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Apple says some MacBook Pros affected by faulty Nvidia chips

post #1 of 51
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Apple said this week some of its more recent MacBook Pro models may contain faulty Nvidia graphics chips that produce distorted video or fail completely.

The problem

In July, Nvidia informed the Securities and Exchange Commission that it would incur a $150 million to $200 million charge to cover repair and replacement expenses resulting from "a weak die/packaging material set" in certain versions of its previous MCP and GPU products employed by various notebook vendors.

"The previous generation MCP and GPU products that are impacted were included in a number of notebook products that were shipped and sold in significant quantities," the chipmaker told the Commission. "Certain notebook configurations of these MCP and GPU products are failing in the field at higher than normal rates."

When contacted by AppleInsider shortly after the filing, officials for Nvidia refused to confirm or deny whether Apple was among the notebook manufacturers affected by the issue, citing "confidentiality obligations" to its customers that prevent it from discussing the matter.

For its part, Apple also contacted Nvidia in July and was assured "that Mac computers with these graphics processors were not affected," it revealed in a support document for the first time this week.

"However, after an Apple-led investigation, Apple has determined that some MacBook Pro computers with the NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GT graphics processor may be affected," the company said. "If the NVIDIA graphics processor in your MacBook Pro has failed, or fails within two years of the original date of purchase, a repair will be done free of charge, even if your MacBook Pro is out of warranty."

Affected MacBook Pros and symptoms

Among the models affected are those that were manufactured between approximately May 2007 and September 2008. They include the MacBook Pro (15-Inch, 2.4/2.2GHz), MacBook Pro (17-Inch, 2.4GHz), and MacBook Pro (Early 2008).

Customers who own one of these systems should look for instances of distorted or scrambled video on their screen, or the absence of video on the screenÂ*(or external display) when the computer is running.

Getting your MacBook Pro repaired

"If your MacBook Pro is exhibiting any of the symptoms listed above, please take it to an Apple Retail Store or an Apple Authorized Service Provider (AASP) for evaluation, or call your local Apple Contact Center," Apple said. "Before visiting the Genius Bar at the Apple Retail Store, please make a reservation."

Apple is also issuing refunds to customers who may have paid for repairs related to this issue. These customers should contact Apple for details on the refund process.

Lawsuit

Despite Nvidia's claim that its graphics chip failures were limited to a certain number of chips manufactured for a certain number of notebooks, the Inquirer in July charged the company with masking the severity of the problem, alleging that "all the G84 and G86 parts are bad. Period. No exceptions."

"All of them, mobile and desktop, use the exact same ASIC, so expect them to go south in inordinate numbers as well," the publication said.

Last month, Nvidia shareholders joined the fight by filing a class-action lawsuit, accusing the company of violating federal securities laws by concealing the existence of a serious defect in its graphics chip line for at least eight months Âin a series of false and misleading statements made to the investing public.Â

As a result of its denials, the shareholders claim the company underestimated expenses and overestimated revenues, which led to "a material negative impact on the company's financial condition, financial statements and future business prospects."
post #2 of 51
Quote:
"However, after an Apple-led investigation, Apple has determined that some MacBook Pro computers with the NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GT graphics processor may be affected," the company said. "If the NVIDIA graphics processor in your MacBook Pro has failed, or fails within two years of the original date of purchase, a repair will be done free of charge, even if your MacBook Pro is out of warranty."

This is what I'm talking about, now I need to keep note of this article
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post #3 of 51
Well, I have occasional graphics glitches, maybe once a month or so. Essentially the display becomes garbled, but bits of the image are still there, just often in the wrong place or much too large etc. Not sure it's worth me doing anything about it though...

I've a MacBook Pro 15" from October 2007...
post #4 of 51
bag, cat, out.
post #5 of 51
This happened to me a couple weeks ago, went through the whole process of having the logic board replaced. Works fine afterwards.

There is a great thread over at apple support that has complete coverage of this issue:

http://discussions.apple.com/thread....readID=1478474

Took me about a week to get my computer back once i sent it out... no cost to me since it was still under warranty.
post #6 of 51
This is what several of us have been saying.

It's a well known issue in PCland, and has been for a while.

I'm sorry it caught up to Apple.
post #7 of 51
Hmm, I wonder though, do anyone experience this issue?

Sometime after waking up from sleep or after returning from BootCamp, my MBP display color is bluish, it can be easily fixed by going to system pref -> display, after that the color will return to normal.

