Recap on common issues affecting the latest unibody MacBook Pros

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Zoowatch, Mar 23, 2009.

  1. Zoowatch macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    Location:
    Sheffield, UK
    #1
    I am interested in getting one of the MacBook Pros. It is difficult not to feel a bit paranoid after reading so many threads here about glitches and hardware issues. Of course, I understand that the nature of such forum is that only problematic cases will be highlighted and there are far many happy users out there who aren't as vocal.

    So, can you help me recap those common issues affecting the late 2008 / early 2009 unibody MacBook Pros, both 15- and 17-inch models.

    So far, there seem to be more issues with the 17"-MBP, mainly about
    the graphics card and heating problem (sounded quite serious).


    How about the 15"? Are the problems affecting 15"-MBP mostly ironed out by now?

    Any of the following complains on the 15"-MBP?
    1) loud fan
    2) graphics card over-heating
    3) battery not holding full charge
    4) screen colour cast (blueish-tint or colour inconsistency problem)
    5) unreliable bluetooth / wireless signal
    6) unexplained, reproducible freezing / random kernel panic
    7) anything you would like to add?

    Thanks for sharing! :cool:
     
  2. bossxii macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2008
    Location:
    Kansas City
    #2
    You should do a search on the forums for "9600 gt issues" it will show you 2 or maybe 3 now (new one today) talking about the GPU. It's only a serious issue to the person that has a problem with it. The past two weeks or so as people have been getting their 17" UMBP I think I've read 2 people, maybe 3 in total on these forums actually had a 9600 GT problem, it's all just hype and people creating drama over nothing. Most people happy with their 17" UMBP are not here on the forums, people with issues are, the percentage is so over blown by forums by people. Yes it's happened, but it's not an epidemic.

    There is also a thread several pages long with 17" UMBP owners saying nothing but great things and loving their new machines (myself included)

    Don't get lost in the hype and drama I've own'd a MB, MBA and both 15" and 17" UMBP's and ZERO problems, I use my machine daily, for hours at a time, work, home, watching/streaming video for hours a time and everyone of them has run perfect.

    Applecare seems to work very well for those that have reported needing it. I wouldn't stress out over the issues and just jump in. :)
     
  3. Zoowatch thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    Location:
    Sheffield, UK
    #3
    Hi bossxii

    Thank you for your reply. It gave me quite a bit of assurance that such problems aren't as ubiquitous as they seem around here.

    The biggest reason I would buy a 17" MBP is the ability to play full HD movies without the need to shrink the width of the video. But to be honest, I would not have the chance to watch full-HD movie at work often.

    I am currently using a Mac Pro + 24" LED display at home... this is where most of my creative works are done.

    Meanwhile, my 9-to-5 workplace also need a Mac, and I was thinking about getting a MBP over the iMac because it will be easy to carry it home on the weekends and transfer those "from work" files that were created over the past 5 days over to the Mac Pro (for backing up, data management). But once I am home, I would be using the Mac Pro primarily.

    So the question is, if you were me, would you (A) get an iMac for the workplace or (B) get a MBP instead. Do you think an iMac at work would fit the scheme better? If your prefer (B), would you recommend (B1) the 15" MBP or (B2) the 17" MBP?. Computing requirement at my workplace is pretty undemanding, and there would strictly be no video editing or gaming.

    I only normally travel with computer once or twice a year, but delivering PowerPoint is a regular routine.

    One last question is that, since both the 24" LED display and the MBP are using the same screen technology, how will the picture quality of these 2 match when I place them side by side?

    Thanks for ideas and opinions!
     
  4. ScottishCaptain macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2008
    #4
    17": Bendy bendy!

    I got my CTO 2.93ghz 17" a few days ago. It was recently sent back for a new unit.

    The issue was that /none/ of the lines on the laptop were straight (ie, the edges). Where the 15" units seem pretty close to perfection (the LCD closes completely flat on the surface of the unibody bottom), the 17" unit I got was pretty brutal. The screen was bowed upwards, left-to-right, and at the back too (where the hinge is). The bottom was bowed downwards, left-to-right, near the ethernet port and apparently extending across to the DVD slot, which was also visibly bowed. This created a wondrous gap between the LCD and the bottom when shut, made the DVD slot look like crap, and introduced a creaking noise when opening/closing the LCD.

    Don't get me wrong, it was a nice unit- great screen, great trackpad, good keyboard, and it definitely felt like one of the most solid laptops I've ever owned... But it came from the factory, well, bent. Back it goes. Sigh.

    -SC
     
  5. serofibrinous macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2009
    #5
    1) My Fans are dead quiet. It is the HDD that hums constantly. I am used to it now. It is only noticeable when in complete silence.
    2)The is a legitimate issue for gamers and people doing graphics intensive tasks. I have not run into this problem. It gets hot, but not like previous MBP models.
    3) My battery holds a full charge.
    4)Bluish-tint is there. As well as mile light-leakage. I don't mind either, but some will hate this.
    5) My bluetooth radio is faulty, I need to make an appt. with the geniuses. Wireless signal is solid.
    6) Control-Shift-3 on 9600 card = computer frozen tundra. Outside of this issue, no freezes or kernel panics.

    The hinge is cheap and creaks quite a bit on my machine. Some have had better luck with this. The audio-in jack is slightly faulty and certain headphones won't work well with it.

