3 or 4-year-old MBP's logic board failed - common? repair or buy new?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by msaz87, Jul 4, 2011.

  1. msaz87 macrumors newbie

    Jun 1, 2008
    Hey all,

    I have a couple of questions I wanted to run by the community... my 3 or 4-year-old MBP (older model, not unibody) had its logic board die out on me this past week. I've taken obsessive care of my MBP, but had a few problems with it, including:

    • went through two batteries
    • optical drive stopped writing to DVDs
    • logic board failed

    Now the first two things on this list I could live with, but the last one makes it a little difficult to do anything (since it won't turn on).

    I purchased it as a refurb, so I'm not sure if that could have had anything to do with it... but I'm trying to see whether these things (mainly logic board failure at this age) is common.

    Also, with a price tag of about $500 to repair the board, is this MBP worth repairing (is its current value a few hundred more than that)?

    2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
    4GB 667 MHz DDR2 SDRAM
    Mac OSX 10.6.8

    TL;DR: Is it common for logic boards to fail after only 3 or 4 years? Is a MBP of this age worth dropping $500 on to fix?

    Thanks for any advice!
  2. iLog.Genius macrumors 601


    Feb 24, 2009
    Toronto, Ontario
    It's not common but these things do happen. As for spending $500 to revive it, I don't think it's worth it especially if you have the MacBook Pro with the 8600M GT which is likely to fail and I don't see the point in fixing a problem with another problem especially since the recall/repair for the 8600M GT by Apple is going to end soon. You're better off using that $500 and putting it towards a new Mac whether it be a newer 15-inch or even a 13-inch.
  3. Dark Void macrumors 68030

    Dark Void

    Jun 1, 2011
    some peoples boards have problems within a couple months of purchase. i mean that's not necessarily due to usage or anything, that'd be some sort of defect, but personally i think if you got about 4 years out of a refurb mbp then that is pretty damn good.

    i would personally upgrade to a new computer at this point. it's a bit of a toss up, i mean...$500 to fix your current or about double for a 13'' mbp.

    i'd go for the new computer.
  4. kappaknight macrumors 68000


    Mar 5, 2009
    You could also sell your old one for parts to help pay for the new one.
  5. msaz87 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 1, 2008
    Do you think the fact it was a refurb could have something to do with it? And am I dreaming to think that a logic board failure after 4 years is pretty quick? I'm in the angry phase of mourning right now, but this has also been my first laptop to outright die on me.

    I already started to look at the mbp refurbs available, but if consensus is that might have contributed, ill probably shy away from that.

    Final question: I didn't purchase applecare, is it a good investment to avoid these kinds of situations (and does it cover batteries?).

    Thanks again for the advice
  6. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604


    May 28, 2005
    It's probably the graphics card.. take it to the nearest Apple store and see if they'll fix it for you.
  7. Dark Void macrumors 68030

    Dark Void

    Jun 1, 2011
    i don't think that a refurb had much to do with it, as they are tested once returned and put through a process to refurbish them in terms of quality. however, if there wasn't anything wrong with the logic board when it was returned then if i am not mistaken they are not going to replace it just for the sake of doing so....although they may, i am not familiar with the refurbishment process. if they don't replace it just for the sake of selling as refurbished, then you can bet it was in there longer than the 4 years you've owned it.

    apple care is a great investment imo. it will cover failures like this past the original 1 yr warranty. it does cover batteries but only if it's defective or if you do not get a certain number of cycles out of it before it reached a certain capacity. for example i believe the battery in my model is supposed to last at least 1000 cycles before reaching 80% of its original capacity...but it's probably not that way for an older model, although i am not positive. any recent model that you may get will have a similar, probably better battery coverage policy. if you're at something like 700 cycles with a battery at 70% capacity, then word is that they will hook you up with a replacement.

    i don't think refurbs are a bad deal, if you are thinking of not going with one again. maybe i don't expect as much as others, but personally i think you getting 4 years out of a refurb is exceptional. it's not necessary dead either, just needs a new logic board, apparently. refurbs are a great way to save money and fulfill a preference to buy from apple if you wish to do so.

    tl;dr: i think your mbp had a good run, i wouldn't write off refurbs, and i definitely recommend applecare. good luck man.
  8. msaz87 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 1, 2008
    Out of curiosity, I went back to check to see exactly when I got the MBP... and turns out it was October, 2008. So I actually grossly overestimated how long I've had it, by a good year, year and a half. That being said, 2 years and 8 months seems even worse to me, though it makes AC look all the better had I purchased it.

    What would you expect the lifespan to be of a brand new MBP versus a refurb MBP? Any difference?

    Originally I went in thinking it was the card, but they couldn't get their test to run on it, so they kept it overnight and took it apart to check and came back with the conclusion it was the logic board.

    Has anyone sold one for parts before? Is there a good place to go for this, or just Craigslist it?
  9. Dark Void macrumors 68030

    Dark Void

    Jun 1, 2011
    i would expect it to be different at least to some extent, otherwise there wouldn't be much of a point for most people to buy new products instead of refurbished products. refurbs are limited, yes, and there have to be new products bought in order for them to one day become refurbished, but again i think it should be expected for a new product to last longer because it is new as opposed to be previously owned and used, and again i don't think all of the parts of refurbs are replaced just for the sake of it, so therefore previous ownership and usage accounts for wear on the hardware that wasn't necessarily part of or the reason for the returning process.
  10. msaz87 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 1, 2008
    I think I've decided to suck it up and buy new and add the AC. To make me feel better, any idea how much more awesome one of the new i5's would be with 8 gigs of RAM over my old MBP?

