Apple extends old MacBook Pro graphics warranty to three years

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware edited January 2014
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.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 44
    quadra 610quadra 610 Posts: 6,743member
    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.
  • Reply 2 of 44
    pg4gpg4g Posts: 383member
    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.
  • Reply 3 of 44
    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.
  • Reply 4 of 44
    doggonedoggone Posts: 181member
    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?
  • Reply 5 of 44
    mactrippermactripper Posts: 1,328member
    Got a suspect machine, no symptoms yet.



    Is there any method to check for this?



    thanks in advance.
  • Reply 6 of 44
    bluevoidbluevoid Posts: 72member
    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.
  • Reply 7 of 44
    mrtotesmrtotes Posts: 759member
    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



    mrtotes
  • Reply 8 of 44
    pg4gpg4g Posts: 383member
    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.
  • Reply 9 of 44
    itistodayitistoday Posts: 43member
    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?
  • Reply 10 of 44
    eaieai Posts: 417member
    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!
  • Reply 11 of 44
    ghostface147ghostface147 Posts: 1,629member
    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
  • Reply 12 of 44
    pg4gpg4g Posts: 383member
    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.
  • Reply 13 of 44
    quadra 610quadra 610 Posts: 6,743member
    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.)
  • Reply 14 of 44
    pg4gpg4g Posts: 383member
    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.
  • Reply 15 of 44
    flounderflounder Posts: 2,674member
    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.
  • Reply 16 of 44
    quadra 610quadra 610 Posts: 6,743member
    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.
  • Reply 17 of 44
    pg4gpg4g Posts: 383member
    My repair was taken in at 1PM and was fixed 9AM the next day. I was quite happy with the service too.
  • Reply 18 of 44
    ghostface147ghostface147 Posts: 1,629member
    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.
  • Reply 19 of 44
    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.
  • Reply 20 of 44
    mdriftmeyermdriftmeyer Posts: 7,259member
    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.
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