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Apple extends old MacBook Pro graphics warranty to three years

post #1 of 45
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Illustrating the scope of a flaw in older NVIDIA graphics chipsets, Apple has extended its special warranty on the GeForce 8600M GT in certain MacBook Pros from two to three years.

Those visiting Apple's support page for the video corruption and failure issues suffered by this portable generation have noticed that Apple has quietly added an extra year to its coverage, giving owners of the affected MacBook Pros free replacements as late as September 2011 depending on the date of purchase.

Apple hasn't explained why it's granting the extra time but reiterates the stance it held when it first made exceptions. After NVIDIA first tried to convince Apple that its 8600M GT parts weren't affected by a graphics failure problem harming computers from HP and other vendors, an Apple-led investigation found otherwise.

The issue is believed to be an inherent defect in all GeForce 8400M and 8600M graphics processors based on NVIDIA's choice of non-eutectic (varied melting point) contact material in the graphics chips. As the cores regularly hit a temperature that damages the contacts between the chip dies and the package they rest in, the parts are gradually worn down to where contacts break and produce either obvious visual glitches or no visuals at all.

An uproar from both owners of MacBook Pros and other affected notebooks prompted a lawsuit just this month that accused NVIDIA of inadequate design and asked it to compensate users for the cost of repairing these systems.

Claims exist that the GeForce 9600M in the unibody MacBook Pro may share the same material that led to the failures, but NVIDIA has denied this and says the material is the same used in a large range of chips that have been working properly. The GeForce 9400M integrated chipset uses a noticeably different material and isn't believed to be at risk.
post #2 of 45
Well, good move. Thankfully, I haven't been plageued by any of these issues. In fact, I haven't experienced really any issues with my Intel-based Mac products, but if I were I'd be happy about this.

Came a bit late, though.
post #3 of 45
I had this issue and my screen died because of it on my 17" MacBook Pro. Luckily, I walked straight into an authorized repairman and got it fixed without any hassle. Replaced the entire logic-board.

Nice work Apple. Hope this new one doesn't but out on me as well, but if it does, my AppleCare should still cover it.
post #4 of 45
I just dropped off my 15 inch MacBook Pro, and was pleasantly suprised that I am getting a "new" or rebuilt MacBook Pro within the week. I was sure the warranty was up, so this saved me from buying another new machine.
post #5 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by PG4G View Post

I had this issue and my screen died because of it on my 17" MacBook Pro. Luckily, I walked straight into an authorized repairman and got it fixed without any hassle. Replaced the entire logic-board.

Nice work Apple. Hope this new one doesn't but out on me as well, but if it does, my AppleCare should still cover it.

Glad you got it fixed quickly. I have the same chip in my MBP. The unit was a refurbished model so they may have replaced the motherboard already. The question is if the chip fails after 3 years what then? If there is an inherent fault in the chip that can fail at any time is the supplier not liable?
post #6 of 45
Got a suspect machine, no symptoms yet.

Is there any method to check for this?

thanks in advance.
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post #7 of 45
It really sucks that current MBPs are (likely) affected by this too, as seemingly proven by that investigation by The Register. I hope we see a GPU bump at WWDC. Get that 8600 crap out of the MBPs.
post #8 of 45
That is good of Apple however in the UK the Sale of Goods act 1979 actually gives a six-year period for replacement or refund on such inherently defective items. There is an onus on the consumer to prove the defect, but given that every fault with any Apple product is blogged about ad nauseam this shouldn't be a problem.

http://www.berr.gov.uk/whatwedo/cons...page38311.html

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post #9 of 45
There is no method to check. If you have a NVIDIA 8600 GT in your MacBook Pro, you could be affected.

Don't worry though, guys, if you have any issue, then just take it to Apple and they'll deal with it.

Apple is responsible and will pay for the fix. Apple will then pass those great costs onto NVIDIA.

As a bonus, the 8600 GT is inbuilt - meaning to fix the issue, they must replace all components on the logic board. So apart from the hard drive, screen and battery, you practically get a new mac at the same time.
post #10 of 45
So what happens to people who've experienced this failure, and have had their graphics cards replaced with yet another 8600M GT? Will these break too?
post #11 of 45
I had mine fail too - a late 2007 Mac Book Pro 15" - took it into the apple store and they fixed it in 3 days. Not too bad, but obviously I'd rather it didn't break!
post #12 of 45
I have a Santa Rosa 2.4 ghz 17" MB Pro and had the mobo replaced recently for the video issue at hand. I also had the display replaced about two weeks ago due to a dark spot that showed up on the right side of the display. New display has like two dead pixels. Oh the joy of owning a Mac and it being trouble free. /sarcasm
post #13 of 45
My 17" MBP is also developing a darker spot, but on the left hand side. I'm leaving it as is till it gets too bad, but before my warranty goes.
post #14 of 45
Just got the notification from the updater. For 15-inch and 17-inch models, well the ones that are affected anyway.

