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Apple's latest iMac gets disassembled, earns low repairability score

post #1 of 95
Thread Starter 
Tech repair site iFixit has torn down the latest model of Apple's iMac, finding that the refreshed desktop has a lot in common with its predecessor, including a low repairability score.

iFixit


iFixit has done the requisite teardown on the late 2013 iMac update that Apple announced on Tuesday. While acknowledging the updates Apple packed into the device, the site notes that very little has changed from last year's model to this year's.

"We are 99% sure that this iMac is 99% the same as its predecessor," the teardown reads.

iFixit


iFixit worked with a both a 21.5-inch iMac and a 27-inch model, finding that Apple has once again used a foamy adhesive to hold the display on the device in place. Adhesive use in construction is an ongoing complaint by iFixit about Apple products, in that such construction methods make devices more difficult to open and for non-specialized technicians to repair. The site also notes that the new iMac has the same display cable as its predecessor, which is said to be delicate and "prone to disaster."

Removing the logic board from the iMac, iFixit found that the 21.5-inch model features an empty PCIe SSD slot, which means that it could very well be expanded if a user chose to do so. The 27-inch model also features this empty slot.

iFixit


Continuing, iFixit noted the new Broadcom AirPort card, which supports the new 802.11ac Wi-Fi standard, first appearing in Macs with the refreshed MacBook Airs. The desktop also packs three Skyworks SE5516 dual-band 802.11a/b/g/n/ac WLAN front-end modules, as well as a Broadcom BCM20702 single-chip Bluetooth 4.0 HCI solution with Bluetooth Low Energy Support.

Apple has also streamlined some components of the iMac's internals. The hard drive SATA power and data cables have been unified, saving a step in disassembling the device. Apple also streamlined the CPU heat sink, giving it a "slimmed down and beautified" appearance, although the tradeoff is that the new CPU is soldered in place on the logic board, meaning that it cannot be removed, replaced, or upgraded. iFixit believes this is the first aluminum iMac to feature a soldered CPU. The 27-inch model, though, does not have its CPU soldered into place, a fact that iFixit celebrates.

iFixit


Overall, the device receives a very poor score of 2 out of a possible 10 on the reliability scale. iFixit notes that users can replace the RAM and hard drive, so long as they are willing to cut through adhesives, and that users can add a second hard drive. The soldered-in CPU, though, as well as the fusion of the glass and LCD, as well as the construction that places the replaceable components behind the logic board: all of these contribute to a repairability sore even lower than the one the 2012 iMac received.

Recently, the tech repair site, which not only publishes guides for repairing devices but also sells specialized equipment, has reviewed the iPhone 5s and the iPhone 5c. The latter received one of Apple's higher repairability scores in some time, scoring 6 out of a possible 10.

Readers in the market for a new iMac can head over to our Mac Price Guides, where MacMall is offering AppleInsider readers the lowest prices anywhere through exclusive coupons:
post #2 of 95

Who cares?  Apple doesn't design their products around getting a good score from iFixit.

post #3 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Overall, the device receives a very poor score of 2 out of a possible 10 on the reliability scale.

No it was 2 out of a possible 10 on the repairability scale.

post #4 of 95
I know they're interested in the hardware, but I'd love to know what build of OS X came on these units.
post #5 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by ktappe View Post

I know they're interested in the hardware, but I'd love to know what build of OS X came on these units.

 

Either 10.8.4 or 10.8.5 by the release notes for the EFI update. What other build were you expecting them to have?


Edited by MikeJones - 9/25/13 at 7:54am
post #6 of 95
Well, I do wish serviceable components like disks and ram would be more easily available. A hard disk went on my 2007 iMac, and doing it myself was so time consuming that I ended up paying a service depot. Note the Apple Store itself wanted nothing to do with it, as it was well past warranty. I had to find a third party Apple Service depot to do it.
post #7 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post
 

Who cares?  Apple doesn't design their products around getting a good score from iFixit.

BRAVO! BRAVO!

 

Well Said!

 

These guys make so much noise to sell 10 different sizes of one screwdrivers and 200+ Ads on each & every page on their site! That's what they do.

 

It just reminds of bunch of little kids get together and unscrew whatever they can get their hands on!

 

Look Ma, what we did with our new toys!

