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Apple's search for quality component makers

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
At Apple's price tag, the issues with LG displays and Sandisk SSDs aren't acceptable in my view. Who besides Samsung can be used as alternatives?
post #2 of 24

Where did you obtain the data that they use Sandisk SSDs? As for LG, they're in everything. I can link you to some of the best displays I know, and they still use LG panels. LG in itself was a little less prevalent there during the early 2000s. From around 2009 on, practically everything in terms of computer displays has been LG, even if the oems themselves do make adjustments to the final implementation.

post #3 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmm View Post

Where did you obtain the data that they use Sandisk SSDs? As for LG, they're in everything. I can link you to some of the best displays I know, and they still use LG panels. LG in itself was a little less prevalent there during the early 2000s. From around 2009 on, practically everything in terms of computer displays has been LG, even if the oems themselves do make adjustments to the final implementation.

If I recall correctly, I believe it is just for the 128 GB models. 256 and up use Samsung. Maybe it's just me but every time I turn around, I see people having issues with yellow tint on their MacBooks or iMacs. I have a Vizio HDTV and I noticed as of late there are burn-in issues (not sure who made the panel be it Vizio themselves or someone else), but to a premium computer company like Apple the displays especially on the 15" rMBP should be flawless. You should not have to play display lottery.

I realize some things such as the graphics card issues that nVidia and AMD have had are not Apple's fault but the displays should be further researched by Apple.
post #4 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Winter View Post

I have a Vizio HDTV and I noticed as of late there are burn-in issues (not sure who made the panel be it Vizio themselves or someone else), but to a premium computer company like Apple the displays especially on the 15" rMBP should be flawless. You should not have to play display lottery.

I realize some things such as the graphics card issues that nVidia and AMD have had are not Apple's fault but the displays should be further researched by Apple.

You and I disagree completely on this. I've actually spent $2k on a display before. Current models use LG panels. If something doesn't work as expected, I fully blame the oem, not LG. LG just makes a commodity product. They do not deal with how it is implemented or a lot of the supporting elements of the final display design. They do have some issues, but the onus is completely on Apple to design something that works as a cohesive unit. This means designing with respect to the tolerance levels of available components. There are areas where they could probably make improvements, although I have no idea whether they would push costs out of line with Apple's desired margins and price schedule. It would be the same thing for me with Vizio. Of course if a specific component is known to be inherently problematic across products where it is implemented, I will try to avoid all of those. There have been companies who produced far better panels than anything from LG, but Apple never used them. It seems like most of the Japanese companies pulled out of manufacturing panels due to currency fluctuation with the yen and falling prices on panels. They were probably unprofitable. Note that both Hitachi and Mitsubishi used to make them.

post #5 of 24
Thread Starter 
Very interesting. Now Hitachi was completely bought out by somebody, no? I think their HDD division was bought out by Western Digital. That's an interesting lesson about Hitachi and Mitsubishi. I remember when Mitsubishi made TVs back in the day.

I do put a lot of blame on Apple. I feel like they're letting themselves go of course it could be also that some of my disappointment lies in no Mac mini and I'm looking for things to pick at. 1smoking.gif
post #6 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Winter View Post

Very interesting. Now Hitachi was completely bought out by somebody, no? I think their HDD division was bought out by Western Digital.

Well Hitachi drives didn't have a great reputation, and the HDD market growth isn't so great. I don't know if you remember how people called their HDs deathstars rather than deskstars.
 

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That's an interesting lesson about Hitachi and Mitsubishi. I remember when Mitsubishi made TVs back in the day.

Televisions are not really a highly profitable segment. The high end of it might be profitable, but I think a lot of these companies use low profit items to help amortize development costs on things like panels. Hitachi and mitsubishi both constructed exceptional display panels, and Hitachi's anti-glare coating method was superior to the one used by LG. It's just that they haven't made it into anything in a long time. I mean I knew two different people who owned CG211s. If you were spending upwards of $2500 on a 21" display, it had to be good.