    Also... since Lion is likely just days from being released, do you think it might already be loaded on new models, or should I wait so that I don't wind up shelling out $30 for an upgrade right after I get it?

    Thanks a bunch for the words of wisdom
  11. DWBurke811 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 10, 2011
    Boca Raton, FL
    Lion won't come loaded on it, it's not released yet, how could it?

    But, you can upgrade for free when it is released.
  12. yespi macrumors member

    May 28, 2007
    As for lion it won't cost you anything if you buy it now.

    I had the same problem like you and I ended up fixing it by apple for a flat rate of $300 and the they also fixed me some other parts for the same price.

    After that I sold it on eBay for a nice amount of money and bought one of the new MBP 2011.

    Selling the individual parts on eBay can take a long time and needs a lot of patience.

    Good luck!
  13. msaz87 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 1, 2008
    Stupid statement about it being loaded already -- but the upgrade would be free instead of $30?

    Has anyone heard any rumors on updates to the MBP line? I know they just made updates in February, but I figured it'd be worth asking if there wasn't anything already popping up on rumor sites.
  14. msaz87 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 1, 2008
    See I asked them about sending it to depot for their flat-rate fee and they said it wouldn't apply to this one. I guess I'll need to ask them again exactly why it wouldn't, since I would be much more willing to pay $300 and get it fixed up, then $500 for just the logic board.

    I figured I would sell the whole thing rather than the individual parts, though I will have to crack it to get the HDD out and my files off it first and then wiping that could be tough.

    Thanks for the insight on your experience
  15. formerglory macrumors newbie


    May 29, 2010
    I took in an old 2008 non-uni MBP that had logic board/GPU issues, and the Genius reported that my serial was one of the affected models with a bad Nvidia GPU. They repaired it for free (replaced logic board) and even mailed it back to me, since the nearest Apple Store is 1.5 hrs away.

    If you still have the unit, take it in and see if the serial is one of the ones affected. They're still doing the Nvidia repair program on affected units.
  16. msaz87 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 1, 2008
    Mine is one of those affected by the Nvidia chip, but they determined that the logic board, not the chip had failed. I'm not sure if the chip could have caused the rest of it to fail...

    What wound up happening was I went in to pick up my MBP and asked why I couldn't send it in for their $310 flat-rate repair service and after getting some odd answers about why I had been led to think I couldn't, they said I could. So now I've sent it in for that and they will supposedly replace the board (replacing the bad Nvidia with it) and anything else wrong for $310+tax, unless they determine I somehow damaged it.

    From the sounds of your story, you say they pointed the finger at the chip for causing the entire LB to fail and so that whole thing was free? I guess I'll cross my fingers the Depot repair folks do the same for mine.

    So now I wait...
  17. h00ligan macrumors 68030

    Apr 10, 2003
    A hot desert
    Can you direct me to the $310 flat rate repair information bychance? I thought it was around $800 to do a logic board replacement.
  18. msaz87 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 1, 2008
    It's a third-party repair service... I couldn't find anything online about it. They offered it to me originally when I went in, but later on they told me the logic board would cost $500 to fix. Long story short... if you Google "Apple 310 repair" you can find some other people who have had their logic boards fixed via the service.

    Call your Apple Store and ask them about it -- the service supposedly fixes everything that is broken that you didn't cause (spilled something on it, hit it with a rock, etc.)
  19. h00ligan macrumors 68030

    Apr 10, 2003
    A hot desert
    Cheers. I'll ring them. I have heard about it for ages but never had to use it. Thing is, it basically means that I won't bother selling my older MacBook pro if it dies again because if it's that cheap to repair, may as well use it for something.
  20. Dark Void macrumors 68030

    Dark Void

    Jun 1, 2011
    sorry man lost track of this thread. =o

    dual i5 and the higher frequency ddr3 memory will run circles around your old mbp. lion should be loaded on new models once it hits but if not you will get a free upgrade anyway i do believe. i haven't kept up with lion news really as i am sticking with SL.

    so, have you decided to repair or upgrade?
  21. msaz87 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 1, 2008
    If all goes well and they fix the logic board and optical drive for just the $310+tax, I'll stick with that. If it's more expensive, I'll upgrade.

    I figure for that price my machine is still fast enough that it can keep me from dropping on a new one for another year or so. It'll run Lion and I haven't really found anything it can't do for me yet -- which is why I was so upset when I found out about the logic board, since I didn't feel like it was holding me back and needed to upgrade yet.

    Thanks for the advice though, if I do wind up upgrading, It'll definitely come in handy.
  22. Dark Void macrumors 68030

    Dark Void

    Jun 1, 2011
    with all that being said it does sound like you should just replace the logic board if you could get it for a decent price as you intend. glad you came to a decision.
  23. StockDC2 macrumors regular

    May 16, 2011
    My local Apple stores charge $280 + Tax to replace whatever is broken on the computer. It's a really good deal but I'm not sure if there are any stipulations...
  24. Dark Void macrumors 68030

    Dark Void

    Jun 1, 2011
    does that mean if a fix would run you $50 then you have to pay $280 + tax? :\
  25. clickclickw00t macrumors regular

    Jun 28, 2007
    had same year same model as you
    logic board died
    they realized it was due to the 8600GT

    gave me a new logic board + keyboard + LCD free of charge.

    This was 5 months ago. The logic board had killed the LCD and the keyboard as well.... i paid NOTHING out of pocket

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