Early 08 MBP Just Broke... fix or buy new?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by gfish31, Aug 30, 2012.

  1. gfish31 macrumors regular

    Apr 16, 2008
    So my early 2008 macbook pro just fell victim to the faulty nvidia 8600gt card. Sucks because before this happened, it ran perfectly fine and did everything I needed. So I guess I have 2 options...

    The only thing I can do to keep it alive is the flat-rate $310 refurbishment through Apple. Price-wise that is optimal, but they put the same video card in, and then i'll gamble with how long that one will last. I suppose I got lucky with mine lasting 4.5 years, but who knows with the next one.

    Or I could buy new. This much I'm undecided on, don't really need a laptop as much anymore so I could go with a desktop. My decision there is pretty much iMac or build-my-own PC.

    What do you guys think is a better option? Pay a small amount to keep my current MBP alive, or go new?
  2. Bauer24 macrumors regular

    May 18, 2009
    Vancouver, BC
    That's a tough call man.

    Are you sure you don't need a laptop for your computing? That's the biggest decision you have to nail down I think. Well, that and what exactly you will be doing with it.

    The fee from Apple seems tempting to get a working machine again because it's going to be at least $6-700 more to get a newer model used or refurb from Apple. How's your budget? Can you afford to put some extra cash into the new machine?
  3. btbeme macrumors regular

    Jul 29, 2010
    I say fix it.

    A "new" iMac hasn't been refreshed or updated in well over a year, and is using technology almost a year older than that. I would not hold my breath for an update to the iMac for the next few months, either.

    As for a build-your-own PC, have at it. I hear Windows 8 will be "fast, slick, and secure" - just like Windows XP, Vista, et al. all promised to be.
  4. gfish31 thread starter macrumors regular

    Apr 16, 2008
    yea i think i am leaning towards getting it fixed. $310, and hopefully i could get another ~2 years out of it. plus, i'm really not too enthralled with the currently available macs.

    has anybody gotten their computer refurbished through this program? any idea how long it takes to get it back?
  5. iamsen47 macrumors regular

    Aug 18, 2012
    Kobe, Japan
    It's over 4 years old.

    I would stump up a bit more cash for either the Air or the Mini. Even a base model would have perform better and last longer.
  6. SkyBell macrumors 604


    Sep 7, 2006
    Texas, unfortunately.
    That seems like a major lawsuit to me. I could quite easily be wrong, but I would think that the issues with the original versions of the card would've been fixed after the near-fiasco they had with it when it was first discovered that it had these issues.

    It just feels to me like that even if it was the same card, it would certainly be more reliable than the one that originally came with your MBP? In this case, I would definitely opt for the "fix it" option.
  7. gfish31 thread starter macrumors regular

    Apr 16, 2008
    well i would certainly hope so. i've seen people talking about a "rev 2" of the logic board in this mbp, but no proof that the gpu issue was fixed or at least better. there are a lot of horror stories out there, but i mean how often do people report on a forum that their hardware is working normally....
  8. Bauer24 macrumors regular

    May 18, 2009
    Vancouver, BC
    Not very often. I can almost guarantee that these rev.2 models you've heard of are vastly improved.
  9. worldleader macrumors newbie

    Aug 31, 2012
    MBP (Early 2008)

    Apple have an exchange and repair extension program for this issue (see below). I got the graphics processor/logic board replaced free of charge a year ago (bought my MBP 15" in July 2008). My friend who bought his in November 2008, has just had the same repair done by the Apple Store free of charge.

    MacBook Pro: Distorted video or no video issues
    Products Affected
    MacBook Pro, models with NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GT graphics processors
    In July 2008, NVIDIA publicly acknowledged a higher than normal failure rate for some of their graphics processors due to a packaging defect. At that same time, NVIDIA assured Apple that Mac computers with these graphics processors were not affected. 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. If the NVIDIA graphics processor in your MacBook Pro has failed, or fails within four years of the original date of purchase, a repair will be done free of charge, even if your MacBook Pro is out of warranty.
    What to look for:

    ■Distorted or scrambled video on the computer screen
    ■No video on the computer screen (or external display) even though the computer is on
    Specific products affected:
    ■MacBook Pro 15-inch and 17-inch models with NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GT graphics processors

    ■MacBook Pro (17-Inch, 2.4GHz)
    ■MacBook Pro (15-Inch, 2.4/2.2GHz)
    ■MacBook Pro (Early 2008)
    ■These computers were manufactured between approximately May 2007 and September 2008
    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 nearest Apple Contact Center. Before visiting the Genius Bar at the Apple Retail Store, please make a reservation (available in some countries only).

    Apple is issuing refunds to customers who may have paid for repairs related to this issue. Please contact Apple for details on the refund process.
    Note: If your MacBook Pro is not experiencing any of these symptoms, you do not need to contact Apple.
    Apple will continue to evaluate the repair data and will provide further repair extensions as needed.
  10. gfish31 thread starter macrumors regular

    Apr 16, 2008
    yea i know, coverage for this was extended to 4 years from purchase date... however, i am at 4.5 years and therefore ineligible for this program... even after pleading with the guys at the apple store and applecare
  11. AppleStrudel macrumors newbie


    Aug 31, 2012
    Same here. I decided to have it fixed anyway and have no regrets. Unless you need the latest in processor-intensive power, this beloved machine will stay at your side faithfully functioning adequately for quite another while (if you do, don't forget to max the RAM, it is essential).

    I now even consider swapping the hdd with a ssd. After years of only reading this site I just registered, to encourage you.

    Don't hesitate to get in touch if you have further questions.