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....the lack of properly optimized apps is one of the reasons "why the experience on Android tablets is so crappy".

Tim Cook ~ The Wall Street Journal - February 7, 2014

Inside Google! 

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post #8 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gustav View Post

Well, I do wish serviceable components like disks and ram would be more easily available. A hard disk went on my 2007 iMac, and doing it myself was so time consuming that I ended up paying a service depot. Note the Apple Store itself wanted nothing to do with it, as it was well past warranty. I had to find a third party Apple Service depot to do it.

What often gets ignored is that there's a tradeoff. Systems that are more repairable may be less reliable to start with.

As just one example, soldered RAM is harder to fix, but it fails far, far, far less often than memory sticks that are inserted into a slot. Personally, I'd rather have a system that's designed not to fail than one that fails frequently, but is easier to fix.
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post #9 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gustav View Post

Well, I do wish serviceable components like disks and ram would be more easily available. A hard disk went on my 2007 iMac, and doing it myself was so time consuming that I ended up paying a service depot. Note the Apple Store itself wanted nothing to do with it, as it was well past warranty. I had to find a third party Apple Service depot to do it.

 

I don't see anything unreasonable in your story at all.  A four year old computer that's well out of it's warranty cost you a tiny bit of money to repair.  So what? 

 
If you bought some other kind of computer that was easier to repair yourself and thus saved that money, you would have spent money in the interim on some other aspect of that cheaper and less well constructed computer for certain.  You are just not looking at the big picture.  The only other all-in-ones on the market have a horrible reliability rating and wouldn't have lasted the first three years anyway.  If you bought a mini-tower, you can't tell me with a straight face you wouldn't have spent some kind of money on upgrading or repairing it or it's monitor over the same four years.  They also all run Windows only.  Your only other Mac choices would require more frequent updates, or refreshed peripherals or have less power and usability overall.  
post #10 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post

Who cares?  Apple doesn't design their products around getting a good score from iFixit.

It is funny … on par with the Fox downgrading the hen house as it is hard to break into!

Maybe the reliability over a few years for these modern Macs that can't be tinkered with will start to show up as a score that might justify this.

Not that I like it personally since I have been upgrading my own Apple gear since 1978. But I can imagine the headache for Apple dealing with home repairs and your local hole in the wall PC Repair Shop (Now fixing Macs too) types.

On a related note I hope the New MacPro although not upgradable by all accounts can at least be upgraded by taking to an Apple Store.
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post #11 of 95
I can count on one hand how many of my friends care about this, 1. They'd also happen love Android and they build their own PC. The mass market doesn't care it isn't easily repairable. Why not list reliability next to the repair ability? I haven't seen the need to open my iMac now 4+ years old. It runs like a champ and doesn't crash like my new Windows 7 laptop.
post #12 of 95

Silly iFixit.

 

Computers with the highest customer satisfaction and reliability ratings *don't need* high repairability by default.

post #13 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by Disturbia View Post
 

BRAVO! BRAVO!

 

Well Said!

 

These guys make so much noise to sell 10 different sizes of one screwdrivers and 200+ Ads on each & every page on their site! That's what they do.

 

It just reminds of bunch of little kids get together and unscrew whatever they can get their hands on!

 

Look Ma, what we did with our new toys!

 

It's even more amusing in light of their iPhone "liberation kit" having philips heads screws that are far more prone to having stripping issues than the pentalobe screws they replace. So in fact, when the average person ends up stripping their screws and can't get them out of their phone they have a much bigger problem than the overblown issue of pentalobe screwdrivers being hard to find (which they haven't been for quite some time).

post #14 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

What often gets ignored is that there's a tradeoff. Systems that are more repairable may be less reliable to start with.

As just one example, soldered RAM is harder to fix, but it fails far, far, far less often than memory sticks that are inserted into a slot. Personally, I'd rather have a system that's designed not to fail than one that fails frequently, but is easier to fix.

Cars have gone the same way and so has reliability. I don't recognize much under the hood of our cars these days but I set off to drive to New England without a box of tools, hoses and other bits and pieces as I would have driving a fraction of that distance in the days I could replace anything I wanted in a car. Local 'iFixit It garages' screamed bloody murder as this happened too.
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post #15 of 95
27" gets a repairability score of 5/10. You might want to include that in the article.

