Unibody MB Freezing When Playing Game

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by iStrat, Feb 2, 2009.

  1. iStrat macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2007
    Location:
    New York
    #1
    I bought a stock 2.4 GHz aluminum MacBook in October and it's been great. However, I have a specific problem. When I play the game, Vendetta Online, it freezes. It usually takes about an hour of play, but the entire computer will lock up. Occasionally, it will give me a kernel panic, but most of the time it is a complete freeze without any messages at all. The only way to get out of it is to do a hard restart by holding the power button. At first, I thought it may be related to CPU temperature because the game makes the computer run hot, but I tried using SMC fan control to keep the temperature below 70c at all times, and it still freezes. I don't remember it ever doing this before, but for the last few weeks it now seems to do it every time if I keep the game running long enough. Sometimes it will only take a minute and sometimes it will take an hour or two. Since it's a complete freeze, I don't get any sort of crash log either (as far as I know). I tried reinstalling the game and it still does it.

    I was excited when the new MacBooks had a better GPU, but now it seems like it was for nothing because I can't take advantage of it with the one game I really like to play. Any ideas about why it may be doing this? Any possible fixes? Can anyone else test to see if it does the same thing on their new MacBook? Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Zenor macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2008
    #2
    Sounds like a GPU issue. Maybe you should try to test the game to a friend's macbook and see how it goes.
     
  3. SteveMobs macrumors 6502

    SteveMobs

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Washington D.C.
    #3
    Can you post a link to the game? I'll try it on my 2.4 ghz Uni MB. Maybe.
     
  4. iStrat thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2007
    Location:
    New York
    #4
    Yes! Thank you.

    http://www.vendetta-online.com/

    There is a free fully-functional 8-hour trial (that you can actually retry as many times as you would like). To test it, just leave the game running for at least an hour or two. That's how long it usually takes to freeze. If anyone else has the problem, then I know it is some sort of general conflict and not just my specific machine. Also, it is a very fun game, so this should be a test that you actually enjoy quite a bit.
     
  5. iStrat thread starter macrumors member

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    Jul 5, 2007
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    New York
    #5
  6. mousouchop macrumors 6502a

    mousouchop

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2008
    Location:
    New York
    #6
    I have the 2.4Ghz Aluminum Macbook. This is actually my second one...

    I had the SAME EXACT issue as you on my first unit. The computer ran fine, but when I went to play WoW it would lock up the entire system... Sometimes after 2 hours, sometimes after 2 minutes. After 7 lockups in 4 days, I brought it into Apple, told them the issue. Got the grey screen and crash report on the first crash... and after that nothing-- just a straight freeze.

    They replaced my unit and told me that if the problem persisted that it was obviously the game and not the hardware. With my new unit I have played WoW for hours at a time without lockups, haven't had a single lockup on this second system. Bring it in and get a new one. It is the hardware. In most cases I would blame the software and tell you to research patches and whatever-- but I have experienced this and it is an odd fluke. I wonder if it has to do with quality control of the new GPUs.

    On my new one I play WoW while listening to iTunes, surfing Firefox, talking on Adium and downloading torrents on Transmission (Playing games windowed helps one to multitask... haha). And I generally have Photoshop, Dreamweaver and Word running in the background too... Point of the story... It's not CPU heat like you are thinking (I thought the same). It is something deeper than that, of which you won't find out because there are no damn crash logs. haha. They looked through all of the logs at the Apple store and couldn't find anything.

    In anycase, get to an Apple store. Good luck!
     
  7. Acorn macrumors 68020

    Acorn

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2009
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    macrumors
    #7
    i know nvidia is now offering notebook drivers. they tend to be newer then what manufacturers supply with the notebook. i assume you are using bootcamp for this game. maybe some updated drivers would help. just remember to uninstall the old drivers first. dont install on top of the drivers.

    http://www.nvidia.com/Download/index.aspx?lang=en-us
     
  8. iStrat thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2007
    Location:
    New York
    #8
    Thanks! After reading your post, I downloaded the WoW trial and just let it sit on the login screen. Sure enough, it froze. Now I know the problem is not just with the game, but with the computer itself. I guess I'll go to the Apple Store to get it replaced. Ugh.
     
  9. morphalex macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2008
    #9
    hmm I have the same problem when playing W3 DOTA, but it doesn't happen all the time, just occassionally. I don't think I can take it to apple store and request an exchange since it doesn't happen everytime. And I really don't want to exchange my otherwise perfect laptop...any ideas?
     
  10. iStrat thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2007
    Location:
    New York
    #10
    Try downloading Vendetta Online or WoW. See if it happens with those two games. If it does, then you know you are having the same problem as us and you can get it replaced.
     
