iMac G5 Meltdown


imac Friends of mine have pinged me with news that iMac G5 machines are having a meltdown. Apparently, the machines have been a hit with corporate users who are snapping up these puppies. However, most corporate employees tend to leave their computers powered up overnight. This is resulting in overheating and resulting in power supply brownouts and fan problems. Anyone else hear this news? I wonder, the popularity of everything Apple is resulting in technical problems all the time. I had the same problems with iPods in the past.



Let me register another one down. My 20″ IMac died March 11. The Appel tech first said it needed a new midplane board, that didn’t do it and now close to four weeks later, still no part. Mine was quite clean inside, no burn marks, no funny smells. I’ve had it since mid December, I rarely shut down but have sleep set at 30 min. I still love the machine and am reluctantly willing to wait for a part that hopefully won’t fry in another 3 months.


In response to Rus who wrote (re: the back order on power supply units suggesting “burn outs” not may not be an isolated occurence…)

It suggests nothing of the sort.

The iMac G5 has been out for 6+ months, and only now someone burned its voltage supply accidentally? Sounds like someone forgot to dust.

This is NOT true. I have a 6 month old 20 inch which failed recently. Apple initially diagnosed it as drive failure. After a week and a half and a second drive failure, they agreed to replace the midplane board. I had to get one of their “geniuses” to consider their might have been a power supply issue going on… He then ordered that be replaced as well. The power supply was, of course, “back ordered”. When I inquired about the back order with an Apple Care employee, he admitted that a number of these new Imacs have been having this problem — enough so, that Apple has since redesigned the power supply units. Hence the back order in manufacturing the new ones. So this is not an isolated incident. Why Apple is not disclosing this and furthermore, why the people who work at their “genius” bars are taking weeks to diagnose what Apple clearly knows to be an issue with these computers is very infuriating. Granted, not every power supply from the 1st batch of these Imacs are failing, but enough have that they have redesigned one of the central components of the computer. I guess I understand why they’re not disclosing this to consumers from a financial stanpoint, but as someone who has always been a loyal mac user, I’m pissed…


Another one. I woke up to a dead 20″ iMac this morning. Bought it about 3 months ago, and usually put it to sleep or shut down at night, but not always. (Display turns off after 15 min though, so not to “use up”my LCD). It’s also kept in a clean area, I don’t think dust did this, whoever said that. Haven’t had time to call Apple yet, but I’m not looking forward to backordered parts!!
I’m so bummed, I love my mac.

Om Malik

okay this is getting out of hand a lot of people are facing the same troubles and wondering if they shouldn’t have bought the device. actually there are fewer problems with the 20 inch model


I tried to start up my G5 this morning and nothing happened. I left it last night (as I usually do) in sleep mode and this morning, nothing. When i hit the power button the light qickly flashes and then nothing. I called apple and we went through the steps of resetting the G5 by taking the back off and holding down the SMU. Still nothing, they said the would send me a new motherboard and this should fix the problem. I do leave me Mac in sleep mode almost everyday, could this have cause it? And does anyone have any other comments?

Om Malik

Yup, me and another colleague of mine had the same problem. I think the problem is something more than just heating. I know because i religiously put my computer to sleep every night. Oh this is not looking good.

Rich Davies

My iMac G5 1.8Ghz 20″ died this week…. came home from work and the screen was locked. Powered it off, and upon booting it back up now it doesn’t POST.

I don’t abuse my computer equipment, actually I treat it rather well. I can’t believe it died :(


John Cleary

Id just like to add a few words to Nova comment, about her Windows PC that has been running for 2 weeks and 4 days. My iMac G5 has been running for (adding up the days since purchaced) 78 days. I just put it to sleep at nite, and wake it up in the moring. Havent re-booted once. Try that on your Windows PC! Unless all you do is let it sit there, it wont happen because PC’s suffer from Memory loss.


chalk another imac g5 to meltdown!!
I shut down my mac at night,it has its own outlet( all acessories share a seperate outlet)
its very quiet
and it was very clean inside when i opened it up….except for the “fry” marks where the power supply cooked the midplane
this can not be too isolated a problem
even the mac guy said he had seen this before
also power supplies for imac g5s are on a long back order list….still waiting for mine …almost a week!!
so I dont think i’m alone

Om Malik

Detroit Iron, well i have to say you use colorful descriptors. i personally have not had many problems with the iMac G5 – though the fan sometimes just makes me jump out of the chair. but then i put the computer to sleep everytime i walk away from my desk. i think there are some issues, and most of them could be directly traced back to the chip – its hot hot hot

Detroit Iron

Ouch Rus… You need to do a bit more research before you shoot off at the hip. Try reading Apple’s own discussion threads. Even the technicians I spoke with hinted that this was not an isolated case.

And by the way… I have not hacked apart my Mac in a Geek Porn fit or failed to dust. Your post reminds me of the troll Linux fanboys who accuse new users with driver problems with being street thugs in the Windows Industrial Complex.


i can imagine that many i-mac g5 users will have big problems in some months (or years). i have also the impression that the i-mac is too hot.

so i won’t buy an i-mac g5!

i heard from a friend that also the tft is getting maybe too warm…

the i-mac g5 is looking great but i think it was the wrong decission to build it into this case! the case of an i-mac g4 would be better…

we will see what will happen…

common sense

IS it really a shock that when you jam a computer into the space of an LCD that it will overheat ?? Lets see… you got a nice laser or two firing off right behind the screen, plus the super hot processor… they should have designed a liquid cooled system, maybe then it would be worth 2 Large.

