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Mac Thread, iMacs as a long term investment... in Technical; ...
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    Marci's Avatar
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    iMacs as a long term investment...

    Morning folks... this topic may be a touchy one, but I'm gonna present it anyway.

    Long Term Cost Effectiveness of the Intel-Based iMac.

    Now, we bought 15x iMacs for our Music Dept in Summer 2008.
    So far, we've had 1x go back for HDD replacing under warranty as it overheated.
    We've had 1x go back for a replacement logic board under warranty.

    Now, the 12month warranty has run out, and I've got another dead logic board on my hands.

    Price of each iMac new: £625
    Price to replace logic board exc labour: £485

    3 hardware failures out of 15 units = 20% failure rate.

    I know a pile of you will shout "should have bought AppleCare", but to purchase that per unit, and keep on renewing it simply raises the cost of each unit long-term.

    I've been reading around on the net, and discovered that ever since the launch of the Intel-Based iMacs, they've suffered this issue. There's a lengthy thread on Apple's discussion boards dedicated to people complaining about short lifespans of such units, and high prices to repair.

    So I'm curious - how many other institutes out there are running Intel-based iMacs in any form of quantity, and what are your hardware failure rates?? How many institutes have headed down the iMac route, and have had to abandon and go back to PCs?

    I've been asked to write a report on this to go to our governors to put a halt on investing further in Apple hardware, and insist that our Music Dept goes back to using PCs as the cost to the school is simply too high when using Apple systems.
    Last edited by Marci; 16th November 2009 at 01:56 PM.

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    achedgy's Avatar
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    A couple of my schools are considering using Mac's in a few areas, interesting to hear some of the downsides about using them.

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    Marci's Avatar
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    I'm not dissing Macs in their entirety. Mac Pros have a tower case and relatively mainstream components that are easy to self-replace & accessible if required further down the line... but the iMacs are a different story. I'd happily recommend Mac Pros as a contender...

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    BrianG's Avatar
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    At one of my primaries we currently have about 30 iMacs and 30 Macbooks. We haven't had any failure of hardware, had them just over a year now. The only problem i've had is getting them to work with our new server.. but that's on a different thread.

    I like them, I've got one at home. Not sure how useful they are in school, personally, but having said that I can see the benifits in a music department

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    Marci (16th November 2009)

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    somabc's Avatar
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    The iMac is laptop class hardware in a small plastic container so you would expect higher failure and more chance of overheating as the machines will presumably be left on much longer than a laptop.

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    Marci's Avatar
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    That sounds almost as tho you're justifying the high failure rate... o_O

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    Ric_'s Avatar
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    I have 11 early Intel iMac units and (touch wood) haven't had the failures that you describe. In fact the only failure was with a keyboard - random... half the keys stopped working!

    Perhaps you had a batch of frIday-Macs.

  9. Thanks to Ric_ from:

    Marci (16th November 2009)

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    DMcCoy's Avatar
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    9 monitors replaced on 25 2006 iMacs. A few HDDs, 2 boards.

  11. Thanks to DMcCoy from:

    Marci (16th November 2009)

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    Marci's Avatar
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    What was est screen cost per unit on those units DMcCoy?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marci View Post
    What was est screen cost per unit on those units DMcCoy?
    I know it cost about £200-250 to buy the screen to do it yourself.

    in my old work place we had 2 intel imacs under heavy use which never failed.

    My home macbook hasnt had any trouble since i brough it in sep 2008, then my G4 mac mini is still going strong since i brought it. just some people are lucky and some arnt so lucky.

    on a side note, im gonna buy an imac of ebay when i get paid. since the launch of apple new hardware updates, every one is selling stuff cheaper just to get 21.5inch etc. maybe worth a look??

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    mac_shinobi's Avatar
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    1. Not sure how apple care works in education but from what I am aware I thought you were only allowed to register apple care once per machine and it covered the said machine for 3 years so not sure where you are getting this renewing it again and again etc from - if you have an edu apple reseller or something like that they may be able to do apple care for all machines in one go at a discount price or something ?

    2. If you already have screens, keyboards and mice may be worth while using mac mini's as mac minis may be a cheaper option on the apple side of things but not sure ref heating issues on mac minis so may be worth while looking into.

    3. If you can find somewhere that sells just the logic boards or invidivual parts you may be able to use a self repair guide from here

    iFixit: Do-it-yourself Mac & iPod Repair

    iMac Repair - iFixit

    Spart parts website here

    TheBookYard : UK Apple spare parts specialist

    If you are confident enough doing them you could follow said guides and order said parts and repair them yourself ( also video guides on youtube may be worth while watching )

    Unless you can get the company or place who quoted you for the price of the logic board to sell you just the logic board ?
    Last edited by mac_shinobi; 16th November 2009 at 03:39 PM.

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    Yes, Applecare extends the 1 year warranty to 3 years. Just like any other 3 year warranty extension really.

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    Hi, We have 16xiMacs from end of 2007 one of which has an intermittent problem I have not got to the bottom of yet. 14xiMacs from early 2009 which I have no problems with so far. 1xMacbook Air which we have had for almost a year with no problems. And 3xMacbook Pros (17inch) from 2006 which we have had to have the batteries replaced on all three because of the well documented problems. Two happened at the same time and were covered under the extended warranty however another happened only recently and was no longer covered so we just purchased a replacement. Also just this week we have had a power supply for one of the Macbook Pros fail and so have ordered a new one.

    We purchased 3 years of extended support for all the iMacs however this only covers you for return to base as onsite warranty seems impossible to get in the UK, certainly without spending 10s of thousands of pounds.

    richard

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    Quote Originally Posted by richardp View Post
    Hi, We have 16xiMacs from end of 2007 one of which has an intermittent problem I have not got to the bottom of yet. 14xiMacs from early 2009 which I have no problems with so far. 1xMacbook Air which we have had for almost a year with no problems. And 3xMacbook Pros (17inch) from 2006 which we have had to have the batteries replaced on all three because of the well documented problems. Two happened at the same time and were covered under the extended warranty however another happened only recently and was no longer covered so we just purchased a replacement. Also just this week we have had a power supply for one of the Macbook Pros fail and so have ordered a new one.

    We purchased 3 years of extended support for all the iMacs however this only covers you for return to base as onsite warranty seems impossible to get in the UK, certainly without spending 10s of thousands of pounds.

    richard
    I think the onsite is more for the Mac Pro and xserves were they are business critical as apposed to iMacs as I found working at one or two schools were they had to be boxed and shipped off and sent back.

    Not to say that in your situation they are not critical but how they are viewed as not being business critical

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    Had one hdd failure on a 20" and one display failure (the actual panel) on a 24" ... they do seem to get rather warm!



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