 

I should mention they did show up on sub $1000 displays too, just not as much.
 

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I do put a lot of blame on Apple. I feel like they're letting themselves go of course it could be also that some of my disappointment lies in no Mac mini and I'm looking for things to pick at. 1smoking.gif

This is one of the few areas where I think a car analogy makes sense. People generally do not track down the manufacturer of their radiator. If a part is recalled, they deal with the dealer or car manufacturer, not the manufacturer of the individual component. The possible exception would be with officially user serviceable parts. Ram and hard drives have historically been this way. At no point was a display user serviceable. CRTs were actually quite dangerous to open.


Edited by hmm - 11/29/13 at 7:46pm
post #7 of 24
If memory serves me rightly, Deskstars were made by IBM and had a high failure rate, thus the name Deathstars. IBM sold its hard drive line to Hitachi, who did a good job improving quality control and the drives became very reliable. Now it seems Seagate and Western have bought up almost all the other hard drive manufacturers.
post #8 of 24
Thread Starter 
Apple's walled garden kind of makes it that way though, hmm. They have soldered RAM and PCIe SSDs that really aren't user replaceable in the same way I took out the HDD from my Mac mini and slid in a Samsung 470 SSD. You kind of have to go to Apple with a problem.
post #9 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by OldCodger73 View Post

If memory serves me rightly, Deskstars were made by IBM and had a high failure rate, thus the name Deathstars. IBM sold its hard drive line to Hitachi, who did a good job improving quality control and the drives became very reliable. Now it seems Seagate and Western have bought up almost all the other hard drive manufacturers.

I forgot IBM even made hard drives. I heard some good things about Hitachi in recent years, then other bad things. The name still stuck. You're right about Seagate and Western Digital. There wasn't enough business or growth left to support such a wide range of manufacturers.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Winter View Post

Apple's walled garden kind of makes it that way though, hmm. They have soldered RAM and PCIe SSDs that really aren't user replaceable in the same way I took out the HDD from my Mac mini and slid in a Samsung 470 SSD. You kind of have to go to Apple with a problem.


When they're no longer "officially" user serviceable, I tend to view it all as more on Apple. If they're going to make storage irreplaceable, the standard of reliability should be quite high. Historically HDDs have been considered to be disposable parts. SSDs seem to be all over the place. They don't suffer mechanical problems, but there are other considerations. Note that this was something I really disliked about the imac. You could not get at the HDD easily. In the case of failure out of warranty, you had the options of high cost replacement or dealing with removal of glass plates.

post #10 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Winter View Post

If I recall correctly, I believe it is just for the 128 GB models. 256 and up use Samsung.
One thing I wish people would do when posting this crap about Sanddisk drives is to actually say what the believe the problem is. Because to be honest I've heard nothing about premature failures in any of the Macs.
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Maybe it's just me but every time I turn around, I see people having issues with yellow tint on their MacBooks or iMacs.
See in the forums or actual hardware out in the field? If it is in the forums you need to be careful about the same old birds parroting a common refrain. I'm not trying to be dismissive here, rather I'm just indicating that complaints in forums like these don't mean a lot.
Quote:
I have a Vizio HDTV and I noticed as of late there are burn-in issues (not sure who made the panel be it Vizio themselves or someone else), but to a premium computer company like Apple the displays especially on the 15" rMBP should be flawless. You should not have to play display lottery.

I realize some things such as the graphics card issues that nVidia and AMD have had are not Apple's fault but the displays should be further researched by Apple.
How do you know for sure what research goes into display selection.
post #11 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Winter View Post

Apple's walled garden kind of makes it that way though, hmm. They have soldered RAM and PCIe SSDs
I don't know why this keeps getting repeated but I don't know of any soldered in SSD's in Apples machines. RAM yes but that is a different situation, eventually all high performance RAM arrays will be soldered in. DDR4 demands soldered in RAM in its highest performance versions for example.
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that really aren't user replaceable in the same way I took out the HDD from my Mac mini and slid in a Samsung 470 SSD.
On Apples machines that you can get access to; the blade SSD's slide into a socket. I'd make the suggestion that they are easier to replace.
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You kind of have to go to Apple with a problem.

