Revision A -- Does it really matter?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by muzikool, Nov 11, 2005.

  1. muzikool macrumors member

    Apr 5, 2005
    I am intent on purchasing an iBook sometime soon after it goes Intel (and widescreen?), hopefully sometime in the first half of next year. I've read lots of comments in the forums here about not getting a Rev A product. I understand that there can possibly be issues with, say, a Rev A iBook which results in a Rev B. But then couldn't the Rev B also have issues resulting in a Rev C? I know that actual upgrades occur in new revisions, but the upgrades are coupled with fixes for other issues, right?

    What I'm getting at is this -- is there really a good reason NOT to purchase the first Intel iBook? Am I not safe if I purchase AppleCare with the iBook?
  2. spencecb macrumors 6502a


    Nov 20, 2003
    I believe that Rev A products from Apple in recent years have proven to be faulty. I had an experience with the Rev A iMac G5 that was not pleasent. It had a reoccurring video card problem, each time resulting in Apple relacing the logic board inside my iMac...when this happened for a third time in less than a year, they finally gave me a new iMac G5, which happened to be the newest revision (Rev C). I'm happy with the outcome as I got much more muscle than what I originally paid for, but at the same time, it was a headache getting here.
  3. pinto32 macrumors 6502

    Oct 19, 2003
    Everyone you ask will have a different opinion.

    Some will argue that they will never buy a Rev. A product. They have some sound reasoning to do so, as there have been some especially problematic Rev. A products...the 15" aluminum powerbook had "screen spotting issues"...the iMac G5 had some overheating/video issues...the iBook G3 had logic board issues...etc.

    Others, including myself, argue that, although there are occasional problems with 1st generation products, most of them are just fine. Plus, if there is a widespread problem, any company (including Apple) will take care of the problem, for PR as well as potential legal issues...but mostly because of PR. But basically, most products are just fine, even in the first revision.
  4. muzikool thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 5, 2005
    Thanks for the replies. It seems like the worst-case scenario would be what spencecb went through -- which ended up being pretty good. :)
  5. sjjordan macrumors 6502

    Jun 10, 2003
    United States
    I'm also in the same position you are. I'm planning on getting a Rev A intel powerbook to replace my ever faithful, but somewhat slow, Tibook 400. My plan is to wait a month or so and see if any issues pop up. If nothing does...I've got a green light.
  6. Wombert macrumors regular

    Oct 31, 2005
    Munich, Germany
    I don't think Rev. A Mactels will be the same. The entire PC technology is very mature, Apple certainly has hired many skilled engineers from other PC manufacturers to make sure the first models work well, and I bet Intel is helping Apple a lot to get things rolling, especially in the laptop segment. Chances are that Intel even designs the Mainboards for Apple.
  7. revisionA macrumors 6502

    May 27, 2005
    My take on rev A

    The g5 revision A design is my tower comp and its had no problems.

    I think that the first system with a new architecture is released as soon as they can, and sometimes the burn in tests run shouldve been going for a few weeks not days. But when the public does cartwheels for each new releases and the competition drops new machines almost quarterly... there is pressure to pop out a new design before its time.

    So, if a revision A unit is working flawlessly for a week, most of the components have had adequate use for there to be minimal problems.

    Its mostly the first one to do something who encounters engineering issues, like not even ventilation even though technically a cooling system seems sound. Or perhaps the chirping duals of g5 revision etc. etc.

    Its not that other manufacturers have less flaws, its the Apple users are used to excellent standards. Sometimes, the revision B is both a better deal and has had more public 'burn in' time for unforseen flaws to be addressed.

    Freedoms not free, and neither is innovation.

    EDIT: Always check macrumors and wait until the newest designs have shipped and been toyed with by the users... at least Apple addresses and offers help with major issues if there are any.

  8. hyperpasta macrumors 6502a


    Aug 1, 2005
    New Jersey
    Better Rule

    I have a better rule - wait a month or two after ANY revision SHIPS before ordering. This means that any emergency manufacturing problems (Feb 05 PB Trackpads, Oct 05 PB Screens, etc.) have a little time to get worked out.

    I have a Rev. A iMac G5 and I'm loving it - no hardware problems ever (under Panther, the sound was faulty for 20 seconds after removing headphones, but this is a software problem).
  9. alien macrumors member

    Jul 17, 2002
    London, ON
    Wouldn't the new iMacs and Powermacs be somewhat of a Rev A? I mean, they're using a lot of new components (PCIe, DDR2 RAM, Dual-Core Chips). When does a new computer technically go from a Rev B to a Rev C instead of a Rev B to a Rev A? I'm more inclined to say that the new computers are a Rev A (albeit a minor Rev A), and speed bumped models would be the equivalent of a Rev B or C. I don't think that a computer technically needs to go from a G4 to G5 or G5 to Intel for it to be a Rev A... I don't know... those are my thoughts... not too sure if anyone else agrees though.
  10. revisionA macrumors 6502

    May 27, 2005
    Usually Revision A of something is new form factor or design, especially if its new to the industry as well... like the LCD iMac design for example.

