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(Ars Technica)   Now you can add 'Hard Drive' to the list of things you can't upgrade in a new iMac   (arstechnica.com) divider line 31
    More: Fail, iMacs, iFixit, metal spinning, SATA, secondary markets, Apple SSD, connectedness, library  
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6065 clicks; posted to Geek » on 04 Dec 2012 at 2:26 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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Archived thread
2012-12-04 01:35:27 PM  
6 votes:
Does anyone buy an all-in-one computer because they expect it to be upgradeable? I will never, ever understand why anyone gives a shiat about the fact that products obviously designed around a certain form-factor aren't user-serviceable.

I really don't understand why anybody cares about this, or why anybody pretends to be surprised.
2012-12-04 05:04:14 PM  
2 votes:

bobtheallmighty: Darth_Lukecash: You buy a Mac so you don't have to worry about the insides.

I think most computer problems stem from stupidity of do it yourself people.


Hey, just because youre paralyzed by fear everytime you open the side of a computer dosent mean other people dont know what they are doing,


/built all my own computers.
//still have an old intell P2 that runs, it beat the odds.


I always wonder at the people who say shiat like that. I mean, it's not even hard to build a computer anymore. You don't worry about IRQs, or Master/Slave Drives, or any of that garbage; you just make sure your processor is on your motherboard's support list, and stick everything in the socket where it fits. It's like playing with Legos these days, except when you're done, you have a new computer.
2012-12-04 02:41:15 PM  
2 votes:
I think the matter of contention is that Apple will charge you an arm and a leg to get a unit with a huge hard drive and tons of RAM, when, really, the user could've made those same upgrades to a lower (but otherwise identical) unit for pennies on the dollar. 

Its a scam.... They are forcing the consumer to buy the more expensive unit.
2012-12-04 02:08:06 PM  
2 votes:

Darth_Lukecash: You buy a Mac so you don't have to worry about the insides.



Because hard drives and memory never fail?
 
I understand that the whole Mac model is "set it and forget it"... which is great for 90% of computer users.  But, still, you need to be able to replace (not upgrade) hard drives and memory.
2012-12-05 04:24:22 AM  
1 votes:

gadian: First thing I ever learned how to replace on my computer was the memory. The second was the hard drive. These are the basics, like being able to change your own tires. If you can't change a hard drive or memory yourself, you don't need to own a computer.


2/10

Too obvious. How many people do you know who change their own tires?
2012-12-05 02:24:36 AM  
1 votes:
So buy one with 16gb ram and use an external hdd if the drive fails and stfu.

Do you idiots know that it can also be used as a Thunderbolt Display? Add a Mac mini in 5 years for $500 and there's your upgrade.

Get a tower if you want to diddlefark around.

//still pissed at the lack of Mac Pro refresh
2012-12-05 12:48:53 AM  
1 votes:

t3knomanser: FinFangFark: So you've never experienced a HDD failure in all those years?

Nope. Last HDD failure on a machine I owned was... um... 1999? I might have had one circa 2001.

namatad: THE FUNNIEST part about that whole statistics thing: some parts fail before the mean and some parts fail after the mean. For every person who has never had a problem, there is a person who has had a problem.

I do understand how statistics works. It's called an "acceptable rate of failure". And let's be honest, MTBF is usually not a normal distribution. First, there are usually two peaks: the parts that fail very early, and the parts that fail near the MTBF. Parts that fail early are covered by some kind of warranty. Between that point and the MTBF, you have a low rate of failure, increasing up the curve as you hit the MTBF. If the MTBF is large enough relative to the expected lifetime, the number of failures in production will be very low.

T.rex: Its a scam.... They are forcing the consumer to buy the more expensive unit.

It's not quite a scam. Apple certainly doesn't mind the fact that they get you to upgrade through them, but y'know what? I'm willing to bet that even before they went this route, most people doing upgrades did it through Apple. Your average user isn't going to install a RAM chip themselves. They're not going to swap a HDD.

So, yeah- Apple definitely appreciates the extra profit on the high-margin parts they upgrade with, but this really is driven by their design constraints, not their profit margins. Apple solders the RAM to the mainboard in their new line of MacBooks because it's cheaper and slimmer than a socket. And the market has responded: people prefer buying slimmer laptops to upgradeable laptops.

Whether this will translate to the desktop is an open question, but I think the sorts of people that would contemplate a Mac desktop are also the sorts of people who would appreciate the form factor.

Myself, if I were getting a desktop, I'd go for the big honkin' full tower, because the only reason to prefer a desktop is ports and upgradeability. Otherwise, I can't see a reason why I'd want a desktop when I could have a laptop instead.