Anyone have this problem?
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post #8 of 51
Oops. Kind of makes you hope the new MacBooks aren't going to have nVidia chipsets, doesn't it?
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post #9 of 51
That may be true that this problem is now affecting Apple machines. But good luck getting a PC manufacturer to offer what Apple just did! Fixing it within 2 yrs even if it's out of warranty???

In PC world you get what you get with very limited crappy support. Good luck jumping through hoops to get anything taken care of with quality if at all.
post #10 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by wheelhot View Post

Hmm, I wonder though, do anyone experience this issue?

Sometime after waking up from sleep or after returning from BootCamp, my MBP display color is bluish, it can be easily fixed by going to system pref -> display, after that the color will return to normal.

Anyone have this problem?

I have this problem =P

Best,

Kasper
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post #11 of 51
tsk tsk, nVidia, they can't get anything right atm it seems.
post #12 of 51
Personally, my 2.4GHz MBP (bought Aug 07) has not experienced any graphics-related problems. Am I just lucky or do these problems affect just a handful of users?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post

Oops. Kind of makes you hope the new MacBooks aren't going to have nVidia chipsets, doesn't it?

We'll see on Tuesday!

Quote:
Originally Posted by cddude View Post

...Fixing it within 2 yrs even if it's out of warranty???

In PC world you get what you get with very limited crappy support. Good luck jumping through hoops to get anything taken care of with quality if at all.

100% true. Although then, anyone looking for quick $$$ would be able to sue Nvidia for knowingly selling you a bad product...but since we are provided a fix, it's kind of hard for us to claim any kind of damages.
post #13 of 51
I had a PowerBook which was a lemon and died after a year without warning. Right during a very busy period for me. Apple replaced it with a MacBook Pro, which acted oddly since the day I bought it. When I heard about this bad GPU issue I checked and was horrified to find i had one. Called the guy who had replaced it. Said, please replace this! I have a very solid work schedule and have a strong feeling this will die. He said Apple isn't acknowledging the problem, please keep it until it breaks. Which it did. without warning. literally at the height of a busy schedule. I hope after replacing the logic board I have a gpu which is safe....
post #14 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain Jack View Post

tsk tsk, nVidia, they can't get anything right atm it seems.

Maybe they will now

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post #15 of 51
That's good to know. My MBP has that chip and has had some pretty severe graphics problems. Every so often the entire machine will seemingly lock up, but the cursor will still move. After 20 seconds or so it starts to respond again, but only for about 5 seconds. After 2 or three cycles the entire machine locks up, including the cursor and it has to be force-restarted. What's interesting is that applications seem to continue running. If iTunes is playing music, for example, the audio continues to play as if nothing had happened.

At one point this was happening every day, but now it's more like every few weeks and I usually have enough chances to shut everything down.

I also have similar symptoms where the display locks up under heavy load, but it doesn't take the system down.
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post #16 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by eAi View Post

Well, I have occasional graphics glitches, maybe once a month or so. Essentially the display becomes garbled, but bits of the image are still there, just often in the wrong place or much too large etc. Not sure it's worth me doing anything about it though...

I've a MacBook Pro 15" from October 2007...

Yeah, I'm kind of in the same boat. I've had the scrambled video twice and the blank screen once or twice since purchasing my MBP in March. Do they just take my word for it, or do I need to demonstrate the problem? Do I just hope it doesn't get worse and risk it crapping out completely at 2 years + 1 month?

Guess I'll sit tight for now and see how the next few months go...
post #17 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wiggin View Post

Yeah, I'm kind of in the same boat. I've had the scrambled video twice and the blank screen once or twice since purchasing my MBP in March. Do they just take my word for it, or do I need to demonstrate the problem? Do I just hope it doesn't get worse and risk it crapping out completely at 2 years + 1 month?

Guess I'll sit tight for now and see how the next few months go...

Usually if the technicians are familiar with the problem they'll know how to reproduce it. If not they'll probably do it anyway based on your description. It's not like you gain anything from the repair.
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post #18 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kasper View Post

I have this problem =P

Best,

Kasper

I think i have this too. The display keep shut it off after I used loads of graphics. After reset PVRAM, it turns to be ok for a while before the cycle once again repeat. My question is, what kind of proof should I show Apple service provider to have my macbook pro fixed? I am not sure the article here can be used as a official document. Any links to official announcement from Apple?
post #19 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by wheelhot View Post

Hmm, I wonder though, do anyone experience this issue?

Sometime after waking up from sleep or after returning from BootCamp, my MBP display color is bluish, it can be easily fixed by going to system pref -> display, after that the color will return to normal.

