Which line of macs is known to last the longest before dying?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Reminisce32, Nov 2, 2012.

  1. Reminisce32 macrumors regular


    Mar 13, 2009
    Which machine is known to last the longest before dying? MacPro, iMac, MBP, or Mac Mini?
  2. Umbongo macrumors 601


    Sep 14, 2006
    I doubt there are any official numbers out there, but a lot of people are using their 2006 Mac Pros still. It makes sense that they are the least likely to fail too due to the components used, the much superior cooling they are using and lack of display.
  3. SandboxGeneral Moderator emeritus


    Sep 8, 2010
    I don't know. But my old 2006 MBP C2D is still rocking along as my friends main computer.

    I have a 2008 & 2010 iMac and they're great. Plus there are a lot of people still running the older Power PC Mac's as well.
  4. MacSignal macrumors regular

    May 8, 2010
    Mac Pro would get my vote. IMac would be the worst IMO.
  5. Lance-AR macrumors 6502

    May 7, 2012
    Little Rock, AR
    Definitely Mac Pro. It's designed to run 24x7 at 100%
  6. kohlson macrumors 68000

    Apr 23, 2010
    We have a 2006 20-inch iMac C2D2 that's been in use every day, along with a 2007 model of the same spec. I swapped out the original drives a few years ago (I think they were 160GB) -- too small and getting old. Other than max'ing the memory to 4GB, these continue to be great systems.
    My 2008 15-MBP went to my in-laws. I swapped out the HDD for an SSD, not too small, but 3 years is really the inflection point for laptop HDDs.
    My point is that much of how long a system lasts depends not on the reliability of the parts, but the parts themselves. My in-laws had my old 2005 Power Book. Still works fine, but increasingly obsolete from an app perspective. In some respects we were lucky to get C2D architecture in the systems we have now.
    My advice now is to get a system that has the best specs you can get (not necessarily maxed out). That probably means a discrete graphics processor. But Intel seems to have hit the wall in terms of architecture, and now adds more cores and better power efficiency in subsequent CPUs.
  7. Melbourne Park, Nov 2, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2012

    Melbourne Park macrumors 6502

    Mar 5, 2012
    I've got a 2002 mirrored door G4, twin CPU 1.0GHz, that has never missed a beat.

    I have a Mac Pro too, and obviously, it'll last much the same - until its performance or power consumption becomes un-productive.

    I'd also have suggested that computers with rotating disks - ie Winchester drives - would be less reliable. But unfortunately the solid state ones despite having no moving parts do have evidently limited lives. I'd have thought a computer with no fan, no moving parts, and with a motherboard designed for long life, would be the most reliable long term. However the only ones like that have batteries, and they sure do not last.

    Dust is the enemy of computers, and once, dry solder also was a problem. I think dust would still be a heat killer, not sure that today's modern thin production methods are subject to the old wear and tear.

    We have 2006 white 24" iMac - which has the best screen of them all because its fonts are the correct size and its anti-glare - has suffered from heat issues. The hard disk became un reliable, and one had to run the fans on full speed to stop the screen from over heating and the image being interfered with. With perhaps a new fan, new hard disk or SSD, and a new thermocouple to tell the temperature, it would be reliable once again. Worth doing? Not sure ... and because its a bit sick, it doesn't feel right to sell it either. So I put iMac at the bottom of the reliability list.

    We have also an ex school (three years at school) white plastic case Macbook, that is hmmm ... I guess 5 years old now. Its had a tough life, but ignoring a 3rd party battery that only lasted 8 months, its been bulletproof, except for a design floor in its headphone jack that Apple had to repair (the sound out did not work and Apple replaced the motherboard). The trim was flakey too around the keyboard area - Apple replaced that too. And around the screen. So although I say its been bulletproof ... it needed its warranty. But perhaps a current Macbook Pro that was used as a desktop, would be very reliable. As they are somewhat ruggedized, so sitting still, without using their screens or keyboards, they'd last forever IMO. But also, that would be a waste of money!

    Price / Performance, I would not be surprised if a twin disk server orientated Mac Mini wouldn't be the best buy. Don't buy the warranty, instead buy some shares with the warranty cost, and buy some shares with the money you save from buying something more expensive. And when the mac mini fails, you'll have lots of money for a fancy machine from selling the shares.
  8. James Craner macrumors 68000

    James Craner

    Sep 13, 2002
    Bristol, UK
    Mac Pro - Typing this on my 2006 Mac pro, still a powerful machine, rather sad I can't get Mountain Lion to run on it though (no I don't want to hack it), can't sync my iWork docs via iCloud to my laptop.
  9. The-Pro macrumors 65816

    Dec 2, 2010
    YEAAAH!! Same here :) Its being used daily, never one problem. Its just really loud :(
    Also have a G4 17" PB 1.67GHz thats being used daily since I got it. HDD upgrades in it were needed.
    Got a couple G3's that still work great now aswell.

    The Mac Pro is definitly the one though. Its just the way they are designed and the components. Xeon chips where engineered to run in servers 24 hours a day, the cooling is very good in the Pros, nothing gets hot etc. Excellent machines. Guaranteed the majority of the people have not had any hiccups with there mac pros.
  10. Santabean2000 macrumors 68000


    Nov 20, 2007
    Man, you seem to have A LOT of computers!

