Unboxing of the gTool ScreenJack Pro iPhone LCD opener

Hailing from gTool, an innovative South African-based company that made its name in precision tooling, the gTool ScreenJack Pro is used by us to separate iPhone LCD from its main body during iPhone repairs. We use the ScreenJack Pro to minimise damage to delicate flex cables during iPhone LCD replacements. Top-notch tools comes with top-notch packaging. Here are some pictures of the unboxing of the gTool ScreenJack Pro.

The package was protected with generous amount of bubble wrap.

iPhone LCD opener

gTool ScreenJack Pro (iPhone LCD Opener) in bubble wrap

A sealed, sleek, black box, bearing the signature “G” of gTool, was revealed after removing the bubble wrap.

iPhone LCD replacement tool

Sealed, sleek black box of iPhone LCD Opener

Separating the black box … …

White box beneath the black sleek box.

… … reveals a white box!

Notice the tab below the G that opens up the box when lifted.

Beneath the two-flap cover, laid the ScreenJack Pro in the precision-cut foam. Operating instructions for the iPhone LCD opener were printed on the two flaps.

iPhone LCD replacement tool

Two flaps open to reveal the ScreenJack Pro and the stickers for cracked screens.

The box contains:

  • 1 ScreenJack Pro
  • 3 Screen release stickers
  • 1 gTool spudger
  • 1 Pentalobe screwdriver
  • 1 Philips screwdriver

Items list

ScreenJack Pro (iPhone LCD Opener) and other accessories in the box.

The ScreenJack Pro is made of high quality ABS plastic that felt solid and heavy when held. The spudger was also one of the better spudgers that we have used. However, it was rather disappointing the screwdrivers did not quite match the built quality of the ScreenJack Pro. The entire package might be better off without the two screwdrivers. Rest assured that we do not use inferior screwdrivers to open your iPhones. The screwdrivers we use are made of precision steel or vanadium tips that do not strip your screws. We invest in quality tools to ensure that your iPhones and Macs are well taken care of during repairs.

Insider Predictions on the Apple Singapore Store – 3 Reasons Why We Aren’t Overly Excited

Apple Singapore Store is finally opening on our shores. That is long wait by many Apple fans and aficionados. One common reason why so many fans are hoping that Apple will open a store in Singapore is that the shopping experience of Apple Authorised resellers in Singapore pales in comparison to actual Apple run stores overseas.

Apple Singapore Store

Apple Singapore Store

Flagship Apple stores overseas are manned by staff who are friendly and have better product knowledge. The stores are also vastly bigger, have impeccable interior designs and are better stocked with Apple inventory. This means you can almost get any Apple product in their store. All these contribute to a good shopping experience.

We at Mac Plus are a little ambivalent about the opening though. Here is the low down of what to expect, and our very own predictions based on insider information.

The Good

1. Singapore’s Apple Orchard Road Store will focus on the retail experience

According to eagle-eyed netizens, Apple Singapore has been hiring service personnel for the store since Nov 2016. As on now, 17 May 2016, the jobs postings consists of solely service personnel. Positions for Apple Certified Technicians were not available.

Apple Jobs in Singapore

Apple Jobs in Singapore

According to an source close to an Apple Authorised Reseller that Mac Plus had dealings with, Apple Singapore primary focus in Singapore is sales and frontline service quality, not repairs. They were aware of the poor service (rated 2 stars on google) that Apple Authorised Service Providers are providing, but did not take active steps to address the issue.

2. Promotions such as Back to School and education pricing will finally be available in Singapore’s retail store

Apple’s well know Back-to-school promotion typically bundles free accessories with the purchase of a Mac at educational pricing. The promotion typically runs every year, but for students or MOE teachers in Singapore, the only way to get a Mac with an educational discount is through the online Apple Store or the Campus Stores in NUS, SMU and ITE Central run by Sapura. The marketing efforts by Sapura is so lacking that we could not find a list of all the campus stores in Singapore anywhere on the web.