Anyone have this problem?

Yes, I had this problem before my MBP failed to display anything.

It is an early symptom. Later, the screen would remain black even as it booted up, never to come on.

Apple replaced the LCD and the main logic board the first time this happened. They replaced the logic board the second time it happened. Makes me glad I bought Applecare and Procare too.

So I am on my third logic board - hoping they offer me a discount on a new MBP the next time it happens.
post #20 of 51
Quote:
In PC world you get what you get with very limited crappy support. Good luck jumping through hoops to get anything taken care of with quality if at all.

True!

Quote:
It is an early symptom. Later, the screen would remain black even as it booted up, never to come on.

Apple replaced the LCD and the main logic board the first time this happened. They replaced the logic board the second time it happened. Makes me glad I bought Applecare and Procare too.

So I am on my third logic board - hoping they offer me a discount on a new MBP the next time it happens.

Thanks for telling me that, I will keep it in mind if it happens, oh yeah, so its a GPU problem and not a OS bug?
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post #21 of 51
That's funny that I should read this article today after my system just had a video glitch this morning.

The thing though is that mine is a 17" 2.5 MBP and it was the first time it happened. Basically after the battery died and after a night of charging it, when I turned it on it gave me this static distorted color. I'm guessing that it was more so a boot up error or something like that. But should I still get it checked?
post #22 of 51
Maybe this is why Spore hangs so often in the Space stage (I've got it installed in Mac OS X, not in Windows). But it's weird, the only glitch I get when on Windows isn't during games, it's only occasionally when booting Windows, the screen is black, but the computer is responsive and I can reboot without a hard reset. No bugs during game playing so maybe it's a Mac Spore bug in the first case and a BootCamp bug in the second. If it gets worse I'll be sure to take it to Apple, that's for sure.
post #23 of 51
I would think that Apple would have their supply contract such that the supplier pays for all expenses if their chip fails.
post #24 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by heffeque View Post

Maybe this is why Spore hangs so often in the Space stage (I've got it installed in Mac OS X, not in Windows). But it's weird, the only glitch I get when on Windows isn't during games, it's only occasionally when booting Windows, the screen is black, but the computer is responsive and I can reboot without a hard reset. No bugs during game playing so maybe it's a Mac Spore bug in the first case and a BootCamp bug in the second. If it gets worse I'll be sure to take it to Apple, that's for sure.

I think it is a Spore issue and not a gpu problem. The only Spore crash I had was in the Space stage.

The total failure results in black screens - both on the lcd and external monitors.

I could remotely access my MBP and boot it up in target mode too. Mine is a 15" MBP 3,1 - July 2007. That black screen would worry me. But in my case once I got that - I never got a working screen again.
post #25 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Leithal View Post

Yes, I had this problem before my MBP failed to display anything.

It is an early symptom. Later, the screen would remain black even as it booted up, never to come on.

Apple replaced the LCD and the main logic board the first time this happened. They replaced the logic board the second time it happened. Makes me glad I bought Applecare and Procare too.

So I am on my third logic board - hoping they offer me a discount on a new MBP the next time it happens.

I have the same problem, only affects my laptop screen but doesn't affect my external display which is strange, if it was a GPU glitch i would expect it on my external! Also i have a small line on the edge of my screen where it appears a few pixels have killed themselves! Are dead pixels covered in Apple Care?

I have a 15inch Macbook Pro bought in Nov 07

I shall be keeping an eye on this!
post #26 of 51
Unfortunately I have experienced screen tearing and screen corruption and I have an iMac with an ATI x1600. but I also owned a PC and made the unfortunate switch to vista only to find out my Vista ready Nvidia card couldn't handle 3D intensive task's such as vista screen savers due to Nvidia not building proper drivers for Vista. But I thank Microsoft and Nvidia together for building crap software cause it only encouraged me to buy this Mac I have today and I will gladly put up with the occasional screen tear and corruption.

on another note:
I have shown 5 people at work the ease and flexability of Mac OS X and they all were avid windows users. They all have made the switch and love there Mac's and don't know why they didn't switch earlier.

I'll be waiting for Microsoft to roll over and die.
post #27 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

I would think that Apple would have their supply contract such that the supplier pays for all expenses if their chip fails.

Isn't what the article implies?

"In July, Nvidia informed the Securities and Exchange Commission that it would incur a $150 million to $200 million charge to cover repair and replacement expenses resulting from "a weak die/packaging material set" in certain versions of its previous MCP and GPU products employed by various notebook vendors."
post #28 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by wheelhot View Post

Hmm, I wonder though, do anyone experience this issue?

