IMPORTANT information for MBP users, before trouble starts!

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by PracticalMac, Sep 23, 2011.

  1. PracticalMac macrumors 68030

    PracticalMac

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2009
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    #1
    I relate a failure I had that may prove useful for other MBP users who have similar symptoms.

    I had a failure of my MacBook Pro’s GPU.
    I just got it back after Apple fix.

    What I noticed in the months leading up to the event was the fans running and the machine getting HOT even when little was happening

    I had iStats up, with temp and fan RPM.
    I am trying to recall the symptoms form memory here.

    Before: The fans went up to clearly audible level at about 127* F, and it went up to a high RPM (about 4000 RPM).

    After repair:
    Under high load temp went up to 160* F, fans at 2000 RPM. It slowly (over 2-4 minuets) when up to 4000 RPM. Even then runs noticeably quieter then before.


    FAILURE details and strangeness after of old board:
    I was watching a YouTube video when it suddenly stopped and some parts of screen showed corruption, especially around the mouse. The MBP froze hard, would not respond to anything except a hard shutdown.

    When I rebooted the screen showed the logo and twirl, but stopped at a light blue screen just before the log in window.

    I restarted and with Option key could see my selection of drives, and chose my Windows partition, but that too would not go into GUI. When I tried a system DVD, it too went to light blue screen. I tried Pram reset, except for brighter screen, nothing.

    I WAS able to get into Target Disk Mode, with the famous yellow Y bouncing around (and that allowed me to make a final backup of the drive). A friend of mine also had his video fail (this time no video at all), but his TDM worked perfect, so he did same. He did not have any backup)

    At the Apple store their diagnostic software displayed completely, showed status on all components. Did indicate a logic board flaw. Other software they tried to boot into failed (again, full selection of devices showed.

    It was seeing the screen display low end system items makes me believe the Mac ROM has basic video functions that is passed to GPU when system loads.
     
  2. toroinoue macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2010
  3. PracticalMac thread starter macrumors 68030

    PracticalMac

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2009
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    #3
    Don't limit to just my model, keep an eye on all models of Intel based MBP, especially those over 3 years old.

    I would not assume the i3/i5/i7 is immune to this as well, becuase the failure seems to be with the GPU, not the CPU.


    CPU: Intel Mobile Core 2 Duo (T7xxx)
    CPU Speed: 2.33 GHz
    Bus Speed: 667 MHz

    Screen: 15.4/17" active matrix TFT
    GPU: ATI Mobility Radeon X1600
    VRAM: 256 MB GDDR3
    Max Resolution: 24 bit 1440x900
    Video Out: dual-link DVI

    My friend's 4 month younger MBP suffered complete video failure (Target Disk mode still worked), his is a:

    CPU: Intel Mobile Core 2 Duo (T7xxx)
    CPU Speed: 2.2/2.4 GHz
    Bus Speed: 800 MHz
    Screen: 15.4 active matrix TFT
    GPU: NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GT
    VRAM: 128 MB GDDR3
    Max Resolution: 24 bit 1440x900


    On a wild guess, what could be happening is the thermal compound is drying out. The silicone or silver paste has liquid (oil) which can dry out and reduce its effectiveness, maybe drastically.
     
  4. dittman macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2007
    #4
    My A1212 (Late 2006 17") started running hotter than normal, and when it got to a certain point I started getting "sparkles" on the screen. The hotter it got, the more sparkles I would see. They were easiest to see on a dark gray background (the first place I noticed them was on the Firefox tab bar).

    I disassembled it and replaced the heatsink compound which appears to have helped some, but only in reducing the normal running temperature. When it starts to heat up the sparkles start.

    Was the fix expensive?

    Given the age of my MBP I'm thinking about just buying a new one.
     
  5. PracticalMac thread starter macrumors 68030

    PracticalMac

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2009
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    #5
    It was $357 (w/ tax) for service from Apple Care mail in (not local store, which would cost more then $500).

    I judged the $357 a reasonable expense compared a new low end 15" is $1800 (and the fact my budget this year did not have a new MBP on list. :( )
     
  6. dittman macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2007
    #6
    That's not too bad, but I've got a couple of the side clips broken on mine so I think they'd look at that as well as having replaced the thermal compound and charge more as being previously worked on by a non-Apple tech. Was there a base inspection fee?

    I discovered the broken clips (one each) when I replaced the hard drive which had failed. I'm not sure how they broke. I know it wasn't from me removing the screws, and since they were already broken it definitely wasn't from prying up the top.
     
  7. PracticalMac thread starter macrumors 68030

    PracticalMac

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2009
    Location:
    Houston, TX
  8. snaky69 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2008
    #8
    Pretty much every 8600GT equipped MBP owner?
     
  9. frocco macrumors 6502

    frocco

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2009
    #9
    I just retuned my new RMBP.
    Had it one night, when I woke up, the fans were running high and the lid was closed. I could not get it to boot up.

    now I have no computer, and am thinking of waiting for the new iMacs.
     
  10. xxcysxx macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2011
    #10
    maybe the thermal paste is bad. why don't you just replace the thermal paste yourself and see if it remedy the problem. it's easy.;)
     
  11. PracticalMac thread starter macrumors 68030

    PracticalMac

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2009
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    #11
    GPU already fired. Preventative to replace the pasted every 3 years.
     
  12. joshhedge macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2012
    #12
    This is a well known problem, for which Nvidia has had to shell-out millions for in compensation.
     

Share This Page