Apple Back to School Promotion 2016

Apple Back to School Promotion in 2016

Calls made to Apple Singapore using the 1800 number are picked up by Singaporeans (Updated 10 June 2017)

It is nice to at last speak to Singaporean Apple customer service officers who better understand our Singlish English. The last we made a call regarding our purchase, although we could not get an exception to ship our iMac faster, the customer service officer was at least polite and was understanding. Even though she said the estimated date of delivery is the fastest possible date Apple could deliver, our iMac actually arrived one day earlier! Hopefully their friendliness will equate to better product knowledge. When we texted one of Apple’s Mac specialist, we were wrongly told that the iMac 5K Retina 27″ Mid 2007 had SSDs that are soldered. That is not true. Both the iMac 4K 21.5″ Mid 2007 have SSDs that are slotted in, not soldered on.

The Not-So-Good

1. Apple technicians or Geniuses might still misdiagnose the issue your Mac is having due to their testing methods (Updated 8 Dec 2017)

Apple support has traditionally performed diagnosis of hardware issues using their in-house testing software. We have some of the exact software as well but rarely use them because the software will fail to detect a variety of issues. We went to the Apple Orchard Road store lately on behalf of one of our customers to check his Macbook as part of our concierge service. The Apple Genius was attentive and polite. He ran a software test on the Mac and concluded that it was working fine and the issue was a glitch.

When we brought it back to perform our own in-house testing and found out that the charging circuitry was spoilt. All USB-C ports were all faulty. Plugging in a simple USB Ampere metre to the USB port would have detected the issue, but we are guessing that the Geniuses probably are only allowed to use Apple “Authorised” tools. Our guess is since Apple has made everything wireless and are not allowed to use anything other than Apple manufactured devices, they cannot even test the USB-C port by plugging in a PC optical mouse to see if it lights up.

2. Pricing of Apple products will still be higher than in the States

This is a no-brainer. Products sold in Singapore has traditionally been higher than those in other countries such as Canada or the States. We do not expect things to change. If you wish to see where is the cheapest country to buy a Mac, check out this cool website that shows you the cheapest places to purchase Apple products.

3. Repair services are likely still outsourced to Singapore’s Apple Authorised Service Centres

This is a prediction based on the fact that Apple Singapore did not recruit any technicians or technical support engineers. Our source told us that the reason why Apple Authorised Service Centres provide poor diagnostic services and have perpetually misdiagnosed and over-charged customers is due to the fact that they hire more customer service personnel than technicians. Most of the diagnosis are made by untrained customer service personnel. The Apple Authorised Service Centres do not have enough technicians who are able to provide accurate diagnosis.

4. Calls made to Apple Singapore using the support page’s call back system will be handled by Apple Care advisors in India (Updated 10 June 2017)

Support calls made to Apple Singapore used to be routed to Apple Australia. The benefit of having calls picked up by them is that Apple Australia’s Support Centre consists of Apple Advisors and Apple Product Specialists who are directly employed under Apple. They are more aware of Apple’s support options and are able to make the call to offer product replacements for free even though they are out of warranty in exceptional cases (terms as exceptions).

Since last year, calls made to Apple Singapore’s support telephone via the call back system are likely outsourced to a call centre in India. The disadvantages are that the staff in India are not able to order any “exceptions”. They consists of only Apple Advisors who are not qualified to order any exceptions. All such requests have to be processed by Apple Product Specialists housed in Australia. They will usually direct you to your country’s Apple Authorised Service Centres. The many times we called, they were not able to put us in touch with the Apple Product Specialists in Australia.

So if you have a product that just failed a few days after the warranty has expired, it may be difficult to get a replacement without paying additional fees. Hopefully this might change after the Apple Store opens her doors to the public.

So what are your hopes and wishes for the new store? Do comment on our Facebook page.

The Truth Behind Macbook Pro Retina LCD Replacements

Macbook Pro Retina LCD replacement. One of the Mac repair many Mac owners would not want to do. Such a replacement may be needed due to a cracked LCD caused usually by accidental drops. The repair is expensive. What is worse still is that there are varying prices and options presented by different Mac repairers. Repairs can range from $400 to $1000, depending on the quality of the LCD, the skills of the technician replacing your screen, whether you get the LCD replacement from independent repairers or with Apple Authorised Service Providers, and whether the LCD is an an OEM part, or original Apple part.

