Hardware problems with MacBook pro - should I buy?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by fauxbourdon, Jan 3, 2007.

  1. fauxbourdon macrumors newbie

    Jan 3, 2007
    I really need to get a new laptop in the next couple of days, because my IBM Thinkpad is about to kick the bucket, and I was thinking of making the switch to Mac and buying a MacBook Pro. However, a little Internet research revealed all kinds of complaints about random shutdowns, overheating, weird fan noises, uneven screen brightness, etc. I know Apple released some kind of firmware update that was supposed to address some of these issues, but I also saw some suggestions that this didn't fix the problem adequately.

    I was wondering whether the community here knows whether these hardware issues are still present in the present lineup of MacBook pros and/or if this firmware update fixed all these problems. I read some pretty hellish stories about MacBook Pros shutting down constantly and overheating and consequently being unusable, and I am concerned this might happen to me if I buy now. Thoughts?

    Oh, will the answer be any different if I buy a 17-inch MacBook Pro from the previous lineup, i.e., the one that's only 2.16 GHz instead of the new 2.33? I can get the older 2.16 GHZ 17-incher for a thousand bucks less but am concerned that since it was produced earlier, it might be more prone to these problems. Does the firmware fix also fix these problems on this first-generation MacBook Pro? Thanks.
  2. djinn macrumors 68000


    Oct 4, 2003
    I previously owned a Macbook Pro CD 2.16ghz and noticed that it ran hotter and slower than my current MBP. I've read that the new MBP C2D is a Rev B, whether its true or not is beyond me.

    I haven't had any of the problems that you listed but I just bought my laptop last Saturday. So who knows what the future will bring.

    Now you say a couple of days, please keep in mind that Macworld is coming up. Whether you can wait or not is totally up to you. It is highly unlikely that any updates will happen with the macbook or macbook pros. But like people say, its Apple..
  3. CanadaRAM macrumors G5


    Oct 11, 2004
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    You do realize that what you read is the vocal minority who have had problems?

    The latest figures I heard on the MacBook Pro was an 8% repair rate. That is, 8% of MacBook Pro owners have had a repair of any kind during the lifetime of the machine so far.

    So there is not an endemic failure rate.

    Then there are the 'discussions' of whether a fan should be quieter, or a screen brighter, or a hard drive larger, or a memory card reader included. This fall under the heading of: "You get the machine you buy". People can fantasize all they like about whether Apple should have found a way to run the video processor at higher MHz, or got an extra hour out of a battery, or made it run World Quest Of Doom Invaders at 82 frames per second, but that's not the reality of the machine Apple engineered and offered for sale.

    Understand what you are getting before you put your money down.
  4. fauxbourdon thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 3, 2007

    I figured that this might just be a small minority of people who had these problems, esp. the spontaneous shutting down, but it sounded serious enough to look into. I mean I found several websites dedicated to this very problem alone. But as you said, the people whose MacBooks don't spontaneously shut down wouldn't be posting on those forums. Regardless, it sounds like a problem that shouldn't be happening, and I was wondering if it had been fixed or not, regardless of how common it is.

    I'm not simply referring to complaints like "this hard drive is too small" or "the screen isn't bright enough." Sure I looked at the specs and at the computer. I'm just talking about honest to goodness defects.

    Still, if the overall repair rate is really only 8%, that's comforting. Thanks.

  5. djinn macrumors 68000


    Oct 4, 2003
    Your my new best friend.... Great minds think alike.
  6. fauxbourdon thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 3, 2007

    I guess what it comes down to is this: is there any reason NOT to buy an unused but out-of-production 17" MacBook Pro from the previous lineup (17", 2.16 GHz, 1 GB RAM, 120 GB HD) for $1799 on sale from Amazon, rather than buying the 15" MacBookPro from the current lineup (2.16 GHz, 1 GB RAM, 120 GB HD) for $1999 (what it's currently going for)?

    The older model appears to have the same specs, but a bigger screen, and for less money. I was concerned that the newer MacBook Pro models had addressed/fixed some of the above-mentioned hardware issues (fans, shutdowns, etc.), and that I might have a bigger chance of running into these issues if I bought one of the original MacBook Pros than if I bought one of the current models. (Would the firmware fix work on the older models too?)

    Otherwise, buying the out-of-production one with the bigger screen but all the other specs the same, and for less money, seems like a good deal.
  7. e12a macrumors 68000


    Oct 28, 2006
    Listen to this guy.

    I have NOT had one kernel panic since day 1. Week 43! I use it every day, and have Boot Camp installed with Company of Heroes (great game btw). Screen is just like any other in my opinion.

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