We maybe on an iMac. However it is probably easier to update secondary storage on Apples current laptops that it was six years ago.
post #12 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmm View Post

Historically HDDs have been considered to be disposable parts. SSDs seem to be all over the place.
Many early SSD's where brought to market way to early. I've not seen mention of any of Apples implementations having an issue. Considering how people whine about every little glitch in their machines I have to think that Apples chosen SSD's are relatively trouble free.
Quote:
They don't suffer mechanical problems, but there are other considerations. Note that this was something I really disliked about the imac. You could not get at the HDD easily. In the case of failure out of warranty, you had the options of high cost replacement or dealing with removal of glass plates.
I agree 100% with this! I've owned computers since I was a teenager many years ago and the majority of the problems over the years have been storage related. Considering that drive replacement is relatively easy, I'm not sure why people even buy machines where it is difficult to address drive replacement. In the case of the iMac I really reject Apples attitude as it would be easy to add access doors for the machines hard drive. Go to an SSD blade only iMac and the mechanical design would be even easier. The thought that it is easier to replace an SSD on Apples laptop as opposed to the iMac just bugs me.

The issue with storage on the iMac, plus the built in display, is why I've often pushed for an XMac or at least a beefed up Mini. The biggest issue with the Mini for me is the included GPUs which have universally sucked. Which brings me back to wondering where in the hell is the updated Mini is, because I have high hopes for a Mini that leaves the GPU problem behind.
post #13 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post


One thing I wish people would do when posting this crap about Sanddisk drives is to actually say what the believe the problem is. Because to be honest I've heard nothing about premature failures in any of the Macs.
See in the forums or actual hardware out in the field? If it is in the forums you need to be careful about the same old birds parroting a common refrain. I'm not trying to be dismissive here, rather I'm just indicating that complaints in forums like these don't mean a lot.
How do you know for sure what research goes into display selection.

 

Some of them seem to report genuine issues. Some are false positives. They'll hold up their phone or a prior notebook next to it and assume one should match the other. Actual color temperature has varied quite a bit, and none of them constitute reference grade devices. It's difficult to explain that to people.

post #14 of 24
Thread Starter 
You've been throwing punches at me in a corner there wizard so let me respond with this. This is not Dell, this is Apple although Dell makes good monitors.
post #15 of 24
Huh?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Winter View Post

You've been throwing punches at me in a corner there wizard so let me respond with this. This is not Dell, this is Apple although Dell makes good monitors.
post #16 of 24
Thread Starter 
I am saying you posted multiple times and made many points before I could respond. Apple to me for the prices they charge should be a step above other companies and even the small percentage on boards like this should be perfectly satisfied with the computers they buy with their hard earned dollars and not having to return things because of yellow screens and the like.
post #17 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Winter View Post

I am saying you posted multiple times and made many points before I could respond. Apple to me for the prices they charge should be a step above other companies and even the small percentage on boards like this should be perfectly satisfied with the computers they buy with their hard earned dollars and not having to return things because of yellow screens and the like.

Even Rolls Royce has a service department! Think about that for a minute. 😜😜

The idea that you can make things by the millions and not have issues just doesn't fly with reality. I work in manufacturing and see issues crop up on production lines all of a sudden that take engineers days to figure out what went wrong with a perfectly fine process. In this case it is often an issue of chemistry and not electronics.

If you sit back and think about it, LCD screens are amazing things and it is surprising that they can be mass produced at all. Even Intels much vaunted processors come off the production line with a range of performance characteristics. So maybe some people have had the so called yellow screens but I'm willing to bet an equal number read the reports of yellow screens and started seeing yellow in their screens even if they where perfectly happy the day before. LCD screens go bad, I know that because I replace many at work on a regular basis. I will offer up this though, LCD screens are light years ahead of CRTs when it comes to reliability.