In this article, we will show you the different kinds of LCD replacements available and how to decide which kind to go for if your Macbook Pro Retina LCD is spoilt. Let us first understand the construction of a Macbook Pro Retina LCD assembly. These kinds of LCD assembly are used in the Macbook Pro Retina 13″ and 15″ from 2012 – 2016, as well as the Macbook 12″ with Retina display.

There are 3 kinds of LCD replacements in the market – 1. OEM inner LCD replacement, 2.OEM LCD assembly replacement, and 3.original LCD assembly replacement . The image below shows the construction of the Macbook Pro Retina LCD. The Macbook Pro LCD assembly actually consists of 3 separate components – the Macbook Pro top aluminium cover, a backlight and a LCD panel. See the picture below.seperatecrosssection1. OEM inner LCD replacement

In a situation where the LCD is not badly cracked, an OEM inner LCD replacement can be done. In this kind of repair, only the outer LCD panel is changed. The cracked LCD panel heated and loosened from the strong LCD sticky tape that adheres the LCD panel to the aluminium cover. A replacement LCD is then glued and assembled back. No matter what your repair shop says, such repairs will always use OEM LCD screens manufactured by third parties. Some of these third parties may be companies manufacturing for Apple, but they are strictly considered non-original, though the resolution is the same as the original and the colour reproduction is quite similar. Such a repair requires an experienced technician with fine micro-motor skills, as any puncture of the backlight by the cracked glass shards of the LCD might result in imperfections to the finished replacement. Any puncture of the backlight will be exhibited as white light streaks when the LCD is turned on.

adheredPros:

  • Cheapest type of repair
  • Same resolution as an original Apple Retina display

Cons:

  • When the backlight is not adjusted well, there might be visible slight light leak at the corners of the LCD
  • Colour gamut is not as wide as the original LCD
  • Might have brightness variation from the original
  • Not suitable for severely cracked LCDs

2. OEM LCD assembly replacement

These kind of LCD assembly replacements comes with an OEM LCD panel pre-assembled onto the aluminium covers. The covers are usually sourced from Macs with spoilt LCD panels. The LCD panels are removed from the old Macbook Po Retina LCD assemblies, and are replaced with new OEM LCDs.

It is suitable for customers who want to have new aluminium covers as their Mac has very badly dented and unsightly aluminium covers, or that their Macs have very badly cracked or shattered LCDs. The prices are higher than OEM inner LCD replacements, and depending on where the repairer sources their parts from, such parts also might suffer the same issues as inner LCD replacements, namely colour and brightness variation as well as light leak issues. We have observed that some of these LCDs have light leak from the Facetime cameras, resulting in purple tinges in the photos or videos being taken with the Facetime cameras. Some unethical repair shops pose off such reassembled LCD assemblies as original Apple LCD assemblies to earn higher margins.

Pros:

  • Mint condition aluminium covers
  • Same resolution as an original Apple Retina display

Cons

  • When the backlight is not adjusted well, there might be visible slight light leak at the corners of the LCD
  • Colour gamut is not as wide as the original LCD
  • Might have brightness variation from the original
  • Light leak from Facetime cameras resulting in purple tinge in videos and images
  • Unethical repair shops pose off such reassembled LCD assemblies as original Apple LCD assemblies

3. Original Apple LCD assembly replacement

These are the best type of replacements. Original Apple LCD assembly replacements are new, untampered with, and has the exact colour gamut , brightness and resolution of the Retina LCDs that comes with Macbook Pro Retina that are sold in Apple stores. These assemblies are from Apple’s factories and have protective films on the front and back of the LCD assembly.

originalretinaLCD

Original Macbook Pro Retina LCD

Notice that such assemblies comes with serial numbers, barcodes, quality control stickers (Gamma PASS), and protective plastic coverings for the LCD cable. They also come with new rubber pads that adheres to the inner LCD hinge.

There are also some original Macbook Pro Retina LCD assemblies that do not come with such stickers. LCD assemblies that do not come with serial number stickers might also be original Apple parts, except that they are procured from different sources which we are not at liberty to reveal.

