Early Intel - Trash or treasure? MacBook Pro 2008

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by AphoticD, Jun 10, 2018.

  1. AphoticD thread starter macrumors 65816

    AphoticD

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    #51
    Well done @dosdude1 ! So the 603 GPUs are fairly distinct at a glance with the outlined NVIDIA logo instead of being solid white on the 602.

    What are the typical symptoms of a failed GPU? Reason I ask is I have a few more units with the 8600M GT. One of them just powers off when the power light and fans come on. DC-in charged up the battery OK.

    Another unit clearly has GPU failure with purple and red artefacts covering the display during boot, then kernel panics after the GPU kext loads. It will boot in safe mode with it's glitchy graphics.
     
  2. dosdude1 macrumors 65816

    dosdude1

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    #52
    Actually, some early 603s had the old style nVidia logo, but most have the new one. The best way to tell is by looking at the underfill; the revised chips will have a white/clearish underfill material, while the defective chips will have a dark brown, almost black color underfill. As for symptoms, 9/10 times, it does exactly what's shown in my video, where the machine will not chime or show any video, but will run with the fans and front LED on. Your machine that powers off like that probably has a different issue, as I've never seen anything like that happen due to a bad GPU.
     
  3. AphoticD thread starter macrumors 65816

    AphoticD

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    #53
    Thanks @dosdude1 I'll get to the bottom of it. Great video again. I really enjoy watching your work. You've certainly got this down to a fine art!
     
  4. AphoticD, Jun 20, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2018

    AphoticD thread starter macrumors 65816

    AphoticD

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    #54
    I just pulled out my working MBPs which have the 8600M GT and here are the results of the System Profiler Graphics section;

    IMG_3100.jpg
    1. "PCIe Lane Width x1" Failure imminent! This is a MacBookPro3,1 (EMC 2136) with a glossy display and the increased, 256MB VRAM option. The others below are MacBookPro4,1 (EMC 2198). The earlier ROM Revision is an indicator of it being a slightly older GPU (and clearly prone to the same issues).

    IMG_3101.jpg
    2. This is the 512MB GPU found in the machine that started this thread. It has the "602" chip as seen in the earlier die shots. It shows the full x16 PCIe lane width.

    IMG_3102.jpg
    3. This unit also has the 512MB VRAM and shows full PCIe Lane Width. This particular unit lists it's serial number as "SetSysSerNum", which I believe would indicate that the logic board has been changed for a service replacement. Possibly with a revised "603" GPU? I'll have to open it up to find out.

    IMG_3103.jpg
    4. Another working 8600M GT with full PCIe lane width and only 256MB VRAM.


    Screen Shot 2018-06-20 at 5.34.56 PM.png
    5. And here is @dosdude1 's Graphics section taken from the YouTube video post-repair showing the same revision ID and ROM Revision. I was hoping that sys profiler would pick up a difference, but unfortunately the only way to tell if the GPU has been revised is by opening up the machine and removing the heatsink.
     
  5. weckart macrumors 601

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    Nov 7, 2004
    #55
    Thanks for that. From the looks of things, I have a new 603. I might leave it a while before I tackle this though.

    Oh, you are tempting fate with this. :)
     
  6. dosdude1 macrumors 65816

    dosdude1

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    #56
    Yep, that's right... The only way to know for sure is to remove the logic board and look at the chip. All the System Profiler info is part of the video ROM, so it won't change just by replacing the chipset.
    --- Post Merged, Jun 20, 2018 ---
    Wait, you have a 603 that is actually bad? That is highly unlikely, as I've had many of these machines, and all the ones with revised GPUs I've had have worked perfectly. Send a picture of the chip, and also, what does the system do?
     
  7. weckart macrumors 601

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    #57
    No, I have a 2007 MBP with a dead GPU and a good 603 to solder in. My first attempt at a G4 update to a Pismo was a disaster so I need more practice before attempting something like this. Those solder pads look minute. I managed to trash/lift a few on 2 CPU cards so far.

    I note that apart from melting the flux you didn’t preheat the chip. I had a popcorn with my Pismo and I think it was the substrate on the G4 that popped. Checking the guides I see online, quite a few stongly suggest preheating/baking the chip for a few hours to drive out the inherent moisture so that sudden heating doesn’t cause the chip to pop.
     
