Apple says some MacBook Pros affected by faulty Nvidia chips

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by HiFiGuy528, Oct 10, 2008.

  1. HiFiGuy528 macrumors 68000

    Jul 24, 2008
    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 screen (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.


    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 byfiling 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 “in a series of false and misleading statements made to the investing public.”

    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."
  2. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    Feb 12, 2007
    Neander Valley, Germany; just outside Duesseldorf
    Wow, that's amazing. It only took them six months to admit. Apple is such a fast-moving, nimble company. :rolleyes:
  3. Creibold macrumors regular


    Feb 27, 2006
    And the stock takes a hit again.... oh apple, you waited to long to admit it.

    Bottom feeders anyone?
  4. MowingDevil macrumors 68000


    Jul 30, 2008
    Vancouver, BC & Sydney, NSW
    When you consider the ethics of some huge corporations is it any wonder that the current global economic crisis is occurring? It all goes back to the thinking of those Enron douchebags straight through to this whole mortgage fiasco and billion dollar government bail-outs. Capitalism is now on its knees...

    EDIT: I was referring to Nvidia not Apple btw
  5. iShater macrumors 604


    Aug 13, 2002
    At some point you do trust your suppliers when they inform you of issues in their systems. Would you make an announcement recalling/extending product warranty without confirmation? Its business. Sux.
  6. areusche macrumors regular

    Jun 24, 2008
    So now what?

    I want a guarantee this will last me into grad school. 6 years no exceptions.

    I'm going to give them a call and ask what's going on. I've been getting some graphical glitching when I use Frontrow during the fad.
  7. MoeOz macrumors member

    Nov 18, 2007
    Now we have to throw them away and buy the new ones next Tuesday Apple ? Right ? .. we have been saying this since ever and now they just admit it(when they got a new ones around the corner)with 2 years warranty ! what if it goes off just after these couple of years ?.. its a faulty ship already depends on my use it will burn after all .. this is not a fix we need a recall and a real fix .
  8. nufanec macrumors regular

    Sep 10, 2005
    No company in the world will guarantee that.
  9. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    Feb 12, 2007
    Neander Valley, Germany; just outside Duesseldorf
    Six years for grad school? Are you a slow learner? ;)
  10. MacBookProJoe macrumors regular


    May 7, 2008
    Seattle, Warshington
    Well shoot, I bought my MBP on May 3rd. I wonder when it was MADE? Nice to have the information.
  11. Phrasikleia macrumors 601


    Feb 24, 2008
    Over there------->
    Maybe if we bring in our ailing 6-month-old MBPs on Tuesday, Apple will just replace them all with the new models. :D
  12. DDar macrumors 6502


    Dec 9, 2007
    Awww, I just got my 17'' widescreen MBP last week. =(
    ... I wonder if they'll give me a new model if I raise up enough fuss on launch date. :p
  13. advan031 macrumors 6502

    Aug 16, 2008
    That's a little comforting but not REALLY! So what if my MBP works till 2 years of purchase then nVidia fails on me...I'm SOL!

    I agree Apple or nVidia should recall all of this faulty chips:mad:
  14. Xavier macrumors 68030

    Mar 23, 2006
    No problems so far with my MBP and im in that time frame

    *knocks on wood*
  15. SandynJosh macrumors 68000

    Oct 26, 2006
    I'll guarantee that it will last the full six years . . . as a foot warmer.
  16. mrchainsaw5757 macrumors regular


    Sep 6, 2006
    i already had to get my graphics card replaced because of this problem a couple weeks ago. ive had my 2.2ghz mbp for about a year and a half now.
  17. fteter macrumors member

    Mar 12, 2008
    Easier Decision

    Hmmm...unless there is a significant change on the GPU announced next Tuesday, this tech note sure makes my decision of iMac v MBP an easy one. Portability is important, but reliability IMHO is even more important! Looks like I may be doing the desktop thing as I start my switch from Windoze to OS X.
  18. haiggy macrumors 65816

    Aug 20, 2003
    Ontario, Canada
    I got mine replaced and had a month left on my warranty... due to the same issues. So I sprung for it and got AppleCare....... so I paid $379 or whatever it was for 1 year extra warranty..... great.... :(
  19. snberk103 macrumors 603

    Oct 22, 2007
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    Give Apple some credit here.... Nvidia said that the products they sold to Apple were fine. Therefore Apple had to prove to Nvidia - and with enough evidence that they could credibly threaten to take Nvidia to court - that the chips were faulty. Apple would have had to do this without Nvidia's cooperation and access to information from Nvidia. That takes time.

    Not only did they have to prove it was an Nvidia issue, they also had to prove it was not a fault of the assembly, or anything else to do with Apple once the chips were in Apple's hands. If they had accused Nvidia of faulty chips early on it would have negatively affected Nvidia's stock price. Then, if Apple could not prove it was an Nvidia issue, Nvidia would have sued Apple.

    Apple was being prudent, and protecting itself. The fact is that they didn't believe Nvidia, and acted to overturn Nvidia's declarations. Six months is not a lot of time, really, in this case. It wasn't just engineers involved, there would have been some serious lawyer time too.

    And just to prove I'm not mindlessly supporting Apple here.... I have one of the affected units. I bought it knowing that there was a potential issue. I think Apple is being cheap by not extending the warranty to 3 years, same as AppleCare.
  20. MacBucky macrumors newbie

    Jan 23, 2007
    Madison, WI
    Same problem---older MacBook Pro 17

    "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 screen (or external display) when the computer is running."

    I have this SAME problem using an ATI x1600 chipset. I am not so sure that this is consistent with just the Nvidia chips. Since I have noticed this more and more with my ATI chipset. Cranking the fan speed helps, but the temperature is probably the main isssue and there is not much more I can do.

    Maybe I could use my Mac in a freezer, but then I would worry about condensation on the logic board. LOL
  21. SakeBalboa macrumors newbie

    Jan 6, 2006
    What are they doing to remedy the problem? Are they replacing the graphics card with something else?
  22. MacSamurai macrumors regular


    Jul 5, 2006
  23. RHD macrumors 6502

    Jan 14, 2008
    I have an affected laptop. I'm hugely relieved Apple have admitted this at last. It's only six months old and I need it to last a lot longer than two years but this is a start.
  24. dam0dred macrumors regular


    Dec 30, 2007
    Sometimes I get this weird tint to my screen - like a silvery, sort of teal color. It happens sometimes when I switch users, and I have to restart to get rid of it.

    Should I go in for repairs, or is that not related to this?
  25. Habusho macrumors 6502

    Aug 12, 2006
    Well, this really shows Apple stepping up to the plate. I hope Apple can move to ATI instead of this corrupt company. Every year there is news about Nvidia execs charged with insider trading or problems with their products.

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