Pros:

  • Original resolution, colour gamut and brightness
  • Your dented aluminium cover is replaced with a new one
  • Perfect rubber trim
  • Usually does not have purple fringe issues

Cons:

  • Expensive

So how do can we tell if the LCD panel replaced by a Mac repairer is original or not? There are 3 ways you can tell if the LCD assembly a shop offers you is original. The price, whether there are serial number stickers and protective plastic caps for the LCD and WiFi cables, the brightness adjustment and automatic brightness sensors.

1. Price

Price is not the most accurate indicator, but a low price definitely means the LCD replacement is a re-assembled part, even if they replace the entire aluminium cover. Original Macbook Pro Retina 13-inch assemblies typically costs $660 – $750. Original Macbook Pro Retina 15-inch LCD assemblies typically ranges from $750 – $850.

Shops that do replacements at $750 for a 13-inch and $850 for a 15-inch might be a ripoff, but any repair shop that offers an original brand new Apple Macbook Pro 13-inch LCD assembly at a price lower than $660 might be replacing a re-assembled OEM LCD assembly. The cover is probably not brand new but looks as good as new, and the inner LCD itself is an OEM part. That said, Apple Authorised Service Providers do replacements at around $1,000, so any shop that offers a lower price would already be a good deal in a sense.

2. Presence of LCD stickers, barcodes and protective plastic caps on LCD cable connector and WiFi antenna connectors

Original Apple Retina LCD assemblies may not come with such labels and plastic caps, but those that do have them, especially when all the mentioned parts are present, are most likely original.

3. Brightness Adjustment and Automatic Brightness Sensors

The brightness of OEM LCDs tend to be brighter than the original LCDs even at the lowest brightness setting. Brightness adjustments of original LCDs are very minute whereas for OEM LCDs, the brightness will suddenly change from very visible to totally dark, when the brightness is at the lowest visible setting. OEM LCDs may also not adjust the brightness of the LCD quickly even when the automatic brightness setting is set in the System Preferences>Displays>Automatically adjust brightness. One way to test whether a screen is original or not would be to cover the entire Facetime camera with your hand. The brightness of Original Apple LCDs will swiftly dim once the sensor right beside the Facetime camera is covered up.

We know of repair shops who do not tell their customers the LCDs they are replacing are OEM parts. In fact some shops only have OEM LCD inner replacement services or OEM LCD assemblies. Do be careful when choosing a LCD replacement for your Macbook Pro Retina.

Of course, we unabashedly will recommend you give us a try if you have a Macbook that needs a screen replacement.

Macbook Air Mid 2013 – Early 2015 SSD Flash Drive replacements

We have observed a slight increase in number of customers requiring Macbook Air Mid 2013 – Early 2015 SSD Flash Drive replacement due to SSD failure in their Macbook Air. The issue appears to affect a very small number of Macbook Air 13″ Mid 2013. The problem seemed to have occur after MacOS upgrades. After the failed upgrade, partitioning, formatting, disk first aid will not be possible. The disk can be mounted and detected, but data cannot be written on it.

The solution for such SSD failures would be to replace the drive. We have stock for Macbook Air Mid 2013 – Early 2015 SSD and Macbook Pro 13″ Late 2013 – Early 2015 Flash Drive replacements.

The drives are new original Apple PCIe SSDs with Samsung NAND. In previous generations, Samsung NAND performed better and appears to have better longevity than those manufactured with Sandisk NAND.

Installation takes around 15 mins.

Apple uses water damaged boards in Apple refurbished devices

We discovered evidence of Apple Authorised Service Providers using water damaged boards in Apple refurbished devices sometime back. We withheld from publishing our findings sooner. We were not sure if the board that was replaced on our customer’s Mac was repaired and supplied by the Apple Authorised Service Provider in Singapore or it is a company practice adopted by Apple in general. It appears that it is a company practice that Apple adopts for devices sent in for repairs and refurbished products that may be put on sale.