I think you've got it backwards. Apple's design is driven by market capture tactics, not the other way around.

To wit, I just upgraded the RAM on my Samsung laptop. I opened a little door (one screw), pushed on the chips with my finger, they popped out. I stuck the new chips in, and closed the door. The HDD was right there next to the RAM. Could have replaced that too, just as easily.

Don't kid yourself. The ONLY reason Apple makes things like this difficult is money. They want to capture as much of the money that you spend on computing as possible. Period.

Personally, I find the lengths they will go to to do so insulting, so even if I liked their products, I'd never buy one.
2012-12-04 11:47:02 PM  
1 votes:
Is this the thread where people express their outrage over an electronics device they don't use?

I didn't buy a Mac for it's "upgradability". I bought it for the sense of smug superiority I get from using it public.
2012-12-04 06:10:49 PM  
1 votes:

jtown: If a bargain builder like Acer could manage this 2 years ago, surely Apple could manage it today.

Stock photo with power adapter for approximate scale:


Acer TimelineX - 1.23 in, 5.6 pounds.
Apple Macbook Air - .68 in, 2.38 pounds.

With great size comes great structural integrity for battery compartments, memory compartments, doors for access to hard drives, etc.
2012-12-04 05:50:32 PM  
1 votes:

Bschott007: That said, working in a repair shop, I happen to have at least 2-3 customer computers on my bench a week with bad, failed or failing drives.


Curious: How many of those HDDs reside within desktops with those no-name off brand PSUs that either came with the budget case or from one of those shady-ass low-end 'entry level' computers? I swear once I swore off cheap-ass PSUs as even an option for lower cost builds my parts death count stats has plummeted, mind you parts have also just gotten more reliable in general too. Same goes for those god-awful 'green' drives, you certainly get what you pay for with them.
2012-12-04 05:09:44 PM  
1 votes:

HeartBurnKid: bobtheallmighty: Darth_Lukecash: You buy a Mac so you don't have to worry about the insides.

I think most computer problems stem from stupidity of do it yourself people.


Hey, just because youre paralyzed by fear everytime you open the side of a computer dosent mean other people dont know what they are doing,


/built all my own computers.
//still have an old intell P2 that runs, it beat the odds.

I always wonder at the people who say shiat like that. I mean, it's not even hard to build a computer anymore. You don't worry about IRQs, or Master/Slave Drives, or any of that garbage; you just make sure your processor is on your motherboard's support list, and stick everything in the socket where it fits. It's like playing with Legos these days, except when you're done, you have a new computer.


No shiat. "I BUILT MAH OWNZ COMPUTAHZ!!!!" BFD.

I've dealt with computers that killed people. I've dealt with computers that needed their own rooms just to hold the cooling equipment and generators necessary to run them. I've dealt with thousand node networks before it was cool. I'm sick to farking death of being inside computers. At this point in my life, anyone that brags on their mad computer building' skillz like its some sort of accomplishment that every Junior High School geek on the planet can't do all it tells me is that you don't know nearly as much as you think you do.

They're a farking tool. If the computer is the end in itself for you, you don't have enough to do.

/ BTDT. No one cares.
2012-12-04 05:00:23 PM  
1 votes:

NewWorldDan: I spent $500 at NewEgg for an awesome and completely upgradable PC with nearly the same specs as the iMac, so I'm getting a kick out of these replies. What kind of idiot spends $1500 for a low-end UGLY desktop PC? Oh, wait, it's a Mac. Nevermind. They've got the best marketing department in the world.


This.
2012-12-04 04:40:14 PM  
1 votes:
My friend fixed my 1970 Scout II with a paperclip and some chewing gum (well, enough to get it started and drive it home.)
Kids these days don't have those skills.

/get off my lawn, pull up your pants, why the hell are you wearing a scarf and a backpack, your music sucks, my balls are caught between slats, yells at clouds
2012-12-04 04:31:12 PM  
1 votes:

t3knomanser: Does anyone buy an all-in-one computer because they expect it to be upgradeable? I will never, ever understand why anyone gives a shiat about the fact that products obviously designed around a certain form-factor aren't user-serviceable.

I really don't understand why anybody cares about this, or why anybody pretends to be surprised.


I expect my much smaller laptop to be upgradable. And it is. 5 screws and a big panel pops off the bottom exposing a standard 2.5" SATA drive, standard DDR3 SO-DIMM modules, and a standard mini-PCIe communications (WiFi in this case) module. And this thing was built over 2 years ago. If a bargain builder like Acer could manage this 2 years ago, surely Apple could manage it today.

