Apple Officially Admits to Faulty NVIDIA GPUs

22 Comments

Following NVIDIA’s July 2008 announcement that a number of their GPUs were experiencing higher failure rates than should be normally expected, Apple today finally released an official support article acknowledging the problem. The article claims that NVIDIA told Apple graphics cards in Macintosh computers were not affected by the problem, which is supposedly related to improper packaging. The reason for the lag time between NVIDIA’s and Apple’s announcements concerning the faulty GPUs is an internal investigation by Cupertino itself which eventually found that MacBook Pro NVIDIA cards were indeed affected.

The GeForce 8600M GT, specifically, is named in the article as having problems, which were used in MBP’s manufactured between May of 2007 and September of 2008. Symptoms include distorted video or no display at all on either the built-in or connected external displays. Anyone affected is directed to take their machine to an Apple Store or authorized service provider to receive a repair free of charge. Those who’ve already paid out of pocket for a fix are also eligible for reimbursement. The offer is valid for two years from the original date of purchase.

Though Apple claims that not all MBP’s made between those dates are necessarily affected, it seems unlikely that consumers who haven’t yet experienced problems will find this terribly reassuring. The two year time limit will have many wary, as well. Still, Apple should be given credit for admitting the full, potential extent of the problem and offering the free remedy for affected customers, both past and current. They’re clearly in damage control mode, and will likely succeed in shunting most of the blame onto Nvidia, who caused the problem in the first place and then apparently lied about it. A steep increase in failures following the two-year mark could come back to bite Apple, but those using MBP’s seem to have a higher laptop turnover rate so they might even dodge that bullet.

If you’ve had or are having problems, share your symptoms below so that others will know what to look for.

22 Comments

Vincent

I have a MacBook pro 2.2 with the nvidia 8600m gt card. I had it fixed by apple in august of 2009 and everything was fine until December of 2010 so on Jan 3 of 2011 it was fixed at an apple store and was fine until Jan 30th of 2011 just 28 days later the video card has gone bad for a 3rd time and they want to replace the logic board again. Well enough is enough I now am asking apple to replace this mac with a brand new one. I doubt I will get it but I’m sure I will be taking myac in for a 4th repair of the video card soon

Leo Hermano

I had the described problem with my MBP and took it to a local ASP (Planeta Virtual – Rio de Janeiro). They’ve recognized the problem almost immediattely and are taking care of it without any cost to me. Congrats to Planeta Vitual and Apple, the damage is controlled.

Dirk Segerius

2008 24 inch iMac with a 3.06 intel processor and the Nvidia Geforce 8800 GS Graphics Card , burnt out, replaced jan 2010, burnt out march 2010

Martin

I’ve got the same experience as in Singapore. I’ve now spent over $200 at authorized Apple service on diagnosis, claiming it not to be the aknowledged nVidia-problem. One service-center want me to pay $1.600 for a new logic-board, the other wants me to pay around $1.000 for a new display.

I have af 15″ MBP from 2007 with a NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GT graphics card. Symptoms come and go, but gets more and more constant.
The symptoms are: horisontal distorted flickering lines in several colours. Symptoms are present as soon, as the light in the display is on.
Spoke to Apple on the phone and did several test on the computer. They said that it most likely was this nVidia-problem covered by Apple.

Servicecenters though denied it. They did all the tests:
different RAM
external display
Resetting VRAM and PRAM
Apples hardware-test (said no problems)
Problem still present

They say, they used Apple’s dedicated test-tool, used to confirm this nVidia-error, and that they could not confirm it.
I’m not quite convinced yet, but don’t know what to do.

za.IT

My experience with Apple Service Centre in Singapore is that these people always claim that the problem is due to the logic board so that we have to pay for repair. I know of 3 friends who experience this rubbish from Apple Singapore even though symptoms are similar to what stated in Apple’s website.

Miguel

I have the same problem and left my MBP 17″ in the Apple repair center on February 10. Today February 19 still waiting for the NVIDIA Logic board to be shipped from California Apple center. The problem was diagnosed the same day I left the computer but the part has not being yet shipped!! I love my computer but start hating Apple response time on this knoun issue. Should’n they have in stock these parts to rapidly replace their customers? I paid almost 3K for the machine but waithing the same time an PC owner for a part! Not good.

Miguel

I have the same problem and left my MBP 17″ in the Apple repair center on February 10. Today February 19 still waiting for the NVIDIA Logic board to be shipped from California Apple center. The problem was diagnosed the same day I left the computer but the part has not being yet sipped!! I love my computer but start hating Apple response time on this knoun issue. Should’n they have in stock these parts to rapidly replace thei customers? I paid almost 3K for the machine but waithing the same time an PC owner for a part! Not good.

Yasser Khan

I had the same problem and took it to the service centre. They immediately found the root cause to be the 8600Gt and immediately dispatched a new logic board from the US. Took time and I felt crippled without my mac but now its back in my hands.

LArry Vaughn

I have an 07 model Imac 2.4 with an ATI Radeon HD 2600 pro graphics card. My whole desktop has strange black and white patterns, except near the icons. I can drag a rectangle over the whole ldc and the problem disappears.

Now that is strange and it’s ATI, not Nvidia.

n[ate]vw

@Gideon Yeah, I paid a bunch of money to get the GeForce 7300 in my 24″ plastic iMac fixed earlier this year. It was getting really bad. I’m still hoping Apple will eventually fess up and reimburse me, but not holding my breath.

Nick

Is there a way to replicate the problem to see if we have the issue? I have a late 07 MBP and would like to get it fixed if need be, but haven’t experienced the issue yet.

Gideon

They REALLY need to own up to the problem with vid cards in the late 2006 iMacs. People are having strange graphics artifiacts all over, and Apple won’t own up to it. I have to run all my fans twice as fast just to keep it from happening.

Juan Nin

My 15″ 2.4Ghz Macbook Pro bought on june 2007 experienced this problem around 3 weeks ago.

One day I came to the office and when turning it on, I could hear it boot, but no display, and no display on external monitor either.

Sent it to Apple authorized service provider and a couple of days after they told me there was something broken on the Logic Controller (motherboard), very possibly the video card.

Despite of the fact that my MBP was already out of guarantee, Apple took care of the repair. :)

The new motherboard left USA on the 26th September, it’s still at customs, they take a lot in there here (between 15 and 20 days) so I hope it’s ready for next week.

Another guy from the local MUG here had the same exact problem some days after me.

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