  8. dosdude1 macrumors 65816

    dosdude1

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    #58
    Yeah, you definitely need more practice then LOL. The G4 swaps are by far the easiest BGA swaps I've ever done. The ceramic package makes it almost impossible to mess up. The key to doing this correctly is having the proper equipment. For these 2007/2008 MBP boards, that is especially so. With these boards, you MUST use a full board preheater like what's shown in my video, or it WILL WARP, ruining it. You also need a hot air nozzle that heats the chip evenly. Also, the chips don't necessarily need to be baked, the key is just to heat them slowly at a lower temperature. Throwing a ton of heat at it, while it melts the solder much faster, will cause the chip to "popcorn", ruining it. Once I got my temperatures to a good level (~200 degrees C on preheater, ~290 C hot air), I've never had a single chip popcorn or get ruined.
     
  9. AphoticD thread starter macrumors 65816

    AphoticD

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    #59
    Anything is easy if you have enough experience!

    I recall watching one of your videos where you remove the CPU from a Titanium board for a Pismo G4 upgrade, clean it up, line up the BGA solder balls in the stencil, heat it up and then lift off the stencil too early, causing it to mess up... When you talk about it, you just seem to take it in your stride and casually say something like "So, I had to do the process again, but here it is". This really says a lot about your patience with these things!

    I can only imagine I would have invested something like 8 hours by that stage only to have to repeat another 2 hour process of cleaning it and lining everything up again from a 1 second slip up... I think I would have packed it in at that stage and taken a walk around the block or something. :)
     
  10. dosdude1 macrumors 65816

    dosdude1

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    #60
    Yeah that's true LOL. See, I just can't stop working on something until I get it going, so I'll do it as many times as it takes. On my other video where I upgraded the CPU on my Axiotron ModBook logic board, I had to do that whole reballing process 4 times. Took almost all day to finish that project.
     
  11. saxfun macrumors newbie

    saxfun

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    #61
    @dosdude1: Great write-up! i have a bunch of PBs and MBPs, especially the 2007/08er with the 8600er GPU. Two of them are showing 1x and 8x PCI Lanes, i think i did bake these 2 already in the oven. Though i`m located in Germany there is no possibility for repairing i suppose. Can you recommend a cheap and nice workshop for this GPU exchange?!
    If i'm willing to try this operation myself, how much money do i have to spend for the heating and preheating stations, for flux etc.? i have a nice ERSA soldering station, but no reballing stations nor experiences . . .


    saxfun ;)
     
  12. macgeek18 macrumors 68000

    macgeek18

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    Northern California
    #62
    Very Nice! I always loved those machines! I agree with the waste of perfectly usable machines. I'm typing this in an 09 Mac Mini. Runs just fine with 8GB RAM and an SSD. I also just purchased a 2010 13" MacBook Pro, already has the RAM upgrade and an SSD. Will be fine for my needs. The Core 2 Duo's still have plenty of power. We just have become so spoiled with our super fast phones and computers, waiting a little while longer won't kill us.
     
  13. pl1984 macrumors 65816

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    #63
    I honestly can't say that I'm waiting any less than I was 10 years ago.
     
  14. ApolloBoy macrumors 6502a

    ApolloBoy

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    #64
    No kidding, I had a mid-2007 MacBook many years ago and I thought the GMA950 was substandard even by 2007 standards.

    It's also the only computer I had to junk because it was literally falling apart and it probably would've cost me more in parts to fix it up than it was worth.
     
  15. raymanster, Jun 24, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2018

    raymanster macrumors 6502

    raymanster

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    #65
    I bought a 15" Macbook Pro Late 2007 about 3 years ago, it was in so-so condition (scratched up with pressure marks on the screen) with 2 GB of RAM and a standard spinner. I ended up lending it to a family member to use for a while. After a couple years the right fan failed and the screen bezel snapped, it was painfully slow, so it was given back to me. I did buy a replacement fan last year but never got round to fitting it. It sat on my shelf for a long while.