@Gazoobee: what have you done this time?
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post #16 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post
 

Who cares?  Apple doesn't design their products around getting a good score from iFixit.

 

Indeed, why do they constantly give these guys a platform for their old-fashioned views without any criticism?  I enjoy the tear downs just like I enjoy Linux sometimes but that doesn't mean I want to buy into the outdated philosophy behind either. 

post #17 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilBoogie View Post

...
@Gazoobee: what have you done this time?

 

I put it in my sig, but the thing is they are using a new "Huddler" moderation system that isn't under their control at all.  So I haven't tried it, but I think if you complain about someone they receive points, and eventually get banned and it's all automatic.  

 

The bad part is that once you are banned, you can log in, but you can't see your PM's and therefore you don't have any idea why you were banned or how long it's going to last.  It's like a great dark hand sweeping you off the board into purgatory and you just wait and keep trying to post.  Sometimes you can even post, but the posts never show up.  It's all very confusing and stupidly done.  

 

It also seems like it can be gamed, in that the whiners who complain about every little perceived slight now have the upper hand and fairness has nothing to do with it.  Pretty soon those being banned will have to fight back by "reporting" those who they don't like and we will all turn into little Nazis tattling on each other like kids.  

 

Bring back the human moderators!  :)

 

But seriously, I expect this post to be removed because they probably don't want anyone to know these things.  

post #18 of 95
Seriously?! Forget it, I'm buying a Dell instead. Because being able to take apart a high-tech device with no user-serviceable parts inside is the first think I inquire about when I walk into Chuck's Computer & Oil Change.
post #19 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

Cars have gone the same way and so has reliability. I don't recognize much under the hood of our cars these days but I set off to drive to New England without a box of tools, hoses and other bits and pieces as I would have driving a fraction of that distance in the days I could replace anything I wanted in a car. Local 'iFixit It garages' screamed bloody murder as this happened too.

Excellent point.

I used to do my own tuneups (anyone else remember points and condensers?), oil changes, thermostat replacements, and so on. There's no way in the world that I could do those things now - but since tuneups don't need to be done every 12,000 miles and oil changes don't need to be done at 3,000, who cares?
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilBoogie View Post

27" gets a repairability score of 5/10. You might want to include that in the article.

Yes, that would have been relevant.

It wouldn't make me care any more, but it would have been more balanced.
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post #20 of 95

While I appreciate iFixit for what they do and they are useful for people like me who do work on Macs I can't see the score as a big deal. The days of people getting inside their computers are falling by the wayside. Computers today are much more robust in terms of specs vs the computers from before. They're faster processors are more than most need, even on a cheap model, have plenty of RAM and hard drive space. Only the serious people do these upgrades and repairs. Others could care less. 

 

That being said, I do hope iFixit keeps doing what they're doing in terms of taking things apart. It really is useful to people. 

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post #21 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gustav View Post

Well, I do wish serviceable components like disks and ram would be more easily available. A hard disk went on my 2007 iMac, and doing it myself was so time consuming that I ended up paying a service depot. Note the Apple Store itself wanted nothing to do with it, as it was well past warranty. I had to find a third party Apple Service depot to do it.

What often gets ignored is that there's a tradeoff. Systems that are more repairable may be less reliable to start with.

As just one example, soldered RAM is harder to fix, but it fails far, far, far less often than memory sticks that are inserted into a slot. Personally, I'd rather have a system that's designed not to fail than one that fails frequently, but is easier to fix.

 

Agreed, and I would also expect that designing a device that is easy to disassemble and repair leads to higher manufacturing costs and hinders miniaturization. Definitely a tradeoff.

post #22 of 95

Socketed CPU

I didn't know the 27" models had socketed CPUs.  My first 27" was the 2009 model with the i7.  Nice machine.  Never had any issues with it.  I should have upgraded it to an SSD or a fusion drive in the DVD, but instead, sold it.  I shouldn't have.

 

Looks like I'll be buying one now. Tired of waiting for 5120x2880 displays which may never come.