  11. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus


    Jan 9, 2004
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    In fairness to Apple...the rev. A iBook G4 and rev. A PB G4 (non-widescreen) do not seem to have substantial issues. Beyond my personal experience with a rev. A iBook G4, I have not frequently heard of issues here or elsewhere with these.... And the iBook G4 came out after the logic board issues of the iBook G3. The Mac Mini rev. A machines also were not particularly buggy... really, it's just the iMac G5 rev. A and the widescreen PBs, if you consider that a "rev. A," that contribute to this pattern, isn't it?
  12. solvs macrumors 603


    Jun 25, 2002
    LaLaLand, CA
  13. Macky-Mac macrumors 68030


    May 18, 2004

    and the G3 iBooks logic board problems wasn't a rev A issue either as many of the ibooks that had this problem were later models

    it's not unreasonable to be cautious about a Rev A model....but there's no Ccertainty that a Rev A is going to have problems anymore than the idea of waiting for a Rev B is going to mean you'll be problem free, as you can see from the posts on these forums from people having issues with Rev B and later models.
  14. wPod macrumors 68000


    Aug 19, 2003
    Denver, CO
    rev A will always have problems, so will rev B and rev C. . . the biggest difference is the rev As will have the most problems and the biggest problems. this said, only a small percentage of the computers will actually have this problem. like single digit percentages. it just so happens that all of us tech savvy people that like to buy the latest and greatest rev A products also like to congregate in one place and complain about the minor imperfections. so, in the end, you read A LOT of complaints about rev A products here. if you ask around the general population of non-macrumors fanatics, you will generally hear that people are pleased with their rev A products. and if they arent pleased, then apple will generally fix the problem quickly. my biggest concern with the first mac-intels is NOT the hardware, but it is the software. just like when OS X was first released there was very little software for OS X and a lot of the software required OS 9. now you hardly ever see an OS 9 app anywhere unless you are a diehard classic fan. so i predict the same thing will happen whith OS X x86. a few of the big names, like adobe, will have software imidiatly ready, while other companies and developers will eventually be ready. all this means, go for it. the intels will be just as good as any other mac product!!
  15. shadowmoses macrumors 68000


    Mar 6, 2005
    I agree that's the solution, but to be honest i dont see Rev A's being too much of a problem unless you are unlucky but in this case apple would deal with the problem,

  16. solvs macrumors 603


    Jun 25, 2002
    LaLaLand, CA
    I have a rev B G5 iMac, and I'm buying AC. Hardware fails, stuff dies. Not everything falls under the known issues. Extended warranty, how could I lose! :p
  17. ksz macrumors 68000

    Oct 28, 2003
    San Jose, CA
    This is the best advice for anyone concerned about Rev. A due either to problems they personally experienced with prior Rev. As or problems they've heard about.

    Let the model ship then visit an Apple store and play with it. Examine the build quality, the screen quality, the trackpad quality, the hinges, etc. Also run as much of the preloaded software as you can. Apple stores are excellent in this respect: they preload lots of software.

    And finally, if you like, buy the machine at the Apple store, open it in front of a sales person, examine the workmanship, turn it on, etc. before you take it home.
  18. muzikool thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 5, 2005
    Great advice here -- thanks everyone!

    It never really crossed my mind before starting the thread, but I have a Rev A PM G5. I never had a single problem with it until the 10.4.3 update. That means that I went through several 10.3.x upgrades, then to 10.4 up to the (now working) 10.4.3. I will take the advise to wait a period of time after shipping begins to purchase one. I'll also play with them in the store prior to purchase as well. :)
  19. Kelson macrumors member

    Nov 19, 2002
    Dallas, TX
    Not as much as people think...

    Intel provides a platform, which means they have done a great deal of the work already providing the chipset and the CPU. There is much less custom design work that Apple needs to do.

    Based on this, I would say there will be alot less issue with early revisions of the Intel based systems, than w/ the PPC where Apple had to do alot more of the chipset design work.

    - Kelson
  20. skullsplitter macrumors member

    May 9, 2005
    This is Apple we are talking about!

    Intel from day one won't be a flop, this is Apple's biggest moment to date, and they will be right on the button. I am supporting apple from day one on this one. Go for it!
  21. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus


    Jan 9, 2004
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    Mmmmm....I think this is a "sort of." There is pretty clear and compelling evidence in quality surveys of large differences in defect rates between, say, a "good" PC vendor (IBM / Lenovo, for instance, in notebooks, in most years) and a "bad" or "iffy" one. Which suggests there are lots of decisions the manufacturers make that end up playing into this.

    Plus, look at the kind of high-rate defects Apple has been criticized for. Them midplane issue, the screen quality on the PB WS models, the surface plastic quality on new iPod revisions, the waterproof-ness of the iPod Shuffle, etc. I don't think a single one of these have anything to do with the areas in which design efficiencies with Intel will play a role in Apple's ability to deliver.

    I think Apple can and will have to snap out of the business processes that have led to bad product releases. We know they can make good hardware. They know they can make good hardware. They just have to return to principles that ensure first releases fit in this category.
  22. MattG macrumors 68040


    May 27, 2003
    Asheville, NC
    I like to live dangerously :cool:

    Truthfully, there have been some Rev. A products to come out over the last few years that did have some problems. I ordered the very first 15" AlBook, right after it was announced and the keynote ended. That thing was riddled with problems, namely with the screen. I had three LCD replacements and eventually they replaced the whole machine. That was a crappy experience. I know a lot of people had this problem.

    I also bought a Rev. A PowerMac G5, single 1.8ghz processor. I shut the thing down one morning, came home during my lunch break, and the power supply had apparently failed or something. The whole computer was HOT, not warm, HOT to the touch. I unplugged the thing, called Apple and sent it back. I think this was just an isolated thing though, at least I never heard of anyone else having this problem.

    Otherwise, I've had some great Rev. A products, including a Rev. A iMac G4 that I wish I had never sold :(
  23. Duff-Man macrumors 68030


    Dec 26, 2002
    Albuquerque, NM
    Duff-Man says....I have had several rev A Apple products, purchased immediately at release...never had a problem with any of them - LCIII, original iBook, Dual 800 G4, Dual 2.5 G5....I think this whole rev A thing is a bit overstated (which does not mean there are never any problems)....oh yeah!

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