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View Full Version : Are Apple's PCs as rugged as they once were?



monk64
08-30-2015, 01:29 PM
Just curious. I had an Apple ][e back in the day and it lasted me 10 years. I was a teen/young adult and was positively brutal to the thing, but it kept going no matter what I did to it. Of course, that was an era of floppy disks and index-card-sized RAM modules.

My perception of Apple products is that you buy one and they just run forever, until you need more horsepower/capability/features. On the other hand, Windows PCs/Laptops seem a bit more fragile and it really comes down there to whose components you use or who the manufacturer is.

Slydude
08-30-2015, 02:37 PM
They have certainly proven durable for me. My "newest" Mac is the 2008 machine in my profile at left. In that time I've replaced the hard drive (once due to needing more space, once for drive failure I caused). I've also added memory and have an SSD rather than the traditional hard drive.

I'd like a new machine but in reality this one continues to meet my needs even though it is showing its age a bit.

The one thing I can say about the current line of Macs is think carefully about the amount of memory and internal storage you will need. On most current Macs the memory and internal drive are either difficult or impossible (depending on model) to replace / upgrade.

lclev
08-30-2015, 05:06 PM
I have a 2009 white Macbook, original hard drive, same 4gb of memory and has had the battery replaced once but still going strong. I did have to replace the grease on the heat sinks because it had dried out and was shutting down. Once I replaced the grease the problem was fixed and it is doing fine.

Lisa

harryb2448
08-30-2015, 06:39 PM
I still use my LC Original released in 1991 with my ancient Apple Camera so I guess they are pretty reliable. Memory is 8MB and the huge hard drive 128MB running system 7.0.1. Yes MB!

nickyr
09-01-2015, 10:38 AM
From my experiences they are.

Had a mid 2007 iMac for 5 years and gave it to my sister 2 years ago when I bought a new one. It's still going strong even though it's 8 years old now.

pigoo3
09-01-2015, 03:56 PM
Just curious. I had an Apple ][e back in the day and it lasted me 10 years. I was a teen/young adult and was positively brutal to the thing, but it kept going no matter what I did to it. Of course, that was an era of floppy disks and index-card-sized RAM modules.

My perception of Apple products is that you buy one and they just run forever, until you need more horsepower/capability/features. On the other hand, Windows PCs/Laptops seem a bit more fragile and it really comes down there to whose components you use or who the manufacturer is.

The question about a computer's "durability" has two parts. "Physical Durability" and "Useful Durability". I think that you're asking about physical durability.

Physical durability definitely depends on how much it is used. If someone uses a computer 16 hours/day…that's different than 1 hour/day. Kind of like an automobile. Drive a car 100 miles/day and it's going to wear out faster than a car driven 20 miles/day.

But electronics are different. A desktop computer will be exposed to far fewer physical hazards than a laptop computer. And usually the two parts that wear out faster are hard drives & power supplies. And the durability of these two parts (generally speaking) can be related to how many hours/day a computer is used.

- Nick

chas_m
09-02-2015, 05:09 AM
In the house here I have my 14" white MacBook and black 13" MacBook and both still look pretty good appearance-wise. I sold my 2009 MacBook Pro but am still using the 2012 one, and both look brand new.

From a durability point of view, the unibody design was the best thing to ever happen to portable Macs. A modicum of care and cleaning and they look pristine for ages, though this is of course contingent on you not dropping them! :)

I'd add, though I won't be popular for saying this, that Apple's drive to limit user-replaceable parts has made modern Macs much more trouble-free as well. I worked in a repair shop, and the broad rule of thumb was that the more "openable" a Mac was, the more of them we'd have in the back room for repair. The exception to this was what are sometimes called "road apples," ie models with real production issues (the corroding capacitors on certain eMac models springs to mind ...). Living in Florida at the time, the other exception was people who didn't get a UPS ... we'd see lots of them after every lightning storm or hurricane ...

I don't like sealed in Macs, but I have to admit that the move is driving repair shops out of business. Barring a lemon part or something like that, the non-upgradable Macs seem incredibly hardy compared to say 10 years ago. I should note in the interest of fairness that a friend of mine had a Toshiba notebook way back when that had been dropped, run over, just about anything you can think of and kept on ticking. There was at least one PC that didn't go down without a fight!

Now, as Nick says, if we're talking useful lifespan, that's another issue -- changes in general (non Apple) technology, changes in Internet technologies, and of course changes made by Apple software-wise all contribute to a definite shortening of the "useful" life of Macs compared to 10 years ago. It's nothing dramatic, but we think about active users either upgrade or replace a bit more often now on average than they used to, say every five years instead of six-seven.

chscag
09-02-2015, 02:59 PM
I don't like sealed in Macs, but I have to admit that the move is driving repair shops out of business. Barring a lemon part or something like that, the non-upgradable Macs seem incredibly hardy compared to say 10 years ago. I should note in the interest of fairness that a friend of mine had a Toshiba notebook way back when that had been dropped, run over, just about anything you can think of and kept on ticking. There was at least one PC that didn't go down without a fight!

I don't care much for sealed Macs either but admit that as long as you plan for the future and order one with enough memory and storage (budget wise), they're as dependable (maybe more so) than the Macs which are upgradeable. Your little anecdote about the Toshiba reminds me of the one I owned - a 2003 Satellite that just kept on ticking. I finally gave it away to Goodwill last year, and yes, it was still working with XP installed. :)