    OP, the MP is the obvious choice for a machine that'll just last. No other Mac can compete.
  11. SuperBrown macrumors regular

    Jan 15, 2008
    I've got a 2004 eMac and iBook 12 inch, both still run as great as they did day 1, even if they are virtually obsolete. My current computer is a 2008 MBP, which is showing its age but I will likely replace it since it's fast becoming obsolete as well. Obviously it all depends on use and maintenance, but I've never had a mac die on me. Choose what you need, treat it well, and it should last regardless of what it is.
  12. Miat macrumors 6502a

    Jul 13, 2012
    Problem with this question is that it tells you nothing about which of the current models will last the longest.

    By definition you can't know how reliable a particular model is until a few years down the track, when it is seriously out of date. Reliability figures are mainly useful for previous generations of technology.

    I have a 2007 iMac that has been on (more-or-less) 24/7 for about 4 years, and it has never even blinked at me. But that is not evidence that the 2012 iMacs will do as well.

    Overall I would guess that the Mac Pro does best, mainly because it has much better venting and cooling than other Mac models.
  13. phoenixsan macrumors 65816


    Oct 19, 2012
    My vote goes to....

    the Mac Pro, being the current iteration of the venerables PowerMacs. Incidentally, I saw some G3s and G4 still running two weeks ago....figure it out.....:):apple:
  14. Yebubbleman macrumors 68030


    May 20, 2010
    Los Angeles, CA
    Having worked at an Apple Authorized Service Provider, I have seen roughly as many Mac Pros come in as I have Mac minis. Actually, I haven't seen a single Mac mini come in since their 2010 redesign. iMacs are the worst offender, I'd say; I've seen more iMacs in than any other machine, assuming we're not counting accidental damage done to the laptops. Excluding accidental damage repairs, the unibody MacBook Pros have been substantially more reliable than their pre-unibody equivalents. Though I have seen them in for non-accidental service a slight bit more frequently than I have Mac minis and Mac Pros. Still though, each rev is different; 2010 15" MacBook Pros have that video issue; Early 2011 models have that weird fan glitch, etc. White MacBooks have all had their weird casing defects, whether it was the top-case annoyance on the pre-unibody models or the rubber foot on the white unibody models. Really, if you're looking for a desktop, go with a 2010 or later Mac mini or a Mac Pro, and if you're going with a laptop, go with a current non-retina. Likelihood is that those will be reliably in use until Apple kicks them out of future OS upgrades.
  15. ZacT94 macrumors regular

    Jun 25, 2012
    I would have to say Mac pro, based on the fact that my dad's PowerMac G4 is still running quite well and is his main computer, as well as the Mac Pro being the descendant of the PowerMac.
  16. k.alexander macrumors regular


    Jul 14, 2010
    Yebubbleman: that's very helpful, thank you!

    I'll say that I've got a 2006 MBP CoreDuo (first Intel machine) that's been my main pc since 2/06 and I've never had any problems with. Took it apart twice to put bigger HDs in there, and also added some ram, but that's it.

    I was seriously considering buying an 11 or a 12 iMac, but have heard a lot of horror stories about the '10-11 design. I think I'm going to end up buying a new mini.
  17. gertruded macrumors 6502

    Jul 5, 2007
    Northwestern Illinois
    I will go with the Mac Mini. My 2006 core duo still runs 24/7 and my late 2009 still works great. Have replaced hard drive on both, and maxed out memory, but otherwise have had no problems.

    I clean out the dust on each at least once an year.

    Spouse has gone through several Windows machines in the time period. You get what you pay for.
  18. Yebubbleman macrumors 68030


    May 20, 2010
    Los Angeles, CA
    The Mac mini is definitely a safe bet. Personally, I'm getting the feeling that the thermal issues might have improved in the 21.5" iMac to the point where it might actually be reliable enough to recommend. Though, one would be wise to offset the problem of no user-replaceable RAM by maxing it out to 16GB at the time of purchase.
  19. The-Pro macrumors 65816

    Dec 2, 2010
    Haha, yeah I have a pretty nice collection ;)
    totally agreed there
  20. blipper macrumors regular

    Mar 31, 2006
    Baltimore, Maryland
    I'm running a 2006 Mac Pro as my desktop/file server. It's been on 24/7 since I got it in September 2006. Never had a problem, though I've upgraded the memory and disk drives many times. Next Tuesday, if FedEx comes through, it will be put into semi retirement by one of the new Mac Minis. Coincidentally, Tuesday will be the exact anniversary of the date my first PC arrived, which was a 486 Gateway. Based on that, I can calculate that the MP had a service life of 6 years, 2 mos, better than the other three desktops I have owned. The GW lasted 5 years, 2 mos, A 1998 Micron lasted 3 yrs, 10 mos, and a Dell went 4 years, 10 months. Except for the Dell, which had real issues at the end, the others just obsolesced more than they failed.

    I also have a 2009 MBP, which had track pad issues earlier this year, and a 2011 MBA, which had video problems within the first year. Both were sucessfully repaired with no further problems. A 2005 Powerbook, which I got refurbished and was my first Mac, had no issues in 3 years of use except inability to upgrade to whatever the 2009 OS version was.
  21. spyguy10709 macrumors 6502a


    Apr 5, 2010
    One Infinite Loop, Cupertino CA
    iBook G3 Snow.

    (This would have been hilarious in 2002,3,4 lol)

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