  11. Nith macrumors newbie

    Nith

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2008
    Location:
    Kyoto
    #11
    I have had the same problem with my MacBook, i am getting it picked up and fixed soon and i hope that does the trick. I also play WoW with 4GB RAM. Recently i have also read some articles about the MacBooks possibly having problem with max RAM installed but nothing solid. I still figure its the GPU since i had GUI distortion at one point as well.

    Other than that MacBook is really nice but damn freezes make me want a Pro.
     
  12. Jpoon macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2008
    Location:
    Culver City, California
    #12
    The GPU is probably overheating. I'd make sure that you buy some sort of cooling pad to dissipate some of the heat coming off of that thing.

    The single pad one from Belkin really gets the job done.

    Either way, make sure that the fans are pretty much running full blast with SMC fan control if you're playing without the cooling pad, even with the new one.
     
  13. Nith macrumors newbie

    Nith

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2008
    Location:
    Kyoto
    #13
    I don't know if its an overheating problem, and if it is then its a problem with the GPU itself. Because i will play hours with no problems, as of right now as well, and other times i will log in and it will freeze. or i'll get multiple freezes in the span of an hour etc.
     
  14. iStrat thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2007
    Location:
    New York
    #14
    It is not because of extra RAM. My MacBook is stock with 2GB. Also, if the GPU is overheating, then it is broken. It is not supposed to do that. But like I said, even with smcFanControl keeping things below 70c, it still will freeze.
     
  15. yeeguy macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 7, 2009
    Location:
    Palo Alto, CA
    #15
    My Unibody MB freezes too

    Yeah, my MB (13" unibody) has been suffering from random freezes, too. Same symptoms -- image still on screen, pointer does not respond to trackpad movement, and keyboard input ignored. I actually just spent most of the afternoon at the Genius Bar at my local Apple store. Was able to get it to freeze a couple times for them.

    We tried pulling out the RAM and trying different sticks of RAM. That didn't solve it. And we ran HD and RAM diagnostics, everything checked out OK. So everyone was kinda perplexed by what's going on. I may have to take it back so they can service it (still under warranty).

    In the meantime, we did stumble across one "workaround". After the MacBook freezes, if you plug in a USB device, sometimes the machine wakes up again. It's the oddest thing and i have no idea why that would suddenly resurrect the machine. But you can try it out and see if it does anything for you. I figure any problem this funky has got to be a logic board issue, so I'm hoping to be able to drop off the machine with them for a few days so they can service it.

    Hope that helps!
     
  16. courboy macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2009
    #16
    Ok a quick update. I took my UMB to the apple store today and was unable to get it to crash but did manage to explain what happens.

    They have ordered a new logic board and some new ram to see if this changes anything, I don't expect this is the problem though.

    Has anybody else found apple taking this route before realising it's the nvidia chip issue and replacing the whole MB?
     
  17. iLog.Genius macrumors 601

    iLog.Genius

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2009
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario
    #17
    It isn't a overheating problem as I have set Fan Control but still have happened to me in DotA. For those who play the game, 90% of the time, when I trigger Axe's ult it will freeze and it's only with that hero only on both the 9400M and 9600M GT. Pulling up the log, it doesn't really say anything helpful. It's not the hardware since I am able to play WoW with no problems at all. I'm just going to say OS X just isn't an OS to play games on, sure they will work but reliably? If you plan to play games, better off running Windows through Boot Camp.
     
  18. courboy macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2009
    #18
    They ran a program through a hard drive they had in store which emulated opening lots of programs simultaneously. The fan and the cpu were fine and responded as he expected (although it did get up to ~93 degrees at one point).

    He is sure that the logic board replacement will cure the problem. I am not a hard ore gamer at all but I do enjoy playing a football management game which always crashes on my mac. Further to this though, even the standard screensaver will cause a crash after about an hour of running - this surely cannot be just due to a software problem?

    I have read about other macs in the past having problems with the Nvidia chipset installed, the genius in the store even said they had this problem with the old MBPs but have not had any he was aware with the unibody macbooks.

    I feel I will send the computer away for a week only to still have the same problem once it returns!! :(
     
  19. Buskape macrumors 6502

    Buskape

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    NGC 4889
    #19
    Apple should get rid of their contract with Nvidia. They should partner with ATI for their laptops, we would have far better performances and no overheating or crashing issues. ATI is the way to go.
     
  20. courboy macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2009
    #20
    My laptop has been with the Genius's for a week now and they left on COD4 for the day and were unable to get it to lockup. I think the reason is because they just left it on one part of the game, when you are actively playing it, that's when things happen as the GFX are working harder.

    My question is, do any of you know how to get this to lockup quickly? They want me to visit the store on Monday and try to demonstrate the lockup but this sometimes takes >1hr - I want to replicate it as quickly as possible to them.

    Thanks.
     

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