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February 2009
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iMac Woes

I love my 24-inch iMac (2.8 GHz Intel Core 2 duo), but it sure hates me. When I bought it in December of 2007, it was because I wanted a new gaming machine (I have Windows Vista installed on it, too, which is maybe why it hates me). And for the most part, it has been good to me.

Last week it was in the shop for repairs, after problems with the optical drive (would not usually read discs) and more serious video problems (notably, it would permanently stall during World of Warcraft).  They replaced the optical drive successfully, but the new video card did not solve that problem.  So after testing for software problems, the great tech over at Simutek (a local Apple-authorized store) replaced the logic board.  He also fixed my replacement optical drive, which had the inverse problem of not ejecting discs.

iMac 24" 2.8 GHz

Well, World of Warcraft is running much smoother.  But not completely smooth.  While playing in Howling Fjord (I bought Wrath of the Lich King to celebrate the iMac repairs) with my good friend Craig last night, I experienced two total freeze-ups.  I believe these are video crashes because I can still voice-chat to warn people that I have to restart the computer (the old-fashioned way, holding the power button).

Now, between the new video card and logic board, they have replaced half of the hardware!  So I don’t know what the deal is.  I deleted and re-installed World of Warcraft to rule out any problems with my installation of it (though, notably, I copied the installation to my rusty old G4 laptop to play on that while the iMac was damaged, and it worked on there).  I haven’t had a chance to try out the new install yet other than a quick ride through Shattrath.  But I did notice I was getting a framerate of 50FPS instead of 15.  Maybe it was a combination hardware-software problem?  (I know the tech verified that the video did crash, without playing World of Warcraft.)

I don’t want to take the computer back in…  I want to do more work on this website, and all my image editing software is on here.  But at least it’s all covered under warranty (always buy AppleCare with a new Mac, it does pay off).



Comment from Paul Zero
Time February 18, 2009 at 6:48 pm

Simutek actually called me this morning to follow up on the repair. I’m very happy that they called to follow up, even if I’m having some issues. My belief is that the problem was both hardware AND software (they did get the video freeze to happen without playing WoW), so I’m reinstalling software under the notion that they already fixed the hardware.

I told him I’ll be bringing it back in on Monday if that doesn’t work.

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