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Graphics Businesses Software Apple

Apple Admits Nvidia GPU Defect In Some MacBook Pros 89

Posted by Soulskill
from the theya-culpa dept.
bigwophh writes "The brouhaha over defective Nvidia mobile graphics chips keeps rolling along, even months after the initial headlines have faded. Despite Nvidia's promises that Apple's GeForce 8600M GT-based MacBook Pros had dodged the bullet and were immune from the defect, Apple now counters that it wasn't, in fact, so lucky. 'In July 2008, NVIDIA publicly acknowledged a higher than normal failure rate for some of their graphics processors due to a packaging defect. At that same time, Nvidia assured Apple that Mac computers with these graphics processors were not affected. However, after an Apple-led investigation, Apple has determined that some MacBook Pro computers with the NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GT graphics processor may be affected.' The units in question are the 15-inch and 17-inch MacBook Pro notebooks with Nvidia GeForce 8600M GT GPUs, built between May 2007 and September 2008."
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Apple Admits Nvidia GPU Defect In Some MacBook Pros

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  • ASUS? (Score:1, Interesting)

    by dziman (415307) on Saturday October 11, 2008 @12:54PM (#25340189)

    Does Asus manufacture Apple notebooks? Regardless, I'm still curious as to why Asus has denied the problem at all in any of their notebooks. I even called them up to ask about it and the response was... "If you think you have any problems, mail the notebook to us, and we'll take a look at it, but our notebooks are not effected by this."

    The notebook I have is the G1S-A1 that has an nvidia 8600GT.

  • by lag10 (667114) on Saturday October 11, 2008 @01:01PM (#25340227) Homepage
    The video card just randomly died one day. No video on the attached screen or an external LCD with few options for backing up data.

    Luckily, I had AppleCare at the time and Apple just kept the HD intact. This only happened two months ago, and I had only purchased AppleCare a few weeks beforehand.

    When I called about the issue, they claimed that they hadn't heard of the problem before. I wonder what happened in two months for them to change their tune?
  • by ColdWetDog (752185) * on Saturday October 11, 2008 @02:24PM (#25340775) Homepage

    That said, OS X kernel panics are the most tasteful of all operating systems I've seen crash - the screen fades to grey and a nice box (rounded corners and everything) appears in the middle telling you, in four languages, how to reboot the machine.

    Yeah, that really lowers my blood pressure. Instead of an annoying blue with circa 1995 text on the screen. It's soo much better. Still can't figure out why my (GeForce 8600M) MacBook Pro will go on kernel panic rampages - every couple of weeks, Bridge will KP the laptop. Cleaning out the caches seems to work, perhaps it's just the dead goat and the candles in the pentagram.

    But I really appreciate tasteful screwups.

  • by TheRaven64 (641858) on Saturday October 11, 2008 @02:29PM (#25340815) Journal
    If you look in the console, you can find the stack trace for the crash, which usually helps pinpoint which module caused the crash. In my experience, most OS X kernel panics are due to third party kernel module (virtualisation one in particular), then ATi drivers supplied by Apple, faulty hardware and bugs in XNU, in that order.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 11, 2008 @03:15PM (#25341079)

    Looks like the commenter [theinquirer.net] that mentioned a possible link between low-lead and high-lead solder might be on to something, or the inquirer.net writer if he/you brought this possible issue to light.

    I have a Toshiba A215-S7422 notebook that has video problems as well. Toshiba is covering it up and trying to run out the warranty. The screen "blanks" and the laptop freezes up. No system keys work, emergency syncing doesn't work, etc. But the cpu still is getting power because the air at the vent remains hot. The only solution when the problem hits is to hold down the start button till the lights go out and then release and hold down again for a cold reboot. I thought it was a Vista problem, but I'm dual booting Debian, and the problem appears with it too. I thought it might be a cpu throttling problem, so I forced the cpu (AMD TL-58) to stay at 800 MHz, then tried at full speed (1900 MHz) and in between. No difference. In Debian, I set up scripts to log temperature every minute, cpu speed, load, cpu utilization, etc., to see what the issue was after a lockup. No difference. Happens at any speed, any temp, any load, any cpu utilization, etc.

    I was getting 20-30-40 day uptimes, but made the mistake of falling asleep with throttling turned off. Cpu ran at 1900 MHz for about 7 hours. After that, the uptimes are now a few days to a week being a really good uptime. Tried different kernels as well, all the way to 2.6.25, currently running at 2.6.24 because I think I may be getting slightly less uptime with 2.6.25. The laptop was put to emergency use running a very low hit count web site in Dec. 07 and has been performing that function since then up until now, so the laptop has been running 24/7 since then. It just freezes up, the power, logon, battery lights stay on like when it is running on ac power, and the ethernet port light remains lit, the ethernet termination at the switch remains lit as well. It just freezes up with a dark "blue" screen similar to when the screen blanks after inactivity if you don't use a screen saver.

    Toshiba allegedly addressed this with a bios fix, acknowledging an "intermittent screen blanking issue". Prior to the bios fix, I was able to adjust how much system memory could be used for the video card in the bios during boot up. That ability was removed with the bios update. Now, whether during boot up phase, or directly entering bios, the ability to change amount of system ram for video has been removed. Toshiba admits this "intermittent screen blanking issue" for dozens and dozens and dozens of A215-Sxxxx and other Toshiba Axxx-xxxxx models, with the same or another bios version to fix the dozens and dozens and dozens of models that this affects. According to customer service, I should take it to a local authorized repair center. After a long conversation with the local authorized repair center manager (owner?), he admitted that the "fix" is for him to update the bios himself, which alters the throttling/cooling profiles in Vista. I described what I did to try and trace the problem and he admitted it was a bigger issue than Toshiba's "fix". He suggested sending the laptop back to Toshiba instead of taking it to him and follow up with them until the issue is resolved.

    My warranty is up in the next couple of months and the reason for purchasing the laptop was to run the web site until I finally replace the "server" the web site(s) was/were running on. I'm also using the same laptop for personal use while its serving the sites, so I have a year's worth of personal info and web development work on it as well. I was able to back up months ago onto DVD disks, but now the data is quite a bit more. Every time I try to back up to a USB drive or over ethernet to the replacement "server", the laptop locks up. So for now my data is stuck on the laptop until I figure out how to get it off in between lockups so I can send the laptop back to Toshiba. Now if I could find the receipt for when it was purchased...

  • by oblivionboy (181090) on Saturday October 11, 2008 @04:03PM (#25341333)

    How easily the world forgets the iBook G3 graphics chip defect....

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IBook#Quality_issues [wikipedia.org]

  • by aliquis (678370) <dospam@gmail.com> on Saturday October 11, 2008 @11:47PM (#25343499) Homepage

    Apple probably got to know the short term future plans of both companies and Intel had the better one for Apples kind of products. Sure I would had preferred if they said AMD, but there is no denying Intel is ahead now and AMD don't do as good notebook chips and that AMDs high-end desktop ships use a lot of power.

    So as of right now I think their decision was right. I'd rather complain on other decisions than AMD vs Intel.

    And since both are x86-chips they always have the benefit of being able to change I guess (unless some contract binds them to Intel for some time.)

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