What could this problem mean?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by comatory, Oct 28, 2012.

  1. comatory macrumors 6502a

    comatory

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2012
    #1
    I am currently looking at buying used Macbook Pro. I have offer on 15" 2009 Macbook Pro that has 2 GPUs for around $840.
    The MBP is fine, sellers says everything works OK, the only thing that doesn't work is automatic switching between GPUs. GPUs can be switched via an utility but it doesn't happen automatically as it should.

    I am very interested in it (other than that it has some dings on the lid but nothing serious) but how much should I be worried? What can this mean, failing GPU unit? Anyone ever had this problem?

    Personally I wouldn't mind about it as I would probably switch it to the better GPU anyway, I do not need long battery life.

    What do you think? Is it good for the money offered?
     
  2. Orlandoech macrumors 68040

    Orlandoech

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2011
    Location:
    Salt Lake City, UT
    #2
    I wouldn't bother. It's old and obviously has issues. Why not a 2011 refurb?
     
  3. McGiord macrumors 601

    McGiord

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2003
    Location:
    Dark Castle
    #3
    I have a late 2008 MBP and by design it doesn't switch the video cards automatically. There is an app that helps.
    Not sure if the model you are interested in also suffered the same apple design flaw.
     
  4. comatory thread starter macrumors 6502a

    comatory

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2012
    #4
    no refurb store here, also not willing to spend more than 900 usd on MBP, it's not my main machine, just need it ocassionaly to do some stuff.

    OK just looked at the listing again and it is late 2008 model as well, the one with Ge Force 9600GT/9400.
    I always thought that this model was supposed to switch GPUs automatically depending on the usage. So it is normal for the computer to do this?
     
  5. McGiord macrumors 601

    McGiord

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2003
    Location:
    Dark Castle
    #5
    Yes, it doesn't switch the GPU automatically.
    I got gfxCardStatus to make it switch automatically, without it you had to go to the System Preferences and change it, and then Log out and log back in, originally a restart was needed.
    The battery of this model sucks. Get a newer model.
     
  6. T5BRICK macrumors 604

    T5BRICK

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2006
    Location:
    Oregon
    #6
    I don't know where you're located, or what you plan on using the MBP for, but you can get a brand new 13" mid 2012 MacBook Pro for about $1000. Why not go that route instead of a used computer with no warranty?
     
  7. comatory thread starter macrumors 6502a

    comatory

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2012
    #7
    i will be using it only few times a month, not daily, for musical visual performances. Core2Duo handles what I need. I am ine Europe and in my country there is no refurb store. New base 13" MBP costs almost 1700 USD.
     
  8. T5BRICK macrumors 604

    T5BRICK

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2006
    Location:
    Oregon
    #8
    I'd still look around and see if you can find something newer. If a 13" MacBook pro would work, they started selling them in mid 2009.

    Order from a different country if possible? I used to work at an Apple reseller and it would ship to other countries(shipping was expensive though).
     
  9. comatory thread starter macrumors 6502a

    comatory

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2012
    #9
    These are already german prices, I need to buy it within European Union, we have import taxes otherwise that botch every good deal. Shipping isn't really that expensive in Europe.

    Yeah I mean I could go with 13-incher, I used to own 2010 MBP 13" and it did what I needed to do. Looking at benchmarks and configurations, there isn't really a big boost between 2010 and let's say, 2008 machines - performance and feature wise. That's why I'm looking even at older models.

    I remember that sometimes when doing a gig the 13" screen would lack some real estate, I had to try hard to fit my Modul8 interface on it, it would work much better on 1440px screen... so that's why I want to go with bigger size. I usually take it with me in backpack so I don't mind the extra size, I travel by car to a gig so it's not like I need it to be 13".

    Yeah I'll probably skip this offer. 2010 machines look nice, especially the 15" model still seems a bit powerful, I know the huge leap came with Sandy Bridge but honestly, I'd rather save money than get the power - my main rig soon will be Mac Pro so I don't have to make compromises in price/power/portability anymore. Figured having stationary and portable machine fits me best.

    Looking at eBay prices in US, I envy you :) With my budget I could easily get 2010 15" MBP or even 2011 used... Well.
     
  10. James Craner macrumors 68000

    James Craner

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2002
    Location:
    Bristol, UK
    #10
    I had that machine until recently, it is still a great machine. As others have said it never had automatic GPU switching. I would have said that $840 was a little on the expensive side though - $700 would be more reasonable for a laptop that old. Ask if it has had a new battery, if it is the original, it is proberbly on its last legs now.
     
  11. comatory thread starter macrumors 6502a

    comatory

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2012
    #11
    Yep i think the original battery is still in there, seller says battery life is "good" - 283 cycles.

    EDIT: just looked at eBay and he managed to sell it. The prices of Apple hardware are seriously inflated here in Europe, people are still selling white macbooks from 2007 for 400-500$. Sellers are not really reasonable, wish I could buy it from states, even with local sales tax it's still good deal.
     
  12. thewanted macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 30, 2010
    #12
    I've considered doing this myself as I'm from the UK. However I've noticed a trend that MacBooks with a US-layout keyboard seem to go for a lot less on the forums I frequent, so what you save on one hand, you lose out on the other.

    Personally I couldn't live with a non-UK keyboard, so the perceived saving isn't worth it to me.
     
  13. comatory thread starter macrumors 6502a

    comatory

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2012
    #13
    Never occured to me, but it is a little inconvenience. I have used non-native keyboard before and it's OK for me, I can type with all fingers so it's no problem for me. I got those little button stickers, problem solved.
    I have wireless german keyboard that I used it with as well, sticker is transparent and the letters are in red so it's easy to quickly glance at it.
    I'd be OK with almost any keyboard but lots of those Macbooks I'm looking at right now are either in very used condition (lots of dents and dead battery) or either very expensive.
    2010 seem like way to go but many of them sell for 1300-1400 USD, that's too much for two years old machine with no warranty. Seriously it pisses me off, I know Apple hardware holds it value as it lasts longer but sometimes it's just ridiculous. I tried negotiating with this guy who offered me 2007 Alu MBP with dead battery and 2GB RAM, he wouldn't go under $700!
     

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