Frankly I just don't think there is enough of a problem here to warrant concern. The important thing is that Apple stands behind its machines when comes warranty issues, probably better than any company out there. It would be one thing to spend your hard earned money and then get boned when something goes wrong but that doesn't happen with Apple.

In any event Apples search for quality components is important and frankly if I was a stock holder of any size I'd be worried. Why - to much stuff in China and for whatever reason China seems to be on a march to start WW3. In a very literal sense Apple could loose its corporate ass due to irrational behavior out of China.
post #18 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post


If you sit back and think about it, LCD screens are amazing things and it is surprising that they can be mass produced at all. Even Intels much vaunted processors come off the production line with a range of performance characteristics. So maybe some people have had the so called yellow screens but I'm willing to bet an equal number read the reports of yellow screens and started seeing yellow in their screens even if they where perfectly happy the day before. LCD screens go bad, I know that because I replace many at work on a regular basis. I will offer up this though, LCD screens are light years ahead of CRTs when it comes to reliability.

LCD panels by their nature have uniformity issues, but I would argue that Apple could do more on their end with what they are given. They sit in very comfortable price territory, so I'm not sure why they have not hired one of the better display brands to assist in this regard. NEC, Quato, and Eizo all have some method of uniformity compensation by employing some amount of non-uniform panel blocking, even if they each have different names and specific methods. These brands also seem to further bin panels somewhat based on tolerance levels, but some work on uniformity and drift compensation could go a long way.

 

Apple's tolerance range has been a little high for me, but I don't purchase their freestanding ones. Apple tries to market simplicity for one thing, and they do not provide much in the way of low level controls for their display hardware. They should devote some of their research time to this, as they did when it came to the issue of reflectivity. They have some weird inconsistencies. Temperature range used has varied considerably. 27" Cinema displays were around 7000K. Most retina macbook pros are fairly near D65 white in the center. The cMBP was really cold. Measurements were around an 8000K white point. As I suspect you know the topic, I understand black body temperatures, and I'm aware of the range of colors represented by a given color temperature. These descriptions specifically relate to the brightest white measured without intentionally profiling it out by clamping a portion of the range. It confuses users, as they get used to a specific look on one device, then the next looks obviously different. If they turn to tools like the calibration assistant, they'll find that it's horrible. Most of them do not realize that a colorimeter is also not going to fix everything, especially when these contain no LUT system.

 

Anyway Apple has a lot of room to improve these, and it's a valid cause for a company that likes their hyperbolic marketing and product simplicity.

post #19 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

In any event Apples search for quality components is important and frankly if I was a stock holder of any size I'd be worried. Why - to much stuff in China and for whatever reason China seems to be on a march to start WW3. In a very literal sense Apple could loose its corporate ass due to irrational behavior out of China.

I am all about American manufacturing. I am worried about China because too many companies farm out their things to be made there on the cheap and we as Americans buy their crap.
post #20 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Winter View Post

I am all about American manufacturing. I am worried about China because too many companies farm out their things to be made there on the cheap and we as Americans buy their crap.

I'm not so worried about farming out stuff but rather worry about the countries we actually farm this production out too. It is pretty obvious that China has an addenda that isn't in our best interests. Considering the globe is pretty big finding alternative production centers ought to be very high on Apples Apples list of things to do.

As for cheap crap and the American reluctance to buy higher on the cost scale. That isn't a issue that will go away anytime soon, high taxes and stagnate wages will only make things worst in the future.
post #21 of 24
Thread Starter 
Stuff is made everywhere as part of the global economy however I would say China worries me as well as Pakistan. India might be on that list as well. There's also Mexico and Bangladesh. Something has to give with all the clothing factory fires/collapses over there.
post #22 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmm View Post

LCD panels by their nature have uniformity issues, but I would argue that Apple could do more on their end with what they are given. They sit in very comfortable price territory, so I'm not sure why they have not hired one of the better display brands to assist in this regard. NEC, Quato, and Eizo all have some method of uniformity compensation by employing some amount of non-uniform panel blocking, even if they each have different names and specific methods. These brands also seem to further bin panels somewhat based on tolerance levels, but some work on uniformity and drift compensation could go a long way.
I'd be the first to Support Apple doing better at the various pice points it hits. However that pertains to overall hardware value for the price.

