2015 15" MBP Electric Burning Smell

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Acejam2k, Nov 18, 2015.

  1. Acejam2k macrumors regular

    Jul 16, 2008
    Hey folks,

    I purchased a 2015 15" MacbookPro about 2 weeks ago from BestBuy. It was the fully spec'd 15" model with the 2.8 i7, AMD dGPU, and 1TB SSD. I purchased it from them (instead of the Apple Store) because it was $160 cheaper. (On sale)

    Fast forward 2 weeks to the other night: I'm compiling some iPhone 4K video clips on my MBP in iMovie, and I begin to notice a very feint electric burning smell. Nothing ever caught fire, nor was there any smoke. In fact, it smelled like any typical CPU/PSU fan output does under full load, however it was much stronger. (Same scent, just amplified)

    Anyways, I thankfully bought it within Best Buy's holiday return period, so I have plenty of time to return it. I'm going to return it tomorrow, and head to the Apple Store afterwards to purchase the same spec machine over again. Does Best Buy receive inferior stock? This is the first time I've ever purchased an Apple computer from another retailer, and thanks to this experience, I will never purchase another Apple product from any retailer except for Apple.

    Has anyone else ever had any excessive or funky electric type burning smells coming from their machine?

  2. T5BRICK macrumors G3


    Aug 3, 2006
    No, all Apple authorized resellers get the same stock. Why would it be any different? Apple honors the 1 year warranty either way.

    For the first few weeks my 2015 13" rMBP had a faint electrical/plastic smell when under full load. It never bothered me but I didn't think it was a strong smell and eventually it went away. To be totally honest, most new electronics have a smell for the first few weeks of use.
  3. Gav2k macrumors G3


    Jul 24, 2009
    My mba, pro and Mac Pro all smelt like this under heavy loads initially
  4. simonsi macrumors 601


    Jan 3, 2014

    Good decision. Although it may not be an electrical fault, no harm in playing safe.

    Can't get my head around that TBH. Why not just swap it at BB and see if another does the same, then you get a good machine AND save $$$

    Nope, same stock so TBH you stand the same chance of getting another machine with the same issue from either source, one will just cost you more.
  5. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    I would, I never smelled anything burning from my Macs and if I did, I'd return it.
  6. Acejam2k thread starter macrumors regular

    Jul 16, 2008
    I supposed I could swap it at Best Buy - it would certainly involve less hassle and no money being spent. Perhaps I'll do that instead. Their return period is good until January 15th too, so I would have plenty of time to make sure the new machine is good.

    I actually went to the Apple Store first and they were going to swap it out for a brand new one since it was only 2 weeks old - until they heard that I bought it from Best Buy. As you stated, the warranty is good for 1 year at any Apple Store, but then that would be a repair, not a swap. For an instant swap like that, I guess you need to buy it at the Apple Store directly.

    I only asked about the stock/inventory because there ARE some products out there which have different lines or ship their "lower testing quality" to the big box stores. For example, there are certain model Samsung TV's made specifically for Best Buy. There are also "lower testing quality" John Deere riding mowers/tractors that get shipped to Home Depot and Lowe's. (versus the higher testing quality stuff that you'd find at an official John Deere dealer)

    I agree with the new electronics/plastic burning smell. I've been building custom PC's for 15 years (until I started buying Mac's :D) and I'm very familiar with the faint but noticeable smell. The machine basically gave off this smell instantly when it was turned on (and completely cold), and smelled like it had been running for hours at full load. I also burnt a CPU once overclocking, and almost smelled similar to that.
  7. Acejam2k thread starter macrumors regular

    Jul 16, 2008
    I went back to Best Buy tonight and exchanged the machine for a new one. So far, everything is working great!

    One thing I noticed: The first machine I got came with Yosemite out of the box. This newer machine already had El Capitan pre-installed.
  8. T5BRICK macrumors G3


    Aug 3, 2006
    You'll be able to swap it while inside the return period at Apple OR Best Buy. Outside of the return period, any service will be a repair, regardless of where it was purchased. As an exception, if you have multiple repairs for the same issue, Apple will often offer a replacement.

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7 November 18, 2015