Seems it will vary the fan speed, or make it kick in earlier. I wonder if it'll be any louder (I assume it will.)
post #15 of 45
Yeah, it is louder if it gets really hot (because the fan now works better / faster) but it also seems to be making the fan kick in with low power at even lower temps so you don't notice it coming on any more. Makes sure you can't get to those temps where it needs to work mighty hard to cool it, basically.
post #16 of 45
Mine bit the dust (screen was totally blank) at the beginning of May. I dropped it off to an Apple authorized dealer on a Wednesday at 2 PM and it was fixed and ready to go by 12 PM the next day. Really fantastic service.
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post #17 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flounder View Post

Mine bit the dust (screen was totally blank) at the beginning of May. I dropped it off to an Apple authorized dealer on a Wednesday at 2 PM and it was fixed and ready to go by 12 PM the next day. Really fantastic service.

Well that's certainly encouraging. Glad you had such a good experience.
post #18 of 45
My repair was taken in at 1PM and was fixed 9AM the next day. I was quite happy with the service too.
post #19 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post

Just got the notification from the updater. For 15-inch and 17-inch models, well the ones that are affected anyway.

Yes I got an SMC update today as well.
post #20 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacTripper View Post

Got a suspect machine, no symptoms yet.

Is there any method to check for this?

thanks in advance.

Is it a MacBook Pro with an 8600 graphics card? Then it is defective and the graphic processing unit WILL fail. It's a matter of time.

We're really talking about how long it takes for an improperly placed gel to burn off. Depending on your usage and how improperly it was place, you have anywhere from 6 months to 5 years.

Sounds really crappy for a $2000-$2500 computer. I'm waiting for Apple to issue recalls. Then I'll be happy.
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post #21 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by PG4G View Post

Yeah, it is louder if it gets really hot (because the fan now works better / faster) but it also seems to be making the fan kick in with low power at even lower temps so you don't notice it coming on any more. Makes sure you can't get to those temps where it needs to work mighty hard to cool it, basically.

In short, people will have to endure lower battery times for cooler performance.
post #22 of 45
I haven't noticed any change to battery times, actually.
post #23 of 45
So if I have one but nothing has happened so far, what should I do?

Should I be preventative and bring it in now?

What do they use to replace it with? Is it just the same card?

Thanks for any info!
post #24 of 45
No Frankie, don't take it in. They haven't recalled it, and its debatable if they should or not. Still, Apple will say its still working, so warranty doesn't apply.

If you have any issues, take it to an Apple Authorized technician. They will replace the Mac's logic board, which is basically everything and the kitchen sink in your computer. That includes the CPU, GPU, and everything else apart from RAM, Hard Drive, Superdrive, Screen, keyboard and trackpad.

TBH, as an Apple Authorized Tech myself, I love doing it lol. MacBook Pro 17" are a dream to pull apart lol. Too bad I wasn't authorized when it happened to me.
post #25 of 45
[/LEFT]
Quote:
Originally Posted by PG4G View Post

There is no method to check. If you have a NVIDIA 8600 GT in your MacBook Pro, you could be affected.

Actually, there is a test but available only to Apple authorized service providers. Though my MacBook Pro (15-inch 2.4/2.2GHz) with 2 years left in my Applecare warranty does not show any symptoms, it was tested with this app, it passed so no repair needed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PG4G View Post

TBH, as an Apple Authorized Tech myself, I love doing it lol. MacBook Pro 17" are a dream to pull apart lol. Too bad I wasn't authorized when it happened to me.

Since you're Apple tech, you should have access to the app at service source. I'm not an Apple tech but know someone who is.
post #26 of 45
Got a 8800 GS in my iMac. So no problems there? Nvidia got their stuff together after the 8600?
post #27 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by dronkert View Post

Got a 8800 GS in my iMac. So no problems there? Nvidia got their stuff together after the 8600?

There are no known widespread issues with the NVIDIA GeForce 8800GS. This is ONLY for the MacBook Pros that shipped with the 8600GT graphics chip.

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post #28 of 45
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post #29 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by PG4G View Post

I haven't noticed any change to battery times, actually.