  12. MacLovin78 macrumors regular

    Apr 10, 2008
    My vote is fix it. For $310 you have a computer that will work just fine. I have an early 2009 MBP 15" and though I don't have the graphics card issue to contend with I just spent less than $200 to put 8GB ram and a 256GB SSD into it and let me tell you the machine feels like it is brand new. It really flies and if you don't do a lot of processor intensive work with it you will find it is money well spent.
  13. alecgold macrumors 65816


    Oct 11, 2007
    Fix it. You do get the same gfx card, but it doesn't have the same production faul. I had it in a 17" and after the fix, it worked like a charm again. Had mine repaired early 2010 and it is still going strong. Although not any longer on my desk :)
  14. gfish31 thread starter macrumors regular

    Apr 16, 2008
    these are honestly the kinds of responses i was hoping for. i love this computer, and i'm not a huge fan of the new ones. so thank you to those who have been thru it and reported the positive results. i'll go ahead with the repair.
  15. Tourista macrumors newbie

    Sep 19, 2010
    Check hair for local pollen samples daily.
    I've got this same model. The graphics card hasn't died yet, but it has glitched for a few seconds every now and then, so it may be in the mail.

    I've already opened it up and upgraded to an SSD/HD configuration, and maxed the RAM. Does that make it ineligible for the $300 refurb board swap when the time comes? I did hang on to it's original HD - will I have to make it stock when the time comes, before sending it in?
  16. Nightarchaon macrumors 65816


    Sep 1, 2010
    id make it stock, im pretty sure opening it up to swap the HDD on that model was a breach of warranty,
  17. Ubele macrumors 6502a

    Mar 20, 2008
    I have the same model MBP, and the logic board went out in February 2011, two weeks before my AppleCare expired. I was hoping that Apple would say that the logic-board failure was due to a faulty NVIDIA card, as I'd been experiencing video glitches prior to that. However, since they couldn't test the card because my MPB wouldn't even power on, they said they couldn't attribute the logic-board failure to the video card. They charged me the $310 flat-rate fee to replace the logic board. I had replaced the stock hard drive with a 320 GB 7,200 RPM drive, and they never said a word about that. Admittedly, my hard-drive replacement was less extreme than your upgrade, but it must have been obvious to them that I'd made the replacement. As I understand it, non-Apple-performed upgrades don't void your warranty, unless that upgrade causes your device to fail. You're out of warranty, but I assume the same reasoning would apply to the $310 flat-rate repair. I'd call an Apple tech and ask. If they say your upgrade makes your MBP ineligible, then you can return your MBP to its stock configuration before you take it in.

    To the OP, I'd say to go for the $310 repair. It's far cheaper than a new computer would cost, and since you're happy with that model, why spend hundreds more on something you don't need? AppleCare alone for a new MBP would cost about as much as repairing your current one. Yes, there's the chance that your computer will experience the same problem again, but not all NVIDIA cards in that model go bad. My MBP is still doing fine 18 months after the repair. I am, however, hesitant to put any more money into it (e.g., an SSD).
  18. Dark Void macrumors 68030

    Dark Void

    Jun 1, 2011
    After reading this thread and the replies, I am glad that you are going ahead with the repair. I share in your sentiment of having love for an older/first computer and your opinion about the newer models. Good luck to you in getting it fixed.
  19. Tourista macrumors newbie

    Sep 19, 2010
    Check hair for local pollen samples daily.
    Thanks for the input gents :) I've held onto the stock HD and SuperDrive, so returning to stock wouldn't be an issue if needed. I'll call a support tech and post their response about self-upgrades when I'm able.
  20. howardnow macrumors member

    Mar 29, 2004
    I have the same early 2008 MBP. Early on I put a 500GB hard drive in myself. I am on my 3rd logic board (all replaced for free) and they were never concerned that I had upgraded the HD. My last Applecare logic board was at the end of December 2011 (9 months ago). So far so good.

    I did get the impression that they would honor a repair of the same type longer then 4 years, but the other posts are not saying that. I would check a different Apple store or call again first.

    If mine goes again, I will probably pay the $310 and keep the computer going as long as they give some type of warranty on the repair. I would hope that mine does not go again.
  21. Ubele macrumors 6502a

    Mar 20, 2008
    My impression, after reading similar threads over the years, is that some things are up to the discretion (or whim, as the case may be) of the particular technician who repairs your computer. I read a post from someone whose logic board went out, and the tech said it was probably caused by the NVIDIA card, so he got a free repair. I read another post from someone who had to pay for a new logic board, which was something like $700. I had never heard of the $310 flat-rate fee before, so it seemed like a good deal at the time.
  22. gnasher729 macrumors P6


    Nov 25, 2005
    Right now you can get a refurbished 13" MBP for $799. So you would pay $490 for the difference between a new MBP (the 2011 model, but new), and a 4 1/2 year old MBP with a replacement video card. You would expect the refurbished MBP to last 4 1/2 years longer. And it's probably faster, has a better battery, more RAM, more disk space, and so on.
  23. gfish31 thread starter macrumors regular

    Apr 16, 2008
    Just to follow up, I got my laptop back yesterday. So that was 5 days total, including labor day weekend... pretty good.

    It didn't boot up right away, disk utility said my hd had some errors and would need to be reformatted. This wasn't a problem for me as I was planning on doing that anyway. I now have it up and running again and it's working beautifully.

    So if you're in a similar situation, and your old computer still fits your needs, go ahead and do the repair, it's worth it. (so far)
  24. Dark Void macrumors 68030

    Dark Void

    Jun 1, 2011
    Good to hear you got it repaired and in working order again. :)
  25. kolz macrumors member

    Jul 9, 2012
    my early 08 mbp logic board also failed due to the graphic chip, this was in early 2012. Gave a call to Apple and after a few plea they decided to replace the logic board for free, which otherwise costs about $1,500. Now it's working fine =)

    just want to share that =)

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