I think my Graphics card is dying... but how can I prove it to Apple?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by jackmack, Aug 14, 2008.

  1. jackmack macrumors regular

    Jun 9, 2006
    Ok, so approximately late december, early january, my laptop started to randomly glitch.

    In a nut shell, i was working on my computer and I opened a window, and right when the window opened, my screen went mosaic (see photo below). I could still see my mouse ontop of the mosaic mess, and when I hovered over stuff like my bottom bar (don't know the technical name), I could see the mosaic change as the icons magnified. Even growl notifications cause the bottom mosaic to go dark as the notice appears.

    I rebooted and thought it was just something stupid. And sure enough, life was good for a while. I'm not sure how long after, but it was a decent amount of time... it sort of happened again... only this time it was only a part of the screen that went mosaic. This time, my computer locked up for 15-45 seconds, then would work normal for another 30 seconds, then lock up again. it would repeat this until I forced it to reboot.

    Within the past couple months, it seems as if it is more frequent. The only "event" i can seem to tie it to is it appears to happen more often when I plug in/unplug an external monitor, or if an external monitor is already plugged in. Something about that seems to trigger it. In fact, I am posting this right now because it happened again (and I took a pic below) right after unplugging from my external monitor.

    What sucks is that I don't know how to prove this to Apple other than pictures. Since the actual freezing of the machine doesn't cause it to crash, nor does the mosaic pixel patterns, I don't have any crash files to send to apple (and I've confirmed this).

    So... I have a macbook pro 17" santa rosa... is this a known problem?

    What should I do to get this looked at/fixed?

    I'm going to call apple again about it tomorrow.


    Edit: Just so you know, the only option apple has given me was to bring it in during the problem... my laptop is how I make a living, so I can't really stop working and drive out (or in this case drive out tomorrow) to an apple store to let them see it freaking out.
  2. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
  3. jackmack thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 9, 2006
    I'm hoping you're right.

    Due to the complete randomness of the freak outs, and depending on if I'm working on a project or not or where I am, the last several times it has happened, I did not have the ability to take a picture... so this is the first time I had one handy (new cell phone with working camera).
  4. nuncupatory macrumors member

    Aug 14, 2008
    Known, yes (or at least some of us believe so). Publicly acknowledged by Apple, no.

    Tell them you've read on various forums about the Nvidia GPUs failing in MBPs, like these thread here:

    You might want to try the Apple Hardware Test.
    If your GPU is just starting to show symptoms, you may not detect anything, but if it's almost on its way out, it might show up.

    Wow, I went a bit link-crazy... :p
  5. jackmack thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 9, 2006

    Wow I wish I could give you a hug... that article describes EXACTLY the problems I've been having for MONTHS and MONTHS... I thought it was just me, or maybe a plugin problem, or something... but the text problems and the lines and the flickering... my god I'm going to call apple ASAP tomorrow. This is BS.
  6. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    Just that you know they normally won't accept pictures; they have to be able to reproduce it.

    So don't be surprised if they deny you repair; it's just policy against fraud.
  7. jackmack thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 9, 2006
    I'd have video taped it if my iphone had the ability. -_-
  8. 7031 macrumors 6502


    Apr 6, 2007
    It's a problem with the Nvidia 8600, 8400, 9200 and 9400 chipset. They all seem to enjoy overheating and dying.
  9. megageorge macrumors member

    May 16, 2008
    If you have a graphical glitch like that, you should be about to take a screenshot of it. I had a few screenshots of my graphical glitches and they took the machine in for repair and replaced the logic board.

    You shouldn't have a problem, especially with pictures of the actual computer while it is freaking out.
  10. monkey86 macrumors 6502


    Aug 5, 2008
    to be fair if you need it for work you will have to take it in OR have to buy a new one, take it in powered up with a full battery and then use it to the max.

    it will happen you have to get it sorted or you will have a $2000 paperweight.

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