However to play devils advocate here, how many of Apples monitors are actually being sold for the types of professional uses where a highly calibrated display is used? I pick up my iPad and continue to be amazed at its display quality that apparently does get calibrated somewhat at the factory. However I would never go so far as to call it a "professional display". In my mind a professional display at the very least needs to support user calibration which last I knew couldn't be done on an iPad.

Now laptops are a different story, as noted awhile ago I sat for an extensive length of time playing with a new MBP at the waiting line for the Genius Bar. It is pretty obvious that Apple has come a long way in display quality since my 2008 MBP. The interesting thing here is that one of the big selling points if the 2008 MBP was display quality just as it is now.
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Apple's tolerance range has been a little high for me, but I don't purchase their freestanding ones. Apple tries to market simplicity for one thing, and they do not provide much in the way of low level controls for their display hardware. They should devote some of their research time to this, as they did when it came to the issue of reflectivity.
I would agree with this point. However I do believe they are dedicating a lot of R&D to getting these high performance screens to market. The problem is their primary technical goals aren't always the same as the ones many hold here. Not to drop back to the iPad but it is a good example, the new iPads apparently use IGZO screens to lower power demand and to allow for a lighter machine. It apparently took massive amounts of investment to get to IGZO and I would suspect color fidelity wasn't the number one parameter or goal on the list.
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They have some weird inconsistencies. Temperature range used has varied considerably. 27" Cinema displays were around 7000K. Most retina macbook pros are fairly near D65 white in the center. The cMBP was really cold. Measurements were around an 8000K white point. As I suspect you know the topic, I understand black body temperatures, and I'm aware of the range of colors represented by a given color temperature. These descriptions specifically relate to the brightest white measured without intentionally profiling it out by clamping a portion of the range. It confuses users, as they get used to a specific look on one device, then the next looks obviously different. If they turn to tools like the calibration assistant, they'll find that it's horrible. Most of them do not realize that a colorimeter is also not going to fix everything, especially when these contain no LUT system.
I understand this also but again if somebody buys an Apple laptop expecting a screen that can be calibrated to within an inch of perfection they have bought the wrong machine in my mind. This brings back another discussion that crops up from time to time, which is that a certain class of professional users have unrealistic expectations when it comes to Apple hardware. Apple markets its machines to a wide array of professional users not all of whom are concerned with extreme accuracy in the display. The MBP is very much a mass produced machine targeting many users beyond the so called video professionals.

Now you might argue that Apple should offer a laptop that is highly calibratable for the professional that need such screens. It is a nice thought obviously but we also know that Apple doesn't like to support many model variants.
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Anyway Apple has a lot of room to improve these, and it's a valid cause for a company that likes their hyperbolic marketing and product simplicity.
Err this is where I guess I have a problem, a highly calibratable display doesn't lead to product simplicity. I'd go so far as to say a professional class LCD of this nature will always be at odds with the product simplicity and ease of use goals Apple sets for its laptops and even the iMac. I really believe they see the Mac Pro as the choice for these really demanding users.

I guess I could turn this around a bit and ask who ships better screens in their laptops. Interestingly we got a couple of new laptops at work recently (Dells and Lonovos). These laptops offer a lot of control over the LCD screen but honestly the last thing you want to do is start playing with the default controls as there simply isn't a lot of adjustment there. At least not appealing adjustment. Honestly a wide range of adjustment capabilities does little for you if the display goes ugly outside of some vary narrow parameter settings.

The other part of this discussion that bothers me is that yeah some displays fail. That is going to happen no matter who uses the display guts. People really shouldn't be getting bent out of shape from display failures if Apple properly supports their warranty. By the way poor display quality can also be due to cable or GPU card failure. People might have an argument with me if there was a massive issue, but if you have a machine that was 1 out of a 100,000 sold that weak,that had an out right failure then I don't see a justification for all the noise about these display issues.