We discovered this issue after a NUS student sent in her Macbook Pro Retina 2014 to us. After our diagnosis, we determined that it may be due to a video issue. We advised her to pursue the issue with Apple Singapore to see if they could escalate her issue to the Mac specialist for a free replacement. Her Mac was just out of warranty for about a few months and there were other users with Macbook Pro 15″ with similar video issues. She managed to secure a free logicboard replacement, which to her dismay, failed again after 6 months.

She brought her Macbook to us for a diagnosis again after having a bad experience with the Apple Authorised Service Provider. We were appalled to see water stains – signs of water damage on the board. Apple eventually refused to replace the board as her Mac was repaired for free and does there is no extended warranty.

This issue has been confirmed by Dr Jessa Bethany Jones. She has relationships with people from the famous iFixit company and is a trusted repairer in the independent repair community. Her video detailing what she discovered is shown below.

We feel the need to blog about this as the general public feel that only Apple is ‘qualified’ to repair Apple products. Besides introducing proprietary pentalobe screws to prevent casual users from opening up their iPhones, Apple even tried to prevent independent home button replacements from being performed by locking down iPhones.

Their reasoning is that paying a premium for repairs done by them will ensure that the parts that are replaced will be brand new original parts. This signals to people the impression that that replacements done at Apple will be superior to those repaired at your local quality independent repair shop.

As shown in our findings and the video, this might not always be true. Independent repair shops can be more professional than Apple Authorised Service Providers. Consumers deserve the right to know what they are getting. Unfortunately the right to repair bill has failed in New York, so premiums for repairs done at Apple is here to stay.

In the meantime, do contact us for quality reliable Mac repair needs. We are able to perform component level repairs so that expensive logicboard replacements are not necessary in most cases. We will never replace your logicboard with a water damaged board that has been repaired. Replacement logicboards from us are either brand new or used but have not been repaired in any way.

How to buy genuine new or pre-owned Apple Magsafe chargers from online sellers

Magsafe chargers are notoriously expensive, selling at $108 a pop in Singapore. With frequent use and inadequate care of the wires, the charger either spoils from within, or suffers from tears to the wires. Due to the price of a new charger, many people turn to popular online platforms such as Carousell and Q0010.sg are popular platforms for pre-owned or new Magsafe chargers that other people are selling.

We at Mac Plus have done a search for Magsafe chargers at Carousell before and has gotten a good deal for a new Magsafe charger that came with a receipt that was sold to us for $70. However, in our process of searching for a Magsafe charger, we came across some sellers who were definitely selling fake Magsafe chargers but was passing them off as genuine ones. We even encountered one customer who brought her charger to us to test if it was working, only to hear from us that it is a fake. Fake chargers can be bought on Alibaba, Aliexpress and Taobao for $30 or less. Ignore seller ratings. If it touted as brand new but does not come with the packaging or receipt, it is a fake.

Fake Magsafe Charger without extension chord and Packaging

Fake Magsafe Charger without extension chord and packaging. We got this pic off a Chinese website. Websites sometimes display actual photos of authentic chargers. This one looks like one that a Carousell seller is selling.

Fake Magsafe Charger Seller

My customer bought a charger from this seller. Upon our inspection, we have determined it as a fake. It was very light and my customer even said the metal round pin inside dropped out once.

 

There are countless Youtube videos and blogs detailing the differences between a fake Magsafe Charger and a real one, that can be found here and here. You can do a simple Google search to find out more.

Here, instead of teaching you how to spot a fake charger, we will provide some tips on how to buy a new or pre-owned one from sites such as Carousell without being cheated.