 

(Crap.   I didn't mean to start a new thread.)

post #23 of 95

iFixit just cares about selling tools and parts as a non-authorized Apple Repair service.  The lest they can sell you, the lower the score.

post #24 of 95
2 out of a possible 10 on the "reliability scale?"

contribute to a repairability "sore?"
post #25 of 95

Quote:

Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


Removing the logic board from the iMac, iFixit found that the 21.5-inch model features an empty PCIe SSD slot, which means that it could very well be expanded if a user chose to do so. The 27-inch model also features this empty slot.

 

The empty SSD slot would be for the build to order Fusion drive.

 

I just priced one configuration that I would like: $3,497.00

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post #26 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by Disturbia View Post
 

BRAVO! BRAVO!

 

Well Said!

 

These guys make so much noise to sell 10 different sizes of one screwdrivers and 200+ Ads on each & every page on their site! That's what they do.

 

It just reminds of bunch of little kids get together and unscrew whatever they can get their hands on!

 

Look Ma, what we did with our new toys!

I completely disagree.   Not everything has to be replaceable, but access to memory and drives should be easy.    Without it, there's a built-in obsolescence to these machines, which IMO, is unethical (although it does increase Apple's revenues to some extent).   It's like having a car where you can't change the oil yourself or easily replace tires.   

 

My old G4 tower was obviously easy to replace items.  I upgraded memory, switched out the CD drive for a DVD-R and upgraded the storage twice.  As a result, I was able to use that machine for seven years.   I only got rid of it because it couldn't really handle video editing.

 

My late 2008 Mac Book Pro is also pretty terrific in this regard.  Both the battery and the hard drive are accessible from the bottom cover and I've changed both.  I've switched out the hard drive twice and am now using the equivalent of a fusion drive.    Memory is accessible as well.

 

Why do we have to take steps backwards in the name of "thinness" on a desktop machine where how thin it is hardly matters anyway?   I love Apple's approach to industrial design, but it should never take precedence over practicality and usability.     And Apple should not be forcing its customers to buy a new machine simply because their existing machines can't be upgraded.     You can't tell me that with Apple's design expertise, they couldn't have found a way to design the current laptops so that one still had access to replaceable memory and drives and that's even more true for the iMac.

 

I've been with Apple computers since the advent of the Apple II, but this really pisses me off -- enough so that my next computer might actually not be a Mac, even though I completely despise Windows. 

 

Furthermore, Apple machines are not as reliable as they used to be so they do need to be repaired (although I personally haven't any problems other than a bad DVD-R drive in my MacBook Pro).  My son-in-law works as a MacTech for a company that is all Mac and he constantly has to repair/replace components of these machines.    While all this work keeps him employed, he feels that the last well-built Macs were the G4 towers. 

post #27 of 95
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

I put it in my sig, but the thing is they are using a new "Huddler" moderation system that isn't under their control at all.

 

Whoa, whoa, whoa, what?!

 

The bad part is that once you are banned, you can log in, but you can't see your PM's and therefore you don't have any idea why you were banned or how long it's going to last.

 

Change your settings to receive e-mail when you get a new PM; there you’ll see the content of the most recent one. Now just to have it be an assured thing that PMs get sent when you get a ban…

 

It also seems like it can be gamed, in that the whiners who complain about every little perceived slight now have the upper hand and fairness has nothing to do with it.

 

If it exists, I see very much it being gamed. With as easy as it is to make an account here (I won’t publicly state just how easy), one member of the Anti-Apple Brigade could probably easily take out a fair portion of users here.

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

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post #28 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by zoetmb View Post
 

I've been with Apple computers since the advent of the Apple II, but this really pisses me off -- enough so that my next computer might actually not be a Mac, even though I completely despise Windows. 

 

Furthermore, Apple machines are not as reliable as they used to be so they do need to be repaired (although I personally haven't any problems other than a bad DVD-R drive in my MacBook Pro).  My son-in-law works as a MacTech for a company that is all Mac and he constantly has to repair/replace components of these machines.    While all this work keeps him employed, he feels that the last well-built Macs were the G4 towers. 

The reliability is better than ever on newer Macs. The old G4s were well known for having quite a few issues. I think you are just being nostalgic. The newer machines are very reliable. One reason is that all the internal components are so much better these days.