    That is until I read this thread which inspired me to start fixing it up. I blasted the whole thing with compressed air, repasted the cpu & gpu, and luckily found it has the revised 603 nVidia. I've put in a 250GB Samsung 850 SSD with El Cap installed. It now seems to run really well for an eleven year old machine.

    I intend to replace the screen and bezel with a whole new top assembly, about £30 on eBay. Although I'm somewhat reluctant to do that as the screen is usable even with the pressure marks which are only noticeable in lighter backgrounds. I'm also going to upgrade it to 4GB RAM very soon.

    Interestingly it is also an Apple refurb according to some stickers on the bottom.

    I've also got a Macbook 13" 2008 unibody from brand new. It's no longer my main Mac but still runs great with 8GB of Ram and SSD upgrade. I remember when I did the SSD upgrade I said to myself I'd be happy if I could get another 2 years out of it. How wrong I was, 5 years later it's still running strong.

    TLDR; AphoticD's thread inspired me to fix up my late 2007 15" Macbook Pro, runs great with a clean, re-paste and new SSD. Thanks AphoticD
     
  16. AphoticD thread starter macrumors 65816

    AphoticD

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    #66
    This is great! Another saved Mac!

    The “603” revised logic boards are going to be rare, so you’re lucky to have one. It certainly deserves to be refurbished and put back to work where you can. I really admire the pre-unibody design because of it’s retro-appeal and clear connection to the PowerBook past.

    I’m the same with my unibody ‘08 MB. 8GB of RAM and an SSD on El Capitan makes it completely usable. 95% of new software stills runs on it with decent performance. Other than modern gaming, there is not much it can’t do. I have two batteries which I swap out as I need and still get about 4 hours of portable work time on it like this. I’ve recently reinstalled Snow Leopard on a separate partition because it flies and I can also run CoolBook, which allows me to under-volt the CPU to reduce heat and save energy. Combined with PaleMoon for a modern browser, SL is an excellent OS for these 10 year old Macs.
     
  17. raymanster macrumors 6502

    raymanster

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    #67
    I replaced the battery on my unibody 08 about 3-4 years ago as the original started to bulge. That was mainly my fault as for some time I was using it as a server and so the battery was charging constantly. Good idea though, I might have to pick up another battery if I travel. Interesting idea about CoolBook and SL, at the moment I run Sierra (thanks Dosdude) which seems to run well enough although can max the CPU every now and again.

    I run SL on my early 2006 Mac Mini Core Duo, it runs well on this 12 year old Mac. I keep it at my parents' house and am using it to write this as I'm visiting. I also got the Mini brand new, over the years upgraded the RAM to 2GB and replaced the hard drive when it failed some years ago. While still powered on 24/7, it leads a fairly leisurely life these days, I mainly use it as a proxy server (SquidMan) and as a remote location to backup files (mainly CCTV video).

    With regards to my 07 (A1226) Macbook Pro, I found an 08 (A1260) on eBay that is apparently dead. I was going to simply swap the screen assembly over and keep the rest for parts. But from the pictures it looks in good physical condition, much better then my 07. Assuming the 08 has a dead logic board, I wonder if simply swapping in an 07 board will work. We'll see what happens when I get it...
     
  18. AphoticD thread starter macrumors 65816

    AphoticD

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    #68
    Cool. At least the ‘08 unibody had an easily accessible battery. The batteries are slim/light enough to carry around a spare or two.

    That will be a good salvage operation. Be sure to post your progress!

    I bought up a few pre-unibody MBPs which were all untested, but haven’t made the time to compare the boards between the ‘07 and ‘08. I’m sure @dosdude1 could answer if they are compatible.

    If the logic board you are removing just needs a new GPU and you aren’t able to repair it, then one of the guys here who is already setup for the BGA rework would surely appreciate a donation. You’re in the UK? @LightBulbFun mentioned he was interested in practicing the repair.
     
