Anatomy of a MacBook Pro repair

Summary:After being plagued by inverter whine on my MacBook Pro 2.0GHz (serial W8607) and extremely high temperatures I finally called it in...

MBP-logic-board.jpg
Last week I wrote about Apple addressing problems with some early MacBook Pro models suffering from inverter whine, CPU whine and high temps with updated logic boards. Serial numbers starting with W8611 and later are reportedly "Revision D" boards, while earlier numbers are Revision C. (There's more on decoding your MBP serial number here.)

After being plagued by inverter whine on my MacBook Pro 2.0GHz (serial W8607) and extremely high temperatures I finally called it in. First tier Apple support was mildly sympathetic after I complained about the high temps above the F2 to F4 keys after the MBP was running for 1-3 hours, but the second tier rep that I spoke to flat out denied knowledge of any problems with the MacBook Pro's and told me that he'd call me back after sending it to engineering.

When no phone call came I called back (referencing my case number) and discovered that the engineers still hadn't responded. The rep told me that he could "send me a box" to have it returned to Apple for a review of the symptoms - so I did. I was a little dismayed when the box arrived and the support ticket listed "HD noise" as the sole symptom, as it's completely unrelated to my case. Nevertheless I dutifully packed it up and sent it in.

Yesterday I got my MacBook Pro back and discovered that Apple didn't swap the logic board but instead replaced the thermal module and the display inverter. The included paperwork listed the following replacement parts:

    605-0861 THERMAL MODULE W/TEMP SENSOR
    612-0020 ASSY,INVERTER,NCC,MBPRO15"

Users that get a motherboard replacement usually see this item on their repair ticket:

    630-7570 PCBA,2.0GHZ,256VRAM(M1)MBPRO 15"

In my first hour or so of actual use I haven't heard the inverter whine (which is more of a high pitch hum, actually) and I've tested this by turning down the display brightness to zero. The jury's still out though because the inverter hum usually takes a few hours to manifest itself. The heat generated from the bottom left rear seems about as hot as with my previous thermal module and inverter but the area above the left F-keys is not nearly as hot (so far).

Have you sent your MacBook Pro in for repair? If so, what parts did they replace and did it cure your symptoms?

Topics: Apple

About

Jason D. O'Grady developed an affinity for Apple computers after using the original Lisa, and this affinity turned into a bona-fide obsession when he got the original 128 KB Macintosh in 1984. He started writing one of the first Web sites about Apple (O'Grady's PowerPage) in 1995 and is considered to be one of the fathers of blogging.... Full Bio

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