Stock photo with power adapter for approximate scale:

computershopper.com

It's obvious Apple has deliberately designed the new line of iMacs to force people to pay outrageous markups for upgrades of basic components. They're also doing everything the can to ensure that their computers can't be repaired when components fail. A bad hard drive, bad power supply, or bad fan shouldn't be the end of a computer.
2012-12-04 04:24:52 PM  
1 votes:
t3knomanser: Depends on the constraints. For that form factor, you don't really have a lot of other options.

The previous iteration used magnets.

Machines from other manufacturers in this form factor sometimes have an access panel.
2012-12-04 04:18:02 PM  
1 votes:

Rwa2play: Darth_Lukecash: You buy a Mac so you don't have to worry about the insides.

I think most computer problems stem from stupidity of do it yourself people.

You mean you LIKE spending $1500-2000 per machine once it's out of style?


Don't you have some neon lights that will change color according to CPU load to solder to your motherboard? Or maybe a case mod?
2012-12-04 03:59:32 PM  
1 votes:

t3knomanser: Does anyone buy an all-in-one computer because they expect it to be upgradeable? I will never, ever understand why anyone gives a shiat about the fact that products obviously designed around a certain form-factor aren't user-serviceable.

I really don't understand why anybody cares about this, or why anybody pretends to be surprised.


No shiat. My wife just got a new Macbook Air. She loves it. It's only drawback is that the on-board storage is tiny (256GB). My answer, hang 3TB off the network and let her use that. Everyone is happy, and I don't ever have to deal with the insides of a computer ever again.
2012-12-04 03:55:27 PM  
1 votes:

t3knomanser: I really don't understand why anybody cares about this, or why anybody pretends to be surprised.


24.media.tumblr.com 

What 99% of Fark Mac threads amount to
2012-12-04 03:51:43 PM  
1 votes:
"So it is with John. I could preach the practical value and worth of motorcycle maintenance till I'm hoarse and it would make not a dent in him. After two sentences on the subject his eyes go completely glassy and he changes the conversation or just looks away. He doesn't want to hear about it ...
When he brought his motorcycle over I got my wrenches out but then noticed that no amount of tightening would stop the slippage, because the ends of the collars were pinched shut. "You're going to have to shim those out," I said.
"What's shim?"
"It's a thin, flat strip of metal. You just slip it around the handlebar under the collar there and it will open up the collar to where you can tighten it again. You use shims like that to make adjustments in all kinds of machines."
"Oh," he said. He was getting interested. "Good. Where do you buy them?"
"I've got some right here," I said gleefully, holding up a can of beer in my hand.He didn't understand for a moment. Then he said, "What, the can?"
"Sure," I said, "best shim stock in the world." I thought this was pretty clever myself. Save him a trip to God knows where to get shim stock. Save him time. Save him money.
But to my surprise he didn't see the cleverness of this at all. In fact he got noticeably haughty about the whole thing. Pretty soon he was dodging and filling with all kinds of excuses and, before I realized what his real attitude was, we had decided not to fix the handlebars after all.

As far as I know those handlebars are still loose. And I believe now that he was actually offended at the time. I had had the nerve to propose repair of his new eighteen-hundred dollar BMW, the pride of a half-century of German mechanical finesse, with a piece of old beer can! Ach, du lieber! Since then we have had very few conversations about motorcycle maintenance. None, now that I think of it."
ZATAOMM

John would buy a Mac.
2012-12-04 03:50:18 PM  
1 votes:

PsyLord: Obligatory Apple Fanboi retort: Why would you need to upgrade something that is already perfect?


Above: Obligator unhinged iHater post. Nobody says that but you guys.
2012-12-04 03:46:21 PM  
1 votes:

the_vicious_fez: You don't live in my family. My dad just ripped his MBP apart for a RAM upgrade (he's a retired journalist, before you come in with the "must be an engineer" comments) and now he's contemplating swapping in an SSD. All I'm doing is helping him spec. I take your point for the general population, and he's certainly not buying an iMac, but my point is there is a very legitimate use case for upgradeability even in Macs, and there are plenty of Mac users to take advantage of it even if it's not anything like a majority of them.


I bought an upgradable Mac that suits my purpose. If I wanted the all-in-one or portable solution, I know I would need to sacrifice upgradability. That's life.
2012-12-04 03:38:07 PM  
1 votes:

StrangeQ: People that actually know about computers shouldn't care about this since they would never buy a Mac to begin with.


When Linux approaches the user experience of a mac, we'll talk. When it's as nice to use, when it's as seamless, when I can use it without wanting to put a boot through my motherboard once a day, then you can shiat-talk those of us who know our way around computers and still use Macs.

I use Ubuntu for 8 hours per day. Trust me, we're not there yet.

