Is refurb MBP with 8600GT safe to buy?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by mossme89, Aug 22, 2009.

  1. mossme89 macrumors 6502

    Jul 2, 2009
    Right now on Apple's refurb site, i'm looking at an older 15" MBP with the Nvidia 8600GT. I know the 8600 has had a boatload of issues, but would i be less likely to have issues with the graphics card failing by buying an Apple refurb MBP? Were the 8600 issues only with the initial batch?

    Btw, i plan to game 1-2 hours a day.
  2. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
    I would avoid 8600M GT like plague. NVIDIA admitted that all 8600M GTs are defective so, sooner than later it needs repair. Get previous generation 2.4GHz 15" MBP instead, it has 9600GT
  3. mossme89 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jul 2, 2009
    How is the 8600 VS the 9600? I have heard from some people that they are the same, others say the 9600 is around 20% better.
  4. jbrenn macrumors 6502a

    Aug 27, 2008
    I have had 4 gpu failures since january on two computers. 3 had the revision 2 boards. so if you like talking to apple about the crappy computer then by all means by the 8600.
  5. zp3dd4 macrumors member

    Jun 21, 2009
    the 9600 is slightly faster (not by much), but way less likely to fail..
  6. Eidorian macrumors Penryn


    Mar 23, 2005
    If you're looking at refurbished models get the 9600M GT.
  7. thebrain74 macrumors regular

    Feb 25, 2006
    Don't get a MBP with a 8600 in it. I just sold mine because it died (it was replaced under warranty). A refurb doesn't really make you less likely to have problems. Non of the Mobo revisions changed anything about the graphics card--and ALL of the 8600's have a packaging defect. While it is true you may not experience any problems....for a while, I truly wouldn't get one of these laptops. I am a student (so not exactly rich) and I was worried enough about it (it failed on me during finals period) I bit the bullet and got a new MBP.

    I know its not related, but my MBP also had screen that went bad (totally separate issue from the GPU) and a fan that died (happened after the GPU, so it didn't cause any undue stress/heat on it).

    Plus, the new MBP's are much better constructed. I babied my 15'' SR MBP and after 2yrs it was creaky: the top panel was perfectly tight to the bottom, the hinge was wobbly, the screws got super loose,etc
  8. SoulBlighter macrumors newbie

    Apr 5, 2004
    I have to agree with thebrain74. I too had my 17" SR MBP 8600GT fail on me- thankfully right after I finished finals (the month of May 2009).

    I was lucky enough to qualify for the program Apple offered to replace/fix the issue but I wonder if the replacement chipset I have isn't a ticking time-bomb and if all 8600's are prone to the defect or if it was just a botched lot a couple of years ago.

    mossme89, you said you planned to game approximately 1-2 hours a day with her. Whenever I play a game on my system (Mac-side or Windows-side) my fans always spin up to their highest RPM and my system becomes incredibly hot.

    I recall reading an article on the 8600GT problem and it said, that once NVIDIA acknowledge the defect, they released a driver update that kick-starts/signals the system to increase its fans in an effort to cool the GPU down so it wouldn't 'burn out'- but was only a stop-gap measure that (the article said) would just delay the eventual failure and isn't a fix at all.

    If you're looking for advice, I would avoid an MBP with the 8600 GT, and (especially since you're sinking a lot of cash in a big ticket item) encourage you to get the next model after the 8600's. Don't forget to check out to get a complete list/detail of each successive model. I find it helps to compare things while in the market.
  9. vertigo78 macrumors regular

    Oct 2, 2008
    not trying to hijack this thread but can anyone explain to me why the refurbished non-unibody mbp cost just as much as their umbp counterparts with superior specs?
  10. jbrenn macrumors 6502a

    Aug 27, 2008
    It is very simple if you play games often and buy the 8600 you will be getting a free upgrade to a unibody in a year or two. The real answer is they did not lower the price of the refirbs when they lowered the price of the new ones.
  11. mikes70mustang macrumors 68000


    Nov 14, 2008
    FW 400 and 800. Express, DVI, ports on both sides. Theres plenty of people with 8600GT that are fine.
  12. wesrk macrumors 6502a

    Nov 4, 2007
    I have and early 08 mbp and as much as I love it, I think it's safer to go with one without the added probability of a failure
  13. m85476585 macrumors 65816

    Feb 26, 2008
  14. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

    Aug 13, 2006
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    Oops. Looks like his graphics card busted in the middle of writing this post! ;)

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