Sometime after waking up from sleep or after returning from BootCamp, my MBP display color is bluish, it can be easily fixed by going to system pref -> display, after that the color will return to normal.

Anyone have this problem?

Yeah, this is an ancient problem (was around on PowerBooks and in Tiger) and not related to this. The Color Profile system crashes, and you just have to load up Terminal and run:

/System/Library/Frameworks/ApplicationServices.framework/Versions/A/Frameworks/CoreGraphics.framework/Versions/A/Resources/DMProxy
post #29 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by rnaoncfixd View Post

That's funny that I should read this article today after my system just had a video glitch this morning.

The thing though is that mine is a 17" 2.5 MBP and it was the first time it happened. Basically after the battery died and after a night of charging it, when I turned it on it gave me this static distorted color. I'm guessing that it was more so a boot up error or something like that. But should I still get it checked?

Are you referring to the washed out gray screen that is present until the progress bar at the bottom finishes and the computer resumes normal operation? If so, I think that's normal as mine does the same thing and only when the battery dies while I'm using the machine.
post #30 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikep123 View Post

Are you referring to the washed out gray screen that is present until the progress bar at the bottom finishes and the computer resumes normal operation? If so, I think that's normal as mine does the same thing and only when the battery dies while I'm using the machine.

That's it resuming from 'Deep Sleep', the equivalent of Window's Hibernate, essentially the RAM content is written to the hard disk. The progress bar is it loading back into RAM from the disk.
post #31 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by rnaoncfixd View Post

That's funny that I should read this article today after my system just had a video glitch this morning.

The thing though is that mine is a 17" 2.5 MBP and it was the first time it happened. Basically after the battery died and after a night of charging it, when I turned it on it gave me this static distorted color. I'm guessing that it was more so a boot up error or something like that. But should I still get it checked?

I have had the same problem occur on two occasions. If the battery runs out on my MBP (15" 2.4) OSX saves its current state and goes to sleep. When I plug it in and wake it up I see the little progress bar of OSX retrieving the state it was in but then when it goes to the login screen (i have it set to require a password to wake from sleep) I get a garbled noisy mess. I can see a garbled outline of the login dialogue box but no text boxes are legible. I don't even know where to click to attempt to login. I have just done a hard reboot on both occasions and everything was resolved. I wonder if this is a part of the issue with the GPU.
post #32 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by cddude View Post

That may be true that this problem is now affecting Apple machines. But good luck getting a PC manufacturer to offer what Apple just did! Fixing it within 2 yrs even if it's out of warranty???

In PC world you get what you get with very limited crappy support. Good luck jumping through hoops to get anything taken care of with quality if at all.

In April 2005 I purchased a Dell Inspiron 9300 with a 17" 1920x1200 screen and a 1 year warranty. In April/May 2007, just over 2 years from the purchase date, I started getting vertical pixel-wide lines on the screen. The direct2dell.com blog had an acknowledgement of the issue and said you could get the screen replaced no charge up to 3 years after purchase even if you only had a one year warranty. I called that morning, DHL arrived with a box at 1PM that had a foam cut out for my laptop and I had the repaired machine in my hands 3 days later, it still works to this day w/o a problem.

Later I discovered the 17" Powerbook owners were having the same issue with their 1920x1200 screens but that Apple was not acknowledging that it was their responsibility to fix unless you had AppleCare. This was not the temporary vertical line issue but permanent pixel wide lines in a rainbow of colors that didn't disapper on a restart.

I have Dell, Lenovo and Apple laptops and like them all, but I'll never drink the fanboy kool aid, ignore facts and try to make myself feel better by making up that Apple is perfect and PC makers are evil. That service from Dell was the reason I went back for a Dell desktop a year later.
post #33 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kasper View Post

I have this problem =P

Best,

Kasper

Same. I've sent it in twice already. Via Lemon Law, I might end up with a new comp at the end of this week! Gonna send it in again. Here's to hoping!
post #34 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by mavfan1 View Post

In April 2005 I purchased a Dell Inspiron 9300 with a 17" 1920x1200 screen and a 1 year warranty. In April/May 2007, just over 2 years from the purchase date, I started getting vertical pixel-wide lines on the screen. The direct2dell.com blog had an acknowledgement of the issue and said you could get the screen replaced no charge up to 3 years after purchase even if you only had a one year warranty. I called that morning, DHL arrived with a box at 1PM that had a foam cut out for my laptop and I had the repaired machine in my hands 3 days later, it still works to this day w/o a problem.

