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Discussion Starter #1
I have had my 17" Mac Book Pro for over 5 years now, it is used for hours each day.

Last night I had a noise from within the case, sounded like a fan bearing had failed.

I went on-line and booked an appointment at an Apple Store to visit the Genius Bar at 11am today.

They confirmed it was indeed 1 of 2 fans that had failed and it needed replacing. I swallowed hard and asked "How much". "$25" was his reply, you could have knocked me down with a feather, $25 and free installation, how incredible is that.....

I opted to have BOTH fans replaced, my logic is that the other could be close behind, so while he is in the bowels of my machine, lets be proactive.

So for 5 years of hard use, this Mac Book Pro has now cost me $56.50 for repairs.

How many Windows Laptop owners can match that, along with the fact I am not constantly carrying out Anti Virus Scans and stuff this Laptop is a dream machine.

Will I buy a Windows based Laptop, ever, not a chance. Will I get another Mac, sure but I don't see the need for one for many years yet, this one is just as fast as when I bought it.

If you are on the fence about getting a Mac Laptop, I say go for it, it will repay you several times over in the years to come.
 

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Meh.

Every Dell laptop I've purchased has lasted at least 4 years with use by then small children before we either decided to replace it for upgrade reasons or because it was stolen, which is what happened to the last one.

Apple makes a good product, no doubt, but there is no magic to what they do.
 

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Perhaps both posters could guestimate down time for problems and service calls impacting on the ability to use the laptop.

I know who my money's on. ;)
 

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I own four laptops. The only one that failed on me was my Mac. All others are PC. The oldest one in current use is a 2005 Compaq V2000. I have an older HP that still works running Win 95, but don't use it anymore. I have never had a PC laptop hardware failure.

Of course, YMMV!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I have zero down time, apart from a drive of 15 kms today for the fans.

I appreciate that YMMV but I really do give this machine some abuse....

I had two HP Laptops before this one and although they were pretty reliable, the fact that I had to do the constant Windows Updates, the Anti Visus Scans and the Malaware Scans became so frustrating, that I took the plunge, I am very glad I did.

And the service at the "Genius Bar" within the Apple Store was just amazing, that was exactly how Customer Service should be, polite friendly and professional.
 

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Honest accounting

A couple of you avoided the key word in his title: cost. Be honest about it.

How much has it cost to run a computer for 5 years? We're talking private ownership in which the owner must pay for everything that has a cost. We're also talking about no physical changes to the machine. His total on his Macbook Pro was $56.50, so there's your price point for comparison.

So, given that Microsoft themselves tell you to buy anti-virus and other security upgrades in order to run Windows I'm already thinking that the $56.50 would be gone almost by first bootup of a Windows machine after installing that stuff.

Linux? Honestly, about the same as the Mac.
 

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Honest accounting.

Avast! for anti-virus (free).
None of the laptops have ever had a part fail on them so no maintenance cost.

Every now and then I might spend a couple of minutes to do a windows update as part of my tech support role since I always have auto-updates turned off.

The family laptop lives in the kitchen/breakfast nook and had three users. Ages 6/10 when they first started using them. If you saw the condition of the mouse pad that gets used with it, you'd be shocked. It's a Webkinz mouse pad BTW. :)
 

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That's a good run you had there, for sure, but there was only just anti-virus on it and not any other security software?

I ran a Toshiba Satellite notebook on Linux almost non-stop (24/7/365) from 2002 until 2006 (darn, missed the 5 year mark!) and did not spend a dime on it. It had a massive hardware failure when something heavy fell from a bookshelf onto it destroying the keyboard and wrecking the hard drive - mea culpa.
 

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My Dell Lattitude D600 that I won on ebay on Christmas 2006 which was shipped on August 2004 to the original owner.

After I dropped it on my floor late last year. I broke my USB ports and I had a nice crack in the LCD that caused bleeding.

Nothing was bought for the laptop other then the wireless router which was 20 bucks on sale at FS on Boxing Day.

AVG, Firewall and all other security software were free.
 

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What hasn't been mentioned yet in this thread it the price of the Macbook Pro vs the various Windows PCs.

To avoid the flame war, I'll say again, Apple makes a good product.

I personally think it is overpriced but they've built a market with their design aesthetic and support model that enough people believe in, so more power to them.
 

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Of course, you could buy at least two PC laptops for one Macbook Pro.

That said, I'll probably get two Macbooks soon - one each for MDW and MDK. Buying for the looks and the cachet. Overpriced for the functionality if you ask me.

Which means I'll inherit a two-year old laptop (cost about $900 including windows 7 premium) and a four-year old PC running XP (about $1,200 from Costco +$75 power supply replacement).
 