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post #29 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by zoetmb View Post

I completely disagree.   Not everything has to be replaceable, but access to memory and drives should be easy.    Without it, there's a built-in obsolescence to these machines, which IMO, is unethical (although it does increase Apple's revenues to some extent).   It's like having a car where you can't change the oil yourself or easily replace tires.   

Nonsense. Very few people actually upgrade their computers. If you really want to, you still can.

They're making the computers better for everyone in exchange for a slightly greater difficulty for the tiny percentage who want to upgrade. You may not agree with that choice, but it's not unethical.

There are still thousands of other computers you can buy if upgradeability is your prime consideration.
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post #30 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by zoetmb View Post

 
I've been with Apple computers since the advent of the Apple II, but this really pisses me off -- enough so that my next computer might actually not be a Mac, even though I completely despise Windows. 

Furthermore, Apple machines are not as reliable as they used to be so they do need to be repaired (although I personally haven't any problems other than a bad DVD-R drive in my MacBook Pro).  My son-in-law works as a MacTech for a company that is all Mac and he constantly has to repair/replace components of these machines.    While all this work keeps him employed, he feels that the last well-built Macs were the G4 towers. 
The reliability is better than ever on newer Macs. The old G4s were well known for having quite a few issues. I think you are just being nostalgic. The newer machines are very reliable. One reason is that all the internal components are so much better these days.

That's definitely my experience, based on many years and many devices. Reliability seems to be significantly improved.
post #31 of 95
Sad to say, Apple's employees make too much money to understand the lives of most Americans. For them an iMac is a throwaway. For them, you and I with our need to budget money, to fix and to upgrade, don't exist.

I've got an old iMac I'd like to give to a nephew, but I hate to do so with a DVD stuck in the drive and getting it out is a big hassle. It's why I replaced it with a Mac mini and regard most people who buy iMacs as fools asking for trouble. A repairability of 2 out of 10 is dreadful.

And then there are all the silly environmental groups, hung up over whether the plastic or aluminum in Apple products are easy to recycle. Who cares? The plastic in an iPhone is less than than in milk bottles that are tossed away by the billions. Repairability is what matters. An iMac that's in use for six years has half the impact of one that has to be discarded after three.
post #32 of 95
Originally Posted by Inkling View Post
Sad to say, Apple's employees make too much money to understand the lives of most Americans. For them an iMac is a throwaway. For them, you and I with our need to budget money, to fix and to upgrade, don't exist.

 

Really? I doubt that.

I've got an old iMac I'd like to give to a nephew, but I hate to do so with a DVD stuck in the drive and getting it out is a big hassle.

 

Ooh, tweezers. Hassle…

 
…most people who buy iMacs as fools asking for trouble. A repairability of 2 out of 10 is dreadful. 

 

Come on, man.

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

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Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

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post #33 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by Inkling View Post

Sad to say, Apple's employees make too much money to understand the lives of most Americans. For them an iMac is a throwaway. For them, you and I with our need to budget money, to fix and to upgrade, don't exist.

I've got an old iMac I'd like to give to a nephew, but I hate to do so with a DVD stuck in the drive and getting it out is a big hassle. It's why I replaced it with a Mac mini and regard most people who buy iMacs as fools asking for trouble. A repairability of 2 out of 10 is dreadful.

And then there are all the silly environmental groups, hung up over whether the plastic or aluminum in Apple products are easy to recycle. Who cares? The plastic in an iPhone is less than than in milk bottles that are tossed away by the billions. Repairability is what matters. An iMac that's in use for six years has half the impact of one that has to be discarded after three.

An iMac that lasts for 6 years without repair has less impact than a computer that breaks down constantly due to 'repairable' construction.

Let's start with a simple question:
1. What percentage of iMacs break down vs what percentage of PCs? (Hint: the numbers are published and Macs have far greater reliability).

Now, a followup:
2. When a computer breaks, what percentage of iMacs are thrown out instead of repairing them and what percentage of PCs are thrown out instead of repairing them? (Hint: with their greater longevity and resale value, it's far more likely that the PC will be discarded).
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post #34 of 95
I feel like I should address this because it crops up a few times but it ends up being a discussion in itself. It may be difficult but try to stick to the topic after reading this.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

I think if you complain about someone they receive points, and eventually get banned and it's all automatic.

