What's the most reliable Mac?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by packgrad2000, Apr 30, 2009.

  1. packgrad2000 macrumors regular

    Sep 19, 2007
    I'm getting ready to sell my 2.2 SR MBP because the extended warranty on the problematic Nvidia 8600GT card is about to expire, and since it's already failed once, I fear it will fail again after the warranty expires ($1000 for a new Logic Board).

    So, I'd like to move to the iMac 2.93, but I'm concerned about its reliability after my bad experience with the MBP. FYI, I'll be moving to a very remote place in Indonesia with no Apple store for miles around...it would require an expensive plane flight. So the usual "just get AppleCare" isn't exactly helpful for me.

    How does the reliability of the Mac Pro compare to the iMac? Can anybody point to actual evidence of laptop vs. iMac vs Mac Pro reliability? Is the video card hard soldered to the Logic Board in the iMac? I can handle HD failures or other relatively inexpensive component failures, but I'm especially concerned about the MLB, especially after the nightmare with the 8600GT. I would just be going for the Nvidia 120GT card (as much as I hate Nvidia), but I'd be willing to spend extra for a Mac Pro if it was way more reliable, even though it's overkill for me (the most intense program I use is Lightroom).
  2. Abidubi macrumors 6502

    Feb 13, 2009
    The only thing I can say is the pro machine is designed for long term use. Mine arrived working great despite 1 driver bug that will soon be fixed.

    My 2004 powermac G5 had the video card die (9600XT) about 6 months after I got it but was replaced in 1 day under warranty. Then last year 1 of the processors died, but rather than spending $700 to get it replaced I just had the guy take out the defective processor and it runs fine (of course multi-tasks like crap now). I think too much dust got into it and lead to a slow rise in temperature that reduced it's life. My new xeons run about 20 degrees C cooler than the G5 did.

    The G5 had a lot of issues with the logic board, processors, power supply and liquid cooling. Since the Mac Pros I have not heard of any wide spread problems. We'll see how this new design fairs over time, but I think it will hold out pretty good (cooling seems much better all around now).

    The iMacs are a home computer. It's made to look pretty than be thrown out a couple years later since you cannot upgrade anything. I'm sure it has excellent components and build quality, but it is packaged in a very tight space.
  3. iLog.Genius macrumors 601


    Feb 24, 2009
    Toronto, Ontario
    If you're looking to replace your MacBook Pro, I would take a serious look at the late-2008 models. You've probably read a lot of horror stories and mix that with it being a Rev. A product, you're probably worried. I had my fair share of problems (went through 3 before getting one that works) but once you land one that won't mess up within the first 2 weeks, you should be good. The MacBook is also a good look if you find that the MacBook Pro SR was too much for you in terms of power. I would stay away from the MacBook Air. People have had success but I find that out of the 3 portables, I've had people call in with much more serious problems with the Air. Also unlike the Air, the MacBook and MacBook Pro, if anything were to go wrong, you have access to the internal parts.
  4. packgrad2000 thread starter macrumors regular

    Sep 19, 2007
    Yeah I'm not really looking at MBP's now as I don't really need the portability right now. My 2 year old MBP now is just about as powerful: it has a faster and bigger HD and more memory than the base MBP, and only .2Ghz slower clock speed. With only a glossy screen and no FW400 (which I use, along with FW800), I'm not about to pay $2000 for a machine that's marginally better than the one I have now, especially with the reliability issues that are inherent in laptops. I really love my SR MBP if it weren't for that stupid Nvidia 8600GT.
    I do indeed need the power of at least a MBP...I use Lightroom a lot and do occasional video editing, but I realize a Mac Pro would be overkill for me. Although I'm not afraid to open up an iMac and replace the HD, AFAIK that's about the only upgrade I could make to it. I just don't want to have to replace a $1000 Logic Board like in my MBP.
  5. MultiFinder17 macrumors 68000


    Jan 8, 2008
    Tampa, Florida
    I love the mini. It's a proven design that Apple's upgraded over the years, and I've never had a problem with one. Gotta give props to my PowerBook G4 too, as its been a good little trooper for several years now. As for the newer systems, as I said, the mini is a good, reliable little box. Nobody really ever seems to have much bad to say about the little bugger. The polycarbonate MacBooks are also another good, proven design. While they do crack around the front edges, that's just cosmetic damage. The Mac Pro is an amazing machine all around. The iMac has started suffering from Apple's obsession with making things as thin as possible, so would not be my first choice. I can't really speak for the unibodies, but I would stay away from them for now. It's an old rule in the Apple world - Never buy Revision A.

    As for the most reliable Mac? My Macintosh SE has been chugging away since 1987 and is still happily sitting on my desk working fine :D
  6. sgtbilko28 macrumors newbie


    Apr 8, 2009
    Having managed an apple service centre, I can tell you its luck of the draw in most cases.

    Machines like Powermacs and Mac Pros are built with large, high quality components which have lots of room to breath. If you give it a thorough clean and vacuum like I did with mine, it might last over 5 years!

    I've got an emac that has been going since 02 or 03 but thats because it has one block of poo powering it.

    Applecare is a must for most machines... yes its a ripoff for things like the laptops but the minimum you want a mac to last is three years.
  7. rgarjr macrumors 603


    Apr 2, 2009
    Southern California
    U sure it aint this one? :)

  8. Sponsi macrumors member


    Apr 26, 2009
    Under Palm Trees
    Haha, that's awesome.
  9. jnc macrumors 68020


    Jan 7, 2007
    Nunya, Business TX
    From experience, I'd vouch for:

    White iMac Core Duo. Stable, and matte. Yay.
    Mac Pro - 0 problems, very happy for you to open him up etc :D
    UMB/P - sturdy as hell. Had issues with all other Apple portables. Unibody was a good move, shame about the annoying glass mounted screen.

    Mac Mini would be on that list, but the newest generation I've had nothing but trouble. Big problems, too. I've owned 'em since G4, shame.

    I'm not sure if you'll find a Mac Pro any more reliable than an iMac, but should something go wrong you might have a better time at identifying it due to its easy access guts. Also it'll be more future proof and with its extra ports, bays, slots etc just more useful all round, providing you've got the space. iMac's one advantage is its dimensions, resulting from the convergence of all the tech... if that's not an issue (and you've got the money) I'd get the Pro. Can always swap out that nVidia later ;)

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