Apple says some MacBook Pros affected by faulty Nvidia chips

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware edited January 2014
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 Â?in 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."
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 50
    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
  • Reply 2 of 50
    eaieai Posts: 417member
    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...
  • Reply 3 of 50
    bag, cat, out.
  • Reply 4 of 50
    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.
  • Reply 5 of 50
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,029member
    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.
  • Reply 6 of 50
    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?
  • Reply 7 of 50
    mr. hmr. h Posts: 4,698member
    Oops. Kind of makes you hope the new MacBooks aren't going to have nVidia chipsets, doesn't it?
  • Reply 8 of 50
    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.
  • Reply 9 of 50
    kasperkasper Posts: 941member, administrator
    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
  • Reply 10 of 50
    tsk tsk, nVidia, they can't get anything right atm it seems.
  • Reply 11 of 50
    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.
  • Reply 12 of 50
    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....
  • Reply 13 of 50
    robb01robb01 Posts: 148member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Captain Jack View Post


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



    Maybe they will now



    __________________

  • Reply 14 of 50
    ringoringo Posts: 328member
    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.
  • Reply 15 of 50
    wigginwiggin Posts: 2,258member
    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...
  • Reply 16 of 50
    ringoringo Posts: 328member
    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.
  • Reply 17 of 50
    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?
  • Reply 18 of 50
    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.
  • Reply 19 of 50
    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?
  • Reply 20 of 50
    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?
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