No matter what combination of hardware and OS you end up with, there are times when your machine will make you furious. With Macs, I find those times to be when I look at my credit card statement after buying a new machine, when I discover that they no longer include OS install media out of the box, and that's about it. With everything else, it's constant.
2012-12-04 03:31:06 PM  
1 votes:

Surool: t3knomanser: Does anyone buy an all-in-one computer because they expect it to be upgradeable? I will never, ever understand why anyone gives a shiat about the fact that products obviously designed around a certain form-factor aren't user-serviceable.

I really don't understand why anybody cares about this, or why anybody pretends to be surprised.

THIS.

Also, most laptops are also difficult to upgrade, Apple or not. Nobody who would upgrade later is likely to buy a machine like this.


The thing is that the combination of RAM and SSD upgrades can allow basic users to squeeze a few more years of use out of their machines rather than buy new. So it's nice to be able to do because it lets you keep current on patches and OS versions and not have your machine slow to a crawl due to planned obsolescence.

Sure, not everyone is going to do this, but some of us like the option of dropping another 2-300 on an upgrade rather than $1500 on a new machine.
2012-12-04 03:27:17 PM  
1 votes:

StrangeQ: People that actually know about computers shouldn't care about this since they would never buy a Mac to begin with.


In my experience, "knowing about computers" comprises a vast range of knowledge. Many people who I think know more than I do are Mac users. They're nice to use, and powerful once you get into the UNIX part. They also look nice, which if you're in front of it for 12 hours a day, several of which are spent in public, you appreciate.
2012-12-04 03:25:41 PM  
1 votes:

t3knomanser: I really don't understand why anybody cares about this, or why anybody pretends to be surprised.


The article clearly states there are iMac fans who have already been doing drive upgrades with this very line of products for years, so they might be surprised and they might care about this new design parameter.

Also, I'm pretty sure the dullards who are buying these just because they're absurdly simple aren't reading Ars teardown articles, so it really only is aimed at those tinkerers in the first place who would want to know this.

So... yea... not really sure what your point is.
2012-12-04 03:02:01 PM  
1 votes:

T.rex: I think the matter of contention is that Apple will charge you an arm and a leg to get a unit with a huge hard drive and tons of RAM, when, really, the user could've made those same upgrades to a lower (but otherwise identical) unit for pennies on the dollar. 

Its a scam.... They are forcing the consumer to buy the more expensive unit.


They're not forcing them to do anything.

Macs are, by and large, computers for people too stupid to know anything about what goes on inside them in the first place. They think the extra price just means it is a luxury model.

People that actually know about computers shouldn't care about this since they would never buy a Mac to begin with.
2012-12-04 02:53:18 PM  
1 votes:
I didn't know there was a list. I thought it was just "everything." Also called "buying a mac."
2012-12-04 02:33:35 PM  
1 votes:

t3knomanser: downstairs: Because hard drives and memory never fail?

The issue is: what's the MTBF. For memory, it's already pretty high. And with SSDs, you're getting into that neighborhood.

The only time I've ever had a RAM stick fail was when I gave it a good static shocking. It's been a long time since I've had a HDD failure of any stripe. Just going on raw probabilities: the chances of these parts failing when the product is outside of warranty and isn't due for replacement in some fashion is pretty slim.

Some of us buy a tower and keep it for decades, gradually upgrading parts like Theseus's ship. Most of us change over computers entirely every 2-5 years. I keep myself on a 3-ish year upgrade cycle. The MTBF for most parts is much larger than that.


THE FUNNIEST part about that whole statistics thing: some parts fail before the mean and some parts fail after the mean. For every person who has never had a problem, there is a person who has had a problem.
2012-12-04 02:33:30 PM  
1 votes:

t3knomanser: Does anyone buy an all-in-one computer because they expect it to be upgradeable? I will never, ever understand why anyone gives a shiat about the fact that products obviously designed around a certain form-factor aren't user-serviceable.

I really don't understand why anybody cares about this, or why anybody pretends to be surprised.


Only Fark Independents(tm) stuck in the 80s.
2012-12-04 01:50:26 PM  
1 votes:

t3knomanser: Does anyone buy an all-in-one computer because they expect it to be upgradeable? I will never, ever understand why anyone gives a shiat about the fact that products obviously designed around a certain form-factor aren't user-serviceable.

I really don't understand why anybody cares about this, or why anybody pretends to be surprised.


sure, but, even with an all in one, it is nice to be able to replaced failed memory or hard-drive.
and you have to admit, using glue to seal the case is a bit lame
2012-12-04 01:44:17 PM  
1 votes:
You buy a Mac so you don't have to worry about the insides.

I think most computer problems stem from stupidity of do it yourself people.
 
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