macrumors 604

    thekev

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    #15
    People have always complained about things that break. If they're unhappy with something, they often tell more people. When they're satisfied, there's no real reason to justify it. If you saw as many problems as I did, you'd understand. The failure rates were abysmal.

    Edit: keep in mind that people like to talk about the reliability of macs compared to PCs. That one did not go in favor of Macs. Not only that, Apple provided very few bug fixes, and virtually no acknowledgement of the issue. That was one case where they deserved any bad PR they received. Remember the iphone antenna issue? Much more minor, yet that one was actually addressed due to the sheer number of people affected.
     
  16. SuperJudge macrumors 6502

    SuperJudge

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    #16
    On two that I saw firsthand, there was no real warning just a release of magic smoke, but those were LC machines so I'm not 100% that the PSU failed in isolation.

    Additionally, I've seen the PSU fail to a state where you press the power button the light blips on and immediately back up and the fans spin up to full power and then spin down. The early 2005 models were complete and utter crap for that kinda thing. ETA: As zen.state said, there's not much of a real pattern to PSU failures, unfortunately.

    I've got one PowerMac G5 in good repair and it's a late 2005 model, the closest they got to good. I've also got a spare for parts. It's not a daily driver anymore, but I do love it for GarageBand and REAPER. I've got a serious love/hate relationship with those G5s in general.
     
  17. Tnguktom macrumors newbie

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    #17
    It's simple, the power supply just can take it. They were supplied with a 600w psu. If you ignore the 25v, the max wattage on all other lines is 632w that means that if everything is on it is going to overload the power supply, but more importantly that problem will snowball down the system. Granted the 600w is a max continuous wattage and the 632w is a max wattage, but it doesn't give a very big margin for error.
    I have tried modding the g5 with just one atx psu, but I'm thinking, perhaps two would be better, one for 12v1 and 12v2 the second for everything else.
     

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