It's a balance between low speed fan running more frequently to overdrive fan speeds. If the low speed fan actually draws less total power for it's use to keep the system pro-actively cool then it's a win/win for you.
post #30 of 45
Hi

I managed to either make it look like my MBP GPU had failed - or - I managed to bring on the fault, either way here's what I did...

I bought a DVI->HDMI cable so that I could use my MBP through my plasma TV. (I was considering buying a MacMini).

At the time I didn't realise there was a procedure for unpluging the TV from my MBP. Apparently you're suposed to remove the cable when the clam shell is OPEN???

After unplugging the DVI lead I opened my MBP but the display was dead. I used my iMac to do a screen share, this was fine and everything seemed okay. I checked out the display settings but the MBP was only recognising my TV aspect ratio.

I plugged the DVI cable back in but there was no output to my TV - here's where I did something real silly...

I thought it would be a good idea to re-install OSX using screen sharing. Obviously this didn't work as once the installation began, I lost all network connections - silly boy!

When I visited the Apple Store for help they performed some basic checks, was the power button having any effect (it wasn't) etc. Their recommendation was to replace the logic board under my AppleCare warranty.

Hopefully I now have a MBP with a GPU that isn't going to die on me???
post #31 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by PG4G View Post

There is no method to check. If you have a NVIDIA 8600 GT in your MacBook Pro, you could be affecte....

Every heard of the "System Profiler" app that comes with every single mac?

Under the Apple Menu, select "About this mac", then hit the "More Info..." button, then select the "Graphics/Displays" option from the left window pane.

"Suspect" MBP + 8600 = bad chip = eventual failure (It's a good bet that all 8600's are defective since this problems seems to apply across the whole industry.)

Also, you can install a widget such as "iStat Pro" to see what temperature your GPU runs at.

Mine runs at 75 to 81 C -- frackin hot! I'm on my second motherboard, heading for another. Mine was replaced with the same motherboard and faulty GPU, thus with that and the high temps I am anticipating another eventual GPU failure. Apple is just using up their stock of bad mobos as replacements so that as many users buy new machines eventually, their ultimate costs of addressing this issue will be lower.

Glad Apple is taking at least some responsibility for this fiasco.
post #32 of 45
If you have an affected MBP, run software update! (same as discussed above)

You will see...

MacBook Pro SMC Firmware Update version 1.3

"This SMC Firmware update adjusts the fan behavior in MacBook Pro systems (15-inch and 17-inch) when running under high workload conditions.

The updater application will be installed in the /Applications/Utilities folder and will launch automatically. Please follow the instructions in the updater application to complete the update process."
post #33 of 45
If you have an affected MBP, run software update! (same as discussed above)

You will see...

----------------
MacBook Pro SMC Firmware Update version 1.3

"This SMC Firmware update adjusts the fan behavior in MacBook Pro systems (15-inch and 17-inch) when running under high workload conditions.

The updater application will be installed in the /Applications/Utilities folder and will launch automatically. Please follow the instructions in the updater application to complete the update process."

----------------

It was posted this past Friday. Here's the link...

http://www.apple.com/downloads/macos...eupdate13.html
post #34 of 45
well, i have a R1,1 with an X1600, which has had a main board replacement 2 times, the last one last month (good thing I paid for the extended, extended warranty.) The video card has been artifact hell when it gets hot.

the Genius told me...(psst psst) do all you can to have that sucker die ibefore you get to the end of your warranty this september).... the 3rd replacement (lemon) could be something new....

imho, somthing that dies several times in so many years is not so good...

i guess i should wrap this sucker in Saran Wrap and let 'er rip?
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post #35 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by gearhunter View Post

Hi

I managed to either make it look like my MBP GPU had failed - or - I managed to bring on the fault, either way here's what I did...

I bought a DVI->HDMI cable so that I could use my MBP through my plasma TV. (I was considering buying a MacMini).

At the time I didn't realise there was a procedure for unpluging the TV from my MBP. Apparently you're suposed to remove the cable when the clam shell is OPEN???

After unplugging the DVI lead I opened my MBP but the display was dead. I used my iMac to do a screen share, this was fine and everything seemed okay. I checked out the display settings but the MBP was only recognising my TV aspect ratio.

I plugged the DVI cable back in but there was no output to my TV - here's where I did something real silly...

I thought it would be a good idea to re-install OSX using screen sharing. Obviously this didn't work as once the installation began, I lost all network connections - silly boy!

When I visited the Apple Store for help they performed some basic checks, was the power button having any effect (it wasn't) etc. Their recommendation was to replace the logic board under my AppleCare warranty.

Hopefully I now have a MBP with a GPU that isn't going to die on me???

i have the same set up as you .