Om Malik

lioan – i agree but just making a point. also i have heard similiar things as well about the HDD.


ok – saving energy is a good thing.

bud a pc / mac has to work perfect although it is running for days!

i heard that the temp of the hdd in the i-mac is really hot!

Om Malik

exactly – so many times i have reminded people to shut down their computers when leaving offices, but its the same thing – leave the cable box on all the time. or leaving the stereo on. that is called passive waste of energy. one doesn’t need to be a green peace loving liberal to save energy and money and now the MACs


the bastards should turn their computers of and save some energie.


Christ, & people call us Mac people zealots?

“Sounds to me like yet one more reason to not buy macs” What an idiot. I know of a great reason never to buy a computer that’s not an Apple, seems to be a fairly widespread problem too, it’s called “Microsoft Windows”.


i never shut down my pc. The only time i do is when i choose to. By pc i dont mean apple any thing. I run a custom built computer and my current up time is 2 weeks 4 days. It doesnt go in to sleep mode or any other mode. At night i press the power buttons on my monitors and that is it. Sounds to me like yet one more reason to not buy macs


I’ve known that for a while because my fan make loud noises after hours of being on, i put it to sleep now and then. Worst was when it over-heated and rebooted the whole mac when I was using it. Shit happens, but Apple is extremely reliable because of their OS :) I still love my iMac G5, its almost an all in one of a PowerMac G5 + 20″ :) Save money. As long as it doesnt start a fire in front of me I’ll be happy.


“That suggests that it is not an isolated occurance.”

It suggests nothing of the sort.

The iMac G5 has been out for 6+ months, and only now someone burned its voltage supply accidentally? Sounds like someone forgot to dust.

Take into account some people are completely disassembling the iMac BEFORE this happens or are adding upgraded (and hotter components) They could have bumped something/loosened something as well.

Most likely this is isolated due to dust/environment or maybe just within the 98.4% quality control.

Parts stock is NO indicator of wide scale problems – it may also be a sign that Apple is selling so many – it can’t even keep up with service parts. This is how the Mac Mini currently is and how the original release of ALL major revisions of the iMac have been (initial 1997 release, 1999 slot load release, 2002 LCD release, 2004 LCD release)

Joe Kimmel

In reply to the notebook being left on all the time. This is at best a G4 and a completely different animal. The cool design for a G5 iMac is a design in progress if they are replacing the power supply with a a different aniimal. The reason we haven’t yet seen a G5 powerbook is for this very reason…overheating problems. The G5 Tower has special cooling devices to keep the processor from overheating.

It’s typical former windoze users don’t understand their machines and what they should do. Their are tools and not something to be understood except through programs, etc.


We run a demo 20 inch iMac which is on 24/7, and the only time I’ve heard it sound like a goddamn blow dryer is when I booted it into Single User Mode.

Hit or miss I suppose.


G5 running since Jan 1 2005, sleep at night. NO PROBLEMS!


Our iMac is unusually loud; Apple claims the hardware checks out. But compared to equipment from other vendors, it’s noticeably louder and more annoying, especially when the CPU is active. Here’s a thread discussing this subject.


I’ve got one of the first 20″ iMac G5s to ship, and it’s been running at 80% CPU since it shipped without any downtime. While it’s been a bit louder than I expected (absolute quiet), it hasn’t had any reliability problems.


They don’t need to be shut off, just put to sleep. This means that the cron tasks can run at night, and the computer just needs a wake up in the morning. Another thing, if you do remote administration on PCs or Macs it’s a drag when users shut their PC down because you can’t remotly administer them.

Why shut down at all? Generally, OSX doesn’t need rebooting.


Just an FYI on screensavers and LCD’s. Don’t use them! First of all LCD’s don’t burn in so there is no point. Second, the light source inside the lcd has a limited lifetime and if you are doing anything that uses the display (including a screen saver or visualizer in iTunes) the light is on. Thus screen savers (in theory) could cause your light source to fail early. The only thing that is going to save your lcd screen is for it to be shut off by the Energy Saver in system prefs. In reference to the article, those computers should be shut off at night anyway.

Detroit Iron

My iMac G5 was a victim just last week. Power supply flamed out, and left scorch marks on the motherboard (midplane). Apple was great to work with, and the machine is so well designed that user service is easy. However, it took a few days to get the parts because of stock issues. That suggests that it is not an isolated occurance. The replacement power supply is now a 120/240 universal unit, and I hope that the problem does not return.


I could believe this if they have turned off “Sleep”, which is likely because they probably have a really cool screen saver.

I have sleep turned off on my PowerMac G5 because I love the photo screensaver. Occasionally, I will be sitting watching TV and the sound of jet aircraft will come from the other end of the room, meaning the fans have turned on.

One suggestion I made to someone was to use the ‘Schedule’ control to turn off your computer at, say, 9:00PM and back on about a half-hour before you generally arrive at work.

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