Bans can be given out manually but no longer are except for people who have been banned before and for spam. Manual bans mean that someone is banned because a mod decided it and it doesn't work best that way because there's no record of what a user did wrong and can't be justified to someone else that might check it later. Infractions are tied to comments so that there is a record of breaking the rules, which is almost always insulting another member because it's the most consistent rule to judge a post by. The infractions that lead to the bans are not automatic and given manually but it's pretty much never the case that a single infraction leads to the first ban and there are many temporary bans used after this to give people a chance to correct their posting style. If someone complains about another member and it doesn't hold up under the posting guidelines, no infractions are given.

The Huddler system doesn't seem to be very clear on what has happened when a ban is issued unfortunately but as mentioned, this is something only the Huddler team can change. Long term members don't have to be concerned about being trivially banned for no reason. It will always be temporary bans first and the list of infractions should show in the user profiles.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

It also seems like it can be gamed

The old vBulletin system could be gamed more easily because it didn't flag multiple accounts. Anyone want to take a guess at who owns this secondary account:

http://forums.appleinsider.com/t/107997/opera-submits-iphone-browser-to-apple-for-app-store-review/80#post_1596259

The last sentence is particularly ironic. This kind of thing results in a permanent ban for both accounts but I will wait until this is read before implementing it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

the whiners who complain about every little perceived slight now have the upper hand and fairness has nothing to do with it.

Making a one-word post calling someone a jerk because you misunderstood the post is not a little perceived slight but an explicit breaking of the rules.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

But seriously, I expect this post to be removed because they probably don't want anyone to know these things.

The system should be transparent enough for people to feel assured that they won't be banned without reason but not so transparent that people can purposely game the system as mentioned earlier.

If you don't insult other members of the forum or sign up multiple accounts, you won't get any infractions or bans.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil 
With as easy as it is to make an account here (I won’t publicly state just how easy), one member of the Anti-Apple Brigade could probably easily take out a fair portion of users here.

It doesn't work like that. If for example a new Apple user signs up and doesn't like the new iOS 7, they don't deserve to be insulted after making one post. It's not always clear what the new user intends to do so typically posts are just deleted but it's not right to throw around insults as and when people decide it's appropriate because it encourages other members to do the same whenever they feel like it and then people see it as unfair if someone gets away with it and not others. No one should feel like they have the freedom to insult other members. Some people have an odd way of looking at this and a member has said in the past that they should be able to call someone an idiot if they are acting like an idiot. It should be obvious that if this was to be the case then it would quite quickly lead to an abusive discussion because how people react to what a person says varies from one person to another so it's inconsistent to apply rules that way.

If people don't like what another member says, use the ignore list. If a post is inappropriate, flag it and it'll be dealt with. It won't always be dealt with how people expect because people should feel like they have the freedom to express themselves. The intent of moderating is to keep the discussion civil, not to stifle it. Sometimes stifling certain comments is the only way to keep it civil but too much of that is not good for active discussions.
post #35 of 95

I have one of the old white 17" iMacs and had to replace its HD. Some years ago it had a warrantee repair, and I don’t think even trained techies are too good at disassembly judging by what I found. The RF shielding around the edge was damaged (only so it looked untidy) and 1 of the 4 hard-to-reach recessed screws that was missing.

 

On the plus side, the iFixit instructions were pretty useful, with only minor details (possibly production mods) wrong.

 

I wouldn’t risk taking apart a relatively new Mac, but if it’s a few years old and you want to save money, it isn’t that hard.

 

Some of us like keeping our old stuff rather than junking it whenever there’s a new toy. I for one would prefer it if Apple put more effort into making their boxes easier to open and repair. Not that they are alone in this: Microsoft’s slab (whatever) also gets low scores (1 out of 10 at iFixit for the “Pro”). That’s Microsoft for you: better than Apple at what you don’t want.

Philip Machanick creator of Opinionations and Green Grahamstown
Department of Computer Science, Rhodes University, South Africa

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Philip Machanick creator of Opinionations and Green Grahamstown
Department of Computer Science, Rhodes University, South Africa

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post #36 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post


An iMac that lasts for 6 years without repair has less impact than a computer that breaks down constantly due to 'repairable' construction.

Let's start with a simple question:
1. What percentage of iMacs break down vs what percentage of PCs? (Hint: the numbers are published and Macs have far greater reliability).