  1. New genuine Apple Magsafe chargers are only sold at Authorised Apple resellers. Apple does not provide any third parties with Magsafe chargers for sale. Their inventory is closely guarded and there is no way any third party can get hold of them. Not anywhere in the world. Not at OWC. Unless you have a friend who has broken into their stores and manages to sell you a stolen one.
  2. It will always be sold at the same price as what the online Apple store in your country charges. In Singapore, it is $108 for all Magsafe chargers. If a brand new charger is sold to you at a huge discount by some sellers online, it is dubious. The common line goes like, “Oh I accidentally bought one and realised my old charger was working all along”. Carousell sellers typically sell new chargers at around $70 – $90. Those unwrapped, but used once or twice goes for $60.
  3. Genuine Apple Magsafe chargers are always sold in a retail packaging with a box. This manner of checking is not foolproof, as triple A grade imitations come with boxes as well. But if it does not come with any box, and the seller claims they are sold at a cheaper rate because they are sold direct from the assembly line, the charger is definitely fake. Genuine chargers are never sold in a OEM packaging.
  4. They come with an extension cable. Knockoffs sometimes do not come with an extension cable. There’s a dubious seller selling brand new Magsafe chargers on Carousell that does not come with any extension cables.
  5. Always meet up with the buyer instead of choosing mail options. Meet up at a place like Starbucks where you can test the charger. If the seller insists on mailing it, the authenticity is dubious. The authenticity of the charger can be verified by point 5 and 6.
  6. The LED on the charging connector that connects to your Macbook always pauses monetarily before turning green. The LED of fake Magsafe chargers will power up instantly when you connect it to the Macbook. Checkout the  Youtube Video here.
  7. Knockoffs are always lighter. If you do not wish to bother yourself with meticulously inspecting the charger based on tips other users have given on Youtube, just feel the weight with your hands. This goes the same for iPhone chargers as well. If you are buying a Magsafe charger, you will probably have the old one that is spoilt. Bring it when you meet up the buyer and have a feel of the weight.
  8. Always ask for the receipt. Ask for the retail packaging box if possible. If the seller claims that the Magsafe does not come with a box because it came as a bundled part of the Macbcook, ask for the receipt of the Macbook.

Here are some links if you wish to know more.

  1. How to Spot A Fake Macbook Magsafe Charger

  2. Compared: Fake vs Genuine Apple Magsafe Chargers

  3. Counterfeit Macbook charger teardown: convincing outside but dangerous inside

  4. Macbook charger teardown: The surprising complexity inside Apple’s power adapter

We do not sell Magsafe chargers. Original ones can be bought from Apple Singapore’s Online store.

Recommendation of Speakers for your Mac – Audioengine A2

Macbook speakers replacement

Audioengine A2

Recently, we have replaced a few Macbook speakers for some customers. The speakers were spoilt due to wear and tear. To avoid Macbook speakers replacement, the best option is to use external desktop speakers for your audio enjoyment. Macbook speakers have smaller domes, which are susceptible to wear and tear. Besides producing better sound, good desktop Macbook speakers also can last for possibly a decade. The Altec Lansing speakers we had lasted for 10 years before it spoilt.

A good pair of speakers that many raved about are the Audioengine A2s. A revised version with a built-in DAC, the A2+ are now being sold instead. The speakers are mid-range multimedia speakers that cross into the audiophile grade. They are encased in glossed MDF wood cabinets, unlike ordinary plastic speakers. They also come with Kevlar woofers and silk-dome tweeters. The RCA and Mini-Jack inputs are gold-plated.

They need a recommended 100 hours of burn-in to sound well, and you need to tweak the setup, such as spacing them equally apart, raising the height to your ear-level, or titling them upwards with speaker stands.

They are available in Gloss White or Black. Comes with 3 years 1-1 exchange warranty. Google for reviews. See audioengineusa.com for more information.

They are available at Horizon Acoustics at Upper Bukit Timah Road Beauty World Centre and Decibel at Sim Lim Square stock them. Google for their contact details.

Blog post by a pleasant lady customer detailing her experience with Mac Plus. Thank you for your appraisal!

There are not many reviews of Mac repair services in Singapore. We are therefore pleasantly surprised by a blog post written by an nice lady praising and detailing her experience with repairing her Macbook Air trackpad with us. She is a foreigner working in Singapore and was concerned about finding a reliable Mac repair service as well as finding her way to the place. She decided to choose Mac Plus as her service provider due to the friendly response she got from us which set her mind at ease about us being a rip-off.

Well, before we started our business, we too were concerned about being conned by repair shops so we can understand customers’ concerns. We are glad she find us helpful enough to post a review on her blog. As a small startup we are thankful her support and to every customer that walks through our door. Some customers have asked why do I say us when the only technician they see is me, as if it is a one-man-show-operation. Well, that’s because our partners have not come into the picture, or shown their faces, yet.