Later I discovered the 17" Powerbook owners were having the same issue with their 1920x1200 screens but that Apple was not acknowledging that it was their responsibility to fix unless you had AppleCare. This was not the temporary vertical line issue but permanent pixel wide lines in a rainbow of colors that didn't disapper on a restart.

I have Dell, Lenovo and Apple laptops and like them all, but I'll never drink the fanboy kool aid, ignore facts and try to make myself feel better by making up that Apple is perfect and PC makers are evil. That service from Dell was the reason I went back for a Dell desktop a year later.

Good service from Dell? I'm not saying apple is perfect, but this is the first I've heard of good experiences from Dell. All mine have been awful! Last time I called I needed to speak to head of sales regarding a purchase that had been canceled without anyone notifying me...
post #35 of 51
This sucks for Apple, since they have to take a hit to replace all the affected machines, but don't panic people.. AFAIK, The nVidia problem had to do with their manufacturing process involving a lead solder that would fail at a high-temperature on the video boards. They have made changes to the manufacturing process, and the boards that are failing were manufactured many-months-to-years ago.
Remember this when the new laptops are announced with nVidia chipsets. Assuming all the issues are worked out, it's a *POSITIVE* thing. nVidia's chipsets and integrated graphics chips are much more powerful than Intel's GMA. The graphics performance will be 2-3x faster, and all new nVidia chipsets have advanced hardware decoding of H264/VC-1 video with de-interlacing, iDCT, upconverting, noise reduction, etc.
post #36 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Abster2core View Post

Isn't what the article implies?

"In July, Nvidia informed the Securities and Exchange Commission that it would incur a $150 million to $200 million charge to cover repair and replacement expenses resulting from "a weak die/packaging material set" in certain versions of its previous MCP and GPU products employed by various notebook vendors."

You're right, I misread that.
post #37 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by winterspan View Post

nVidia's chipsets and integrated graphics chips are much more powerful than Intel's GMA. The graphics performance will be 2-3x faster, and all new nVidia chipsets have advanced hardware decoding of H264/VC-1 video with de-interlacing, iDCT, upconverting, noise reduction, etc.

By 2-3x faster than GMA... I suppose you mean 6-7x faster. An 8600m 256MB can run graphics stuff at least with 6x the FPS of an Intel GMA graphics card.

Same computer different graphics card:
3Dmark06:
8600m GT: 3347
X3100: 522

3Dmark05:
8600m GT: 6175
X3100: 807

It's certainly not the same to play games at 10 FPS than at 70 FPS, that's for sure.
post #38 of 51
eep that's my graphics card and MacBook Pro model It's from August 2007...

and I think I've suffered from the effects too...

When I try to play Video Podcasts in iTunes they play for about 1 second and then the whole computer freezes for 10~ seconds and then the audio starts playing for another 3 seconds and then the whole machine freezes forever until you shut off the power anyone think that might be a problem related to the graphics card?

I've also had my MacBook Pro, while doing multiple things including iTunes, do this ear-piercingly amazingly loud 'beeeep' noise for 1/2 a second and the display goes black and the computer freezes up (I'm assuming as I can't see anything plus the music stops)... the noise is the one of the loudest things I've heard, scares me soooo much when it does it luckily it's only ever done it twice though...

Anyone else had these problems/know if they might be related to the graphics card?
post #39 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by bleach1st View Post

eep that's my graphics card and MacBook Pro model It's from August 2007...

and I think I've suffered from the effects too...

When I try to play Video Podcasts in iTunes they play for about 1 second and then the whole computer freezes for 10~ seconds and then the audio starts playing for another 3 seconds and then the whole machine freezes forever until you shut off the power anyone think that might be a problem related to the graphics card?

I've also had my MacBook Pro, while doing multiple things including iTunes, do this ear-piercingly amazingly loud 'beeeep' noise for 1/2 a second and the display goes black and the computer freezes up (I'm assuming as I can't see anything plus the music stops)... the noise is the one of the loudest things I've heard, scares me soooo much when it does it luckily it's only ever done it twice though...

Anyone else had these problems/know if they might be related to the graphics card?

You have a hardware problem, that's for sure :-O
post #40 of 51
Although clearly I am very biased, I think this is overall good for nVidia and Apple.

Here's my take. nVidia chipsets and GPUs, are still very good. But Apple, is making it clear, "Yes, there were screw ups. But we've still got confidence in nVidia. So we'll fix the mistakes, and going forward, we're still confident in nVidia and how it will take Macs to the next level..."
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