When using the dvi- hdmi cable;'s to marry your MBP to your hi=def TV >>>> Both machines have to be off when connecting /un-connecting.ok.

Next time go to the apple discussion boards for help / or call a genius bar .In fact if one genius bar is busy, you can call another genius bar farther away .

Buy a pro care card /Its worth every penny .

I also have a habit of clicking away when disaster strikes.


also i have a question about this set up do both devices have to have the same screen resolution. ??

peace

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post #36 of 45
Installed the firmware update. Ran a little stress test by downloading a bunch of stuff from iTunes, running a bunch of other apps, screen saver and some other stuff. This would usually make my MBP hot to the touch. Now it's just balmy warm. The GPU has dropped down to ~73C from it's usual ~80C under similar circumstances, BUT the fans are now running at a steady 5000+ rpm which is a bit noisy. Not really digging the fan noise, but I guess it's okay for now... \
post #37 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by PG4G View Post

No Frankie, don't take it in. They haven't recalled it, and its debatable if they should or not. Still, Apple will say its still working, so warranty doesn't apply.

If you have any issues, take it to an Apple Authorized technician. They will replace the Mac's logic board, which is basically everything and the kitchen sink in your computer. That includes the CPU, GPU, and everything else apart from RAM, Hard Drive, Superdrive, Screen, keyboard and trackpad.

TBH, as an Apple Authorized Tech myself, I love doing it lol. MacBook Pro 17" are a dream to pull apart lol. Too bad I wasn't authorized when it happened to me.

If it's under Applecare, Apple will replace it no problem. If it's not, you're probably screwed.

I also work as an Apple tech, and it's made me hate Apple in ways I never thought possible. Any iMac with an iSight on it (minus the white 24") should be crammed right up the backside of the prick who designed them. They're a pain in the balls to get apart. But I digress. If the MBP is out of warrant but potentially covered by the extension, the service provider MUST run a graphics tester on them. Plug in imaged hard drive, hold down D key on boot, wait for power LED to flash. Unplug from MBP, plug into working Mac, check text file. The thing is, 9 times out of 10 it tells us that no eligible video card was found. We still get a code that can be submitted to Apple, but they decide if it's covered and the answer is generally no. Customers call in and usually get shot down trying to get coverage. These are MBPs that are very clearly affected by the 8600GT issue.

Apple clearly did this as a PR move and has little interest in actually fixing their defective products. Earlier REPs (iMac G5s, for instance) were a piece of cake. Now Apple is making sure they can limit the number of covered REPs in any way they can. I've seen people less than a month out of the one year warranty get screwed.
post #38 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by sandau View Post

well, i have a R1,1 with an X1600, which has had a main board replacement 2 times, the last one last month (good thing I paid for the extended, extended warranty.) The video card has been artifact hell when it gets hot.

the Genius told me...(psst psst) do all you can to have that sucker die ibefore you get to the end of your warranty this september).... the 3rd replacement (lemon) could be something new....

imho, somthing that dies several times in so many years is not so good...

i guess i should wrap this sucker in Saran Wrap and let 'er rip?



Saran wrap might leave some melty type residue. Try a shag rug or a big cotton sweat shirt instead!
post #39 of 45
I read this article last week and sent it to a few friends with the same machine. This morning out of the blue (just 2 weeks before it's 2nd birthday) I think it's just happened to me.

System profiler shows it as a MacBookPro3,1 When it was working it registered as having a 8600 GT with 256Mb or 512Mb (I can't quite remember) but now:

Graphics/Displays:

Intel GMA X3100:

Chipset Model: GMA X3100
Type: Display
Bus: Built-In
VRAM (Total): 64 MB of Shared System Memory
Vendor: Intel (0x8086)
Device ID: 0x2a02
Revision ID: 0x0003
Displays:
Display Connector:

BTW I had to use SSH and the command line version of the system profiler to get this info. Apart from the total lack video the computer still seems to function fine, currently I'm using it via Target Disk Mode via a MacMini to work.

It's a US model, but have booked to take it into an Apple Store in London later this week so will keep you guys updated.
post #40 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by dronkert View Post

Got a 8800 GS in my iMac. So no problems there? Nvidia got their stuff together after the 8600?

I wouldn't have thought there is any real connection between the design of these products the current failures. The 8600GT in question is a high performance mobile graphics processor as such is stressed quite heavily. The 8800GS in the iMac is newer, lower down the 8800 range and benefits from better cooling.

It's unfortunate these units (8600GT) have what is probably a fabrication flaw which leads to a high failure rate after a period of use. In all it's been quite embarrassing NVIDIA.
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