15" mpb early 2008 non-unibody for $500 a good buy?

Alag28

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Aug 23, 2006
374
9
I really love the non-unibody mbp and i saw a ad for a...

Early 2008 Model 15"
2.4ghz c2d
4gb
200gb
Very good condition. bright display, etc for $500

i think its a pretty fair deal...however april is a very big month for apple. My incentive here is owning a non unibody mbp but at the same time i dont want to be left behind tooo far back in terms of speed and technology.

what do u guys think?
 

Spink10

Suspended
Nov 3, 2011
4,259
1,002
Oklahoma
I really love the non-unibody mbp and i saw a ad for a...

Early 2008 Model 15"
2.4ghz c2d
4gb
200gb
Very good condition. bright display, etc for $500

i think its a pretty fair deal...however april is a very big month for apple. My incentive here is owning a non unibody mbp but at the same time i dont want to be left behind tooo far back in terms of speed and technology.

what do u guys think?
whats your budget? How long to save enough for a far superior model?
 

Alag28

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Aug 23, 2006
374
9
its not so much being on a budget...i can wait but i figured if its a good deal AND its my fav laptop model..why not?? type of deal. of course i would love the ivy bridge models but then were talking about 1300-1500$..
 

donklaus

macrumors member
Mar 6, 2011
68
9
I had one just like it ....

Which I sold last fall for $800. It had a new logic board (important because the GPU in this model has been known to fail), 6 GB of RAM (it does support this amount, though Apple does not acknowledge this), and a 750 GB, 7200 rpm Scorpio Black HD. Ran Lion, CS4 and Office 2011 smoothly. Plus, its a classy looking machine - you'll notice that this case style is still the most common type you'll see in advertising and other lifestyle images.

I think $500 is a good price if it still looks good and everything words (check the Superdrive). You can do the upgrades like mine easy enough, though hard drives aren't as cheap now as they were then.
 

Alag28

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Aug 23, 2006
374
9
thanks don,

do u have any recommendations on how i can kinda test the gpu right there on the spot when im checking out the computer before i buy it?
 

cyclotron451

macrumors regular
Mar 16, 2005
218
1
Europe
check for mandatory new motherboard if 8600 or 9600 GPU

...test the gpu..?
well, the nVidia GPUs from that era were faulty due to a mismatch in the engineering materials that were used to build the actual chips. check out theinquirer.net the bump underfill had wrong characteristics - so the GPU chip soldering all fail given enough time & heat, thats on MBPs and Dells & HPs...

Some chips to avoid are nVidia MCP79/9400M chipset, and the nVidia G96/9600M GT GPU. http://s.tt/14bU3
This Apple knowledge base article mentions also the older hotter nVidia 8600 http://support.apple.com/kb/TS2377?viewlocale=en_US&locale=en_US
however I think it can best be summed up by this apple technician who has repaired many MBPs for this issue:

"MacInTouch Reader
I've performed over 400 of these nVidia repairs. It is the entire logicboard that is replaced. The replacement is a reworked board (reconditioned with replaced chip or seating process). The area around the PCB and GPU shows discoloring likely from the re-heat process.
Of these repairs, only 4 have been repeats (needing a 2nd board after +6 months).
Apple has never had an extension this long, so I expect it is that the MBP is seeing some longevity. However, don't expect it to last. I would have loved to been the fly on the wall when nVidia and Apple met to discuss the re-imbursement terms for these repairs. The logistics for parts, outsourcing of PCB/surface mount repairs, testing and depot/repair labor. And don't forget the consumer's lost time/costs.

One thing though, once the extension program is up, I wouldn't touch a used 15" MBP ever.
One should check the battery bay for the new MAC address to see if the board has been replaced. If not, walk away and consider something newer."
(fromhttp://www.macintouch.com/readerreports/macbookpro/topic3863-007.html)
 

thekev

macrumors 604
Aug 5, 2010
6,674
1,766
thanks don,

do u have any recommendations on how i can kinda test the gpu right there on the spot when im checking out the computer before i buy it?
Even if you stress tested it, it just means it's working without problems right then. It can still eventually fail, and models with that gpu are still less desirable (because of a known problem). It's just that if it stress tests fine it's not likely to anytime soon. There is no test worth performing when you go to buy something. When you stress test a machine, you leave it going for several hours, which will not damage a machine in proper working order.
 

mrlhxc

macrumors member
Aug 25, 2010
31
0
I would ignore

I wouldn't waste $500 on a 2008 model. It's not a bad price in terms of the used apple market but the problem for me is that year was notorious for having bad GPU's and chipsets. As people above mentioned. I personally know 3 people with 15" and 17" versions of the 2008 model. Apple replaced the one guys 3 times then gave him a 2009 version. The other 2 guys got screwed after 3 times. I would see if there every has been work on it before. Plus i think apple stopped the extended warranty on them now. They had the warranty extended even if you didn't purchase apple care because so many 2008 variants died.
 

frankle

macrumors newbie
Oct 20, 2009
7
3
Melbourne, AU
also note that if you plan on doing any audio production with a FireWire Soundcard you may run into issues ... they changed to a Lucid chipset from the trusty TI chipset and it was incompatible with so many FireWire Soundcards (RME Fireface 400 springs to mind first).

There are work arounds but it was a fault that Apple quietly fixed by reverting to TI chipsets half way through the model ... something they never admitted to doing and they never acknowledged the fault, they always blamed the Soundcards.