    I have had the notebook for 2 months. Overall, I am very satisfied. It is a workhorse that is lightweight and sexy.
     
  6. jeremybuff macrumors regular

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    Mar 3, 2009
    Location:
    Asheville, NC
    #6
  7. ViciousShadow21 macrumors 68020

    ViciousShadow21

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2009
    Location:
    To your left or right
    #7
    hate to sound like a prick but.....mine works perfectly.
     
  8. Zoowatch thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Jan 6, 2004
    Location:
    Sheffield, UK
    #8
    Hi thanks for sharing. Are you referring to the 15- or the 17-inch MBP?
    The screen shot freeze problem in 17-MBP is rather unacceptable in my opinion. The buyers have after all paid a considerable premium on the notebook, and so they should expect it to work fine. Hopefully these can be completely fixed with software updates.
     
  9. jgo78 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2008
    #9
    u forgot one big common one, flicker,

    1) flicker at low brightness levels. (like a pulsing effect)
    2) blinks/flashes
     
  10. Zoowatch thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
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    Sheffield, UK
    #10
    Sounds like the 17"-MBP needs to wait until a second revision before the manufacuring process can be perfected. I thought that the main selling point about unibody is (A) strength / rigidity and (B) precision. Talking about (B), the downwards bow which you have described may actually be a design 'flaw' which we will have to wait until rev B for a real fix.
     
  11. Zoowatch thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Jan 6, 2004
    Location:
    Sheffield, UK
    #11
    This is quite concerning. Why does the adoption of NVIA graphics card leads to so many issues. I thought Apple wrote firmware / driver for NVIDIA GPU? When Snow Leopard arrives, will new issues arise (considering that the operating system will make some use of the GPU as well as the CPU)?

    The flickr, blinking issue is a result of overheating / inadequate cooling, or due to something more sinister?
     
  12. jgo78 macrumors 6502

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    Nov 11, 2008
    #12
    not sure , there's quite a bit of discussion on the apple forums and this forum , there are different theories.
     
  13. brentsg macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2008
    #13
    I've never encountered any of these issues with my release-day 15.4" MBP. I use it all day every day, usually in clamshell mode to a 24" ACD using the 9600GT.

    I have had the "cursor jump" issue here and there but it doesn't bother me too much.
     
  14. RKpro macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2008
    #14
    I'm not having any of the 6 problems Zoowatch listed at the top.

    But there was a big **** storm on the forums after launch. The common complaints among the early adopters last year were: loose battery door, loose hinge, and bad LED backlight bleeding (Apple uses more than one manufacturer for LCDs, so it was just the luck of the draw.)

    But I think by now everyone got used to it...
     
  15. Zoowatch thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Jan 6, 2004
    Location:
    Sheffield, UK
    #15
    Thanks for pointing those out, I will keep them in mind when the MBP arrives. By the way, I recall that a certain model of LED screen used in MBP are affected by quality issue, and forumers here have been comparing their LED screen model number. What are those model number again?
     
  16. atheros07 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2009
    Location:
    Cambridge, MA
    #16
    9C84- LG Display
    9C85- Chi Mei Display

    My recently purchased MBP has none of those 6 issues. It does have an occasional right speaker rattle at high frequencies. Also, I have the 9C85 screen and it does have a little bit of a spotlight light bleed effect at the bottom edge, but these two issues don't really bother me.


    (BTW, my MBP was made in January):
    Serial number: W8903xxxxxx
    Name: MacBook Pro (Late 2008)
    Model: Mxxxx MacBook Pro 2.4GHz
    Bus speed: 1.07GHz
    Screen size: 15 inch
    Memory - number of slots: 2
    Factory: W8 (Shanghai China)

    Model introduced: 2008
    Production year: 2009
    Production week: 03 (January)
    Production number: 11318 (within this week)
     
  17. serofibrinous macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2009
    #17
    I have the 15-Inch Model. I believe this particular issue (screen shot) will be fixed with 10.5.7. But anyway, no one should feel like they are rolling the dice when they are paying such a high premium. The NVIDIA gpu issues are puzzling to me. They don't seem to stem from merely poor heat dissipation alone. I am not sure how well Apple is working with NVIDIA to integrate the hardware and OS X. Anyway, once you get yours, it'd be great to know what you think.

    10.5.7 fix of screenshot issue is a rumor from an apple technician i know. this may very well not be true...
     
  18. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

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    Location:
    NYC
    #18
    Don't have any of those issues.
     
  19. Zoowatch thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Sheffield, UK
    #19
    Hi there. Thanks for the information.

    So is the LG display the one which has issues or is it the Chi Mei Display?

    I will be checking it once it arrive. :)
     
  20. shoppy macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2007
    Location:
    Hants
    #20
    Mine has no problems what so ever, prefect. I have had both screens, though the last 6-7 UMP's have all had LG screens. I have found the LG screen to be the be the better one.
     
  21. brentsg macrumors 68030

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    Oct 15, 2008
    #21
    There have been entire threads dedicated to comparing the screens, why do it here?
     
  22. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

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    Location:
    NYC
    #22
    Because one of the listed "problems" is a blu-ish screen. :rolleyes:
     
  23. tchek macrumors newbie

    tchek

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    #23
  24. brentsg macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2008
    #25
    I don't see where anyone has tied this directly to one of the other...

    And besides I was referring directly to the "Mine has screen made by XYZ and it is much better". Those types of vague comments open up cans of worms.
     

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