Now, a followup:
2. When a computer breaks, what percentage of iMacs are thrown out instead of repairing them and what percentage of PCs are thrown out instead of repairing them? (Hint: with their greater longevity and resale value, it's far more likely that the PC will be discarded).

 

According to these numbers (http://www.pcworld.com/article/2020964/apple-and-lenovo-desktop-pcs-tops-in-satisfaction.html), the difference in hardware reliability between desktop Macs and the top PC desktops isn't all that much. Hard drives crashes are the most frequent failure mode, and Apple's desktops still come standard with spinning hard drives. 

post #37 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by d4NjvRzf View Post

According to these numbers (http://www.pcworld.com/article/2020964/apple-and-lenovo-desktop-pcs-tops-in-satisfaction.html)
, the difference in hardware reliability between desktop Macs and the top PC desktops isn't all that much. Hard drives crashes are the most frequent failure mode, and Apple's desktops still come standard with spinning hard drives. 

The difference isn't all that much? Some of those brands have twice as many problems as Macs - and even the average is at least 50% higher.

Furthermore, you're ignoring several issues:

1. Much of the problem with repairs is the inconvenience factor - loss of data, having to take the computer out of service, drive to the repair facility, etc. A third lower incidence of problems is huge.

2. Even for the ones who have to have it repaired, a large fraction of those repairs will be warranty repairs - in which case repairability is irrelevant.

3. Even for non-warranty repairs, most people take their computer in for repair rather than fixing it themselves, anyway. Again, repairability is a non-issue (except for possibly a slightly higher cost for the Macs, although I don't know if even that's the case).

In the end, repairability matters only for the 10% of users who have a problem and of that 10%, only the very small fraction who would fix the computer themselves if it were more accessible, but choose not to because it's difficult on the Mac. That is undoubtedly less than 10% of the people who have problems (i.e., well under 1% of total customers). So, you have 10% of customers with a problem with Macs vs 15% with PCs - a reduction of 33% - in exchange for 1% of potential users who might be slightly inconvenienced. That sounds like a good tradeoff.

Oh, and btw, EVEN THAT overestimates the extent of the 'problem'. Those numbers include laptops and desktops. The Mac Pro is more accessible than most comparable PCs. The Mac laptops are roughly equivalent to comparable PCs. So the number of people who are affected by the iMac's 'inaccessibility' is miniscule.
"I'm way over my head when it comes to technical issues like this"
Gatorguy 5/31/13
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"I'm way over my head when it comes to technical issues like this"
Gatorguy 5/31/13
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post #38 of 95

Wow. You see Mac users getting this defensive a lot on PC forums, but rarely on AI.

 

iFixit isn't completely wrong. In the current economic climate, buying a $1000. computer and then not being able to supplement the RAM a couple years later is terribly shortsighted.

 

As for the hard drive situation, we've had this conversation about the iMac ad nauseum. I would say, that those of you who do "real work" on your iMacs should remember that last year's hard drive recall caused some of us to lose access to our work machines for more than six days.

 

Any professional losing a work machine for six days is losing a significant chunk of income. Sometimes enough income to almost buy the machine. Anyone who has owned a G4 or G5 and has swapped out the hard drive and been back up and running in under three hours will find that situation insane, because it is.

 

The iMac is inherently a compromise machine, albeit a pretty one.

Lots of pros are praying the entry-level Mac Pro comes in at a somewhat reasonable price.

The evil that we fight is but the shadow of the evil that we do.
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The evil that we fight is but the shadow of the evil that we do.
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post #39 of 95
Originally Posted by Frank777 View Post

In the current economic climate, buying a $1000. computer and then not being able to supplement the RAM a couple years later is terribly shortsighted.

 

Why did Apple post record numbers every single quarter during the recession, then?

 
Sometimes enough income to almost buy the machine. 

 

Negating your point above… :???:

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

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Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

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post #40 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post
 

 

Why did Apple post record numbers every single quarter during the recession, then?

 

Because too many people don't think for the long (or even medium) term when making economic decisions.

 

Why do you think the entire Western world is currently embroiled in a debt crisis?

The evil that we fight is but the shadow of the evil that we do.
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The evil that we fight is but the shadow of the evil that we do.
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