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17" MacBook Pro

A picture taken of the artifacting occuring on one of the failing 17" MacBook Pro. It is unclear whether NVIDIA or Apple is to blame for the failure of the $2,799 laptop's graphics.  (Source: Engadget)
Apple's pricey latest luxury offerings are showcasing poor graphical integrity

For only $2,799 you can buy yourself an entry level new 17" MacBook Pro.  And according, to recent reports, your purchase may come with a complementary side of failing graphics.

The pricey new luxury MacBook, which debuted in January at Macworld, features both 9600M and 9400M NVIDIA mobile graphics cards.  While Apple clearly thought this to be a clever design, offering both performance and power savings, by switching the 9600M on only in graphically intense situations, it appears to also be making the systems' graphics fail according to Engadget.

Numerous owners are reporting failing graphics, random green lines and artifacts on their displays.  Monitoring the graphics cards, these users believe that they have traced the problem back to when the second card -- the 9600M -- turns on.

If the second card is indeed to blame, it’s still unclear who's at fault for the fiasco.  NVIDIA last year was plagued with graphics problems, declaring nearly all its mobile GPUs to be defective and prone to overheating.  Apple also has not been without notable quality concerns of late.

Regardless of who's to blame though, the situation makes for some very unhappy MacBook Pro owners.  One can only hope the purchasers are able to warranty out their defective machines or at least hope for a firmware/driver update to solve the issues.

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RE: Definitely Nvidia
By monomer on 3/6/2009 11:51:28 AM , Rating: 2
Here's a link to Apple's original support comment regarding failing NVIDIa cpu's:

The problem has been stated to be a "Packaging Defect" with the 8600M GPUs. The problem is with the bumps that attach the pins to the GPU. After cyclic thermal loading, a bump is liable to crack, leading to graphics corruption. Just leaving the computer on won't cause the problem; it occurs after loading than idling the GPU many times.

NVIDIA admitted that there was a problem with the bumps, but wouldn't say which GPUs were affected. Independent testing by The Inquirer (yeah, I know, not a great source, but incredibly entertaining) shows that at least some of the 9600M GPUs were built with the defective bumps as well.

RE: Definitely Nvidia
By omnicronx on 3/6/2009 11:55:25 AM , Rating: 2
And I suppose Nvidia forced Apple to put these known defective GPU's in the laptops? I fully understand the underlying issues is probably Nvidias fault, but releasing a product without proper testing is the manufacturers fault.

Just as I blame Microsoft for using faulty DVD-ROM drives in their 360's, they didnt make them, but it should have never past the testing phase thus making it their fault.

"If you can find a PS3 anywhere in North America that's been on shelves for more than five minutes, I'll give you 1,200 bucks for it." -- SCEA President Jack Tretton
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