  19. dosdude1 macrumors 65816

    dosdude1

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    #69
    99.999999% of these 2007-2008 machines have a defective GPU. If you find one that works, chances are it either has a revised GPU (if you get lucky), or a defective GPU that's just barely hanging on. When the GPU dies, the machine seems more or less dead, as shown in my video. As for compatibility, the boards are ALMOST the same between the 2007 A1226 and the 2008 A1260 machines. The ONLY difference is the position of the top case ribbon cable connector. As such, if you install an A1226 board in an A1260, you'll need an A1226 top case (also meaning you'll lose out on the A1260's cool multitouch trackpad). Getting a new logic board for these, though, is almost never a good solution to repair a dead one, as it more than likely has the same defective GPU unless you get really lucky and find one with a revised chip.
     
  20. raymanster macrumors 6502

    raymanster

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    #70
    So a couple weeks ago I received the A1280 and it wasn't in quite as good a physical condition as I thought. Probably on par with my A1226 with a few extra dents. Even though I couldn't boot it I thought I'd take the chance and swap the whole top lid/screen over to my A1226. Booted up my A1226 and thankfully the screen was full functional and looks great, no more grey pressure marks and broken bezel.

    The old battery wasn't charging so I bought a new compatible one from Amazon. Problem I now have is that when it charges the CPU temps go really high and the fans go almost full blast. With the old battery everything was fine, although it hardly charges as it's old and faulty. So not too sure what the issue is there, maybe I'll return the Amazon battery and try another brand.

    This also brings to light another issue, the right fan I replaced a month ago rattles and sounds like it's on the way out! So I will replace it with the one from my salvage A1260.

    BTW yes I'm in the UK, @LightBulbFun is more then welcome to the A1260 logic board and give the GPU repair a go!

    I will post some pictures soon...
     
  21. raymanster macrumors 6502

    raymanster

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    #71
    And here we go a few pictures:

    My A1226 has the A03 gnu as seen in one of the pics below. Also you can see the A1226 is a reconditioned unit. Although I have a feeling the logic board must have been swapped out at a later date.
     

    Attached Files:

  22. tevion5 macrumors 68000

    tevion5

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    #72
    How all good stories start.

    Fantastic work OP!
     
  23. defn macrumors member

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    Apr 25, 2015
    #73
    Very nice. I used this "Penryn" model throughout uni and have fond memories of lugging it around humid Singapore.

    Unfortunately the 8600M GT is dead, but your post has got me looking for some replacement parts now...
     
  24. drlunanerd, Jul 28, 2018
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2018

    drlunanerd macrumors 68000

    drlunanerd

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    #74
    Nice thread.

    A while back we bought a 15" MacBook Pro (Early 2008) in excellent condition for £50. Turned out to be a 2.4GHz/4GB/256MB VRAM model. I knew about the problems with the GPU in these so figured it would fail at some point. However it's kept on trucking since 2014 with no problems, so I'm wondering if it's got the later 603 Nvidia chip. It does have the later 3212 ROM revision that you guys have shown.

    I set it up on Mavericks initially, then upgraded to Yosemite and on to El Capitan. It's only got a 200GB 5400rpm drive which is really slow and bogging down. I'm getting ready to put a 512GB SSD in it now though as a thank you for its sterling service :)
     
  25. zackkmac macrumors 6502a

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    Tulsa
    #75
    Love this thread. This got me on the hunt for a 07/08 MBP since my PowerBooks weren't doing so hot and I nabbed a 17" that was "for parts", the seller knew nothing about it because it was given to him and he couldn't test it. Well, it came with a MagSafe 2 charger, so no wonder. Turned out to be a fully working CTO early 2008 with the 2.6GHz C2D and 17" hi-res matte screen, so for the price and its condition (no flaws on the case at all) I am stoked. Battery actually has only 66 cycles right now! Which is about what my last PowerBook had when I got it so I must be having a good luck streak lol.

    It was running around 70 degrees Celsius at idle, so I added an SSD and repasted it with Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut and now it runs at around 50 degrees, or 60 if I start doing more intensive tasks. Haven't had a chance to really stress it but the results I've seen so far are much better than when I got it.

    I did check and it has the 602 chip with 3212 ROM, but seeing the very low battery cycle count makes me think this laptop has hardly seen any use since new and the graphics may go a lot longer now with the repasting. In fact I think I will be selling my 2012 13" and keeping this as my main laptop.
     

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