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Well since the cost issue was raised:

http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9023959/Mac_vs._PC_cost_analysis_How_does_it_all_add_up_

The main point I was trying to make is that when you compare Macs with comparably equipped Windows PCs, sometimes Macs beat Windows PCs in the price/performance comparison. Sometimes Windows PCs beat Macs. Overall, there’s relative parity.
http://technologizer.com/2010/02/27/pc-or-mac/

Every time I do the math, though, I come to the conclusion that the cost of Macs isn’t out of whack with that of similar Windows machines. Apple isn’t selling $750 notebooks for $1,500 — its portables tend to use higher-end processors, mostly have aluminum cases rather than plastic ones, are typically thinner and lighter than garden-variety laptops and run longer on a battery charge than many of their Windows brethren. The Microsoft-powered laptops most directly comparable to Apple’s MacBook Pro line, HP’s Envy models, actually cost more than roughly equivalent Macs.
 

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The displays on the Macs I've owned are much better than the ones on PCs (a couple of high-end ThinkPads - MSRP in the $3000+ range when they were new in the early 00s). I'd go from my ThinkPad to my wife's PowerBook and be blown away by how much better everything looked. And even today, anytime I help out someone at work with their PC, I'm wow'd at the fuzzieness of their display.

So, yeah - you pay more up front. But even the specs don't tell the full story of what you're paying for (and getting) in the Mac product line.
 

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Apple hardware are quality stuff, but that doesn't mean PC laptops are necessarily inferior.

I'm typing on my 5-yr old Toshiba laptop right now. It's low maintenance (running my ex-company's lifetime-free upgrade anti-virus software, set-it-and-forget-it). Nothing has broken (yet, knock on wood). Everything is so durable so far even the textured-plastic surface where I lay my palms on while typing shows no sign of wear, coloration, or texture change. And even the battery works full strength like new after all these years! Nothing needs upgrade except for the 100GB HDD that ran out of space for the tons of software/freeware/crapware I install. BTW, the original 5400rpm 2.5" HDD still works hard for its 2nd life as anything from big-file transport to external HDD for my HD DVR.

I hardly log out of OS (XP32) and I always hibernate (not standby) instead of shut down because it's much faster to resume from hibernation even with dozens of windows opened. It's not uncommon to have login sessions run for a month or more on ends with my favorite web pages stay open all the time.

Although this is not my main computer, I use it a lot and I used to travel with it a lot for business. From single-digit (Celsius) hometown weather to triple-digit (Fehrenheit) weather at work in just a matter of a flight, from almost daily A/C-regulated humidity inside a car to the extreme summer humidity just a car door away, this laptop has seen it all. I'm pretty amazed at how well my Toshiba laptop has served me (and hoping it continues to do so).
 

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The sharper displays from the newer Macs are mostly because of LED nature. The colors are sharper than plain-old CCFL-based LCDs (PC or not) but not dramatic (unless you're not running native resolution), but they aren't any much sharper, if any, than higher-end LED PC displays.
 

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Something the OP should probably add into his 5 year cost basis would have been 2 operating system upgrades (leopard & snow leopard)

Yes I know you can run older OS, but to maintain current services like the app store, you need to keep up with with OS versions.
 

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With Snow Leopard being a $29 upgrade, I'm not seeing OS upgrades as a significant cost, especially spread over five years. There's been ample speculation that Apple will keep this minimal upgrade cost for the OS going in the coming iterations of its OS.
 

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Neild, there is no reason to add OS upgrades to the cost of ownership of a 5 year old Mac. If a consumer wants to do the upgrades... fine, but they are not a necessity. In the Windows world previous OSes are effectively crippled by viruses, worms, and Microsoft product planning, so the consumer is often forced to upgrade.

I do IT support for my mom-in-law's venerable Mac PPC Mini, which cannot be upgraded past Panther and Tiger but does excellently nevertheless. It has all the latest security and app updates applied, and run's first rate software. Since I also do IT support for mrs. stampeder's Macbook (running Snow Leopard) I can definitely say that consumers do not need to keep up with current Mac OSes, just with the security and app updates. Is Snow Leopard better than Tiger? For most people the answer would be yes, but for people knowingly using 5-year old hardware the answer is no.
 

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Wow that statement about Microsoft OSes is sure mind boggling. Still run many PC's here in my office that are XP. How is the home consumer often forced to upgrade to a new OS?

As for OS X upgrade costs take a look at programs for the Mac that require Leopard or even Snow Leopard. Yes they are cheap but I would almost argue they are even more required in the Mac world then the Microsoft world.
 
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