We are thankful that foreigners who aren’t sure of their way gets helped. It can be a harrowing experience to find a reliable Mac repair service. Her post is written in March 2015. We are posting the link here since our page has moved to her new location.

It’s written in Chinese.

Here is the link to her post:

Macbook修理记

See our Facebook: www.facebook.com/macplus.sg for genuine 5 star reviews! We do not use antics such as like our post and get a discount to generate likes or reviews 🙂

Compatible Solid-State Drive upgrades for Macs

Compatible Solid-State Drive Upgrades for your Mac

For those wanting to speed up your Macs, Solid-State Drive upgrades for Macs to replace your traditional hard disk can be one of the best upgrade you can ever do. Macs are notoriously reliable if you take good care of them.

However, not all SSDs are provide the fastest performance for certain Macbook, Macbook Pro, and iMac particularly those with Nvidia MCP79 chipset. If you decide to install a SSD by yourself and choose the wrong drive, you could end up only achieving half the data transfer speed your Mac is designed for.

You can check which chipset your Mac has by going to About This Mac>System Report>SATA/SATA Express.

Solid-State Drive upgrades for Macs

A compatible SSD will show the same Link Speed and Negotiated Link Speed

When you have one of these Macs and you install a Solid-State Drive (SSD) with a Sandforce chipset, you might face an issues where your transfer speed decreases be half as the chipset and the drive you have is incompatible. The Mac will show a negotiated link speed  of either 1.5 Gigabit if your Link Speed is 3 Gigabit (SATA 2) or 3 Gigabit if your Link Speed is 6 Gigabit (SATA 3). Macs before 2011 uses SATA 1 or 2, and later Macs uses SATA 3, which is faster.

Mac upgraded with incompatible Solid State Drive achieving only half the transfer speeds

The Samsung 840 Evo has issues as well. It uses a MEX controller.

If you have one of those Macs, the most compatible product is Crucial. The older BX100 uses a Marvell controller. The current BX200 uses a Silicon Motion controller. We have installed a lot of Crucial users without issues.

The newer Samsung 850 Evo and newest Evo 750do do not appear to have such issues. If you have a Mac that is older than 2011, we still recommend Crucial SSDs for both reliability and cost savings.

Read more about the issue here.

Do check out our current range of Solid-State Drive (SSD) upgrades for your Mac.

Yet another black sheep repair shop

As we do Mac repairs as well, there’s a conflict of interest when we name other industry players with less honourable ethics so we can’t name them, lest we are accused of shaming our competitors. We only share the experiences of our customers because we feel that customers should be warned of such places.

This particular black sheep repair shop has 3 star ratings on their Facebook and their webpage lists several temporary operating locations in central and eastern areas of Singapore. It is helmed by foreigners.

My customer called to ask for advice regarding a Macbook Air repair that has water spillage that was supposedly repaired by that particular shop. He was charged $200+ for the repair, but after a few days, the Macbook Air was not able to charge. When we went back to the shop, they told him there was nothing further they could do because the logicboard was damaged and it needed a new logicboard, and the amount he was charged was not refundable.

I advised the customer to go back to ask for a refund instead of persuading him to bring his Macbook Air down for a repair with us as I did not want him to end up paying more for repairs without first closing his case with the first repair shop.

Another of our regular customer went to them to repair her Mac. She had forgotten that she had gotten her Mac serviced by us before and was satisfied with our service. She said she would have brought her Mac to us but went to them as she had forgotten about Mac Plus in her haste to get her Mac repaired. The company in question wanted to format her flash drive, citing that it had issues, even though the flash drive was not the component that she had gone there for repairs for.

Yet another customer called us to ask if we could diagnose his Macbook Pro Retina, as his computer could not start after speaker replacement done by the shop and they did not know what was wrong.

At Mac Plus, rest assured all our repairs comes with a no-repair, no-charge guarantee. Diagnosis is always free for preliminary checks. If further intensive diagnosis needs to be performed, we will inform you of the fees beforehand.