I mentioned Rolls Royce in a previous post, but they are just one manufacture of high end cars, many coveted European brands. All of these cars have been known to to get towed from time to time. We really have two separate issues here in my mind which people try to bundle together. An outright failure of a display is not the same thing as a display that doesn't meet somebodies demand for a "professional display". I just have the feeling that the two issues are rolled into one to magnify the problem in some minds.
post #23 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Winter View Post

Stuff is made everywhere as part of the global economy however I would say China worries me as well as Pakistan. India might be on that list as well. There's also Mexico and Bangladesh. Something has to give with all the clothing factory fires/collapses over there.

You can't stuff all of these countries into one box. One of the reasons China has been so successful is that they don't have the massive corruption issues that some of the countries you listed have. The thing that worries me about China is the high probability they will touch off another global war due to their expansionist activities. In this regard Russia is nothing like China.

Some of the other countries have huge issue with corruption and social problems. Mexico is probably the most glaring example of a place businesses simply don't want to move into. When NAFTA was introduced people worried about jobs going to Mexico, I mean people where really scared to death over this, but in reality very little finally moved to Mexico and in fact China got the lions share of what Mexico was hoping to get. Corruption, lack of work ethic, safety issues and a number of other factors have resulted in some companies actually pulling out of Mexico. Sad really because a built up economy would have helped them along.

As for Pakistan and Bangladesh to different but extremely poor countries. Personally I try to avoid anything with a label coming from those countries even though I don't always think that that is the right thing to do in the case of Bangladesh. It is an ugly choice really, if you don't buy the product you are making things measurably worst for the people living in the country. Fires aside, jobs, even poorly paying ones are better than eating scraps from the local dump.

As for India I have a hard time adding them to your list of countries to be concerned about. Their government isn't completely hostile to the existence of the USA. Sure they have problems, that is why it is often still called a developing country.

In any event you can't look at the rest of the world without looking at the good ole US of A. Frankly we have some really significant issues that will lead us to conditions more like Bangladesh than what we are used too. To much money is being stolen by the government to support non productive members of society. It produces a mentality of "give me" in people that is corrosive to society. So when you look out the window and gaze upon these other failed societies just realize that we aren't far from slipping into such a quagmire here.

So what can Apple do? Diversify production across the globe avoiding those countries obviously at odds with us. They really need to find alternatives to China, the faster the better. I'm not looking at this from the perspective of doing social good, removing production from China is not at all good for the people that work there. Rather I'm more worried about Apple loosing its ass due to political issues that could see them completely cut off from their manufacturing capacity.
post #24 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post




Now you might argue that Apple should offer a laptop that is highly calibratable for the professional that need such screens. It is a nice thought obviously but we also know that Apple doesn't like to support many model variants.
Err this is where I guess I have a problem, a highly calibratable display doesn't lead to product simplicity. I'd go so far as to say a professional class LCD of this nature will always be at odds with the product simplicity and ease of use goals Apple sets for its laptops and even the iMac. I really believe they see the Mac Pro as the choice for these really demanding users.
 

That isn't quite what I wanted to convey. I've used (not necessarily owned) everything from $100 lcds to Barco reference grade crts (in case you remember them). I didn't suggest they should entirely follow the brands that focus on professional equipment. I suggested they consider some of the things that would be of benefit to all users. That is something Apple-like. They're often about making various features more mainstream. Examples would be uniformity compensation, as lcds by their nature are not perfect. I don't see this changing in the near future, especially if the search is limited to cost effective components. They could try to build in some compensation for drift. Regarding calibration, my issue is that they include crappy tools that most people do not understand. It's there so they try messing with it, the same way some people try to correct graphics artifacts by repairing disk permissions. Apple likes to make things behind the scenes and simple. This would contribute to that mantra. I suggested they do work on their out of the box settings. I do encounter a very large number of Macs, so I do see some of these issues up close. I don't update my own hardware that often.

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